Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The bycicle repair man

october 31 2007

Today one of the bycicles gave up.

Because we couldn't fix the problem ourselves it had to be brought to the repairshop.

The guy said he would need two days, at least.

Two days!!!
Would that mean he'd offer us tickets for the bus for those days?

Well, maybe we could come at closingtime and have a look.
Maybe... ***plucking his beard*** ... maybe....

At closingtime the bycicle was ready.

It's the first time this guy did something special for us.
Se he was praised straight into heaven.


october 31 2007

There's a lot of halloween-ery on internet.
I've seen so many sites displaying halloween images, that I can't say which one is best.

So I give you one where you can find a lot of links, photos and even strippages.
In case you want to have your site added, just leave it in the comments.

Only decent sites please.

Oh...the site is ::here::.

have a spooky halloween!

suicide among soldiers

october 31 2007

Troubling news today.
The suiciderate among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan has increased.

Why am I not surprised?

Because I had a discussion last week with a collegue about the effect of taking active part in wars that serve no straightforward goal.

Like Vietnam these ward seem to be a mistake, an endless effort to get matters in control that won't get in control.
People who are at home know that, and soldiers that go know that in the back of their heads.

More than other soldiers they have to force themselves to think they can make a real difference, but when they come home they read the papers and things haven't changed.

In the meantime their family was under a lot of pressure. Would their father, husband, friend, son, brother, their mother, wife, friend. sister, survive?
So the family has undergone change.
They have become closer to each other, or have struggled through many bitter moments.
Children have grown. Some children were born without their father present.
All those little and large changes in the lifes of people...first step, birthday, performance at ballet.. they all took place.
Life simply went on.

Those who come home are confronted with all the emotions that have to come out.
The first tears and embrace when they arrive back home, the stories.
The happiness that they have survived.

Most men and women in the army want to stay firm.
But human nature is that all those overpowering emotions need a place.
Instead of taking the time, the job wants a 100% attention.
There is no place in society for people who take their time.

None would say that someone who has been in the army needs as much time to adjust again to society than someone who has been imprisoned.
Even more.
Because the prisoner knows he needs to find a place for himself in the lives of others again, the soldier has huge expectations of family and friends.

But he starts again as an outsider, an emotional outsider.

We can learn such a lot from Vietnam veterans. The pain they went through.
But those who can tell, really tell what we need to know to prevent these suicides are long gone.

In the urge to get more soldiers in the army, young kids are enlisted.
People are not fully aware what it means to be a soldier.
The discipline stands in full contrast with all the skills they need when they come home and are left to their own emotions. They haven't developed the skills people of their age acquired naturally.
They're on their own.

I live in a country that doesn't regard a soldier to be a hero.
When he goes to afghanistan it has nothing to do with defending our country. He's there to help that country, the people there.
It's a job. It's a job he has choosen himself.

When he comes home he's welcomed back, but he isn't considered a hero.
He's considered to be a person who has had a very intensive time.

Because he isn't put on a pedestal. He can reach out so much more easily.
Because we have a complete different look on the army and being in the army the homecoming is far different.

We have been told the past weeks that we need to be more proud of our country, of our army and soldiers.

Pride is alienating.

relationship cancer and food.

october 31 2007

In Amsterdam the results were publicised of worldwide research on the connection between lifestyle and cancer.

In fact they said nothing new. But there's more research backing up the excisting advices:

  • Lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Lots of movement
  • be careful with alcohol
  • no sausages, ham and minced meat.

Many people in my family are allergic to fresh fruit and vegetables. We first have to cook the life out of them before we can eat a bit from it.
That means that we either live on a high carbogydrate menu or eat sausages, ham or minced meat with out meals to have the feeling we have eaten something.
All my aunts and uncles have cancer or died from it.

It would be interesting to find out if we're predisposed to cancer and the allergies are a sign of it, or if it works the other way round.


Escape King caught

october 31 2007

Remember I blogged about a spectacular escape ::here::?

More information revealed that the guy was already on the helicopter when it crashed, and that he didn't take one guard hostage, but two, when he escaped.

Well, the guy is in proson again.

He was caught in The Hague after he crossed the border and committed another crime again.
The Netherlands first wants him to put to trial before sending him back to Belgium.

The escape king has another challenge. Will he be able to escape in The Netherlands?

romance for everyone, in all aspects.

october 31 2007

18 years ago I became part of a close group of friends.

It all started when we were pregnant and shared our laughs at pregnancy gymnastics.
Soon we shared our little complaints and later we told each other about the way we delivered our children.

More groups like that survive the first birthday of the children and then slowly fall apart.

We got closer to each other, when life got rough.
In a way we each were the representations of our best characteristics which made us fit together like a puzzle.

One baked cookies and made the tea, another did the talking about the superficial issues, one did the questioning, and one was the listener.

Time went by and talking about diapers and children's diseases evolved to dealing with experiences of loss of love, loss of life, loss of joy and happiness.

One by one my friends went through a break up.
They each reacted in a way that belonged to the person they had been before. And dealt with the grief like they dealt with grief before.

I think we kept together through all this because we could learn so much from each other.
When we listened to all the emotions, thoughts and questions we were not only helping a friend through a break up, but we were also reflecting on how we would react might the same happen to us.

Ofcourse we listened a lot.
Breaking up a relationship has to do with memories, with love that was, and expectations that will never become reality.

Grief, hope, insecurity, open future. We talked about so many things.

Each week the same story sounded different. A reflection of which issues had been dealt with, and of the fears that kept painful feelings as long away as possible.

But as time went by the chaos of feelings and thoughts got a place in life and in the past, and a new perspective on the future opened.

Only once we got really worried.
That was when a friend didn't seem to be able to overcome her feelings of helplessness.
Her mother kept telling her what do to, and she was so overcome by the fact that her husband choose another woman, that she almost drowned in her feelings of passivity.
We were able to motivate her to seek professional help and now she enjoys life fully again.

For me the group provided me with a lot I should have learned from my mother.
For such a long time I thought romance was not for me.
I think my journey through life would have been much more easy when I had known what most young people know because they read so much on internet.

Romance is for everyone. The good times and the lesser times.
I now know what it takes to invite romance to your life.

I'm grateful there are sites that offer support for those who don't have the luxury of a group of friends like I had.

a present from Jamie after a good talk


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's my problem

october 30 2007

Another difficult day with my autistic son.

Or is it just a difficult day for me?

He doesn't bother when his school assignments aren't ready.
He doesn't realise that other people can get really irritated that he doesn't follow the rules.
It's ok when people behave according to his rules: no change, no unexpected events, no fuzz.

So it's me who feels he should write that paper.
It's me who feels ashamed when he doesn't hand it in in time.

parents are strange creatures. LOL!

Dam in Tigris on the verge of breaking

october 30 2007

In Northern Irak a huge dam in the Tigris is at the point of breaking.
That means that a wall of water will hit the city of Mosul and kill at least half a million people.

The dam has been a problem ever since it was built in 1984.
The botton is not solid. There's a part that consists of a kind of chalk that is waterpermeable and also slowly disappears.
After a few month there was leakage.

Baghdad might also be in the dangerzone.

De Amerikanen noemen de Mosul-dam de gevaarlijkste ter wereld. Bij een breuk loopt ook de hoofdstad Bagdad gevaar.

Age discrimination in breastcancerscreening

october 30 2007

3 woman above 75 years of age went to court to get free breastcancerscreening for woman above 75.

They argued that women that witholding BCscreening for women that age is age discrimination.

Well, the attorney pleaded that breastcancer at that age is slow growing and that women are apt to die from other causes.

To I can go for free breastscreeening when I'm 69 and 364 days of age and won't get a screening when it's postponed a day.

It's all about money and the price of a life.

featured; Laura Williams Musings

october 30 2007

Today I want to focus your attention on Laura Williams Musings.
You can find give-aways and other interesting entries there.

Organising a give-away isn't easy and you really need to have the help of others to read a huge audience.

Don't forget to report your give-away to Laura.

Go and have a look.


october 30 2007

Yesterday the tinopener gave up.
The handle just broke off.


I was in a bit of a hurry to get the tin opened, because I had so many things on the fires.

So one of the girls got to a friend and brought an opener.

At first I didn't figure out how it worked. It was such a different model.

But soon I had the tin open.
So easy. Without the slightest friction.

And I wasn't bothered by a sharp top at all.

Turned out it was a kind of safety opener.

Well, I want the new one to be that one.

When the father of the children came home and I told him about the opener he said that the handle broke off earlier and he had glued it!!!!!!


Comet 17P/Holmes

october 30 2007

Comet 17P/Holmes has surprised astronomers all over the world.

Last week it was a tiny dot between stars, now it's a clear bright light, detectable with the unaided eye.

Is it exploding?
Or are we seeing some unknown phenomenon?

I've seen wonderful pictures made after the news was aired that the comet was growing in size.

Even for people who aren't very interested in what goes on between the stars this might be something worth looking at.

At Spaceweather you can find a short description, and a cpouple of photos.


breast cancer awareness month

october 30 2007

Breast cancer awareness month has nearly come to an end.

This your I have been less often bombarded with useless information.

