Monday, January 31, 2011

Some truth?

Today my daughter tried to get in contact with her exchange partner.
He just came online and had no other choice than to answer here.

Yes, he didn't put the right date in facebook. He's 15.
And the photo of someone smoking was just interesting. He doesn't smoke.

Before she could ask anything more and without asking her any question he disappeared from internet.
Just finished the conversation.

We're considering he might have told some more tales.
Staying however is the post on facebook that was indecent and his flirtations with her classmates.

We'll give it another day.

We were glad to hear friends arrived safely home from Egypt.
They saved money for many years to travel there, but their safety was not guaranteed where they were staying.
It's sad they just had a few nice days and have lost all the money.
Maybe they'll get something back from the travelagancy.
I hope so.
Dreams can be so fragile.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Other culture?

We had a strange feeling about the exchange student of one of the girls.
He asked one of the girls of the group, he'd never seen, to be his girlsfriend. Ofcourse she said she didn't want to be and then he told her he hated her.

On facebook he states he's married, he's two years older than the school states he is, he's a smoker according to his photos, he's been telling he drinks and on top of it all he wrote a proposal that makes clear he's sure having troubles with his hormones.

So either he's a little boy yelling to make himself a lot bigger than he is, suggesting low self esteem, or he's a guy that can't be trusted.
He strongly suggests he's either troubled or trouble.

We can deal here with different nationalities and different cultures. No problem.
Turkish people enough here that can read on his facebook what I can't read.

But I want something better for my girl than stressing what kind of exchange student she'll have.

My other girl has a lovely girl as exchange partner, and they're both looking forward to meet each other.

But this istanbul boy/guy is another story. The fun of exchanging is already gone. What should be the highlight of the year doesn't appeal to my daughter anymore. She asks herself what to do with a boy that is circling around all the girls, already before he even sees them and puts indecent proposals on his facebook. Not directed to her in person, but for all to read.

This doesn't feel good.

What would you advice?
Ofcourse I have a solution to the problem, but I would like your input.

Is this simply another culture on our plate and the guy will be a shy boy not knowing how to behave, or is this male trouble?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What a Fool Believes

1. What celebrity do you think is the MOST foolish?

I don't know and I don't care.

2. What are 5 things you don't care about?

How people look
socalled high class people.

3. What 'issue' do you think your opinion is so right about that you end up trying to sway others to your point of view?

At the moment: that we're good parents.
My knowledge about autism.

4. What personality do you like to listen to on the radio?

I don't have favorites at the moment.

5. What culture are you fascinated by?

In fact: many cultures.
Each culture has a lot to teach, even when we don't agree with it. It's either a mirror or an inspiration.

6. You are alone with your lover's diary. What do you do?

No. I won't talk to it.
I probably would walk away.

7. What frustrates you?

That some people know so well who I and my family are that it's downright disgusting.
A ll I hope the issue will come to an end soon.

8. Do you remember the first time you were on the internet? What did you do first?

It was during my studies. I enjoyed the fact that I could look up the new issues of magazines and suummaries of research projects so i could stay at home and there was no need to go to the university library.
I could read studies endlessly, compare things, combine things.

The main thing really for myself was opening a blog. That was 21-3-2001.
Oh....I'm blogging almost 10 years now. Wow!!

9. What was the biggest fight you have ever had with someone?

I don't fight with people.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

No improvement

This morning I went with one of my sons to the doc.
Since last saturday he's dealing with a one sided facial paralysis.
It came out of the blue. He woke up with it.

There's almost no improvement.
His eye can close about half a centimeter more. That's it.

I'm worried sick.

The doc prepared him kindly for what might lie ahead of him.
I've done the same this week, and we nearly used the same words.

Three days more prednison and an appointment for next month.

Let's hope he belongs to the group that show improvement in three weeks time.
he didn't belong to the group that show improvement within a week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Uniform and prom dresses

Yesterday my son worked for his first day as trainee security in the academic hospital, in the university and at the premisses.
He looked wonderful in his uniform!

He paraded through the house to give me a good look and I could imagine him walking thought the long corridors with a group of youg ladies in prom dresses.
He didn't smile, so I couldn't see his facial paralysis, and he really moved me.

This is his last step towards progression in his professional life.

At valentine's day he takes exams in some subjects and when he passes he's got two more days to do his practical work, ensuring a timely exam in may or june, so he'll get his diploma before the summer vacation.

His wish to work at the hospital was so large that he applied for the job himself before school said they were allowed to apply, and then he ensured they didn't forget him. And now he doesn't hide between the facial paralysis, but he went, without moaning.

His new boots were a real problem. He tried them at the beginning of the week and he feet were covered in blisters. They were worse yesterday evening after 8 hours of walking. Today I dressed them properly and he got in the boots again.
I wonder if I would have done that.

He just arrived home in his new jacket with emblem of the security service.
Wow!! That handsome guy is my son!

Happy birthday to me!!

Yep, it's my birthday.

Because the boys have such a bussy schedule we had a small celebration yesterday evening.

One of the boys made dinner. I didn't only enjoyed a quiet sitdown, but the food was delicious too.

Then I got a few presents and we ate cake.

I'll tell more about it later, because we have to eat now.

Barcodes at the market

A few weeks ago I was at the market in town and was surprised to see the shirt for one of my sons was scanned with a real barcode scanner.
I didn't know technology was advanced again, and I asked the shopowner how long he was using the instrument.

He smiled and told me he had been at a conference before christmas and decided to buy one when it was presented there.
he them asked me to come with him and he showed a receipt printer, a device to pay online, and ofcourse, a security camera.

He was so proud that I felt moved.

Two years ago his wife died and when we asked for her he sat down crying and told us everything what happened. He was not sure if he would be able to go on selling on the markets.
The year after he had severe financial problems due to the recession and he told me he was not sure if his shop would survive.
So that he was able to buy this barcode scanner and other equipment was a real victory. It saves a lot of time to use barcodes, he told me, and that made life a lot easier.

And then he showed me a small photograph.
A lovely baby, his grandson, he told me.
Tears again, but this time happy tears.

Nelson Mandela in hospital

Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital yesterday after he returned to town after a week long visit to the countryside.

He's 92 years old now.

Acccording to a pressrelease it's for routine checks only.
But people are asked to remain calm, and family and friends are almost standing in line to visit him.

Journalists are already trying to write his biography in a unique way, so they have it ready, in case...

But who needs a biography of such a famous man?

He's one of a group of people who fought against injustice in the world, in a time that internet didn't exist.
There are only a few of them left, mainly living a quiet life.

According to people who knew him a bit he was a kind man, with the gift of strategic thinking and swift adaptation to different situations.

He withdrew from public life in 1999, but when he'll die he'll leave a lot of people who should be gratefull for what he has done.


Today is my birthday and I hope I'll get something from my wishlist.

I know I won't get the gardenhouse I've wanted all my life. A small place just for me, when I can sit down and enjoy the quiet gardenlife. A place to put my things the way I want and to have some silent computertime.

My second wish is one of those wonderful corner flat tv mounts.
I don't think the TV should define a complete wall anymore. Some of the people who live here won't agree with me and they would rather take the TV with them to bed and bath, but hej, it's my wish, and I listen more to the TV than I have time to watch, so...

I also would love to go for a week to London.
I know, I know, the past years I've said that more often. But it hasn't happened yet and I would love to spend some time away from the daily things. I won't mind taking the kids with me, as long as I won't have to cook.

The rest of my wishes are far more moderate. I love small presents like earplugs and such. I love vintage jewelry and a lot more.

So let's see what happens.

no car

It's fun that some people think that we're some sort of health freaks just because we don't have a car.

You should know we live in the city. Not near the centre, but just within it's borders, meaning there are busses within a 10 minute bicycle ride (and one that goes once an hour in a 3 minute walk range).
Parking a car in the city is no fun at all and costs a lot.

Commuting to work is a real problem with traffic jams and the whole lot. A 1,5 hour trainride costs 2,5 hours by car. Parking problems not counted.
So why have a car?

OK, we're getting a bit older now and reaching the school of the girls is a pain. And it would be convenient to get groceries all at once, from door to door.

But the convenience doesn't outweight the costs at all.

The same goes for a dishwasher.
Even though we've been a very large family, we've never had one.
Then we didn't have the money, now we don't have the money.

Washing the dishes is not a real problem here. I don't mind to do it, and when kids are around it's fun to do the job together.
One can have a good talk, have fun or whatever.
I'm happy my children can deal with life without all that equipment.
And we can use our money for things that are neceaasry.


