Wednesday, July 30, 2008

not homeschooling, but teaching at home

july 30 1008

After years of problems at school because of his autism, my 16 year old autistic son dropped out of school.

Which is forbidden here.
Kids under 23 need to get a diploma.

I suggested homeschooling...... which is forbidden here, unless a judge at a court of law decides not going to school is because of a religious matter.
I don't want to go to court.

So the last months have been a tragedy of trying to make clear that my autistic son can't go to a school, unless it's at an auti-class.
But there are not enough places, and sadly the law has no rules about that.

So I pleaded my case with the help of the psychiatrist of my son.

He stood up for us like no one ever has done.

So there's no need for my son going to school in another town, meaning I would loose precious time travelling.

In fact we cornered the system... well... my son's autism did, we simply worded the problems.

So the 3rd council representative found a way out.

I'll teach him at home, get assistance if necessary from a special school.
"It's not homeschooling...
It's teaching at home."

Well the difference is that I have to give account of my responsibility and show how much work is done, but as I make the decisions about workload and I do the talking, things will work out fine.
When my son can't keep up, it's clear he isn't for for education, and we'll get, what they call here: freedom of subscription at a school.

I'm waiting for her transcription of the meeting, expecting I need to have a last fight about who controls what, and then relax and try to have some kind of vacation.
Which simply means staying at home, because with 3 autistic kids at home there's no real vacation ever.

That's not a bad gain from a meeting.

I was happy I'd been able to postpone the meeting untill yesterday, so I was calm, knew the law precisely, and was straight on top of things.

The new council representative is a person I can work with.
The child is at the centre.

Let's hope things stay that way and we finally can move into the future in a constructive way.

I want to thank all who supported me during these years.
It has been a long way, and we're sure not at the end of our struggle,
but we're at a new beginning.
Thank you so much for showing confidence in me!

So homeschooling it is!
Any tips?

Monday, July 28, 2008

From Thailand With Love - Give away

july 28 2008

I'm not often blogging about give-aways.
Mainly because most give-aways are for a limited public.

This give-away however is very appealing and it's meant for everyone on this planet.

To celebrate the opening of Day To Day Miracles two winners can win a Thai Decorative Letter Holder.

You have to be quick, the month is nearly over.

I would love to win one (especially the pink one.) Why?

A few years ago clients lost a baby, knowing they would never be able to receive another child.
They were so sad, and my heart went out to them.

Slowly they struggled themselves away from their grief into happiness about witnessing this precious baby a few times.

Gradually they changed into people who wanted to give a child from another country an equal opportunity for life as their other child.
They went through all the steps of the adoptionprocedure and after a long wait they were able to have a little baby close to their hearts again.

Not often do we know the families adoptive children come from, but this time coincidence helped us a hand as a befriended midwife wrote about the grief a family was going through because they had to give up a child for adoption because of economical circumstances.

One plus one added up and after asking a confirmation with a photo and a birthmark we were able to bring these families together.
The child will know about his family and maybe will be able to return later, the birthfamily of the baby are helped by knowing their child is in safe and caring hands, and they're helped financially.
And the adopting family didn't adopt a child, but a cmpletel new branch to their family.

Not often do situations like these result in emotional enrichtment for all parties.

To symbolise this I received a little elephant.

How nice it would be to have the letter holder accentuating the place it stands.

But even when I won't win, I've found a very nice and inspiring blog to be grateful for.


Manic Monday #127

july 28 2008

Manic Monday #127

Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly.
What do you talk about?

Hm, won't be a large party.

I think I'd talk about the difference between egoism and egocentrism.
That there is a difference between taking care of yourself and placing yourself in the middle of the world.

Even more interesting would be the question with whom I would leave the party.... It's with the person who really made me happy.

What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Blogging, surfing online, and listening to the rain.

Are you a window person or an aisle person? Why?

I hope I'm understanding the question well: looking or paying.

Well, considering the lack of money I'm more of a window person.
What a pity! I have such good taste.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

the horse whisperer

july 27 2008

With the girls away for a weekend, it was strangely quiet.
It was just too hot for the boys to quarrel.
My autistic son even fell asleep.

So I put the TV on to see if there was something on and a movie started.

I didn't even know which one at first.

The horse whisperer.

I've never before felt like horse riding.

When I was young, at basic school, there was a horse in the fields right across the streets.
The mothers who came to get their children were afraid of it.
The horse would run towards the fence like it was going to jump over it, and it would make loud noises and shed it's head like it was telling people to stay away.

I liked to help my teacher.
In fact everything was better than going home, do the groceries and all the odd jobs.
So most of the time I left school long after the others had left.

When I was almost at the gate the horse would spot me and walk slowly to the fence watching me make the decision to go home or to stay.

In the movie I recognised the powerful silence between man and animal.

When standing at the gate, the horse watching me...

Stepping from the pavement and crossing the street was like entering a different world.
I just knew the horse wouldn't hurt me, and I wasn't afraid to give it the sugarcane I got from my teacher as a thank-you for helping her.

I knew the horse was badly treaten before it ended in the fields at the farm.
Maybe the horse knew how I was treated at home?

After I left school things changed in the village.
The horse was brought to a place for old horses and I went to school at the other side of town.

After school I helped my grandmother finding and giving the care that was so much needed.

I stayed away from horses, was even afraid of them, like the fear of the mothers of the schoolkids had grown into me.

Only while seeing this movie I wondered why I never ever came close to a horse again.

Scrumptious Sunday

july 27 2008

Theme for Scrumptious Sunday


It's long ago I went for a picnic.
Not even all children were born, and we still lived in a world in which we could pretend to be a normal family with normal kids.

We had our bags packed with all sorts of tasty stuff kids like and went into the fields.

Within an hour I had to go home, because I was having a terrible allergy attack.

I've never been on a picnic ever since.

But just a moment ago I enjoyed myself in the garden.

I gazed at the big apples falling from the tree at the neighbours.
My blossons didn't survive the late frosty nights of this year.

But I had some black berries, and some red ones.
Picked a little strawberry and some brambles, that tasted sweet and powerful.