The highlights for me where:

  • Research indicates that self-examination doesn't reveal much new cancercases.
  • More women choose for double mastectomies to prevent breast cancer.

I was glad that there was much attention for the risk men have to get breastcancer.
I'm curious to hear if the weightcontrolproblems of many men lead to more cases of breastcancer.

Like the years before I have been trying to make teachers aware that when they talk about healthy food and healthy living, they should also inform children that healthcare also means taking part in screenings and doing carefull self-observation.

I still meet women who are afraid to go to a doctor when they feel a lump because they're afraid they'll hear that it's cancer.

It's not about the name, it's about the lump.
Like a friend said: "do you rather die stupid, or live knowing what you're dealing with?"


day in pictures

october 30 2007

When I'm surfing around I like to have a look at the site of the BBC.
They offer valuable information.

Today I found myself watching one of the pictures of "DAY IN PICTURES".

Want to have a look yourself?

Go ::here::

breakfast at school

october 30 2007

Wednesday the school of the girls is participating in "The National Breakfast".

The children will get a breakfast at school.
A nice box with bread, an egg, strawberry-yoghurt, and some other things.
No slice of ham or real cheese. Just a bit of creme cheese.
No cereal either. No fruit.

It's organised because many people don't eat in the morning, and this way they want to tell the children what's healthy or not.

My children get a breakfast in the morning.

One of the boys loves porridge. (Uh..the smell!),
one loves yoghurt with cereal,
the girls love bread and fruit.

When they're late, I have it ready for them to take it with them.

I feel very critical about this initiative.

The breakfast doesn't take into account that many children are allergic for the ingredients in some of the ready packaged products.
In my opinion there are too many additives and preservatives in the products, it's too much fitting the sweet taste.

Well, consuming this breakfast only once won't harm the children but at home I'm a lot more careful with what's available for breakfast.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Italy... history is everywhere around you in Rome and Venice

october 29 2007


The country of sun, love, Spaghetti and Pizza, sweet lemons and endless evenings.
You can wake me up in the middle of the night to go there.

It's so long ago I went there..

I enjoyed Venice with my father.
We took a boat and a guide who pointed out all the architectural beauty of the houses at the canals.
The guy knew everything about the Palazzo Grassi. Turned out he had worked there.
Wish I could go back and be able to take the time to enjoy the museum.

I can't understand many people miss the Fenice. It's one of the most famous European theatres. Many operas had their premieres there. For instance La Traviatta and Rigoletto.

My advice: hire a boat with a guide for a day.
make notes and return to interesting places later.
I've spend many hours walking there with my dad, and each and every moment Venice surprised us.

A few years ago one of the boys was offered a schooltrip to Rome.
Everyone knows that the Seat of the Pope is in the Vatican.
The teacher, a priest, always wanted to go there and he saw a chance to see the Sistene Chaple, the Pathenon and the Duomo.

The pupils however had competely other ideas about a trip to Rome.
The girls wanted to go shopping and throw two coins in the Tevi Fountain to ensure a good marriage. (One coin means you'll return to Rome and three that you'll have a divorce.)
The abundant design of the fountain and it's artistic value and place in the history of art was an additional feature.

The boys were more interested in the Coliseum.

But before more plans could be made the travelcosts turned out to be too much for a normal schooltrip.

I still think however that a trip to Italy is one of the best choices people can make.
The people are very friendly, the food is OK, and there is so much to see!
History is everywhere around you and that adds something extra to the feel.

There is a huge difference between hotels.
Some are small and are more like bed and breakfast, whereas others give you the feel to be a princess in a high quality opera.

Italy has many more interesting cities.
Napels, Florence, Verona.
It's great to make a tour and sty a couple of days in each city, they're all different.

Have a great stay!

halloween is near

october 29 2007

It's getting halloweenweather tonight.

Dense mist is forecasted, with very limited sight.

We've just walked around the lake, and saw the first haze between the few trees that are left there.

Now all the schrubs and many trees have disappeared the area is rather bare.
The openness prevents me to get the creepy feeling I had the last years when we walked near the lake.
The many noises of the little animals are gone.
There's no mystery anymore.

The path between the gardens though is perfect for a creepy feeling.
The path itself is slippery of the leaves and the rain, and it reflects the movements of the trees.

The best place to be though is the garden.
I know there are large spiders... Ugh!!!

results of testweek

october 29 2007

The boys haven't done bad in the testweek.

They both did rather well as far as we got feedback already.

The final year consists of a couple of periods consisting of a time for normal work, ending with a week full of tests, and the central exam.

I can helpt hem prepare for the tests, help them make their homework and get good points for that too.

But I can't help them with the final exam.

It's based on knowledge and skills.

Last testweek my autistic boy panicked because he had to write a letter to apply for a job, whereas he was taught to write a letter to apply for a sportsclub.

He has difficulty generalising what he has learned.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he gets through it all well, because another year there doesn't seem right.

Romance is the lace on life

october 29 2007

My first real love was the most interesting person of the whole school.
He was tall, had black hair and eyes I could swim in forever.

Even though lots of girls swarmed around him and offered him cola and chocolate milk, he went after me.
What a pity he ignored one of the girls, called silently "the wicked witch".
She told me they had a nice evening out and he even kissed her at places I don't want to mention here.

I was furious!
How could he!!

Just a week ago he asked me to marry him when we both finished our final exams, and I was over the moon from joy.

Instead of considering who brought me the message, I landed hard in the pit she created carefully for me.

I was lucky her father overheard the conversation and forced her to tell me the truth. Only then I was able to see she was almost green from jealousy.

Well, even though we had a wonderful time together and had big plans for the future, university life took over and we didn't marry with each other.

I married a guy who, later in life, turned out to have autism spectrum disorder, so I have no romantic life at all anymore.

He married a woman who has at least as many musical talents as I have, has one child less than the 6 I have, and has such a big job that romance only enters his life during the vacations between calls from his work.

Ofcourse I feel lost at times, caught between being left alone and old age.

But I'm glad I've experienced romance and I can escape in dreams.
It's like a layer of lace over the hardships of life.
I was deeply loved, with red roses, walks in the woods during sunset, and sweet kisses by candle light.

I still feel as soft as I felt then when I read romance novels=.
They feed my dreams, and make me feel happy others have found their partner for life and lead a happy life.
They enable me to give the children hope and dreams, and enjoy their first steps in the world of love and romance.

I'm saving the books at the attic... I'm sure they'll enjoy them as much as I do when they're a bit older.

a recipe

october 29 2007

Slice an union into little squares and melt them in a pan with a little bit of butter.

Boil water in another pan, add some salt, a tiny piece of butter or two drops of oil and a bit of broth.
Add couscouss

Add minced meat to the glacy unions and bake it, while "chopping it into little pieces.
Add salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

Take boiled carrots, green beans and fresh tomatoes.
Put them in a blender shortly, so they will be little pieces, no sause.
When the meat is ready, add this mixture and make warm.

Take a cucumber and slice it in the length, and again, so you get lang thin pieces.

When the couscous is ready lay it on a plate like a half ball.
Make a hole in the middle and pour the meat mixture in.
Around you can lay the cucumberpieces.
Serve with salat if you like.

Eat well.

october 29 2007

Do you know what really makes me mad?

I've been trying to get my autistic son motivated to write the paper about a book.
It was due tomorrow.

He comes home and tells me that noone has put an effort to finish it so now they can hand it anytime this week before saturday.

The stress we had here because he didn't take the task serious!!!

And now that teacher says it's not important enough to tell the kids they're too late?


wrong descriptions

october 29 2007

One of the boys found out that at the site of the council photos are published with the wrong descriptions.

Like the person who made these descriptions doesn't even know the town.

He's a bit irritated about it.

Kids with autism spectrum disorder often have a strong sense about right and wrong.
Not only in the moralistic area, but also int this area.

Ofcoruse I told him the best way was to write a letter to the council and give them the right data, so they can adjust the site.

He's a bit hesitant about it, is afriad people think he's weird because he looked at the site of the council.

Well, I think they should be happy with such interested readers.

Plastic Surgery in the UK

october 29 2007

I'm going to "talk" about plastic surgery.

This morning I've found out that there is a huge difference between Plastic Surgery in the UK and here in The Netherlands.
Here in The Netherlands doctors are allowed to refuse surgery when they consider it not necessary. The oath says they have to heal and cure. And some plastic surgeons don't think procedures like tummy tucks, and liposuction are part of their work.

In the UK the decision is all up to the client/patient.
The Plastic Surgeon is a professional advisor, but that's it. When you want something done, you'll get it done.

The way people view themselves is for a large part dictated by the modern fashion industry.
In the past voluptuous women were a sign of wealth (there was enough to eat), now slim women are the norm.

I've heard a psychologist complain that she got many young girls and young women in therapy because they had a distorted body image.
"Food for the cosmetic industry", she called them.

It worries me that there's so much money involved that you have to be careful with each step you move into the direction of plastic surgery.

I'm not talking about victims of fires and accidents, but I talk about healthy individual people, who want to give up their appearance to look like a magazine woman who is or is not corrected by Paint Shop Pro, so she has a flat tummy, endless thin pencillegs and a straight short nose... Oh.. and no hips!