When the R was in the name of the month we used to get fish oil.
A spoonful!
It was eh...not nice.

A couple of years some doctors decided keeping healthy should be fun and we should eat lots of oranges.
Not all of them were sweet and tasty. Most of them were bitter and sour, and the peels were thick and couldn't be removed easily.

We were lucky our family doctor was in favor of cooking healthy and not taking vitamins. She tested her patients regularly and any shortage was the cause for a series lengthy consulations with a dietician. I once went there with a friend and I pitied her.

we never were vitamin freaks and I'm happy we were not.
It would have masked a metabolic disease I have and I would never had the proper treatment.

Ofcourse I followed the recommendations for use of folic acid before and during pregnancy.
That was already the time of one a day vitamins, the multivitamin capsules, that contained everything to stay healhty, it was said.

Taking vitamin supplments has become a normal day to day routine for many people.
Some don't even know what they are taking, because they think they can solve all healthproblems with a single dosage of vitamins.

Most people won't be harmed by them, that's true.
But it's always good to ask your doctor if you really need them.
Some multivatamins contain iron.
Do you know that some people are very susceptable for a disease that causes iron to stay in your body at far too high levels?

So take care of yourself in a good way and get informed properly.

Last evening the site of school showed one of my daughters would be home two hours early.
She asked if she could meet me after school in the shopping centre. She wants to buy something for my birthday. but she's not sure if I like it enough.

I said it was OK.

After she'd done her homework she was drawing and got a lot of comment about that from her brother.
She didn't mind his comments, but they made me curious why she was drawing.
It was for the drawing lessons, even though she expected she would get free.

Just a few moments ago she called and told me she couldn't meet me in the shoppingcentre because of the drawing lessons. The teacher showed up today so she has to be at school those two hours.

I'm happy she finsished her drawing yesterday, and I'm sure she's happy about that too.
Some teachers don't mind of homeworl is finsihed, but this teacher does.
He's very strict, probably because he wants the pupils to take the subject serious.

Well he should start by being at school all the time so kids taske him more serious too.

Acne scars

With so many young people around I'm not amased that questions are asked about all subjects of life.
Acne is considered a fact of normal life here, but acnescars are a different matter.

I've always been able to control myself and I don't have many scars, but one of the boys and some of his friends seem to have been bitten by a scarring bug, and now their acne is disappearing the scars remain as a not so fond memory of that time.

Even though er tell them that most scars will disappear in time and one starts to regard those small ones that stay as a normal part of life, they're ready to start working on them straightaway.

Using internet they found and some other sites that provide relevant information, so they can make a good choice between products.

All I can tell them is not to experiment a lot.
The skin shows mistakes and some for rather a long time.
Careless application of chemicals might result in long lasting problems which exceed those of acnescars.

But kids that age are sensitive for the comments of others, so they rather be the first to try something out than see their own small scars in the mirror.

Storage in houses

The old houses here in town have lots of storage.
The older the house, the more.
I've been in houses that had all sorts of visiable and hidden places to keep belonings dustfree and well kept.

A friend lived in a house that had secret storage in each stair of the staircase. It could be used for papers or jewelry, for instance, without anyone knowing. Using the storage boxes balanced the noise so much that his wife put teatowels in the boxes that were still empty.

The new house we came in here contained almost no staorage at all.
One large wardrobe in the attack was all we had, and a few cupboards in the kitchen.
We tried to place more storageroom in each room, but we're still having problems putting our stuff away.

As I have some collections that take rather a lot of space, there's always something standing freely around.

How about your house and storage?

Diet pill reviews

Celebrating a birthday sometimes means that people get together that don't know each other.
This morning two completely different people visited. They have almost nothing in common, so the conversation was switching from one to the other, without any clear focus than keep the conversation going.

The suddenly we were talking about weight issues and one of them asked the other:
do diet pills work?

Usually it's not an interesting topic, because most people have fixed ideas about the subject and certain products, but one of the women was a researcher and the other a fanatic sporter.
We agreed that some products are just a way of spending money, others are completely unhealthy and here are some products that should get the nebefit of the doubt.
Especially products that have ingredients which have proven to work in the body in a beneficial way to create weightloss.
But we're aware that putting good ingredients together doesn't necessarily means that the mix is healthy too. One might create unwanted effects without even knowing one does.

An additional issue is the costs of dietpills. Some are a real robbery. And certainly women with a family can't afford them.

There are some very good reviews online and we advice everyone who is interested in the subject to read them carefully.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Divorce is so sad for children

The parents of one of the friends of my daughters are divorcing.
After witnessing many terrible rows, she also has to witness her family being split up.
And even worse: she has to make a choice between her parents, where to live.

My girls are almost in tears when they tell it.
They care deeply for their friend and seeing her this way really touches them.

We take our time to talk about all sorts of subjects related to marriage and responsibility for the wellbeing of other people.
All good plans for the rest of the afternoon are forgotten, and it's nearly dinnertime when we end our conversation with the wish to be real friends and that the girl can come here anytime to talk or just be at ease.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Sometimes I long back to the time that friends were able to hop over for a cup of coffee without prior notation in the agenda.
Just a call and within half an hour the house was full with friends and their young children.
Some bottles with babyfood, some healthy cookies and lots of coffee were enough to have hours of discussions and exchange of experiences.

Now I have to do my utmost to get some visitors to my birthday.
Not only are my best friends all over the world, the few that live nearby have their lives firmly grounded in their agendas.

I wanted to celebrate my birthday in the morning, so I had plenty of time for the children during the rest of the day. My autistic boy watched TV in the evening with his dad and disruptions of that routine are not good for his mood.
The stress of the past months has made him cling more to this evening routine.
And I hate it to have visitors and the TV on.

So in the morning would be best, I thought. Fresh applepie and cake, fragrant coffee, and the presents of some of the children just unwrapped on the table.
No, said one friend. I've got things to do at the school of my children and I skipped them due to the illness of my daughter the past week, so... You'll see me in the afternoon.
OK, said another one, it'll be during lunchtime, because I've got an appointment with someone in the morning.
Hmmm, mumbled a third one, I have to look in my agenda when the meeting of the paper is... but I can shift that ... when is your appointment with the dentist?

We both had a good laugh, because we remembered at the same time that I asked him before christmas to make me take a good note of it in the new agenda.

When I have a look at the board with small papers the one of the dentist is gone.
And the appointment isn't noted in the new agenda.

Well, at least something resulted from asking my friends for my birthday: I have to ask my dentist if he can fit me in. At my birthday maybe?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Metal buildings

Here in town is a discussion going about building new sporting halls for the highly talented pupils of the special school for sports.

One of the problems here is that the council starts prestigious projects without calculating the costs well enough, so each time they need to spend far more money than planned.

The same is expected regarding the sporting facilities.

I think they need to consider all options and even look abroad how other sporting schools are dealing with their pupils.

I know from friends that they have very good experiences with Olympia Buildings.
They can provide metal buildings that suit the needs, are within the available funds, and will be ready, for a change, within the available time.

What appeals too is that all accessories can be adjusted to the needs and will be delivered by the same firm. So there won't be ridiculous incidents like lamps that won't fit or doors that are 5 cm too small.

The warranty that comes with these buildings covers about the lifetime of the building, as most buildings here are made for 40 or 50 years. By that time the town will have changed so very much that a sproting location like that will be moved somewhere else.

Buildings like these can already be seen as offices at the industrial area. They look awesome.
So when the council wants to keep building presigious and has less money to invest this is the best option.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Half sided facial paralysis

Yesterday our third son woke up with a half sided facial paralysis which seemed to be due to lying on the nerve while he was asleep.
he had no pain at all and didn't experience much discomfort so we decided to give it a few hours to get less.

No changes were seen, and as not much can be done in these cases he wanted to wait a bit more.

In the evening he was with friends but came home to fetch something.
The paralysis seemed to be more serious, so within one moment I decided to go to the ER.

Our second son went through the back door to ask a friend in the next street to drive us. I went upstairs and jumped in some fresh clothes, threw my meds in a bag, went downstairs, threw my diabetesmeds and some food in the bag and was ready when the car came in front of the door.
We got in and went away.

Going straight to the ER is out of the question here.
A family physician should see the patient first and in the weekends we should go to the practice of assembled family physicians at the other side of town.
Nuts when an ER is at a distance of a 10 minutes drive.

