Friday, February 29, 2008


february 29 2008

This evening I'll be writing an article about Wilders and his misuse of freedom of speech.

In case you have certain questions, feel free to ask them.

an easy meal

february 29 2008

Peel potatoes and put them on with a little bit of salt. Bring to a nboil.

Peel and slice carrots. Slicing in the kitchenmachine is OK. Make nice thin round slices.
Peel an union and slice it in little pieces.

Put carrots and unions in a pan with a bit of salt and bring them to a boil.

In the meantime slice porkmeat. Make squares of 1 to 2 cm.

Take a bakingpan, bit of butter and let the butter melt.
Put the pork in while the heat is high.
Add salt, nutmeg, white pepper, a bit of soyasause, and some mustard.

Turn the pieces after a short while.
Get the excess water and fat away. (You don't want cooked meat.)
I use a large spoon.
When the excess fluid is gone, lower the flame and put a lid on.
Stir once in a while.

Heat the soup from the former day.

By the time the soup has been eaten the potatoes and carrots are ready.
Taste the meat.

Cut some fresh lettice.

Have the whole family join eating this.

Finish your dinner with whatever desert you love best.

This is what we eat today.

sun and storm

february 29 2008

This morning the sun was shining and it looked like spring.
The hydrangeas are showing faint green leaves, and the forsythia carefully displays it's yellow.

But now grey clouds are nearing our house and we know what that means:
rain and storm.

A stormwarning for the coast has already been issued, but here the rain will first wash away the feelings of pring and promise.

One of my sons is to the coast with school, but he'll be back in time. All he will be experiencing is a firm wind when he crosses the bridge.

He'll be home soon.

friday's feast

february 29 2008


Who was the last person you hugged?

One of my girls.
A grown up?
No juicy stories here. The neighbouring woman when she moved out and said goodbye last week.


Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us.

A beauty trick? From me?

Don't use so much Kohl around/in the eyes. Some people use so much that it looks like they're in need of hospitalisation and/or TBC treatment.

When you feel bad, it shows in your face.
So try to keep those smile muscles moving.


What does the color yellow make you think of?

The sun.
Yellow isn't really my colour. It makes me look pale.

Main Course

If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around?

I've worked a while as a photographer for a magazine.
So I've thought about this.

The subject would be people moving through life.
Another subject: nature's miracles. (OK, who's going to send me on a mission to Mt. St. Helens so I can proof that I can do it.)


What was the longest book you ever read?

The longest book..... hmm....
I once read a trilogy and it was a very thick book.
But it didn't feel like it.

The thickest and longest book was though, I think, my psychiatry book at university.
I felt very lucky to have a photographic memory, when I was doing exams.

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A better teacher for my daughter

february 29 2008

Some of you have asked about the bad teacher one of my girls had to deal with last week.

He hasn't come back.

She has two teachers, one of them is ill, so they needed someone for thursdays and fridays.

Her other teacher was available yesterday and the new replacement came in too.
She was there are day to see how things are dealt with in the group, and today she was there alone.

And she did very well.

My daughter came home all happy and smiling, and her friends said they had a good time too.
They learned a lot, it was peacefull in the classroom, and they all loved the teacher for caring so much.

So all will be well, I expect.

Mystery shopping and customer survey programs to enhance your business success

february 29 2008

I've always wanted a job as a mystery shopper.

Grown up between all sorts of shopkeepers I know how important it is to offer reliable outstanding service and treat even the worst consumers as kings and queens.

Our family has always been a nice mix of artists, teachers and shopowners.
Books, vegetables, bread, gloves, groceries and bycicles were the subjects when the family was together on long sunday afternoons.
They exchanged ideas for better display, little extra gifts, but above all, how to deal with people in such a way that they would buy, come back and spread the word.
No wonder my aunt was first saleslady for many years at a company that had shops all over the country.

She used her own customer survey program: asking the ladies what they wanted for the next season, how they wanted items to be displayed, etc etc.

I still remember how she told about the mystery buyer. The woman told my aunt she had been buying at her department before. My aunt saw right through the white lie. LOL!

Since then the whole concept of mystery shoppers has been in my mind.

One can send them to buy all kinds of items, from earrings, to furniture and refridgerators, to check if there's a gap between customers experience and what's intended to be delivered.
Well trained mystery shoppers can tell exactly what needs to be improved.

The benefits for your company will be seen in customer satisfaction and a rise in sales.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of employees enable targeted schooling and training.
The economical benefits outweigh the investments, whether you use mystery shoppers, web- and emailsurveys, intercept and exit interviews or other methods offered by Bestmark.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I didn't expect this at all.

february 28 2008

So we went to the new school expecting the news that my autistic son could start either tomorrow or monday.
The sun was shining bright.
A perfect day for weddings and other new beginnings.

We got a seat, and coffee, and had a nice short talk about the heating in the building.

"I have to bring you bad news.
He can't come here."

I couldn't believe my ears... thought I misunderstood.

Well, to make a meeting of 45 minutes short:
they won't admit him because the have another system of final exams that the school he has been visiting and he had to be listed before january 1.
She found out after inviting us, yesterday afternoon.

Next year he can't be admitted, because there is no room.
The place at the other level has already been filled.

So it's end of story.

I felt so sorry for my son, who was eager to go to school there, and who underwent a haircut this morning without one complaint. Which is a great achievement for him.
His face coloured as red as the colour of his shirt.

I've been working very hard to get all the paperwork done.
And I was looking forward to a time without troubles about homework or fighting to gain one little bit of extra care.
No rest for the wicked!

The woman told us there were other options and mentioned a few organisations which only offer some homework care and an exam. Options visited by young people who are borderline criminal.
My son is autistic, not criminal. And he needs proper care.

Then she mentioned some therapeutic settings which were well below his level of functioning.
Well, they wouldn't have him in a group below his intellectual level, I don't want him in a group below his social and psychological level.

I learned one thing for myself: I don't mind crying in public anymore.

Yesterday she said he would be introduced to his new teacher today, so I was planning applepie and ice for desert.
Instead I was killing the potatoes and carrots with my biggest knife.

What now?

There is nothing else than expensive email education.
Homescholing isn't allowed in this country... but it's what I have been doing for most of last year.

I didn't expect this at all.

An empty house

february 28 2008

This afternoon the neighbour came to say goodbye.

We were all sad to see her go.

She was kind and caring, and she didn't feel bothered by the children at all.

Often she asked the girls to come with her on a daytrip, and they all enjoyed themselves very much.

She's moved out of town, but not out of our hearts.

Already she's planning a trip with the girls, so we sure won't loose contact.

Now it's waiting for new neighbours... I hope they're as good as she.

Now the house is completely empty, and it feels strange to know there's no one there waking up next morning.
And it feels cold too.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

three word wednesday

February 27 2008


Without apology
the sun ended the day
as a large red balloon

I could feel the last air
touch my face

the distant moon
didn't even consider
to protect me from the dark


works for me

february 27 2008

Recently we got a visitor who is a huge tea addict.
So the girls took out all of the teapackages, all the different blends and tastes and ofcourse they forgot to put it all back.

I decided that they'd better make a list of all the aromas and blends, and figure out a nice way to present it.
Maybe like a restaurant menu.

And so they did.
They typed the list,
took some think paper and covered it with a nice fabric.

Today the guest came again.
When she was offered tea she smiled.
"You don't have to take them all out", she said.

The girls presented her with their tealist,
and we all were happy.

That works for me, them... and maybe for you too.

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The new school called...

february 27 2008

Finally!!! Finally!!! Finally!!!

The new school called.

Tomorrow we'll have a meeting there. Both parents and our autistic son.
And he can start on friday.

They want him to finish his final exams.
So when we're OK they'll request an extension of a year.

The old school even agreed to tranfer the money that otherwise would be invested in him.
That's not the normal way of dealing with matters like these.

I guess that's because I requested the schoolinspector to step in.

I still can't believe it, I still can't.

A struggle of almost 4 years of daily stress has ended...

Earthquake hit England

february 27 2008

There's so much seismological unrest at the moment.

An earthquake hit Great Brittain with a magnitude of about 4.9 to 5.1 on the scale of Richter at 12:56:45 AM local time.

Location: close to Grimsby in north-east Lincolnshire.

50 km (30 miles) S of Kingston upon Hull,
70 km (45 miles) NE of Nottingham,
80 km (50 miles) E of Sheffield,
205 km (125 miles) N of LONDON.

The quake was felt in a large area of england, all up to Manchester, the Midlands and London.
People woke up and found themselves in a shaking world.