It bothers me that about anyone can give advice whether or not to have plastic surgery.

Some or rebuilt human beings themselves, others are psychologically and verbally well developed nurses who know how to make you insecure and then offer the solution: surgery.

At least before you go to an appointment you can look up if your advisor as the proper registrations. He/she should be registered with the General Medical Council ( and he should have specialised at university. So he has to have
"FRCS Plast" added to the name.
The best surgeons are member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( or the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (

Some people forget that all surgery, even minor surgery has a risk.

One never knows beforehand if the scar will heal nicely and disappear after a while, or will start growing and build up more scartissue, or will stay red or shining silver forever.
Do you know that some people need to have new surgery 5 times just to cover the problems that weren't there in the first place?

OK, surgery seems to be an instant solution for a problem that needs sweat and tears for a rather long time. But often exercise and diet will do the trick. Hej, the problem didn't appear overnight did it? So at least you should give it an equal chance to disappear when you work out well.

As a psychologist I'm always interested in the reasons why people want to change their bodyimage. Is it to please others? Is it to be able to live up to the expectations of others? Does a little fat here and there really change a life?

I think it's a disgrace that young people are allowed surgery at a time in their life that they're not even completely developed or haven't a proper idea of their own identity.
Surgery is done at places they're not even able to see themselves without mirror, just because the media have made them insecure.

When entering a clinic for cosmetic surgery you have to keep in mind that the people there are very willing to make money from your problems.
Are you an easy target? Why aren't they working in a hospital to give disfigured people a better chance of a pleasant life?

Ofcourse I can't stop you. I won't.
But at least ask yourself a lot of critical questions.
people change during life and it's not about how people look, but about the love they're able to radiate.
Do you want someone who likes your body or do you want a partner that loves you as a person?

But even when you have real problems that can be solved with plastic surgery you have to be careful.
Get a second opinion.
Don't book surgery immediately, but give yourself a week, two weeks to think about properly. Some advisors are booking your surgery as fast that you can't even consider their advice.

Ask about aftercare.
Ask about complications. How many in other patiens overall, and how many in patients that have undergone about the same procedure?
Compare clinics, compare doctors. Talk with others who already underwent the procedure.

When you undress in front of someone who pokes in places where you think you're fat, who looks at you from a reconstructioners eye, you have to be sure that surgery is what you want.

The review of some clinics in the Times was interesting to read.
The journalist didn't expect that she would feel so different just because other people were talking about her body in a way she never thought of it before.
She got insecure just from undressing and people wanting to change her.

Only one surgeon was honest to the journalist. Isn't that interesting.

escaping in blogging

october 29 2007

I'm trying to escape from helping my autistic son with a paper about a book.

I know, it's not fair.
I'm a bad parent.

But he's 16 and he should be able to do it himself.

I've told him that he has to read about the book on internet, where other kids his age have published their papers on blogs and special sites.

Maybe that way I have to explain less, and have to dictate him less.

A friend gave me a CD to listen to and I like the music so much, I want to listen it completely all at once.

I never do.

So I'll escape being a kind of teacher for a few more minutes.

Don't tell.

red hair

october 29 2007

The girls had a lot of fun at school.

They're at an age that they giggle about everything.

Today one of the main events was that one of the more boring teachers had her hair painted red.
Not a bit red...but ... RED!!!

I can only imagine how the teachers must have felt under the critical looks of the girls.

I remember painting my hair and it turned out carrot-orange.
Washing my hair made it look even worse, and as the shops were closed and I really had to go to work, I had to face countless people on the streets and in the train looking back and telling each other to look.

Oh my dear!!

At the hospital where I worked I asked permission to go to the hospital hairdresser.
We were never allowed to go there, but this time I was.

I was so relieved when I could face my collegues with brown hair. A bit too brown.. but none cared.

about above

october 29 2007

Once in a while a friend calls and the only thing she'll say is: "about above".

It's a signal to go upstairs, change into comfortable clothing and leave the house.

"about above" means that she needs to vent about her children and needs my input. Ofcourse I'll vent too, and we'll both end up like a kind of stand up comedians talking about our children.

"about above" means: about the children, above a cup of coffee, or two, or three.

We both have a few children with autism spectrum disorder. Some are at the same age.

They share a lot of characteristics.
Some are plain fun, but most are a real problem.

We've had a week vanaction, which means we have been bussy 24 hours a day. Minus a bit of sleep.

We should have had the chance to sleep in, but instead we had to do our utmost to overcome all the obstacles our autism spectrum disorder kids threw up not to go to school.

When I went after 1.5 hours, I was refreshed!!


october 29 2007

Halloween is approaching now.

Do you know that today is a special day?

On october 29 in 1390 the first trial for witchcraft was held in Paris.
We can only guess how many women were killed because of superstition.

People now know that there are no ugly women with hooked noses flying on brooms.
And they know illesses are caused by bacteria and virusses, for instance, and not by the ill words of a witch.

Still many people have wrong beliefs about other people, mainly based on lack of knowledge and interest and respect.

I think life would be easu when we can change the world by the use of spells.
Certainly I would be a white witch, throwing my loving dust abundantly around.

I can't fly.
But I used the broom today.

Just before the rains started I used it to sweep all the fallen leaves in a corner of the garden, where they can keep the hedgehogs dry.

Haven't you observed? It never rains in all those drawings of flying witches. LOL!

Look at Autism

october 29 2007

Taking a Look at Autism 2007
will take place on November 8-9, 2007
at the Holiday Inn Express in Okemos.

Topics to Be Covered:

Mediation-Helping Parents & Schools by MSEMP;
Sensory Integration & ASD By Cindy Grider, CMH;
Self-determination vs. Guardianship by Don Hoyle, ARC;
Positive Behavior Supports By CAUSE;
Law Enforcement & ASD By Lean On Us;
GFCG Diet and ASD By Deanna Seng;
Inclusion: A Parent's & Students Perspective by the Cunninghams;
A Perfectly Ordinary Life by Kelley Orginski & Sandee Koski;
Music Therapy & ASD By Cindy Edgerton, MSU;
and Project Based Curriculum & ASD By AFIC.

There is a limited number of parent scholarships and reduced rates available.

You can contact contact Lori Swan at the Autism Foundation of Ingham County for more information at (517) 655-1895.

Thanks Miranda for sending this.


october 29 2007

Last friday another list of recalls was issued.
Included toys containing too much lead.

I think people who have access to internet should put the site of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on their list of favorites.

The site gives the most recent list of recalls at the main page. All items linked to excessive descriptions and photos of the items.
The photos don't always represent the content of the package well. It would be better if they also provided photos of unwrapped items, so people will recognise the products faster and can eventually refer others to the site too.

The site provides a lot of information, including how to wear a bike helmet and a Safety Basket Gift Idea, links to spanish information and the email newsletter.

Books for children

october 29 2007

There's a group of children and young people who have problems reading, either due to visual problems or learningproblems.

The Fed Dept of Education of the USA funds free access to printmaterials for them.
This not only concerns coverstextbooks, but also the extensive library already online at recently got a major five-year award of $32 million from the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. federal Departmentof Education.
This funding is to fully support all schools and students 26 years old and under with qualifying print disabilities in the United States, K-12 and post-secondary.

These students will get access to the entire collection of accessible electronic books and to software forreading those books... for free.
That means they can access over 34,725 books and 150 periodicals that are converted to Braille, large printor text to speech audio files.

Expected is that over 100,000 new educational titles in high quality DAISY and Braille formats will be added to the collection over the next five years.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

earthquakes near Papua New Guinea

october 28 2007

Days of earthquakes of the magnitude of 5 to 5.5 on the scale of Richter near Papua New Guinea have come to an end.

It's interesting to see that the earth is shaking so often.

Sometimes the quakes give the idea of the movements of the water. Like waves from side to side in a cup of water.

Especially at the borders of the Indo_Australian Plate, the Philippina Plate, and the Eurasian Plate one can see this "hopping" of movements. See ::here::.

I'm curious if the melting of the north pole will lead to the discovery of a new plate.
There seems to be a breakingline near Greenland.
I don't mean the line between the north-american plate and the eurasian plate.

Time will tell.

Interested? More info ::here::.

spectacular escape

october 28 2007

One of Belgiums wellknown criminal, called the "king of escapes" has done it again.

While the criminals were aired a helicopter landed.
A lot of prisoners went for the heli, so the pilot tried to fly away.
Instead it went down again.

In the chaos that followed the crimiminal took a guard hostage and escaped.

Police are trying to find him with all means possible.
The guy is violent. Already he was sentenced to 27 years for violent crimes, and got another 12 years because he had shot 2 policemen.

a child drowned

october 28 2007

Sometimes I consider myself lucky.

Have you read or heard about the baby of 9 months drowning in a bucket of bleach?

Read it ::here::.

When the children were little I always kept a close critical look in my own actions.
All the doors were closed, I stayed with the children, and I never did anything to endanger them.

Someone told me it was wise to plan their sleepingtime during cooking, and so I did.