We arrived, were asked through the intercom what we wanted, I asked for entrance to the ER for a neurological case and we were on hospital premisses.
Within 5 minutes a nurse was taking the history and within 10 my son was seen by a doctor. We were so lucky we were there before the drunken and drugged arrived.

He got a complete neurological exam (which I took at home right that morning and repeated that afternoon) and nothing else was found than the paralysis.
Consultation with the neurologist provided nothing new.

Again he was checked and then we were told that he would get medication (prednison and cream and drops for his eye, as it doesn't close properly)
The expectatiom is that the paralysis is gone in about 7 days.

The doc said we'd done well to wait and observe during the day and come in straightaway this evening after observing it was a bit worse.

Then we had to go and get the medication... at the place where the weekend doctors work... just one street away from it. Haha!

Until now I've seen no change at all. He takes his meds very consciently. I'm glad with that.

Ofcourse I'm worried a lot about this, as I know not all cases improve well.

It took all my attention and I forgot I had to write the letter of comment before monday. (See Our Count Down)
When I realised all the stress jumped on me like a heavy dog.
I took care of it today. I hope I did well enough because I'm worrying about my son now. We can't afford a lawyer this time. We're still paying the bill of the first one.

I wonder when life will be boring here.

Inspiring a little girl

Not many people know I used to collect cigar wrappers and wooden cigarboxes.
It seldom happens that someone gives me a cigar wrapper these days, but the shop at the railwaystation still keeps the emtpy cigar boxes until either the girls or I collect them.

It all started when I was a little girl and a friend of the family gave me my first cigar wrapper.
I also gave me a collection book with 25 hard to get wrappers.
The trust he showed me to keep them undamaged was precisely what I needed to keep the collection as up to date as possible during many years.

He was a smoker of robust cigars. Some created smoke that made me feel gasping for breath, so I would stay away from our livingroom when he was smoking, others made me feel like a princess in a fragrance of far away countries.

I knew I would never start smoking, but I loved the world of care and expertise that was hidden behind each individual cigar.

When he was old he didn't restrict himself anymore to the large cigards with dark tobacco, but he would smoke different Rocky Patel cigars, opening the world of aromas even more.
I could sense his mood by seeing and smelling which cigar he was smoking and sometimes he asked me not to tell my mom he was rather in for a quiet sunday afternoon than an intense discussion of politics and the educational system.

When he died, the cigard left my livingworld, except for the wrappers and the boxes.
I don't think I can recognise a cigar all by it's smell anymore. But I do know which ones are the best.

In case you want to try I advice you to buy the famous 'Best Of Rocky Patel' Sampler #2. It's on sale at the moment until the end of the month, and it provides you with a taste and smell of a diversity of what cigars have to offer.
Even one of them makes a wonderful gift.

And maybe, maybe you can inspire a little girl to start a nice collection of wrappers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Woman From Tokyo

1. Have you ever been to Japan? If not would you like to travel there?

No, I haven't, but I would love to go there. I think there's a very interesting traditional culture at places.

2. Have you ever played a game that required removal of clothing?


3. Have you ever dated one of your best friends?

Yep, before they became best friends.

4. Have you ever kissed someone you didn't know?

No, I can't remember. Unless you mean those meaningless kisses that are used as a greeting.

5. What is your secret guaranteed weeping movie?

At some times I cry about almost everything.

6. What feature are you most insecure about?

What feature of what?
If you mean of myself.... my weight. But right now it rapidly disappears.

7. What do you miss most about being young?

Hmmm, let's think...
The special cleanliness of the voice while singing, and I had less pain while moving.

8. Who is the most annoying musical artist EVER?

Huh? Who cares?

9. Have you ever applied for a job that was an internet hoax, asking for credit history and your social security number?

Noop, as we don't do credit history here.
We're not used to being in debt.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Memories of yesterday

For my third son it was a very special day.

It was his 20est birthday today and it was the day he got his uniform for his practical work as a security ward at the university hospital.

Me oh handsome he looks in that uniform. Wow!

Suddenly he looks a lot more grown up and a real gentleman.

Yesterday he was born.
It was not my choice it happened in hospital, but as my second child died none took a risk.
His character could be seen before he was born already.
His head didn't bow right and I felt it pushing to the bone.
We all had a good laugh afterwards because I made some strange intuitive movement with my hips and he was able to enter the world.

His doctor examined him, gave him a "good to go" and put him on his back in the bed and went away.
A few minutes later he burbed very loud and aspirated part of the content of his stomach (glucose water). All laughed, but I saw his colour and yelled he had aspirated and was suffocating, and indeed he was.
Thanks to an experienced nurse who crossed the border of her profession he was sucked out very deep and could breathe again.

So in a way he's a little miracle.

He caused a big one, as the next morning the doctor came to the ward and openly apologised for the mistake he made and complimented me for my fast reaction. It had never happened and would never happen again. I appreciated his gesture, but to me it was more important that I had a healthy son and not another dead baby.

He turned out a very lifely kid, with a huge curiosity, needing constant attention.
With two older brothers, one clearly with an autism spectrum disorder, I had the feeling of being everywhere at the same time.
Momma octopus a friend called me, because I could watch and interact with the kids, crochet curtains for a friend and have a meaningful conversation at the same time.
It was the start of many years being the general in the house, inventing strategies to teach my children life skills, give them a happy time, and celebrate their individuality.

Yes, some things I did completely different than other moms.
I never said "because I say so", but made them experience things.
Like when they needed sleep. They would love to go to sleep, because the next morning they would feel fresh and OK.

My kids were never jealous. They all had something special to do when a new baby got breastfeeding, for instance.
One was allowed to carry the cloth to wipe the face. The other was allowed to get a diaper and be the diaper guardian all during the feed, and the oldest was allowed to put a bit of water on the washing cloth, so we all went together through the whole time of breastfeeding (with a cookie and drinks for us big people) and changing nappies.
Sometimes I felt snow white with the dwarfs, especially when I had 6 children.
When feeding the twins and all the boys were at home I had my own quartet of dwarfs sitting around me. The oldest boys could read and would read a story and the rest were diaper guardian, keeper of the washing cloth, carrier of the wiping cloth and whatever functions were needed when friends sat with them to enjoy some quiet time.

Moms thanked me for giving them some quiet in the afternoon, and I had a nice bunch of children listening to a story and feeling calm at the sounds of the milk swallowed by the babies.
I always used a skarf when breastfeeding, to stay decent in the presence of these friends. Yesterday I was taking something out of my wardrobe and a red skarf with white small flowers remembered me of that time.

Now all these friends are young man who talk with me about their plans for the future.
Life goes so fast...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Count Down - 17 - 2nd letter

To our surprise the letter to court was changed tremendously.

This time I was personally attacked for not remembering something completely irrelevant.
It was a letter about safety in the family, if the father of the kids knew.
In fact, I remembered it well, but they guy interpreted me saying: not the content, in: not the complete letter.

I'm so tired of it all that at the moment I don't remember the second thing he mentioned.

I mailed his teamleader about how I felt about this all and put the whole case in front of her. Called it personal, so she didn't bluntly discuss what I had written about him, making him even more against us.

Well, she thought I meant private... So I got a letter to state we had a workingrelationship and I surpassed it.


So I wrote her another one stating the difference between adressing her private and addressing her as a teamleider personal, so she could use her descretion to guide relationships and reports in such a way that our voice was heard too.

I'm fed up with this whole situation.

We've done nothing wrong and still they're writing things to make us look like idiots and unfit parents.
It's clear it's an ego matter and maybe a bit of professional hate between social workers and psychologists too.

They can't put it in writing that we don't need help.
It's unbelievable!

I know this all shall pass.

It all shows how these organisations work and how many people like us are hurt without any grounds but lack of knowledge, empathy and building a case on what someone else says without even trying to speak the truth.
They all said straight in our face that they were not looking for the truth, that all they did was just give the judge an opinion.

We give the truth and we still see the court as a kind of sacred place where the truth needs to be spoken.

But it's like our voice doesn't matter anything more than the peep of a mouse.
They react accordingly.

A house and a supermarket attacked

Yesterday there were two attacks in town.

Near the place where we lived before we moved here a family was held at gunpoint by attackers.
It's the somaniest family facing such an ordeal.
We haven't heard any details yet.

And quite nearby a supermarket was attacked by armed men. It was in the same street where the gardencentre is that was attacked the same way a few weeks ago.

I have informed the children so they won't go to the shops here after school, as that's the time each attack was. I know kids their age love to get something for themselves, but if needed I'll get it. It's less fun, but safer.