It's the largest earthquake since 1990.

There are no reports of casualties at the moment.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

heads or tails

february 26 2008

Wonder Or Wander

Here's a coin....***turning***.....

OK. It's wander!

Well, the last time I really wandered the real meaning: without purpose... was when I was in England.

Oh...that's so long ago.

My father and aunt visited a little graveyard somewhere in the hills.
They have me my lunch and some sweets and I was allowed to walk around.
They even gave me the bussfare so I could go home in case I got lost.
The whole area was surrounded by a road, so I would always be able to find out where I was.

Then I went.

The sun was shining, and in the grass little flowers opened their leaves.
I just walked away...

The freedom I experienced that day!
No worries, not even knowing where I was.
I was just a girl between the hills, walking towards the sun.
The green grass under my feet and a few white clouds in an endless blue sky.

I just wandered where my eyes took me.
I saw little blue flowers, and followed a yellow butterfly, picked a cornflower and put it in my hair and even sang a song while climbing the next hill.

In awe I sat down, watching the landscape and the birds fly by.

The freedom and oneness I experienced when I wandered the hills ... I've never experienced it again.

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The most amazing instrument

february 26 2008

This is the most amazing instrument I've found online.


Texas, Obama, Clinton

february 25 2008

It was a relatively long wait this time... but as expected: she's throwing mud!

Is that the president people want?
Someone who pats the hand of the other candidate one day, ridicules him the other day, and then lashes out?

OK, we know Texans love a fight.

But they also want a thrustworthy president, don't they?

Someone who deserves respect.
And please, be it a little bit easier to respect the president than the one ruling the nation now.

Tension rises on the Clinton side.
Her husband has jumped in with full power, and so did other (former) political friends, adding to the old fashioned feel that now the battle is fought on different layers.

Non-finished sentences, little smiles, looks with raised eyebrows.
A photo, shot at an innocent moment, taken out of context and thrown in the battle... why?
To suggest certain things?


That's clear.
When you can't defeat them, undermine them.

During a long talk with someone this evening about politics he said:
"Didn't she really know nothing about Monica?
Either she was blind, or she was lying.

I don't want someone who didn't take a stand against those practices.
She ignored matters to keep her husband, so she accepted bad morale for personal gain.

That's unacceptable for a president."

Well, that says a lot.

Monday, February 25, 2008

and the teacher... out!

february 25 2008

One of the girls had another teacher last thursday and friday, because her own teacher was ill.
It's not expected that her own teacher will return in the near future, so the guy was supposed to come untill the end of the schoolyear, which would also be the end of the time at that school for group 8.

At thursday she came home almost crying, so I took apper and pen and wrote him a little letter, trying to make him aware of the fact that yelling doesn't help at all, and that I expect my children to have at least 10 minutes lunchtime.

He had the whole class stay in for punishment, because some children didn't have a certain item. And that wasn't even due to themselves.

On friday she came home crying, so I was ready to go to the principal.

We had a good talk about the issue and she was ready to involve the whole group in a meeting with her other teacher.

So she did.
They all complained about the teacher in such a way that it was decided the teacher wouldn't return.


They all deserve a good time at school, especially these last months before leaving.

earthquake of 7,0 hits The Kepulauan Mentawai Region, Indonesia

february 25 2007

The Kepulauan Mentawai Region, Indonesia is hit by an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.0 on the scale of Richter.

This follows on a series of 4 earthquakes yesterday, of the magnitudes:

and the day before of 5,5.

The quake happened at a distance of 160 kilometers (100 miles) south-southwest of Padang.

A tsunami warning was issued, but none has been obeserved.

At the moment there are no reports of casualties.

Right now the seismologic readings show light tremors.
We have to wait what more will happen.

Update: 2 hours and 2 minutes later an aftershock of 5.1 followed.
... and still at exactly the same depth and almost the same place:

One wonders what's going to happen...
Is there an underwater vulcano emerging?????

Any updates will follow here or in a new entry.

manic monday

february 15 2008

How did you celebrate your last birthday?

Quite boring actually.
The girls gave me a present in the morning, and a friend visited in the afternoon.
That was it.

What's the last thing you bought yourself, just for fun?

A little booklet of Marjolein Bastin in the sales. You can find it here.
It's perfect for writing down birthdays.

I love her drawings and I would love to have something more from here. like the bedcover.
Can't have it all, can we?

What would the child you once were think of the adult you have become?

I think she would be amazed by the way I stand up for my children and wsh someone would stand up for her too.
It's strange to say, but she would want to have me as a mom.

I was a very shy child, not very appreciated by my mother.
When I was 4 she had me go out to buy the groceries.
I still can't understand why so young.
I had to clean a lot in the house too. I still hate doing it.
And she used to hit me a lot, and belittle me day by day.

I have learned myself not to let the past influence me in a negative way.
The times with my grandmother were far more important for the person I have become.
I also decided when I was young that I wouldn't fit in the theories of some socalled scientists that children of abusive mothers will become abusive too, or will become bad mothers.
I promised myself not to become a victim of the past.

Looking back I see I have missed one important aspect of it all.
I married the first guy that was nice to me. I mistook attention for real love, and I mistook being in love for real love.
It took so long to realise that!

So I guess I'm one of the least hugged people in the world, when it comes to parents and partner.
But I'm glad I have some nice children.
Especially with the girls I have a very good relationship, and I've been able to teach them what my mother didn't tell me.

So my little me can feel at rest. I struggled myself out of the past in a rather good way.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

unconscious mutterings

february 24 2008

  1. Protocol :: guidelines

  2. Girlfriends :: my boys start having them.

  3. Shoulders :: need to be broad to carry the weight

  4. Coming home :: in the weekends

  5. Let it in :: Beatles

  6. Honor :: one should deserve it

  7. Tyler :: Mary Tyler Moore

  8. Thriller :: The birds

  9. Angela :: Girl at school

  10. The winner is :: I want to hear my name when it comes to winning a trip to Scotland. LOL!

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

first day of spring

february 24 2008

What a night.
I couldn't sleep.
The minutes passed.
My mind was just wandering through memories.
I just let them go.
It was just after the news of 4.30 when I fell asleep.

Waking up was not as gradually.
It was like someone launched me at 11.30. LOL!

I was downstairs at 11.45 showered and all.
The girls were already outside helping the neighbour with the move.

In the afternoon we waved her goodbye and then I realised it was such good weather and the garden needed some TLC, so I took a bucket and some garden equipment and completely lost track of time.

The weather was awesome!!
A bit of sun, but not too much.
A bit of wind, but not too much.

I removed a lot of the old bramblebranches, and an equal lot of ivy.
Got rid of a load of moss, and removed old branches and other things.

Now my hands look like strawberries.
I should have put on thick gardengloves before removing the bramble-branches.
But I just couldn't wait.

The first day of spring...

saturday six

february 23 2008

Saturday Six

1. When you’re going to have a regular glazed doughnut, do you prefer it hot, cold or room temperature?

Cold. With hot coffee. Mmmmm.

2. If you see a box of a dozen doughnuts, and there are no objections from the others in the room, can you stop at just one doughnut?

Depends how many people are in the room. When there are two others, I'll take another one.

3. Which spelling do you prefer for the treat: doughnut or donut? Which do you see most often?

I donot care.

4. Take the quiz: What Donut are You?

You Are a Glazed Donut

Okay, you know that you're plain - and you're cool with that.

You prefer not to let anything distract from your sweetness.

Your appeal is understated yet universal. Everyone dig you.

And in a pinch, you'll probably get eaten.

5. When was the last time you had this specific kind of donut?

Pff, might be a year ago.

6. If you worked in a donut store, and had to make them as part of your job, how long do you think it would take you — if at all — to become sick of even looking at a donut?

I'm looking at them almost always. I'm a diabetic. So I can take it quite long.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

friday's feast

february 22 2008


Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

My oldest was the victim.
He always goes to bed far too late.
We needed to call him every morning, not once, but 5 or more times.

That night I woke him up... "quick,'s time, come on...."
He dressed on automatic pilot, ate a sandwich, got his bag, and in the meantime i was telling him to hurry up... he went outside.
"You're forgetting your watch".

He looked at the time.... 3 in the night. LOL!


What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

Fun question.
In the kitchen I have a boring set. Just from the shop.
But I have some fun pairs: chickens, trees. and a nice wooden pair.


Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

Ugh... you remind me I have to call the dentist.