I took a chair, a cup of coffee and some white bread, with a bit of cold butter and spread some brambles out, like the best jam there is.
It tasted delicious!

tumultuous evening

july 27 2008

I was glad the weatherdepartment issued a warning, so the kids were prepared for bad weather.

After a day with hot sun and a humidity that could be cut, a rim of thick clouds entered our sky and then right above us started to turn.

One of the boys called and said he was with a friend just one street away, but he didn't dare to come home because the sky was green.
He also reported the spinning movements of the clouds.

We were warned for windspeeds at storm force, so we had the windows closed and felt like sausages in a frying pan.

Then the thunder came in.
Large rumblings from far, roling a long way over our heads.

Then the visible lightning started.
It was everywhere, and very bad.

But unlike last time I wasn't afraid.
I even stood a while in the garden, until the rains got so bad that I simply had to step inside not to be washed away.

Later we learned that streets and cellars had been flooded.
In the shop where one of the boys was working, the rain seeped through a wall and caused flames to appear from some of the electricity points.
I forgot to check the waterlevel in the garden being caught up in watching a TV program about nature around the Chinese wall.

I wonder how long it'll take befoer the humidity is gone.

unconscious mutterings # 287

july 27 2008

  1. Memory :: it's my life

  2. Original :: not copied

  3. Exclusively :: unique

  4. Listings :: series

  5. Bucket :: flowers

  6. Knight :: sword

  7. Dusty :: Donovan. You know, a guy from As the World Turns

  8. Choice :: opportunity

  9. Sunlight :: sunburn

  10. Change of plans :: flexibility

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

About my travels

july 26 2008

We Travel Well

1. What part of the world and country do you live in?

I'm living in Europe in a tiny country called The Netherlands.

2. What is the furthest from home that you have been, and where is it?'s in the south of Europe.

3. What travel destination have you enjoyed the most?

England, Wales and the south of Scotland.
I absolutely loved the Lake District.
Nature there is so beautiful!

4. What travel destination have you enjoyed the least?

With my parents and fiancee to the beach.
It's a very long time ago.
I wanted to leave there, just like that.
That says enough.

5. Is there somewhere you’d like to visit but have not, and where is it?

Scotland, Mali, and I would love to visit my online friends.

6. Do you prefer traveling to see historic places or to hit the beach and relax?

Who says that seeing historic places isn't relaxing?
Just use your imagination and you're out of your own life.
And the chance of being burned by the sun is far less than on the beach.

7. What popular vacation destination have you never considered because you think you’d not like it?

Benidorm and those large resorts.
The beach should be rather emtpy for me, so I can walk and enjoy the sounds of the sea.

8. Where do you travel to most recently?

With 4 autistic kids this mom is not able to travel.
Last time was over 25 years ago.

Now the kids are old enough for me to go, but I don't even have the money to visit the wedding of a dear friend in Malaysia.

So it's the shopping mall.

9. Do you like day trip “mini-vacations”?

Yep, I do.
Is this an invite?

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leakage again

july 26 2008

After intensive use of the shower I can see a bit of leakage from the bathroom again.

Last year we had a huge problem, resulting in removal of the little wall in front of the bath, and some amateur plumbing, resulting in a tremendous flush of water entering the kitchen through unwanted channels.

From the beginning I've said the leakage is caused by use of the wrong silicones when installing the faucet.

But hej... imagine a woman knowing that kind of stuff.

The problem is that I don't have enough power to get the faucet from the socket. Otherwise I could replace the silicones without anyone knowing.

I'm sure we then won't have any leakage anymore.

weather and the meeting

july 26 2008

Summer has tumbled into our country.
Me oh my!

From a chilly late autumn like weather it turned into near tropical.

So I pulled all the stuff from the beds, had the laundry machine making overhours and had loads of laundry dry within a few hours.
The delight of a homemaker.

In between I went through the paperwork to get everything ready for the very important meeting of tuesday.
There the councilwoman will decide wether she grants my autistic son homeschooling and a relaxed mom, whether she wants him and me to go through all sorts of screening to proof that we went wrong somewhere, or whether she brings us to court.

The problem is that there is no place available in the auti-classes and my son is not able to attent a regular or special school.
So in fact it's a political problem. When there would be more money, my son would be able to try to attend an auti-class.

I've written some people in parliament. One responded. She said she can't do anything.
I wonder why she wanted to be choosen anyway. (Well the seats are comfortable. LOL!)

I'm not nervous at the moment.
The psychiatrist wrote such a good letter, that it's clear not only his mom is standing up for him.

We've made a special plan for next year, and a half year after that he can go to the special educational facility my oldest is attending.
So I want some official consideration for our situation for 18, maybe at maximum 24 months.

The meeting at tuesday won't be a nice one.

I don't know where it is. Well, I have an adress.
The schooladvisor is present and I'm not sure about his loyalty and trustworthiness.
And there's a second council representative available. I don't know her.

I'm going to take a lot of paperwork with me,
a taperecorder or something like that,
and the phonenumber of the psychiatrist.
He said I should call him whenever they started to cause trouble.

Will be fun to put the meeting to a halt and call him.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

a laugh about concept letters

july 24 2008

In the past collegue psychologists often asked me to write reports and letters, because I used the professional language fluently and knew how to interpret research results in a clear and understandable way.

Often I was asked to examine people and write expertise reports.

I loved the work, because it took far more than writing a few letters.
It took understanding a person as far as possible and explaining to others how that person feels and acts.

So I wasn't bothered when I was asked a concept letter for another professional.

I wrote the concept in my own professional language.
Erased all the professional words and rephrased them into common language and mailed the text.

It was fun to see it back in the mail in the language of the other professional.

Let's say the reader will need a dictionary and some good brains.
He deserves just that letter! LOL!

He agrees!

july 24 2008

The visit to the psychiatrist was well worth the nervousness. LOL!
(Don't know what I'm taling about? See here.

He completely agrees with me.

And he even went one step further: he states homeschooling is a good option.
The greatest problem of school: to many impressions my son can't deal with, will be down to 0.

It all we be put in a letter, which backs me up completely.

