Friday, October 30, 2009

She's a Beauty

october 30 2009



1. Do you consider yourself beautiful?


Oh, no!
I'm different.

2. Do you think you have a great sense of humor?

Yes, I have. And I sure need it every day, so I'm well trained.

3. What is the funniest thing you ever said?

I don't keep scores.
But I've been asked as a stand up comedian after keeping the whole waitingroom laughing when our doc was called to an emergency.

4. What's the funniest thing you ever did?

Hmm.. ***thinking*** I don't know.
I'm not in the mood to remember.

5. In a partner, how important are looks?

Well, there must be some link between the inner and the outer.
But I can understand that what some people consider handsome, others don't.
I think it's more important how the person is.

6. In a partner, how important is sense of humor?

Very important.
Mine lost his sense of humor, the little bit he had, a very long time ago.
I always feel so stupid when I make fun and he asks me to explain it.

7. What's the funniest thing a partner ever said?

I've been through many funny moments with friends.
But to remember something what's said....

8. What's the funniest thing a partner ever did?

Well, a friend, a very good friend, once went with me on a walk through town when a huge streetfestival was going on.
He took a hand doll with him and started to talk with it to strangers.
In the beginning I felt a bit awkward, but later I couldn't stop laughing.
Wish we could do that again.

9. In a partner, how important is intelligence?

Well, I don't need to be married to a professor.
But a good partner for me would be someone who can debate with me, so some intelligence should be directly available.




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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Familar sounds of the past

October 29 2009



I remember being ill and staying at the house of my gram.

The small room gave me the feeling of a warm embrace.
It's strange, but I can't remember ever wanting to look out of the window.

A shelves with books was above the bed, and it took me years to realize that it might fall down. Two weeks after I thought so it came down, with my favorite book: "The lady with the green coat", on top.

Being ill at my gram's was staying in bed and listening to all the sounds of the house and the world outside.
No radio or TV was needed.

The clocks, the sounds of my gram cleaning.
The vegetables lady opening the door with the key that fitted all houses in the street and her calling upstairs to ask what was needed that day.
The birds, and the bus passing by, stopping at the bus stop and the footsteps of people to their houses.
Even when dozing off one was part of a living world, and waking up gave a feeling of stability and being secure.

The past days I've been dozing on and off and each time I woke up I missed the familiar sounds of the past.
Right in front of me the old clock of my other grandmother.
It stopped working a long time ago and it seems to look with an empty face into the room.

The houses are so well isolated that I need to focus to hear some sounds from outside.

In a way I'm glad that it's time for "As the world turns".
Some life in an empty world.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

still ill

october 28 2009

I'm still ill.

Now the girls have their vacation it's a pity I'm struggling with a complete lack of energy.
As far as I can see they don't care much, however.
They've been doing all sorts of things girls their age do: reading, writing in their diaries, listening to music, rearranging their room and being nice to me.

Their father experienced more problems getting used to the fact that I'm not jumping to everyone's needs. Like always when I'm not feeling well he threw a row.
All it made clear is that he lacks a lot of feelings I would have liked to see in a person I once married.

Well, let's say the positive consequence of being ill is that I'm loosing weight, because I'm not interested in food at all.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

medical emergency

october 27 2009

Do you know what medical emergency means?
I'm not talking about a broken knee or a fall from a 22 story high building, but about the mexican flu.

When a medical emergency is declared in case of a pandemic like they say the mexican flu is all sorts of regulations that are used to protect our safety can be ignored.

And they are.

Under normal circumstances vaccinations need to be tested on a large variety of variables, including long term effects.
That's why it takes so many years for drugs to be approved.

In a state of medical emergency this requirement is dropped, for instance.

Also certain other safety standards are lowered or ignored.
Under normal circumstances all sorts of groups are tested and within those groups the dosage is carefully established.

In a state of medical emergency less testing is required or generalisations over groups are made without sufficient proof.

Also others standards are lowered.
There is a careful description in the law who is allowed to give shots and who not.
But in a medical emergency dentists, midwifes and other groups are allowed to give shots too.

When shots are not prefilled but must be filled at the scene it's normal to use one needle to get the fluid from the bottle, and use another for injecting it into the person.
In this state of emergency the same needle is used, and doctors here have already established that part of the needles isn't sharp anymore when used to inject, causing unnecessary pain and maybe even causing a greater chance for infection.

But what worries me most is that normal warnings and safeguards to prevent spreading of disease are completely ignored.

Have you seen warnings telling people with an egg allergy to turn to their doctor, because they need a different shot?

And how about the fact that thousands of people have to go to special centers?
What a great way to get the flu even before the shot is working!!

Well, that's why they put a special adjuvans in the european shots. It boosts the immune system to react within 24 hours.
Oh, and in case you want to know: the adjuvans is forbidden in the USA. What does that tell you?
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Monday, October 26, 2009

He broke the 10 cm thick wooden dinnertable

october 26 2009

This weekend the clock went back.
All times the clock needs to be reset I walk on the stairs to the place where it hangs, reset it, clean the lot, give the clock a polish and go my way back until I'm at the ground again watching with housewife's content to the shining clock.

It works well.

The father of the cvhildren is getting more and more autistic each year.
I have to run the family almost on my own and I have to deal with the problems he causes too.
Usually he arouses stress in the children by the way he deals with them, and I have to come in between.
He tell the boys they should consider the consequences of their actions, but he's never taken more than 30 seconds to think about what he's going to do.

This morning he felt irritated that the clock wasn't reset yet, probably because he isn't used yet to his own watch and the clock is more familiar to look at.

So he stepped on the table we bought when we moved in here 25 years ago.
It was a round table with a blade of 10 cm thick good wood.
In the middle there were two extensions, well supported and secured by 2 iron rails.

The kids have been dancing on the table without even a sound, at moments I was upstairs or outside busy with the laundry. They were not allowed to do so, but even before I had children I was aware how attractive tables and beds are to jump on.