I have no plans.
I would love to go next week with the supplier of smallpipes to Scotland, to the factory.
But when I do so, I can't afford to buy a set of smallpipes.
It took so much time and effort to safe some money, then the dollar went down, and I needed to save a lot more.
I'm nearly there...

So no trips for me, unless a miracle happens.

Main Course

What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

I had some nice cream from Spa.
Now I use Dove. Got it for my birthday.


Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.

Mount Everest

put on a plate raspberries and blackberries.
Then a bit of vanilla icecream.
Cover it with chocolate sauze.
A bit of chocolate icecream
Vanilla icecream again
and then white chocolate sauze all over it.

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february 22 2008

No words needed.
Isn't this beautiful?


Thursday, February 21, 2008

still no word from the new school

februari 21 2008

We still haven't heard anything from the new school of my autistic son.
Last tuesday we called and the secretary said she'd call back, but nothing has happened.

So I wonder if we're in for another disappointment.

It makes clear I need to keep a kind of log again, to proof we have done everything we could to make him go to school.

He's coming to rest now.
His kind former self is coming back, which is a gain.

I still struggle with the question why society can't accept that some people are happier when they're not going to school.
I'm not talking about a lazy, puberty hormones driven, non-thinking, normal kid, but about an autistic boy, who can't deal with social communication.

The last years at school made him visibly unhappy.
He was always complaining and he started to become very distrustful.
I was almost ready to have him institutionalised, because the whole family had to keep quiet not to cause another meltdown.

The mornings are so much happier for all of us, now I don't need to have a struggle to get him to school.
The dispair when it wouldn't work!
I can't tell you how many tears...

The government is always talking about money and investments.
Well, without proper treatment all education is a pure waste, because he won't be able to use it, unless they'll find him a job he can do all by his own, which motivates him every day again just by itself.

I don't like the fact that I feel the pressure of "the law" every day.
Some rules decide I'm a bad parent now, because I'm not forcing him to go to the "former" school again.

I'm not deliberately going against the law... I'm just choosing what's best for my son and my family.

And this self prescription has a good side-effect: it's better for my bloodpressure too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

three word wednesday

February 20 2008


All the evidence that was found on the crime scene was a punch press. Without fingerprints.
Even though he was a detective for 20 years now, he wasn't able to solve THIS case.
He felt like hitting his head against the wall, but the thought of getting even more insane prevented him from getting attention from the whole department.

Taking leave and have others deal with this case wasn't an option either.
So he scratched his head, threw the pencil on his desk and walked to the coffee-machine.

While he waited for the hot water to mix with the coffeepowder he felt someone approaching.
It was a young woman... a girl. Looking like she'd just escaped from the sixties.
He stepped aside and watched her pressing the button for hot chocolate.

She turned to him and smiled.

There was something familiar in his face. "Maybe she's the daughter of a collegue", he thought.

When she took the chocolate out of the machine his eyes caught a tiny hole in her T-shirt.
It wasn't a burning hole, as the fabric was the same colour.
It looked new.

Somewhere in his mind a thought popped up... the hole looked like it was made with a punch press.

Would it... could it?

"I want to ask you something".
She smiled again. "Yes?"
"I want to ask you... have you made that hole with a special device?
My daughter wants them in some fabric too, but I don't know...."

He didn't even need to finish his sentence and his lie.
He never got a daughter.

"Come with me", she said, and guided him through the office to one of the rooms at the personell department.

From a drawer she took the divice and showed him how to make a punchhole in a piece of paper.

"Where can I buy a thing like that?"

She wrote down an adress and gave it to him.

Not even an hour later he asked the lady in the shop whether she'd sold two punchpresses to one buyer.
She nodded and described the young woman in detail.

When he went back to the office he knew he'd caught the killer.

Careful observance and intuition were his means to unravel the mysteries of crime.

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Atlantis about to land

february 20 2008

The space shuttle Atlantis is ready to return to earth.

Within a couple of minutes the Atlantis will take action to descent.
The Atlantis will land at Kennedy Space centre at it's first attempt at
8.07 AN CT.
One of the crewmembers is Mr. Tani. He's been 120 days in space.

The flight has been a very bussy, but relaxed one.
At times the team was ahead of schedule.

This time the Columbus, a new module designed by Europe, was attached to the International Space Centre.

Click here to go to NASA TV.

Now descending at 470 feet per second.
Atlantis will make a a reverse 80 degree roll to the left to loose energy. Then it will go on course again.


Another roll reversal is started now above the Gulf of Mexico.


900 miles from space centre
48 miles altitude


8 minutes from touch down.
Shuttle in vision.
20 miles altitude


Atlantis is now manually flown.
Twin sonic booms are signalling Atlantis's arrival.


Atlantis now turnes to align itself to the runway.
Runway will be in sight in any moment.
Atlantis breaks through the clouds, and runway can be seen clearly.
11.000 feet.



They're safely home again!!!!!

earthquake hitting Sumatra

february 20 2008

Indonesia has been hit by a powerful earthquake.
The island of Simeulue off the western coast of Sumatra (the region worst hit by the 2004 tsunami) was shaken at a magnitude of 7.6 on the scale of Richter.

A tsunami warning was issued, but cancelled later.

News from the area reports that 3 people are killed, at least 25 others are seriously injured and buildings are damaged.

The quake was felt in large areas of western and northern Sumatra during about a minute.

Good morning!

februari 20 2008

Today I'm a bit tense.

If all goes well, and people do what they need to do, we'll get a message from the new school of my autistic son.
The psychologist needs to decide in which auti-class he'll have to go and when.

Right now he says that he's looking forward to going to school again, but ofcourse I'm prepared for yet another early morning round of motivating.

Right now I'm craving for a day with no one at home.
Just doing things that need time and/or space, like painting doors, tidying the attick and such.
Or walking around with a facemask. LOL!

The girls have a morning off, today.
So we're taking it easy.

Wish I had some work online, I just need a bit more to order my smallpipes.
Those are a smaller kind of bagpipes than the highland bagpipes.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finally, finally, finally!!!

february 19 2008

Yesterday we call to the new school-to-be of our autistic son and asked whether the files were OK.

The woman in question didn't know, because the person handling the files was ill.
At the end of the week she would have a peek, but when the ill woman was due back next week she would rest the file untill then.

Ofcourse we explained that each day would make it less likely he would go to school again, so maybe she could....????

She just called.
The files look good.
The psychologist has to decide to which group he'll go and he is back tomorrow.
As soon as possible we will be contacted.

I'm so happy!!

This means he's one step further towards going to school again, to an auti-class.

The paperwork will go to a special board that takes the final decision he can go there.
But right now he needs to be seen by the psychologist and then he can go to the new school as a guest.

There are no other options open anymore.
He can't cope with a normal school, and certainly not with the stress of the final exams.

Pffff.... what a lot of work it was to get those files complete.

The rest just seems to be nothing.

heads or tails

february 19 2008

Heads: the letter P

P is for
  • problemsolving (there's something every day. ugh)
  • patience (daily task too)
  • politics (the best way to stay critical, watch them!)
  • plants (I love them)
  • puberty (not mine...the kids'!!)
  • pollen (oh, my eyes itch and hurt and nothing helps)
  • pedals (on my bycicle)
  • pipes (I can't live without my bagpipes)
  • plumbing (that's still not completely gone)
  • present (I love presents!)

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    Monday, February 18, 2008

    politics: back to the old ways?

    february 18 2008

    No politics without throwing mud.

    Hillary Clinton throught she's better inform the public about the fact that Obama honors a friend by using his oneliners and such.

    That't the old fashioned way of practicing politics.

    It makes clear what happens when she looses grip.

    She tried it before: digging up dirt about the other candidates, but she never got hold of the other party, because it's low.

    Sometimes I think people should do the same to her: look up old speeches from her and her husband and compare them to what she uses now, tear or no tear as added extra.
    I think we'd be in for some marvellous surprises.

    I can only hope that people who have to vote during the next weeks are not as blind as they are considered by Clinton.
    Does she really have a large group of hispanics backing her up?
    Dismissing Solis Doyle might have been a huge mistake, according to Maggie Haberman.

    Let's hope the next weeks these politicians will be confronted with original and practical questions, so we can see how their problemsolving abilities are.

    That's what one of them needs to clean up the mess in the White House.

    manic monday

    february 18 2008

    What do you order when you eat Chinese food?

    Well, as we have 7 or 8 mouths to feed, a day, at least, it's never expensive.
    We'll get get-away. And most of the time it's nassi, bami, eggrol, springroll, sometimes Fried Chicken in Ginger Sauce.

    How much have you controlled the course your life has taken?