I often felt lonely.
When other mothers had their children in bed for a nap, I was playing with mine.
So no quick cup of tea on the gardenbench with one of the other mothers.

But my children never got burns from tea or coffee, never escaped from my eyesight.

I feel for the parents...

But why oh why was there a bucket of bleach in the house? A bucket???

Jane Goodall

october 28 2007

Today I got a gift that moved me.

I don't often get a present, let alone one that I wanted for a long time.

I received the first edition of Jane Goodall's "Reason for Hope".
Not often I wish a book is signed by the author, but this time I wish I would be able to travel to her and ask her to complete this book.

As a young girl I was reading the Tarzan.
People told me it wasn't girlish and all sorts of nonsence, and as an already insecure child I doubted my mind.

Untill someone told me that an english woman also read the books.
She thought she'd be a better Jane than Jane herself.
In fact the woman was working in the jungle of Africa, studying chimpanzees.

Wish I had a mother like she had, someone motivating me to fullfill my wishes.
I would have joined Jane.

Instead I studied the human race, and slipped in the money quarters which were in my university building whenever I saw a chance and enjoyed the animals from my safe place.

Jane always considered Gombe, the research centre in the jungle of Tanzania, het spiritual home.
I'm not sure where mine is.
That's why I would like to travel.

I've seen the program "Reasons for Hope" when the 40th anniversary of Gombe was celebrated.
I've seen it with tears in my eyes, because we shared so many feelings.

And now I have the book.
I'll read it page by page.. I'll enjoy it.

In case you want to know more:
visit ::here::.

books and autism

october 28 2007

Well, the vacation is almost over.
You won't hear me complain.

The whole vacation I've tried to get my autistic son to read a book for school.
Each and every day.
Each and every hour.
And he still hasn't read it completely.

It's just a small book, so he could have done it in one afternoon.

One of the problems is that the books this schoolyear are more complex.
They'd better given him a book about mathematics, than a book about social structures.

He doesn't care that one of the characters falls in love with someone.
He doesn't feel curiosity to know if they end up married.
Nor does he care who has stolen that special machine that decodes some special letters.

It's not his world and it will never be his world.
Because he doesn't understand the undertone of the conversations, he doesn't understand why things happen when two characters have spoken each other.

So a paper about the book is a task he can't complete on his own.
The only way he can understand the book is when I read it, and then explain it to him, page by page.

The last time I had a good mark for my paper.

This time I haven't bothered to read the book.

It's his final year and he should have special support.
They've made a mistake at school. So he didn't get any.

It starts tomorrow.

I'm going to make an appoitment with that person first thing in the morning.

The Netherlands in the news

october 28 2007

There are times I really feel discriminated by the way foreign newsagencies and journalists describe us, or just selectively represent the news.

We've heard nothing about the fact that the amount of newsborns that die in the months after birth has declined. Nothing.
We've heard nothing about the sucessfull concert of the Rolling Stones in The Netherlands.
Nothing about the Queen visiting India last week, or Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maximá visiting Bhutan.

Most of them don't even know how our country is called!
It's not Holland.

Not at all.

Holland doesn't excist.

We have two counties: North-Holland and South-Holland.
They're situated at the West, at the coast. And these counties are not even representative for the rest of the country or the country as a whole.

So these people inform the world about drugsuse, and a lot of other things, without even having the faintest idea about the people in our country, or about the country itself.
They can't even find it within seconds on the map.

So now these same people are telling the world that there have been protests against a law that forbids the possession and selling of "magic mushrooms".
Most of the journalists conveniently forget to mention that there have never been problems with mushrooms in our country untill some stupid foreigners decided they could drink alcohol untill they couldn't walk anymore, sometimes even use so much drugs that they even forget thhe country they're born, and then could eat handfulls of mushrooms without knowing even the slightest data about them.

In March, a French teenager used that recipe and jumped from a bridge.
None knows if she would have jumped without the mushrooms, and none is interested.
Who cares about a teenager that commits suicide but the people who have loved her?

Another foreigner was told to have jumped out of a hotel after using mushrooms.
This set the whole banning of fresh mushrooms in motion.
But examination of the guy made clear he never used mushrooms and wasn't even near them.

So now journalist think they have something hilarious to report to the world.

Maybe they'd better report that the Dutch government tries to please other countries so much that they're limiting the freedom of the Dutch people to prevent others from the consequences of their irresponsible behaviour.

I wonder what's next.

clocks turned back

october 28 2007

So it's wintertime again.

All the clocks have to be changed.
I hate it, because a real turn backwards of an hour might damage some, so I turn them all 11 hours forwards.

I'm happy that at last some researchers start to protest against the timechanges that are made twice a year.
It messes up our bodyrythm.

Well, it does with mine.
For weeks on end I'm having trouble waking up in time, eating in time.
It would be great to see how many kids will arrive late at school tomorrow and the whole next week.

How about you?

new spacewalk

october 28 2007

The austronautes at the space centre will be making their second spacewal today.

You can see it live at the site of the nasa.

You can either use RealPlayer, Windows Mesia, Quicktime or listen with Rea; Audia.
I prefer Windows Media because it's full screen.

Don't worry when you don't have one of these programs.
The NASA provides them for download at the left column.

I've seen the last time they worked at the outside of the spacecentre.
It was magnificent.

Each time again I'm in awe that I'm so far from them and yet can see them handle their instruments and see if a srew is hitting the hole.

The NASA site provides a lot more, so surf around and enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


october 27 2007

Last week the light of the microwave gave up it's urge to live.
So our food is now "darkwaved" as a little boy told me.

He's kind of cute. So the girls are OK with him walking behind them like he's a duckling following his mother.

We tried to buy a lamp at the store where we bought the microwave.
We were sent to town.

The little light is ordered now.

And it'll take two weeks befor it arrives.

Tell me, is it only us dealing with the problem?
Or are more people "darkwaving" because the thing gave up?

"Darkwaving" has a huge advantage.
According the the little duckling the pancakes here are far better that his mother gave him this afternoon.

Well, I decided to buy a package to give him a treat after his mother told she worried about him because he wasn't eating enough.
She would love him to eat a bit more, even if it was another pancake.

Well, he loves my darkwaved pancakes better!


october 27 2007

One of my uncles wat a portrait painter.
He died long before I realised how special that was.

But I remember how I admired the way he studied the old masters.
One day my gram took me with her when they went to visit a museum.

We left long before he did. I got his dessert because he wasn't in time for dinner.

He told me Rembrandt was not only a master in painting portraits, but also a master in using light to characterise people.

Today it was in the news that a new painting of Rembrandt is discovered.

In England a painting was put up for sale. People considered it a painting of a successor or Rembrandt.
It used to hang at a wall somewhere in Gloucestershire.

It was estimated for 2000 euro, and it was sold for about 3 million euros.
The buyer is convinved it is a real Rembrandt.

Jan Six from Sotheby's in The Netherlands assumes it's an early self portrait of the master.
Well maybe research will reveal more.

Interesting is that Jan Six is family of the mayor Jan Six who was portrayed by Rembrandt.

google 3

october 27 2007

I was blogging and when I wanted to submit my entry I saw the entry was only meant for blogs with a google rank of 3.

Oh my dear!!

I'd been working on the review of a product and I shouldn't have done it.

What now?

By accepting the job I agreed to compleet it.

But I would be violating the rules by submitting it.

But how on earth could I land in that position?
The offer was in white, so I should be able to blog.
so it wasn't my mistake.

I submitted the post and had a look....

My blog is ranked Google 3 now!!!


a garden ready for the winter

october 27 2007

This morning I helped an elderly neighbour preparing her garden for the winter.
She has some trees that were in need of pruning.
I looked it up and this is the right time for these trees, so I pruned them, so she will enjoy new life in spring again.

She wanted all the leaves out of the garden.
We have quite some hedgehogs in the neighbourhood, so I had a good talk with her and she agreed to make a pile of the branches of the trees and leaves in the back of the garden.

We got some chrysanthemums, huge chrysanthemums in the gardencentre with orange/brown pots and I've put them in front of the "hedgehoghouse", so it looks like a natural corner there.

I pulled out the weeds and old stuff, and planted bulbs and in between them some plants that keep coloured all winter.

That was it.

My garden needs a lot more, because I have a larger garden and more plants and trees.
That's for another day.


october 27 2007

When the oldest moved out we informed all organisations, magazines etc etc and gave them his new address.

The move was also reported to the council, which took quite a lot of paperwork.

Today we received mail for him again.

When he was hear an hour agao, we held the mail against a strong light, decided it was nothing special and then put it back on the mail again with the message that he doesn't live here anymore.

I'm curious how long it will take before they have changed the adress.


october 27 2007

We're living near the border, so I've been in Germany many times.

Even went there on honeymoon, because we had almost no money, and an uncle knew a friends who knew.... You get it?
At the end of the line was a very friendly woman who owned a hotel in a little town in the mountains.

I've never understood why the place was called a town, because there was 1 pub, 1 grocerystore, and 1 busstop.

On top of the hill the remains of a castle were the playground for the local children and the curious tourists.
I guess in former times it was a place that looked out over a valley, but now we looked straight into a wood with tall trees that spread a calmness around I've never felt before.