I'm also thinking of buying a second hand baby phone and install it between the hobbyroom of my son who is almost a safety guardian.
Often I'm the only one in the livingroom and when something happens any kids upstairs will be in danger. A silent alarm under my chair might help a bit, but I don't mind him hearing me dusting and vaccuuming or humming a song. When he's able to hear when something is not OK and he can call the police so those attackers are finally caught, we're happy folks.

What would you do?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jobs on your iPhone

The recession has hit many people very hard.
The government here said we'd escaped the problems, but they suffered from short-sightedness.
Even today many people lost their jobs because of cut backs to overcome the consequences of the recession. And there are still people facing reorganisations that might put them on the couch in their home instead of in an office chair.

Last week I had a short talk with a man that faced terrible problems due to the recession and silly rules from the Eurpean Union.
It's decided that people with a certain income don't qualify anymore to rent a home from homing organisations. And it's worse: people have to get out of their houses, even when they've lived there 50 years and offer to pay more rent.

This man faced moving with his family, which included an autistic son.
His wife cared fulltime for his son and couldn't have a job that paid enough for them to buy a house.
So he arranged to rent a house in the private sector.
Papers were signed, for two months of rent paid.

And today he heard that he was one of a group of 20 of whom 4 would be without a job within 4 months.

The stress was so unbearable that he didn't know what to do.

So he told his story and cried.
A grown up man, with a wonderful family. A caring man. And on top of it an experienced man in his profession.

I told him that Monster might be an option to find jobs. They have perfect information online about writing resumees and such and they provide a lot of information on iPhone, so there was no need to buy piles of local papers or sit in the offices of intermediaries all day.

Monster brings employers and employees together and this guy has so much experience I told him I was convinced that someone would jump from joy to hire him.

Today he called.
He found a job, and it paid better than expected. In fact, this job is an improvement for the whole family as they have better insurance and more monthly income.

He asked me if I liked to drink wine.
No, I don't.
I told him that I was happy for him and his family and that was good enough for me.

Parents evening

Another parents evening.

Why don't they give parents a card on which we get points for received information?
6 kids means 6 times the same information about choices for a profession.
6 times hearing how the educational system is organised.
6 times hearing that dates are set and forms need to be with Mr. Soandso in time.
6 times hearing about subjects that are needed, that are responsible choices and that are free.

And I went a few times with children from friends so....

The school of the girls is very dedicated to inform the parents.
This was the second time we got almost the same information, with the same slides, and... the same jokes.

Considering the fact that these evenings are also mainly for parents and kids that haven't made a choice yet and don't know how to make a choice, and considering the fact that my daughter want to become a nurse and knows that nothing will change her mind anymore, and you'll understand that we were happy we were able to leave.

That we didn't have to face more than an hour on the busses and waiting for one at the windy busstation was a great feeling. Our second son had a car and took the honours to drive us.

I was happy for my daughter.
This week is a week full of tests and I don't think they should plan evenings like this in such a week.
Now she only lost half of the evening....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You do need ceiling fans.

It may seem strange to talk about Ceiling Fans now it's still winter, but my experience is that this is the perfect time to install new fans.

The budget is still available, the choice is optimal and you can even make plans to make more changes in the rooms with a Ceiling Fan, before the springseason starts.
Spring seems so much brighter in a newly furnished room, with freshly decorated walls.

I used to think that ceiling fans were not of use in small offices or at home. I thought that opening a window was more than enough to feel comfortable during hot summer days. But the past years have showed a change in temperature and humidity in such a way that I've changed my mind completely.

So last year my main goals was to Find out who makes the Best Ceiling Fans here!
I went to some offices and some shops where ceiling fans were used and asked them everything I wanted to know.
I felt a bit awkward asking about their convenience, where they were bought, and more of these questions, but found out that people didn't mind at all. I was in each and every case kindly referred to those who were in charge and I got all advice they could give.

In all cases Hansen Wholesale Ceiling Fans were mentioned as the best. So there's no doubt about that.
One of the people of the insurance company said they had fans from another firm, but they stopped working at the time they were most needed and the repairman couldn't come in that week because he had so much to do.
They contacted Hansen and got all the advice they needed and it was easy to make an appointment to get the fans installed. The costs were far less than expected. Hansen is 15 years online now and during all these years they have guaranteed the lowest prices online.
Hansen offers all great brand names like Minka, Casablanca, Emerson and Hunter.

In case you're interested, because you do need ceilingfans to feel happy during those hot summer days, you can find the answers to all your questions here. Including how to maintain them, al about energy savings and even about the history of ceiling fans.
When you want to contact customer support, don't hesitate. They're so very nice.

Bone density

I had to be in hospital very early today for a bone density check.

One of my aunts has had severe osteoporosis and my doc didn't want to take any risk.

It was still dark when I left, but it wasn't cold at all.
Such a strange experience.

It started to rain a bit and even the rain wasn't cold.

At the bus it was crowded because young people went to their schools, but I had a seat so I didn't mind at all.

In hospital they first x-rayed the aorta to see if there were calcifications.
If that would be the case they couldn't do the bone density scan.

A few minutes later I was called in for the bone density scan itself.
I didn't know what to expect, so I was rather curious.

They just placed me under a scanner, laying with my legs up, like I was sitting.
The scanner measures reflection and it took a minute or so before the first scan was ready.

Then I had to have my hip measured.

The nurse told me it would take 14 days to get the result.
That was it.

I could even use my busticket for the way back. So that saved money.

The rain was pouring down with wagonloads.
So I was glad to be home again.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Acne at my age

Today I went to the practice of our doctor for a short check up.
I had my blood checked, because I look so pale.
The hemoglobine was OK.

As a child I was a pale one who got a lot of attention to check my health.
I know that each time I had to see my schooldoctor my mother was told I should get more vegetables and fruit and I should eat more spinach.

I loved spinach, especially with an egg or with bacon. I still do.
I always got plenty of fruit and vegetables.

each time my mother had to go to our family doctor until she told the schooldoctor to accept that I was the strongest child she'd ever known and the palest.

When puberty embraced me all I had to ask my doctor was to give me the best treatment for acne.
For a year I looked horrible, but nature became kinder to me and most skinproblems disappeared except for two spots in my face that bugged me ever after.
I've learned to accept them.

Funbny thing is that I've been well preserved during the years. I don't have a lot of wrinkled. Just a few beside my eyes from smiling. It's paybacktime for not sunbathing and not smoking.
The two spots of acne show at times and due to them people think I'm younger than I am.

So who cares?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Our Count Down - 16 - an update

Last monday they wanted our reaction to their concept letter in and they would put it in the files and send the whole lot to court to ask to end guardianship.

It took quite some effort to change a silly and stupid mistake in their letter. I should have left it in and should have used it in court to make clear they're just not listening and they can't even take proper notes and transfer a cause properly.
But I wanted cooperation, not manipulation, so I applied a bit of pressure to make them change that mistake in a fact. They finally did.

The matter of them saying we're not cooperating was a completely different matter.
Ofcourse I told them we cooperated and gave them a list of facts that show we were.
I also made clear that when I say I can't get proper contact with a person that's not resistance. Especially not when I descibe the reason and afterwards I had it all right. As I'm not a clearvoyant I can say that my intuition and look on that person was perfectly right.
It might stir some emotions in the guy. But he's a professional and one of the best we're told. He should be able to deal with it. Just like I have to deal in my profession with people who tell me they dislike me. And I even didn't say I disliked him. I just said I couldn't reach him the way I want to be in contact with other people.

I didn't even get a mail stating they received mine, so I had to ask for that.
Turned out they didn't send their paperwork to the court, but will have a meeting next tuesday to write the final letter.
Hmmm... does that smell of reconsideration?

Now we've had our final say to them, I guess, I feel less inclined to talk a lot about the matter.
Daily life is far more important and I can finally let go of the feeling that I have to get through to someones brain to make him understand we're OK.
I felt very helpless towards them. People who won't understand that we don't even know what kind of support to ask because all is well are hard people to deal with.
I hope they finally gained the insight that I have al over time and the people around us too: that we're good parents and know how to deal with matters. When I need help I can ask for it. When I don't need help... why should I ask for it?

I've talked a great lot the past time to that guy. I've told him the truth.
He's the kind of person who rather believes others than the persons involved.
Then the school said the girls are perfectly OK.
He still didn't believe us.

I asked him if the school was not cooperating either, if he could tell why.
Ofcourse I didn't get an answer.