    I don't think I'm in control. Life is.

    I controlled the amount of children... well, Not completely. When I wished for one, as a last, I got two. LOL!
    But I didn't control how the children would be.

    Whose opinion do you value when deciding how to vote?

    My own.
    We have a simple system.
    A multiparty system.
    Each party writes a partyplan, inclcuding desicions they want to make on areas like education, healthcare, economics, etc etc.

    So it's a matter of deciding what's important to me, where I find the most I want, and where I find the most powers to realise the plans.

    So I vote for that party, and only when there's a favorite in that party I vote for that person.

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    Independence of Kosovo

    february 18 2008

    Kosovo has declared it's independence yesterday, calling itself the Republic of Kosovo.

    The country lies in southeast Europe at about the height of Rome. See map.
    In the past it was part of Yugoslavia.

    I'm not going into the politocal history of the area.
    It's far too complex to describe.
    One can say it's a part of the world where ethnic and religious conflicts and misunderstandings keep people apart.

    Right now Russia doesn't want to recognise Kosovo as an independent country, and they have asked the United Nations Security Council not to acknowledge Kososvo. Yesterday the United Nations Security Council today held an emergency closed-door session. No agreement was reached yet. read here.

    Serbia has stated it'll never accept the independence of Kosovo. They regard it to be a province of Serbia.

    Since 1999 the United Nations peacekeepers are in the area. Right now 16.000 are stationed there.

    The accusations of Russia and Serbia that Europe had a role in the declaration of independence are not based on factual information.

    Kosovo is a very poor country, with 40% unemployment, so there's no economical gain.
    Europe doesn't strive to expand it's territory at all.

    It just recognises the right to choose and it hopes there will be peace and safety in that part of the world.

    to the quick judge

    february 18 2008

    It's always interesting how quick people are to judge someone doesn't know anything about a certain subject when they find they're not agreeing with what's written.

    Sunday, February 17, 2008

    unconscious mutterings

    february 17 2008

    1. Passport :: passing the border

    2. Small world :: people know each other

    3. Radio :: music

    4. Marine :: water

    5. Wall :: Pink Floyd

    6. Wanna be :: astronaut

    7. Pigtails :: the girls

    8. Hyphen :: I use it abundantly

    9. 9.99 :: Yea, do they really think we don't realise it should be 10?

    10. Unrated :: unrated movie

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    lazy sunday

    february 17 2008

    Last night it was very cold here.
    The house hasn't take in the warmth of the heating, I guess, because outisde it was about -8, but it seemed to be much colder.

    Or maybe the heating needs to be filled again. When I'm upstairs I need to have a look at the waterlevel.

    I'm so very tired that I didn't do much up til now.
    Just some laundry, surfing around a bit without thinking. Just looking at some art and such.

    The girls are playing outside.
    There's such a bright sun today. Maybe it's good I'm sitting here, resting my aching leg, instead of walking around.
    The light is so clear that ones sees every little spot on the walls and ceiling.
    I need to paint some of the walls, I want new lamps, and I want to rearrange some furniture.

    Well, that needs to wait untill my leg can deal with climbing ladders and standing long.

    In the meantime I'll watch the progress in the International Space Centre.

    Have a great sunday yourself!!

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    the girls applied for a school

    february 16 2008

    Last night I had a thourough look into the schoolchoice of the girls again.

    It's either the school nearby, or a school 30 minutes from here.

    I read all the information again and the tone of the leaflets of the school nearby made me feel uncomfortable.
    They're just not hitting the right tone for me. They know it all so well, and they're too proud of the results.
    No kids telling their story on the site...
    It just didn't do anything... but made me feel not well about it.

    So we decided there would be visted one school only.

    I couldn't go with them.
    My leg hurts too much to bycicle, so they went with their dad.

    Well, they just came back.
    All happy and bright.

    They have already filled in the applicationforms.
    They also spoke to one of the people who decided.
    He recognised them from last year and even knew one of the girls is dyslectic.

    All the children will be tested at the start of the year.
    Then those who need it get special help during 6 months and then those with dyslexia will be tested by the school.
    And it's the first school we know that pays for the testing.

    I'm so glad I've kept to the opinion that testing for dyslexia shouldn't be the problem of an individual as long as tests for epilepty are paid by the healthinsurances.

    It makes a difference of about 1400 dollars!

    But the money aside, the girls love the school.
    They have special programs for creative kids, and mine are.

    There's a musical group and the girls would love to get part of it.
    I'm sure they will, with their singing and dance experience.

    Wouldn't it be great to get children ta a school where they are happy and we don't need to have a fight to get some quality care for dyslexia?

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    landing space shuttle

    january 15 2008

    The spaceshuttle will land wednesdaymorning as early as possible, to give the american defence department as much chance as possible to shoot in splinters an uncontrolled satelite.

    More news about the landing schedule will be issued after tomorrow's meeting.

    The spy satelite has lost propulsion and when no action is undertaken it will hit the earth late february or early march.
    Because it contains the toxic chemical hydrazine it's decided to shoot it down.
    It will be targetted from the pacific ocean at a place with the highest likelyhood that the debris will come down in an unpopulated area.

    No action will be undertaken before the spaceshuttle is safe on earth.

    More information


    february 15 2008

    Went early in the morning to a special organisation that has to decide if my oldest with Asperger Syndrome and ADD is indeed less fit to work under normal circumstances than others of his age.

    Well he is.
    So het gets special social security.

    During the meeting it was also decided if he would be forced to work somewhere (where????) or granted permission to go to a school with individual education.

    Permission granted.

    I even got the guy as far that he called the school right after the meeting, telling them to start the procedure because the paperwork was on it's way.

    What a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All the papers are to the new school of my autistic boy.
    Unless something is changed, ofcourse.

    I waited all afternoon for a call or a mail. Nothing.

    Update on Joran van der Sloot

    february 15 2008

    It's decided that Joran van der Sloot won't be arrested for a third time in the Natalee Holloway case.

    There is no evidence at all to proof that the story Joran van der Sloot told to Patrick van der Eem is true.

    Already days before the broadcast Joran van der Sloot made clear in an unexpected TV interview that the story was a lie, and it would be very easy to come to that conclusion.

    I've always wondered why Peter R de Vries so easily accepted that Joran van der Sloot would confide in a man who is much older and who appeared so suddenly in his life.
    Patrick van der Eem has been paid 25.000 euro/36.5860 USD to trigger a statement from Joran van der Sloot and secretly record it.

    The reward for solving the Natalee Holloway case was 1 million USD.
    So it would have been well worth the effort.

    Well, Peter R. de Vries has had his moments of fame in the USA.

    He announced to the world he had solved the case.
    He did so without any respect for the family, or other people involved.

    He assumed Natalee Holloway is dead.
    I'm interested why he didn't link this disapearance with another one:
    Amy Bradley disappeared in 1998 after her graduation on a ship.

    That case has never been solved either.

    I feel sorry for Natalees family and friends that so many people ran away with this tragedy. That so many people showed that they'd rather jump to conclusions than follow an almost universal law: a person isn't guilty unless a court of law has decided he's guilty.

    It's interesting to see how people reacted and still do.

    I'm amazed how much hatred and negative feelings are thrown around, and how few people take responsibility for their own reactions.

    In a way I'm also amazed what I hear about the behaviour of Natalee Holloway. Where were the people who escorted the girls? Why was it accepted that girls of 19 misbehaved in such a way that they drank themselves a delirium?
    A lot had been speculated about Natalee having en epileptic seizure.
    It's said she wasn't known with epilepsy.
    But under normal circumstances her body would have been in balance enough for it not to surface. High alcohol consumption facilitates and even causes epileptic seizures, which can be fatal. Another connection between alcohol and epilepsy are withdrawal seizures which start between 6 and 72 hours after drinking. (Most often between 7 and 8 hours).

    In the whole story Peter R. de Vries dished up none of this is taken into consideration.

    There are many more versions thinkable that would lead to the disappearance or death of someone who drank that much as the girl did.

    All the investigations up till now have only generated a very few facts.

    The rest is all in the minds of people who want to give meaning.
    That's what people do when they can't understand things.
    They give meaning and that enables them to deal with it.

    Joran van der Sloot has a psychiatric disorder. I've spoken about this a long time ago.
    When we speak about the system failing, I see that the system has failed to have him diagnosed.
    But he couldn't be, because he was only the person who stated he saw her last.
    There was no real case against him, otherwise they could have forced a psychiatric evaluation to be conducted.
    In that case Peter R. de Vries would have used a psychiatric patiënt to get world fame.

