Sunday, June 29, 2008

veteran's day and acknowledgement of the children of the resistance

june 29 2008

It was veterans's day yesterday.

I watched part of the parade on TV, and then started searching for more info on my dad's time in England.

I looked at the lists of names of some squadrons, spoke online with some people I thought might be able to help me and then ended up screening sites here in The Netherlands itself.

My mother is very traumatized by the war and she doesn't want to know anything about it, otherwise we could put a request in at the RAF, and things would be clear soon.
Without her, I can't do anything official, and just search and search and search.

When I was young, I loved all the stories that were told in my family.
But now I'm older I slowly start to realise how this all has affected the way I deal with injustice in this world.

Like my father, who thought he could help change the course of WW2, I feel I have to take upon me to change matters that need to be changed.

It made me curious how the past of a family which took part in the resistance has formed the way I perceive the world.

I landed on a site for children of people who have been active in WW2, either in the resistance or as part of the allied forces.

One of the stories was very interesting for me.

I think I'll get in contact with the foundation and apply for membership.

For the first time I experienced a feeling of belonging and of acknowledgement of my feelings.

Because my family was large, they could hide their activities well.
I'm not even sure if the person who is going to write a book about the resistance knows about all the courageous activities of my uncles and grandparents.

Ofcourse I don't know all the stories.
They kept the ugly ones away from birthdays, I guess.
But I know quite a lot of interesting incidents.

Maybe a new part of my life has started... a time to learn more about myself through the past.


ready for the musical

june 29 2008

Tomorrow evening the girls will play in the final year's musical.

Everything is ready.

I've taught them a lot about stage-make-up.
They knew a bit for balletperformances, but the musical requires a more natural look, which is even more work.

They're performaning on a large stage, so they shouldn't look pale, dark, brown, yellow and people should be able to see their eyes without thinking they're looking to a skull.

The teacher adviced them white lingerie.
So we tried it out last friday and I showed them why one never should wear white lingerie on stage.
Yesterday they went with some girlfriends to get for them all skin coloured lingerie.

We handed out the last invites, made a bag with sweets and some drinks for the time they have to wait, and had a good look at the batteries for the cameras.

All these preparations took away their stress, and transformed it into a bit nervous expectancy.

On tuesday they'll have lunch at school and then say their goodbyes and leave.

We already have the adresses of the teachers we like.

I thought in the past that I would feel melancholy, but I only feel that when I think how they arrived there for their first schoolday.
Little girls... sweet little twingirls.

Now they're little ladies, who have their own opinion and have a bright look towards the future.

I feel so happy for them.

unconscious mutterings 283

june 29 2008

  1. Loneliness :: so what?

  2. Traffic :: on internet or the road

  3. Chaos :: in many minds and politics

  4. Burp :: oops

  5. 500 :: 1000-1500-...

  6. Movie :: cinema

  7. Coma :: sometimes people can hear even then.

  8. Bark :: willowbark kills germs

  9. Stare :: unpolite

  10. Angelina :: Jolie

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sleeping, thinking, the daily stuff

june 29 2008

I guess I'm far too bussy, because I slept very bad, woke up to wave one of the girls goodbye, and then sat on the couch for a cup of coffee and fell asleep again.

When I woke up again, I was in the right angle to spot a stain on the curtains. Ugh!
So I had to move furniture around to get enough place to use the kitchenstairs to remove the curtains, which meant cleaning, etc etc.
Before I knew it was far past lunchtime and I suddenly felt trembling and faint... that rotten diabetes took over the steeringwheel.

Well, the girls had a marvellous time at a birthdayparty, and 2 of the boys are to a party now.

So I had plenty of time to watch the weatherforecast for this week.
Oh my dear!
Tropical temperatures!
I'd better add colour to my hair instead of curls. LOL!

My graduating son came home with a nice set of clothes.
We don't have ceremonies with gowns and funny hats.
He;s going to wear black shoes, black trousers, painly white skirt and a wonderful, really beautiful tie.
To keep the tradition they bought it at a shop my dad always bought his ties.
So that's nice.

Yesterday I made a letter for his school. The same school my autistic son went to.
I think I did reasonably well keeping it short with 5 pages... it should have been a complete book. Grrrrr.

Today I looked for typingerrors. Those who know me know I'm the typo-queen.

When I was finished, I started to consider how wrong those people there might take it all.

So I started to doubt whether I should send it or not.
Or leave it, as a matter of fact.
I want to leave it at the mailbox of the principal when we leave after the graduation ceremony.

I wonder if they'll be able to learn something from it..
I really do.

In the letter I give some examples of what we experienced.
All embedded in the question how on earth they think they can help a school full of problemchildren and children in need when they couldn't even give my autistic son some understanding.

I will be soooooo happy when we wave that school goodbye!!!!!!!!!!!!
It should all become a memory and be tucked far away.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

saturday special

june 28 2008

~Questions, Silly Questions~

1. Who is the last person you talked to?

My third son.
He was going to town with some friends to buy a present for the host of a party this evening.
And he asked me to make a list with what I needed, and add pet supplies, because his friends mom need food for the cat and dog and wants them to bring it too.

2. What is your weather like right now?

Right now?
It's yucky humid,
cloudy and hot.

3. Where will you be this weekend?

At home.
Just at home.

Wish I would be in town, spending a lot of money. LOL!

4. What's for dinner tonight?

No idea.
Depends on what's brought in with the groceries and depends on the left overs.

So I guess it'll be:
tomato soup
hopefully some fish

and the kids an icecream.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

career mindedness and more in friday's feast 195

june 27 2008


What is the weather like today where you live?

The night was lukewarm and humid,
the morning clouded, but with a pleasant temperature,
the afternoon sunny and very hot,
the evening rainy and
now it's humid and a bit fresh.


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you?

I wanted to be a mom... career-minded: 100%
I wanted to be a ballet dancer... 100%
I wanted to be a traveller.... noop

The career that entered my life was that of a psychologist.
I wanted to work in a hospital and I managed to get a place when I studied and some years after that.

In those years only 10 psychologists worked in hospitals.
All men.
I didn't mind the men's culture, as I was already used to it because of my work during my studies (I studied and worked at the same time).
But they were very protective about their work.

I was asked to work at a neonatology unit, but I considered myself too young.
Stupid, I know that now.

After that I devoted my time and energy to my family, and worked as a volunteer psychologist with parents of deceased babies during the evenings/nights and in the weekends.
I've done this for over 20 years.

Because autism was a subject that interested me tremendously, I've always studied and kept myself updated.
Nature gave me 4 boys with autism spectrum disorder, so I don't have only theoretical knowledge, but I've experienced the ins and outs of autism in many ways.

Right now I'm trying to get acknowledgement for my experiences and knowledge.
I don't have the money nor the time to get registered.
(A register was installed after I finalized my studies. It costs a lot, and the requirements don't lead to much more knowledge but to larger wallets of others who already earn enough.)
Right now I advice parents about upbringing, school and other areas of life, and I'm thinking about starting my own advice centre as soon as three of my boys have found their paths in life and my autistic son accepts other people to care for him.

I'm not sure how much career-minded I am, because often I dream about an easy life somewhere in the mountains or near the sea.


What type of window coverings do you have in your home? Blinds, curtains, shutters, etc.?

Curtains everywhere, but the livingroom also has vertical blinds to protect us from the sun.

Main Course

Name something that instantly cheers you up.

When the girls are around, when people really want my advice, when a friend shows up.


How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning?

Only once.
And it isn't a snooze, but music.

I fall asleep with the radio on, and I wake up with the radio on.
In between it's off.


Don't complain that kids kill each other when you see owning a gun as a legal right.

june 27 2008

Don't complain that kids kill each other when you see owning a gun as a legal right.