I'm a bit curious how the council representative will react to homeschooling.
It's officially forbidden in this country, unless there are no other means to educate a child.

In this case, there isn't.

In the meantime my son is referred to the pediatrician to get him in a treatment program for his hungerproblems.
He will also get extensive psychotherapy after the vacation.

So no one can say my son hasn't been taken care of by the professionals.

(To be honest, it was about time someone looks into the problems Risperdal caused.
I want a referral to a neurologist too.)

When we came home I felt relaxed.

Now matters are almost all organized and on paper.

I'll dig up all old paperwork tomorrow and organize it in a new way.
What's needed will be copied to take it with me to the meeting.

There's one concept that needs a look from someone else, and then everything I can do is done.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

religion and school

july 23 2008

It's early in the morning.

Today is an important day, because we have to go to the psychiatrist of my autistic son.
He's a nice guy. So much better and friendlier than the former one.

But today our opinions might clash, and he's the one who needs to put a signature under my opinion.

I know he wants my son to visit a school in another town, because it's good.
But I expect the same problems as we had, and I won't go that road anymore.

I feel we need to concentrate on his social development, and we need to do it far better than we did these last months.

My son thinks that working is the answer to his needs.
Well, he applied for a job at the supermarket here, but I don't think they need new people at the moment.
I think some strings need to be puled to enable him to experience that part of life, because to my feeling that will make him choose school in a far more positive way than he ever did before.

Even though I've heard good news aboput that school, I'm not in for travelling to parent's evenings and other meetings.
I've done that part some years ago, being away from home for more than half a day for effective meeting time of an hour.

So I'm a bit nervous at the moment.
Will he cooperate, or will he force his opinion in the situation.

In that case I'll force the whole situation with the council representative into a different part of the law.
I'd rather be the centre of the whole toodoo, than have my son seen by socalled experts over and over again to see if he isn't able to visit school.

Not many people go that way.
It's stating that my religion, worldview has changed in such a way, that I can't find a school that provides the right education for my son.

When I was writing a concept of my statement, I first felt unwell by the idea of manipulating the situation, but then I realised that in facxt I was just writing how I feel and see the world.
My belief in God, has always been beyond the way I was raised.
I don't think it's a person that can be asked to do what we want.
I really feel it's an entity beyond the way of our understanding. So why try to understand it as a human being, and why give it features only humans have?
Even when I was a child I hated it when I was told how God was thinking, how forgiving he was.
I think we need to take full responsibility for how we form ourselves.

Which doesn't take away the concept of a God. It just shows utter respect for it all.

I also think that human beings are part of the large entity of all, as is nature, and all other things.
We function as part of it.
In our own way, oh yes.
But we can't be see seperate from the social environment we're in, the family we're born in, and the naure around our house.
We're all guests on this earth, world-civilians, and we need to respect everything we deal with. Not just what fits into our perception or religion.

Stating this for a judge won't be a problem anymore now.

But I'd rather go just the administrative way. A bit of paperwork, and a council representative who respects me in what I say and signs the whole bit off to the past.

Now I'm first getting that all important signature of the psychiatrist.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Growing up is saying goodbye

july 22 2008

Last year a childhoodfriend of the girls popped up.
It was late that evening when the doorbell rang, and just some intuition made me open the door.

There she was, asking me to get the girls. She wanted to speak with them.

I told her that we won't wake up the girls when someone shows up at our door, without any prior message.

The girls now lives in another part of the country.
I can't say her mother made clever choices when she changed het job and moved from a large house with garden in a very good neighbourhood, to an appartment in a large building in one of the lesser suburbs of a large city.

It's not up to me to comment on those decisions, but I told her my thoughts about how she treated my girls when she had them with her for a day out and didn't show up before midnight.

Today the girls was at the door again.
It was late again.

We had a letter last week, with a photo on which we first saw a grown-up woman and only minutes later her.

I had the same reaction at the door.
Only when she began to speak I realised it was her.

Oh my dear!

I don't want to keep my girls the little babies they once where.
Oh no!
I enjoy their developments every day, at least as much as when I did when they were babies.
But I want them to act their age and not ten years older.

The conversation we had was friendly and short.
She expected the girls to come and stay with her for a couple of days and they have to come either this week or next week.

"Maybe they have other plans for those days.", I said.
"They have to change them, because we'll go abroad after that."

Well, I don't think my girls have to change their plans.

They have to decide themselves, and when they make the same decision as last year, they won't go.
They're afraid on the streets there, don't feel well in the smokey rooms, and don't like the fact that they're laughed about when they say they're tired and want to go to bed.

I feel pity for the girl. I really do.

But I admire my girls in their choices.
"We'll tell her kindly that we have to move on with our lives.
She's making choices that don't fit our way of living.
And we feel it's not honest to try and keep this friendship alive as long as only she wants it."

"Growing up is saying goodbye", I found at the whiteboard in their room.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rodovan Karadzic arrested

july 21 2008

News arrived just a moment ago that former Bosnian Serb president Rodovan Karadzic has been arrested in Serbia.
It's confirmed by the Yugoslavia tribunal.

Rodovan Karadzic ias a suspect of warcrimes and genocide.
He gave orders for ethnic killings.

He was indicted by the UN warcrimes tribunal in The Hague in July 1995 for authorizing the shooting of civilians during the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and four months later he was indicted for genocide again. He arranged the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men after Mladic's forces seized the U.N. "safe area" of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia.

The arrest of Karadzic has been in the news before, like in february this year, but each time it turned out to be untrue.

manic monday 126

july 21 2008

Manic Monday #126

What's your favorite beach in the world?

Ha...I haven't seen many beaches, only the one at our coast.
It's perfectly OK for me, although I have to say that at times I dream of tall palmtrees framing a panoramic view of a tropical beach at an uninhabited island.

Especially at days like today, when the winds and rain keep on burdening us.

What's the next country you want to visit?

Next of what?

I haven't been to Scotland yet.

What one thing are you craving today?

Sun, and an icecream with eggnog and chocolate.......

