Saturday, December 31, 2011

An unexpected card

My best friend has terminal cancer.
I know him longer than 40 years now, and I can say he knows me better than everybody else.

When life was hard for him he went away. Never wanted to talk about thing then. And he did the same when he got cancer.
The only one who sees him now is his wife.

It's not about my feelings.
He needs to live his life the way he wants, and I respect that. But on the other hand: he´s got some very great friends and he´s taken from us the opportunity to comfort him, help him.
He's taking away the contact we need to deal with his cancer. And he puts all the stress and pressure on his wife.

I wrote them a christmascard.
On it a quote of a song of one of the most inspiring singers about the fact that no matter what happens people who are in each other's hearts always stay there.

Today I got a card back.
Not from him.
But from his wife. He didn't even write his own name on it.

A deep sad silence crept into my day.
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Changes in town

Another one of my favorite shops will be closing before the end of the year.
We went there today to buy a few things and say our goodbyes.
For over 18 years the small shop with among others india clothes and buddhist items has been a place to relax and have a good talk.
I also bought many presents there, cheap and expensive ones.

Most of my rings are bought there. With money that was carefully saved and after about a thousand looks before I made a good choice.

We saved some money for our last visit and today it stretched very far.
With 10 cents for a bracelet and a pendant we could buy far more than we expected.
It felt like being a child in a candyshop.

I bought a small ring to keep the happy times in my memory. When I came home I suddenly saw that it had the first letter of my name calligraphed among the curls on top.
We also bought three windchimes from india. We were told they were temple items. I´m not sure. They´re made with a lot of coins and wool. And look a bit chinese to me.
But maybe they are...and who cares.
The owner of the shop was happy they were going with us and they´ll combine fine with my buddhist items.

One step at a time my town changes from a town like home into a town of concrete and steel.
It´s not the place I want to stay forever anymore.

So when you have a job on offer or know one, let me know.
It´ll be good to be among friend and new friends.
A small house with plenty of room to grow our own vegetables, a community of kind people and plenty of nature and we´re OK.
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bought new glasses today

because the health insurance is going through drastic changes and we won't be able to get any money back for glasses I had my eyes checked today.

They didn't get much worse, but to the surprise of the woman who did the examination the axis of the eye has changed.
She couldn't explain it.

The past months I've been worrying about my eyesight, as I started to see blurred when I was a bit tired.

So I certainly needed new glasses.

The past years I've had a terrible problem finding glasses I like.
The transparent ones without frame turned out the best.
I found one pair today that were rather OK. Not perfect, but OK.
Don't laugh...they're bright pink.
They make my face look healthy, the other colours made me look pale, ill and nearly dying.

Now I have to find the right colour of lipstick to go with the glasses. LOL!
And haircolor... the girls joked I have to dye my hair pink now. The colour is available. LOL!

The only problem is I don't have money now to pay for my other site...
and a giftcertificate for adgitize would mean the world to me.
So this last item is on my wishlist for my birthday now.
As is the pink lipstick and ofcourse a pink scarf.

I already have a ring to match.
One of 3 euros I had to buy last year when I fitted the ring and it wouldn't come off. LOL!
I told my girls it would come in handy in due time.

............pink glasses.... me oh my... maybe my brains needs a new axis too. LOL!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A small post-christmas drama

One of our sons plays a worldfamous game.
They had some assessibility problems and due to that he needed to answer security questions.

He panicked, because he didn't know the answers anymore.
He had to mention his favorite book, and as he hates reading he just gave an answer that came to mind.. and as quick as it came into his mind, as quick it disappeared. LOL!

We could do nothing else than to call their helpdesk.... in Ireland.

And he was afiraid he wouldn't be able to understand...

After much encouragement he dared to call and came into the licingroom all white and trembling. There was no choice on the menu that fitted his question.

So I called.
Struggled again through the advertisement and the menu, which sure didn't contain a choice for his question and I just made the choice to go to the desk for entrance problems due to billing.

The music was awful, but maybe that was because I saw the money flipping out of the phone. In my imagination, that is. I didn't have any hallucinations.

Right at the moment that I wanted to quit the call I got a guy on the phone.
Ooowwww, that irish accent!
It was marvellous!

I explained the problem and he had to laugh.
"I know the prrrroblem", he said, "and I'm going to solve that forr your son. I have his account rrright in frrront of me."
I handed the phone over to my son and a few minutes later (and 10 euros poorer), my son came in with a huge smile on his face.
Problem solved.

We agreed that maybe we should call again soon.

Ooowww, that accent! Grrrreat!
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Monday, December 26, 2011

A small christmasmarket

We had a very quiet day and we all enjoyed it.
Sleeping in was really necessary for most of us, and so we did.
After that we had a light breakfast.

What a pity there was no snow at all.
It made christmas a bit strange and we didn't really had a feel of christmas until we watched TV later and sang along with the christmassongs.

One of the boys got a flat tyre of his bicycle and called he couldn't make dinner. But hey, we've got the car. So we fetched him. That was so easy.
As he's going to cook tomorrow we brought a few ingredients with us when we went to his house. He wasn't able to get them. We were.

He was quite surprised, as were all others, by the way the room was decorated.
I decided to break with the quite familiar way of decorating: socks on the door, tartan ribbons on the lamps, tinsel around the main features in the room.

I took all my small houses and put them all in the room. In front of the TV, on the large table, everywhere. Then I put plants as trees around them. Tinsel behind them, etc etc. It looked amazing and wonderful.

Some of these little houses can have batteries in them and then they shine a light.
So we had a christmasmarket on the table, just like a real one.

Merry christmas!
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm dreaming of a white christmas




Yep, I'm dreaming of a white christmas, because the world here looks more like early autumn. There are still autumncolours on the ground and driving through the woods made us feel like it's autumn. Through the bare branches up the slopes of the hills it looked like the trees were still wearing their autumn leaves.

It was boring in the shops. They didn't buy too many christmasitems in fear of too large a stock, and they didn't have any christmasmusic. It feels like it's the most boring time before christmas ever.

Adding to it most of us are coughing because of a nasty cold that has many people in this area in it's grips, including me, so it's best to dream and dream on.

This morning I was really dreaming. Dreamt there was a video camera installed, secretly installed, at the left corner of our windows. Like we never shut the curtains.
Maybe it was because I feel so tired and have the feeling I'm never alone here in the house anymore.

Well, no need to be alone at christmas this year. The kids will be all home, including the new girlfriend on one of the boys.
We've decided for a simple christmasdinner.
Mainly because we're with so many.
But we've got enough for all and visitors who walk in, so it's ok.

Second christmasday we'll have dinner at the oldest, like the past years.
That's fun too, because he's got different options to cook and has far more room to prepare things.
And he can put the dirty dishes in the machine. Lol!

Last night we were talking about christmascelebrations in teh past. It's fun to hear what the kids remember. Some the red and silver tree, others the images on the window.
Let's see what will create memories this year.

Have a very happy christmas and create lovely memories.
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Breast implants

Some people think that soaps and other series on TV are useless timewasters.

Well. a child saw in a hospitalseries how people were reanimated and when her mother dropped on the ground she knew what to do. She checked heartneat and everything and started heartmassage. She saved her mother's life.

A few weeks ago Holby City, a BBC series, had an item about bad breast implants.
Realaity caught up with it, because noe it has been discovered that thousands and thousands of women has had a breastprotheses implanted that contained dirty fillings.
It's almost the same story as the scriptwriters of Holby City created.
Women who had their breast reconstructed or enlarged with a PIP-implant are told to go to their doctor and have the implants checked.
When they are leaking they should be removed immediately and otherwise it's strictly recommended to have them removed.

I feel very sorry for these women. Especially now most people are struggling with money I'm sure there are women among them that can't pay for another reconstruction.

Imagine having conquered cancer, gone through several operations to reconstruct what is left and then finally you're happy with how you look and than this....

And the people who made those breastimplants with second rate filling? They did it for the money.
Argghhhhhh!!!!
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Zafu

A zafu is a cushion that is used by meditation and yoga.
I like a round one which is firm and high enough to fold my legs in a lotusposition without getting strange feelings because the nerves are compressed.

A few months ago I've bought one with a handle at the side so I can take it with me like a bag.

When I'm not using it it's somewhere in the room, either on the couch, beside the couch or on the floor in front of the TV.
The kids like the fact that the zafu is comfortable to sit on and enables them to sit straight.

Before I bought this zafu I sat on the floor, on a small soft cushion that didn't give any comfort than a bit protection against the cold.