There was no cinema, no bookstore, nothing to do all evening, except for visiting the pub and drink a beer between the grey and above 80 locals, and chat with the hotelowner. Which we did a lot. The last I mean.

She told us about the history of the area, the geological facts, and pointed out the best routes to walk.

And we walked.
And walked.

In the sun, in the rain, in the downpour with rumbling thunder, with blisters on our feet. And one day we even got lost.

The discovery of the open air pool was a relief, even though it rained.
But the drops were sweet, the water was warm, and we were the only swimmers apart from 3 children and their granny, who was seated under a large green umbrella like a queen.

Germany, the country to be

october 27 2007

Yesterday I told you a bit about Edinburgh and Manchester.
Today I'll look the other way, to the bordering country: Germany.

This month is a great month to visit.
The octoberfestivities are taking place in full glory.
They're based on ageold traditions.

After the harvest the grapes were used to make wine, the hop to make beer.
To celebrate the harvest, and the new wine and beer, the people gathered and had a drink together.
At many places there were markets so people could seel what they didn't need, but what they did need, and because it was the end of the season on the land, they could hire labourors for the next year.

Now the "Oktoberfeste" are still an event you should visit.
Prepare for lots of wine, beer, wurst (kind of sausage) and singing.

Many people abroad have heard from Bavaria.
It's a brand of beer, and it's the southeast of Germany.
You have to be there.
Not travel through; stay there!

The mountains are untouched, towering around the wonderfull cities.
You'll be surprised how beautiful the houses are, with detailed paintings and their medieval look.
Don't worry when you can't enjoy the Oktoberfeste, you can enjoy Bavaria each day of the year.
I've been there in winter, when you can ski, or make endless walks in the snow, and in summer, when the grass is full of flowers and herbs, and you can walk high up in the mountains and enjoy the most magnificent panoramas.
Those who want to climb can hire a guide and hit the trails.

Some people think Garmisch Partenkirchen is the capital of the county.
I think the name had glued itself in the brains because of the many ski jumping championships.
But the area has to offer more: Alpine and crosscountry skiing and snowboarding to river rafting, mountain biking, hang gliding, tennis and golf.
And ofcourse the Zugspitze (2964 m), German's highest peak.

The true capital of Bavaria is Munchen. When you go or leave by car, reckon with a lot of extra time because of the jams, and when you're walking through Munchen reckon with a lot of culture around you, everywhere.
It's one of the most prosperous towns in Germany with beer gardens, haute cuisine, lots of museums and a flowering nightlife.
Young and old will find so much to do, that even a forthnight won't be enough.

You'll have a great stay where ever you go. Germans are wellknown because of their hospitality too. They're clean, offer great food, and like to talk long evenings with a good glass of beer or wine.

The infrastructure in Germany is great. So it's a tourist paradise.
Take Berlin.

Some people take a flight and enjoy the city.
But why not take the car and enjoy the many castles in Germany. The cathedrals, the scenery, the houses. The little villages you'll pass look like paintings.

Berlin itself breathes history.
It's the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Inthe 13th century it was founded as a trading post on the River Spree.
King Friedrich I of Prussia choose Berlin to be his royal residency and capital of Brandenburg-Prussia.
In 1871 the German Empire in 1871 was founded, which made Berlin even more prosperous. Now it's the political, industrial, scientific, academic and cultural centre of Germany. With marks of the terrible history of the first half of last century.
Ofcourse you have heard about The Wall, that split both parts of Berlin in two, splitting whole families.

Some of the places to go:

The Berlin Wall. he Communist government of the former communist Eastern Germany constructed it to stop the east Germans fleeing to the West.
A few sections of the wall near the Hauptbahnof and the Reichstag have been preserved to remind Berliners of the 28-year division of their city. The remnants of the Berlin Wall now serve as an outdoor gallery of art from local and city artists.

Brandenburg Gate now stands as a symbol of the reunification of the two sides of Berlin. The building was constructed in 1791, commisioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II to represent peace.
The gate was incorporated into the Berlin wall during the years of Communist government.

Checkpoint Charlie Museum stands close to Checkpoint Charlie. It reminds of the many attempts of East Germans to cross over to the West.
Many people lost their lives, and we still down't know how many.
The museum uses a blend of photographs and film to illustrate the fascinating history of the Berlin Wall and the reality of life in East and West Berlin during the years of communist government and "Cold War".

The Reichstag is the most prominent building in German politics. It's the seat of the "Bundestag", the German Parliament since 1999.
Visitors can use a spiralling ramp up to the top to have a wonderful view of the city.

Museumsinsel/Museum Island hosts some of Berlin's finest museums, including the Pergamon Museum, the National Gallery and the Altes Museum. Museum Island lies between the River Spree and Kupfergraben. The Island was almost completely destroyed during World War II.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is famous landmark in Berlin. It serves as a reminder of the terrible destruction caused during the Second World War.
The church contains numerous exhibits and artefacts left intact after the war.

The Jewish Museum was designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind. The design is extraordinary.
Inside you'll find a comprehensive collection of fascinating artefacts documenting the lives of ordinary Jewish people living in Germany between 1848 and 1919.
With numerous artworks and exhibits, it's a must for those with even a small interest in this country's history.

And for those who want something else:
The Kurfürstendamm is Berlin's most elegant shopping mile, where you need to have been.

And...when are you going?

no present

october 27 2007

A first girlfriend.. a first birthday for a girlfriend.

That's a problem.

He needs a present.... he still needs a present.

Yesterday he went to town to buy a gift.
Ofcourse I understood he didn't want me with him, so I only offered.

We has a small brainstorm about what he could buy.
Necklace... she doesn't like it
Bracelet ...she doesn't wear it.
earrings... she has hundreds
a candle ... she has plenty
a towel and some very nice smelling soap... najjj
some make-up ... not for a boy to give
flowers or a plant ... mmm
chocolate ... anybody can give that
a book...

So he went and came home empty handed, with a mood so bad he could kill an elephant only by looking at it.

Now he's to town again... I wonder what he brings home.

I guess either a book or nice soap.

Thanks Mo

october 27 2007

Thank's Mo for this lovely gift!!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Edinburgh and Manchester

october 26 2007

Edinburgh... Oh, how I wish I was there!
It's a pity the children need so much, otherwise I would grant myself a last minute booking.

Last year the band went to Edinburgh and had a wonderful time performing, and I have the dream that I will perform with other bagpipers in Edinburgh too.

It's such a beautiful city, so full of history.

Edinburgh Castle is marvellous!
It towers high above the city in majestic glory.
No wonder couples choose it as their favorite weddingplace.

It's so interesting to know that already in 850 BC people lived on the rock.
That's no phantasy. Remains are found during recent archaeological excavations.

Edinburgh is a city full of cultural events.
You can go without plans and find yourself entertained all the time.
Operas are performed at different locations during the theatre season.
Untill november 4 you can enjoy the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, and from 16 - 18 november 2007 Fiddle 2007. You'll be surprised by the reels and ceilidhs, and all the traditional music.
It'll make you come back again and again.

Christmas is ofcourse is a wonderful time in Edinburgh.
The Light Night, the traditional German Market, the reindeergarden of Santa, the Edinburgh Wheel, the Great Scottish Santa Run and Winter Wonderland.

Don't feel sorry when your favorite hotel is booked.

Manchester is unique, in another way.

The creative spirit has lead to the industrial revolution, and the spirit still excists.
The good of the old time is kept, and the innovative tendensies are seen all around.
You can see futuristic design in architecture mixed with the expressions of the past eras.

The same is true for music.
Either listen or play yourself, and be caught in the enthousiasm and renewal of styles and sounds.

Don't forget to have a look at the architecture.
Some hotels are pieces of old art at the outside and of new desing at the insight.
Others combine a modern look with traditional hospitality.

Don't forget to ask at the desk for the present shows, and other events. Or for the nearest museum.

Like Edinburgh, Manchester has individuality and character.

Enjoy your trip!

nice gesture

october 26 2007

The neighbour is on vacation for a week.
So I care for her plants, put the mail on the table, and pull the curtains closed in the evening and open in the morning.

I love to come in the quiet of the house.

It's interesting that the same house can feel so different with or without ingabitants.

I've seen many people come and go in the 20 years we're here.
She'll be leaving in a couple of months and I sure will miss her.

So maybe this is the last homecoming we can celebrate.

So I've made a nice flowerarrangement from flowers and leaves from my garden, the kids have made a nice card, and tomorrow morning I'll sweep her gardenpath, so all the leaves will be gone when she enters her little kingdom here.

Such a pity she's leaving...

quick tomatosoup

october 26 2007

Quick soup.

Take some tomatoes, slice them and put them in the blender.
Add pepper and salt.

Take a pan add the tomatomash,
add water.

Bring to a boil.

In the meantime take two teaspoons and mashed meat.
Graps little pieces with the spoons and throw them in the soup.

Add 2 bags of instant tomato soup,
a few slices of union,
a bit of vegetables you have left over from the day before, or fresh from today.

Slice bread to little squares.