    I'm worried about the effects of his actions, because when Natalee Holloway is still alive, she deserves people looking out for her.

    It's clear that people want to believe what they want to believe.

    We can only try to learn from that.

    friday's feast

    february 15 2008


    Name one thing that is unique about you.

    Well... hmmm.... I bet those one things are shared around the world with others.
    I'm unique because of my children.
    The way I deal with people who should try better for them is rather unique.
    I'm kind, but very straightforward, and I always put the kid first.


    Fill in the blank: My favorite _________ is __________ but I like _________ too.

    My favorite instrument is the bagpipes, but I like other instruments too.


    What type of wood do you have for your home’s furnishings?

    Light wood

    Main Course

    Who do you talk to most often on the phone?

    I have a cellphone and I use it only to be reached and to call when I need to make an appointment.

    So the time of long talks is over. I don't have the time during the day and evening.


    What level of responsibility do you have in your job?

    As a mom of 4 handicapped kids, I don't have a job, but all the responsibility in the world.

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    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    bullying, bed and bussy

    february 14 2008

    Its early morning.

    2 hours ago I went to bed, but I couldn't sleep.

    Worked all night to get the text on paper that should be signed by the psychiatrist of my autistic son. It's needed for the admission to the auti-klas.

    Today I have to go with my second son to his psychiatrist for another step in his diagnosis, so it'll be easy to get the signed paperwork from the desk and bring it straight to the school.

    I was too stressed and too tired to sleep, so I went downstairs to help the girls to school.
    Son nr 3 told me about a problem at school.

    Bullying, and a teacher who reacts like he's blind.
    We've been in the same situation several times before, so this time I decided not to be nice tothe teacher, but just write the principal a mail. I asked him to solve the problem wisely.

    I hope he does, because I can't take much more stress.

    The girls have their last morning of national tests and went to school smiling. In their bags a present for their boyfriends. I can't remember being bussy with valentine's day so early in life.
    It's fun to seen them.

    This week they need to make a choice for a new school.

    This evening they'll attend a special info-class at one of the schools.
    Saturday they'll have a look at two others.

    It's the choice between a good school nearby. The convenience of 5 minutes to and fro.
    Parents evenings that won't last much longer than needed. And some nice cultural activities.

    And a school about half an hour from here, where they'll always arrive sweaty because it's uphill and at the ther side of a high bridge. This school is buzzing with cultural activities and creativity, which might overpower the need to study.

    Well, I'll jump back in bed now the kids are to school and try to sleep one cycle before taking a shower and going with my son to his psych.

    See you later!

    Have a great valentine's day!

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    10 on tuesday

    january 12 2007

    10 Things You Dislike About Politics

    1. The idea that people vote for a woman, not because of her capacities, but because of her gender. Unbelievable!!
    2. They all claim they all tell the truth. Ha!! (Wish there was only one truth...mine. LOL!)
    3. They don't realise that they have a complete different reality than others. Politicians shouldn't have all the power, the people should. At least in a democracy.
    4. They make decisions on subjects they don't know anything about. They want all children to go to the same schools. Yea! That's why we have had so much stress and troubles. People should be acknowledged in their individuality.
    5. I dislike the fact that they "sell" us rules and controlmechanismsbecause of terrorism threats. I doubt if we're more under threat than in the past.
      The largest threat is the one that's in the mind of politicians.
    6. I hate it that politics bring people further apart instead of closer together.
    7. I dislike the fact that some politicians have a strong need to rule the world. Start ruling in peace and care your own people first.
    8. I dislike politics because people who really have something to say, and who really can improve things for a lot of people, need to go a very long way before someone listens to them.
    9. I dislike politics because it eats money... think what we could do with the electionmoney!!
      And the environment wouldn't be burdened so much either!!
    10. I dislike politics because the american election brings on top people who wants to have their say about the politics in other countries too. Yet we have no vote at all.



    february 12 2008

    I feel very stressed.

    As far as I can see all the paperwork that needed to be submitted for a positive decision about the application for my autistic son for the auti-class is complete. (Except for one from the psychiatrist, which I'll write today and have him sign tomorrow. But that one is just a bureaucratic detail. It isn't very important.)

    Yesterday the person who should decide if everything is complete wasn't at school.
    Maybe she's one of the flue victims? Who knows.

    So I'm waiting for a mail or a call with the message that everything is OK.

    Right now he isn't going to school.
    I think I have to accept he won't go to a regular school anymore.

    Ofcourse I have a legal duty to send him, and he has a legal duty to be sent.
    But how can you force someone of 15 who is so afraid of bullying that he can't face up to going?

    Ofcourse I've had all sorts of advice.
    People know so well what should be done and what not.

    Interesting is that none has spoken with my son, and certainly none has seen his panick in the morning.

    He was so glad this morning to escape from it all that he volunteered to shower. LOL!
    He hates showering.

    I often wonder why people like him are forced to go to school and find a job.
    He will always need someone to support him, and he will always be distressed.
    He just can´t cope with all the social aspects, the communication, the demands.

    Why just not let him be happy the way he chooses to be happy?

    Bussy day

    february 11 2008

    Schools started again.

    Ofcourse there were huge troubles to get my autistic son to school...
    So he didn't go...
    It took quite a while for my bloodpressure to go down again.

    It helped that I needed to bring paperwork to his new school. The sun was shining and the temperature was still low.

    The girls had swimming lessons again and both came home very proud.
    Their progres is very remarkable, especially considering the fact that they didn't manage to get as far in 6 months when they had swimminglessons a few years ago.

    Tomorrow the last test from school start.
    They both were very stressed, and nearly cried.
    What a pity!

    Later, in the evening, they couldn't sleep.
    I called them downstairs and we looked how the columbus neared the space station.
    They both enjoyed it so much that they forgot all about the tests.

    Keep your fingers crossed for them.

    Monday, February 11, 2008

    Mr. Gates and the NATO

    monday 11 2008

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has complained that some european nations: Germany, France, Italy, and Turkey (not a member of the European Union), aren't sending enough troups to Afghanistan.

    They're risking the NATO alliance.

    Well, that's again a nice example of how little is known about the European mind and about european politics, as far as it excists.

    We Europeans might be living on the same continent, and we even might have a Union, it's not as in the United States.
    Our nations have their own governments and they all decide independently and in a very democratic way what they want to do and what not.

    Threatening with the downfall of the NATO is not a wise thing to do, as many nato-partners lack a back up of their decisions by the people in their country.
    One can put the bonds of the alliance as far under stress as one wishes, put there will be times governments have to choose for their own country. How nice the goal of the NATO might be.

    In his speech he contradicted his own words, stating that all the allies are meeting the commitments.
    But he wants more.

    The way the armies in Europe are put under pressure might mean in the future that the NATO will loose it's positive image altogether.
    Most countries here keep an army for defence purposes only.
    The mission in Afghanistan was intended for humane missions only.
    And in fact... they are still called that way.

    But soldiers die in battle, and the risks involved in the missions are high.
    So high we can't speak about defense anymore.

    We all know the missions are not humanitarian anymore.
    So in fact these missions are against the constitutions of the countries involved.

    Mr. Gates was speaking "directly to the people of Europe".

    Well, that's very nice. He'd better come over and talk directly with the people.
    Even though America acts as if the world is theirs and they want to rule the world, we in Europe see it very differently.
    We don't want to be bossed around and certainly not on false arguments.

    Mr. Gates spoke about terrorist attacks in Amsterdam.

    Well we have a different view on the murder of Theo van Gogh.
    This was not a worldterrorist issue, but people reacting on a serious insult of their religion.
    An insult that went too far behind the normal borders of free speech, and insult that was meant to hurt and to stir trouble.
    It simply backfired.
    I never agree with murder, that must be very clear here.
    But this was not a terrorist attack.

    Or did Mr. Gates speak of the fool who went into a policestation with a knife?
    The guy was angry because he didn't qualify for social security anymore.
    That was not a terrorist attack, but an angry fool wanting others to life in the same hell as he lived in.

    Maybe it's time we Europeans get the respect we deserve.
    We have succesfully dealt with terrorists in the past.
    But I'm sure the American historybooks don't mention those.

    Sunday, February 10, 2008

    for parents of autistic children

    february 10 2008

    In the mail:

    Hi, my name is Tana Richards.

    I am currently in the dissertation phase of an MA in Education from Brunel University in the UK.
    I have worked with children with autism for seven years and I am curious what parents find to be effective interventions.

