Archive for the ‘Not adoption related’ Category

Requiescat in Pace, Dear Brother

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Paul D. Moyen-van Slimming passed into the Next Life on February 21st, 2019 after suffering a massive heart attack and anoxic brain injury. We’re having a small, private memorial for him this Sunday. His remains will be laid to rest with my parents and my younger siblings in Lompoc as soon as I can get all the details arranged.

Paul had been living in NYC for the past few years so it had been quite some time since I’d seen him in real life. We hadn’t been close emotionally in years, even before he’d put so many miles between us, but we loved one another.

Paul had many struggles in life, not the least of which was his bipolar disorder, which led to self-destructive behaviors when he wasn’t well medicated. He was also a recovering addict.

We had not been close in no small part due to some of those behaviors, and too many harsh words and misunderstandings between us. But as kids, we were a team, we had each other’s back, always. Even as adults I worried about and rooted for him. And I am so glad the last words I had for him were of love and support.

He was passionate and proud and over the top and often too full of life, at least when his depression wasn’t holding him down. He had a lovely singing voice and was an amazing actor and story teller. He was Keeper of the Stories after Mom passed away, even the ones that embarrassed him. He enjoyed reminding me of all the silly things we did as kids and the funny, odd things our parents said and did.

In his adopted home of NYC, he had found work for which he was passionate – helping others with their journeys through mental illness and addiction. He also had online and IRL friends, if not the entirely ones I had thought he had. (More on that another time perhaps.)

He was my brother. And I loved him and and honor him for who he was. And will miss him dearly for the rest of my days.

See you in the Summer Lands or in our next lives, my dear big brother!

Bright blessings and love, always.



This, too, is a Family Revisited

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Bumping this up in light of the arguments in front of SCOTUS this week.

I am livid for the families and parents being maligned today. You’d think I’d be inured to the bigots by now but not so much.

From June of 2008:

My post on same-sex marriage finally becoming legal in California, was going to be a lot different, more edgy, more challenging. Then I went back East to do the baby-naming ceremony for the youngest child of my wonderful friends Kix and Cathy. And I realized there is only one thing I need to say.

This, too, is a family:

Who has the right to deny it?

Congratulations to all the couples who will finally be able to make true before the State of California what has been true in their hearts, many of them for decades.

Blessings all,



Happy Birthday, Oma

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

I miss you.



Oma and Me 2004

Joyce, Oma, me and Jim 2004

Oma and Me 2009


20 Years

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

It’s been 20 years since my dad passed away. I still miss him dearly and am sad he never knew his grandson.

I drug out the photo albums and rounded up a bunch of pics of Dad to remember him by. There are way too many I’d love to put up here but I’ve just put a selection of some of my favorites. I posted more on my Google+ album. Link to pics. I think this works without an account.

Hug your loved ones, people. You never know when you might not be able to do it again.

Blessings and love,


Dad about 3 years old - just a bit older than Alexei is now. Wow!

Dad as a boy - not sure how old he was here

Dad after graduating from basic training

Mom and Dad a couple of days before their wedding. I am the daughter of a great romance.

Dad practicing Tae Kwon Do

Dad in Thailand during the Vietnam War

Dad's patented mischievous grin

Me and Dad after my highschool graduation

The family toasting Mom and Dad's 25th anniversary

Dad getting into his Vietnam Era uniform for a  Parade to be honored as a vet more than 20 years after he came home


Short Update from my Brother

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

My brother is having a nice time with the family. They didn’t get to go into Amsterdam due to the snow storms unfortunately – Paul said the snow really shut down the country, which doesn’t surprise me.
He did get to go into Antwerp with Oom Jim and cousin Joram. And on Christmas Eve they went to the crematorium to spread Oma’s ashes. I was so glad he got that chance to honor Oma and say goodbye to her.

Maaike sent me an IM saying she’d gotten to give him a big hug for me. (I’d told all of the family last Oct that they were getting to see him sooner than I was so would they please give him a big hug from me!)

Sounds like he has been able to accomplish most of what he wanted from this trip. I’m really happy for him. Hopefully we’ll get to see him in the summer, and if we’re really lucky, maybe he’ll even be able to meet his niece!

Hope everyone had/is having a wonderful holiday season of whatever religious (or not) persuasion.

Many bright blessings, one and all,



8 years

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

No, not since we started our adoption journey (though sometimes it seems like more.) But 8 years since my best friend and I exchanged our marriage vows in our own living room.

Here is to my love, my Darren, on our anniversary.




And Now for Something Completely Different

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Top Ten Exercises to Become a Better Equestrian.

10. Drop a heavy steel object on your foot. Don’t pick it up right away. Shout, “Get off, Stupid, GET OFF!”

9. Leap out of a moving vehicle and practice “relaxing into the fall.” Roll lithely into a ball and spring to your feet.

8. Learn to grab your checkbook out of your purse and write out a $200 check without even looking down.

7. Jog long distances carrying a halter and a carrot. Go ahead and tell the neighbors what you are doing – they might as well know now.