This morning I woke up by a loud sound of cracking wood and rumble of falling tablewear.

He said he leaned with his knee on the table, but he had the clock removed, and he can't get it without his full weight on the table and standing on it.

I guess he was lucky with the fact that yesterday evening I put a huge pile of laundry on the table, so I could fold it this morning.
It moved to the lower part and I assume he fell on it. Otherwise he would have had at least a broken anckle. (Well deserved...grrrrr.....)

With a fever and dizzy I've been busy all morning to remove the heavy table.
My moving son has the equipment in his apartment, so I had no screwdriver, nothing, so had to use pure force to break the legs from the table.
As I'm the constructioner here and I never ever use glue for furniture, it was not as hard a job as it would have been otherwise.

The lamp is hanging above an empty space, where I will pile up what was on the table.

The same table isn't sold anymore, we need to have a new one.
Some of my favorite things are broken.

I am furious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

My kids love... eggs our way

october 25 2009

"Eggs our way" isn't it a ridiculous name for a recipe?
Well, it's how the kids call the way we love our eggs.

Take a pan.
Melt some butter to cover the bottom with just a shine, so the eggs won't glue to it.
Take eggs...as many as you want.

Break them over a bowl and mix with a fork or mixer with salt and a tiny bit of pepper.
Add whatever you want when you want: bacon, apple, banana, vegetables.

Pour a bit of water in the pan and add the egg mixture.
Keep stirring and scraping from the bottom until the egg mess is done.

It can be used instead of meat for dinner, on a sandwich with ham for lunch, or a bit brown baked as a snack for in between.
Some even tried it on ice and told me they liked it.

Well.... I didn't.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hey Jealousy

october 24 2009



1. Tell us a story when you got jealous.

I'm not a jealous person... I just don't know.

2. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

What do you mean?
I'm getting tired of wanting to go on vacation and I've still not learned to stop dreaming after 25 years without.

3. Who do you mess with the most?

I don't know.

4. Do you have any special talents? What are they?

Music, debating, writing, telling other people about autism....

5. If you could have a secret fling that no one would ever find out about, would you?

Right now?
Yep, where is he?

6. What's the furthest you've been from home?

Italy and Eastcoast of Wales.

7. How many Saturday 9 player's blogs do you typically visit?

Depends. Sometimes I visit them all and sometimes none, or I just read them without commenting, because I'm too tired. (Sorry).

8. Some great bloggers lose their "mojo" and quit blogging. Could you see that happening to you?

I've had my noblo time (not blog time), but I always return.

9. What's the biggest mistake you've made so far this year?

Trusting my son would go to daycare.
It took so much effort to get it all arranged and now he refuses to go.


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Friday, October 23, 2009

Food 4 Thought Friday

october 23 2009




Breakfast
What was your high and low of the week?

High: won a scrapkit from an admired artist. (Will blog about it this weekend.)
Low: The flu, going to psychiatrist with son to get his diagnostic results and they were not ready, a teacher bullying my daughter.

Lunch
What is something you used to do religiously that you no longer do?

Going to church.
The church here doesn't inspire me one single bit, I don't feel at ease there.
So it's just God/The Spirit and me, and the rest of the world.

Dinner
What is something you now do that you never in your wildest dreams thought you would be doing?

Giving people, like teachers, feedback on their behaviour.
Oh, it's so good to be a bit older... LOL!

Midnight Snack
How much do you enjoy Halloween?

We don't celebrate it here.

Recipe of the Week
(instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for this week?)

Mix kindness and dreams and relax before you go to sleep.



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Thursday, October 22, 2009

psychiatry and the kids

Yesterday we had an appointment with his psychiatrist for our autistic son, but we had to cancel it.
He wasn't well and I was clearly ill.

It didn't matter a lot, because I already scheduled an appointment for the beginning of november.

Today I dragged myself out of bed and got my third son and his dad in the bus in time. Don't ask me how.

My son would receive the diagnosis whether he has autism or not.
His father took a day off especially for this.

We had to wait half an hour before we were called.
And then his father and I were seated behind the one way screen and son didn't receive his diagnosis, but was interviewed again.
I knew he was hard to diagnose, I still know.

I would diagnose him with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental delay. Possible even obsessive compulsive disorder.

It was fun to see a diagnostic session the way I've learned it, and the way I've taught it.
I could use the tape for first year students to score what kinds of questions were asked, and, alas, to point out where things went wrong.

To me a daignostic session is all about the expression of the client. Allowing him to tell as much as possible without me witholding the client or without adding value to what is said.

When my son told he was sad because his brother went to live at his own apartment, it was asked where he went to.
"To the other side of the bridge."
"Oh but that is soo far...."

In my teaching time I would have pointed this out as lack of respect for the feelings of the client, especially because the psychiatrist went on with a few other sentences that way, and my student would have to do the interview again.
Now I was just mom, watching the professor make the mistakes. And I felt sad for my son that he feels so deep about his brother leaving home.

Yesterday we had a talk about it.
He misses doing things together, just walking to him and exchange a few words, the small talk in the kitchen.
All he has left at home is a classic autistic brother who does nothing else than complaining 90% of the time and his 5 year younger sisters.

The longer the interview lasted to more clear it was we wouldn't get the diagnosis.
After an hour there wasn't even time to sit together, but in the hallway we decided to get the prescriptions from our family physician, and we were told the diagnosis would be send to us.
It was indeed very hard to come to a final diagnosis.

Another morning spend with something that wasn't worthwhile.
When we would have been called that they only needed our son he could have gone there by himself.
When they would have talked to us about the problems with the diagnosis, I could have helped them.

Well, I still feel a bit nauseated and I have to decide whether to take the regular flu shot tomorrow or next week.

I won't take the shot for the mexican flu, even though I'm part of the risk groups.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

diabetes and flu

october 21 2009

The flu really has caught me.
I know because my glucose values are all over the place.

There's no way to control them properly.

