Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pancakes

I'm proud of my kids.

Yesterday the girls went to a friend, because she'd heard that her neighbour was going to die of cancer within a year.
When the girls were there the neighbour came too and had a chat with them. Later the girls took her dog for a walk so she could rest.
When they came home we had a long talk about their friend's neighbour and dying.
They're such caring kids.

Today they wanted to make pancakes.
It was great how they went about in the kitchen and managed to make us all a nice meal.
And when I finally dared to pay the kitchen a visit I didn't find the mess the male part of our family makes when baking. The plates neatly piled up, and even the pan rinsed out.

I was glad we brought a nice dessert for them all, so we really had a vacation dinner.
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Not in Love



1. Have you ever been in love but tried to deny it?

Ofcourse.

2. Someone throws a party in your honor. The only guests are your past lovers. You're current spouse or significant other is cool with this. They ask you to speak and say something good about those assembled. Would there be someone there you could not say something good about?

No. I can say all sorts of good things about my past lovers and there's none who should be walked on.

3. How long can you go without your cell phone? Do you own a so-called “smart phone”?

I don't like telephones, cellphones or whatever that gives people the idea they can invade my life whenever they want to.
When all the boys were still at home I got nuts from all sorts people who needed me during office times for forms and other nonsense. Their intentions were good, I don't doubt that, but they forgot I was not at an office sitting back on a chair and being bored.

When I nearly fell of the stairs with a large load of laundry (well, I fell but didn't hurt myself badly), because the phone suddenly started to ring I decided it was time to make a choice for my family. So I started emailing, put the phone away, unless people made an appointment to call me.

I still don't like the phone. Even my best friend never calls me because of that.

4. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

Well, after the shooting in Norway I want to say that I still believe in a second chance for most people, but some should be in the right environment and deserve a restricted chance.

5. Would you rather spend a whole day with your mom or your dad? (If either or both have passed, answer as if they're alive.)

With my father. he was a very nice guy. We shared a lot of interests, like in music, family history, nature. I would love to have the chance to sing a duet with him.

6. Tell us one thing about your first boyfriend or girlfriend.

The one when I was five, who brought me daisies and then ran to his mom, or the real first one? My first boyfriend was very tall, had huge hands and really cared for me.
It was good to experience at the school reunion after 25 years that he still cared and was still the same person. But life didn't bring us together.

7. Has an ex ever written something about you on facebook or their blog that was nasty about you?

No. Why should he/they?
We didn't stay together because life was far too turbulent and took us apart. That's life. I still value all my old friends.

8. What was the last thing you borrowed and never returned?

Hmmm....eh.... can't think of anything.

9. Who is someone famous that you've met?

Quite a lot of people from the balletworld.
One of the weirdest experiences was a famous choreographer asking my opinion.
One of the nicest was one of my former ballet teachers getting flowers from my son when he was 9. She looked aside and saw me and got the biggest smiles I've ever seen and she hugged my son like he was hers. Pity she didn't teach anymore as it was her farewell day.



Have a nice weekend!

When you want to participate too or want to read what others wrote, just click the toplogo.
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Friday, July 29, 2011

She uses a cash advance

It's getting harder and harder to make ends meet.
This week we used the sales to give the children the shoes they need, both for daily use and gymnastics at school. Immediately after coming home I sprayed them with protective spray to prevent them from getting dirty and to leak when it rains.
It's far better than waiting until the end of the summer, even though the last fashion will be in the shops by then.
I'm glad that part of my kids don't care what they wear and the girls have a good insight in fashion, so they can really be happy with what they bought.

In one of the shops I saw a friend who told me she admired us all for dealing with a large family and still having my kids dressed up to date.
She told me she had to decide to get a check city payday cash advance, because she couldn't stretch her money to the end of the month. She uses a cash advance to make ends meet this month, hoping she can pay it all back and have enough money for the whole next month.
It works for her, because she always earns more in august and september.

Many people get in trouble because their checks bounce or they pay too late.
This morning I heard an item on the radio about the enormous high administration costs for overdue bills.

Well, out decision this year was not to book a hotel or house for the vacation but to stay at home. Good decision, considering the weather of july.
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A friendship of more than 40 years

One of my best friends is dealing with cancer and because he doesn't want to burden others with his illness he tries to escape contact from his best friends.

I hate it not to be able to give him the support he needs, but on the other hand, it's his way of dealing with the situation.

He's a good kind of uncle for my sons and they assist him wherever and whenever help is needed for his newspaper.
At the end of the afternoon one of my sons called that he needed to help with the computer, if I wanted to go with him.
The call came at the right time as I had something to do in town anyway. So we were dropped in the centre.

First we discovered that the shop[s we needed to go to were both closed. But a new one had opened by two chinese men, a father and son. I bought a beautiful fabric wallet and a small chinese bag, both for 5 euro in total. And my son found some very nice bowls. We had a chat with the owners. I'm sure we'll be back there often.

Then we went to the paper.
Ofcourse my friends was surprised and a bit overthrown to see me, and he asked me to leave, but I stayed and we had a very good time together, fixing the computer, talking about nothing special, making plans for the paper and relaxing with some cookies and a caffeine free cola.

We could have stayed there forever, but he clearly got tired and to be honest, so did I.

I don't think he'll be with us very long anymore.
He was thin and small, had tidied and cleaned the whole editor's room, which he never did before, and he was clear about his plans of tidying his house. He already moved out quite a few things, I knew from my sons. And he agreed to attend a BBQ later this summer and take photos of the whole family and he said to my son that he wouldn't mind that some photos were taken from him too.
That's the first time in his life he openly agrees to be photographed.

We both felt happy to have had such a nice evening.
Just old friends concentrating on a computerscreen, nibbling cookies.
So many things unsaid, but understood.

He knows me better than anyone else in the world.

Did he know I would come?
My son didn't tell him anything.
Just before we left I asked him to keep some African CD's aside when he was cleaning his CD racks.
I've asked this often the past 10 years, but he never ever took the effort of giving me one to use for a while.
Today he gave me a CD that was on his desk. An african guy on the cover, but south american music. The title is, translated, rebirth.