    If you dont mind, please go to the link and fill out the survey, it only takes a few minutes.
    https://www. surveymonkey. com/s.aspx? sm=HfB6T17NaPJJf DyeumeDIA_ 3d_3d

    If you have any questions you may contact me:
    tanarichards87@ or my advisor Professor Mike Watts: mike.watts@brunel.

    Thank you,Tana Richards

    unconscious mutterings

    february 10 2008

    1. Score :: result

    2. Luxurious :: hotel

    3. Party :: surprise! surprise!

    4. Limited edition :: disappeared by the time I have the money.

    5. Security :: Safety

    6. Betty :: Black Betty (Ram Yam)

    7. Under construction :: come back later

    8. Pest :: disease

    9. director :: orchestra

    10. Express :: The Orient Express

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    recording performance

    february 10 2008

    More and more schools here are using computerised programs to describe the curriculums, and results of the students.

    The evaluations of the skills and results of teachers however are still made using pen and paper. The files are stored away and almost never see daylight again.

    In my hometown a new system is developed to keep young people tied to the schoolsystem untill they're ready to accept work and in fact have accepted it.

    I think there should be a system that follows a student right into their professional educational carreer.

    What do you think about that?

    Wouldn't it be great to know that the teachers of your child are truly up to their tasks?

    Nature, play and school

    february 10 2008

    As a psychologist I've always said that most children need to play outside as much and as long as they can, to develop well.

    Maybe I'm too much of a Montessori pupil, but I do think children will signal when they're ready for reading and writing.

    Researchers from the Cambridge University now back up my ideas with research.

    Children have many different waqys to learn, and I'm not sure we know them all.
    Look at babies.
    Even thought they seem to care only for food and other physical "activities" they acquire skills, and develop their own characteristics.

    Schools offer a limited environment for children, and limited learning opportunities.
    Homeschooling offers the same and in less time and most homeschooled young people turn out to have more self confidence, social skills and problem solving skills than people their age and level.

    I've grown up in an area with many woods and large plots of farmland.
    The freedom I exprienced made me aware I had to take care of my own needs.
    Need for food, but also the need for safety.

    I learned to oversee the consequences of my actions in a natural way.
    Just sit down on an ant hill once, and you won't do it ever again. LOL!
    I also learned a lot from the stupidities of others.

    The boys next door did things that were not allowed, like climbing on the shed and in trees. I heard them screem in agony when arms and legs once again were broken during a hard landing.
    No way I was going up there myself!
    And in the meantime I also learned to make a difference between situations that called for immediate action and situations that could be ignored.

    I'm still the one who keeps calm when an accident happens. I'm the one who orders other people around to call 911, to fetch a blanket, or to bring water when someone has burns.

    One simply can't learn this at school.

    One of the main characteristics I gained while playing in nature was curiosity.
    The world is so very interesting!!

    When I went to school I felt like I was jailed.
    I had a friendly teacher and she did what she could to answer all my questions and to give me space, but it was all limited.

    And when I finally could read, I had no chance to read what was interesting to me. I had to read what other people told me to read.
    I was lucky the library was in my street. I sneeked in whenever I could, and read books about astronomy sitting in a corner where none could find me, I thought.

    Ofcourse I read the books for young girls too.
    For myself I found a perfect balans between dreams and science, untill schoolwork took all my time and I started to feel dull and stupid. All I could do was enter the competition of who had the best scores for homework. But I could never beat the kids that had private tutoring.

    When children feel the same now, I can understand they feel unhappy and unwanted in society.
    Children can't be themselves, they just have to be better than they are.

    Chopping off bits of the individuality of people make them into creatures that will never fit in.

    Safe Scandinavia evancuated.

    february 10 2008

    One of the north sea offshore oil rigs, Safe Scandinavia, situated 250 km from Aberdeen is evacuated.

    At the moment it's not clear why. There is a rumour about a bomb-alarm, but it isn't officialy confirmend.

    The security alert was initiated by the rig itself.

    The oil rig emplyed 539 people. They were evacuated with the help of 14 helicopters, and are now at nearby rigs.

    Bomb disposal experts will be flown to the rig.


    the bomb-alarm was a false alarm.

    Saturday, February 9, 2008

    docking to space station

    february 9 2008

    I've been asked for the link to NASA TV.

    You can click: ::here::.

    At the right near the bottom you can find a link to the other view options.
    You can choose for full screen, if you like it.

    Right now they're in the middle of the preparations for the docking procedure.

    The children here love to see the welcoming of the crews, and so do I.

    Isn't it amazing that the shuttle flew right over our heads a little while ago and we could see right into the space shuttle?

    saturday special

    february 9 2008

    ~Just Name One~

    1. Thing You're Afraid To Do?:
      Sitting in a box with snakes, scorpions and tarantulas
    2. Thing Scientists Need To Invent?:
      How to generate energy from the movement of people. (I have a great idea)
    3. Thing That Would Make You Very Happy?:
      A thing... not a person?
      I would be very happy to meet my online friends. For instance in the Oprah Winfrey Show.
    4. Thing About Valentine's Day That's Special To You?:
      That the girls receive special valentine gifts. That's so nice to see.

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    february 9 2008

    Most of the time I dream of living somewhere in Scotland, far away from the citynoises and the toodoo of normal life.
    Just homeschooling my children, growing my own vegetables, and walking past a lake without houses on the other side.

    But on days like this I enjoy living at the border of the city.

    Today the sun is shining and the temperature is well enough to get people outside.

    I've seen quite some people trying to loose winterwieght by jogging ro running.
    It's clear they're not used to the rythm and the exercise.
    Their heads sticking out in front, like the nooses needs to guide the way.
    The backs as straight as a broomstick, they're not used anymore to bending and soupleness.

    But I admire their courage to show their lack of exercise to the world.

    Just when I turn my head to answer a question of one of the children my eyes catch a movement in the house opposite ours.

    The curtains are open, which only happens when they are cleaned, so I guess it's done on purpose.
    I see he and she running on treadmills.
    So that's what was brought yesterday with the large truck!!

    It's kind of funny to see them running inside their house while others walk past.

    Another step for the girls

    february 9 2008

    The girls came back from bagpipelesson with lots of stories to tell.

    The new teacher accomplishes wonders by his positive attitude.

    They enjoy practicing far more after they had the chance to perform.
    I've told that more than a year ago to the former teacher, but he had a complete different way of dealing with children.

    Now the girls are invited to the normal practice evening.

    They're very happy about it, because it means they're considered to be a bit more grown up.

    I'm not completely happy with it, because it means bedtime is far later.

    But they'll get more lessons, and the saturday will be far more relaxed.
    No alarm waking up people who are not ready for the weekend.

    It also means they're almost ready for the real bagpipes.
    I guess it'll be smallpipes.

    Just forgetting the finances....

    Wouldn't it be great to perform with my girls on smallpipes?


    Tibethan new year

    february 9 2008

    It's the Tibethan New Year.

    Many pilgroms have come to the former chief residence of the Dalai Lama in Potala, Lhasa.
    Only 2500 visiters are allowed each day to enter the place.

    Chinese military, speaking Tibethan, let them in.

    The natural look of the area has been changed, because the Chinese made a large square with, ofcourse, a statue of liberation.

    Still the pilgrims are focussed on the historical and the spiritual significance of the area.

    For thise who want to know more: ::Click here::

    Spring cleaning

    february 9 2008

    Either our local newspaper employs a new reporter or the early vibes of spring are triggering unsuspected urges to write about nature and health.

    There's a huge article about the way the council deals with open spaces.
    It's like all open spaces in town need to be filled with houses.
    We're told by the paper we don't want houses, but nature.
    And I fully agree.

    The part of town where I've spend my youth doesn't have the charm anymore of the old days.
    Some architects have pumped the open areas full with buildings that only show off their socalled creativity. There's no coherence anymore between the buildings, it's just a chaos of styles.

    Spring shows itself in the way people deal with their environment and themselves.

    On the other side of the street there are some people talking while one of them is washing the car.

    I want to go outside too and enjoy some gardening.

    But the kitchencupboards need a clean too.

    Oh my I feel the need for springcleaning?

    Joran van der Sloot. Update on the Natalee Holloway case

    february 9 2008

    Yesterday morning Joran van der Sloot has been interrogated by the police.

    Later a statement was issued telling that Joran van der Sloot kept to what he said before in the TV program "Pauw & Witteman": what he told in the car were all lies.
    he also said that the story he told in the car could easily be proven wrong by interviewing the person he mentioned.
    This was true.

    Additional to this he also said that he was under the influence of marijuana.