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fried fresh fishfingers

july 21 2008

Take fishfilets and slice them into long parts.
Marinade them with ginger, fresh unions, springunions, and some soysause for about 30 mins.

In the meantime get 3 plates.
One with corn flower
one with whipped egg
one with bread crumbs, salt, pepper, ginger

Cover the fishfiletfingers,
with cornflower
then egg
then the other mixture and
fry them untill they're brown.

I saw a recipe like this on TV this evening.
The cook used some other ingredients,
but this is how I've learned to make fried fishfingers 35 years ago.

We took the soysause home from england, because they didn't sell it here, yet.

The good old days......

up at 5

july 21 2008

One of the boys works this vacation.

He's always been able to get a working schedule that fitted his and his girls plans, but today it was crap.

He has to set his alarm on 5 this morning, to be in time at his work.

Ofcourse he went to bed early, but I must have decided unconsciously that he wouldn't be in time and it was my responsibility to get him up, showered and on his bicyclem, because I didn't sleep for longer than 15 minutes.

Ever filled a night with naps?

I've thought about a lot of things, including sleeping, but it didn't work out.

So at 5 I got him out of his bed, I heard him shower unusually short, and then I finally fell asleep for a few hours.

When he came home this afternoon, he was cheerful and thanked me for waking him up.

He told me that there was no need to call him 6 to 8 times, because he went to bed in time.
I've been right, he says: "go to bed early, when you won't sleep, you'll rest."

Yea.... tell me why I've felt so heavy, tired, and painful all day. LOL!

discover the joy of reading between parent and child

july 21 2008

Two of my children are dyslectic.
One graduated a few weeks ago.

The other dyslectic is one of the girls.
She loves reading, which seems paradoxical.
It's like saying that a person with one leg loves walking.

She struggled through the first few months of alphabeth-exercises at school.
The teacher said she was just a slow pupil, I told her I recognised the problems from my dyslectic boy and I wanted her to have more help.
Because the school refused to give her help, I started my own trainingprogram.
It resembled preschool games.
Because the way of presentation of the letters, she was able to grasp the sounds and the looks of them, and was able to learn to read at her own pace.

A friend followed the same self-invented program with her girl of 3, and by the age she went to school she was a fluent reader, enjoying the world of books and phantasy.

Not based on my method, but based on the same principles, top educaters have developed a fun system to help preschool children to discover the world of reading.
It's called funetics.
It's named after phonetics, the science of sounds and language.

I'm not in favor of teaching preschool children too early.
They need to play, because play in itself provides all that's needed for proper development at that age.
Funetics is based on the needs of the children of that age: games, colourful pictures and shapes that fits their age, rhymes, and simple steps to give both parent and child a feeling of achievement.

getting ready for kindergarten is fun this way and it enables to tie the bond between parents and children a bit closer.
It's so much fun to discover the joy of reading between parent and child.

I'm happy I was able to give my daughter the intense feeling of enjoying books, and I hope you will discover this happiness too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

unconscious mutterings 286

july 20 2008

  1. Flicker :: photos

  2. Styling :: inner house architecture

  3. Episode :: part of a series

  4. Sexier :: than what? I mean who?

  5. Studious :: I am

  6. Mushroom :: and a gnome

  7. 8 minutes :: why not 10?

  8. Bald :: without hair, shiny

  9. Immunity :: shielded

  10. Sectioned :: forced to be treated

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july 20 2008

In the south of the country here, coalmining used to be the main industry.

Long after the mines were closed men died from lungcancer, caused by the fine dust of the mines.
The sad inheritance of the way we used to live.
In a way we all were part of the problem, as we all used coals when I was young.

We also used asbestos in our houses, not aware that it was dangerous and could affect our health.
When houses were torn down, none cared for the fine dust.

Even about 10 years ago, when part of the school of the kids was taken down, the teachers send my kids in to get the last tables outside.

I was furious!

Within minutes after hearing this I informed the authorities, went to school and told me that no child was allowed in that building that afternoon, and told all parents at the schoolgate to forbid their children to help the teachers to get the last furniture out of the building.

There had been a fire and the asbestos was broken and was hanging freely from the roof.

The schooldirector laughed in my face and told me he didn't care and would go himself.
I told him to wait for the authorities to give him the clear.

They were there within the hour.
Taped the area, and took tests.
Then sealed the area and men in white suits came in and removed the asbestos.

I got a very nice letter thanking me for being aware of the danger and taking action.
Exposure for a short time probably would be unharmful, but for a longer time could cause mesothelioma, a cancer that is caused by asbestos and which affects the membranes about the organs.

We don't know how many people have been exposed to bad asbestos over the years, but I'm sure many people who have worked professionally with the material over the years, without protection will suffer the consequences.

It's sad....

My Favorite Things

july 19 2008

My Favorite Things

1. What is your favorite thing to do alone?

bagpiping, singing, reading, writing

2. What is your favorite thing to do with your best friend?

Well, I hardly see my best friend.
But we used to enjoy listening to music, watching star treck, slowly walking through town, commenting to each other on people and eating an icecream.

3. What is your favorite band?

You make me realise I have no modern one at the moment.

I still love Velvet Underground.

4. What is your favorite song?

I have many, depending on the mood I'm in.

5. What is you favorite part of your job?

Im a sahm, and at times I earn a bit by writing.
So I like it when the kids are all asleep, and I look a good opportunity to write fora good reward.

6. What is your favorite TV show, on now?

On now?

Michael Palin will be on tonight. Does that count?

7. What is your favorite TV show all time?

Only the Dutch readers will understand me now.

8. Who is your favorite actor?

Ron Ely.

9. What is your favorite film?

Out of Africa.

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sometimes it's good...

july 20 2008

The weather has been terrible this week.

Yesterday afternoon it seemed to be a bit better, so I wanted to go to the shopping centre.

It was nice to be out of the house for a short while.
I even managed to find a few things in the sales.

A very nice cardigan. All sorts of grey, with a small spark here and there.
It's one of those items one needs to have for the winter.
It's one you can draw over your knees when you crawl on the couch to watch a good movie.
It was only 3 euro! Woohaaa!!!!

