Fascinated as I am by Labyrinths, Standing Stones and Stonecircles you will find everywhere in our Good Old Europe, I thought it time to experience our own ancient Stone Monuments.  Our Dolmens. Our Province Drenthe alone has 54 of them.

As it happend I felt the need to have some time on my own somewhere in the wilderness. Creating some distance between myself and an issue I could not get out of my system.  No TV, Computer, Newspaper and Music. Just reading, reflection and silence.

So off we went, Sarah and me. To a lovely B&B in Gieten. On our way up I just  hopped into our postoffice annex bookstore to mail a parcel.  A book “The White Army. Knight Templar for eternity” caught my eye. Oh well, let’s take it along…

“Go find a lonely place in Drenthe”, the writer advised. “Leave TV and computer off. Go back to your Inner Self. Work through the proces as I describe in this book and see how it will work out for you in your life. How trusting your intuïtion will make synchronicity happen. Like I am convinced the Knights Templar lived by and got their power and inner strength  from.”

Talk about synchronicity … I already found myself right there when I read this… and yes, I did just that.

Dolmens are impressive monuments.  They lack energy but give you peace and quiet. Take you back thousands of years.

The fields of burial mounds breath  serenity and love.

The energy I brought homewith me still amazes me. Priorities and targets took a spectacular turn.  And with it came the dedication and energy to make it happen.

“Be like me Els ” this beautiful tree wispered to me.

“Stand with your roots firm into the soil.  You are and will  get damaged in life.  Like me.  You have and l will encounter big immovable stones on your way.  Like me.  Do not worry about it. I  do not. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy Life. Like  me”.

Lifting my arms up towards the  heavens I did.

And guess what ? I did find a small labyrinth !

Hidden in a shadowy corner of the museum. On a poster next to  a beautiful sculpture made by this artist.

Next year March we go to another secluded place. Sarah and me. That is for sure.

Your Pilgrimage to Jeruzalem

The Labyrinth of  St.Quentin.

To  me the most Spiritual.. most Ancient and most Beautiful labyrinth  lies at the entrance of the Kathedral of St.Quentin, 200 km North of Paris.

Your Pilgrimage to Jeruzalem ? Here it lies …right in front of you.  Your Jeruzalem is waiting for you.   Since 1214.  Step into it and make your journey.

“La Lieue de Jeruzalem”          –   “The Road to Jeruzalem”

Often I go there.    To take someone who is close to me to Jeruzalem in my thoughts .  To come into my own spiritual Self.   The esoteric music…the silence… to have this ancient labyrinth all to myself.. it makes it unique.

“Did you find your Jeruzelem? ” someone asked me once when I was sitting on a chair… still deep in thought….

Yes I did.  My Jeruzalem is always waiting for me. Every time I step on these ancient blue tiles.

And if you find the Labyrinth of  Amiens open …

… you have one of your absolutely perfect days !

Knitting Olympics !

Watching TV is fine. Sport on TV is wonderful.  However… hanging in your chair in front of it in an onproductive way… not acceptable.

Hence I knit.  Socks, sweathers.. and whatever projects come to mind.

When the Olympics started I thought:

“You know what, I will start a sweather and will knit our Super Speedskater Sven Kramers Gold Medal(s) into it and whatever other sportshero’s achievement who catches my support. Winning or losing”.

Surprise.. there is a whole Knitting Olympic going on ! Start when the Flame is lit.  Finish when it is extinguised.

Sven.. you were absolutely Super !

Knitted Sven’s Gold Medal into  this part of my Olympic Project.

As for reaching the finishline in time …

“Participating is more important than Winning”.

PS. For more information visit the sites

http://www.Ariandnesthread.wordpress.com  and http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog

Miracles happen ofcourse….

Years and years it has taken me before I could find the courage to look into my Siberian Husky files.

Ten years ago I went back to Willow, Alaska for a long winter.  To face the dreams haunting me, waking me up in tears morning after morning.  Had to deal with them. Work through them. Back at the place where it all began.

Now then.. finally finding the energy – and the courage –  to sit down and start my project getting my Sleddog Story digital…

taking the 1st nine dogs out in training

discussing the training in the playground

… now then …

..I am  completely surprised by the joy… the intense love and compassion.. the positive emotions and energy it gives me when I see all those dogfaces again.

Miracles do happen ofcourse..

on the road to the races

All it takes is believing in them, believing in yourself and go for them.

.. and be very grateful ..

About Dogs….

Everybody has a dog. Knows somebody who has one. Or knows somebody who knows someone who has one.

Then maybe you have heard about the troubling fenomena of Hipdysplasia and Patella Dislocation.

Hipdysplasia : the hipsocket becomes to flat to keep the head of the hipbone in place. It severely restricts the dog in its movement and can be very painful.

Patella Dislocation : a kneejoint disfuncion allows the kneecap (patella) to move. This causes the same restriction and pain.

But.. did you know there excists animal fysiotherapy ? And there is an instrument that can help improve and even completely cure this problem ?

This eldery male  (left) Patella D.improved greatly.