One of the problems I experience as a diabetic is that high glucose values persist after I'm recovered from an infection or something else. It can take up to two or three weeks before they're within limits, causing all sorts of symptoms which are a source of problems in itself.

Often I have blurry sight, and glasses are of no help at all.
Water retention, dizzyness and a cloudy mind are normal symptoms for me.

Let's hope I can see well again soon.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The continuing story: The national autism centre

october 20 2009

Even though I didn't feel well, I was feeling better than yesterday and so we decided to go to the appointment at the national autism centre.
We got a description how to get there...for cars...
And when I wanted to use Google maps, it didn't work.

But I remembered when I looked a while ago and thought we would arrive there perfectly well.

My autistic boy was trying to uphold us when leaving, but we got to the train just in time. Alas his dad was really autistic today, and wanted to take another bus to go there.

Well, I've learned not to care too much, otherwise we'll land in a debate, upsetting our son.
So we walked... the right way.
The he saw a delivery service man and asked him where the street was. The guy took a map and to my idea he was holding it upside down.
On the other hand...those guys would know....yea...do you think that too?
Then you should have walked with us. LOL!

Let's say it took half an hour until dad admitted he was lost.
I advice to call the secretary of the centre.

That helped....a bit.
Only when a woman on a bicycle helped us we arrived at the building.
Son was terribly complaining, I was feeling to tired to react.
But I was also very happy we had taken the train one hour too early, because we arrived 5 minutes before time. Yeehah!!
That was 1 hour of free healthy movement in a nice old neighbourhood, with tall trees and leaves to kick around everywhere.

At the centre the secretary started to tell me I should have looked on a map, which I did, and was trying to make me look like the first real stupid non-blonde in her life, when the other secretary stood up and told her that we had been at exactly the same places as she when she came to work at her first day. That it was not our mistake, as she heard many more people going completely wrong.
I could have kissed her!!

Then we had to wait.
And wait...
and wait...

I saw people look from the upper level (it was an open hall), looking at us.
Ofcourse I said, loud enough for them to hear, that we would leave when they hadn't come to fetch us in 5 minutes.
I don't like to be the subject of the waiting games we played when I was in training at the hospital.
Haha, within a minute we were invited to follow someone.

We got a nice welcome and nearly cold, watery, coffee and an introduction that made me stop them talking.

We were there to hear what they had to offer, not to make blind plans for whatever they wanted us to do.

So we started to have a real conversation about that our son can go to daycare/worktraining, what kind of daycare/worktraining they have, which other possibilities, etc etc.

They took my son to see the space where their daycare/worktraining is, and then turned to us.
We knew that autism is genetic. So where did it come from.

It was the first time the father of the children was so clearly confronted with his autism, and ... that he admitted it.
Well, he couldn't have denied it after what happened this morning. LOL!

After that I got the compliments that sounded meaningless: I was so strong, it must be difficult with 4 kids, and ofcourse I would be an expert by now.
One way or another it sounded hollow.

"Yes, that's why I've changed in contact with people who know it all.
I've learned not to trust the nice booklets, but let people talk about their work.
And I've grown quite spontaneous in saying what pops up, because most let the message go in one ear and let it leave through the other.
I've learned to look at the needs of the family as a whole, at the needs of the individuals, and I've learned to consider the workload others impose on the family when they want to "help". Professionally or not professionally."

Ofcourse then I switched the theme to the fact that traveling to and fro is quite a job. When our son goes there for one morning traveling time is about twice the length of his stay there.
So they can arrange he can go by special transport.

When my son came back he was quite impressed by what they have to offer.
He even said he would go there.
Yea...
He'll say anything to please others and when he needs to go he won't.
I could see it in his eyes.

So I said that we have barely started daycare in our own town, and he's having difficulties to attend there. He should overcome the obstacles here first before going another, more difficult, route.

So we agreed to keep them updated, and in case it didn't work out here in town we would consider letting him go there.

I expected them to adress the issue about his real problems: needing someone to brainwash him to go somewhere, whether it's a shoeshop to buy new shoes, school, or daycare.
It was clearly written in the referral...
But no word about that.

During the years I've felt a growing opposition against people making me responsible for him not going anywhere.
When he was young I just put him in the bicycle seat and drove away, when he was older it took a growing length of time to motivate him, and now I'm bluntly manipulating him. But nothing works more often than a single time, nothing is generalized, and each day I've fought the same battle.
He's 17, so ask someone else to lend a hand when you want to count the years I struggled on your fingers.

The bare facts are that they just call therapy, what they call here in town: support.

We didn't talk about admitting him, or about more intensive therapy.

So the choice was clear: first give him the opportunity here in town.

Then we had a few words about us wanting him to stay at the activity centre in the weekends. Autistic young people can stay there for a weekend in one or two months to give the family the chance to do something without autism interfering.
Oh... how I long to go shopping with the girls and do girly things without us coming home and falling into the bitter pit of his complaints and the accounts of his rows with his father. (That's why I almost always stay at home.)

It was clear he doesn't want to go... but we want him to go.
It's 5 minutes from here.
Well, they explained all the paperwork, the waitinglist.
I guess we'll get things arranged when I'm already dead and burried. With the gravestone in place and all.

We agreed to keep them updated in case he wants to go to their daycare.

Going home took as much time as going there.
Instead of getting lost we had to wait 45 minutes at the station nearby.
I took some acorns from the tall, old trees, to plant in my own garden.
One of the boys wants to make bonsai trees.

Looking back at what we gained today...
the acorns. LOL!

And he has a file at a centre where they can admit him when we can't take care of him anymore.
But when he's 18 he can be admitted at the psychiatric centre in our town too.

My idea about the autism centre?
Lots of nice brochures, but all drops or stays with the individual expertise and commitment of the individual people.
I'm sure they have a lot of knowledge on paper, research data and the lot.
But not one of the day to day problems we experience with him were addressed properly.

Tomorrow we'll have a meeting with his psychiatrist.
Hmmm







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Monday, October 19, 2009

Manic Monday #186

october 19 2009

How do you define honesty?