    Aruba has declared him persona non gratu, unwanted person, so he can't visit Aruba anymore, unless it's on invitation of the prosecutor.

    The day before the cardriver, Patrick van der Eem, was refused entrance to the USA because of a drugconviction in the past and a refusal of a visum.
    In de media this man is described as a successfull entrepeneur. It's conveniently forgotten he was also a pimp.

    The Aruban prosecutor requested the media to withdraw excessive attention from the case.
    More and more the whole case looks like a witch hunt. People are intimidated.

    The prosecutor explained that future witnesses might be influenced by all speculations they can read in the press.

    Here in The Netherlands more and more people utter criticism on the way Peter R. de Vries has handles this and other cases.
    Before, in the "Puttense Murdercase" he claimed to be able to solve the mystery, but he never managed to do so.

    I wonder how honest he is in front of the large american audience.
    In an interview with Greta van Susteren of Fox News he claims Joran van der Sloot refused to talk to him, because he was asking him tough questions.
    This is in contrast with the fact that they both talked to each other at january 11 in the program of Pauw & Witteman. It was the program after which Joran threw a glass of wine towards Peter R. de Vries.

    It's interesting to see how Peter R. de Vries is able to guide people in their thinking.
    Statements that can cause doubt are immediately followed bu a statement that requires understanding on the part of the listener.
    It's an interesting technique.

    I'll keep you updated about developments here in The Netherlands.

    no copies

    february 9 2008

    I need to mail or bring all sorts of forms and more paperwork to the new school monday morning.

    So I worked very hard to get it all done before 17.00 hours so it could be copied.

    I was ready in time, mailed the whole lot and waited for the copies.

    They're not made.

    The person who was going to do it was forgotten he should look in the mail and was bussy eating cake.
    Yea.. cake...

    So I have to find another way to get it copied before monday morning.


    No relationship MMR vaccine and autism

    february 9 2008

    I've never believed in a link between vaccines and autism.
    Because some countries have far less vaccinations and the same amount of autistic children when the same definition of autism is used.
    And because two of my children showed signs of autism before they even got one shot.

    The whole idea of MMR shots causing autism started about 10 years ago.
    The Lancet on February 28 1998 published a paper suggesting there was a relationship.
    Not only other studies couldn't repeat the results of that study, in 2004 10 of the 13 authors retracted the study and the journal itself apologised for scaring so many people.

    But it's like a true belief, even without any proof people take something for a fact and it's almost impossible to change their opinion.

    In the new study, published in Archives of Disease in Childhood, 240 children aged between 10 and 12 participated.
    98 children with autism, and two comparison groups: 52 children with special educational needs but no autism, and 90 children who were developing normally.

    All children got the MMR vaccination, but not all the second dose.

    Blood samples were taken and used for antibody tests.

    There are three hypothesis(theories) about the possible comnnection between MMR vaccine and autism:
    - evidence of persistent measles infection
    - an abnormal immune response
    - an inflammatory bowel disorder called enterocolitis.

    They found no association at all.

    The findings are backed up by other research.
    Some are large scale studdies on about 30.000 children. Including those looking to the influence of thimerosal, used as a preservative in MMR vaccines but dropped in 1999.

    warmth pollution

    february 9 2008

    Here in The Netherlands people are very aware of the consequences of the climate change.
    Maybe it's because we're living in a country that lies for a large part under sea level.

    We're protected by dykes, and most of the time we feel very safe, but we know that the expected rising of the sealevel with have devastating effects when we won't be able to keep in control.

    Since the 70ties of last century (oh..I love to say that. LOL!) were very aware of the effects of pollution.
    I remember we sold tins with clean air, and the money went to the Brazilian rainforests.

    Now we're more serious.

    This morning the council announced a special plane will fly over our town and measure how much warmth is lost through the roofs.

    With the results the building companies and house-owners can isolate the houses better, so we'll use the generated warmth as much as possible, while in the meantime we won't pollute the world around us.

    Friday, February 8, 2008

    first time: police at night

    february 8 2008

    When we were enjoying our little evening walk last night my son said he forgot his passport.
    We need to have it with us wherever we go, so he offered to go home and get it.

    I didn't feel like walking somewhere all on my own, so we came up with all sorts of excuses.
    One of them was there's never any police that time of night.
    Not in our neighbourhood.

    In all these years of evening/nightwalks we never saw any police.

    So when I car drove into the street we didn't look up. Kept on talking.

    It was the police.

    I greeted them friendly... they drove on.

    Must have been frightened by my old face. LOL!

    recipe of real soesjes

    february 8 2008

    Here's the recipe of real soesjes.

    Children love to make them.
    These are the real ones, the ones my gram made.

    The recipe is for about 20 to 25 soesjes.
    When you need more, you have to start over again, with the recipe.
    Otherwise it'll all go wrong.

    It's a three step process.

    step 1

    You need:
    - 3 large eggs
    - 1/2 cup water
    - 1/4 cup butter
    - a pinch of salt
    - 1/2 cup all purpose white flour
    - wooden spoon
    - pan
    - cookie sheets

    Preheat oven to 425°.

    Mix water, salt and butter in a pan and bring to a boil.
    Add the flour and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball.
    Remove from the heat.
    Stir with wooden spoon and add one egg.
    Stir untill it's creamy.
    Then add the other eggs one by one, stir well before adding each next one.
    Take two cookie sheets and grease and flour them.
    make little balls of dough on the sheets.
    Place one or both sheets in the centre of the oven.
    Bake 9 minutes.
    Lower the temperature to 350°.
    bake for 7 minutes.
    The burning smell is from the sheet. Don't worry unless the balls get black.
    Now they're a bit brown and swolen.
    Keep the oven closed, turn it off and leave them in the oven to cool down.

    step 2

    250 ml whipping cream, or a fake cream product.
    You can also use something else you like. Creamcheese with little bits of bacon is favorite here too.
    4 small teaspoons of white sugar

    Whip the cream and the sugar.
    Get the balls from the oven.
    Cut them open.
    Remove part of the content, so there's place for the cream.
    Spoon the cream in. You can use a kitchenknife and push the filling in.

    Step 3

    Most of the time here step 3 consists of eating and starting anew. LOL!
    But you can try to frost some.

    You need:
    - a little bit of milk or water
    - 1 cup icing sugar

    Drip drops of milk in the icing sugar untill you can smear it.
    When it's too thin it runs from the little balls.

    Too thin means: more icing sugar.

    You can sprinkle chocolate chips on top or decorate them otherwise.

    I like them best without frosting after they have been in the fridge for about 30minutes.
    Children like them best, piled up on a plate with icing sugar over it.
    Real ladies like them best on a nice little plate, with a napkin.

    finding out the right date

    february 8 2008

    Today I suddenly remembered one of the mothers of the playmate of my girls celebrates her ... of ...these... days.

    I just couldn't remember which day.

    I have a small agenda I write the birthdays in, but I couldn't find it.

    Because it was bugging my mind so terribly I decided to ask my girl to go and play there, have a look on the calendar and remember the date.

    She was happy to go, had a good time and came back with the right date.

    What a relief!

    A Cat or cable

    february 8 2008

    Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it's just a matter of knowledge.

    My son with asperger syndrome knows a lot of computers and electronics.
    That comes in handy, because he can fix a lot.

    He's often asked by people to help them out, which sometimes results in a call for his brother to get something he needs in a shop nearby.

    One of the girls in his house is moving, and she's worrying a lot about her cat. She's afraid he won't get used to the new house.
    We had a talk about that yesterday.

    An hour later he called.
    Mom, I need a Cat 5 cable. Can you or someone else get one and bring it here?

    "Do you need a special length?", I asked. Thinking that a leash for the cat was wanted.
    "Good question, I'll call you back."

    During the next call I landed on my feet: it's a special kind of network cable. LOL!

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    results of schooltest dependent on practice?

    february 7 2008

    I saw on TV that children in another part of the country got special practice for the CITO tests all kids get in the last year of the basic school.

    Well, my girls have a schoolvacation untill monday, so they won't get any special training.

    Which made me wonder if they will have an advantage, because they're more relaxed, or of the other children will have an advantage because they practiced more.

    So I mailed the organisation asking about research done on the subject.


    But she said that the tests are about what is retained from 8 years of education.

    Hmm.. It's 6 years, because the first two years aren't supposed to be real education, and when kids get a chance to rehearse they'll remember better.

    So now I'm interested in the results.

    Are there regional differences?
    Maybe between the vacation area and the non-vacation area?

    In case there are, are the children with learning disorders set back more?