All I hope is that they've finally come to the insight to ask the court to finish the guardianship because there is no reason to spend lots of money on something that hasn't happened, on a family that's functioning OK.
We're a happy bunch, and we've even been that when we were under pressure.
We are much stronger than we thought and I think this all has been a great learning experience for all of us.

I think my kids can face the future from a good family, and they know now consciously they have a very strong base.

It's a pity that just before they fly away from the nest some people threw so much dirt in the nest.
It's time they remove the complete lot that I've thrown out and let us be.

I have changed a bit.
I have made the choice not to try to hard anymore to live up to expectations of others. I tried so hard to get proper person to person contact with the guy, to create a working friendship, and it only made me see myself so much clearer.

Haha...I'm far more of a buddhist than I thought.
I just wanted to sit there and meditate and let him find out all about us himself.
But these people can't do without words... so boy...did I talk!

So I'm very quiet now.
Last night I burned some incense and listened to a video of the Dalai Lama.
He makes me smile, and take position in the relativity of things again.

Let those people decide tuesday, and let them carry their own karma.
I hope we don't have to play any role in that.
The time is over of that world meeting ours.
I tried to create a bridge, I'm open to welcome them in our world.
All they have to do is open their eyes and heart, feel the care and compassion that's needed to meet people heart to heart.

It's a difficult job they have.
I'm so lucky just to be a mom and myself.

It's a pity when they'll stick to their ill ways of thinking.
It's their thinking.
Not mine, not of my family and not of our lives.

Thank you for your support.
In case you still want to support us through the days that last us to go to court again, please get in contact.
Wouldn't it be great to take some letters with me that state I have helped you with solving parenting problems. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wouldn't It Be Nice

1. What's the nicest thing a complete stranger ever did for you?

I have to think about this.
In my life I've met many people and among them were very kind ones.

I remember I blogged about the computer of my autistic son, and that we experienced financial problems to replace it. He used it all the time.
She donated 25 dollars and bridged the gap so well, that we could buy a computer for him. he valued it so much that he washed his hands every time before using it, so it wouldn't get dirty. :)

2. What one thing always speaks deeply to you, to your spirit, no matter your mood or what else is going on in your life?

I'm a buddhist.
I've always been, but I haven't known it for many years.
Deep in myself I experience a deep rest. It's the place where I'm rooted. It's where I know I'm OK, I'm a good person. It gives me strength, inspiration.
We've gone through a very bad time due to other people, we've experienced many emotions, but no matter what happened I felt that strong inner rest, the knowledge we did nothing wrong and we're good people.
What really moved me and kept me going was that inner rest, but also the knowledge that we share our experiences with lots of people all over the world, and that our experiences can be used to improve lives of others. That universal bond is very strong.

3. How many jobs have you held in your life? How many of those were part of your chosen career field?

I didn't count them.
My career was being a mother. That was my choice.
My second career is being a psychologist.
Both are complimentary and feed each other.
I haven't worked for payment in a long time, and I don't really mind.

4. Of those jobs, how many did you leave voluntarily?

I've always left my job voluntarily except one before I got pregnant. They didn't give me a new contract because of cut backs.

5. How did you discover Saturday 9? How long have you played? (Thank you for joining in!)

This is my 110th time of participation.
I think I discovered it at another blog.

6. What's the worst beverage you've ever tasted?
You mean alcohol?
Wine...I don't like wine.
I'm OK with a good old port or a good old wisky. Without rocks.

7. Is there anything in life you are "certain" about? Firm in your beliefs? Strong in your convictions?

I'm certain it's all relative and it all will pass.
Maybe we feel important, but we're just a grain of sand on a beach. How many billion people are there on the world and in history?

8. How did you come up with the title of your blog's posts?

Whatever pops up in my head is the title. Unless a meme has a name. :)

9. Would you consider yourself a good cook?

Want to take part too?
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Friday, January 14, 2011

A kid and science

It's such a delight to have a child that thoroughly enjoyes learning.
I do myself and I never expected to find another soul who loves learning just as much, unless it would be some strange character. LOL!

This evening we were watching discovery channel.
Not to see the latest on the latest knowledge about most effective weight loss pills but to watch a science program.
It caught our attention because it discussed a Star Treck subject: the warp drive.

We pulled our legs on the couch and relaxed and watched the whole explanation. It was breath taking.
After the commercial break another part of the series was on, featuring atoms and tinier parts.

I asked my daughter if she wanted something to drink, but she didn't even hear it.
The explanation about scientific novelties took all her attention and she obviously enjoyed it tremendously.

When the programs were finally over she took a deep breath and I assume her sigh could be heard through the whole house.

"Mom, I think I have to be careful not to drop science at school. This is so very interesting."

Only after that she realised she wanted something to drink.

The train derailed because of burglary

Last tuesday an ICE-train collided with an empty freighttrain.

Imagine the freighttrain would have been loaded with inflammable, explosive or other chemical materials!
We have a huge fire two weeks ago and people are all over the place to get a grip on their emotions about the unknown dangers of the chemicals that were burned or were washed away with the water the firefighters used.

Research had show the train lost grip on the rails because copperthieves took the copper from the system over a length of 150 metres.

Copper can be sold on the black market for a lot of money, so there's no doubt these thieves did it all for the money.

Trading of metals is strictly regulated in The Netherlands and it's controled regularly. Every cm should be accountable in the books.

So it's thought that eastern europeans stole the copper.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An autism surprise at the dentist

My autistic son has had years is his history that he couldn't deal with a brush in his mouth.
We were lucky he had not too many eating problems, as some autistic children won't accept certain textures and/or tastes.
He experienced a short time of troubles, but we decided not to add extra stress to the situation and I just didn't cook the dishes that caused problems.
He forgot his problems and wehn I served the dishes after a while he just ate them.

But brushing his teeth? No way!

All I could do was give him healthy food and drinks, close the day with something that was antibacterial and hope the best.

A few weeks ago he suddenly didn't throw a fit when we had to go to the dentist.
He just did what he needed to do and was OK with it.
He even agreed with a next appointment.

Ofcourse I expected his usual tricks not to go somewhere he didn't want to go.
But yesterday evening he didn't complain he had no games to play, needed Iphone accessories, a new headset or a new TV.

He asked the girls to wake him up in case the alarm wasn't loud enough and went to sleep.
And this morning he was ready to go before I knew. Wow!

At the dentist he was charming, took ages to spit out some water, because she said: "Take your time", and kept his mouth wide open when she walked away.
But nothing unwanted happened.
He smiled when he thanked her and didn't say anything about the weather: rain.

At home he took his time before th mirror and sat smiling all morning with a strange face to show as much of his teeth as possible.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Changes and changes and....changes

It's january, and it feels like we're at the end of the year.
It's terribly dark outside, grey and it rains a lot.
The river didn't reach the expected level, but stayed 20 cm under it, but I'm sure the rain will cause a surprise. It's so much that's coming down. This afternoon I watched the BBC weather expectations and I'm sure more will come.
The wind is firm, the temps are in the double digits.

We're waiting for the last papers for our third son, so he can start his practical work in the hospital. He's looking forward to it and I'm sure he'll do well and finish his studies this year.

One of the girls is thinking about stopping ballet for a year during the final exams.
She wants to do her best. I think she needs some relaxation too, but maybe she can find it too in her other hobbies.
Most of the time it's best to give my view and give her time to think about it. So that's what I did.
Now she has a reasonable good idea what she wants to become she's very motivated for school. The little girls is becoming a young lady.

Both girls are preparing for the student exchange.
In a few weeks their exchange students will come here.
We're arranging means of travel, as we don't have a car and I assume we have to bring both students to and fro, and our girls with them.

After that they'll travel for the first time by airplane.
Wish I could go with them.

We've decided to sell things to gather money as we don't have donations or sponsors yet.
It feels like my whole house is upside down now we're going through all our stuff at the attick and the rest of the house.
Anyone needs something special? Just ask. Maybe we've got it for you.

Oops...someone coming in and asking my attention.
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The willow tree

Those who know me know I fell in love with this area of town because of the huge amount of nature.
It had meen a swamp in the past and the trees reminded people of the history of the area.
One could feel that human beings were just a part of nature, not the boss.

In our garden we found an old weeping willow tree.
It was beautiful.

It made me think we had a part of a sacred past to care for, and caring for the tree I did.

I enjoyed the seasons, the years. The branches I had to cut to keep the tree healthy were used for presents, for baskets and for hedges.
Even when we had the opportunity to move we said we wanted to stay and felt tied to the tree.