Telling the truth. Not how I see it, but according to the facts, the way they can be observed by a majority of people, without adding any opinion or value to it.

What is the main thing that makes you unique?

Me. LOL!

Pfff... there's not one thing that makes me unique.
Maybe I'm not even unique.

What is your biggest fear or worry?

That I die too early, leaving the girls and the boys with too much grief.

Another one is that my classic autistic son will never ever more out, and I'll have to deal with the same behaviour until I die. He got stuck in development when he was about 12. He's now 17.




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Sunday, October 18, 2009

We extinguisehd a fire

october 18 2009

When almost finished with our walk last night, we were confronted with a fire that might have caused a lot of damage.

We were just in time to extinguish it, so the firefighters had nothing else to do than compliment us for taking care of it. As they said: "very professionally".

I've blogged about it at my other blog ::here::
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Early morning for the couch

October 17 2009

Yesterday the son who's moving out went with his dad to buy a couch.
They also bought loads of small stuff like towels, a washing up brush, floormat for the bathroom, etc. The father of the children can travel free, and can take someone with him with 40% discount, so he's always the one having that fun.

After putting all the things in the new apartment they came home to eat, watch TV and sleep.

All alarms were set on 7.45, because at 8 the shop would put online at what time the couch would be delivered.

Guess who was the only one waking up?
Yep! Me!

It was rather cold downstairs, and dark.
The light near the computer was spreading a bit of warmth.

*With a pounding headache I went to the site, typed in the zipcode and... eh..nothing.
So I waited 5 minutes, went through the process again... nothing.

Repeat several times from *.

Finally I had a movie in my mind of a huge vehicle arriving at the apartment, no one at home, and a young man furious because he missed the delivery.

So I called the number that was given in case something was not OK.
10 cents per minute it said.
It was more than ten times the amount, per minute.
Ofcourse first a friendly voice told me I had to pay more, then I got a nice introduction to make me hang on the phone and make the counter tick, I had to type a number, and then it was told the number could be called only between monday and friday.

Did I tell you I woke up with a splitting headache?
I became more aware of it when my bloodpressure started to rise skyhigh!

Ofcourse I filled a complaint online, knowing their customer service was starting right that minute. Without a headache, I bet.

OK, I was kind. Rather nice in fact, even though my boy was irritated because I woke him to ask his phonenumber and told him to switch his phone on.

After taking my meds, I tried the site again.

Oh wonder of technology and mom's complaints! The info was there.
His couch will be delivered after 14.00 hours.

Yea, they don't deliver before 14.00 hours. It's in the booklet, it's in the shop, it's on the receipt.

Why on earth did I have to get information about delivery time when they're not more precise?

Good morning!!
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Inside Job

october 17 2009



1. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?


Doctor, midwife, ballet dancer and journalist.

I didn't become a doctor, nor a midwife. Instead I became a psychologist. And I studied medicine as an extraneus, meaning that I studied the main part, but didn't act as a doctor in hospital, nor attended all practical exercises in the laboratories.
Some friends are midwifes and I've made rounds with them and I worked as a birth/delivery councellor. So I supported parents during their high risk pregnancy and high risk delivery. Beautiful work!

Yes, I realised being a ballet dancer. And I've enjoyed it so much that I still have the ballet dancer inside me. Ask me as a teacher or choreographer and you make me happy.

Yes, I've been trained and I've worked as a journalist and at times I still do.

2. Did you ever pursue that career?

Well, you have read the answers.

3. If you are not in that field, what changed?

When I got diabetes I had to stop with ballet. My body couldn't adjust well enough.

Having 4 children with special needs made me give up a lot, career, a normal social life.

4. What is your current job?


Most of the time I'm not paid. I should be.

I'm a mom, autism advocate, I advice people about parenting and about autism parenting from conception to adulthood, I write regularly, advice friends who are journalists,... etc etc. I'm never bored.

5. What's the best part of what you do?

There is no best part, from a professional perspective, because as a mom of special needs kids you're always fighting.

6. Do you have plans to do something else down the road?

Yes. But I'm not sure whether I want to work at regular times under a boss.
I hope to work as a choreographer again.
I would love to be a travel journalist, and a lot more...

7. How did you get your present job? If you are a stay at home mom, how long did you need to plan that move?

I became a SAHM in a time that it was normal for a woman to stay home for the children. Now there's such a lot of pressure on women to work, that it seems you're a kind of underdogged alien when you're a SAHM.
I've decided I want to be one of the last from this dying species. As a protest against the lack of respect for motherhood.

8. Did your parents influence your choices of jobs over the years?

Yes, my mother refused to help me become a midwife, because I had to move to another town. She didn't want to spend money on that.
She didn't want to sigh she wasn't paying either, so I had to find a study in my hometown.
I worked and studied both at the same time.

9. What advice would you give your children on careers?

Invest time and energy,do what your heart tells you what to do. Money isn't all. Be good at what you do.


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Food 4 Thought Friday

october 16 2009




Breakfast
Would you or have you ever gone sky diving?

I've never done it, but I've always said I would love to try it.
So who takes me high up in the sky?

Lunch
What do you think about President Obama receiving the Noble Peace Prize?

Well deserved.
I've seen the enormous criticism from Americans and I think it's a disgrace they have so little faith in their president.
It also shows how little they know about the big picture.

From here I've seen a marvelous change.

Under Bush the allies were treated like slaves. The Nato agreement was used to bully countries.
I had little confidence in a turn for the better when Robert Gates was appointed by Obama. He had been tactless and abusive in the past and it caused alienation between countries and america.
But things have changed a lot and for the first time in years people here start to think positive about america again. There's mutual respect again.

Even though many people think that diplomatic solutions to world problems aren't as good as bombing countries in the night, like was done with the invasion of Iraque, I think that talking with each other is the first step towards understanding and peace.
Obama has already created a lot of goodwill.
I think that the only way to fight against terrorism is to use all knowledge there is. There's no better knowledge than that from people near the terrorists. So from a strategical viewpoint closer relationships with other governments are far more important that threatening with war.