The new zafu is nice to see, and it's easy to store. They're used at the yoga school nearby. Some of them are hung on the wall and others are piled up in a corner.

When you want to use a zafu in yoga class, first consult your teacher. Or maybe gift her one. Embroider a nice figure at the side so she can recognise her own one. or maybe make a special cover for it that can be washed.
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A place to live - a next step

a place to liveMy second son has finished his education to become a photographer a while ago and today he got a job at the local paper and tv organisation. (Which is different from the local paper I'm talking about).
he was also offered a new place to live as the protected living situation can be finished and changed to a place of his own and only minor supervision for about a year.
He's done very well and we're all very proud.

Pity was that they offered a place to live that was not fitting his needs at all.
Because he came from a protected livingenvironment the guy at the cooperation thought he could give him a very small place. But my son doesn't come from a small room is a psychiatric home, but from an appartment with a few seperate rooms.
Because he came from protected living he was not supposed to refuse what he was offered.

He didn't feel well about it all and he asked our opinion.
He's got his own assistant to deal with these matters, but she clearly didn't know how this works. So I called her and asked if she liked me to come with them to the cooperation to have a talk.
She said she wanted to have a look at the place and then decide what to do.
An hour later she called back to ask if I please would come with them.

The guy had a nice artificial smile and the face of a bully.
I had my age and the experience with people of building cooperations who want to get rid of their worst homes.

The assistant of my son started out with saying she could understand that they wouldn't offer my son something else.

Grrr...

So I stepped in and told her that she couldn't draw that conclusion as the law states they should offer a fitting home.
he almost jumped up like bitten by a dog and then said to me I knew nothing about it as I was only the mother.

!!!!

Well, I've been through such terrible insults the past year, I've been sitting opposite people who looked far more down on me because their ego's were so terribly large to sit on, that this guy didn't even hit an emotion.
So all those terrible experiences have been good for something.

I told him that I was making a statement about his duty to the law not about my motherhood. He looked at me and then made the choice to ask me to explain.
So I first gave him something he could object to, and while he was thinking about how to reject what I said I gave the reason why his offer was not fitting.

The whole discussion went on when he suddenly said that when my son wanted a place to retreat when he had visitors in the place he offered he should send his visitors away.
Huh?
"So you're telling me that the home-cooperation is interfering with the social life of the people inside their own house?"
"No, I'm saying that if he has visitors and needs a moment private he should send them home."
"So you're saying he is not allowed to have some private space in his own home and you're not allowing him a social life that fits his needs. That's a non fitting offer according to the law. And you're crossing the border by telling him how to live a social life inside his own home."

I thought the guy was nearly bursting.

My son's assistant said that her organisation should have been more clear about his needs.

And I tried to divert the attention by saying that they should have been more precise indeed, but that the cooperation should have made more clear how much information they wanted. As the request clearly stated: 2 rooms. The medical background should maybe requested in the setting of a medical evaluation of the offer by a doctor, to keep medical issues private in the way the law wants.

He looked at me and started to say that he needed to find someone else for the....
and then stopped talking.
So I was right by saying that they wanted to get rid of their worst homes first.

"So considering the fact that a non-fitting proposition has been made, the special searchperiod will be extended and the cooperation will make a new offer which is more fitting."
He agreed.

Job done.

We had a good laugh in the car and my son was very happy things turned out this way.
He didn't realise that even though he couldn't refuse they could never put his signature under the contract, he should have done that himself, and as he was not willing to accept the place they could have tried to force him into signing by putting psychological pressure on him. But nothing more.

We now have to find a new place for him to live as I don't expect an offer that will be far better.
But for now we can prepare for christmas.
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Big plans

As far as I know we won't have any more meetings for the paper anymore, so that leaves enough time to prepare a well organised reorganisation.

One of the items is that the paper needs to be more visible and I want to use the special events in town to be present with some nice pop up displays and an informationstand.

The photos are already available and I have a good layout in my mind. All we need are the displays, which are well worth their money.

People are attracted by those photo panels that are standing in a part of a circle.
A few years ago we had 4 of those displays standing ciclewise with the entrace away from the public and we gave women the opportunity to sit down and feed their baby in relative privacy. It was so very much appreciated that we got letters of gratitude even 6 months later.

The same panels were used a few months later to create 4 informationstands at a huge event.

That;s what I want to do with the paper too.
A few catching photo's with the logo of the paper and free hand outs.

I wish we had the opportunity to teceive a few of those panels as a christmasgift, as we can't afford them at the moment.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Preparing for the new year: insurance issues

The recession is hitting hard.
One of the main issues we have to deal with is having so many almost or already grown up people in the house.
The female part was without income, which is logical, considering the fact that the girls don't need an income and I'm the stay-at-home mom of the whole bunch.

The male part mainly had some sort of income. Dad's working and our autistic boy has a special needs benefit.

The next year things will change tremendously, as the income of the grown ups, except their dad's will disappear. No special care benefits anymore, meaning we have to deal with all expenses ourselves.

As the health insurance will be more expensive and we'll get less covered we need to be prepared well.

So we had a look at the glasses of the different family members and it turned out that our autistic son needs new glasses too (his siter got new ones two weeks ago, her dad too and her other sister a few weeks before them).

We had his eyes checked this afternoon and luckily we found an acceptable frame too.

We had a short conversation with the woman assisting us and she said that many people feel insercure about their financial circumstances next year. Like us many people visited the store this week to buy glasses now they're still covered.

I need new glasses too... but we also need to be able to finish this year with a few coins in our pocket.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Unlawful punsihment

The school of the girls keeps on amazing us. Not in the positive way.
Let's tell the story.

The government decided to take away one complete week from the summerholidays.
That's strange.
Why keep kids at school for so many more hours when there are hardly enough teachers during the year?
There are so many lessons not given that each day the girls check internet to see of they have the scheduled amount of hours or have to fill empty hours.

The national student organisation called for strike against more hours which probably result in more hours at school without proper lessons.
The organisation of schoolleaders support their action, which resulted on this school in a letter to the parents to state their kids are allowed to go on strike after the parents have delivered a written permission to school in time.

We had a talk here at home about the strike.
The girls were not interested to go to The Hague to protest, but they signed the petition and wanted to go to school and see what would happen there. They saw no need for us to write a permission to strike.
One of them didn't want to miss lessons in her final year, the other said she would enjoy her class more without the noise-makers. Maybe the teachers would be more willing to explain things.
Sounded OK.

Today they came from school and told us that one of the teachers said that those who would go to the strike wouldn't get the opportunity to present their final paper on thursday (the strike is on wednesday), so they would get the lowest mark, had to use the 2 open places to remake exams, so their total final result would be lower than others.

That sounded like a punishment for the strike.
The girls said what I was thinking. When the schoolleaders agree with the strike it's not up to individual teachers to punish children for protesting. In fact it's against the law. On top of it: the rules for the final year are clear and written down, and those rules don't state a teacher can withhold pupils from presenting their paper.

I sometimes wonder if these teachers are aware there's more in this world than their own wishes.
The schools of the boys never had these strange interference of teachers.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's back - Buddha and the snow

The small buddha statue disappeared from my keyboard a week ago.
I really missed it, which shouldn't be. Good buddhists are not attached to wordly goods. Lol!

To find the small statue of about 2 cm height I cleaned everything on my desk, beneath my desk etc etc etc. More and more I started to think I'd thrown it away myself when removing papers from my desk.

This evening I took quite a distance from my desk to tidy and clean things and then suddenly I saw it hidden behind a leg of the dinnertable. Not harmed in any way, not even dusty. Quite a strange experience to find it.
Even stranger: behind it there was a bag with sweets.

Strange, isn't it?

Well, we can deal with the sweets tomorrow.
I'm thinking about attaching the buddha on the desktop one way or another.
It's copper, so it can't be glued.
Maybe a black thread is enough to keep it there.

Last saturday we bicycled throw wet snow, now the world is white.
It's quite a lot covering the streets, but a higher temperature is expected later this night, so hopefully the girls won't have the negative consequences of the snow.
I for myself: I love it, as long as there's no need to go somewhere to an appoinment or to get groceries. I love walking in the snow...
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Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm so shocked

I saw the video on TV about the molestations of protesters in Egypt and I'm so very, very shocked.
There are no words for seeing policemen stamp with force on the head of a woman (the one with the red coat). It's disgusting that things like that happen and a government doesn't condemn that behaviour.

For me the year 2011 has become a year of observation of the decline of the human race.
Ofcourse there are many kind people who have not even one evil thought in their body, nor mind.
But reading what others write and talking with people made me realise how many people just don't care about how others feel.