OK OK, there's no need to hit me with a stick on my head (simply because we here won't even consider allowing people to won a gun, unless it's for their profession or some other very specified uses).
I know that the gun is meant for self-defense in one's own home, which might sound very acceptable, but there's far more to it when children are concerned.

We all know that owning a gun comes with responsibilities, like putting it behind locked doors, keeping the bullets at another place etc.
But I'm not talking about that.

I'm thinking about the whole way of thinking behind this all.

The point of focus is not on making your home a place where no-one can enter without your permission, but on the idea that other people force themselves in your house and you want to stop them with a gun.

Don't think I'm naieve. I know there are people who want to rob others, rape others, kill others.
A few years ago two of them tried to enter our house by throwing a huge tile through the kitchendoor.
They didn't come any further, because we had a camera beside our bed and just clicked the flashlight. They thought they were photographed and ran away.

I think that when burglars expect a gun they bring one themselves.

Don't think I'm afraid of guns.
I learned how to use them ages ago.
They're just instruments.

I stayed alone at a farm with some children and their father wanted me to be able to defend myself and the children.
Nice thought.
But I convinced him that a good alarm system was far better protection.

The safety the children and I experienced when we had a gun was far less than when we had a good alarmsystem.

It all had to do with our view on the situation.

With a gun, we were feeling alert. We reckoned with the possibility someone would enter the farm and wanted to harm us.
Keeping the gun behind locked doors was ridiculous.
Ever heard a rapist to stop his action because the woman asks him to give her a couple of minutes to get the gun?

With the alarm system we felt secure and relaxed.
Ofcourse someone might try to enter, but he would meet a problem, and we would be warned in time.
We're living in the 21st century, so why not use modern technology?

I'm living in a society where harming another human being, even if he's a criminal, isn't the normal way of behaviour.
That's why our soldiers are no heroes.

We don't want our children to think that violence is an acceptable part of life.

We don't think that having a gun creates safety.
We don't think that men having guns are more male.

When guns are available in society, they're available to those who use them in the wrong way.
It will lead to more violence, and it will lead to more casualties and deaths, because people can use them planned and on impulse.

Kids can steal them and use them at will.

I don't think I have to write here about the schoolshootings.


Another day is over

june 26 2008

Another day is over.

I went with my second son to psychiatry to get the final diagnosis.
Like with my oldest we were confronted with an appointment and the psychiatrist didn't show up.

The psychologist gave us some of her findings and didn't know if she was allowed to give the rest of her findings.

We heard nothing new.

I was glad that I'd been early.
The waitingroom is very pretty and comfortable.
I had coffee and relaxed a bit while reading about Orlando vacations and the latest fashion untill my son arrived.
So the afternoon was not completely spoiled.

Unlike the last time we were there travelling back was nice.
Lots of sunshine, a light breeze, and no overcrowded busses.

When I came home I immediately mailed the people who were waiting for the diagnosis, and mailed the psychiatrist to send his conclusions as soon as possible, because we need it all on paper to subscribe my son for a special school and apply for a grant.

He has finally accepted the fact that he's got PDD-NOS (the unofficial diagnosis) and that living on his own might be an option, but in a protected environment.
He doesn't need a trainingshouse like the oldest, but he needs support and supervision.

We just need the official diagnosis to set it all in motion.

Tomorrow morning I have to go to the dentist to start the whole toodoo to get another crown.
I hope the molar won't break while he's bussy with it, but I won't be surprised when it does.
The whole procedure has already been paid for last december, so we don't have to deal with the financial bit, unless the molar breaks.

I feel I'm just roling from one special event into another.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Closing the past

june 26 2008

It's the end of the schoolyear and I'm bussy to give my attention to unfinished businesses.

Today I focussed on the basic school.

Almost all my children went to that school.
It's a local school, and for a while it was the best school.

We had to leave our children there, because the schools had an agreement not to take children from other schools in the area.

The way they treated my autistic son was sad, and lacked the wish to get the knowledge and skills to deal with him.
That they lack the skills even now, after more than 4 years, is a disgrace.
All sorts of courses and education are offered now, because so many children live with an autism spectrum disorder.
When a school doesn't grow with the expanding knowledge in the field it looses contact with society.

The last year many parents left the area, because a completely new part of town is opened.
The new parents are not choosing for this school, so empty places aren't filled anymore.

Another way it's reflected that the school isn't as good anymore is the continuous flow of new and leaving teachers.
People who filled in when a teacher was ill, didn't return, because they experienced a lack of teamspirit and support.

Many of them complained to me, and all I could do was motivate them to give the school feedback on the subject.

And now I'm in the position to be able to give feedback without it lashing back on my children.

It feels like looking back on a long history, and with 5 children there it has been a long history.

I expected to feel grateful towards the school, but I'm not.

They told my son with ADHD and dyslexia he was lazy and he didn't have dyslexia.
They told us that our dyslectic daughter wasn't dyslectic, but just slow.
They involved childcare when a teacher couldn't deal with the fact that we said that our daughter wanted to be in another group with another teacher. The teacher accused us of abusing our daughter and neglecting her. Just because she's skinny and very pale.
(Luckily our doctor was able to tell childcare we're loving parents and our girl is just like her mother when she was young. Very healthy, but with a superfast matabolism.)

We've never had an apology and I don't expect one.
But I need to bring these matters under the attention of those involved, so they'll get feedback on their behaviour and things like these will never ever happen with other parents and children.

I'm happy we can wave the school goodbye forever.
Ofcourse there are teachers who deserve nothing else than huge compliments.
We'll cherrish those memories and we'll bring them flowers the first day of the vacation. At their homes.

These are the people we'll see in the shoppingcentre, because their faces have become special to us.

The others will disappear in the past.

And we all need to close this time of life in a good way, so we don't drag the problems with us to the future.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

to gap or not to gap

june 25 2008

Our visit to the orthodontist was surprising.

Ofcourse we knew that she lacked permanent molars at 3 places and teeth at 2.
But it turned out that she lacked one at even another place, and no one noticed before.

That she has a little sharp tooth beside her two large front teeth we've seen.
We thought it looks cute, and assumed it was a babytooth.

It isn't according to the orthodontist.
Well, it's been there since she got her first teeth and never fell out, but hej, why discuss this to someone who wants to know best?

I expected more important matters, and I was right.

He wants to make a gap between the teeth at the other side and place an implanted tooth beside the front ones.
"Because symmetry is best".

Not for chewing, not for anything else than "the looks".

My daughter and I looked at each other exchanging some thoughts, and so I told him that when "the looks" never raised a question before, it also wouldn't raise a question later.

Luckily we have 6 months to a year to decide, because she needs a brace below, before she needs a brace there.

What would you do?

Creating a web site

june 25 2008

Today I had a meeting with one of the schools of the children. Subject: their site.
The site lacks certain features, like a list of lessons that are canceled, and it also looks very shabby.

The webmaster is one of the teachers, who learned the absolute basics of html, and copies the rest from other sites.
No wonder pages won't load.

At the very beginning the principal stated that he valued the work of the webmaster very much, considering the small amount of money that was available.
He mentioned a figure that put us right in the middle of a very interesting discussion.

For that amount of money they can hire a professional web site designer to create a professional site!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

She's got her diploma!!

june 24 2008

Yesterday she did it!

She swam for her diploma and did very well.

Just 2 months ago whe stood trembling at the pool, afraid to jump in.
People couldn't understand that she was afraid and that made matters worse.

Parents weren't allowed to have a look, but when her twinsister swam for her diploma I saw something that made me shiver.

The teacher offered her the hook (point up, ugh!), and she was more busy trying to feel safe with the hook, than learning to trust herself.

I've been a swimmingteacher myself, a long, long time ago. And I know people have different ways to teach children now.
But the principles are the same: teach a child to trust itself, to stay calm in the water, and to thhink and assess risk.