For one of the kids a T-shirt with: "You can't control me", for 2,99!

I didn't feel well, so I suggested to go home with the girls while their dad would get the last groceries of the day.
He needs the quiet and he loves getting groceries.

Outside we saw dark grey clouds nearing, so we hurried home.
I told the girls to go fast when it started to rain and took it easy while feeling the cold drops on my head.

It was one of those summershowers, with thunder coming from far, and rain pouring straight down.
Under the trees on the gardenpath it was dry, and I enjoyed the moment of being alone with nature.

After that I had to put my bicyle away and before I was ready I was soaking wet.

This time I didn't care one bit.

Sometimes it's good to feel the cold rain dripping on your back....

Saturday, July 19, 2008


july 19 2008

Saturday Six

1. You decide to start a new exercise program. Without having a workout partner to help you, how likely are you to follow the plan religiously?

Well, I'm not going to start an exercise program, because I can't commit to something that's time consuming. Not with my autistic boy still at home.

I used to keep all my ballet traningsessions etc. even when I didn't feel well.
So I'm very committed, when I commit myself to something.

2. Who was usually the first one to say, “I love you” in your past relationships: you or your partner?

There is no usually.
I don't remember, but I guess I was the first, because I so longed for someone to love me.

3. If you decided you wanted to date someone, what would the primary test you’d give to see whether your “intended” had commitment issues?

Hihi...I have 6 kids. Take them or leave them. LOL!

4. Take the quiz: Are you afraid of commitment?

You Are Ready, Willing, and Able to Commit

You are not scared of commitment in the least.

In fact, there's a good chance that you're already committed to someone you love.

You are willing to give up a little freedom for relationship stability.

And once you're in a relationship, you'll do almost anything to make things work.

5. Do you find yourself faster or slower to commit to a presidential candidate now versus previous elections?

This is ofcourse a question only meant for the american participants.

But in a broader sense.

I have more insight in political realtionships and issues, I also know better what I want for myself, the future of my children and all of the world.

So I'm faster to make a choice, and I've already made it for Obama.
He might be less experiences as Mc.Cain, he's certainly more open for suggestions. He wants to hear the people and wants to act on what he hears what's needed.
In his previous jobs he certainly showed this.

McCain, being a former military man, has taken over the military way of thinking.
So things are far more likely the way they are.

America shouldn't focus as much on terrorism, but should focus far more upon understanding other countries.
We're living on the same planet. So try to live together, instead of on top of the other.

6. You see something in a store that you really, really want. Once you decide that you’re actually going to buy it, how easy would it be to talk yourself out of your commitment to buy it?

Very easy.
Without much money mom's own things are always bought last.

But when I'm trying to earn the money bit by bit I'm very committed.
I want my smallpipes (kind of bagpipes) and I'm almost there.
I've earned them 5 dollars, by 5 dollars.
And be aware, a dollar beside a euro is almost nothing.

So I'm very committed. Very!

Want to take part too?
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dealing with the mail and the threats

july 19 2008

After receiving this letter, I took the time to calm down and to take some decisions.

Would I give in and go to the appointment next tuesday?
No one to watch the kids, not knowing the opinion of the psychiatrist of my autistic son, rather unprepared?

How come the schooladvisor was so central in the appointment?
Isn't it about us?
Aren't we all equal partners in the care for our son? Or even better, doesn't the councilrepresentative have to check with us first before inviting others?

How is the relationship between those two?
Do they have informal contacts?
Are they by phone, by mail?

I decided to ask the schooladvisor if the date was really stuck at tuesday, or if he was more flexible, wording it in such a way that he could decide to get in contact with the council representative
Adding to the mail some very personal remarks, like that I feel the council representative doesn't care about the fact that the vacation is the bussiest time of the year, with all children at home all day.
I even added some info about a decision we've made about the future.

In the meantime I wrote a concept of a mail to the council representative about the fact that the father of the children can't come because he's needed at work.

Next morning I had an angry mail from the council representative.
I should have checked with her to change the date.
It was not true she didn't care about our vacation...

I guess you're getting it!

So I wrote her that asking her to change the date without asking the person she puts as most important would be silly.
My idea had been to ask him.
If he wouldn't have been available at a later date I wouldn't have asked her to postpone it, but would have informed her about the fact that it was only me coming.
If he would have informed me about some later dates, I would have put them aside my agenda and then I would have asked her to change the date and I would have given the data we would be available.

I also used the mail to inform her about some facts, like the fact that we didn't ask the old school to unsubscribe him.
That's because she can fine us or bring us to court for not subscribing him to a school.

I also asked her to send us her questions so we can be better prepared and bring necessary paperwork.

Ofcourse I asked the schooladvisor whether he'd send her our mail.
He said he didn't.

Well, I'll know at the meeting.
When she knows about our future plans she has read that mail, or they have spoken about more than he's told us, violating our confidentiality and the privacy laws about using contents of mails.

I also mailed the schooladvisor to make clear that she's clearly manipulating people. Using him to put us under pressure.

I don't feel happy about dealing with this all this way,
but now I know a bit more about their relationship.
I've also revealed she's manipulating people and doesn't hesitate to use a government representative to get her things done.
She knows I know, and I hope she now knows she needs to stick to ethics and the law.

I can only hope this all doesn't turn against us.
In that case I'm going to file a complaint about her behaviour.

Oh, I so hate to deal with people this way....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

men-wannabees in the house

july 17 2008

Life with a couple of puberty driven males is almost always interesting.

With two we're in the shaving stages.

We're experienced parents.
Already two play with their facial hair and live life between babysmooth, crowded with hair and beardlike growths.

For years we've tried to teach them that acne is a problem that needs hygiene and ignoring, but acne on the shaving area is a problem that needs to be treated even better.

So there's a growing interest for lists of products to treat all sorts of spots and skin problems, especially for blemish acne cream.

The old electrical shaving machine has been brought to life without burning down the house.
It was just to show the difference between electrical and what we consider normal shaving.

To my autistic son it gave him the choice between the trembling and buzzing of the machine and the feel and smell of shaving soap.

