Welcome!

We are Nico and Marlies Wobben and in February 2008 we moved from the Netherlands to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada! Nico is an RN at the General Hospital and I (Marlies) work from home, as an administrator at Canada Life and for my own web design business Feel The Fire. And we have 7 cats!
  • Regina
  • Amsterdam

Wascana Park Walk

Finally a nice day and we did the 4k walk around the city side of the lake, the Blue Trail!

RIP Ton Van Duren

 

Our old friend, rock, helper in so many situations (like this pic, DJing and so much more at our wedding in ’96!) is no more :'(

He fought his cancer hard, but the new stem cells wouldn’t have it 🙁 Ton van Duren, you were one of a kind! We’re blessed to have 30 years worth of memories with you ❤

Wishing Dinie, family and other friends strength to deal with this tremendous loss..

Rest easy Ton van Duren (May 3, 1965- April 7, 2018)

Winter Updates, 10 Years Canada And Vacation Plans!

Winter has been dry and cold, we’ve seen -36 without the wind chill!! Our New Year’s Eve party was a success again and so much fun! Then I was busy with making Valentine’s Crittens and then there were the Winter Olympics and oh yeah, it was our TEN YEARS IN CANADA anniversary on the 18.. wow!

We also planned our next vacation. It’s going to be a double exciting one! Dad hopes to turn 100 on August 24, we will be there for almost a week. Then we add a week of Crete to that trip… going back there after 13 years! Back to Kalives, to Christi Apartments this time.

Merry Xmas And All The Best For 2018!

We want to wish you all a happy holiday season! Here’s our traditional Xmas mail & card:

Can’t believe we’re already near the end of the year! At the same time, trips in the first half of the year, to Kelowna (BC) and to Holland, already seem so long ago! After these wonderful trips, we had a great camping season here in Saskatchewan – not the longest, but warm and dry 🙂

Work has been good too, although it looked like Marlies was going to lose her casual office job due to reorganization, but she got very lucky and was able to renew her contract after all. In the meantime she researched other work-from-home options and expanded her website business Feel The Fire by adding a crafts store. All her creativity under one roof! She’s been quite busy crocheting cute little kittens (crittens) since, for crazy cat people like us!

Merry Xmas and best wishes for 2018!

Nico & Marlies
Tess, Gandalf, Rider, Smokey, Sheldon, Penny & Arya =^.^=

Expanding Feel The Fire!

Things are going to change at Feel The Fire!!

In recent years I’ve been working hard behind the scenes. Besides working with clients, I spent many months moving my sites to a new web host, Antagonist in the Netherlands, and doing any updates where needed (made this whole blog bilingual, for one).

And the last few months I’ve been working on something really exciting: expanding this business… with a crafts store! My whole life I’ve been creative in various ways. Crocheting, knitting, drawing, painting, printing, digital artwork, web design etc. I’ve always dreamed of having my own store with my handmade items and now I’m finally doing it! These days it’s mainly crocheting and drawing/painting that I do and it’s only natural to me that I make this part of Feel The Fire. All my creativity under one roof! It will be part of that website and in the new year I intend to create a shop for it, for now I will be selling some items through my Feel The Fire Facebook page. And of course you can contact me directly as well!

They Are Keeping Me!

Great news! Nothing signed yet, but heard last Friday that due to changes in the team, I can keep my work-from-home office job after all!!! I will continue to work on expanding my business, this past month has learned me a lot about where my heart is. But very happy I still get to do it with the financial backup of my current dream job! Thanks to all who gave me advice and tips (via my posts on Facebook) on home work, I will still also research those options in case I can use it in addition to all of the above! 🙂

My Dream Job Is Ending Soon! :(

Office job ends – will creative entrepreneur opportunities triumph or will it be back to fluorescent lights and stale office air?

A good week ago I learned that at the end of the year, my casual, work-at-home office job for Canada Life (Great West Life technically) will come to an end after almost ten years! Work has been so low that I’ve only worked 10 hours/week (instead of my usual 25ish) for months. And since some of our work has been moved to an India team a few years ago, our headcount had to come down. Not sure what they have in store for the permanent full-timers in the long run, but right now it’s the end of the line for the three casuals who were still on board 🙁 We saw it coming, but it still sucks!