So when this little lady came home, I praised her straight into confidentiality heaven.

In the past she wasn't able to learn to swim.
She was one of the few who got lessons at school and didn't get a diploma.
I managed to convince the council that when schools have parties at the pool, the council is responsible to provide enough lessons for all children, not only the ones who learn fast.
So the girls get a second chance.

And they took it.

After I witnessed the non-inspiring lesson, I told her everything about upwards pressure of water, the principles of floating in the water, the influence of stress and breathing on muscle performance, and how she was endangering herself with that terrible hook.

The next lesson she almost jumped in herself, the lesson after that she jumped in and experienced the joy of feeling free in the sky.

Knowing how to prevent yourself from drowning gave her the security she needed to swim everywhere in the pool.

So she did great swimming yesterday.

She showed me the first movements to learn to dive.
My stomach ached when she it the water, like a crashing plane.

Just a few words, and she tumbled in far better,
and another few, and now she can dive too.

I'm sorry for the teacher that I managed to teach her this so quickly.
She stood listening in a corner, I only saw her when she came out.
I hope she can show more enthousiasm when she gets new pupils next year.

Today at school, my girl went to all the teachers, and got stickers and congratulations.

She's the oldest one at school ever, to get her swimmdiploma,
but she sure has enjoyed her success!


Fingerprint in the universe

june 24 2008

Yesterday was one of those days other families will never experience.

I'm glad for them.

Before coffeetime my stresshormones were already as high as could be.

Last week it was agreed with the father of the children that he would change the date of the dentist appointment.

The guy is a scientist, so one would expect him to understand the meaning of the words.

He just had the secretary take one of the girls from the list.
There was no other way not to disappoint the very attractive young lady, because our girl had to take her swimmingexam.

Left: a couple of boys and dad himself.

Instead of asking her to look in the agenda, I suppose he smiled grateful, and got another smile.

So we had a disappointed girl expecting most of her familymembers to sit at the dentist instead of watching her swim.

If it weren't that the handsome secretary found a slot for dad.
The oldest had made his own appointment a while ago, and the one with PDD-NOS just had his usual fit of fear.
I guess he'll die without teeth, unless he finds a very nice therapist who's able to
help him overcome his fobia.

Ofcourse dad thought that yelling and just telling him to go would help.
Some people never change.
I felt like looking at a movie I've seen so often that I know all the words and gestures by heart.

So finally dad called the dentist to cancell the appointment, one of the other boys went and came home with polished teeth, which his girlfriend will value, and it was quiet in the house again.

I don't expect we caused the rumbling in the sky.
But when all our moves in this world will leave a lasting impression in the universe, this morning left a nice and clear fingerfrint.


Talking or listening, God and first love

june 23 2008

Manic Monday #122

Are you a talker or a listener? Is it ever possible to really be both?

Oh yes, it's possible.

As a psychologist I have to be able to listen well, to hear the untold, but I also have to be able to talk well, to convey my message, to ask my questions.

Outside my profession I can be both a talker and listener too.
Not always at the same time.

There are social events, like some birthdays, where I hardly say a word. These are the times that a sweet smile does wonders. Helping someone who can't reach for a cup of coffee.
I used to be ashy, and at those moments I either feel at ease or sink back in the past feelings.
As long as other people don't mind I don't.

But I can also be the person who gets a whole party going.
Sometimes people even invite me for that.
When I feel OK, I'm able to radiate that and it influneces people in a good way, I've been told.

Do you think God has a sense of humor?

He's almighty, it's said. But the way people suffer in this world makes me doubt a god like a picture of a human being excists.

I don't think that God can be described as a human being.
So humor isn't a characteristic.

I don't want to offend people reading this, but I think that people create their own god in their minds and it's often like a person.
That's why they can say that countries are blessed, or wars.

I don't believe that.

What I do believe is that there's a power that is much larger than we can understand.
The power that has set this universe in motion.

The way I reach out is in human words, in a human frame of mind, with human feelings.
It's like stretching my hand out in the evening starlit sky.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever experienced it?

Yes, I do believe in love at first sight and I've experienced it.
More than once.

The times following those moments were among the most beautiful of my life.
Sadly life itself was stronger than the loves.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

very bad weather

june 23 2008

We were lucky yesterday.

While the clouds were gathering above our head, with lots of noise, I was eating berries in the garden with one of the girls.

Nothing special.
Just one of those moments that disappear somewhere far away in memory and probably would never have come up again.

The berries were nice, far too early in the year.
I was amazed they were so moist, as everything is so dry.

We saw lightning above our head, and when a few drops of rain came down, we just enjoyed them.

A few hours later we heard that a town not so far away had the terrible weather that was enclosed in those clouds.
Hailstones of 4 cm. Going through windows like golfballs, covering the streets with a thick layer of 6 cm of wintery stuff.

Trees were broken by lightning and the enormous wind.
A house set on fire.

We've been so lucky!!!



june 23 2008

Theme for Scrumptious Sunday

~ Dairy ~

The americans are celebrating National Dairy Month.

Here, in The Netherlands, we don't.

We've all grown up here with dairy being a part of our daily diet.
In a country wellknown for its cows and cheese, dairy products are around us almost all day.

Butter on our bread, cheese, milk in the coffee, dessert.
We're not even aware all the time that dairy is so important.

Partly because diary has become a product to play with.

At university and the years after when it was my turn to cook, people begged for my fluffy yoghurt.
None knew the recipe.

In fact it was the result of a year with loads and loads of fruit, so inexpensive that I had to buy it and make it into jams, jellies and a lot of other products.

They jams that came out too thin, I simply mixed it with joghurt.
My aim was to put so much airbubbles in the mixture that it tasted soft and light, but nevertheless gave a good healthy dessert.

We called it fluffy yoghurt.

Well, last year someone invented it here... or reinvented it, or just copied my recipe, and now it's on the market in plastic, with all sorts of fancy names and even more fancy prices.

And that's one of my problems with dairy nowadays.

Kids don't even know how fresh milk tastes.
Or how they should deal with milk that comes directly from the cow.

When I was young we lived near a farm, where I would get fresh eggs and fresh milk.
When my mother didn't want to cook and take the cream off, she bought milk at the door from the milkman.
We had a special can in the house, where he poured the milk in.

The only thin he had done with the milk was let it stay for a while and take the fat off.
It was to me to cook the milk, let the cream rise and take it off.

The cream was great on coffee and chocolate, and it tasted full and wealthy.

Soon after a law stated that milk that was sold at the door should have been cooked, later it should be bottled, etc etc.

The milkman disappeared, and we bought the heavy bottles at the shop.
A while ago I took my children to the one and only shop that is left in town where they sell bottles milk.
They were amazed.
Yes, getting the groceries was a real job those days.

During the years dairy changed from a healthy product to a health hazard.
Not only because it contained too many dioxines in some areas, but also the fat in the milk wasn't considered healthy anymore.

So the fat went out, the sales went down, and the fruit and cereals went in again.
And ofcourse all those healthy bacteria that enjoy streaming through our bodies.

Diary has changed from a priducts that was alike for the poor and wealthy into a product that should fit the wallet.

Some products never reach our table, simply because they're too expensive or they're too far away from the normal.

How I long for some old fashioned cream on my coffee again!

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

a dream about a friend

june 22 2008

I was in my house or appartment. Sleeping.
The doorbell kept on ringing, but I could hardly get awake, let alone step out of my bed and open the door.
I was wearing a nightgown, so i didn't bother much to try and open the door.
But I took the effort to peek down from the stairs and see who was at the door.

It was my youthfriend/pseudobrother, looking nice and relaxed, and young.
He was writing a letter on a paper on his leg, I think, and was about ready to put it in the box.