It's been a pleasure to hear the old fashioned sound of the little machine, but even a greater pleasure to put it away until someone finds it and sells it as antique.

Shaving by hand is far easier in our house, because we have no electrical connections at our bathroom.

Last week I had to admire the removal of a few hairs below the lips and the end of the facial area.

I'm still amazed about myself.

I was so terribly serious when I told the man-wannabee in question that he looked far better.
Now he really does, because his ego has grown quite a bit.

My autistic son however still has problems getting used to the idea of growing up.
He wants to be a man, but he doesn't want the extras that come with it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a threatening letter

july 16 2008

Another invitation from the council representative.
A very threatening letter. When I won't show up she'll make a courtcase of it.

All sorts of emotions went through me: amazement, anger, the need to cry, and an enormous feeling of tiredness.

She lines up now with the schooladvisor, and states that we can't cancell the appointment because the schooladvisor was invited.

She wants to talk with us about other schooloptions, which must be out of town.
I can't agree with that at all, but I have the law against me.
They don't care how handicapped a person is.
All they want is to force a kid to get a diploma.
As if that solves all problems.

I have to write the psychiatrist of my autistic son about the matter and see that he writes that my son can't travel, not even by special bus.

But in my head I feel blanc and empty.

On top of it all I've hurt my knee.
One moment I was standing in a shop buying some items for the girls in the sales and the next moment I had a tremendous pain in my knee and could hardly walk.
I don't know what I've done.

This should have been a festive week, but it's not.

And all because my son is autistic and there's no place available in an auti-class.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

opening of the 4day marches

july 14 2008

We managed to get tickets to witness the opening of the international 4 days marches.

When I was young I used to go each year.
My father was a member of one of the many medical teams and he gave his free ticket to me.
So I've been on the VIP-part, sat between Swedish female soldiers, and cheered between all those thousands of people that crowded the stadium.

I haven't been there in years.
The stadium has been rebuilt and some traditions have changed.

One of them was the time of the beginning.
We had to wait almost two hours before the gates were opened.
Don't think we were the only ones.
There was a huge crowd at "our" gate and I think as much at every other gate.

Somehow we maneged to get through this time by chatting with people around us, observing the crowd, making jokes and even singing when they were testing the sound equipment.

Among the crowd I saw someone who resembled the brother of my grandmother so much, that he must be family. I saw someone whose feet I cared for when I was in the medical team, and some other familiar faces.

Then the gates were opened and I was shocked by how the stadium looks now.

It's so much smaller!
And the field is almost half the isze it used to be.

The surrounding running floor wasn't there anymore, adding to the feeling that the stadium is just small. (Which it isn't)
Instead of the surrounding area there's now a pit, where people come in.
During the games supposts and the police can keep an eye on the people, and no one can enter the fields from the tribunes.

The pre-program was boring.
I guess someone developed it for people with an IQ of about minus 20 to 30.
On top of it all the sound system wasn't working properly and the choir singing had just 1 microphone, which is not enough in a stadium with 12.000 people.

At a certain moment people started to keep themselves bussy with 2 waves going around.

I loved the airballoon visiting us.
For a few moments I thought it would land, to make up for the paratroopers which were unable to jump because their plane leaked oil, but the balloon slowly slided down to have a look, and then made height and disappeared.

When the official program started a sigh of relief went through the stadium.
It was so nice to see the bands enter the field and hear them play.
People started to hum the songs, and it sounded marvellous!

The artistic part was a delight.
I haven't seen photo's yet, but I'll put some links on my blog when they're worth to get an impression.
The show featured one of the best singers of our country. I was told that she's live far better than on CD and they're right. What an inspiring woman Edsilia Romley is!

After that dansers and other artists entered and the performace was awesome. Each part of the show featured a different continent of the world, thus paying respect to all 73 nations taking part in the marches.

Ofcourse the flag of our country was already high in the wind, and all the other flags were raised too.
In the end the flag of the 4 days marches was presented.
The commenter didn't announce it, so people were still sitting.
As soon however as I heard the anthem I stood up, started to sing and I heard the people behind me one by one doing the same.
It was like a wave went through the stadium and in the end everyone was standing and singing the special anthem.

It was almost midnight when we arrived at home.

What an evening!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the beach

june 21 2008

At the Beach

1. Do you plan to be at the beach this summer?

It would be nice to be able to go there.
But I can never plan vacations, so if I'll be able to go it's just for a few hours.

2. Do you have a favorite beach?

No. not really.

3. How old were you on your first beach trip?

2, and they had to go to a doctor with me. Turned out I had asthma and couldn't deal with the humidity. They had to return home.

4. Did your folks own or rent a cottage at the beach?

Huh? Own a cottage?
Our beaches don't have many cottages on them.

5. Have you or would you bring your kids to the same beaches you went to as a kid?

They have been there with someone else.

6. What type of bathing suit do you wear at the beach?

When I'm there I'll take a long walk.

7. Do you have favorite food you like to eat at the shore?

I think your idea of a beach is far different from mine.
Our beach is just a stretch of sand beide the sea.
Only at the most touristic areas there are some restaurant facilities.
They're far too big for our wallet.

So it's sandwiches.

8. Do you have a favorite drink you like at the shore?

Something I can bring with me.

9. When is the next time you will be beach bound?

I just don't know. (see 1).

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Saturday, July 12, 2008


july 12 2008

Saturday Six

1. You order a plate of wings: what’s your first choice: mild, hot, inferno or teriyaki?

Let me say first I never ever would order a plate of wings.
I make them myself far better than anyone can. You can invite me to taste yours, no problem, but I'll never order them.

I like them spicey.
I can deal with hot.
If necessary I'll take inferno to show my bagpipe friends I have no problem eating their taste. LOL!

2. Which makes the best base for barbeque sauce: mustard, vinegar or ketchup?

Ketchup? Ugh!
Vinegar is for cleaning.
Give me mustard, yoghurt, soysauce and some other stuff, and I'm OK.

3. If you could learn the eleven herbs and spices used in Kentucky Fried Chicken, how likely would you be to attempt to make it yourself? Why?