My brain immediately went into overdrive and I’m researching my creative options first (like expanding my website business and starting a web store for crafty/artsy stuff), as I’m dreading to give up my freedom and would prefer to do home-based jobs. I realize though that I may just have to dust off my dressier clothes and look for ‘normal’ part-time or casual (preferably data-entry non-phone) jobs out there…

Motorhoming 2017! Highlights

Thank you camping season 2017!! Not the longest, but the best in weather for us personally (not for nature) and as the weather is changing this weekend (good for nature), we’ve cancelled our last camping plans and are wrapping it up with the best and warmest camping memories still in mind and heart! We already posted about the last three trips, here are some highlights of the trips before that, to Buffalo Pound, Douglas and Duck Mountain.

Buffalo Pound, September 1-3

We had a fun weekend with the Bos and Korevaar families! We met Arie and Leanna Korevaar (and their kids Sam and Sarah) in the beginning of this camping season. Arie has Dutch parents (and a Dutch name), so we ended up talking and having beers by the campfire. We kept in touch and this weekend we arranged to camp together at Buffalo Pound (Maple Vale) again. Marga and Henk (Bos) joined us with their tent until late Saturday night. We just spent a lot of time together chatting, in the evenings by the propane fire pit that Arie and Leanna brought (there is a fire ban) and we made Dutch apple and bacon pancakes on Saturday morning. We also got a visit this morning from Dana and Kris (and doggie Ellie) who came to camp with Dana’s dad and their extended family!

Cypress Hills, August 21-29

The Centre Block of Cypress Hills isn’t new to us, we’ve camped there several times and also stayed at The Resort a few times. I LOVE pine trees and these lodgepole pines are something else. It is also the highest point between the Rockies and the Labrador peninsula. Like Grasslands, the park is a dark sky preserve and has an observatory that we visited for the first time. The biggest difference with this trip was that Gord and Lorraine were there too, so we spent a lot of time together and went to a few places by car, that we normally couldn’t get to.

We had a very pretty drive to the park, coming from Grasslands this time. A lot of prairie and we crossed the rugged Frenchman Valley five (!) times. One time even during the much hyped (80%) solar eclipse, but all we noticed was that a light cloud cover felt like a heavy one. We had plans to stop in Eastend and maybe visit Scotty the T-Rex, but we already stopped and had lunch in Shaunavon instead. It must’ve been around 3.30pm that we arrived at Cypress Hills. After check-in we went to site 67 on Terrace. The slight slope mentioned in the description turned out to be a slope so bad that we couldn’t even begin to correct it a bit with the blocks we have. You can’t jack it up like a trailer. We didn’t want to sleep with our heads that far down, so we went back to the office to see if there were any alternatives. They wrote down some sites we could look at and around 5pm our six nights were rebooked to four nights Rainbow 29 and two nights Terrace 16. Better! The Rainbow site wasn’t big nor private, but it was enough and you could look right into the forest and the Woodlands Trail!

We saw at least four moose on that trail and two on the Whispering Pines Trail. And twice we missed moose walking by our site in the early morning. Nico also saw some cows there one day, they must’ve broken INto the park :O We loved being in the pine forest and talking to many people about our kitties. We also got together with Gord and Lorraine every day, for a meal or walk or drinks. On Tuesday, Gord and Lorraine took us to the Observatory open house and that was neat. We watched some videos, there was a talk about constellations that were pointed out in the sky with a laser and in the dome we could look at some nebulae and such through a telescope. They’d be very busy in the following days with a lot of stargazing geeks attending the annual Saskatchewan Summer Star Party! Thursday was the only cloudy day with a few drops of rain, we had fantastic summer weather otherwise!

We also kept our eyes on the registration page to see if we could get a better site for the last two nights. Things change all the time and we were able to change our reservation to Warlodge 72 and add a third night… right next to Gord and Lorraine! Now this was much easier for combining doing our own thing with popping by for a bit or getting together for the evening. The site was partially open, but still had pine trees and was HUGE. Certainly more privacy! We still saw moose (probably the same young bull) on the other side of the campground and near the Twisted Tree Trail. Amazing! Nico and Gord went fishing one night and Leilah and Matt came to stay with Gord and Lorraine for a night. Should’ve been two, but a lot of car troubles marked their trip 🙁 We planned to leave on Monday, but when I woke up at 9am, I checked if the site was available for another night and poked Nico. Of course it didn’t take any trouble to convince Nico! I checked with my manager, postponed my dentist appointment and Nico went to the office to add one last night (he was going to Maple Creek with Gord). We just couldn’t tear ourselves away from this awesome place and had one more hot and relaxing day! Before driving home together on Tuesday, the four of us concluded our camping trip with a great breakfast at the Resort!