Put no butter in a baking pan, but rinse the inside with the open part of the union.
Throw in the bread and stir well.
Untill they get brown.

Take a few ready cooked potatoes.
Slice them in squares.

Take the soupbowl.

Put a few potatopieces at the bottom.

Soup on it.
The baked bread either on top, at the side, or in a seperate little bowl.

Eat well!

free book 2

october 26 2007

I blogged about a free book before ::here::.

Turned out that somewhere in the book a paragraph hasn't been printed.

A million books were printed to motivate people to read more in real books.

I'm curious how people react.

Tomorrow I'm going to the library to ask a new one... with an errata page.

visibility: 0

october 26 2007

I'm not sure how the Olympic Committe could choose for Peking.
Don't they have the responsibility for the health of the sporters?

Peking's sky is full of smog the most days of the year, because of traffic and industry.

Today there's so much smog that it has become a thick mist with no sight at all.
Many roads into the city are closed and ofcourse the airflights are postponed.
Thousands of travellers are stranded.
How long it will last?
Noone knows.
As long as there's no wind the same circumstances will remain.

I wonder if Peking will be able to take enough measurements to get not only visible clean air in their city, but also measurable clean air.

Fine dust in the air is very persistent.

first step

october 26 2007

Our second son needs a diagnosis.

Because two of his brothers deal with an autism spectrum disorder, and another brothers has got ADHD, he wants to know if he's dealing with the same problem.

It took a long time to convince him he needs a diagnosis yo get the help he needs.
Untill now he's had good and bad times.
The bad times characterised by meltdowns he can only partly control, unkind behaviour to others and irresponsible behaviour.

I feel he's a few years younger that his passport says. He acts accordingly.

One way that's very troubling is that he can't deal with any pressure and he can't find connection with people of his age at school.

He has friends. The little group is together for over 10 years now.
Some of them have autism spectrum disorder too, and I think they're keeping friends because it's safe and convenient.

Today the pile of questionnaires disturbed the quiet when the fell on the doormat.

So that'll be hours and hours of answering questions.

Then a waitinglist of 6 months will follow.

That's so very disturbing, because he doesn't go to school in the meantime.


BBC: news in 33 languages

october 26 2007

Do you know the BBC offers news in 33 languages?

Each language has it's own site with news from the region.
For those who can't read, or don't want to, there's an audiofile available.

Ofcourse I knew BBC world has a lot to offer but I never took the effort to visit the site and look around.

Isn't it interesting that there are so many languages?
So many we don't even understand.

There must be a huge team working on all this.
I wonder how many people from the different countries use the site.

french music in autumn

october 26 2007

Every year when autumn sets in I feel like listening to french music.

I'm not only taking about "autumn leaves".

Also about for instance songs of Claude Nougaro.

French is a language that's suited for long stretched melancholic songs.
The nasal sounds must have do to with it.

It's strange that the rest of the year I hardly listen to french music.

Do you have musical preferences during fall?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the park

october 25 2007

Last time I blogged about the park aside the little lake, I told that they were pumping polluted water in to the lake.

At the time they were digging everywhere, including in the old swamp, and lots of people here got breathing problems.

Yesterday one of the boys and I started to get itching eyes and experienced breathing problems.

Ofcourse we thought another cold was on its way.

Untill today, when we found out they're bussy in that same area again.

I wonder what's in the air... I really do.

empty mail

october 25 2007

One of the largest, or maybe still the largest telephone companies responded to a request of the oldest and did this by normal mail.

He brought it to us today...

All the data were right: numer, date, adress.

But there was no content at all...just a huge empty space.

I wonder why the secretary didn't realise she folded an empty page.

And I also wonder what they wanted to tell him.

Did you ever get an empty mail?

Watching the spaceshuttle

october 25 2007

One of the girls is very interested in space-adventures.
I'm not only talking about science fiction, I'm talking about the real technical stuff too.

So we both watched online the docking of the space shuttle to the space centre, and we've enjoyed it tremendously.

My own mother didn't care, not even when the first austronaut landed on the moon.
My grandmother almost ordered her to give me the chance to see it on TV.
It was in the middle of the night here.

Well, I've seen it!

And now my daughter has taken the same interest.

It's amazing to be so near such an event, and yet so far away.

I wonder if she or her children will be able to fly to the spacecentre.

Who knows....

new cat

october 25 2007

There's a new cat in the neighbourhood.

I saw it's head under the gardengate a few days ago, but before I could look twice it was gone.
Some of the birds screamed and yelled, but the cat must have been very quiet as thing got silent soon.

This morning the blackbird signalled unknown entrance in our garden.
So I had a look.

And there it was. A brown furry animal, looking curiously.

He's not as stubborn as the red cat, because I took one step outside the door and it jumped and then ran off.

I wonder who's cat it is.


october 25 2007

I grew up in a house that was tidy as a furniture department.
My dad called it "the oak museum" when he was angry.

My mother was always cleaning and she hated that he wanted to put his cup of coffee on the table without something under it.
"Oak last longer that you last, it outgrows even your grandchildren" he always told her before putting his cup of coffee down.

It was like a huge earthquake in the life of my mother when light oak was introduced.
One way or another it just didn't fit into the way she saw the world.

My grandmother, her mother, had a look and wanted to change her furniture.
It took her huge effort to motivate the furniture shop near her house to change their collection.

Now the use of light and dark oak has become normal.

Oak lasts a lifetime, and more important even, it's never boring.
Changing bedwear changes it's look.

OK, we know it's an illusion, but try it yourself.

october 2005 2007

Since a couple of days I'm dealing with (a kind of) restless legs syndrome.

It wakes me up, it makes me nuts.
Whenever I move my legs they don't hurt as much, but when I relax them an irritating pain creeps to the surface.

Ofcoruse my doc is on vacation. He always is when I need him.

So I take a painkiller and enjoy the time without pain.

I wonder wher it comes from.
The diabetes? Or has the anemia gone worse?

Well, it'll diappear or I have to live with it.

Do you have experience with it?

Soputan and Kelut

october 25 2007

Just a few hours ago Mount Soputan, one of the most dangerous vulcanos of Indonesia, situated at the northern tip of Sulawesi started to expire clouds of dust.
The column is at the moment as high as 5,000 metres.
People are adviced to wear a mask to prevent lungproblems, but they're not adviced to leave their homes.

Near Mount Kelut people are going home again.
Not because the alarmlevel has been lowered, but because they don't want to stay away from their homes now they see nothing actually happening.

Scientists however are not thinking bout lowering the alarm level and advice against going home.

The temperature in the kraterlake is still rising, and measurements indicate that the lava is near the top.

This indicates that the vulcano is building up pressure and the situation is getting more dangerous.
The more pressure, the more dangerous the eruption.

We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Last night (our time) Southern Sumatra shake at a magnitude of 7.1.

no grandparents

october 25 2007

My children don't have grandparents.

It's such a pity they can't experience the joy like I did when I was young.

Sometimes I really feel I have failed them.
Especially when other children can boast about theirs.

Next monday school starts again and my kids can't tell about staying for a couple of days with their grandparents.

I think all children need unconditional love.
I know that not all grandparents are able to love the grandchildren enough to give them the freedom to be themselves.

I remember that during the baptism of the third son, the oldest couldn't sit still in church.
For my family it was a gruesome experience.
To me it made clear they didn't care that it was a children's service and children were allowed to be themselves. They wanted to impose their rules on others, like they've always done.

Last weekend our little princess, the thrid princess, was baptised.
Her nephews and nieces enjoyed a lot, but they put their fingers in their ears when the grand organ played.
Everyone had to laugh.

After all those years it made me feel I've done the right thing at the baptism of my third.
I allowed him to be himself, and as long as he wasn't disturbing the service it was OK.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


october 24 2007

Now the oldest has moved out, he's the oldest.
So he wants to go to bed late... eh... last.

Today he walked into the livingroom and sat down.
One of the others was watching with his father NCIS.

They walked away during the break and when they came back their brother was fast asleep.

Now it's strangely quiet here.

A free book

october 24 2007

To motivate people to read books, each year a special week is organised.
I forgot it started the 19th.

So the girls surprised me with a free book they got at the library.

It's a pity there's no need to travel.
Otherwise I would see many people reading the book in the train, at the stations and even with a coffee in restaurants.

This time it's a book first published in 1926.
I'm looking forward to read it.

There's one problem though.
The keep costs low the letters that are used are little and small.
None of my glasses enables me to read it without problems.

And I hate to read with a magnifying glass.
Í'm not thát old!


october 24 2007

When throwing something in the bin in one of the shops in the shoppingcentre the girls saw a bag with jewellery.
Nothing expensive. Just a mess of beads and chains.

They went to the customercounter and told what they found.
The women told them to keep it. It was thrown away because they couldn't get all the knots sorted.

They were jubilant when they came home.

All my life people have brought things that were in knots and I've always solved the problem.

It took me 15 minutes to sort it out, and now I havea nice amount of long necklaces.
Nothing for the girls, but perfect for their mom.

Only one was broken.
The rest is perfect!

Lucky me!


october 24 2007

Jim went to get some groceries and came back with an enormous amount of tomatoes.
They smelled soooo goood!!