Ofcourse I will tease him with giving me a south american one instead of an african one. And I know I'll see in his eyes if he was aware of the title.
I bet he is.

Like him I like to have a thousand and one little things around me. A bracelet I've worn to a wedding, a very delicate tiny buddha on my keyboard, lovely smelly soap in a bottle with poppies which remind me of my father and a dear friend that passed away a few weeks ago, etc etc. Other people might think it's a mess, but to me it's just a collection of memories that are woven together just the way life merges experiences.

We share a lot of habits and characteristics, even though our lives have been very different.
We respect each other, the way we are.
And what has always moved me is his trust in me, in my integrity, the intensity in which I live and the love for my children.

I can't think of a life without him.

When he dies, all the best people of my past are gone.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fruit

The prizes of fruit and some vegetables are extremely low.
Especially the bananas, cucumbers and just over the border all kinds of red berries are a joy for the wallet.

We've changed the rule in our family of: "one piece of fruit each day should be eaten and two different ones are allowed" into: "eat what you like."
It's great to see that all children enjoy eating fruit and make spontaneous healthy choices.
The past week no package of cookies was opened.

As long as the season lasts we're quite happy with it.

Some of the apples in our own garden came down during a heavy rainstorm this evening.
At sunset the sky turned into a strange grey-red colour and we commented on it.
Then suddenly lightning started quite nearby.
And then it started to rain very bad.
The whole street flooded and the waterload was so heavy and such a lot that the plastic roof in the back garden got a hole in it.
Pity we can't stuff it with a banana peel.

Sometimes bad weather makes our autistic son very afraid, but today we closed the curtains and we were enjoying a family discussion so very much that he didn't realise he always was afraid of this weather.

It has been very bad at the other side of town too. When our son the security guard came home after his shift, his first question was: "Did you have that terrible weather too?
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The 2011 debate

The main debate today was about the massacre in Norway and the link between the murderer and the Dutch right wing politician Wilders.

The killer referred to Wilders and his views a lot.
They share their views.
The guy even went to London to see Wilders and hear his speech.

One of the main messages of Wilders has been that it's five minutes to twelve and other apocalyptic junk and often we've asked ourselves here when I nutcase would act on those terrifying words. It was not if, it was when.

Ofcourse Wilders experienced a huge shock.
I think he never considered the idea that someone might think about a war with islam in reality.

Now he and his fellows are the first to claim they were not responsible for what the Norway killer thought and has done.
I think however that there is a far smaller dividingline between verbal force and physical force than those politicians realise. There are people who take their statements literally, as we can often see in the comments at the sites of the online papers. And there's a small group acting those feelings out.

The fact that the Norway killer mentioned Wilders and the country so many times in his manifest makes clear the killer found justification for his thoughts and deeds in the texts of Wilders.
Stirring emotions without setting limits is dangerous.

I expect this to be the debate of 2011: is democracy served by polarisation without limits and is Wilders in the sideline partially responsible for the thoughts of that guy that killed so many people?
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mentall illness is becoming a luxury

Yes, you're reading it well. Mental illness is becoming a luxury in The Netherlands.

The government is cutting costs on almost everything and everyone and they won't exclude the most vulnerable people in society.

Those who need a psychologist or psychiatrist on an ambulant basis need to pay 100 euro a year, before they'll get some kind of restitution of part of their therapy. Earlier the amount of therapeutic sessions was diminished. I think now only 8 sessons will be partly substituted. I'm not completely sure I'm right. It might be less sessions.

Those who need institutionalised care will have to pay 275 euro before any form of partial restitution will take place.
Just a few minutes ago someone told me this was lowered after debate in parliament to 200 euro.
Well, even if this is true the minister makes a difference between people with a mental illeness and those with a physical illness.

It means for our family that we have to face extra costs next year as my autistic son sees a psychiatrist 4 times a year for about 10 minutes.
I hope this minister will make a difference between therapy and medication control.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

The massacre of Norway

The massacre of Norway has shocked us all here.
The guy was on a one man's mission to kill as many people as possible. First in an explosion in Oslo, and not very much later on a holiday island for young people between 12 and 18.

He killed more than 90 people and still had plenty of ammunition when the police finally arrested him.

Lots of people with small boats cae to the rescue of the young people on the island as they saw them seeking rescue in the water. According to someone nearby the water was icecold.

The guy had clearly been planning this all, as on internet texts were found made over the past 9 years.

In them he mentioned The Netherlands and he'd clearly not been able to give what Wilders has said it's proper place. He took it further and wrote he expected the first civilian war in Europe to start in our country.
He guess he needed the feeling we're all like him.

We're not.

But some are so sick to make fun out of the grief of others!
The site on which people could say they wanted to take part in a silent march to remember the victims was hacked and texts were put on it suggesting these people agreed with the shooter. Facebook has deleted the account.

Some others used links to a good site to ask people for their telephone number, using it to make it like they agreed to buy a very expensive sms account.

How sick can one be?
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Khadak

Again a busy day.

The girls went to a birthdayparty of a friend, and we took our autistic son to fit some shoes.
He dislikes shopping, so I was surprised he went with us. (The three planned trips before this one were never realised).
We were happy to find him a nice pair of shoes. In the last day of the sales, so they were very cheap. I bet the shop was happy to get rid of those huge shoes. LOL!

After dinner one of the girls dropped a role of kitchenpaper behind the small freezer. Meaning I had to put the large fridge aside to get to the role. I was not very happy with that, as the past days my joints hurt a lot again. It's clean behind the freezer and fridge again, and half of my evening was gone.

When finally almost everyone was to bed I sat down and zapped across a movie that just started.
As I always like movies about Mongolia, shamanism and such, I had a look and was taken by the intensity of the movie.
It's called Khadak, and can be found online at the dot com extension.

It was about the forced relocation of a nomadic group to a new mining city.
One of the nomans is a boy who is epileptic and has shaman potentials. First he refuses to accept this, but then he is able to save a life of a girl his age.