I've also found out personally that Obama's team really listens to what people want.

I think Obama has accomplished a lot for Peace and deserves this Prize a 100%

Dinner
What is the last movie you saw? Did you enjoy it?

Hmmm... I can't remember. Is it important to trouble my brains with this question?

Midnight Snack
How much of a worrier are you?

I'm not really a worrier, otherwise I would have had a heart attack already.

But I like to be prepared, so I think quite a lot about possible developments in situations. Because of that I've been able to have a positive influence on things.


Recipe of the Week (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for this week?)


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Blog Action Day 2009



This year blog action day is about climate change.

We're living in a country below sea level and we're very aware of the impact of climate change. Especially the rise of the sea level and the change of the weather will directly affect us.

Already we're dealing with more severe rains and storms, lightning is more dangerous, and the temperature in the summer is higher than when I was young.

Because we're living with 16 million people on a small area we're aware of the influence of environmental pollution on climate change.

We recycle a lot, as I've written about at Entrewas, here.
And we're working hard on prevention of more damage.

Many countries in Europe have signed agreements about the reduction of pollution many yuears ago, and it seems ridiculous that Blog Action Day requests participants to sign a petition to ask President Obama to take the lead.

America has ignored many international agreements for a long time, like the Kyoto Treaty (here) and the chance to take a lead has long been gone.

All America has to do is take over the ways many countries deal with climate change and the ways the use to prevent more pollution.
Children learn at school how and why things are done, they're taught about the economical consequences. That investing costs at first, but that in the end we all gain.

So many things are normal here, on all sorts of levels.
At home, at school, at factories, on the roads, etc etc.

First start doing what we all do here, before you're even start thinking about who has the lead. Before you're even thinking that someone american should lead the world to influence climate change for the better.

We all should lead ourselves and take responsibility ourselves.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

A place to live - 7: The key

October 15

Today my second son got the key to his new apartment.
It's a place for protected living, which means that he's boss in his own little house, but there's always someone on call to support him.

He's got PDD-NOS.
PDD-NOS is just one word for many different problems people with an autism spectrum disorder have to face.

My son is lucky.
He's very social, likes to smile and to talk, and he can solve problems which interest him very well.

But he also ignores things that need his attention when he thinks he can't deal with them.
Which results in important letters put aside, for instance.

When he can't ignore problems anymore, his stress levels start to rise and most of the times he's unaware of that.
Others can see it, and they can help him.

When the stress level is too high he can't think straight anymore and gets angry.. mainly at himself. And because he can't deal with that he has the tendency to blame others or other things.

Last weekend he was very unhappy with his room.
He suddenly started to undo all he'd built up with much effort and decided it was time for a change.
He was unhappy, because he was stressed about whether or not he would accept the new apartment, stressed about a bill he didn't understand, stressed about the sudden change of weather.

Adolescents, also those with autism spectrum disorder can learn a lot about themselves, the people around them and the world. But they don't always want to learn it from their parents.
Sometimes it's difficult to acknowledge that special needs create a boundary to ones ability to deal with the world.

At home we know how to deal with him, and we consciously and unconsciously avoid situations which may cause problems.
It's OK, to protect the whole family from outbursts (the serious ones are called meltdowns in autism and autism spectrum disorders).
But doing so, it also prevents the person from facing them and dealing with them.

That's one of the reasons he's moving out.
The main reason is however that he wanted a place of his own, wanted to step into the world and move on, with his family more and more at the background.

It's the natural process of life, and even though I'll miss him, I'm very happy for him that he's full of enthousiasm creating his own home.

Because one of my other children is not able to do so it makes me even more aware of the importance of him receiving the key of his new home in his hands.

Congratulations son!


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chatter-de-chat

october 14 2009

Like I expected my auti-son didn't go to daycare.
He didn't feel well, he said.
It's very difficult to see if he's faking or if he's really not well. It doesn't matter anyway, because I can't push him outside. Kind persuasion didn't help.

He looked surprised when I told him we're having a meeting with his psychiatrist next week anyway.

One of the other sons was packing.
He's moving out this weekend and/or next week.

Because the weather changed so fast I needed to give the largest girl a wintercoat. Her sister had taken hers. Well, she's grown into it.

I was lucky to have the coat available downstairs and not at the attic.
Gloves were ready too, and some hats.

This is the first night it's freezing and in the morning they have to leave early and have to cross a bridge. It's always so cold and windy there.

I cooked an old fashion dinner.
I'm so in the mood for winterfood!

And you?
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a place to live - 6

october 13 2009


One of my sons has PDD-NOS, an autism spectrum disorder, and wants to live alone in a protected setting.

Yesterday we had a meeting at the new place.

It's a large building with apartments where people live from the organization for protected living, and all sorts of other people.
The organization is a department of a psychiatric organization that has all sorts of levels of admission and ways of training to live independently.

We had no choice than to opt for this organization, because it's the only opportunity for him to live near his friends and his family.

The guy who was leading the meeting felt the intense need to rub it in that my son will live under the support of a facility.
It was irritating and one of the main reasons my son rejecting living there last month.

The guy was not kind, far too business like, and impersonal.
He made me ask him whether he objected against a mom being there too.
When he said "no, not at all", he didn't smile.

People like that always make me wonder why they want to keep people at a distance.
He's in a position where he needs to be able to facilitate relationships, not burden them.

Like in the mails he made my son and I feel we were too much.
He repeated what he stated in the mail and then I told him that I knew they hadn't dealt with autistic people often before.
So I told him why my son had certain questions: because he takes things literally.

It broke the ice and soon the guy was smiling and invited us relaxed to see the "little house".

Well, it has everything of a house.

A small hall (larger though than we have here), a small bedroom (bed, chair and wardrobe.. no place for more), a newly tiled bathroom with loads of space, and a very nice room with inbuilt kitchen.
The kitchen was new too, with an inbuilt fridge. The washing-machine arrives later this week.