I started to run down to open the door, but halfway the stairs I woke up.


My friend was a seeker.

He was always able to put himself first, which ofcourse has learned me to put yself second without loosing the ability to put myself right in front of the crowd and enjoy it.

We didn't see each other for 15 years. Then we met again.

Our relationship was about the same.
Untill I started to criticise him about his attitude towards the education and wellbeing of his son.

He threw me out of his life.
I put up a verbal fight, but he just threw me out.

Later we met again at the schoolreunion.
I was happy to see him, and expected him to leave things in the past and see how we would get along again.

He just told me to back off and stay away from him.

That he wasn't able after all those years to see things in perspective really hurt me.
I guess I've been the only woman in his life standing up for his son, otherwise he would have thanked me.

In he dream he appeared how he looked when he was young, but but a bit less slim.
His hair was as shiny blonde as never before.
He radiated the feelings he spread when he was happy and relaxed.

Like the better part of him showed itself to me.

The dream is both good and sad.
It was a nice surprise to see him appear again,
but I now miss him even more.


unconscious mutterings 282

june 22 2008

  1. Goodbye :: Auf Wiedersehen

  2. Cage :: Nicolas

  3. Buddy :: mate

  4. Magic words :: spell

  5. Library :: books and books and books

  6. Fall in love :: oh yea!

  7. Tense :: stressed

  8. Work! :: I wish me a day without

  9. Empty :: bottle

  10. Heat wave :: please skip me this year!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

want to invade my country?

june 21 2008

When you want to invade my country, now is the best time.

More than 100.000 people are in Basel, Switzerland, to watch, either in the stadium or at one of the large screens, the footballmatch between The Netherlands and Russia, coached by a Dutchman.

The rest of the inhabitants here are watching the match on TV.
The streets are so silent that you can hear a mouse walk around.

It's 1-1 now.

The tension hangs between the houses.

Well, when you want to invade The Netherlands now, you won't meet much resistance.


When men are ill

june 21 2008

Told you some of the children were ill.

Well, yesterday I called the doc for one of them, which resulted in a box full of anti-biotics.

I pity my son, because he's got a nasty throat infection, but I also have some strong feelings about the way he acts.

Oh, my dear.
He would certainly do well in an audition for the role of a terminally ill hospital patient.
I nearly asked for a life insurance quote, to be on the safe site. LOL!

All my life I've heard from women that men are the worst patients.
But I've never ever had a good explanation why they are so very much more ill from the same illness than women.

I think I'll need some good advice to change this behaviour.


gas and prices

june 21 2008

Summer Movies and Oil

1. The other day I purchased gas for $3.96, which was less than the $4.37 my local station charges per gallon. What is the current gas price in your area for regular?

Gas. You mean for cooking? Or gasoline for the car?

We don't have a car, so I don't know whow much it costs to get and keep it moving.
Cookinggas isn't very expensive. In the north of the country we have our own gasreserve.

2. Will your vacation plans be altered by the price of gas?

We always stay at home, because autism has decided that for us.

3. Is there any movie this summer that you're looking forward to seeing?

No. The cinema is too expensive, and I can hardly leave the house for any relaxation.
I'll just wait for what's on TV. The BBC ususally has some wonderful movies.

4. Gas prices aside, what is your favorite vacation destination?

It's not too far away, I speak the language, I play the bagpipes, and I would love to go there and see the little piece of land I've inherited.

5. Will you watch more film on DVD than in theaters this summer?

Well, I guess I've answered that one already.

6. Will you fly anywhere this summer?

Yea...up the closet, as a saying states, picturing someone really mad.
I wish I could fly somewhere.

7. Guess: How high will a gallon of gas peak at?

It depends on so many influences, I just don't dare to give a serious estimate.

8. Will gas prices effect who you vote for in this fall's election?

I'm not american, bit if I was it wouldn't.
I'm all for Obama, because he's good for international relationships, and because most of the americans here have voted for him.

9. How much will the price of home heating oil effect you?

We don't use oil to heat our homes here.
It's electricity and gas.

The whole world economy will influence matters here negatively.
We already see that support to the handicapped will be diminished.
That means I don't dare to ask for more support for my autistic son and the others, because I'm afraid we'll be halfway and have to stop or even have to pay back.

The problem is not so much that gasprices cause economical unbalance, but that people in the USA with a bad credit history or who were a bad risk were able to loan money for cars and houses. Living on credit has become a way to lead a live, and matters were bound to implode one day or another.

I've grown up with the lesson that one never should get in debt to buy things.
So we don't have a car, and we don't spend money we don't have.
It means our lives are rather sober, but so be it.

We don't live on air and pretend.
What we have is ours and we try to recycle as much as possible, to be friendly for the earth.

When we can't heat our home well enough in the winter, we just put on our cardigans and thick socks.

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perfect for me is

june 21 2008

~It's Perfect ~

A perfect day is
a day without stress. With everyone in a perfect mood and I'm not too tired.
A superperfect day is a day that I can do something for myself without any disturbance. A day that I forget the time, that I even forget myself.
A day of just being.

A perfect dinner is
One with everyone present and no hazzle.
A superpefect dinner is me with a friend at a not too expensive restaurant, wearing the perfect outfit for the moment and enjoying myself to bits.

A perfect evening is
No washing up, coffee served, casualty on TV, and silence. After that everyone going to bed without any problems at all.
A superperfect evening is walking at the beach with someone I love and who loves me.

A perfect vacation is
No problems with the boys, weather just right and relaxation all days.
A superperfect vacation is going away on a trip
...and never come back ... eh...
and come back and find everything at home perfect or just the way I left it.

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CRISS ANGEL Believe. No show, but an experience of mystery and magic

june 21 2008

You can read this whole post. Feel welcome to.

But my friends know enough when I say just 5 words: Cirque Du Soleil and new show.
Their reaction consists of just 3 words: where, when, tickets?

That's because Cirque Du Soleil stands for the highest artistic quality inspired by the most creative and elegant impulses here on earth.

As a former ballet dancer I have those genes that start to fibrate when they hear certain music. I just have to move.

But when I hear and see Cirque Du Soleil my heart and soul just want to take part.
They feel like they're going to burst.

Those who knew me as a child think it's only logical that happens.
I was glued to the screen when Harry Houdini (Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss) and other illusionist performed. You know, those people who devoted their lives to create magical tricks that were perfect in the eyes of the public.

To me most of them only raised an interest in how they did it.
Houdini was the only one who went beyond that and gave me the feeling real magic was involved. He knew how to deal with the feelings of the public.
That he devoted a large part of his life unmasking charlatans who sold people stories of being able to talk with the dead added to my respect.

It's that same Houdini who inspired the name of the new show.
He gave his wife a keyword, so whe would know when one of those psychics was really able to relay his messages after his dead: Believe.

Criss Angel has lifted the old magic of then into the mystery of today.

The magic in CRISS ANGEL Believe deserves a whole new name, because it's not about the artist, not about the magic, but about the experience each individual visitor of the show undergoes.

The perfectionism and the sublime creativity of the choreographers and other directors of Cirque Du Soleil have once again evolved into a top-performance surrounding Criss Angels illusions.
You can exprience it all at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, and after that during the tour of the show all over the world.

To get a taste there's a lot online. You can buy an item at the online shop (my boys are begging for caps), become a member of the Cirque Club, so you'll get inside information, can take part in the forum and enjoy a lot of other specials, you can download wallpapers and you could take part in a contest to win 2 tickets to CRISS ANGEL Believe and to meet him in person. (Text 'Believe' to 22122 to win 2 tickets to 'CRISS ANGEL Believe'). The contest is closed now, but I wouldn't be surprised when another contest starts soon. So join me with a free or paid membership of Cirque.