The movie capture the mongolian culture in a mezmerising way and makes clear that even when you take away everything people have, you can't take out the longing of their soul.
The movie is full of symbolism and I feel I have to see it at least two or three times again before I'm able to see most of it.

The Khada, the blue blessing scarf is a powerful symbol. I won't go into this because i would spoil the stpry of the movie for those who havent seen it.

And you should see it.
When it's quiet around you and you can allow your soul to be caught.
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

White Wedding



1. Tell us about the most recent wedding you attended.

That's a while ago.

It was the wedding of someone who called herself a friend. The girls were still small and everyone expected her to ask the girls as flowergirls, so I made them nice dresses. But she didn´t want flowergirls.
I didn´t ask why, I should have.

She wanted all the boys to come too, even though I said we'd better not come with the whole family.
I asked what way she wanted us to be dressed and she asked colours.
So I bought the boys very neat trousers and each a nice blouse and told them to keep their mouths shut all the time.

They behaved well.

But we felt out of space with the people who attended. They were all dressed in black! Women had all black dresses and men white shirts with black suits!
It was like we were at a funeral.

2. Do you enjoy attending weddings, or do they bore you to tears?

Apart from the last one I've always enjoyed weddings, even though a small tear sometimes crawls in the corner of my eye.

3. Does marriage in general make you feel confident and good inside, or skeptical?

My feelings have changed through the years.
So many people have beautiful vows and forget them soon.

4. Do you have a photo blog? (If so, feel free to share the link with us.)

No.

5. Do you find yourself driving less due to the high gas prices?

No comment

6. What's the high temperature today where you are?

Huh?

7. "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Agree, or no?

I guess the temperatures are high where Sam lives.
Here it was not warm at all.
I don't like humidity.

8. What's the hottest you've ever been in your life?

I thought in Italy, but it might have been here. 40 degrees celcius in the shadow.

9. Non-temperature related last question: In your opinion... who's hot?

You don't know him.



Have a nice weekend!

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Last day of the marches

Today was the last day of the marches and festivities.

Many weatherwarnings were issued before the marches, suggesting non-stop rain.
Well there was rain, but not as much as predicted.
Not much sun, but that was only a good thing as walking in the full sun is very tiring when you have to walk 40 or 50 kms.

The effect of it all was that never before so many people got to the finish after 4 days of walking. Great!

We haven't seen much of the festivities.
The program wasn't very appealing to us, and the part that was, well, it was late in the evening and after a busy day none felt like going.

We've had a nice week nevertheless, with a few visitors and ofcourse a friend came to request us to watch her house, feed her plants and do whatever is needed.

Wish we could go on vacation....
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Pop-overs

Our local paper needs advertisements to exist, but does that mean it has to lower itself to a tabloid and police-paper?

Each day the paper starts with at least 3 articles with a police related item. Most of the time the number is between 5 and 10. No in debt articles, but just a mention of some sort of offence or crime.
Not interesting at all.

I wonder if there's a correlation between those junk articles and those pop-over advertisements which are terribly annoying.

One of the main banks of our country uses orange as it's signal colour.
Imagine reading the paper and suddenly the whole screen turns orange without any warning.
Would you like that bank better or not?
I bet your answer is "no" too.

I wonder if those pop-over advertisements would be necessary of they skipped the police articlettes. (Can't call 15 lines and article, can I?)

Or is the police paying for their own articles?

Don't think I'll even get a proper answer.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

His computer went black.

My autistic son uses the computer a lot.
Not only for games, but also to communicate with other people all over the world.
Long before the results of a research project about the socialising aspects of computercommunication on peope with an autism spectrum disorder were known I could see what happened with my son when he was communicating with someone with the assistance of a computer.

In face to face contacts he talks very loud and monotonous. His facial expression is minimal. He speaks, but doesn't really communicate. He just throws out what he wants to say. If he feels like it: over and over again. A real conversation with him is possible, but only for a short time and not often. Watching the facial expressions of others and interpreting them is almost a conscious process and takes a lot of energy.

But on the computer he's able to have real conversations. He isn't distracted by facial expressions, and there's no need to consciously make his facial expressions and gestures match what he says.
And people won't hold back because he speaks too loud. So he won't feel insecure.

Watching him "speak" with someone is sometimes very interesting. His facial expression matches the conversation and he takes the time to think about what he's going to say.

Well, today his computer broke down.
he used to be very irritated by it in the past, so I expected the need to use a lot of patience on my side, trying to calm him down.
But he stayed very quiet, so we could call the oldest (ICT man) who had time to have a look.
He took the computer with him and hopefully he'll be able to locate the problem and fix it.

I hope no new parts are needed, because we don't have the money at the moment.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A sad anniversary






Some people and nations feel the need to use power and force to influence the lives of others.
We've seen it through history so often.

On the other hand there are people who don't feel the need to tell others how to lead their lives and who respect peacefulness, care and compassion.
These peope are not only individuals, they are also a complete nation.
But even though they mind their own business and don't and won't hurt anyone the suffer the worst human beings can do to each other: emprisonment, killing, ethnic cleansing, etc etc.

There's no need to mention names (and return my blog to a status that readers from a certain large country can't see the blog), as you all know which people I'm talking about.

It's a sad knowledge that 6 times 10 years ago these people saw their country invaded and since then over a million people have been killed, and lots of people had to travel by foot through terrible conditions to find a better life.

There is a lot to say and a lot to explain about the situation, but most important is our continuous attention for human rights, which are continously violated.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Looking back on the 4 days marches with my dad

I´ve always enjoyed the festivities of the international 4 days marches.

In the past my father took me with him when he went to work for those who walked the 4 days marches. His collegues thought it to be nice to have me around. I was really interested in their nursing and paramedic activities and even though I was far too young they gave me small tasks like handing them tape and such.

I grew into the whole event.
Pouring tea, dealing with the blisters on the feet of a family friend as my first real job, assisting the team´s doctor. I did it all. From loading medical equipment in the cars in the middle of the night, to closing the massage-oil bottles almost 20 hours later.

In between we needed to eat.
At some workplaces we got an abundant breakfast, at other places soup and bread and at the butcher in Groesbeek we got the best of all, and even sausages to take home.
Every year I look back with deep gratitude on those days and years.