Me, oh my!!

When he wants to stay home I'll move in there.

The guy I mentioned above turned out to be very nice and we had a short chat about a couch. Just some chitchat. He didn't resemble the person he played before.

When we were sitting in the meetingroom again my son was asked whether he wanted to make a decision now or wait a few days.

It's a yes.

We went home with an appointment for Thursday to get the key and the permission to move in next week.

Not too long after we came home he stumbled in telling me they called him to tell him he was allowed to start to move in Thursday.

It's about a year after we started the whole procedure, so we've been able to live towards this moment.

Still I feel double.
OK, I'm happy he's able to realize his dream and make the move. Especially after this weekend I'm not sad to see an end to the turmoil he causes when he's having a meltdown. He's the one who makes a terrible mess in the house and who can undo what took me three hours in 5 minutes.
But he's also the most social of the boys, the one who walks with me the neighbourhood watch, who loves to see the stars and the varying skies above the lake. The one I've traveled most with, shared the most feelings with when he was attending the ballet academy.

Well, we'll see how life changes for all of us.





to be continued...


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Monday, October 12, 2009

Manic Monday #185

october 12 2009

What word describes you best?

You should ask others. :)

Hmm...dynamic? or altruistic? Caring? Idealistic.

What drives you every day

My kids need me, and the world needs a lot to be changed.
So I'm busy with my children and I try to change things that are thrown on my path that needs to be changed. By confronting politicians, for instance.

Where do you want to retire?

In nature.
I want to go to an old house in Scotland in the middle of nowehere.
A small farm is OK.




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Sunday, October 11, 2009

autism saturday

october 11 2009



Yes, it was a relief that my classic autistic son finally went to daycare, especially when I heard he was sitting in the group.

When he arrived home we praised him into heaven, and he himself was quite happy with how the day went.

In the meantime son 2, with PDD-NOS, was struggling with the change of weather, just like the years before.
He didn't feel happy and didn't know why, so he blamed his room.

All he had done to create a nice place for his computer and his things he demolished.
It was not high standing furniture, but a self made room wide desk, with a wallsystem.
Like last year and the year before nothing was good and it ended all outside in the backgarden.

Then he started to push us around, telling us we didn't want to invest in him and his stuff, etc. etc.
But when I told him to get a new shelf for a desk he just went over to his next book of complaints.
It was clear he needed to find a way to deal with the chaos in himself and to deal with the different feel of everything and himself, now the rains and cold makes one feel uncomfortable.

His angry, unkind behaviour made everyone feel irritated.
His dad started to argue with one of the boys who started to complain against me, the classic autistic son started to get angry, etc etc.
A valiumbomb would have done wonders. LOL!

The whole toodoo lasted until saturday late afternoon when a friend came and talked him into spending the evening with him, and another friend asked him to sleep at their house.

Tomorrow we're having an appointment at a place for protected living.
All paperwork is ready, so all we need to know when he's able to move in and if he wants to go.

I hope so.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lie to Me

october 10 2009



1. Can you tell when someone is lying to you?

Most of the time I can.
People change their non verbal behaviour, so with people I know well, I just can see it.
With other people I sense they're not honest.

2. Tell us about one of your flaws. Do you live with it or try to correct it?

One of my flaws is that I hate tidying the house. I'm OK with cleaning, so even when things are all over the place, it's all clean.
I don't mind a handbag in the room that stands there for days before I take it up and put it where it should be, for instance.

When I expect visitors though I can't stand it. So that's the moment I'm working... on the house and on my flaw.

3. When was the last time you laughed hard and what struck you as funny?

I don't know. I just don't know. Isn't that pathetic?

4. Tell us about a time when you should have tried harder.

I'm always trying hard, but maybe I should have hunted the man in the house with a hammer to make him seal the space between the bath and the wall? (see here to read more.)

5. If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?


A vacation for me and the girls.

6. What movie do you know every word to?

None, but I know Anne Frank (the original version) rather well, and Out of Africa.

7. What was the best thing that happened to you this week?

That my classic autistic son went to daycare. See here.

8. What was the worst thing that happened to you this week?

That my PDD-NOS son spoiled all the good feelings with a meltdown that lasted a full 24 hours.

9. What do you think is the biggest difference between men and women?

Oh gosh, need I explain that here???


Want to take part too?
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Friday, October 9, 2009

The continuing story - today he went!

october 9 2009

I'm sitting here in utter amazement and half-shock.
It's 25 minutes after the beginning of his day at daycare and he went. (He's 17, classic autist. Daycare is a dayfacility where he learns some working skills.)

Yesterday I gave up reacting to his comments after I told him that going in his own town would be far more easy than traveling a few days a week to another town where he would work in a treatment center.

Maybe he overheard me on the phone when a friend told me I should push him more, and I told her I tried every form of behaviour to make him go, except physically pushing him out of the door, simply because I can't push 150 kg on legs.

Yesterday evening he said that there was no need for me to wake up and help him leave, as he had an agreement with the girls that they would help him.
I woke up when he was in the shower, and went down when it was 5 minutes before leaving.

Ofcourse I didn't expect what I saw: a young man in his special outfit (all black), with carefully combed hair (his sisters did), and a watery smile.
"I hope dad won't forget the games he promissed", he said.
I guess I'll never know why it worked to bribe him with that into going today and not a few weeks ago.

He complained a few times, which is his habit, told me he was not happy going a full day and he would be here at lunchtime, put his coat on... and went.

The girls gave me a kiss.
He looked at it, said he hoped I wouldn't mind him not coming back (3 steps), turned around and took his bicycle.

I watched it all like a movie, until a bird flew into the garden...the empty garden.

Half an hour later his dad phoned and told me that the girls called him to tell that he's in the bus.

And I've just received a mail that he's arrived and he's sitting with the group.

WOOHAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe that he's away for a couple of hours.
2 long years he was at home.