I think it's clear I'm looking forward to CRISS ANGEL Believe touring the world and spreading it's mysterious magic everywhere.

And you?

Sponsored by CRISS ANGEL Believe

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday's Feast #194

june 20 2008


If you could live on another continent for 1 year, which one would you choose?

I think it would be Africa.
It's one of my oldest and strongest dreams.

Without knowing why, I've always felt a very close bond with Mali.
Movies from around the Mopti area made me feel at home.
So I want to know how I feel when I'm there.


Which browser do you use to surf the Internet?

Firefox didn't open all sites for me.


On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you know about the history of your country?

Well, I couldn't scale myself well when I didn't know it all or had no sense about it.

I know the history of my country rather well, and I'll think I'll score a 7 or 8 on a test.
When they don't want to have exact dates it'll be certainly an 8.

At school I didn't care much for the subject, but later I changed my mind.
I wanted to know who the people were we sang about, how different our history is from that of other countries, how interrelated some countries are, etc etc.
And ofcourse WW2 grasped my attention, as my family was in the middle of it.

Modern history is for the main part a kind of exhibition of how stupid people are.
They refuse to learn from the past.
They behave as tribal as those primitive people they despise, by declaring war to countries that won't do exactly what the feudal lord wants.

History and especially modern history makes me feel an individual.
Sometimes even makes me feel stand apart from the world, because I see that most of it is about people feeling better than others and imposing their view on others.

It's time we people start making a history of peace and respect we can feel proud about.

Main Course

Finish this sentence: Love is…

Aha... that makes me remember those puppets in the paper.

Love is...mailing each other "I love you" at the same time.


Have you ever been in or near a tornado?

Not a real tornado. No.

But last winter we had storms here with the same windspeed as tornados... does that count?
Don't think so....


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just a few blows and I've got my smallpipes.

june 19 2008

The moment is almost there...

After a long time of saving I only need a little bit more to order my smallpipes!!

Smallpipes are a kind of bapipes.

They don't make as much noise though, and don't need as much air.

Smallpipes enable me to play when I can't play the highlandpipes because of my asthma.

People have asked me to tell a bit more about the differences.

Well, here we go.

You all know the highland bagpipes.

The sticks are:
a blowpipe
a chanter (for the hands to make the notes)
a long stick, that's the bass drone,
and the others are drones too.

A bagpipe makes sound because the air goes through reeds.
There's a reed in the chanter (chanterrreed)
and in each drone (dronereeds).

And this is a set of smallpipes.

The system is the same.
A blowpipe, to blow the air in the bag,
a chanter, with the chanterreed, to play the tune on,

and drones.

All drones however are smaller than the long ones of the highland bagpipe.

Instead of each drone coming directly out of the bag, the drones are brought together in one system which needs just one hole in the bag.

The dronereeds are in the system and the drones are put over them.

Most players don't put the drones over their shoulder.
Because they're small they're very light and can hang in front of the player.
(Which is a delight for the ears.)

Smallpipes can be mouthblown or blown with bellows.

I'm very excited, because I would love to be able to play a couple of tunes when the girls leave school, and maybe even at the graduation ceremony of my third son.
With only the highlandpipes I'm never completely sure I can play well enough, as the asthma can pose a problem anytime.
With smallpipes I'll be able to play anytime.

Ooohhh... just a little bit more to save.......


when a baby dies

june 19 2008

One of the footballers of our national team was called away yesterday.
His wife was pregnant and rumours were that he was called away because of that.

Today we heard his baby was born 4 months early and died.

It's so sad.

A few hours later we heard he will be playing against Russia next saturday.

The show must go on.

Ofcourse life goes on.
But for those parents life has come to a stand still.

Working for over 20 years with parents like them, has learned me a lot.
One of the things is that many fathers are very strong to support their women, and to proof to society that they are a force to reckon with.
It's like they won't allow themselves to experience the grief, and the demands of society provides perfect excuses.

The strongest fathers were the most at risk to develop problems about 18 months after the event.

At that time the people around them have forgotten that a child died, and the vague physical complaints or terrible behaviour, or psycho-social problems are not linked to the event anymore.

But grief always finds a way to express itself.


one ill...and counting...

june 19 2008

One of the boys had such a bad mood yesterday evening that I asked him: "Are you ill?"
He didn't even bother to answer.

Well, I don't know if it was divine intervention, but this morning he woke up with a very soar throat.

He was allowed to stay in bed and hang around, as he's ready at school and waiting for the graduation ceremony.
So he slept a couple of hours and then complained a lot. As expected. (LOL!)

At lunchtime one of the girls came home and told me she didn't feel well.
She ate one sandwich and disappeared to bed without saying a word.

So the house is changing slowly into a temporary hospital.

I wonder who's going to be next.

a beautiful mail

june 19 2008

My relationship with the mailman is kind of paradoxical.
I just love mail, especially when he delivers it to me with a smile.
Sometimes the mail he brings is crap.

Like today.

Remember the schooladvisor trying to help us finding a school for my autistic son?

Turned out he should have presented us with lots of info before he started assisting us. He even should have asked us to sign for permission to talk about our son.

His last efforts went way beyond his duty.
He was so very committed to help us out that he not only crossed the border of privacy, he also brought us in a terrible position.

He referred us to an organisation that is not fit for our son.
He did so the first day he came to us.
So I told him why we rejected his suggestion.

Well, completely at the end he and the council representative agreed that organisation was THE solution for our son.
Which means that refusing to go there might mean me being send to court, because I refused to send my son there.

Last week I mailed the organisation, asking some spicy questions, and we asked a time for a meeting.

The woman mailed us back the information I expected.
No experience with autistic children, just helping with homework, etc.
Well, a homework help centre is not what we need. We need a school!

So I mailed her back, explaining some things, and cancelled the appointment.

Today I got a beautiful mail back that the organisation can't be of help for us at all.
That mail was so well written that I can use it to present at court to make clear I've done all I could and went through all the available options.

Now we need to convince that council representative that going to court is just a waste of time and money.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No wasps in my house

june 18 2008

The last tip was a hit. (what works against spiders), and I got some questions about other insects.

So I want to talk with you about wasps.

I don't like them. Do you?

Since we made a kind of extra ceiling outside above the backdoor, stretching to the shed, we've had problems with wasps being curious.
That is, untill my gram whispered from the other realm to me that I should use my memory.

She never had wasps in her house.
They loved to fly to the balconies of the houses, and went straight in. But not at my grandmothers house. Oh no!
She could have sugar and jam on the table and no wasps stealing it, so we kids had it all.

She used to heat water in a bowl and throw some cloves in it.
Next morning she sprayed it around at the balcony.
That was it.

So I made me a bowl of cloves and water, sprayed it around the next day and... no wasps.

It works for me!

Am I glad that the wasps here don't like the smell of cloves!!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Which blog posts are best?

june 17 2008

When writing the former post, about Nello, I suddenly remembered someone called me "passionate". Recently.

It was about blogging, and about which posts are best.

Yea... I can imagine I was passionate in my answer.

Because I don't think there's anyone in this world who can give such a definition that it can be used to select the best posts from the lesser ones.

When using a rating system you're bound to find clusters of well rated posts which are all different.

There are people valuing posts that are written right from the heart. They don't care about language mistakes, don't care about sentences that are not following the rules of grammar, who don't care about any other value.
As long as they are able to feel the emotions of the writer, they value these post as the best.
Like people who see a painting and like it, because it touches their soul and moved their emotions and imagination.

Others value posts because they're a kind of understandable literature.
The carefully, well knitted posts of adjectives and nouns that can be diagnosed with a grammarbook like an infectuous disease that should be reported to the proper authorities. Even when they don't understand the meaning, they can see the symptoms.
They assume the red spots are the symptoms of an intellectual mind, and reading the text means the radiation of a great mind enlightens theirs.