In the past there were high standards for people at jobs which required authority.
Now it seems like people who want power get the jobs and abuse of that authority isn't investigated but the person protesting against the abuse of authority is fined.
I saw an arrest and the policemen were using all sorts of ill words and behavioral tactics against that person driving him consciously to rage. When the guy used one of the same words those policemen used he was told he had no respect. I bet he got punished for that too, and none ever demanded any explanation of those policemen.

In a society where there is so much control, so much filed about people, it's possible to feel imprisoned between a happy past and dreams of a better society.
I don't belong here anymore. I question too much, too many people.
Teaching my children about society is teaching them how to observe, how to cling on to values of being a good person regardless of how others behave. And it means to teach them to have independent thoughts, logic and draw conclusions.
There's no need to judge people, I feel that's done in another way and it's not up to us in this life to judge others.

2011 is the year that the freedom of people slowly and gradually is taken away in countries that were considered free, and that fights for freedom took place in many countries.
It's almost like peaceful freedom doesn't exist anymore.
Desperation among the most peaceful people on earth resulted in young people setting themselves on fire.
My heart cries for what people are doing against each other.

Why????????
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Will Survive





1. What in the 2011 has proved to you that you are a survivor?

Lots.
I've survived the way other people who think they are better than others have judged me and my family. I survived their negativity, their insinuations, their utter neglect of all the good that we have together. Their jealousy.

I'm also quite on top of what's happening with the paper. A friend had to leave because of terminal illness and we jumped in and found what was left after his struggle to keep on going.

2. Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone?

Yes. I had two online american friends who would come online after they had worked and had dinner. Looking at the timezones you'll get the idea of how late it could become.

3. Are REALLY ready for the holidays?

No. I still have to write cards, I have to put up some decorations and I'm never ready for my autistic son being overwhelmed by all the changes.

4. Did you have an imaginary friend as a kid?

I don't know. I had a nice doll. And loads of friends.

5. What niche network do you watch the most?

I don't understand the question. Sorry.

6. Have you ever seen the ocean?

Yes, when I was in Wales. That counts. doesn't it?
And I've seen the sea often and I can never get enough of it.

7. Have you ever been hospitalized?

Yes, for a few deliveries and for huge, multidiscipline surgery.
I still remember the good moments, and a few of the worse ones. Alas.

8. What do you think of the US Republican candidates for president?

Oh dear, I'm a European, so I have quite a different look on the situation in america than americans themselves.
I think discrimination, class society and ill intended political campaign is not done. It's important to practice solidarity and equality, you might never know when you need it.

9. Could you imagine life without a computer?

I can. I've done it.
But I'll miss it to bits, I'll miss the contact to bits. But come and visit me when I'm living somewhere in Scotalsn or somewhere else in the UK and I'm happy.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Co-o-o-old

We share a car with one of our sons.
He needs it this weekend, so we had the car today.

It was a great opportunity to go to the hospital and have some bloodwork done.
There is a small possibility to have blood drawn nearby, but I found out a few months ago that the blood goes to another town and then back to our town. That costs at least 3 hours and often more.

How I found out?

I wanted to calibrate my glucose measuring device, so when the blood was drawn I immediately checked it with my little machine. I did this over a longer stretch of time, so on several occasions and found out that the outcomes of labwork on blood taken at the hospital resembled my own outcomes far more than blood taken at the temporary lab facilities. Then I talked with one of the older laborants about these strange finsings and she told me about the long trip my blood is taken at the temporary lab nearby.

It was fun to enter the small room in hospital and see the same sister that works here. She had a good laugh too. She's so very nice.

I don't mind bloodwork and I was outside soon.

The wind and rain really hit me. It was so co-o-o-old!!
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Friday, December 16, 2011

A new kitchen sink

After repairing the door and painting the wall in the livingroom, some other issues in the house need to be taken care of.
We need new carpet on the stairs, but that should wait.

And I want the single bowl undermount sink in the kitchen being seen to.

Our kitchen is small, far too small for the large family we had, and I often wonder how I could cope so easily while people now have the luxury of two kitchen sinks and a kitchen island and still complain about a lack of space.

Our sink is single one, but I want a double one.
The owner of the house always wants cheap items and in this case it won't be a problem, because he can order online at SiennaSinks.com and get wholesale prices. Shipping is free, so that saves a lot of extra money.

For a long time now I want another sink and as the corner top is complete crap I think I can ask the owner for something better. The top we have now is not solid and it moves when I put just a little weight on it. Worse: it collects water.

I'm sure he's going to ask some questions but I'll refer him to the advisors of SiennaSinks. They're experienced and know exactly what a family like ours needs.
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The dance around the male egos

Last week I was rather annoyed by the behaviour of someone at the paper.
It made me doubt if it all was worth the intense investment of time and energy. After all it's a volunteer job, but as real as a well paid job at a national paper.

I love the job, but I hate the dance around the male egos.
Never before I've been so confronted with my feeling of being the broom to sweep an organisation clean of all dull and energy sucking elements and create a vibrant atmosphere.
I don't like people who can't make decisions and postpone them until others make them for them.
Dealing with people who've made a wrong decision is in most instances easier than dealing with people who cling on my skirt, waiting for me to make a decision. (Maybe that's why I don't wear skirts every often, especially not those skinny ones women in businesses often wear.)

So last week I gave the main obstacle for the process of change the boost he wanted for his ego: OK, he was better than I am, was able to change my articles the way he wanted, so he should put his name under them and I would leave so he would be able to live without criticism.

Today he visited at a terrible time. I had paint on my hands, because I had the time and opportunity to paint part of the livingroom, and I was almost ready to make dinner.
Yep, he's a man and doesn't sense the inner urge of a mom to make soup and potatoes and healthy vegs.

We had a good talk.
That means he did the appologising and I gave my last round of free advice to finally call for a new board. As the last person of the board he had to call for a new board, but he waited two whole years to do that. I don't want to work for an organisation that doesn't have the most simple legal duties fulfilled.
He agreed it was time to take action. I set out a timeline and gave him my requirements to stay. Take it or leave it.
Never knew I could be such a businesswoman. LOL!

So finally he can leave part of his ego at home when being at the paper and accept the re-organisation that is needed.
I know what to do and the first hurdle is taken.
My goal is to create a good and healthy organisation that enables people to work in a very inspiring atmosphere. I've worked with volunteer organisations before with only the basic amount of money. It's a pity that at another paper int own the re-organisor earns 50.000 euros a year and I won't earn a penny. But I can do it faster and better.
Why?

Because in the past someone took the effort to teach me the ins and outs of running a paper. I loved to learn every aspect and he loved to teach every aspect.
I feel I'm ready to take it on... so let's go!
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Cigars before christmas

It's the time of the years for cigars.
One way or another I always associate the time before christmas with my uncle and his cigars.

He had a bicycle shop, with 3 levels of bicycles and everything to enhance and repair them. Behind the public area he had a small office with a large desk and one huge wall completely filled with bookshelves.
I always thought he was a very clever man.

He was. He knew everything he needed to know in his profession and he knew everything about cigars.

His best friend was the owner of the cigarshop only 5 doors away.
When I was young cars were allowed on the road before their shops and whenever he saw the car of the sales representative of a cigar firm he needed new cigars straightaway, handed me the key of the shop and hurried away as fast as his feet could drag his weight along. He loved to hear about new cigars firsthand and I'm sure he felt like a child when he got a new edition straight from the wonderful wooden box from the representative. His eyes would twinkle and he would sit down with a sigh, turning the cigar between two fingers, sniffing it, looking at it and sniffing it again before he would ask me to cut the top and light a match.
He absolutely loved the ritual and so did I.
When I was young because he would hand me the band for my collection, when I was a bit older because I enjoyed the smell and the fact that he asked my opinion.

I guess the association with the time before christmas has grown from the time that I assisted in his shop before christmas.
It was such a wonderful time.
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A huge box

In the past receiving a box with presents for christmas from the employer was a main event.
The past years we receive a card and a login code and we have to decide what we want.
We don't like that system here. Even though we sometimes got presents we didn't like, it was a gift, and appreciated.

We ordered just 2 boxes with useful stuff.
Today we got a huge box delivered at the door.
When I say huge I mean huge. HUGE!!!
I couldn't take it in my hands so I had to ask the young postman to put it on the floor in the hall.
Well, let's say the hall doesn't deserve the name. It allows one person, coats and the heating against the wall. It's not even as large as a walk in closet. So what the box had too much the hall has too little.