The house finally feels like mine again.
I've already vacuumed, folded the laundry, and now I'm drinking a cup of coffee without expecting someone to tell me in a loud voice what I already know.

For the first time in ages I feel like a normal mom.

Let's hope this is the first day of his future and a more normal life for us.



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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Most of his things are ruined

october 8 2009



Yesterday the weather was terrible.
In the south the heavy rains caused flooding and lightning struck several times.
We thought we were lucky, especially after we realized that in front of the house the street was flooded and the garden path and in the back the path between all the gardens and our own gardenpath and part of the garden itself, but that nothing was streaming inside the house.

But we were wrong.

At the place of our oldest there was a leakage of the bathroom. It was fixed in the morning and all was over, they said.

When he came home after work, he ate with the rest of the group there, and then went to his room.
It's a kind of studio, with an half open kitchen, a large room, and a bedcorner.

There had been a bad leakage in the bed- and study corner.

A very bad leakage.

His bed, including the mattress, was soaked.
All his clothes were ruined, except the clothes he was wearing and a t-shirt.
He washed them, but the dirt that came with the water was so nasty his clothes can't be used anymore.

All his filed paperwork: gone.
We have to retrieve all psychiatric reports and a lot more.

And his computer...flooded too. So it can't be used.

Even the floor, linoleum, has to be replaced.

Such a devastating event!!!

Ofcourse the insurance will repay part of it, but he needs clothes now.
He got a mattress to sleep on and bedwear from the house. (It's protected living. Hmmmm protection from what?)
The insurance is through them too, so it will take ages for him to get the money he needs now.
So we gave him enough to buy new clothes and food, with the consequence that the trip I planned for the girls and me in the autumn vacation won't happen.

Today the repairmen came to see what caused the leakage.
Ofcourse it comes from the roof, that's clear enough, but they needed to see where it entered.
Meaning: breaking the ceiling of his place.

I feel so sorry for him...so very sorry....
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cleaning, painting

october 7 2009

I know better, otherwise I would have thought I was pregnant.
Why?

I had such a strong urge to clean today.
But it doesn't help when so many people are at home.

Yesterday the father of the children was a real pain.
He was in a bad mood, because he went to work too early on monday and was thrown back on the couch.
I have swallowed "I told you so", but with a lot of effort. LOL!

Today he was walking around in the house and he really got on my nerves.
Boy 2 had his first driver's lesson and expected he would be able to drive straight through to the exam... well after a couple of lessons. But the instructor told him he needed far more lessons...so he switched his music on far too loud, making me feel like sitting on an earthquake driven chair.

"Perfect opportunity for father-son bonding", I thought and half an hour later they were gone on their bicycles.

I cleaned a few things and then painted a wall beside the stairs.
It's plain white again.

Today and the next days I'll be deleting old, outdated, blogposts. Maybe keep some to help my memory for events.

Autumn cleaning...
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the continuing story - an unexpected invitation

october 6 2009

The national autism centre is well known for its expertise and extreme long waitinglists.
A few years is no exception, so I was really surprised to receive an invitation for an intake for my autistic son after just a year.

It also feels like the struggle to get him in daycare has been energy that could have been used to do more rewarding things, because the invitation is for their daycare and treatment department.

Don't think that the intake is a step through the main entrance of autism care.

Forget it!

It's just the intake for another waitinglist.

But a very interesting intake, because they have far more facilities than daycare here in our town. They can also institutionalize people.
Problem is that all those facilities are 2 hours traveling from here, maybe more.

So for now we concentrate on daycare here and keep the invitation ready as a next step when he doesn't go to daycare.

Up til now he's refused to go. I've been through so many emotions about that, that today I didn't spend a word on it, other than that his clean shirt was hanging in my room.

He kept on telling us the last days that he's going to daycare tomorrow.
I'm not sure if he's really wanting to go, or that he just wants to keep us from pushing him.

Well, now we have the invitation for the national autism centre we're having the next step in our hands.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Manic Monday #184

october 5 2009

Do you read an actual print newspaper? If so, how often?

I read the regional newspaper every day. It contains national news, regional news and we have the edition with local news as well.
Often I save interesting articles to read on the monday morning with a cup of coffee.

What is your main source of news?

Depends.
At times I'm an intermediary between the world and some journalists, sometimes I write news myself.
In that case I often depend on registered news like seismologic recordings and such.
Because I know people all over the world I can check rumors and I have access to background information.

Do you believe that it's possible for the media to be unbiased?

Oh yes, absolutely.
Problem is that the money that feeds the media most of the time doesn't request unbiased reports.

And nowadays the public often wants sensational stuff, instead of plain news.








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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Storm and loaded sites

october 4 2009



Waking up with the storm blowing around the house ... I love it!
I took some time listening to all the noises.
The trees near the window make a storm kind of mysterious.

It's a pity they're growing too tall and we're a bit afraid when lightning accompanies bad weather.
But today it were just fierce winds.

When I finally went to confront myself with the real world I had a headache.
Not a good combination with a cold.

I managed to take some time to change a few minor things at the sites.
Some widgets were causing shutdowns of my firefox. So I've put plain RSS in the site again. Not as nice, but more stable.

The last years the way sites are equipped has changed dramatically.
From just letters with a single image, often included in the webset, to personal photos with every post, widgets and all sorts of gadgets.
Loadingtime has improved, which makes people think they should put even more items on their sites.

Some sites don't even have enough room for one single whole blogpost, and you're forced to click through and wait for the whole shabam to load again, only to read a couple of lines and wait endlessly for a commentsection to load. All for the statistics ofcourse.
Oh... and after that you have to give passwords and nonsense words and push again and wait endlessly again.

It makes me think of those houses where there are flowerstatues with golden rims at the windowsill and everywhere else around. Frilly curtains and flowery carpets.

I hope I've found the golden center between a boring site and one that makes people search for content.
Sometimes I feel I should go back to a white site completely.
But it remembers me too much of school.

Have a great week!
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thank you for the well wishes

oktober 3 2009



Remember the father of the kids had knee surgery?