I've had so many wonderful discussions about this theme with my friend Max, who is as passionate as I am, and who took the school of journalism by storm.
His opening and finishing sentences used to follow the laws of well written pieces of information, untill his emotions would take over and he would spread the distance between these sentences with lines of ordered and unordered respect or disrespect, depending upon the subject.
His readers would either run away and hide untill the outburst would be over, or stand in the sideline shouting and cheering, because he was able to transform their energy into a newspaper article.

Right now, a whole new kind of "well written post" is emerging.
The blog-ad, the swiftly written post with the link in the middle, inviting people to click and land on an advertisement page.
Count the clicks and they hightest clicked post is best.

Forget it.
Because the advertiser wants to sell his product.
I still think that the best post is remembered by a woman when she's talking with her friends, and tells them that she's going to try something that is mentioned.
Her friends will try it too, and the sales will go up.

Are these the best posts?
No ofcourse not.

Nor are the copies, the quotes, the stolen images neglecting all copyrightlaws.

But it depends on the readers of that blog.

Maybe I'm too much of a musician, too much of a mother and too much of a human being.
I don't think the best posts are the hightest rated.

The best posts are those that never reach the open part of the blog.
They're the posts that are never finished.
The posts that are filled with so many emotions that the screen almost explodes, the posts that are way beyond the characteristics of words.

Nearest best are the posts that stay with you, like the echoing sound of passionate music.
The posts that trigger that hidden feeling of longing, may it be for more, or may it be for the past.

It's the rythm of life, reflected in a moment on a blog passed by.


Nello Weiss Mirando

june 17 2008

The Mirando (Weiss) Family is wellknown for it's passionate gypsy music.

A long time ago, around 1900, Tata Mirando Sr. (Josef Weiss Mirando) started his orchestra.
He was a man of discipline, and taught all his boys the art of music, without using sheet music ever.

His son, Meizel Mirando, took over and taught his sons what he'd learned from his father.

I grew up, admiring the energy his royal gypsy orchestra generated,
feeling the intense reflection of what they endured through history.

Now one of the sons, Djangela Mirando Tata Mirando, is running the orchestra.

One of the other sons, Nello, followed his own way.
He joined his brother Lulu (guitar), and his friends Caruso Lehmann (guitar) and Boso Jaworek (violin). and they too were masters in jipsy music.
You can hear them on "Palatine Summer" by the Lulu Weiss Ensemble, together with Django Reinhardt. Nello Weiss :vocals, bass guitar.

He was born with a backbone problem, which caused problems controling some of his fingers.
Nevertheless he played is his father's orchestra at the young age of 3.

Playing the violin was his soul, and he felt hurt and frustrated that he couldn't play as well as he wanted all the time.
In a way his ability to express his deepest inner emotions in music was so enormous, and his perfectionism so huge, that he really suffered the last years of his life, because he couldn't do exactly as he wanted.

Many people have spoken to me through their music, but none was able to always touch my heart so deep than Nello.
I remember I had to dance to his music.
No performance was the same.
Each time a different corner of my heart was touched.
Each time it was like travelling through all my emotions, and feeling new ones.

After every performance I needed to leave the stage, leave the building, and connect to nature.
Sometimes by walking, other times by sitting in a corner and crying, and one time smelling a rose while the ongoing world seemed to be an eternity away.

His music told the stories of the bare experiences of life.

In may we saw him on TV in a program about his life and passion.
We fell in the middle of the program, but I recognised him immediately.

A very long time ago we've been talking about respect for instruments.
I can't remember where and when, but I recognised his voice, his smile.

Last thursday night he died in his sleep.

The greatest violinist of our country. 77 he was.

My heart goes out to his family.

May he rest in peace.

You can find the last video about his last year here.
The text is in Dutch.


Manic Monday #121

june 17 2008

If your personality had to be summed up as a sandwich, what kind of sandwich would you be?

I'm not sure I'm a sandwich.
I'm a breadroll.
A hard crust. Maybe looking shiny or very delicious when you look at it. But it will take effort to bit through and get to the soft part.
The bread itself is soft and sweet.
The filling is an adenture of all sorts of tastes.
Spicy, herbal, sugary... you name it, and it's there.
You just have to take your time and enjoy each and every little small bite.

If you knew that someone was dying, but they didn’t know, would you tell them the truth or deceive them about it?

I've worked with people at the end of their lives.
I belief everyone senses the end.
So I would listen carefull and I would be truthfull about it when the subject is brought up.

Do you dress the same when you are depressed as you do when you are very happy?

During my studies there was so much information about how people express their feelings, that I decided that I would never give my feelings away like that.
So I can be happy in black.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

monday,monday, tadammm tatadam!!!

june 16 2008

I'm late at my blog today.

It's one of those mondays, filled with all kinds of unexepected things.

Someone wanted an appointment this afternoon, which was impossible, so it had to be tranferred to a date that I already have an appointment in that area.

Then one of my daughters handed me a leaflet with the date of het swim-exam...right at the time we have an appointment with the dentist for most of the children...

One of the boys wanted to have my camera... 5 minutes after he left I saw such a nice butterfly sitting camera-ready...

I decided to hang the laundry inside. When I was ready the sun started to shine...

When I sat down with a coffee and dozed off someone rang the doorbell to hand me some mail for the neighbours....

And all day the old song spooked through my head:

monday, monday...., , tadammm tatadam!!!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Picnic Side Dish

june 15 2008

Theme for Scrumptious Sunday

Theme~Picnic Side Dish

The best picnic, or picknick, I've ever experienced was in England.

We had the best weather in ages, and my aunt decided we would go for a picknick.
I think we went to a parc in Wolverhampton, but it might have been somewhere in Birmingham.

The neighbour was able to bring us with his car.
It was loaded!

I simply loved the cucumber sandwiches, the salmon on toast, and the sausages.
I've never eaten better sausages, never.

But the best dish was lettuce with cherries and cheese.
You have to try it.

It's so simple to make:

Slice the lettuce.
Slice the cherries and remove the stones. (She saved them for a spitting contest. LOL!)
Cut a medium-taste cheese into pieces.

Mix it with a little dressing made of yoghurt and scrambled eggs.

Instead of cherries you can use red berries or even black or blue berries.

I'm sure you'll love it!

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unconscious mutterings 281

june 15 2008

  1. Purchase :: something for myself

  2. Squeaky clean :: the house I grew up in.

  3. Blended :: colours

  4. Wednesday :: kids have a free afternoon

  5. Function :: mathemathics

  6. Look down :: why?

  7. July? :: another month

  8. Raspberry :: yummy

  9. Assertive :: that's ok, but respect others.

  10. Cracker :: with cheese

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

school forgets graduates

june 14 2008

Looking at the list of graduates at the online edition of the regional paper I couldn't find the name of my son.

A quick mail in the middle of the night, 2 hours before the presses start roling, was not in time anymore.

The names of the graduates of his school were the only forgotten ones, as far as I could see.

This morning three of us here plowed through the enormous list of names of schools and graduates.

It was painful to see that his name wasn't between: "ALL the graduates".

To me it's the perfect crown on how this school deals with their pupils.
They just don't care.

Right now we haven't decided how to deal with this.
Ofcourse I mailed the school and paper with some questions.
But more needs to be done.

Last week the group already had a party.
My son couldn't attend, because it was impossible to get there by taxi. And as the busses were on strike and the school didn't keep the promiss to send a bus between school and location...

I can imagine that my son doesn't even want to attend his own graduation.

Or that he wants to wear his japanese gala tenue.

He's trained well in aikido.
When he told me he wanted to wear a hakama to his graduation I told him not to. Told him to adjust to the requirements of the school: neat clothes.
Graduates here don't wear gowns of those funny hats. Just dress neat.