I guess it's the last harvest of one of the farmers near here. Don't know.
But they're absolutely first quality.

The boys acted like wasps.
While I was bussy in the kitchen they sneeked behind my back, reached with their arms as far as they could without touching me and graped a tomato. LOL!

The girls just asked.

When they were all eating I decided to make tomatosoep with little meatballs.

Oh... the smell of it!!

When I rached in the fridge for the rest of the meal I didn't find what I expected.
Not a large pan with potatoes, but a large pan with pea-soup.

So now they have the choice: green or red.

Lucky kids!

garden barg

october 24 2007

When we came to live here we bought a long small plantbarge and the hooks that belonged to it, and fitted the barge to the wall of the shed.

Violets have lived there, hyacinths, carnations and a lot more plants and flowers.

24 years of lovely looks and smiles.

The barge bleached through time, and the last years I painted it with the last lot of paint that was left in the brush.
The head of a little broken catstatue looked through the branches of a plant, and at the other side a duckling peeked through green leaves.

I had just noted that I wanted violets again this year.
Dark purple ones, with golden hearts. And a few yellow or white ones.

No need anymore.

Yesterday evening one of the boys bumped against it and it fell down and broke.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


october 23 2007

At time I have trouble sleeping.
It's like I can't find a comfortable way to rest my body.

To find the right cushion is very important then, so I have some sorts.
One with those little balls, one that follows the silhouette of the body, a soft one and a hard one.

I wonder hwat kind of cusion other people use most, and if they take another one at regular intervals too.

So, tell me.

body burden testing

october 23 2007

We don't often realise that we're living in an environment that's full of toxins and pollution.

When we go for bloodtests almost never tests are done to see how much of those chemicals are in our bodies.
When we do, we might have the scare of our life.

I found an article at CNN that made my hair stand straight and started to worry me about the heslth of my children and all other children on this world.

You can read it ::here::.


october 23 2007

When I was little it was absolutely forbidden to wear the shoes of other persons.
Doctors said it was bad for the feet and my mom absolutely believed them.
She had bad feet, and it was because she had to wear the shoes of her older sister.
Not always.
Just the pairs that weren't changed too much.

So I've had the best feetcare in the world.
OK, sometimes I had to wear my own shoes a little longer, so the toes cramped up and the heels became blistered.
But they were my own shoes. LOL!

Now I have bad feet.

I'm glad the doctors kept track of their advice and researched the whole lot.
My girls love to buy shoes and because they have different sizes we sometimes buy a pair for the one with the largest feet when she promisses to keep them nice and clean, so her sister can have fun with them too.

I don't worry.

Either they get the bad old feet all women in the family have, or they'll enjoy a long and happy life on feet that have seen many shoes.

about the full moon

october 23 2007

Another full moon this week (thursday).

I doubt if we'll able to see it, because it'll be cloudy according to the forecasts.

What a pity!

I sure hope I'll be able to catch a glance because the moon will look much larger than other full moons this year.
To be precise: 14% bigger.
And also 30% brighter.

That's because the full moon orbits earth in an eclipse and thurday it's the nearest spot to earth.
The other end is 30,000 miles fruther away.

For those who want to look up more about this.

The two end of the moon's orbit are called apogee and perigee.
Apogee is the farthest point, perigee the nearest.

I hope you can see the full moon at thursday.


october 23 2007

I was watching Oprah.

OK, it was an old episode, but not less valuable.

This time she was confronted with a language issue.

What was correct:

Oprah and Gail's car or
Oprah's and Gail's car?

To everyone it was clear: when we're talking about the car from Oprah and Gail it would be Oprah's and Gail's car.

No said Grammar Girl, who was called in.

Because it was compound possession it would be
Oprah and Gail's car.

Well I'm glad in my language we would say:
Oprah- and Gail's car in case it's a car of both,
Oprah and Gail's car, in case Oprah is standing beside or sitting in Gail's car.

What do you think?

I looked up grammar girl and found this lesson:

I think it's great for the kids, espcially the boys who are in their final year.

back from the psychiatrist

october 23 2007

They're back from the psychiatrist of my son with ADHD.

She took the effort to take his bloodpressure and his weight.
120/80 and 67.

The medication hasn't changed.
So it's Ritalin with all the rebound effects.

Meds like strattera and concerta are too expensive.

We've been waiting to get him into behavioural therapy.
Mainly to make him get more influence on his impulsive behaviour.

We've watched the mail for nothing.
She forgot to apply!

That's the second time this last months a female psychiatrist there forgets to work on the agreements made during a consultation.


october 23 2007

It feels like all the lightbubls give up at the same time.

It's not true, but it feels like that.

First one of the kitchenlights gave up, then the bathroomlight.
Yesterday the light at the boy's room and now another bulb gave up.

When I was young lightbulbs lasted a lot longer!!

I always have a huge bag with new blubs available.
I buy then when they are cheap, that way it saves money.

At places where they fit I have special environmental friendly bulbs.
I think they need to be everywhere in- and outide the house, but not all lamps have the right fitting.

Because we need other lamps in the front room I'm looking for the right lamps.
I've seen a few but they are so terribly ugly!

witches hunt and the cold

october 23 2007

It's such a pitty it's so very cold.

Or need I say the temperature has dropped near zero degrees Celcius and we're not used to it?

The playgrounds and playparcs in the area have created special events for the children. Last year the temperatures were so high at this time of year.

In one of the parc there's a witcheshunt.
All kids who enter have to be dressed up or will be dressed up for the occasion.

The prices are neat, so it's well worth a visit.
But it's far too cold to spend hours on end outside.

I'm lucky.
Because I always went to the psychiatrist with the boy with ADHD I said to his father he'd better go next time.
So now they're there, and I'm sitting here, with a pile of laundry that needs to be hanged, a warm cup of coffee and a big grin.

called the insurance again

october 23 2007

We didn't trust the data given by the insurance about Medikinet CR yesterday.

Other people told us their insurances didn't cover it, not even whith a small contribution by themselves.

So we called again.

Unlike yesterday we were connected to a few departments and finally ended up with someone who looked it up and told us they were willing to pay just a small part of the costs.

It was almost the other way around than we were told yesterday.

I was so happy... hm...not anymore.


october 23 2007

The night has taken over.

The only sounds in the house are those of sleeping people.

It's interesting to see how different people sleep.

The girls usually have their headsa against each other.
They look far more equal than when they're awake.
Their characters don't play tricks anymore. So they have the same eyes now, and the same mouth.

One of the boys always looks like he's fallen from high and never took the trouble of snugging up.
At times I find him with his legs out of bed and on the ground, like he can walk away any minute.

I'm ready to make my rounds and go to sleep myself.

Maybe I'll read a bit, or listen to the radio.

Tomorrow is another day.


october 23 2007

We're not very happy about our insurance.
But we're glued to them because they are linked to the work of the father of the children.

It's a collective insurance, meaning that the workers get a fast reducation when they're all insured there.
So leaving isn't an option.

I have to pay part of the meds that keep me alive all by myself.
It irritates me, sometimes makes me angry.

Some insurances pay for concerta and other meds. They don't.

I'm not sure why, but they said they would cover the largest amount of the costs for Medikinet CR.

We have to pay about 10 dollar for 30 tablets, the rest they'll cover.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Monday, October 22, 2007

they're back from their trip

october 22 2007

The girls and the oldest are back from their trip.

They were tired, content and had many stories to tell.
Part of them are saved for tomorrow. They came home rather late.

They've been in every part of the country, only left a train to go to another, to eat or to enjoy the architecture. LOL!

Ofcourse their brother wanted them to spend time in all the models that are active in this country. LOL!

I wonder if they become the same trainfreaks as the boys are.
At the moment Barbie and Diddle are highest at their list.

Just an opinion.

october 22 2007

Robert Gates (U.S. Defense Secretary) comments on the lack of interest in Europe to send troops to Afghanistan.

He critized the european members of nato for failing to provide the extra troops that were promised last year for security duties in Afghanistan.

Again it's clear there is no understanding for differences in culture, no understanding about what's going on in the different countries involved.

It's interesting that a defense secretary is not aware, or doesn't want to be aware that we consider the security duties have changed into combat duties.

Our armies are not aimed to fight wars.
Oh yes, the soldiers of the most countries are well trained. That's not the problem.
But we regard their duties in other countries to have nothing to do with defending our countries, and that's what these armies are meant for.

The soldiers of my country went to afghanistan to help the people built their country.
Ofcourse we thought we'd better send civilian personel to built schools and hospitals.
But, well... we understood there might be a shooting now and then, some criminals to tackle, so we agreed our soldiers went.

Now it turns out they have to fight to keep alive, and can hardly do what they're there for.
So why send more?

We've been criticised for a lack of back up of our soldiers. We don't cheer enough, we don't tell them enough how proud we are of them.

So why get americans angry when we criticise them and do we have to jump in position and do whatever americans want from us?

Why do they ask respect for their culture, and don't respect ours?

Soldiers are no heroes here.
They're just people who have choosen to do a job, and as we're not cheering when the laundrywoman and the cleaningwoman do their job well, here or across the border, we're not cheering for the soldiers.