6. Affix a pair of reins to a moving freight train and practice pulling to a halt. Smile as if you are having fun.

5. Hone your fibbing skills: “See Hon, moving hay bales is FUN!” and “No, really, I’m glad your lucky performance and multimillion dollar horse
won the blue ribbon. I am just thankful that my hard work and actual ability won me second place.”

4. Practice dialing your chiropractor’s number with both arms paralyzed to the shoulder and one foot anchoring the lead rope of a frisky horse.

3. Borrow the US Army’s slogan: Be All That You Can Be — bitten, thrown, kicked, drug, stomped, slimed, trampled, frozen…

2. Lie face down in a puddle of mud in your most expensive riding clothes and repeat to yourself, “This is a learning experience, this is a learning experience, this is …”

Marry money.

h/t to Ariadne for passing on the list

Took a small spill off Jo-jo while jumping last week. Got my bell rung a little – Stacy things he clipped me in the back of the head – and my neck and shoulder were none too happy. Doing much better now and will be back up today.

Had a phone interview with Pacifica Graduate Institute! I’m really excited about this prospect and hope to hear in a few days about being called in for the face to face interview. So please send prayers/good thoughts/cross your fingers whatever for me to get called back in, for a great in-person interview and good things to follow.




Just Some Pics

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

It was a very hard day today after a very looong day of travel. So just a few pics then I am signing off and going to sleep!

Blessings all,


Cousin Thomas and his friend playing for the memorial

Cousin Thomas and his friend playing for the memorial

Cousin Maarten singing the song he wrote for Oma

Cousin Maarten singing the song he wrote for Oma

Cousin Sharon and cousin Maarten

Cousin Sharon and cousin Maarten

From top left Sharon's boyfriend William, me, my 1st cousins once removed Maud and Irene, cousin Sharon and Great-aunt Jenny

From top left: Sharon's boyfriend William, me, my 1st cousins once removed Maud (daughter of Oma's sister Wilhelmina) and Irene (daughter of Oma's sister Jenny) cousin Sharon and Great-aunt Jenny

Cousin Sharon and me (she'll probably be mad at me for posting so many pics of her but hey they are nice pics of her!)

Cousin Sharon and me (she'll probably be mad at me for posting so many pics of her but hey they are nice pics of her!)


Leaving on a Jet Plane (Again)

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Yes, it is true. I am going back to the Netherlands. Wish it was for a happier purpose but I am very glad that I will be able to be there to celebrate her life, say goodbye and offer what comfort I may to my family.

Oma left money for the American grandkids to come to the funeral. Unfortunately Paul’s passport is expired and there was no way we could have gotten it renewed in time. And Darren is staying to take care of the sick kitty boy (who’s blood sugar is still giving us fits unfortunately.) So I will be the American delegation. 😉 (That’s my brother’s joke so blame it on him!)

Early birthday wishes to my cousin Ben. I know you won’t feel much like celebrating, but I hope you will find some joy in the day anyway.

Saturday was also Uncle Arij and Aunt Joyce’s 35th wedding anniversary. Again, I know they were not feeling festive but many congratulations to them. They are such lovely people and a wonderful couple.

Getting on a plane soon. Love you all.




RIP Eugenie Charlotte Sophia

Friday, October 16th, 2009

I learned this morning that Oma passed away. Though I am trying to remember her life with joy, right now I can only grieve.

For all the distance between us, Oma and Opa O were pillars of my childhood. They never forgot a birthday or failed to call or write at the holidays. We can count our time together in person in bare weeks but the love I felt in their home and in the homes of their children and from their grandchildren is all the testament one needs to know what a special and wonderful woman Oma was. Oma was my last remaining grandparent and I am so sad that she will not be able to “meet” her latest great-grandchild when Darren and I finally bring home our daughter.

I know she is with my dear Opa Tom, and with Dad and Mom, Shannon, Pam, her sisters and other loved ones who have gone on before her. Somewhere she is dancing, the pain and disability of her body gone, the lightness of her spirit lifted and joy at the meeting of old friends abounds.

Her passing is only hard for us, it is no longer hard for her.

She is added to the Company of the Ancestors and though I know I will see her again, my heart is weary.

Please keep my Aunt Joyce, Uncle Arij, Uncle Jim, Aunt Ingrid, cousing Ezra, Joram, Benjamin, Sharon, Thomas and Maarten as well as my Uncle Rolf (her nephew who was like another son to her) in your thoughts and prayers in the days to come.

I love you all. Even if I don’t see you or talk to you enough, please know that you are special to me.

Many bright blessings and love to you all.


Oma as young woman

Oma as young woman