But now this all has happened I feel that maybe I have to back him up.
I would love to get the local paper to be present, so he can explain why he wants to follow what he sees is good and fit to the occassion.

All these years they only offered him some help when we got the schoolinspection in school.
He's dyslectic. He should have had proper help as outlined in the law, all the time.

How many times I've had problems with some of the people there at school because they just didn't care.... I can't even remember.

Those years have been a painful experience of us all, and that the school not even mentions the graduates on their site or to the local paper, as all the other schools do, is a terribly painful experience.

Any ideas how to deal with this are welcome!!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday's feast 193

june 13 2008


Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist?

More of a realist.
I know about 85% of what you think becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy.
I'm an idealist, so I dream big.

I think people can do far better than they think and do.
But I don't expect some of them to change the world, even when they try to convince me.

So, I'm a bit of everything.


What is your favorite color of ink to write with?

Aqua and red.
I know. I know. I should have chosen one.
But I choose depending on my mood, you see, and on the pen I'm writing with.


How often do you get a manicure or pedicure? Do you do them yourself or go to a salon and pay for them?

Me? Going to a salon and paying?
No way!
I can't have someone touching my feet.

So I do it myself whenever it's necessary.

Main Course

Have you ever won anything online? If so, what was it?

Well, I hoped to have won the gardenhouse in the contest of last month of one of the main DIY shops. But I haven't heard anything about it anymore, so I guess I haven't won.

Last year I've won some books and stuff in the give-away festival organised by Shannon.
Never received one item, let alone everything.

But a nice strawberry pin is on its way, so yes, I've won.

And I've won some money towards my smallpipes.


In which room in your house do you keep your home computer?

Downstairs, between the livingroom and the diningroom.

It allows me to keep an eye on both rooms, and the kitchen and even the back garden (mirrored in the screen).

I've been dreaming about having my computer in my gardenhouse.........

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june 13 2008

It's called the fairytale lane now.

In fact it's a huge road leading through one of the main parts of town.

Caterpillars of the brown spotted moth made this lovely lane with majestic trees into a spooky road of hairy grey.

First they've eaten all the leaves.
Then, on their way down, hunting for more food, they've left their silky remnants for all to see.

They were among the first signs of the changing climate.

The natural balance of a fine ecosystem has been changed.
Their natural predators are not developed enough to eat the larvae, so there's an overpopulation of caterpillars crowding the area.

Experience has taught that the trees will be able to grow leaves again and shed off the grey weaves and webs.

In case you want to see this spectacular and rare sight, he's a link to the video at our local paper.

Looks and diplomas

june 13 2008

Life has changed for some of the boys here within a few days.

They were man enough not to care about their pimples and red spots in their face, but now the graduation ceremony needs to be planned, suddenly all sorts of problems pop-up.
What to wear?
How to deal with the hair? Gel, no gel?
Go to a beauty salon to deal with the acne, or use a natural acne treatment.
Spend clothing money on new shoes that will be worn only one time?

It even stretches to clothing advice for me:
"Mom, I want you to dress african."

"Well, it's not up to me to be the hit of the day, so I won't be dressed as a white african queen."

At least he realises it's a special occassion.


something missing: unconscious sounds

june 13 2008

How the sounds of the environment are influencing the subconscious is hardly known.

I felt strange this morning.
Kept looking around like something important was missing.

Even the birds weren't singing theur usual songs.
So something strange must be present... or missing.

Now and then everthing seemed to be normal, but after a short while...

Looking back.. all was normal untill about 10.00 hours.


When looking for the names of the graduates on the online local paper a message caught my eyes.

No trains since 10.00

We're not living close to the rainwaystation, but on normal days the wind blows a faint noise of passing trains over our neighbourhood.

Isn't it strange how we get used to these sounds and miss them this way?


fun and troubles

june 13 2008

Yesterday was a very buzzy and emotional day.

After the good news that my third son passed all his final exams, we waited together with a friend of him and my second son for a call from his school.

It was a long wait, but finally he got the message: he's in for a graduation ceremony too.

We were all so happy!

I've seen the boy grow up from a tiny little bush of curly hair with a little boy underneath, to a testosteron loaded puberty representative.

And now he and my son are ready to move on to another part of their lives, with more responsibilities.

I'm so happy that both of them did so well.

In the afternoon I got another mail of the schooladvisor, straight against my wishes to devote my attention to positive matters.
He and the council representative want my son to go to a kind of homework institute, where he can have some support and an empty room to study.

I'm all against it, because the institute is nothing more than an our-of-home homework facility, not acknowledged by the government.
They even have to use special wordings to get the whole lot paid for.

It made me very mad, because we've told them over and over again it's no option for my son.
Interesting is that none of them has even been there.
They've only read the description.

Isn't it a coincidence that we just filled in the paperwork to ask the council representative to free him from legal duties concerning school? (***grins***)

To oblige them, we made an appointment to have a look there.
It'll put us to the advantage of knowing what we're talking about.

I feel angry that we're forced to go through yet another time of stress and troubles.
Especially when we should be happy and having fun.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You can congratulate us!

june 11 2008

We got the call and.....

my third son made it through his finals!!


So we need to prepare for a graduation.

I think he's accomplished a lot.

First he struggled some years while teachers didn't acknowledge his dyslexia,
then they didn't acknowledge his ADHD.

They kept telling him and us that he just should control his behaviour better, that he should work harder, that he should and should and should.

Against all odds he worked hard, and I kept telling him it would pay back.

He got diagnosed, had to deal with even more teachers who told us that ADHD is just an empty diagnosis and an excuse for not controlling his own behaviour, and had to deal with teacher who said he didn't need special support because he did well at school.

He did well, because he worked so very hard at home!!!

And now it has paid off...

And I'm so very happy for him!!!


what works against spiders

june 11 2008

I hate spiders!

Not the tiny ones, but the big ones that try to take over my house, race through the room at evenings when the summer is almost over and I try to relax on the coach. I hate the ones that sit above my head when I open my eyes in bed.

They trigger all sorts of unwanted reactions of my phantasy, and I just don't like THAT!

So I use the trick my grandma taught me: I use water and vinegar.

It's as simple as that.

After cleaning I apply at the places where they can enter the house, or like to hang out, like near the curtainpoles, a mixture of water and vinegar.
They hate it.

When the end of summer is near, and certainly during autumn, I repeat it regularly.

You won't enter my house thinking it is a vinegar factory. Oh no!
But the spiders smell it.
Or maybe they just pick up my vibes, telling them that whenever they enter my house, they enter my territory, and I have at least 2 males available who are not afraid of them and will hunt them down and throw them on the gardenpath between the houses, where it's dangerous.

I'm offering them a choice, and they'd better stay out!!!

This works for me.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

a new day and how I cope

june 10 2008

A new day.

People often ask me how I cope.

Well, I take each day as a new beginning.

That's why I like spring so much.
I walk into the garden and see new flowers and leaves, and that power of nature nurtures me and embraces me.

My garden grows abundant around me, which in a way makes me feel standing apart from the world.

It's such a huge basis for the day, to experience something outside myself that is bigger, more powerful than anything a human being can create.

Ofcourse I cry when something hits me straight in the face, or when I'm too tired.
But something in me prevents me from diving into the pit of self-pity.
So upward it is!!!

Which means that one way or another the energy of the bad feelings is transformed into a drive that makes me think about how to improve things.

I'm very critical, and I can complain, which means I should also offer something in return. Just that little bit extra to change things for the better.


I don't know.

Maybe because there should be a balance between things.

Life here is so difficult compaired to other parents my age and with that amount of children, that I need to be aware that the equilibrium I find in nature also works in my life.

Or am I just telling myself I'm still in control?

It's a thought.

But I'm not really a controlfreak.