It was not always easy to do things.
I remember a very warm year. The doctor needed additional medication. He couldn't leave and none of the others had any spare time. So I was asked to go to the hospital and pharmacy to get things. I got a passe partout to get permission to cross a road that only medics and police could cross, some paperwork for the meds I needed to take back and that was it.
Only on my way back I realised that the passe partout didn't give permission to go back again.
There were no mobile phones. No way to reach the doctor.
I lost my cardigan (in rainbowcolours, I loved it, and my mother was furious when I came home without it.).

I was planning to go through the woods. It would be an extra long way to go, but at least the doctor would get the medication.

Then suddenly I felt the need to look at the ground and saw something. I picked it up and it turned out to be the pin of a nurse.
I put it on and could cross the road and was escorted with speed to the doctor, who ofcourse said nothing about the pin until the escorte was gone.
"Divine intervention", he said.

My dad and I worked with the team for many, many years and it was always a great experience.
Then in the eighties there were massive cutbacks and even though it was volunteerwork, the team stopped working due to lack of funds.
It gave dad and me the opportunity to go to the fireworks and mingle with the crowds.
But that;s another story.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Fed up with harvesting at GMail

I'm complately fed up with harvesting at GMail.
It's interfering with my feeling of privacy.

Last week I wrote a letter fo complaint to the Punblic Transport organisations regarding their new ticket system.
In fact it's an electronic card. Some councils offer it for 1 euro 50 to their inhabitants, and others have to pay 7.50. Just for the card. Then you have to travel (with an empty card.... which you can't...) to a loading point where you can put money on the card. Travelprizes have gone up considerably, and the thing also makes certain security points at shops bleep and they are even automatically checked in and out when you won't hold them up into the air. So at times you have to pay a lot extra. Getting your money back is a pain in the you-know-where, and the travelcard for those who accompany a handicapped person is gone. I guess no one of those desk thinkers ever thought about this.

Add to it that each person had to have his own card, so we can't travel together on a normal busscard but each one of us has to have his own card, and you can imagine the cost and the abolute lack of convenience of the card.
It even annoys me that checking in is so easy (and the busses and metra are so unclean) that I don't feel I get something for my hard earned money.

They had special days on which people could get a discount for the card. That means special hours at which normal people work or cook. At special places too.
Not somewhere to go with an autistic young man who can't stay long and who can't deal with masses.

So I wrote the organisation about that.

Today I got a mail back. I had to go to the local transporters.
No, I'm asking a national question!

So I was already irritated.
And then gmail got me their advertisement right in my face and I got so terrible mad about it.

When I read a mail I don't want advertisements about the subject in the sidebar.
In fact I never ever look at them, except today.

I thought it best to write them a mail about that, asking how I could switch that feature off.
Can you imagine direct contact is impossible?
Yes ofcourse!

Everywhere we have to log-in, visit forums and wait forever for a response.
No wonder they can tell us they won't get complaints. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!


Google! Stop reading my mail before I have read it!!
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Flexibel teens

Making plans with teens is an interesting, everlasting process, it seems.

Tomorrow the would sleep in, bake a cake and help preparing dinner....
That was the first plan.

Some versions later one girl would go shopping in the afternoon and the other would stay with their brother and make soup.

We finally settled on that idea, when a friend called and invited the girls over for a pyama party.
They agreed to have the party at another day, but then another friend said she would be on vacation so....

In the meantime one of the girls had promissed their brother to fetch something he needed in town...tomorrow.

But it was decided the pyama party would be tomorrow.
So their autistic brother, assuming they would leave early, was in all states because his sister had promissed...

So I sat them all down, told them no decision would be made until later that evening and asked them to respect a short time of silence so I could hear the Dalai Lama on a life broadcast on internet.
As they all respect the Dalai Lama they either sat down listening to me or went upstairs.

A few hours later things had organised everything by themselves.

Brother 2 was working in town and said he'd fetch the thing. (Don't ask me what it was... earphones or so.)
No shopping, so I would cook,
and the girls would go to their party...
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Devil Went Down to Georgia



1. Do you believe in the concept of the devil?

No, not really. But some people deserve the title.

2. What's your favorite nickname that you're called?

I don't like nicknames.

3. What would you do if someone cheated on you?

Find out if it's really true and then confront the person.

4. Do you ever cry at a movie?

Yea. Even when I hear the music of Out of Africa I can start crying.
It's the story of my life....almost.

5. Have you got “a ball & chain” or are you single? Are you happy with your status?

I don't think being married is much of a status anymore.

6. Who do you go to for advice?

A good friend who knows me for over 40 years now.

7. When was the last time someone yelled at you?

Can't remember.
I don't like yelling. I've always told my children not to yel.

8. When was the last time you spoke with someone that you met online?

You mean in real life? Never.

9. Where did you go on your honeymoon? OR Where would you like to go on your honeymoon?

We went to a nice hotel in a small village between the mountains.



Have a nice weekend!

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

On the dikes

Today my autistic son wanted to go to the dolfine show, but the weatherforecast was not positive at all. So it was decided they wouldn't go.

When we sat down this morning to see if the day could be special anyway, our son came down distressed. His midirack had broken down.
Well, after so many years intensive use it wasn't a surprise.

After quite some discussion he finally found one on internet.
Then the discussion started about who had to pay and when that was settled it was decided to go and have a look at a shop not too far away from home.

I went with them, not expecting to be from home more than half an hour.
But when we left the shop they wanted to enjoy the unexpected nice weather with a drive-around.

How? I don't know. But we landed on a dike.
We couldn't go back, only forward.
I hate driving on dikes. the people who live near the dike drive like nuts, and I sit in a car with someone who is a bit insecure driving there and who goes those extra centimeters to the right when someone passes, and it scares me to hell.

So I sat there smiling in the back of the car. Smiling, so my son wouldn't get afraid, because he might cause a stir and want to step out. Smiling, but with painful shoulders from keeping them up too high.