Well, he's walking around and he thanks everyone for the well wishes.

Don't ask me if he's been a nice patient.
Let's say he's been a PATIENT!, when you understand what I mean.

When he was past the shock of the few hours hospital and the pain of the first days, he started to comment from the comfortable position of the couch.
Not too long after that he started to tell people what to do.

To me it's a kind of breakingpoint in recovery, especially when the stage of self pity lingers on.

Then on friday he suddenly jumped up and went to the shoppingcentre.
He was gone before I even realized what he was doing.
Turned out it was mainly criticism of one of the boys what was driving him: he, the master himself, knew better where to buy orange juice.

Don't pity him...he loves shopping and he's a real freak. Goes looking for stuff even in other towns, especially when someone had told him that something is a few cents cheaper.

One of the main jokes in our family is: "It's from the sales."

All those days after his surgery we kept up with his moaning and groaning, his criticism and everything else, but we're sick of it now.
His comments became quite out of proportion and lacked each little bit of consideration for the feelings of the other.

Now he's in the kitchen, because he fancied some baked meat.
I offered to make some, but he told me he wanted to do it himself.
We're all looking to each other and try to stay silent.
There's a difference between baking and burning, and you can be happy not to know at which side he's moving...

Thanks for all the well wishes for him.
You can wish us the best now. LOL!
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Friday, October 2, 2009

A place to live - 5

october 2 2009


One of my sons has PDD-NOS, an autism spectrum disorder and wants to live on his own, in a protected environment.

After he was told he wasn't accepted his social worker and I put up a fight, and after some meetings and a lot of writing we felt more like lawyers of the defence than something else.

Well, the result was positive: they accepted him and invited him to have a look at his new apartment.

They also made him aware of some rules: income would arrive at their account, and under all circumstances he should ask permission when someone wanted to stay.

To him it sounded like they have more rules than we do at home, and he even thought he was facing more rules than his older brother, who lives in a protected environment too.

And, between us, he got wet feet.
Suddenly he liked dinner better, was more aware of the laundry done for him, etc.

Pity that lasted just a few days.

After we ignored the whole issue for a while we adviced him to go and talk with his social worker again.
And so he did.






to be continued...


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Singing in the rain

october 2 2009
I think it's due to the grey rainy weather.
Maybe even to a strong urge to escape the soap opera of our daily life.

All day a song is echoing through my mind and I can't get rid of it.
It's the song, it's the dance, it's the feel.

Singing in the rain!

The original one, with Gene Kelly.

Well, to help you remember and share the stickiness of the song, here it is:

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Breast self examination

october 2 2009

Some cancer organisations have stopped to advice breast self examination.
This is the result of a Danish study which says that breast self examination doesn't lead to a lower number of women dying from breastcancer.

After many studies which were in favor, there are a few that are against, and hola... all information leaflets, TV programs and short movies are thrown in the bin.
In a time of recession I'm always a bit hesitant to belief the latest muscle jerk of an organisation that is financed with subsidies and sponsormoney.

It's interesting that the studies which didn't show benefit were all coming from research in Russia, China and the Philippines.
I wonder whether these results can be compaired to studies done in more western countries, with better healthcare and more financial input.

Even more interesting is that the Danish publishers work for an organisation which is heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry.
It makes me wonder if the research is as independent as it seems.

Our national breastcancer foundation tells me that breast self examination results in more mammograms, more punctions, so a higher cost for healthcare.
The tumors found have no better prognosis than tumors found with the normal breast cancer screening.
No, ofcourse not... but they're found earlier, and not after a wait for the next screening which may be up to 2 years later.

I don't care if the insurance has to pay an extra mammogram when I discover a lump in my breast. Knowing a friend who survived a very fast growing tumor in her breast, just because she discovered it far before the screening, gives me the feeling that self examination is as important as it was before.

I'm not here to please the pharmaceutical industry.
OK, it's a pity when I don't need their whole scala of anti-cancer drugs, chemotherapies, anti vomiting tablets, skincare products and a lot more to fight cancer in a more advances stage.
It's even a pity I don't make the cancer organisations responsible for my own wellbeing.

I am responsible for my own body, so I'll do breast self examination as I see fit.

And be aware even more:
men can get breastcancer too!
Almost all these cancers are found through breast self examination.
How about that?
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

topdroppers of september

october 1 2009

Because I had no internetconnection the number of drops on my entrecard kind of collapsed. Only the fanatic droppers stayed and kept on dropping, regardless of drops back.

Thank you very, very much!!

Real maximumdroppers were the top 2, the rest were my topdroppers.

Computer Aid
The Way I See It
Art Shout
anns snap edit scrap
My gypsygoods
Tekkaus
Online Social Networking
Spicybugz World
Winesworld's blog
Art By Paul Baines

Now entrecard is going to interfere with ad-exposure regardless of former promises, many members are leaving.
It's sad to see so many good and interesting writers and blogs disappear.

I have created a site and group for former and present entrecardmembers to stay in touch. It can only succeed with participation of each and everyone of you.
Ofcourse I understand that those who were in the game only for money don't care to keep in touch, but others are invited with open arms.

Go to: http://entrewas.blogspot.com
to subscribe or write an empty mail to:
entrewas-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

See you there!!!


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Ill at home...

september 31 2009

It's a week ago that he had knee surgery.
So his brains are clear from the epidural.
He can walk to and fro the kitchen, quicker when he thinks I can't see it.

His work is his wife and sole partner.
And since someone called to check how he was progressing, we get calls all day.
Not the nice ones, asking if he's doing well, but those about budgets and all other work related stuff.
So instead of having teh chance to have a talk with their father a bit more often, the kids make a start and are them pushed back in their seats because dad gets a call.

No way he can understand it's annoying for us. It's one of those autism genes that have nested themselves in his brain.

I've decided not to stop vacuuming anymore after I found myself stopping from doing the dishes because it might disturb a phone call.

Now I hate the phone even more!!
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