    And I'm interested whether children with autism disorder are set back more, because they have to deal with a change of routine, and that usually makes them stressed.

    And eh....

    I wonder if they'll report back to me later this year. LOL!

    new launch at NASA TV

    february 7 2008

    NASA is going through the movements before a new launch.

    The weather is closely monitored.
    A thunderstorm is developing to the west of the launch site and it's hope it'll drift off.
    There's still enough time.
    The astronauts are all ready to go.
    Suiting them up went fast and easy.

    When you want to follow all this, go to the NASA TV site and choose the option you like best.

    You can find it ::here::.

    agressive diabetes treatment causing more deaths

    february 7 2008

    Another large diabetes study has been put (partially) to a halt because of too many deaths.

    Don't worry, None of the diabetes guidelines are changed.

    The study, dubbed Accord (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes), involved 10251 diabetics with heart disease or other high-risk conditions.
    The researchers wanted to answer the questions whether below-normal levels would result in less disease and casualties.

    The result now, 18 months before the scheduled end of the study, the researchers have found 257 deaths among aggressively treated patients compared to 203 among diabetics given more standard care.

    The study showed very interesting results.

    The death rate of the study was well below what doctors usually see in Type 2 diabetics. An effects which can be expected, as people received extra care and monitoring received as part of the research.

    And even better: the intensive treated patients suffered about 10 percent fewer heart attacks overall than their counterparts.

    But when a heart attack occured it was fatal in more cases.
    And there were more unexpected sudden deaths, even without a clear heart attack, in this group.

    Ofcourse risk factors were taken into account, like hypoglycemia (too low blood sugar levels), use of the drug Avandia that is suspected of being heart-risky.
    But it showed that these factors were not the cause.

    Right now the researchers are studying all individual cases trying to find an explanation.

    Diabetes patiënts have several ways of controling their blood sugar level: selfcontrol, measuring the actual blood glucose level, and labcontrol, measuring A1C, also called HbA1c.

    The HbA1c blood test estimates how well blood sugar has been controlled during the previous three to four months.

    The HbA1c test measures the percentage of hemoglobin molecules in the red blood cells that have glucose attached. Since red blood cells last an average of four months before the body makes new blood cells, this test can indicate the average blood glucose levels over the life span of the blood cells being tested.

    Normal ranges vary slightly depending on the laboratory being used.
    HbA1c is expressed as a percentage and in general the non-diabetic range is 4 percent to 6 percent.

    The American Diabetes Association has set age appropriate targets for HbA1c, which include:

    For children under age six, the target is 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent
    For six to 12 year olds, the target is under 8 percent
    For teens age 13 to 19, the target is under 7.5 percent
    For adults, the target is under 7 percent

    So you see that the target gives a margin between the topnormal level of healthy individuals and the topnormal level of diabetics.

    The study aimed for blood sugars in the low normal area of healthy individuals.
    Th reason is that lowering blood sugar levels results in less short term and long term complications.

    I'm one of the millions of diabetespatients on this world.
    For a long time I've been able to keep my Hba1C at 5.6 which is rather low for a diabetespatiënt.
    I didn't feel well, however. I was always tired, stressed, my life was based on a strickt schedule of meals and exercise.
    And even though my doctors were very happy and I was living healthy, my cholesterol levels were climbing, my bloodpressure was climbing and I experienced problems with bodytemperature control, extreme hunger, dizziness and some other problems, some describe to too low blood sugars.
    I was lucky I had no job, otherwise I wouldn´t have been able to cope.

    When I couldn't tolerate the side effects anymore, I just pushed aside the schedule of meals and hunger and started to eat when I saw fit. Carefully monitoring the blood sugar levels.
    I tried to keep them as stabile as possible during the day.
    Eating to need instead of schedule resulted in less blood sugar peaks. And more interesting, it also resulted in a lowering of the cholesterol levels and more feelings of wellbeing. I felt more energetic.

    Ofcourse I´m just one person. But I've talked with a lot of other diabetics and many have the same experience.

    Diabetes is a signal of a body not cooping with normal food.
    I'm sure diabetes isn't the disease, it's the signal.
    Agressively treating the signal might put the underlying unknown disease under such a pressure that harm is caused to the body too.
    Just an hypothesis.

    Time will tell why these people died while taking part in this research.
    My feelings go out to the family.
    These people were brave and courageous to take part in a study.

    I'm sure they haven't died for nothing.

    dentist appointment and cancellation

    february 7 2008

    It was november when I made the appointment for the dentist for yesterday.

    It couldn't have been a better date and time.
    In the middle of the vacation, first thing in the morning, on a day the father of the children was able to keep an eye on them.

    Because of the vacation my mouth had time to heal for 4 days before the school would bother me again. (it's a surgical matter).

    Last week I got a letter... appointment cancelled.

    I was angry for a moment.

    Well, by the time it was yesterday I'd accepted the fact and opted to sleep in for an hour.

    Forget it!

    The phone rang: where was I?
    At home ofcourse.
    Didn't I know I had an appointment?
    No... I should be there NOW.

    She denied I'd received a cancellation.

    Luckily I checked the date the evening before and the letter was right in front of me.

    With HER signature!!!

    Do other people have to deal with issues like these too?

    The Sedona Method

    February 7 2008

    It's long ago.
    The seventies.

    The person who knew me best, who was like a brother to me, my best friend, explored the world of meditation. He went to India, to the masters, their ashrams. And he brought back the most wonderful items and fabrics.

    I was living with my parents, trying to break out of a life of judgement, orders, trying to hurt no one else.
    My gram asked me: when do you stop hurting yourself?

    A year later my brotherfriend was back again, and went to India again.
    For me the year had been filled with school, music, ballet and a couple of evenings with a woman who understood how to follow her dreams and who just did what she wanted. She accepted me the way I was, and made me feel..just me.
    She taught me how to drink a cup of chocolate, how to be in the moment. She taught me that there was no need to feel anything but the warmth and the fullness of the taste.
    It was the perfect lesson to let go of unwanted emotions, judgements and even self judgment.
    When she left she even taught me how to let go of the sadness.

    I took meditation classes and left. I thought I was doing something wrong, because I never could experience the emptiness others were talking about.

    Then my brotherfriend came back again. He was full of stories and experiences, full of pride about his path to enlightment.
    I was just an ordinary girl. I didn't even understand meditation.
    Instead of leaving I asked him how he felt when he was meditating. I was able to let go of following my thoughts. But when I reached further I never met emptiness, only a huge overpowering feeling.
    I was told I was completely doing the wrong thing.

    It took ages to realize I was touching the strong inner feeling of peace and happiness we all have.
    I was so used to all those judgements about my hair, my looks, the way I walked. So used to self judgment. I was never living up to the expectations of others, let alone up to my own expectations. I was just surviving.

    Until an old native told me I should trust that strong inner feeling, because that was the core of my being, my inner peace, that was me as The Great Spirit would see me.

    Often people ask me how I manage things, how I can deal with everything happening in my life, my family. How I can deal with people around me who make life even more difficult by the lack of attention and care.

    Well, sometimes I think I manage by fighting my battles right, by getting angry, by writing letters, etc etc. But I end up exhausted.
    Luckily there's one gift in my life that comes each day: the night.
    The silence in the house, that one light colourful spot where I am, in the middle of the big dark world... it makes me be silent, and ask myself how important things are.
    Sometimes I write something down, because it really needs to be done. And the rest just can go.

    I start feeling the love for my children again, and then I forget about everything.
    For a while I'm just me. Me and the world around me.

    Through the ages people have been trying to find ways to feel more whole, to find inner peace, to live life in a more loving way, to become one with nature.
    Some call it beingness presence awareness.

    The Sedona Method provides an easy method to let go of unwanted emotions.
    Like I do with my clients (I'm a psychologist) the method starts by explaining that we are not the emotions we experience, we feel them. And that's it. And because we feel them and we're not completely one with them, we can let them go.
    Like a child can let go of the loud crying when he bumps his head and there's no one around to give attention, like a child lets go of the pain after mom kisses the bruise.

    Hale Dwoskin is one of the official 24 teachers of The Secret.
    People who attend his retreats feel the power that lives inside them.
    They even experience the law of attraction: the lack of negative emotions makes place for good things to happen.

    Well, I can write a book about this, but this is a blog, so I won't.

    Others already have done so.

    Maybe my gram should ask you too: "When do you stop hurting yourself?".
    She died many years ago. So I'm the one asking you the same question.

    Life can be so much easier to live.
    That's The Secret.