Then both males wanted french fries and we escaped from the dike road and went into a small village. No french fries, ofcourse.
The only way to go home was over the dike. We found the way up and it was so steep the car almost didn't make it. Me oh my!

I was so very glad when we finally could leave the dike and find our way home on normal roads.
Never...never again! .....I hope.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Mom's rings

As a mom of teenage daughters I'm educated at least each week about jewelry fashion.
I don't mind.
I always wear earplugs, rings and most of the time my mala when I leave the house.

One of my daughters creates bracelets for her friends, and recently we took upon us a joint activity when I found the most wonderful pendants with a tree.
In the past I used to enjoy making necklaces with and without pendants, so it's nothing strange to me.

Finding beautiful beads is a challenge, but with a friend travelling through china we will get some nice ones, I'm sure of that.

Jewelry is a hot item on internet.
So many beaders offer their products on blogs and sites. So we won't add ours to internet.

This year a new blog started about jewelry fashion trends for moms.
Short blogposts descibe the different kinds of jewelry, including men's rings.
I'm sure the blog is a nice guide for people who have never done anything with jewelry.
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Preparing 4 days marches

This weekend the festivities around the international 4 days marches start, and next week the actual marches begin.

I feel so sorry for all the people who worked so hard to make it into a huge success again.
They were all changing our town to enable millions of people to enjoy either the sportive event or the festivities.
The festivities consist mainly of open air concerts all over town. On sunday there's a special event in the football stadium with music and ofcourse the flags of all the participating countries.
We've gone often to this special event and today we had to take the decicion to go or not to go.
With a large family it's always fun to go, but it's also a financial problem.

The kids were disappointed we tended to decide not to go, but then we heard the weather forecast: rain and rain and rain, and far too low temperatures.
That's no fun to sit in a fotoball stadium for almost 4 hours.
So we're all behind the decision not to go this year.

I feel sorry though, for all those people who have practiced a lot and who worked so hard to make the events a pleasure for as much people as possible.
They had to secure everything today as we got a weatheralarm. A summerstorm.

Last week a crane tumbled over and damaged a building, and no one wants that to happen again, ofcourse. So instead of constructing stages and such, the workers where trying to secure what they had built up till now.

Good work guys!
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Her new fireplace

One of my dreams is to have an electric fireplace.
It'll stay a dream for the future, because there's no space at the moment to install one.

A friend called me today to invite me for a cup of coffee.
She wanted to show me something, she said.

When I arrived she welcomed me with open arms and within a few minutes we were complaining about the weather. It's like autumn at the moment. The amounf of rain that came down last night and today is amazing.

When I entered the livingroom it was nice and warm. The wood in the fireplace was burning and the flames were mesmerising.

She asked me if I noticed something had changed, so I started to look around. Ofcourse I didn't see any changes at all.
Then she told me they decided to exchange the real wood for fireplace inserts.
I'm so impressed by what she told me.

The whole process of installing had been a piece of cake.
Just cleaning out the whole fireplace and installing the new parts was done within half an hour.
Now they don't need to buy wood anymore, there's no dirt created anymore and there's no danger of toxic fumes.
All what needs to be done when they want a fire is plug the system in and make the choice between fire alone and fire with heat. That's it.

We had a nice morning together, enjoying the feel of autumn as a summerstrom raged outside the house and we sat there in front of a woodfire.

Life can be good.
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Shoeboxes

Today I took the time to go through the shoeboxes in my room.
It has been quite a while and to be honest, I forgot what was in the boxes.

I felt like a child opening cookieboxes and finding the best cookies in the world.

Because my life is so busy I try to do what is available and the contents of shoeboxes are not available enough.
So I found a new pair of my favorite shoes. When I finally had to throw away those I was wearing I felt a bit lost, as I couldn't afford a new pair. Turned out I bought not only two pairs that year in the sales, but a third pair too. When I saw them I remembered that one of the boys went to that town and wanted to ring me a third pair from the sales.
I also found a pair of high heels a friend gave me because they didn't fit her.
I don't often wear high heels, but I put the boxes at a place which is far more convenient, so I will wear them... promiss.

Beside these surprises I also found a pair of moccasins. I knew they were there somewhere, but now I know again in which box, so I will certainly use them often.
I used to wear moccasins a lot. Good ones adjust to the feet easily and have the perfect fit. The leather is convenient in both summer and winter.

Opening each shoebox was like opening a present.
Now the children don't need me as much as they used to I'll be back in those boxes far sooner to enjoy the shoes.

I'll tell you more about the other boxes, but not today.
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In the blue box

I cleaned the room of the boys and put all the computer equipment in a drawer.
Then I did all the other things a room needs, like tidying the wardrobes, putting new sheets on the beds and such.

It took quite a while, but I was really proud of myself.
Days like these, that the boys and girls are away, are very rare.

The girls are staying with their oldest brother, and the boys were back far too soon.
When I told them they would be surprised by how clean and tidy their room looks now, they looked at each other the way only kids can do. So I told them where I'd put their things, with emphasis on the fact that all computerequipment was in the drawer.

Within a few minutes my autistic boy was downstairs again. he asked where I'd put the
xbox 360 controller.
"In the drawer".
"It's not there."
"Oh yes it is, the only things I took with me out of the room were dirty clothes and things that don't fit anymore.
"It's not there."

I stayed calm and asked him to have a look again.

I heard a lot of sounds I didn't like and went upstairs, finding all the computerstuff on the bed.
"It's not there."
Again I told him that I'd put all the computerstuff in the drawer and I started to look between the cables and other things for a black box, assuming a controller looks like that.

"What are you looking for?", he asked.
"The controller."
"What kind of thing are you looking for?"
"A black box. Or is it white?"

He sat down and almost got the hiccups of laughing.
With effort he managed to tell me it's not a box, but a kinf of carsteer.

Clever guy.
The steer ended up with the toys and was resting in a blue box under the bed.
Problem solved.
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Hair up-do

It sounds rather strange: "hair up-do".
Like a child wants to say something special is done with hair, but doesn't know the word.

I watched a video on the site of one of our national magazines.
A summerlook was created by a professional hairdresser.