Last year the tree died.
It was during the time that we made the decision what to do when the children have their diplomas, the time that I decided not to grow old in this country.

I´ll never know if there´s a connection between it all.
I tried to root some branches that seemed to be alive. I´ve often done that with success, but this time nothing happened.

The space in my garden is empty now.
I´m thinking about ordering a new tree, or cutting some branches of the willow tree near the lake and try to get roots on them.
But it will never ever be the same.

The chairs in our house

I love chairs. Strange ones, handmade ones. And certainly ones with a history.

The chairs around our dinnertable are all the same. That looks nice and none can complain his chair is less comfortable than one of the others.

But the rest of the house is a collection of chairs that arrived here for a reason or because they represent something.

Take for instance the rocking chair.
I always wanted a certain chiar but it was always far too expensive.
For my birthday I got one which looked nice but was a burden to my back. Only a friend sat it in and when she took her large son on her knee, completely against all advice, to show the chair could take it, it collapsed.
I didn´t weep a tear.

A few years ago I was looking around on an auction site, just waiting for a phone call, hardly noticing what was before my eyes, when suddenly my attention was caught by the chair I was looking for.
I didn´t think I could afford it, but clicked the button to get more information.
It turned out that the chair was for me.
It was sold a few streets from here by people who were moving, and it was sold for almost nothing.
I called and the boys went to get it.

Since then the chair is in our livingroom.
It´s used as a place where my violins are kept alone.
Only I use it, no one else.

When you want to know about other chiars in our house you have to wait until the next time I´ll blog about them.


I've never sung with a karaoke machine.
OK, I've used my vocal cords with the text of a song on TV, but real karaoke? Never.


I love singing though.

My father was the director of a very good choir, like his father, some of my uncles, his grandfather and the father of his grandfather.
he took me with him when I was 4 and I still have loving memories of me, a small child, between those, in my eyes, huge young people.

Soon I knew the lyrics of the songs the practiced and with a very soft voice I sang along. I didn't want to be heard, I just wanted to sing.

The nuns at school discovered I knew all the lyrics of the songs that were sung in church, so soon I was one of the youngest soloists.

So karaoke was never necessary, if it existed then.

When I got my own family I stopped singing in choirs, which made tralala as a lyrick quite acceptable.
For a short while I had to learn and memorize lyrics again when I sang in a band, but after that? No one cared.

I can't imagine myself on stage singing with a machine that displays the text.
I think I'll read too slow, or my mind gets seperated from the music too much.
Maybe, maybe I love it.
I always keep a choice open when I don´t know the answer.

School and internet

Today I had a talk with one of the teachers of the girls.

She called me about an issue which was already resolved and about the fact that I'm against MSN on our computer.

The school doesn't want MSN installed, so why should we?

Well, she said, it's very convenient to talk with the exchange student.

I'm sure it is. But gmail has a chat function too and one way or another I trust it far more.

It's the third time this year that I feel the school doesn't care enough for the safety on internet of the pupils.

My girls came home a while ago and said she had to make a blog with her own name. One had done as she was told, but had written nothing on the blog. The other wanted to discuss the matter, because she didn't feel like keeping a blog.

We discussed the matter and the blog with the real name was deleted, an alias was invented, which wasn't difficult and a new blog was made.
My girl loves to keep it and it's doing well.

The other girls went to her teacher and told him she didn't want to have a blog, that it takes her time and that she wants to spend her time the way she wants.
He valued that very much. Which leveled my respect for him upwards a lot.

He also valued the comments about using a name and that was it.

I took it well, but I still wonder how on earth he could go straight against the guidelines of the government and lots of others.

One of the other issues is putting photos online without the permission of the children or parents.
I think that's not done and it's against the law.

When schools use the new media, they should know the rules and dangers first.

Cards and tradition

Today I got one of the save the date cards one of my american friends has created to announce her marriage.

I love those cards.
They enable me to remember the date very well and keep my family on top of the date too.
I have put it on the fridge, so they see it every day.

I'm sure these cards will become a tradition.

Here we have formal announcements that are rather large and are put on the TV table to show off. Then after cleaning the room they are closed again and are put on a pile with cards.
When the date hasn't been put in the agenda there's a good chance it'll be forgotten.
Otherwise it's in the agenda, and in case none of the family is involved in the preparations, the date is half forgotten and we have to shop for clothes and stuff in a hurry.

These cards are not only very convenient for a wedding, but also for other events.
Right now one of our sons is studying in his final year and the dates of the official events will be set soon.

I'm thinking of discussing these cards with him.
Would you?

Don't tell the kids

The oldest was a real science wonder. But he's got a job, and has a budy life.
He can't jump in anymore when my daughters have questions about science and maths and such.

Their father works long hours, so guess who gets the questions?


I skipped science in the past as soon as possible. I did maths however and wasn't a bright light. In fact the light was nearly out during my school years, and everybody knew.

At the final exams the teacher had me sit beside the best pupil and then told us he would turn his back for ten minutes to see what other kids were doing, so I would get the opportunity to let my eyes drift to what my neighbour had written and have my hands copy it precisely, so my brains wouldn't feel I was doing something I wasn't supposed to do under normal circumstances.
It was an order!

I couldn't.
I got my diploma anyway, because I had compensation of other subjects more than enough.

A few years later I got a job at the university.
To my surprise and fear it was changed the minute I walked in: I had to teach statistics and math. Haha!
I studied a lot and was just a chapter ahead of my best pupils, but when teaching I suddenly understood what I was talking about and all went well.

In 30 years a lot has changed.

Kids use different books and different systems and programs.
One of the kids has science and I didn't understand one little bit of it.
Pity was: neither did she.

So I took the books and studied and studied.
Most of what she needs to know I can explain to her.
Her teacher is young and doesn't have all the patience in the world.

I have.
She thinks I'm the perfect person to explain things to her, because I give her the rest to think.
Don't tell the kids: I need that time too.

A small change

Because it's the week of putting the christmasitems in the attick, we feel like it's time to make changes and start springcleaning.
I know it sounds ridiculous, lots of winterdays are have still to come.
But the house looks so different without the christmasornaments, and the light is already getting different, that we feel like it.

For quite some time now I have wondered if we could change the lamps beside the stairs.
I've never really liked them.
They were put there when we moved in and they were so good that none of them has broken.

But still it's time for new wall sconces.
I have seen some very nice two-bulb ones online at lightingshowplace and I want us to seriously consider buying them.

First I'll paint the walls though.
That's not such a huge job as it seems.
I can reach everything without special equipment and only at the landing whole walls need to be painted. Beside the stairs only half walls are in need of new paint.

No extra expenses need to be made for the paint, as I still have far enough waiting to be used.

Unlike before I'll remove the lamps.

We women have our ways to make clear to our husbands that a house is ready for asmall change.

The heating repairman

Yesterday the heating repairman came to control the system.
Again it was a new person, but a very nice guy.

The heatingsystem is at the attick, in a special small room.
We keep the travelcases there and before the repairman came I put them elsewhere, so he would have enough room to stand there.
Hopefully without hitting his head against the low roof.

The former ones didn't want me to go upstairs with them.
So when this man arrived I told him where to go and to let me know if he needed something.
He was rather short so he wouldn't hit his head.

It took him quite a while to get things done.
In the meantime I sat downstairs with my son who studies for safety guardian.

Finally the guy came down and told us that he had found a problem with the heating and had put the pressure in the compression bowl higher.
I told him it was set low on purpose in the past, because we had it burst once.
He said it should have the pressure he installed.
Well, when we have problems I'm sure someone will repair it again.
Let's describe it all to more knowledge about the system.

Then he turned to my son and they talked a bit about the ducation and pratical work.
Turned out he had worked in the same area.

He left us with a big smile and my son with a lot of motivation...added to the lot he already had.

We lost the whole afternoon waiting, because he arrived rather late.
But it was nice to meet him.

And the heating?

Doing fine.

Different jobs

One of the main subjects in the life of young people is making the choice for a future profession.

Because I want the best for my children I want them to examine all options including
technology jobs.
I don't think any of the girls well go into that direction, but I want them to know about those professions too. When they have a husband and children it's good the know more about what they are doing than a name.