I have no means to compare them as we don't have Kentucky Fried Chicken here.
And when we had? No, I wouldn't attempt it.

4. Take the quiz: Which condiment are you?

You Are Hot Sauce

You are the life of any party, because you're so good at bringing people out of their shell.

You have a knack for helping people happily embrace their true selves.

You are ambitious, driven, and fearless. You love taking risks.

Your taste in food is 100% adventurous.

You're up for sampling any exotic cuisine or someone's kitchen experiments.

You live for trying new things, and you get sick of eating the same food (even if it's very delicious).

5. Of the condiments currently in your refrigerator, which would you say you have used the least in the last year?

Don't know. I guess ketchup and curry sauze.

6. After months of unsuccessful attempts, you finally get the recipe for a food you enjoy. When making it for the first time yourself, you discover an individual ingredient that you hate in everything else. Would you still make the dish with that ingredient, or would you try it without?

I often find recipes with basil, thyme and those kind of pepperminty herbs.
I never use them as I like the pure taste of the vegatables and meat far better.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

friday's feast #196

july 11 2008


When was the last time you had your hair cut/trimmed?

That was the day before the musical, so nearly two weeks ago.
I did it myself, as always.
I don't have long hair. It's at ear-length, so it isn't really easy.
But I hate the smells at thge barbershop, and I don't really like people messing with my head.

I was young, 12 or so I think, when three nieces won the national barbersaward. They were great!
To let me share in their success they thought me how to cut hair.
Then showed me how to cut my hair myself, and ápart from 3 or 4 times, I've done it myself.


Name one thing you miss about being a child.

People accepting you're singing on the street, and moving so smoothly.


Pick one: butter, margarine, olive oil.

No olive oil! I'm allergic to it.
No butter and no margerine for daily use. It's either halvarine or sunflower oil.

But I think that butter is the best ingredient for a good smell and taste of cookies and cake. (I hardly use it though).

Main Course

If you could learn another language, which one would you pick, and why?

Mmmm... I already speak a couple:
dutch, english, german...rather fluently
french ...pretty well
swedish and swahili...a bit.

So I guess it's either spanish or chinese.


Finish this sentence: In 5 years I expect to be…

I never ever think so far ahead.
Not with 4 autistic kids.

5 years....
When I've found a place for my autistic son to stay
I would love to travel the world.

But maybe they stress in my life has taken its toll and I'm already dead or I'm unable to travel.
Hopefully I'll be able to teach then.
Or maybe I've found my way back to my profession. My life has made me a damn good psychologist. Each time I'm dealing with people who have to diagnose my children the compliment my professor gave me comes back to life: "You're a very talented diagnostician, a damn good one." and I find myself feeling back at my lecturers job.
It's my ego speaking I guess when I say I would love to be a lecturer again.
But I expect all jobs will be taken by young ambitious people with less experience in real life.

Ugh...I feel old now!

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money and life insurance

july 11 2008

We've got the paperwork for the school of the girls.

They're starting august 26 on 9.00 hours, with a program to get used to the schools, it's rules and ofcourse the teachers and children.
The school stimulates creativity and starts immediately. They're asked to create a little theatre piece based on their experiences of the first days. The best will be performed in the grand hall.
The girls are thrilled!!

I was less thrilled with some other paperwork.
It's the financial part.
We're finally getting the main part of the costs for books back, which is marvellous, but there are so many additional costs that I have to sit down and add it all up to see the picture.

A friend says she doesn't worry because she's got life insurance for kids, but I don't think you should get money out of the fund at this age.
It's better to wait untill they're going to university or another way of education.
They're 4 to 6 years older than and you've build a larget sum, meaning you'll profit from interest more.

Maybe thinking that way has kept us out of debt.
Better no vacation abroad and paying for schoolcosts directly, than getting into debt or taking it from the money saved for the future.

What would you do?


juli 11 2008

Next week the town is full of music and sports.
I love these international festivities, not in the least because the open air concerts are all free and quite some famous people are featured.

Today a friend called to tell me that one of my favorite artists would give a concert: NOA.

I nearly hit the ceiling from jumping. LOL!

All afternoon I was singing her songs... but something didn't feel right.

So eventually I looked in the program and...ugh!... it was a group with her name...

Because I knew she's touring the south of Europe I had a peek in her agenda and she's coming to town in octobre.

Guess who wants to be at the concert!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

obesity and healthy food

july 10 2008

Due to his medication my autistic son is obese.

The weightgain many people experience when starting on Risperdal was just the beginning.
The medication caused a permanent feeling of tremendous hunger, and since then he's never felt satisfied, not even after a meal.

We changed his meds to Abilify, which caused a loss of weight of a few kilos, but it's all back and he's growing.

He hates it, and I hate it even more.

He can have three meals and some bread before going to sleep, some fruit and a lecture on healthy food and that's the diet for each day.
I'm firm on that.

But his father brings food in the house which is not right, and he gives him the wrong things.

He doesn't understand what he's doing and even worse: I can take the blame.

Ofcourse my son manipulates his dad as good as possible. Moaning, begging, making a fuzz or worse. To me it looks like blackmail, but I know it's the behaviour of someone who just needs to eat.

All I want is healthy food in the house. Is that too much to ask?

I want my son and his father on a course.

or maybe I sould just ask his doctor for Phentermine ?
Some people say it helps... but I don't know.

I think that healthy habits are far more useful.


july 10 2008

25 years ago the Kilauea Vulcano in Hawaii produced tremendous amounts of lava.
Since then it's never been completely quiet, but the last week it's spitting los of lava again.

It's always interesting to see the interaction between earthquakes around the world and vulcanic eruptions.

It makes me so aware we're guests on a living planet.

Today I saw this little movie on TV, and I didn't want you to leave my blog without seeing it.

Thank you NOS!

I'm a plant-sitter again

july 10 2008

Do you like to be taken for granted?

I don't.

For years I've been keeping an eye on the house of some people in the neighbourhood.
I feel much more of a warden during the summermonths, than someone staying at home during the vacation.

The first request was put in today: "We're leaving next saturday, I'll put the key in your mailbox. We'll be back after three weeks."