We managed to open the box and like I told the kids there were a lot of those plastic aircushions and two small boxes.
And loads of those ugly silverfish animals. Argghhhhh!!!!
I was happy one of the older boys just walked in and took the box and threw it in the back garden.

The content of the boxes was disappointing.
But we found a bag of sweets and we ate them all.
Nothing was special enough to keep until christmas. What a pity.
What should be special now just disappears in the daily household. Like sprinklers for on sandwiches, and powder sugar.

Well, the intent was right... I think.
I just looked if there was a card in it so say happy christmas, but not even that was in the boxes.

Something else.

Someone asked me about the pain in my face after a shot of analgetic was put in my upper jaw at the dentist.
They really have hit a facial nerve. There is a blunt pain throbbing all day in my cheek and at times it pushes up to my eye.
Add to it the pain of the implant at the lower jaw and you can understand that even those silverfish were kind of a nice distraction. Ugh...
They won't leave my mind today.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Adjusting to christmastime for autists

I expected that the break of routine caused by decorating for christmas wouldn't be such a huge problem for older autists compareed to when they were kids.

Wrong!

I grew aware of this in the past and I never get everything up and running.
Slowly the decorations of christmas are taken down from the attick, almost one by one. They're rested for a day in the room and then they get their places.
It's a habit I would love to break.
Wouldn't it be great to have everything done in an afternoon?

I thought that my son could cope with it now he's 19.
Well, the fact that I'm writing about it says it all, doesn't it?

We placed a rather small tree on the desk in the room and hung loads of snowflakes on a line the past days.

I guess it was too much.
He was irritated today, trying to get into control, telling others what to do and being awful. I felt really bothered by it. But I guess he felt worse.

I want a huge tree with lots of glitter and silver and red ornaments. Each year we have to adjust. It´s not a real problem as it calls for creativity and we like to create things, but on the other hand...
It´s time he gets a life on his own, so he and we can decide what we want.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's official: recession

It's official now: we're in a recession.
Normal people already knew that, but the politicians now have to face it too.
Ofcourse they're publicly acknowledging that we have to live with more cut backs.
I'm so glad we didn't go with the trend to buy a house.
Renting a house has been as good as buying a house until a few years ago when the economical situation showed the first signs of decline.
People show buy a house, they were told. The main intention was to keep employment up, and the banks running.
We didn't want a loan of 30 years as we didn't know if we would have to move...maybe for the education of the children. We were lucky we didn't have to, as one of the kids went to school/academy in another town but used the train as an almost direct connection from door to door. But if more kids would have gone there we would have moved.
Now we're almost stuck here as the new regulations of the European Union state that with our income we can't rent anymore against the rent we pay now. Well, we can't miss more of our income.

Because of our autistic son we have more things that need to be paid for. Some are just minor, like the showercurtain he's been fighting with this week. I don't know what he does, but he pulls it with him each time he comes out of the shower. He never did before.
Now the system which stretches from wall to wall needs to be renewed, and he has demolished one of the new hooks.

He also needs a new chair, and because he has a good weight he needs an expensive one. One we would never buy for ourselves.

I don't mind dealing with less money. I think it's more difficult for the kids. Being in puberty means wanting to do the same as your peers.

Sometimes help comes from an unexpected corner.
The girl who's preparing for the ballet academy has been granted free access to the lessons of modern dance. I'm so grateful for that. My daughter too.
Today she had another lesson and when she came home she seemed to have grown at least 20 cm's.
For me it's even more work, as I have to make three times dinner, three times a week, because people come home at different times. But as long as I can give them healthy food I don't mind...when someone does the dishes. There: it's said.

We never had a dishwasher, so there's no step back there. Isn't that great?
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Great compliments

Parents' evening.
One of those evenings that crowds of parents enter and leave the school to sit down for 10 minutes with a teacher.
We still have the car, so we were able to go there and be home in an acceptable time.
Otherwise I would have needed more than an hour to come back home. It has even taken 2 hours in the past. Only to get home from school in the evening!

I had a rotten day behind me.
The small buddha statue I´ve always had on my keyboard was gone, and I couldn´t find it anywhere. It was especially made for me by a Taiwanese artist. I can ask him to make one for me again, but that´s a different feel. And I don´t have the money either. It´s not much, but still.

My autistic son found out that he would get a tiny bit of the health insurance money back. He´d forgotten that and more important he´d forgotten how and when it would be returned. He felt cheated by his father because he thought the money was already put on his father's bank account.
He kept complaining about it, for two hours. repeating over and over again what he was thinking. Let's say it didn't help the headache I woke up with.
When he finally got hold of his father by mail or phone he found out the money was not even expected yet.

When we finally arrived at school I was tired and very surprised to find out the special event to help pupils make a choice for a profession was already finsihed or was not even held. Well, I wasn't supposed to have a look anyway. But I was curious.

Then it was our time to sit down at the table and discuss one of our daughters.
The teacher was an older man, very kind.
He said he admired our daughter for working so hard and being so persistant and appologised that he said she should always finsih her homework that one single time when we had written a letter that she didn't finsih it. He had to say it, because otherwise she would have been an exception and at that age peers wouldn't accept it. But she was the only one who always finsihed her homework and clearly had taken the time to gain insight and do well.
Then, to our surprise, he complimented us for being so connected with the girls and their schoolwork. Not many parents take the time to put everything aside and sit down and help their children during the whole sunday afternoon or a midweek evening.
I was utterly amazed to get a shower of compliments.
The minister said a few weeks ago that parents should involve themselves more in school and schoolwork. He said that that was clearly not meant for us.
Oh, how I wish someone else would have heard that way before we got pushed in a corner and were told such unkind things by childcare. We're not doing anything different than before, and now we get, for the first time, the honor of the work we put in, the love we invest and the motivation we give our kids.

When we said this at home the girls and boys said that they were not surprised and it was normal that we were always available for support. But that they also knew that most parents pay more attention to their sportsgear than to their children. In a way it was funny to get those down to earth reactions. Within a minute the special moment was over.
I think that's perfectly OK.

We do what we can. Maybe we can't give them all the material things we want to give them, but they get attention, love and loads of positive memories, so they can fly out into the world with positive self esteem and a good use of their brains and heart.
It was nice to see that at least one teacher picked this up in this way. Thank you.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Motivation

One of the girls loves dance and ballet.
She was very happy to be able to take part in a workshop modern dance, given by one of the jury members of "So you think you can dance."
One of her teachers was observing. He knows she wants to go to the balletacademy, so he will have a better idea if it's wise to audition.

After the experiences of my son dancing at the academy I support her whenever I can, without influnecing her in her decision.
I've seen so many mothers pushing their girls into their own dream and almost demanding their girls to get the futures their moms wanted.
I've had my dream and even though I would love to have the time and opportunity to dance with people my age (I initiated that in town myself a bit more than 10 years ago), I don't need my child to live my dream.

In fact I don't think the balletacademy is a world which should be entered without the pupil's own 300% motivation. That's especially for a girl. The competition is sometimes so mean.
But if my daughter, knowing it all, really wants to audition and her teachers are a 100% behind her, she won't find me in her way.
It's her informed decision.

She did well yesterday, that said by one of the people who have dealt with the best of the country says something.

Today we tried to have a rest-day.
Some of us were dealing with the last bit of the flu, homework needed to be finished and next week will be a busy one with parents' evenings, one of the boys having to make a decision about a new apartment, christmascards to be written and the decorations that will go up, after the last part of the room is painted.

I also saved the laundry that needs to be done by hand for tomorrow.
I shouldn't have done that.
While cutting the vegetables with the very, very, very sharp knife I sliced my thumb too. I was glad I kept my brains rolling the right way, so I used a lot of water to wash out the wound, let it bleed abundantly and then pressed it for over an hour before the bleeding stopped. I had no intention to get some stitches, so I folded the skin right on the spot and bandaged it well.
A few years ago I had a similar accident on the back of my foot and the skin took amazingly well, so let's hope I'm twice that lucky.

It was nice the oldest boy came by for dinner. We had a good time together and watched some lottery show in the evening as our autistic boy wanted to see it.
During the breaks we talked about the paper.
Turns out that there is an end editor, who takes the articles and kind of rewrites them the way he wants them. When it's not his taste he says he didn't receive them. Thtttt....mailing is great to show they were gone his way.
I told him that no way I want my name under something he has rewritten.
I also think it's strange I wasn't told from the beginning things work that way there. Especially as I requested for a head- or end-editor and I was told there was none. !!!