Maybe it's my upbringing that made me think that way.
We had a very large family and us, the oldest grandchildren, grew up between bookprinters and bookbinders. We knew everything about it and all were able to take over the business without any problem if it had been necessary.
Our parents took us to friends and others so we would see more than books, printing ink and binders. And we were interested in everything.
It was in a time that people spended energy in other people.
Our butcher was a kind and energetic man and he loved to show us things. How we could see if meat was fresh, how me could make the best smoked ham. We were not allowed to touch any of his knives, but we were allowed all questions we could think of and he would answer all of them.
We never went home without something special.

At the other side of the street a shoemaker had his house and shop.
He tought me how to mend shoes, and I still use the skills he taught me.
When I grew older I loved bags, and he found me the finest leather to design and make my own.

Seeing many different people work on jobs they love was the best way to teach me that one could be happy in any profession, but also that it's important to find out yourself what you want to become.

So I'm happy with the school of my children, because they want young people spend a few days looking at a few jobs themselves.

On top of that I think parents have the responsibility to offer information as broad as possible and motivate their children to have a look.

Dioxine scandal in Germany

Last week Germany had to publish terrible news.
Dioxine was found in eggs and chickenmeat.
This resulted in the closure of 4700 farms to prevent spreading of the problem and to minimize the impact on public health.

Today 330 farms in Niedersaksen are still closed and under supervision. Their products are conctroled on a regular basis until they're safe again.

The problem has been caused by a business called Harles und Jentzsch. It sold contaminated animal food.
Unknown is if they sold only to farmers or if they sold to zoo's and private animal owners too.

Ofcourse export of eggs, eggproducts and meat went down to a minimum, and many farmers got into financial troubles.

All thought the problem was coming to an end, but today dioxine was found in porkmeat in a farm in Niedersaksen.

Dioxine is a name for a group of chemicals. 17 of the about 210 are poisonous for people. One of the first symptoms are skinproblems.

Meeting near the coffee

When shopping today I saw someone walk near the shelves with coffee and he looked quite familiar.
So I decided to need some packages of coffee too and went there.

It was a former classmate and he smiled when he recognised me.
We went to the coffeemachine and got ourselves a cup of coffee and sat down to talk a bit.

He's married and has got three kids, who all have left home already.
He's a grandparent of a very cute little boy.
He showed me the photos. Oh, he was so proud!

After he left school he went to university to study geographics.
In that time we saw each other a few times, because my department hired rooms in their building.
He decided to quit geography and start studying law.
Quite an unexpected change, even for him.

Now he's a Maritime Injury Lawyer.
That's not surprising.
He was an active member of the seascouts and their leader was a maritime injury lawyer too.

He never regretted his choice, he told me.
He saw his wife when he was to the coast for his job and they lived in a very nice small town until their daughter became ill.
They recently moved here to help their daughters family to cope in a bad time.

We agreed to stay in contact and try to find some others of that time too.

Then we went back to the shelves with coffee and finished our shopping.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The water is rising

The water in our rivers is rising.
Because of the higher temperatures the snow has melted and the water comes our way.
In areas rather far away there has been a lot of rain too.

A bit more south streets are flooded and the expected level here is as high that we need special protection.

Our town is partly protected by an age old wall. The part that has been gone through time has been repaced by a new wall with large spaces for the road.
Now these spaces are closed with doors. In between those doors horse menure. The best protection against the water.

Today it turned out that even that's not enough.

So special aluminium walls will be built at a higher level.

Farmers have brought the animals to safer paces and several other people have propeared for the wave of water which will reach us.

Some people are afraid that the dykes won't hold.
We aren't. But that's because we live at a meter higher place than the surrounding land, and we're living quite near a bridge, so higher grounds.

Let's hope all will be well.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Close to home

The news that people died from the flu had huge impact, because one of the young people was a brother of a schoolfriend of the girls.

Last year they lost a schoolfriend in an airoplane crash.

Death is a theme that is discussed frequently in our home.
We're not scared to discuss it and I've found out that it makes it easy for the children to talk about it too.

It has been a way od dealing in our society to hide from it, to ignore it as well as possible, and the result was that children didn't know how to deal with it at all and even worse, parents themselves didn't know what to do.

I can't count the number of parents who turned to us, a volunteer organisation of parents who provided professional and non-professional help to other parents.

We worked for years on a daily basis with groups and individuals and tried to motivate professional organisations to take over. They finally did.

taling with children about such a serious theme, age related, has been so wonderful.
Children are closer to nature and to the bare facts of life, and they have a huge wisdom when they're able to speak freely.

How do you deal with death in your family?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Closer to Home

1. Where did you grow up? Where do you consider home?

I grew up the first 4 years in a rather cozy neighbourhood, with my gram nearby, other family members and a dear friend, and some other young kids that became opart of my life again later in life.
Then we moved to a newbuilt neighbourhood, with lots of children. Very catholic.

Home is ofcourse my house here. In a neighbourhood at the border of town.
And home is the place I'll be living in the future.

Home is in my heart.

2. If you could paint your car any color with no loss in value, what color would it be?

Aha...another carquestion.
We don't have a car.

3. What do you think comes after death?

Some sort of togetherness.
I think we'll reincarnate.

4. Name a TV show that should NOT be renewed for another season.

Why? You don't know the shows here and I don't know the shows at the other end of the world. Sorry.

5. If you could have a free subscription to any online service, which would you like to have?

I would like to be a member of the medical researchdata service again.
I love to study.

Being a member of some buddhist study service is OK too.

6. Where did you think you'd be at the age you are now?

I don't think I placed myself somewhere on the world.
But I know where I want to spend my older ages.

7. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Someone who worked with people.
Being a midwife has been a huge dream, but it wasn't realised because we had a university in town and my mother didn't want to pay for a study that was far more expensive because I should have to rent a place to live and travel to and fro.

8. If you were to suddenly become famous, and were forced to change names, what would you choose as your stage name?

Haha!! I won't tell you.

9. What is the first book that you can remember reading by yourself as a child?

It was a book with pictures of a farm. I could "read" that.
Later is one with wonderful written letters to teach a kid reading.
And my favorite book when I could read was Heidi.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Listening to old musicians

Listening to old musicians is so marvellous!
One time a week there's a programme on the radio that devotes a few hours to old interviews of even older musicians.

It's like listening to your granddad I think.
I've never known my grandfather well enough. He died when I was three.
But he was, apart from a teacher, a very good musician, like so many others in my family.

I feel very rich to have part of his musicbooks.

Now I'm older and have found my way in musicland, I know a bit about what I love as a musicmaker and what not.
Today I heard a musician say he started to dislike the formal musicpieces and he enjoyed himself far better improvising.
It's the same for me.
Playing my instruments I start playing something fixed, but soon my feelings guide me to improvisation.
Even with bagpipes.

The way this man talked about his feelings about music made me smile. I recognised such a lot in what he said.

There are moments I miss my father, who was a musician too.
This was one of those moments.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Autism and vaccines

OK, let's be straightforward: I'm a non-believer.

I'm a mom of autistic kids, in a country where vaccinations have been growing in number the past so many years, in a country where autism has been growing in number the last so many years, and a scientist.
I lectured methods and techniques of research.

Wakefield is in the news again, that's why I address the issue once again.

He's accused of making up his reseachresults, and because of that many people jump to his rescue or emerge themselves again in statements over a matter they don'tknow anything about.

I'm sorry, autism moms who believe that vaccinations made their child autistic.

When you want to believe someone who took some friends of his son to measure something and make a statement with a huge impact on 12 people who were not even half of a respresentation of the group he seems to talk about, it's your responsibility.

Scientific research has certain standards so people won't be harmed by statements that are not true enough to be believed, and wakefield simply didn't meet those standards.

You can't draw far reaching conclusions on a number of 12.
It's as simple at that.

I'll leave alone all those other examples that make clear he violated the rules that protect your children.

But take the idea that Wakefield is right.
We should be able to reproduce his findings, should we?
For each and every person who is diagnosed autistic.
Be scientific: with a chance of 95% of correct replication. We tolerate errors and natural variation in 5% of the cases.

We can't replicate his findings at all.

That's why the scientific community doesn't accept his conclusions.

Use your common sense and have an open mind.
There are countries where no vaccinations are given and the number of autism rises the same way.
Are you still sure vaccinations cause autism?
Are you still sure there's nothing else causing autism?

And what to say that mercury disappeared from the vaccines and there's no decline of the number of autism cases.
One should see the number drop, because the socalled bad stuff isn't given to the children anymore.
But the number doesn't drop. Not at all.

I don't care all those allegations about the pharmaceutical industry making money because kids in America get so many vaccinations.
Kids get at least 10 of them less here, and autism rises the same way anyway.