Did I say request?


Well, at least I don't have to walk the dogs.

Sometimes I wish they will be a time I can go to them and tell them that the watercan stands in the corner, that some plants need water twice a week, others once a fortnights and the tiny ones need attention every day.

Or I wish we dared to take possession of their house and celebrate our vacation there.

Now I have to find my agenda and make a note, otherwise I can't keep track of who comes back when.

I'm a plant-sitter again.

last schoolday

july 10 2008

The girls had their final schoolday last tuesday.

It was a very warm morning, with loads of sun.

They had a lunch and that was it.

I went to say goodbye to the teachers too.

One of them has been the teacher of my autistic sun, and due to her he had a very bad time at school.
This year she was the teacher of one of the girls, and she did all she could to make up for the mistakes in the past. She even helped more than a 100% to get my other daughter admitted to the school she wanted to go to.
We spoke a few words about it, and I think things have levelled out on both sides.

One of the other teachers behaved very unkind this year.
I don't think personal circumstances should influence someone so bad that she takes it out on the children and the parents.
After the musical she suddenly grasped my arm and behaved like in the past. We all were pleasantly surprised.
Now she held my hand for a long time...I asked to get it back. LOL!

Then we said goodbye to one of the other teachers who has been a lady of kindness after one of the girls has a very terrible year with the bitch of school.
We talekd about it and thanked her for being able to give my child her self-confidence back.
I'm sure we'll see each other again, because my daughter still has a feeling of coming home with her.

The principal tried to walk in the corridor a few times, but turned away when he saw I was there.
On his desk was a very think letter for him.
When he came out of his office after a ery short visit I could see he knew it was from me, and I'm sure he knew what it was about.

A few years ago he got Child Care involved after reporting us.
One of the girls is very small and tiny, and he thought we were not treating her well.
Turned out we even got a huge compliment from Child Care and she told him to apologise.
Ofcourse he never did. He's not that kind of person.

To close all these years I had to write my feelings down about this all.
I had to speak out about his lies about who called Child Care and some other issues.

Ofcourse I didn't expect that long awaited apology.

He would have been wise to buy some flowers at the railwaystation and ring our doorbell after 22.00 hours. I wouldn't have let him in anymore, and he could have soothed his conscience about making the gesture.

Nothing of it all.
Ofcourse not.

Well, I've closed that rotten part of the life of me and my family.

It's over!!!

And it was so great to feel the sun on our arms, the wind in our hairs and the school disappearing in a corner of town, when we bicycled home.

The final musical

july 10 2008

It's more than a week ago the girls had their musical, their final goodbye to the basic school.

They didn't know that our former neighbour would come too, so that was a real surprise.

When we entered the hall, the boys and their dad wanted to sit at the side, and I wanted to sit at a place where the girls could see us.

So without ill fellings we split, and I ended up sitting between my former neighbour and friend and another friend, who came to see the girls too.

It kind of marked how special the evening was.

One of the girls had a very large balletsolo.
She did so very well, that I even got compliments in the bus yesterday.

The other one was dressed so outstanding that she caught the attention because she was, and is, so beautiful.
I hope we can lay our hands on the video, because I was too bussy keeping two different eyes on the twins, that I've missed important passages.

When the musical was over we were invited for a drink we had to pay ourselves. LOL!
Well, we had time to have a word with a befriended teacher and some friends who were present too.
One of the girls got a necklace from her boyfriend. So cute!!!

When we came home we all had cake and something to drink and we talked for hours.

Now the flowers are long gone, but the memories remain.
They're part of the best ones of those years.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

a stamp

july 5 2008

I'm back here after a week that was far too full of emotion, meetings and life.

Monday, june 30 the father of the children went to the council to check wether the letter to ask permission for our son not to go to school was registered properly.

It was just a gutfeeling I had, and it was right: no registration was found.

It should have been registered between the letters to the mayor and council.
The councilrepresenative asked us to send it to her... we will never know if the omission not to register it properly was intentional or not.

Anyway, after searching for the right form for about an hour, he was send to the right department, where he filled in a new one, got a stamp, registered the letter at the proper department... and then the council representative showed up to show our letter with a stamp.


Another half vacationday through the drain.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

graduated weatherboycot

july 3 2008

It's a special day today.

I'm just popping in here because I don't know when I'm able to blog again.

The girls had a great final musical and left school quite happy. I'll blog about it later.

Today it's the day one of my son graduates.

He's been fighting his way through school, because the school provided just a small bit of support for his severe dyslexia.
But he did it!!

I'm so proud of him!!

His clothes are waiting for him to come home later this afternoon.

He's still not sure how to protest against the fact that the school forgot to put their names in the paper, as is a tradition here.

I'm just waiting for what's going to happen.
Will he come home this afternoon with a pink bathrobe to wear?
Or does he take the nametag from the door of the person responsible (for a lot more than just ignoring this tradition), and glue it on the toiletdoor?
Or will they all bring toiletpaper and roll that person in it as long that he can't move again?

We'll see.

Right now we're suffering a weatherboycot.

After a very tropical day of more than 34 degrees celcius, ending with terrible rains, lightning and thunder, it's grey and loads of water just fall down.
Worse weather can be seen on the weathersite.

Ofcourse I tried to convince my sons father to hire a car.
I don't want to arrive there with my long pink dress full of mudd and soaking wet.
The rental office is quite far away, so I got a counteroffer: a taxi.

Well, that's a very special offer, as he even puts up a fight when a taxi is needed to go to the emergency department of the hospital.

So in a taxi we'll go, and I'll take trousers and a T-shirt to goback in case we have to go back by buss. LOL!

My son is nervous, because he's afraid they won't be kind to him in their speech to him.
It's the sad inheritance of 4 years at that school.
I've promised I'll stand up and either speech too, or create some kind of funny disturbance so people will remember him because of that and not because of that speech.

In a way I think we'll have the real graduation celebration when we come home and finally feel completely independent from that school again.

Now I'm going to blow up some ballons and decorate the house for him.
We can't put the flag out, because it's raining so badly.

We we'll feel happy, be sure of that!