I now understand why my friend just left them there when he got ill. In fact I have the same feeling and my sons agree we should have a good talk with him and either take over the whole system and reorganise it into a proper paper, or leave it, which would mean the end of it.
I've worked my toes off the past month and there's not the slightest respect. I don't need thanks, but I'm way beyond the feeling that I need to feed ego's and honors of others.
The organisation is complete crap, not according to the official rules and the one person that's left on the board doesn't want a new board, unless he's chosen the people himself.
Doesn't sound well, does it?

That's not the place to be... so we'll soon have a good talk there and probably leave.
I think there are other places that would welcome my experience and talents far and far more.
Or maybe we should start our own paper.
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Drift Away (RIP Dobie Gray)





1. Who or what bores you enough to mentally drift away?

The meetings at the paper. They're so boring that I use every excuse not to go. And that saves money too.

2. How many members of your family not living with you do you see on during the holidays?

I alwyas see them all as they like to come home.

3. When spending time with family, how long after you arrive do you begin to feel "antsy" about being there too long?

Depends and where I am, but I don't feel antsy often.

4. Does your family more generally get along at a holiday gathering or are there generally arguments?

We get along very well and we always have enough to talk about and enough to do. As most of us like to cook and to eat, people are never bored.

5. Are you ever embarrassed by your family around friends?

Oh yes, with so many with autism spectrum, but with friends... no, not often, as friends know us well enough not to be disturbed.

6. Of the celebrities that died in 2011, who will you miss the most?

I wanted to say Ramses Shaffy, but he´died in 2009.

7. When you watch a movie in a movie theater, do you like the theater filled to capacity, halfway full, or nearly empty? Does your answer change depending on the type of movie you're seeing or do you feel the same way regardless of the movie or genre?

I never like a crowded one, because I can´t leave my legs anywhere. The person behind me would have the same problems in a crowded movie theatre, so I would be bothered by his knees in my back.
Well, I never go to the movie theatre anyway, it´s too expensive.

8. What’s one really cool/useful/nice thing you purchased for yourself this year?

9. Are you in the holiday spirit yet?

We were in Germany for the groceries and the shops were rather nice. I bought a few small angels for under the tree. I think I´ll get the christmasstuff from the attick tomorrow or monday.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Vacation granted...why? To the bottom of it.

Fianlly we got another reply from school.
In fact from the departmentleader who had been ill.

The secretary said the original request had been thrown away, but..oh miracle!... it was found again and... other parents handed in the request.

So it was good I pressed for some further action after the secretary had said it was a joke.
Otherwise they have ended the whole issue in an elegant way, because it would never be good when we had found the writer of the letter to be a teacher. No pupil knows the impact of such a letter on official organisations, that's our thought.

Well, we've had a good storm yesterday and we had another one today.
It started so suddenly that it freaked some kids out. LOL!

It's said it's the worst storm in Scotland in the last 15 years. Well, we're not there yet.

I finished knitting a scarf and hat. It was fun to do as the stitches were very large, and the red yarn was unbelievably fluffy, with silver sparks in them. So it's very christmassy.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Again mistakes at pharmacy

The pharmacy here makes many mistakes.

Last month meds were ordered and they didn't deliver them.
When we went there they didn't even have some regular meds in stock.

When our son finally was able to get his meds and thought he'd fetched those of his father and brother, he came home with a bag with:
meds from an unknown person,
no meds for his father
lacking meds for his brother.

So we made a complaint.
The meds of the unknown person were fetched, and the lacking meds were delivered, except those who were not in stock.

Today the other meds were delivered... and then we discovered they'd given 15 mg of what should be 10 mg.

I feel so annoyed!
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Changes in the family

One of the older boys is going to move this month to a new apartment... with his girlfriend.

It's a strange idea, because they don't know each other very long.
On the other hand: he's got the age.

It changes my role a bit.

I suddenly feel old.
No longer am I as important in his decisionmaking as I used to be. OK, there was a gradual change the past years and I didn't care one little bit. In fact I enjoyed his growing up and the way he dealt with life.
But whenever I felt the need, which was not often, to have comments, there was no objection against a critical question. In fact he liked that, as he could once more order his thoughts.

Today however I felt awkward in my own house.

Last week they didn't plan to live together that way at all. But suddenly the apartment became available and they're talking rent, furniture and everything else that's needed to set up house.
Their relationship is developing. She's mad at him when he doesn't answer his phone, when he isn't at his room when she expects him there, and I sense her irritation when he promisses to fetch his sister from a friend.
It's like she wants to be his sole social contact.

In a way I understand this, but when you want a guy from a large family, you have to accept some social behaviour.

So I asked them both to think this living together through very well.

My son took this as an invitation to talk through some practical things, she made a rather disrespectful remark he luckily didn't hear.

I tend to put this on the account of insecurity, and so did the other family members, but I think she needs to take more time to adjust to our son before moving in at his apartment.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Vacation granted...why? School reacts.

Today I got the reaction of school on my mail. (See a few blogs ago, with almost the same title.)

The request for vacation outside the regular weeks was handwritten.
Hmmm... I write small letters about homework and such by hand, but important ones are printed and signed.

The original was not available as it had been thrown away.
Hmmm... such requests are controled by the council and it seems strange that files won't be complete.

According to school no mistake has been made in taking our name instead of the one of others.
We thought that maybe other parents are waiting for a reply upon their honest request and they get no reply at all.

The whole thing was considered a joke by school.

A joke?

We've been put under guardianship less than one and a half years ago due to the mistakes of grown ups and due to two teachers who had no idea who we or the girls were.
Things were said about our relationship which were absolutely not true.
And the girls were both called depressed and afraid to go to school, which was completely nuts and still makes us laugh, even though the consequences of it all were sad.
We're not under guardianship anymore, but we haven't told that to school.
But...if we still were under guardianship requesting a vacation for one of our girls or both outside the regular weeks would be seen as an unresponsible act and would have triggered a response, one way or another.
Considering that, we've got an idea where the "joke", we call it bullying, comes from.
I won't mention names here as I don't have any proof at all.

The people at this school are so busy with themselves that they don't use their brains enough.
Why would we request vacation for one girl and not for the other?

I sometimes long for the school of the boys where they would have taken this seriously and would have gone to the bottom to find out who did this and why.
I told them they could consider my mail as a complaint and should go to the classroom and ask which parents work at a certain place (which was mentioned in the letter). That way they can find out if there has been a serious request and names were mixed up. At the same time they could observe the kids and possibly find out if one had faked the letter.

But I don't think they'll bother.

Any advice?
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Monday, December 5, 2011

In the news

In the south of the country a shoppingcentre has been closed because the whole building was slowly collapsing.
Probably because of former mining activities deep the ground the whole thing is collapsing and unevenly plowing itself in the ground.

I feel deeply for the shopowners.
They opened their shopped only 1 and a half year ago and all were just ready for the christmasseason.

Today they could get their inventory out of the building and move it elsewhere.
Soon the shoppingcentre will be demoslished.

In Koblenz, Germany, 2 bombs, one English and one American, from WW2 were dismantled after 45 thousand people were evacuated. The evacuation included 2 hospitals, a jail and 7 old people homes.

Isn't it amazing that those bombs were there all those years and could have caused tremendous problems. They were discovered by a bypasser who was looking at the very low level of the river.

Both newsreports show the importance of the past on our lives. Danger might be luring anywhere and when people are not careful they miss the signs.
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lies





1. “Everybody lies. But it's alright because nobody listens.” is one of Bud's Law's. What do you lie about?

I really have to think hard... Hmmm... Sometimes I say that someone looks terrific when that person just looks nice.

2. When you purchase a DVD, what besides the the movie itself, what do you enjoy the most? Is it the director's commentary, the deleted scenes, the bloopers or the behind-the-scenes documentary?

I never buy DVD's, because I need to spend my money on other things.
We´re not even able to buy presents for the december gift event. So that says enough, doesn´t it?

3. What would you most like to accomplish before the year is over?

Pfff. filling in lots of forms. And I want to knit every family member either a sjawl or a winterhat, so I have something to give at christmas. I have some old wool to use. Think the colours are in fashion again.

4. What is your current percentage of online shopping? Is it going to be more this year than last?

No way.

5. What's left to do at your place (or where you are going)? Is the tree up? ...or maybe you're just happy you found that fave Christmas coffee mug and are calling that good?


We don't get a tree before december 6. That's tradition.
We should first celebrate Sinterklaas (our december gift event which is non-existent for us this year :()
We always have a tree. An artificial one because of the allergies. With the whole lot of ornaments and such. This year we'll have stars in the air which are emitting light. (glow in the dark)
Most years I tape the windows into a charles dickens look, and hang golden strips behind them, etc etc.