The Golden Retriever’s (right)  hipjoints were so bad that putting him to sleep seemed to be the only option.  He was declared completely cured..

Here is the therapy

Both are running around and playing and enjoying life to the full again !

And here  is Dandy. Nothing wrong with Dandy but he imensely enjoys the whole procedure and loves to show you all how it works .

Pass it on… the dogs inflicted will be eternally greatful.

As will be their owners.

My Callanish… a pilgrimage

My Callanish

A summer evening in Scotland. A setting sun in an emptiness full of mysticism.

Slowly the five of us – the small fellowship we formed early on during our Scotland Tour all the way up through the Outer Hybrides and Orkney Islands – slowly we walk into the Standing Stone formation of Callanish.  Each of us within our own cocoon of thought and reflection.

Callanish…. who are you ? Why are you here ? How long have been keeping watch over these lands ? Have you memories ? Will you share them with me ?

Callanish.. a cathedral that equals Notre Dame de Paris, Chartres,   Stone Henge and every  other place of worship build on the magnetic Holy Lines of this our Earth.  The builders.. they knew. As the animals still do, lying down in the fields.   So where did we humans of this day and age, where did we lose touch with You Mother Earth ? Lost respect for your lifegiving force ?  Started to use you instead of treating your with respect and love ?

With my back against one of those magnificent stones a stillness takes over. Touch it with my hands and begin to feel warmth. Love.

My mind goes back ages and ages. See people come and go. To celebrate, sit and enjoy. Care for the Creation around them. Solstices in summers and winters in flaming colours .. see people enter in reference and respect in rain and mist. Performing rituals I do not understand.

Feeling ancient and young at the same time. Wise and ignorant. Belonging and insignificant.  Sharing life with all who passed before me and will come after me.

“How” , I ask my Stone…”How did they worship our Creator ? In what way was He important. What answers did they get ? And how will I find Him ? ”

Sharing his ancient wisdom with me he answers me ..

“God Els… God is in and around and above us all. God is not one concept of Him. He is in All and Everything that exists with you on this His  Earth”.

“So then ..Be still and know that He is God…and He will find you”.

An eerie sweet songs floats around within the awesome stone formation..we join hands and I join in.    Connecting with Eternity..

My Callanish..

This pilgrimage was part of the  Scotland Tour organised by Kim and Jeff Saward (Labyrinthos) June 2008.  Published on The Labyrinth Society (TLS) and Labyrinthos websites.

The Crockpot or Slowcooker

….if only I had known….

… but I am blessed with friends who give me many good ideas.  And the best thing to do then is … passing them on !

Just the same, if I only had known that this slowcooker existed when I was still working, rushing out of my small apartment at 6 AM to catch my train to Amsterdam … and dropping in at 7 PM, often too tired to even get around frying an egg for dinner…


Throw all kinds of nice things in your slowcooker on Saturdaymorning for – orcourse – the whole weekend.

Put it on SLOW ( = 6 hours in the morning) or FAST (= 3 hours in the afternoon).    And anytime dinnertime –  be it  early or late in the evening-  it is happily simmering along.  When hungry friends drop in.. there is always enough.  The KEEP WARM option proved very useful too .

Thank you Kimberly !

And they come in all sizes.  For big families, for bachelors.. fantastic.

As for recepies.. surf on the Internet. You will be surprised !

All it takes..

.. Is a nice cold winterday… a sweet little dog to go out with.. a solid layer of cloths  and you will meet ..

a Fearce Dangerous Lion…

… and these sweet little dreamers….

… about Iceland… like me..


In Memoriam

Starting a New Year means – at the same time – closing the passed one.

For me it feels different this time.                     For me it is closing a Book.

My Siberian Husky Sleddog  Life Book.

On the 5th of December Lew van Leeuwen passed away. We shared our sleddoglife together. Helping to get the breed well established in Central Europe. Our Anadyr Siberian shuttle of eighty dogs  (they say…never counted them myself) became legendary. Matching the individual dogs to their owners and genetically to their dogs was quite a challenge. Talking Earl and Natalie Norris (Alaskan Kennels, Willow Alaska) “out off them” a story in itself.

With our European sleddogfriends we build the trails, agreed, disagreed and competed against eachother in good comradeship. We founded breedclubs and sleddogclubs together. Put the sport on the worldwide sleddog calender together.

In time the trails of Lew and me took different directions. But the good memories will be there forever.  The dogs part of my soul.

My Thank You to you Lew!

The Lierop Labyrinth

When the French Emperor Napoleon occupied our country he decreed  that everybody needed a name and should be officially registered.

Many people choose their names after the village in which they lived or were born in. As did my ancestors. The village Lierop still exists in the South of my country.

That we were not the only ones in the Netherlands with that name became clear when the village invited all of us  van Lieroppen for her 825th  “birthday ” in 1980.

Not surprisingly… Lierop has a labyrinth and you will understand that the Lierop Labyrinth is the first (.. of many!!) I want to share with you.

A sculptur created many artworks on his property, amongst them many labyrinths.

The walkable one is situated in the Sun Temple.

Here it is ……..