She made a lovely look by didicing the hair in three parts: 2 at each side and one on top.
The top part was folded into a kind of fishbone and fixated at the end.
Both sides were turned and fixated at the back.

It looked very nice.

Then she said a playful look was needed and she pulled strands of hair out of the carefully made coiffure.
She used hairspray to keep those strands hanging out of line.

Then she proudly said that her job was done.

Well, we didn't see on the video how much was paid, but I guess it will be at least 25 euro, probably more.

I feel kind of strange about the way she handled the hair.
Why destroy a lovely look to make it "playful"?
When one walks around with a hairdo like that, the hair will eventually pop out and create a natural looking mess.

She only made it look like a bad hairdo after a terrible night full of nightmares.
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Life insurance and old age.

Now the governments are even saving money on the pensions it's wise to review your own future financial situation.
Not only your pension should be well arranged, so you can be sure of a reasonable and minimal income (at least), but you also need to look into life insurances for the members of your family.

I know it's not something most people like to do. It takes time, taking many factors into consideration and most of us don't know where to find the information we need.

According to a friend I should go to ComeToBarter.com, because they have an easy system to compare the rates of all the best insurance companies.
That sounds great.

I want to be sure there's no need to beg for money when I'm old.
because I had to stay at home to take care of our handicapped children we have to rely on one pension, but our whole society is based on double income households and the way many people react to old people doesn't give me confidence that there will be a reliable pensionsystem when I'm old.
So I'd better take matters in my own hands.

How do you deal with this?
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Medication in puberty

Puberty is the time young people want to make their own decisions and question what is going on in their lives.
As a parent I find this one of the most interesting times of the kids and I enjoy the girls getting more independent.

One of the boys is in the final stages of puberty and for him it's not as easy as it is for the girls. As a classic autist he faces the fact that his development is more of a fight than a natural fact.
He has problems accepting himself and right now he's not happy his behaviour is influenced by medication.
It's a common issue for kids who have chronic disease, whether they have diabetes, asthma or something else.

Today was one of those days he didn't want to take his meds.
Usually I take a step back and observe him, trying to keep him as calm as possible until he's susceptible for reason and falls for my nice talk and takes his pills.

Today he was already agitated because he couldn't oversee his day.
He was going with his father and brothers and sisters to Harry Potter at a cinema he doesn't know well.
Afterwards he would come home with his dad and his sisters would stay for a few days with his oldest brother. He doesn't like that as he likes them to be around.

He acted like a grumpy old granddad all morning, refused to shower, said he wouldn't go and all sorts of other of the same.
We just went about doing our things, ignoring him as much as possible.
When I was sure he could overhear me I said to his dad that I pitied the fact that he didn't dare to go to that cinema, but that we couldn't retract that ticket and that I had no money to make him go elsewhere later this month.

His psychiatrist had told him to take his meds before 13.00 hours. It was 1 minute past when he sat down and told me he regretted his behaviour but that he was too late for his meds.
Well, with all the clocks a few minutes ahead he had no other choice than to take his pill. Haha!

The rest of the day he behaved well and was rather nice.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No pillbox

Last week my two oldest and I were supposed to go to germany, but the car broke down. Today we tried it again and made it.

I wanted to see if they still had a certain bag I love. Last time I didn't have the money with me, this time I had.
But the bag was gone.

We saw a lot of stuff and bought nothing but something to drink and something to eat.
One of the boys told me they had some wonderful cheesebread at a certain shop, so I got one. It was not special at all.... Well, it was food.

Then we went to a large grocery store and got our shopping lists in our hands.
These enormous grocery stores have so much choice that we need to write down what precisely we like when we try something.

I was lucky to be able to find everything, except for a pillbox for my autistic son.
The machine where we should put our empty bottles didn't work.
When we arrived at the counter the woman took them out of our trolley and she gave the money back to me instead of my son. LOL!

On our way back we almost hit a car, because it suddenly stopped on the highway.
We were lucky my son reacted as quickly as he did and that the driver behind us was not sleeping either.
We still don't understand why the car stopped.

When we were almost home it was clear the weather was changing from warm and humid to rain.

We're not afraid of rain, as the garden really needs it.
But we are not happy with the lightning these past years.
Well, we made it home in time.
A few hours later reports came in about very bad rains...
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Finally TV

Sitting in the car for so long as yesterday doesn't do me good, that's for sure.
My back was hurting so much today that I could hardly walk.
But we had a good time together nevertheless.

As the weather was still nice we got the laundry up and later dry and folded.
And to our surprise the TV connection was far better than in the past months, meaning the BBC was on air again.

The girls had special plans.
One of their friends (the daughter of one of my friends) could do with some company and they were all planning a pizza diner and a nice evening doing girl's things.
It was a special occassion as the girl's sister and her autistic brother were away.

Here the men enjoyed the evening with their favorite programs on TV, and I had the time to enjoy watching the people in the ISS (International Space Station).
It's a pity it's the last spaceflight of the shuttle.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

100 lions

Yesterday we went to Amsterdam.
We were invited to celebrate the anniversary of 100 years chinese people in The Netherlands together with the chinese people.

My oldest advised to go by car and use the transferium to park it.
I was amazed how large the transferium at the Arena is.
We got our free tickets for the metro and went straight to central station.
One whole day of parking for 8 euro and those to and fro tickets were included. Wow!

When we arrived at The Dam there were already people.
The heads of the lions were on the ground.

It took quite a long time before the official representatives of the chinese and dutch organisations sat down. later I heard they had speeches elsewhere already.
Pity for them they had to listen to a few more.
The public became bored, because the sound system didn't work properly. We couldn't hear anything and people started to talk and joke.

We were also quite bothered by some people in front of us, standing in such a way that no one could see a thing, and especially the children saw nothing at all.
we asked a security guard to ask these people to sit down, but he told us he wouldn't. he then took position straight in front of the children which caused some turmoil, but he didn't mind at all.
So I asked my son to take some photographs of him, maybe some collegues of my other son would recognise him. And I commented on his behaviour, so he knew there was someone who knows the ins and outs of his profession. He got a slightly redded face, but didn't move.