6. If you could get worry free, cost free plastic surgery, would you? If yes, where?

Yep. At a trusted place.
But I think you want to know what I would want to have done: eyes, maybe some liposuction at the hips, even though I would be afraid and probably cancel, and I wouldn't mind some help in the fight against gravity.

7. Do you think the child you were growing up, would like the adult you've become?

Yes. I'm sure.

8. What will you miss about 2011?

The evening together whith a close friend who's dying now.

9. What is something you'd love to see invented?

Something to repair the computer of my son right now with no cost. I'm so tired of his moaning about it and about the fact that I don't have the money to buy him the videochard he needs.


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Friday, December 2, 2011

Guitars

I blogged before about my family and the genes that run from one generation to another.

One of the photos of my uncles was hanging in the main hall of school and every day I saw them. Two smiling faces looking over guitars. They were quite some artists I was often told by the older teachers. One of the uncles visited that school, the other was tolerated there because of their music. Quite extraordinary.

They inspired me to play the guitar too. It;s was the time of Simon and Garfuncle, and I still know all their songs.

This inspired my girls to play the guitar too.
One of them got a spanish/acoustic guitar as a present for their birthday. The other wanted to make her choice for one of the esp guitars.
She has to wait however until we've the funds to buy it.

It's so interesting to see the twins have identical interests, but they express them in a different way.
They both love ballet too. One of them will apply to get a place at the ballet academy. She's a more into classical ballet.
The other is more attracted by modern ballet. She's a typical martha Graham dancer, but she's not afaird of hip hop or streetdance.
She is the one with the expensive taste for musical instruments.

Some might ask if I'm OK with her playing an electric guitar.
I have to as I play highland bagpipes myself.
At least an electric guitar can be tuned down.
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Vacation granted...why?

This week we got a letter from school.
I thought it to be another bill, but when I saw what was written in the letter my eyebrows went up very high.

It was stated that one of the girls was granted permission not to come to school for a complete week in februari...upon our request.
Huh?

So I took the agenda and tried to find out what was planned that week. Nothing.
I looked at the site of school, if maybe a special activity was planned. Noop.
I even looked at the site of the ballet academy to see if auditions were planned. No.
Then I started to call around...none in the family knew anything about a request.

The idea that I was nuts shifted tremendously.

It's not the first time this school makes a hugh mistake and I'm sure it won't be the last.
We never plan vacations outside the official weeks. Even though it's quite attractive to consider the idea of going to London in that week. If only we had a place to stay.

So after asking all family members if they knew anything about a request for schoolleave, I decidced to send school a mail.
I told them we were surprised and interested and that we wanted to have a copy of the original application.

Maybe they found out themselves they've made a mistake. I don't feel the need to tell them again the same thing, sounding like a broken record: you've mixed up kids again or you've made a mistake.
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Valet jobs

One of my sons needs a job and we're looking for it.
The problem is not that he doesn't like to work, but there are not many jobs available in this town.
He loves to work. I think he's one of the most loyal hardworking people I've known. Guess he's got that from his grandfather and greatgrandfather.
I come from a family of people who are not afraid to work and commit themselves to volunteerwork beside that. My grandfather was a teacher and organiser, and he was a good singer and conductor too. My father had a busy job, but was always ready to help a friend out who ran a choir. My father not only sang bass or tenor whenever needed, but not at the same time, he also conducted the choir, cared for his old mom, helped out a friend who ran a driving instruction organisation and a lot more.

My son is a security guard and would love to work, even abroad.
He has lots of experience already, but last night he said he should have some more experience when he wanted to work as a personal security guard.
So he now looks for Valet Jobs.
It's his strifing for perfection that makes him want this.
Nothing wrong with that.
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A sad day

This morning the grandfather of our future daughter in law died.

Yesterday she said she didn't want to go to see him anymore. I sensed some fear and I explained that my experience is that the soul leave the body and one can feel that. The body functions with breathing and heartrate for a little while more and then a person is completely dead.

She went this morning and he died between his family.

I feel so sorry for her.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

And glasses are broken...

She slipped into our lives and slowly won our hearts: our future daughter in law.
We already had the car in front of our house (it was our torun today) when our son called that they needed it as the grandfather of his girlfriend was dying.

A day after this the granddad is still alive much to everyone's surprise. After 2 strokes and a heart attick he's suffering from a lunginfection.
Today treatment was stopped, the whole family was on top of their toes from stress, but nothing much happened.

So in the afternoon we had the car a short time to get the groceries in.

My autistic son's computer is broken and that's a real tragedy as it's his lifeline, his everything.
Luckily he was adviced by some people and he needed a part that the oldest had, so we went there, had a talk about the paper, and went home again.
Pity to say the part didn't fix the problem. Maybe it's the videocard.

When we were sitting downstairs, talking about how to get matters settled, one of our daughters came down...with broken glasses. Sigh.

I don't know where to get the money from, so when you know a job online, please let me know.

On top of it all I was right thinking the dentist-assistant hit the facial nerve.
It's still very painful up to my eye, and when I smile one side of my lips witdraws further than at the other side.
But it's the least of my worries.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

His computer broke down...no money to...

Can't say today was a day to enjoy. Ugh.

The computer of my autistic son broke down. Really broke down.
And as it's the only thing that makes him happy...

It was plain drama.
First he stated he had no guarantee anymore because his brother had installed an extra fan, and that merely stopped when I told him his brother is licensed to do so. Well, it took him an hour to digest this.

Then it was this, than it was that.

And then ofcourse the moneyproblem poppd up.
We don't have the money for a new computer...at...all!

I understand that's quite frustrating, but it's even more so when you refuse to do anything else. There are movies on TV, plenty of interesting books to read. Sportgames to play and do.

So it was autism on top. Ugh!
That's the problem of being a sahm in this case. Ther's no escape possible.

On top of it all I had been to the dentist this morning and got a shot of painkiller so close near the facial nerve that I couldn't close my eye and felt like half of my nose belonged to the neighbours.
It was nice, I didn't feel a scratch, not even from the shots themselves.
But it took all day to wear off, and it hurt, really hurt. I even feared the facial nerve would be damaged permanently. (Happened to an aunt.)
Well, nothing like that is the case.
But those two things added together made me thank heaven when he went to bed.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Messing around

Yesterday we spend almost all afternoon on mathematics. Explaining, making exercises.
It was like nothing else existed.

So today was kind of strange.
No articles that needed to be written, no maths, only laundry, cleaning and all that about which men think it´s made for women.

With the changes in the house nothing seems to have a place of it´s own. Like I have to reinvent everything.
Not really a problem as long as there´s no need for people to live there. LOL!

But there´s always someone at home who has to go to precisely the place I need to use.
In the past the change to winterclothes seemed to be a whole toodoo, but I can tell you, with almost grown up people it´s worse.
Just when you´ve put a blouse away they need it.
Just when you´ve cleaned the floor and it´s still wet.... they walk on it.

Well, I was used to small kids, they´re only larger now, I tell myself.

I´ve asked the neighbour if she knows someone with smaller children than mine, so I can give the clothes away with out the kids being told they´re wearing ours.
Let´s see where I put them.....
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Long hours

I hardly slept last night.
One of the sons had to wake up early and be on the train where he would meet one of his brothers.
Together they would travel to the north, to work.

Problem is that he always has a hard time waking up and getting on his feet.
I myself was afraid of oversleeping because I have worked so hard last week that I needed a good night of sleep.

I saw no other way to stay awake.
No problem there.
My son was on his way to the train in time and I took a dive between the sheets to get a few hours of sleep.

Needless to say I didn't manage to do today what I had silently planned.
That was not all the result of a sleepless night.

One of the family members dropped his keys in a sway and didn't look where they landed.
He thought under the table.
So I searched there, cleaned the heating and the floor, and looked further.

I found the keys after a long time, at a completely different place.
Grrrr....

Well, tomorrow is a new day and the vacuum won't eat itself during this night.
So, nightynight!
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Chrismasmarket

Another saturday.

We were a bit late today to get the groceries, because we first had to go to another town to fetch a present for our son. He ordered it online, forgetting we had to fetch it today. Ugh.
But we were in time.

Then we went to Germany to get our groceries.
Last week it was written in the paper that the differences in price for groceries between our country and Germany was not as large anymore, well, they were wrong.
But you have to watch closely what to buy.

The potatoes are far larger and better, and cheap enough to create a difference. The same goes for the vegetables. The chinese cabbage looks better and tastes better and is not even half the price as it is here.
The same goes for many other things, including drinks.