Ofcourse our minister of defense tried to start a campaign to mold us Dutch into perfect imitation americans.
We now have ribbons too.
But most of us think it's nuts to have ribbons here. The soldiers can't see them.
It's OK for others. But it's not the way we deal with matters.

In the past we got compliments for keeping our feet at the ground and our brains straight.
Now we do the same, we're criticised.

It's time to reevaluate the terms of the mission to afghanistan.
It's not a peace mission, it has nothing to do with the defense task these armies have.
Do we always have to fight the battles of others?
Do we need to interfere in other countries?

Are the problems in afghanistan really solved with more soldiers?
Or does the larger amount of them trigger more violence?

Are there any other options?

It's time to show some respect for countries that want to evaluate what they're doing, because they don't want to bring their countries to an economical downfall just because they regard the military more in need of money than the elderly, the handicapped and the children.

Today another 46 billion dollar was requested to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to finance american security.

a trip

october 22 2007

I't's quiet here.

The girls went with the oldest early this morning for trip around the country.
By train.

The oldest was granted a free ticket as a prize, and the girls can still use the children's tickets.
So it'll cost them a total of 4 euro, and three burgers.

Not even a full month anymore and then they have to pay full prize for a trainticket.
They won't be able to shop in a different town anymore, or have a trip like today.

Before they went I warned them thouroughly about possible dangers.
"Don't go on a train when there's someone you absolutely don't trust."
"Lie down on the floor when something happens, if possble beneath your seat, so people won't trip over you."

Some people think I'm stupid.
I think they'd better be aware.

Not even ten minutes after they left I got a call.
They weren't on the train but went by buss to town and would take the train there.

Our local trainstation was closed.
Lots of firworkers and police were preventing people to enter the area.

A bomb was found!!!

the weather

october 22 2007

Last year we couldn't get any winter in our country.

Now we're compensating.

Last night and the night before we had frostnights already.

The kids are lucky I got their wintercoats down last week, so they can go outside without feeling cold.

I remember the good old times.
At this time of october I participated in a three days lasting long distance march.
We slept at farms, in cloisters or with families.

Most of the time the temperatures were perfect.
Not too hot, not too cold.

A few years we had a bit of rain, one year we had three days of rain.

But the best I remember the time it was the same weather as it is now.
Cold during the day, with a fresh biting wind, and the mist and frost grasping around us early in the evening.

We expected the farmer who was going to put us up for the night to offer us a warm place in the huge farm.

He and his wife treated us with eggs and ham and hot chocolate milk.

Then he told us to take our backpacks and other stuff and follow him.

He went past the cows, past the pigs, past the huge shed, past... the door.

To the haystack where we had nothing else to protect us from the cold frost and wind than our coats and sleepingbags.

We looked out over the fields and saw the cloister, where the boys slept in a warm room, after a copious meal with wine and beer for the leaders.

I was still a bit shy... but now I would have packed my things and walked that extra half hour to ask the monks for a place to sleep.

We all got a terrible cold and were ill for weeks.

new ADHD meds here

october 22 1007

The choice for meds for kids with ADHD is very limited here.
Concerta or Starttera are the only long working meds, and we have to pay for it ourselves.
We can't afford to spend 150 dollars a month, so our son is still taking the short acting Ritalin.

We hesitated to give it to him, but his psychiatrist wanted tp have a try.
The changes were so amazing, that we kept giving it.

Problem is he can take only 1 every 4 hours, but after 2.5 to 3 hours it wears off.
So he's troubled by severe rebound effects. (And so are we.)

The new medicine: Medikinet CR, contains 50% slow acting and 50 fast acting methylphenidate (ritalin).

It should last 8 hours.
Which means he can get through his exams without rebound effects.

Keep your fingers crosses, we're going to ask the insurance to pay.

female complaints

october 22 2007

Many female complaints, pre-, peri- and postmenopausal, are related to the level of hormones. Especially oestrogenes, progesterone, insulin (food) and cortisol (stress).
It's important to keep these hormonelevels in balance.

None of the hormones function without the others.
For good health in women of every age the balance between oestrogenes and progesterone is of utmost importance.

During pregnancy 10 to 30 times as much oestrogenes and progesterone is produced than during a normal menstrual cycle.

Oestrogenes are necessary for the growth of cells, progesterone finetunes and stabilises this growth. It regulates the genes in the cells, so the growth, differentiation and death of cells is carefully regulated.

That's why progesterone is necessary to counteract high oestrogenes levels.

Cancer isn't the abundant growth of a cell, but it's an abundace of cells that won't die.
A placenta is made to grow, but in time it stops doing so because of progesterone. Otherwise it would become cancerous.

Pregnancy at a young age protects against breastcancer, among others, because it created a large amount of elements that regulate the growth and dying of cells.
The more pregnancies, the younger and the longer the babies are all forms a good protection against breastcancer and ovarian cancer.

babyhome-less mother

october 22 2007

I'm ready for a new baby.

Don't worry, I won't have one myself.

Many years ago I was invaded by bad nature.
How lucky I was to notice it, and have a gynaecologist who took me serious.

So now I'm, what one of the children called me: a babyhome-less mother.

I don't know where the feeling comes from?
Maybe because I couldn't sleep last night and was awake untill 6 and beside my bed at 8?

Or maybe this is nature telling me I'm ready to become a grandmother.

I would love to sit down in the rocking chair with a baby in my arms.
One of those cutiepies that never pee and sound beautifully toned burbs.

Oh my dear!!!
Is menopause doing this???

no family fair

october 22 2007

We didn't make it to the fair this weekend.

Saturday we managed to do ther things and when we woke up at sunday it was soooo very co-o-o-old...

We just didn't want to expose ourselves to the first freezing temperatures, bycicling for over half an hour, passing a huge bridge where the wind blows right through you.

Instead we enjoyed a long breakfast.
The kids watched a movie and I just did some things that needed to be done.

I don't know if I've missed something.

Couldn't find anything in the paper.

The London Eye

october 22 2007

Isn't it interesting that the Dutch Wikepedia doesn't mention that the London Eye is made by us, the Dutch?

At first the Japanese were allowed the chance to built it, based on their design that was much cheaper than that of the Dutch, but soon it turned out that it wasn't as large as the one in the Dutch plans, not as firmly constructed and not as safe.

So Hollandia in The Netherlands was asked to built the wheel.
They didn't want to take the japanese design, but drew up a completely new one.
Even before they officially accepted the task it was published in the newspapers that Hollandia would be the builder of the wheel.

Because British Airways financed the whole project there was enough money to design a wheel that would be safe, stable, the highest in the world at the time, and attractive to see from afar.

The story doesn't mention if it was on purpose that people from a bycicle riding nation designed a wheel that was a tremendous imitation of a bycicle wheel, we only know it had to be ready by the millenium change.

The whole construction was designed and built in The Netherlands, brought to the Thames, where the pieces were loaded on pontoons, and brought to the place where it was assembled.
Raising the wheel was the biggest problem. The forces were tremendous.
Mammoet and Smit Tak used their heaviest cranes to get the wheel straight up.
Ofcourse there were worries. Would the wheel bend?
It was calculated that a bend of 25 cm was acceptable, but the end result was a bend of 6 cm.

Almost no one knows the wheel is constantly observed from..yep...The Netherlands.
In Krimpen aan de IJssel the engineers can observe the forces on the cables at every moment.

The safety guarantee should be higher than 300% was the request when the project started.
That's why the gondolas are closed and airconditioned.
That's why there's always a rescue team available.
Whenever the hydraulic system stops, people can be evacuated without problems. There are special cables present.
The whole wheel is observed second to second, so you can feel safe and enjoy the sight.

manic monday

october 22 2007

Would you be able to serve on a jury and sentence the defendant to the death penalty if he/she were found guilty of a crime that the court felt warranted the death penalty?

We have a completely different system here.
We don't have a jury.
Judges represent us. They have studied law and they have been trained to be as objective as possible, investigate properly.
When I consider that the american system speaks of "Proof beyond reasonable doubt", I don't think normal people should be burdened to make the decision if it's beyond reasonable doubt.
Attorneys are verbally very intelligent and they can outwit normal people, so people can be convicited of a crime they've never commited, and the members of the jury have to carry that load on their shoulders all their lives.

People have to be protected from the mistakes made in court.
So in our democratic society we don't regard democracy and the law served when ordinary people make decisions in court.
Let the experts do it.

BTW. We don't sentence people to death.
What God gives should not be taken by humans.
It's up to him to make that final judgement.

So the answer is "no".

Have you ever faked being ill to avoid doing something you didn’t want to do?

Not often though.

Would you state you were guilty of a crime you didn't commit to free a loved one?

With so many people dependent upon my care and guidance I'm not sure if I would.
So.. I don't think so.

It would be very loving etc etc, but I'd be standing in the middle of the scales of justice at that moment.
Can I stop the care for those who need me, to free someone I love but who did it?

I think I would make a mistake by witholding the criminal the support he needs to become a trustworthy member of society.

But I would use all my verbal power and intelligence to talk him out.
Oh yes!

Want to take part too?
Click the logo.