I support all sorts of research to discover the cause of autism.
Ofcourse I do.

I would love to know what caused autism in my children.
One of them got autism before getting the vaccinations...interesting, ej?

I worry that people who are firm believers will stand in the way of finding the true cause or causes of autism.
They certainly subject their children to the risks of the diseases these vaccines prevent to occur.

It's a heavy responsibility thee people take.
Hiding behind the idea that scientist don't falsify data is plain stupid.
We've had the debacle of Grossarth Maticek in cancer research. And I know of quite a few others.
People do everything to keep their job, inclusing falsifying data.

When other researchers are not able to replicate a research study, we've got firm grounds to believe that mistakes are made or more is the matter.
Honest researchers try to replicate their own research and withdraw the results when they can't.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Make your own decisions

There's a lot to do at the moment here in our area, because 2 children, aged 4 and 11, died of the mexican flu in december and a grown up of 34 in octobre.

At the moment 7 people with the mexican flue are at the local hospitals.

Even when we are able to keep a good grip on reality and realise that last year less people died of the flu than other years, and these people don't suggest excessive amounts of ill people at the moment, eyebrows are raised.

The children that died were presented to the local family doctors organisation within 12 hours of their death and the parents were told they just had a simple flu.

Ofcourse investigations have started.
They won't bring the children back.
They won't.

We're lucky to have a family doctor who takes things serious.
But he can't escape from developments in his profession which bring him further and further from the people he knows and who know him.

The central doctors organisation is an organised way to provide doctor's care during the nights and weekends.
In the past a collegue of our doctor covered for him and we knew that doc too.
Both doctors knew I was a mom who was very well able to assess the condition of my children and I would never call for something small and non-urgent.
They always trusted my assessment and if I needed them here, which seldom happened, just one short call was sufficient to have them hurry here.

The doctor's organisation doesn't know the people they're caring for.
When I called two years ago when I was dealing with a very bad infection I got so many questions that I nearly fainted. More than half of them were not important for a proper assessment if a doctor was needed, and I was even told to take a paracetamol and all would be well.
With my last energy I told the woman I was bleeding badly and I was fainting.
Someone took over the phone and finally he was told to bring me over.
No doctor was to come.

My neighbour took me.
A lovely kind and caring doc had me lie down for over an hour after she assessed me with far too high bloodpressure, a serious infection and something else I didn't hear anymore.

I got antibiotics and painkillers and was told later that I'd been just in time.

I was lucky.


Why were these children not taken serious enough and why did they die?

Because money is far more important than people, that's why.

It's important that parents get themselves educated well. Follow a coourse of first aid and when available one for first aid for kids too.
When you're send away by a doctor's assistant and you don't trust the health of your child, go to the emergency service.
Trust you intuition and make your own decisions.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Motivating to grow up

Motivating children to grow up is a responsibility of each and every parent.
It's how we do it that makes the difference.

Ofcourse one can leave the child at ease and let it be.
Growth takes place anyway, and a certain amount of development too.
But if it's the development we want is a different question.
Its completely dependent on outer influences and nowadays these influences are not optimal.

The way society talks about young people is at least to be called depressing.
It's not stimulating at all and it certainly doesn't provide a young person with optimism and the willingness to work for the future.

Some schools are great places to be and they really give a boast to the itentity and self esteem of the young person.
Other schools are just breeding nests and playgrounds of bullies and among the teachers, who should all be role models, there are individuals who are nothing more than statues of helpnessness and hopelessness.

So up to the parents it is.

We should provide morality and ethics, stimulation and motivation, optimism and realism, and a huge amount of persistence.

I mention ethics, even though it might be for some readers an unexpected word.
But we, parents, should behave as enthically as possible, so our children will develop a healthy feeling of what's right and wrong.

It's so easy to say:"When he bullies you, just hit him with a firm fist and it will be over immediately."
My question is always: is that the way you want a person to solve his problems all his life?

What we put in a young child, comes out all his life.
I don't want my children solving their problems with violence, not physical, not verbal.

It's important to teach young children to see how behaviour is caused and that influencing the cause can solve the problem.
It's also important to teach them that even though we, in certain cases, can't change the behaviour of others, we can change out own perception and our own attitude.

Being able to understand your own feelings and behaviour is a main goal, and being able to control your behaviour and set goals is another.

Sometimes parents ask if I don't want to keep my girls my little ones.
We've got only a few years to go and then they'll leave the nest and fly.

I've enjoyed them as babies, and that time went far too fast.
I've enjoyed them as toddlers and all the years that followed.
And now I see them as young women.
The same way I motivated them to stand up and try to walk, I motivate them to stand up for themselves and walk in society.
I have given them everything they need and I will continue doing so, but I won't hang on their wings when they try to fly.

I'm proud they have become such wonderful creatures and they stand on the rim of the nest with sharp eyes, knowing what's good for them and what not.
They can turn to me and ask whatever they want to know, and I'm there.

But I know that those with the inner urge to fly fly higher and better, so I'll feed the urge instead of pushing them out of the nest or keeping them small.

Motivating young people to grow up is an art. Is pure creativity.
It's an intense work of love.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A mom for almost 25 years.

Just a month to go and then an important celebration will be held here at the home of our kids.

I had forgotten about it, but today a friend asked me to put my experiences on paper.
25 years being a mom of a great variety of kids, it's not nothing.

For many years I've been an advisor for breastfeeding and later I've become a trusted person for many people who lost a baby and an advisor for parents with autistic children.

Because I haven't been in the limelight with my activities people thought it was worth nothing. Not socalled coaches and people with other fancy jobnames earn their money with what I have to offer from not only bookknowledge but real life experience.

My kids love to sit beside me when the Nanny is on TV, because that program boosts my self confidence.
Long before the Nanny was on TV I used some of her approaches with huge success.

I never had problems with my children going to bed.
Just one needed the nanny approach of persistence.
The rest was guided into recognising that sleep feels good and enables more play in the morning.

Lots of my knowledge was learned from my gram, who shares her knowledge as free as I shared mine. Some came from the rest of the family.
When I grew up it was a time full of aunts and uncles and sunday meetings. I don't even know how many nieces and nephews I have, because there were always kids my age.

Today my children told me how happy they were to have me as a mom, because they grew into people who know their identity.

What do you think: should I open a blog about 25 years of parenting and share my experiences there?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


One of the boys came in and told me he heard about a hostage situation in the east of town.
Usually I'm able to find information about it very soon, but I could find nothing more than that an ambulance was called for with the note: suspicious circumstances.

Today my mind went around all sorts of things that need to be done this year.

Maybe I'm going to make a kind of graphic or something about the sponsoring my girls need for their student exchange trips.
We need to raise part of the money ourselves, as as we don't have a money tree in the garden, we need to be creative.
I want to direct your attention to the online auction ::here::

This year I wanted to join the local paper, which is volunteer work.
But I'll wait.
I'd better find me some jobs.
Want to advertise on my site?

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The time of this post is clear, isn't it?

Can't have it better for new beginnings!

We had a quiet change of years, and we made it different from other years.

Ofcourse we had the snacks, and bubbles without alcohol in wonderful glasses.

All the kids were at home.

One of them had fireworks that could contain a wish, and he gave one to me.
I don't like igniting it, but I was quite happy to write down my wish for all and put it in the special place for it.

After 12 we wished each other happy new year and then we went outside to see our wish go up.
My son tried to launch it away from us, but it turned and created a wonderful umbrella of light above us. The wish going up to the gods.

Because we were alrady halfway we decided to go and wish a friend and her family happy neaw year.
they were happy to see us and it was such fun, that it attracted other people, who wished us happy new year too.

Then we to the house where the two middle boys had a lan party and wished the father and his new wife, and the others a happy new year.
My son ignited his wish, and as beofre he tried to get it away from us.
Again the arrow went up to straight above our heads and splashed into beautiful green and red.
Then he ignited another arrow, without wish, and it went straight up where he wanted it.

Then we went home and went on the traditional way: watching the BBC.
The music was great and soon the girls and I were dancing.
It was fun.
Then we counted down again, so celebrate with the english.

We've done that since... we've always done that.
My dad went to the RAF in England in WW2, and when he returned he took me with him.
That's when I discovered I felt more at home in the UK than here. (I know, home is where you are. And it is. But still... We all would love to move.)

We enjoyed the music, the food and ofcourse each other. It's nice to hear plans and make concrete decisions to realise them.

When everyone was to bed I had a good feeling.

That was a good start!!