The only control I want is over dinner between 5 and 6, and over the laundry, so I won't wake up one morning sleeping on the roof because the laundry has filled up the whole house.

One way or another, the whole situation of yesterday has made me almost finish a plan to improve matters for parents of autistic children here in town.

I have to add now all those extra's that makes my ideas seem pomp and prestigeous.
Like bidding on the market I have to add, and let them take away it all, so they feel happy and I have what I want.

It's politics.

So you won't see my face on a plaque on the wall, present for eternity.

It's just the smile that's left, when I go to bed.
Almost prepared to face the next day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Maria Montessori will be proud of her

june 9 2008

When the twins were born they were almost the same weight, but during the years one of them became a thin, fragile and short little lady.

One way or another the world seemed to be too big for her at moments.
Especially when she was at the swimmingpool.

This year she got an extra chance to learn to swim, because I'd been able to convince teh school and the council that children all learn at their own time and at their own pace.
When the school celebrates parties at the swimmingpool, according to me, they were doing wrong to the few children who never learned to swim.

She got her chance, and she used it.

Each time before the swimminglesson I've talked her into a winningmood.
She loves ballet, so I learned her to trust the inner movements little girls feel when they hear the music and see the balletdancers.

I taught her about the upward pressure of water, and everything else I knew.

And now she's able to swim for her diploma right before she leaves school.

She took her time, but she trusts herself now, and she can swim, and jump in the water and enjoy it.

Maria Montessori will be proud of her!


I can't do it anymore: school and autism

june 9 2008

I'm at the end of looking for solutions to find a school for my autistic son.

The advisor mailed me that he had spoken with someone who runs a time-out school for kids that are too aggressive for a regular school. That maybe we should talk.

I've spoken that person months ago.
A very kind and caring man. Almost too nice for a time-out facility.
He agreed my autistic son shouldn't be there.

And now some idea has popped up in the minds of these men.

It feels as if it's too late.

I was already harnassing me to face the council representative threatening with court again, ready to fill in the paperwork, stating that we want our son acknowledged as "not fit for the system".
(They haven't found out paperwork and laws for "the system not fit for certain children.")

I've already informed the council representative that we will send her the paperwork.

What are we doing?

These men are trying to make a place somewhere for my son to study.
But it's not about learning and getting a diploma alone.

He can't do anything with a diploma.
No employer will hire someone who is not capable of communicating properly. (And for making laundrypegs he doesn't need a diploma).

School is about trying to help him communicate with people under normal circumstances.
When that aspect of life isn't available, making him study means nothing.

I'm just too tired to start it all again.

Tomorrow is his birthday, the day after we'll hear if his brother wil graduate, the day after that I want my other son, who is terribly afraid of dentists to go to the dentist.

Does it sound egoistic when I say I want the whole toodoo with school for my autistic son to end?
I just can't motivate him to go to a school that's not fit to deal with autistic children.
I don't want those mornings and evenings anymore with hours of loosing energy with motivating him to go to school. Hours of complaints and objections. The stress if he's going, or if he's returning. And how he's returning.
Dealing with people who don't understand him, or don't want to spend any energy on someone they can't communicate with.

I'm OK with an auti-class. That's where he belongs.
But I'm not willing to find a dark door somewhere behind a small street where he can slip in to sit and have a book in front of his nose.

We've had the situation that he was at school during some hours, and I've spend hours in the evening motivating him to look in that book again, explaining him each and every subject as close to his way of thinking as possible. The teacher couldn't do that, so I had.

I'm sorry.
We have to accept him the way he is.
And when society isn't ready to accept that, then either they have to release that burden of the law and enable him to stay away from school, or put me in jail.

Might be a nice rest after all those years, after all.

I don't want an improvised place for my son,
I want proper education, fit for autists.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Prompt writing before she's famous

june 8 2008

Today I suddenly had some flashbacks about a long time ago.
I was referred to a magazine by my Dutch language teacher at school, because he was impressed by my writing.

Before I was admitted as one of the writers I was confronted with a rather strange system I've never experienced anymore:
The main editor would ring me up at 11 in the evening, give me a few words, and requested an article on his doormat as early as 8 in the morning.

Ofcourse I sat down immediately and tried to write something to be in time.
Trying to please him took me away from my sleep, and I dozed of with my head on the table, only to be woken up by the alarm at 7.

Like the words had taken meaning in my sleep, I wrote the article, frantically bicycled through the town to get the product of his wishes on his doormat before 8.

The same evening he called me again at 11, gave me some words, and the same instruction.

I just went to bed, with the alarm on 6.30, wrote the article and threw it on his doormat.

That same evening he called again, but before he said one word I asked him how much he would pay. He laughed and told me to have a nice night of sleep.
The next morning the alarm went of at 6.30, because I'd forgotten to put it later, and I couldn't help myself.
I sat down, wrote an article, and posted it in his mailbox before 8.

He invited me a few days later for a meeting.
He turned out to be the best teacher in journalism I've ever had.

Why he made me write these articles?
To teach me that I could work under stress.
He intended to order me around as long as I didn't stand up against him one way or another, hoping I would ask how much it paid, because he was told by my teacher I wasn't bussiness-like enough.

He and I had a great way of sensing what the other wanted, and we worked for over 10 years with respect for each other.

I came across the blog Before I'm Famous where J. Scott has found a way to train herself in writing stories of 1,000 words maximum.

She asks readers to give her a name, a gender, and a genre so she can write and explore her writing.

Like she says, using some minor prompts are a great way to experiment in writing and discover ones own strong and weak points.

I hope she'll find someone like my head editor: a critical reader who never stops to feed her inspiration and trigger her skills.

His birthday

june 8 2008

Tuesday is the birthday of my autistic son.

The past years he didn't like the fuzz and loss of routine on days like these, and he kept the pleasure of being a birthdayboy as short as possible.

Last week, however he asked for birthday invitations.

I was astonished!!!

He told me he wanted to invite some people over on sunday, because he didn't expect them to be able to come on tuesday.

Ofcourse I expected him to have a very good reason, but he didn't bother to tell me.

This morning, when I was tidying the room, he told me he had asked three different people to surprise him with a part of the Harry Potter games.

Well, they all showed up, and he got all the three games he wanted.

He even helped to hand out the apple- and cherrypies, without knocking over cups of coffee or something else.

When the visitors left he ran upstairs and we haven't seen him since.

I hope he'll have time this evening for the next group of visitors. LOL!

the first strawberries

june 8 2008

I was hanging the laundry on the line when my eye caught something red... just from a little corner.

So I carefully moved the pink castle-roses aside, moved a buxus branch, and then saw two tiny strawberries, as red and rich as only little woodstrawberries can be.

It's june the eighth 2008, a date noted now, as these are the first strawberries of the season.

They surprised me, as the larger ones are still green.
And I didn't know they were growing, hiding under the rose and buxus.

They've been able to escape the birds who are forever looking for nice bits and pieces everywhere in the garden.
And they've escaped the caterpillers who are destroying the little appleharvest I hoped for.

It's almost a holy moment when I carefully remove them.
I don't want to destroy the other surprises that might grow somewhere under the bushes, away from my sight.

I'm sure today it will be discussed who will be eating these two little ones.
Sharing with 8 persons is a bit too much, so maybe I will get one and my autistic son, who is celebrating his birthday today and tuesday.

Will the one I'll get taste sweet?

I guess so.

unconscious mutterings

june 8 2008

  1. Rambling :: world

  2. Magnetic :: auroras

  3. Again! :: Oh no!

  4. Acoustic :: sound best

  5. Mahogany :: warm wood

  6. Promises :: and promisses

  7. Ill fitting :: so not good

  8. Sublime :: outstanding

  9. Poop :: babies

  10. Disoriented :: lost in space

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