Then the chinese ambassador was about to give a speech and I suddenly called out loud that people who were not dealing with the lions had to sit down.
So those people sat down and the public applauded.
Right.

Then suddenly the security guard had gone and the kids had free sight on the lions.

It was great when the dance of the 100 lions finally began.
The symbolism of every move is not only interesting, but it's also a reflection of tradition and culture.

The fireworks were very well announced and people were told to keep their ears closed. We were lucky to stand at the right side, but the people at the other side should have been told to keep their nose closed. LOL!

Then the lions started to walk through town.

We couldn't follow them through the narrow streets because too many people were in the way.
My son went to make photographs from the upper levels of some shops, some of us wanted to eat something and I went with the girls to one of our favorite shops.
When we came back and joined the rest the girls ate a bit and I went with my son to a shop where I needed to buy something for someone and on our way we saw the hundred lions arrive at their destination. Me oh my, those young people were tired!
I respect them for their hard work. It seems easy to walk a lion, but it isn't. It's very tiring and with the very hot weather we got it was also very strenuous.

We didn't see the person who invited us to join, so we went to say hello to her son.
He gave the girls some hairitems. They were very happy with his gift.

It was also a nice moment to decide to go home after this beautiful day.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Against All Odds



1. Have you ever tried to rekindle a past relationship against the odds?

You mean a love relationship?
No.

2. Do you like your job, or daily routine?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
I love dealing with the girls and everything around them.
I like dealing with the boys, but not with the paperwork and some of the hard times of autism.

3. Do you find time to 'smell the flowers' so to speak?

Not enough.

4. Do you have any problems thinking of things to write about in your blog?

When I had the flue a short while ago I certainly had problems finding soemthing to write about. Writing itself was very tiring. But other times pose no problems.

5. Do others consider you well organized?

I'm quite organised in my head.
And certain aspects of life are thoroughly organised. But alas, not everything. I'm no saint, so that's OK.

6. Do you always have a “Plan B” just in case?

No. not always. But I'm a quick thinking and always find pratical solutions.

7. How do you find yourself adjusting to new situations?

I adjust quick and with pleasure. I enjoy different situations.

8. Are you happy with where you are in this point of your life?

Life could be a bit kinder to me. I've still got dreams, though. So all will be well.
I think it's important not to look ahead too much and enjoy the moment.

9. Do you find the aging process we all go through easy or difficult?

It's fun to experience that there's some acknowledgement for my knowledge and skills, finally.
But I don't like the physical deterioration.
I feel young inside and there's still so much I want to do.

Have a nice weekend!

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

An 8th resembling a 13th

What a day!

The girls finished their schoolyear with wonderful report cards.
I'm so proud of them and happy for them.

After school they went shopping with their friends and the boys asked me to go with them to go shopping in Germany. (We live near the border).

So one picked me up and we drove to the other to pick him up.
I felt slightly stupid as I wanted to see the launch of Atlantis and I would miss it due to bad planning.
Turned out my oldest had put the video on automatic recording, so I would see the whole thing "life" later.

Then we went on our way...
10 metres.
The car made a strange sound.
Turned out something was wrong with the brakes, so no way we would go somewhere.
My son got advice from the garage around the corner and brought the car there.

And I prepared to go home by train.
The oldest said he wanted to come home with me, so we both went, got some groceries on our way home and had a coffee on my own couch.

As the launch was not in time, my son had time to go home.
But...the trains didn't go for some reason.

Due to the stop in countdown just seconds before the start he was home by bus in time.

So we witnessed the launch.

After dinner the girls went to a party.
But not after some problems to leave, as the person who would fetch them came far too late.

Well, they had fun.

And the car?
Was fixed within minutes.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Cookie-day

Today we celebrated cookie-day.

It's a traditional event in our own family and I doubt if someone outside the family knows about it.

My grandmother started it for fun.
She took all her baking stuff out at the first free day after a schoolyear and we made cookies.
By tradition it's not important if there's another day at school for paties, getting the reportcard or whatever, as long as the lessons were over.

They are.
Tomorrow the girls will get their reportcards and then it's summervacation.

It feels special because one of the boys finished his education and applied for a job today. And another boy finished his education too and is already in the process of getting a job.

On top of it it's the birthday of the Dalai Lama.

The kids who were at home invaded the kitchen and told me to stay away.
From the corner of my eyes I saw a package for Harry Potter cookies. Meaning that the endresult would be chocolate chip cookies. Good.

The smell was delicious, the panick tremendous.
The lumps on the baking roster looked like fatty... uh...plops....
So I put them straightaway in the oven again and told in my mind my gram and my just died friend to use all their cookiespirit and make the cookies in what they should be: celebrations of freedom.

I didn't dare to look when the oven bleeped, but I did.
How glad I was to see a resemblance with what I used to bake.
So I took them out, put them on a roster and tried to tell my kids not to worry.
It took ages before the cookies settled and started to look like cookies.
But they got firm enough to lift them and they turned out delicious.

So delicious I didn't have one. LOL!
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Schooltrip 2011

The girls had their schooltrip today.
They went to an attraction parc... just for a few hours.

32 euros is what those few hours cost.
That's 46 dollars!!!

And they were there only a few hours, because the bus went back before the traffic jams started to grow.

Ofcourse they could have waited for the evening jams to disappear, which meant being there until closing time.
That would have been good use of the ticket.

Both girls had regrets they were not able to see and do more.
They also thought that the school shouldn't have a schooltrip anymore which is so very expensive and which doesn't use the full time available.

Nevertheless they enjoyed their day and were terribly tired.
They even forgot to eat fruitcake after dinner. That says enough, doesn't it?
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm so sad...

One of the few people who were a constant presence in my life died.
I feel so very sad...

She was one of those people you can't not love.
She was very very kind, a good listener and perfect advisor and she was able to understand what couldn't be said.
I was about 16 or 17 when I first met her and she learned me a lot about the people around me and about myself. I'm certain that I wouldn't have been as good a mother if she hadn't been available to ask questions, listen and smile. The wise smile.
She should have been my grams daughter and I've always thought it strange that they never met. They belonged to each other.