When we went back it was already dark.
Then we saw lots of lights and it turned out there was a christmasmarket beside the road.
What a pity we really had to go home and make dinner for the kids, otherwise we would have gone there for a quick look.

Maybe they'll have another christmasmarket next week?
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Writing done.

It's such a nice surprise to find after a long and intense day of working a small bag of licorice.
After writing a lot today I had a look in a bag to see if I had my notebook in there and found the licorice.
So I'm chewing now and enjoying the taste.

Just a small editiorial needs to be done now, and some slight adjustments because the news overhauled an article and I hate to leave the adjustments out.

But after that I can utter a high sigh.

The rest of the work is for some other people.
I've done my part of writing.

In between I managed to do three loads of laundry, feed the herd, clean a few things and listen to the kids, so they wouldn't in no way feel left out.
They're not, They know that.
But it's just a few years and then they're all having their own lives and probably their own families, so I try to enjoy family life as much as possible and make it as enjoyable as possible.

One of the girls came home with a 10 out of 10 for language. Wow!
It was a real surprise, because she doesn't get often marks that high and because she expected not very much.
I'm so happy for her.
She's in her final year and very motivated to get her diploma and start nursing school.

The past weeks she's thinking a lot about people in her life and who have contributed to the person she's become.
She said to me she wouldn't have had that 10 if I had not been so persistent in correcting her mistakes and in wanting the kids to speak proper dutch instead of some half proper dutch and half something else. Some people are chewing on the last bit of their verbs, or skip important parts of the sentence just because others understand them anyway. I also explained proverbs a lot and insisted on using them, even when they were still rather young. Now they're part of their vocabulary and she said she was so happy about that.

It's nice to see something paying off.

Now we have to get rid of that nasty cold that hangs in our town like a huge cloud.
Well, at least the mist has finally gone.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

The paper will be 90 %....

Another meeting at the paper.
There's more talking than writing.

Only 5 people showed up.
It became clear that I've written about 75% of all articles and it might end even in 90%.
That's not a joke.

There was one person who accepted a toparticle who didn't put even one word on paper. didn't even try! And catapulted the blame to someone else.
We had to ask him 6 times if he would start to write. Then someone else said that he might start in the weekend... he said he'd maybe give it a go!

The deadline is tomorrow evening!

As two other articles won't be realised either, that means I have to write 3 articles tomorrow. Like I have nothing else to do.

I've never ever seen such mess.
A bad organisation, volunteers who are on the list only by name, people who promiss articles and don't write a word, someone who is not able to do the job and is send to interview, a headeditor who doesn't even take the time to review articles in time and.. most amusing, an opinion-paper's head editor who is surprised to receive and article with an opinion. He's going to place it as a colum.
Argghhhhh!!!!

Let's say I'm free for a paid job as a journalist at a paper that is organised and delivers me coworkers I can WORK!!! with.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Extremes

The past week and this week are weeks of extremes.
We've had tremendous mist, which caused horrible accidents on the roads.
We were lucky there was no need to go somewhere, as one could hardly see more than a small line of light.

About 15 years ago we had such terrible mist too.
we came from a neighbouring town after a nice evening out, and were surprised by the white closed in world.
We were by car, but it was not safe to drive faster than a bicycle, if not slower.
The only solution we saw to arrive home in one piece was by me walking in front of the car, listening if I could hear something and walking on the middle line of the road.
We passed a policecar and they stopped us.
We explained what we were doing and they thought it to be a very wise decision, seeing that that road was not used much. Yep, that was why we went home that way.
They asked if they could drive with us, and so I walked 2 cars to the main road, where huge lights were able to give an impression where to go.

We came home safe and the precious babysitter was able to go home. She lived only a few doors away, but we joked about her finding her way home and not going inside the wrong house.

The other extreme is the low level of the river.
Ships can load only half their cargo and have to be very precise to follow the middle part.
It looks beautiful in this weather: the dark large rising sides and the small river between the brown sand.

Wish I had a good camera....
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turn Back the Hands of Time



1. There's a Time Genie. She can put you back in time to relive a day that you loved. If you could turn back the hands of time, what day would you relive if given this opportunity?

There are so many days that are worth reliving.

2. What did you do yesterday?

I wrote the last articles for the paper, did laundry, made a nice dinner.

3. You've been given 3 parachutes, but there are 4 people who need them. Who will you not give one to: Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Kim Kardashian, or Simon Cowell? Why?

Do you really think they would wait until I've made a decision?
I bet they'll take one before I can blink an eye.

4. Where are you going and where have you been?

I was young and I'm growing old.

5. They say that books read as a child make more of an impact on a person than books read at any other time in life. Are there any books that you particularly loved, that shaped the way you think when you were little?

Haha! I read Tarzan, books about native americans, africans, books about astrology and Heidie.
No wonder I'm rather broadminded. LOL!

6. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?

Not having to wake up so early, as a few here in the house need to go away very early.

7. What was the last text message you received?

I never read them. I don't know how and I'm not bothering to learn.
I want to live, not to be a slave of my cellphone.

8. Do you prefer to call or text?

I hate them both. People are busy doing their things and they can perfectly live without me. I can reach them when I really need them, that's enough to know.

9. What were you doing at 9PM last night?

Writing the editorial.

Have a nice weekend!

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Dear gram



gram
Dear gram,

It's your birthday again. Or better said, it should have been your birthday.
I wish I could give you just one birthday more, so you could see the children and feel proud and happy.

On a day like this my memories dwell on those days long gone.
The smell of soup when we entered the house at the end of the morning.
My uncles sitting on the couch debating something special, or with their guitars, humming melodies I still hum when the weather is nice.

One by one the rest of the family would drop in.
Some very silent, congratulating you at the door and stealing a moment to give you your present out of sight of the rest.
Others with lots of noise and climbing the stairs like they were features of Mount Everest and never conquered before. They always had the need to be present and your gift would be given for all others to see.

You had a large box with blocks for the small ones. A building system I still keep at the attick for the next generation.
I can't remember any problems between the kids. But maybe I missed them, as I loved to help you in the kitchen and have fun with you, tasting the whipped cream on the cake and flatten it again with a hot spoon.

Later it was my turn to help with the soup, slicing an enormous pile of vegetables. You taught me how to use a large knife and people who see me slice food still ask me if I'm a cook. I'm still glad you taught me, because I need less time to prepare meals.
We always made soup the day before and often you asked me to stay and we had dinner, and watched TV or sang songs along with the gramophone. You took the effort to read the same books as I did, so we could talk about them.
How I cherish these wonderful memories.
Oh, and then in the morning you liked to keep the curtains closed and light candles. So often we've had candlelit breakfasts with butter on the bread put in the sugarbowl. I still long for the taste and the fun we had whispering and keeping silent so my uncle wouldn't wake up.

Your birthdays always ended with a huge pile of dishes in the kitchen.
Some years my aunties stayed and we tackled the lot with 6 or 8 people, barely able to move around in the kitchen. We always laughed a lot, even when there was not much to laugh about.

Some years they all had to leave and only my dad and I stayed.
You gave him a moment of rest in the large chair. I can still see him sitting there, watching TV, talking with my uncle, or just dozing off.
We would do the dishes like it was a real present. I still don't mind cleaning up the lot after special events.
Afterwards we would sit down and study the cards and presents. And you always said that age is an outer issue, that you still felt as young as ever. I could see it in your eyes.

Gram, I know now you were right.
I still feel the same energy in me, and each time I look in the mirror I'm kind of surprised I'm not as young anymore.
I did many things I enjoyed with you so much with my own children. Except for the candles at breakfast, I didn't want to risk to set the house on fire.

I understand now better than ever what motherhood meant to you, with your 7 kids, one of them chronically ill. You helped them grow up with humor and trust, you took them through war in a frontline city, with most of the family in the resistance. You included.
I know you cried, I've seen your tears. You lost your husband, and one by one your children. You've always worked hard and you said that nothing was more important than people, and to be yourself, and trust your own judgement.

I had only one picture of you, so I was surprised to find another one online on the site of a family member.
I see my daughters in you, and features of my son.
No wonder you're on my mind so often.
It's fun to see in your face the message you gave to me. "Observe the world, and think whatever you want. The whole world can have an opinion about you, they can label you or push their own opinions on you. But just think whatever you want. There's freedom in your mind, always."

It would be great to share my thoughts with you again.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Oops, blue screen!

I worked very hard to get most articles ready in time and when I finally took some air and played a game of cityville my screen went blue.
Oh my!!!

As I had to sow on a button on the trousers of one of the boys I decided to do that first. No way I was ready to be confronted with a failing computer, no way I wanted to see my articles gone.