Because she lived at a place I could hardly reach with the children I hadn't seen her for a while. I missed her growing old.
We wrote long, long letters and they always sounded young and energetic, that I didn't realise there would be a time without her.

She was a strong woman. Strong of mind, and with an equally strong opinion. Well thought through and always open for different views, but strong and well worded nevertheless.
That very same straightforwardness, with compassion and care, was what molded me into the person I've become. My gram, dad and she made me into the strong person I am. And also into the feeling person I am.

I was happy we finally got a car and we planned to go and visit her with the kids next month.
We can't anymore.

One of the most creative, kindest and wonderful people is no more.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

He did it: a diploma!

Today we had a graduation.

My son was quite nervous even though he knew that school doesn't make something special of it.

We went by train, as the school is near the railwaystation and the busses are too expensive now.
He told us he had all the time of the world, so we should go ahead.
He's got a card to travel by bus, so he would be in time.

When we were waiting for the train he suddenly appeared.

Ofcourse we were too early, which wasn't a real problem.

Instead of coffee, there was nothing. At the time the ceremony should begin...it didn't.
A quarter past we were told to get coffee and a clice of cake. Which was delicious. The cake, I mean.
Another 10 minutes later there was finally some movement on stage and a woman told us she was the new teamleader, she read some prepared things (which she couldn't read well) and then a man shouted so hard in the microphone that people held their ears.

There was no ceremony.

Just people called on stage in pair, to sit down with their backs to the people, to sign 6 papers.

The timetable said we would be finished by 21.30 hours, we were by 20.00 hours. Probably due to the fact that nothing special was done, nothing nice was said to the individual students.

It was just a loss of time and energy to be there.

The graduates didn't feel festive at all.....

Our son started to feel happy about his diploma when he was at home.
I'm glad we made it a bit nice for him there.

Tomorrow he's going to apply for a job in the hospital.
they should be happy to have him.
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Just a sunday

I must have done something wrong last night, because I had such a pain when I woke up.
Usually my left hip is giving me pain, but it was mysteriously gone... well, it was nothing anymore in comparison...

As I had no plans to go anywhere it wasn't a real problem.
Some chores were postponed, and some where taken over by the kids.

By the time one of the older boys came home for a partial haircut I was feeling better already.

Today was one of those days for preparations for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow we'll have a graduation and I'm looking forward to it.

I don't want kids to feel embarrassed about their mom, so I asked the boy in question how he wanted me dressed: posh or something else.
He went for a calm mom, dressed neat, but not too special.
I can deal with that.

He clipped his uniform tie to a t-shirt and said he would go like that. LOL!
He's as nuts to go like that, so no one said a word. Haha!

I have to go now. Can't sit as long as I would like.
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Take Me Back



1. Think of all your exes. Would you take any of them back?

Yes. I would take one of them back immediately.
I've seen him at the school's reunion and the spark flew over again.
Ofcourse I didn't act on it, as he's married and has kids.
But who knows what life might bring....

2. If anyone came to your house on your "lazy days" what would you be wearing?

Dark blue trousers and a t-shirt.

3. What's your favorite shirt?

Shirt... let's see. I guess it's time to wear a shirt again. I think it's one with very modern flowers. I bought it in Germany a few weeks back, but I haven't found an occassion to wear it.

4. Have you ever been on your school's track team?

Didn't have one. Does being on the swimming competition team count?

5. Do you own a pair of Converse?

???? What's that?

6. Where are you at right now?

Living room.

7. Do you eat raw cookie dough?

I used to.

8. Don't you hate when the radio ruins good songs by playing them over and over?

Yes, I hate that.

9. Do you watch the news?

Yep, very often.



Have a nice weekend!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

That'll be three years in a row

It has been a turbulent day, but a good one.

In the morning the day seemed to be like every other one, with kids going to school, the chores and all the rest.
Then a friend came to visit, curious if my son had finished his studies, and another one.
While I was making coffee they were talking about ATV Parts, our car, theirs and the fact that a dear friend needs help with his paper. Ofcourse I said I would jump in. I hope he'll accept me in his team, as we both have a different approach in writing.

Ofcourse my son did his last hour well and I'm happy to say that he's a security guard now. At monday he'll get his diploma. Isn't that great?

So we had a rather festive afternoon, when the phone rang and the class teacher of one of the girls asked for her.
She got very stressed and so did we.
But then it became clear it was all positive news: she's through to the final year of school.
So hopefully this time next year we'll have another diploma ceremony waiting.

In the evening it became clear that no call would come for the other girl, which meant she passed too! She works at a higher level than her sister and that means that her school lasts a year longer.
Meaning that the year after next she should get her diploma. LOL!

We had a happy evening watching TV. Too tired to bother to eat the cake we bought this afternoon. Just sitting together feeling good about the kids have accomplished this year. All hours of helping with homework forgotten. All far too early mornings: forgotten.

We did it!
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Just one hour to go

One of my sons has almost finished his studies.
In fact he will reach the end of his education tomorrow after one hour of fitness.

I'm so happy for him.

He's dyslectic and it took two years to convince the basic school that he was not lazy, nor stupid.
By that time he found out compensation mechanisms for himself. He would find a quiet space in the house and read what he was supposed to read at school during the next week.

That system failed when he went to secondary school and got homework.
Teachers didn't understand his wish to have a quiet time to work, and told me he was lazy.
He was tested again and again the dyslexia came out clearly.
The opinion of that school changed immediately and he got assistance and in the meantime we had meetings to see what was best, as they didn't want him to lose his dedication and persistence.
The result was that he went to a school with smaller groups.
He just surfed through it and got his diploma with relative ease.

Then he went to his next school. He got no support at all and at the place for practical education he was used. They didn't even give him the time to sit down and write what he needed to write down.
The school proposed us to find another place for practical work. Due to the recession one of their best students couldn't find a place and so they kicked him out, instead of assisting him.

I suggested he might try to become a security guard.

He worked hard and did the studies in the shortest time possible.
That's quite an accomplishment.

Just one hour tomorrow and he's done it.

Wow!
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