Added to the stress was the knowledge that our ITC son will be away all week, so I would have to re-write all articles, and none won't be as good as the original ones.

I took a deep breath, did some chores, telling myself the computer needed to cool down and then restarted the thing.

Well, the fact that I'm here says enough, doesn't it?

Phew!!!
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Ran Meme



Because Bus is recovering from surgery...get well soon!...an old meme, from november 17 2007.

1. When's the last time you ran?

Last week, to catch the bus.

2. Do your jeans have rips, tears, and holes in them?

No, not at all. I hate jeans that have tears and such. I want them without problems and also dark blue.
I have one pair of bleached jeans and it feels like I can't afford proper ones. I know it's psychological and silly.

3. What are you dreading right now?

The gift toodoo in december. We already have the event at december the fifth, and we can't afford it. We surely can't. And it feels so bad and sad.

4. Do you like Mexican food?

We don't have it often, but for once in a time I'm OK with it.

5. Favorite ice cream?

Depends on my mood. Banana, chocolate or lemon. All together is OK too. Yummy!

6. When was your last doctor's visit?

Ooohh, that's nibbling at my conscience. Eh...a year ago? Dunno. I should have gone to check my diabetes. But we agreed that as long as I check my own bloodsugars regularly I can make my own decisions.

7. Do you get the full 8 hours of sleep a night?

No, never.

8. How many pets do you have?

None.

9. "First Loves Are Never Over;" is this true for you?

I don't think I need to dwell on that.
But I've seen a recent picture of him and he still has those features I loved so much. And they still make me smile.

Have a nice weekend!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Birthday presents.

They've outgrown their childhood and are entering a complete different world of making choices for the future.
Their 16th birthday feels kind of strange.
Ofcourse my memories of their birth are like it happened yesterday, but I also see the lady in them.

Their birthdaywishes are moderate, but I know they would love to receive far more than they wish.
They love horse riding and would love to get equestrian riding apparel as a present.
Investing in it should also involve far more riding lessons than they've got, so a present like this is out of reach for us.

They both got a new watch and a nice bracelet, ordered online.
We gave it before they went to bed, so they could think about wearing it tomorrow.
One of the girls got a japanese bowl, the other a statue of a balletdancer to hang her rings on.

I don't know what the older boys have in store for them.
All I know is that there's no need for me to prepare dinner as they will cook it.

I think it's great that their birthday is on a friday. It means no homework and a whole weekend to enjoy all the attention.
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Another one who faked his researchdata.

I always said one can't distinguish the good and bad professors by the amount of publications they write and the frequency they speak on conferences.
In fact, I never had much adoration for those who frequented the social events and lacked contact with patients/clients. Many of them kept talking about that one discovery they made, without any progress in their views and research.
Resting on that one discovery they made, resting on their laurels and resting rich.
Me oh my, if I could earn their wages and make so many travels I would be a much more interesting person....maybe.

Yes, Maybe.

I warned that people would start faking data.
Some already did so when they were my students, and even then they were too stupid to do it well enough, so they got caught.
Or maybe I was too keen to catch them. Watching for too perfect data, or those data with just one or two exceptions, or questionnaires filled in in the same way, and other tricks I won'ty mention here, because they're still used.

It's a certain personality that matches these acts.
Most of these science cheaters are people who have large ego's that are very susceptible for fame and praise. They are very socially active and are very able to deal with people. They have a certain kind of charm and they think they can blind everyone.

That lack of self criticism and honesty makes them fail and disrespect their responsibility.
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Repair your motor home now.

Owning a car, regardless of it's age, is still something we value a lot.
So I wasn't surprised the girls asked us to bring them to school tomorrow.
It's their birthday, the only day that question will be answered with a "yes".

After that we'll have one of the tires seen to.
It's slowly losing air, and we can't have that happen when the weather gets worse.
Now we can go to the garage without any problems, but after a real change of weather...

Yesterday we met the neighbour there, and he asked us what we thought about the best time for his motor home repair. That might seem a strange question, but a good friend of us comes from a family that travels in motor homes each vacation and a few times before he gave good advice to our neighbour.
So I called him and was told that right now will be fine.
Everything can be checked and repaired and then the motor home can go to it's winter lodge to wait for next spring.

Last night we had our first ugly cold night.
Already I long for spring. In fact I can't wait.
But forst the birthday of the girls.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pink Ribbon discredited

This year we saw again a lot of attention for Pink Ribbon.
People bought expensive pink stuff with the intention that a large part of their money would go to cancer research.
Others engaged themselves in sportive activities to earn sponsormoney for Pink Ribbon.
All with most of the time a lot of emotions because of memories of friends, families and others who died from cancer.

Today it was in the news that Pink Ribbon didn´t spend the money like was expected.

Only 1.8% of the 16 million euro they collected was given to cancer research.
That´s about 288.000 euro.
They saved 7 million, unclear for what.
And they saved 1 million euro as a reserve.

Spending only 1.8% instead of 15% has a name.
It´s up to the authorities to use that word when they want to follow up on this situation.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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Another pile gone

Today we collected the working gear of one of our sons, as he has to bring it back to his former employer.
3 trousers, lots of blouses, sweaters, a large coat with winterlining, and a lot of small stuff like ties and badges.
A large box full of carefully folded clothes is the result and tomorrow it will be gone.

Now the temperatures are below zero we've exchanged a lot of clothes, but there are still lots of piles to be worked through. It'll give a nice tidy-up to the wardrobes and the house. It's a hard job to keep up with the clutter urge of the male parts of the household.

Today I also wrote a few articles, but not as many as I planned.
I've got a very nasty cold.

2 days to go and then the girls will be celebrating their birthday.
Some of the boys have created nice surprises.
The girls will be 16.
What a pity I can't give them a sweet sixteen party.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Me oh my!

The more I work for the paper the more I see why it needs reorganisation.
Me oh my!

End of the afternoon I put my flu in the closet and went to a kind of market for non-profit organisations and businesspeople. The market was to bring requests of the organisations under the attention of the business people and they might be able to help.
Either because they can give, for example, their old materials a second life (we needed furniture) or they can give advice.

I was supposed to meet with one of the other people of the paper, but he didn't show up. Grrr.

I didn't like the market, because it was pure chaos. People who were supposed to assist enjoyed talking to their friends far more than helping people. people tried to be first, well, you know that bit ofcourse.
It was a delight to be outside again.

I called my son and we went to an interview.
The person who had to do it, didn't know anything about how to interview people. He kept on talking about himself, was not able to summarise and he didn't even thank for the interview.
It was a plain mess.
I tried to built a line in questioning, but at the moment that the person at the other end of the table was about to make a statement we could use he came babbling through it. Grrrr...

After that I sat in on a debate evening about care and financial consequences.
When I came outside it was sooooo co-o-o-o-old. My coat was not able to make me feel a bit warm, so we called home to ask someone to bring a warm coat to the railwaystation. That was a relief!

Now I have to write a load of articles, because we lack writers.

I would have been gone there, but it's the paper of a friend.
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Our former coins back?

The economical situation calls for cut backs for everyone. Well, maybe not for the richest, but the guys and galls from the street will feel the recession in their stomachs and wallets.

Louder than ever the people dream about our former coin, which was not dependent upon poor european countries who now pull the euro down and into a crisis.

The only good thing of our minority government is that they agree that some research should be done into the come-back of the gulden.

I doubt however if the consequences on the long run will be as positive as we wish them to be.

We don't have a stable country anymore, where all people are welcome and tolerance and freedom of speech are matters of respect.

Even though the government want to ignore it: we do have poor people, we do have beggars and we do have illegal people who live in obscure places.
The political decisions whioch have been made in the recent past have contributed to the downfall of our country, and it will get even worse than it is now.

It's hypocritical to think that only on other countries loans are the problem of the recession. People have loaned themselves to bits here too.
I've always been proud to be one of the very few who have paid everything we own, even though we never went on vacation.
In a way I regret we haven't done what others did: buy a car, a house, a couch, a swimmingpool, a wintervacation and some exotic summervacation all on loans.

Right now we haven't had this all, and we're just as poor as others.
We can hardly make ends meet, and today the 13th has been a true almost full moon day, as two of the boys kind of went bezirk because we couldn't give them what they want: new computers.

No Sinterklaas for us (that's our gift-event on december 5th, instead of on christmas), no Santa Claus either. Just the darn rotten artificial tree and some plain food.

The girls will celebrate their birthday.
The boys are already jealous.
They don't even realise I worry that we have to go and live smaller... but how on earth will we find something smaller?
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