Monday, October 31, 2011

Conference calls the way you want them to be

To be honest I love to be a journalist. but I hate all those work conferences. When I'm the chairman I can stay on top of everything and won't fall asleep, but as just a member of the team I feel travelling to the office takes too much precious time.

What works for me are conference calls.

The team hasn't been in favor of them because of the costs and because you're only allowed so many people to join for a certain budget. Apart from that, when you don't even have one conference you're billed for the planned amount anyway.

But now I've found the opportunity to feel completely free.
Not only does Zip Conference offers a free number of participants in a conference call, sign-up is free, and you're only paying for the time you use the service.
So when you haven't used it, you won't be billed. As easy as that.
Apart from that: you can change your plan from month to month and there's no need to schedule calls.

In case you want to try the service: go ahead. The first 60 minutes are free.

For me it means I will propose conference calls next meeting again.
They're very convenient to discuss matters efficiently and when it's needed we can meet without losing precious traveltime.

A family of journalists

Something funny is going on.

In our family we have a few professions which return generation after generation: balletdancers, photographers and writers.
The professions often concern one family and it's not a direct genetic inheritance we're talking about.

For many years we thought we were one of the two balletfamilies with our familyname, as I and my children (except one) were balletdancers, and my nephew and his children were. (His granddad was the brother of my gram).

Two families in our generation consister of photographers and photographer/writers.

Then my son became a photographer.

In the past I had an education as journalist and magazineproducer, I worked for a while but when I got children I quit the job and sometimes used my skills to work freelance, but mainly I volunteered to help others.

Then my skills were needed for a volunteer-run paper. My son the photographer already worked there, my other son was asked for ITC. Soon things changed.
My computer son had to do writing jobs too and it turned out the paper didn't only need writers, the also needed someone to run the rest.

And now my son the photographer will be trained in camerawork and writingskills too.

One of my daughters loves to write novels.

In total that means we've got two dyslectic kids and the rest of the family is in the writing business. Including their dad who writes the reports for the place where he works.

The focus of the family has shiften from washing balletgear, to being prepared to hunt for news.
We haven't lost the balletconnection completely though, the girls still have balletlessons and I would love to have an in between job as a choreographer. I'll breing my own photographer. LOL!

Ladylike helmets, not only for fashion

Yesterday the girls went dancing with their friends on a computer dancing program.
They had a lot of fun.
When they were tired they sat down and ofcourse the subject went to the other half of the population: the male part.

One of them was asked to go to a party on a motor, but she didn't know what to do and asked the other girls for advice.

I had to laugh when one of my daughters asked her if she had a helmet. She hit the core of the matter.
"No, ofcourse not. I don't like helmets, they scare me."
My daughter answered here that there are also very nice helmets for women, take for instance the scorpion exo-700 dahlia graphic helmet. It's available in a black base with red dahlias, but also in a white with pink dahlia's.

Last week she was in the room when one of her brothers and a friend where discussing helmets and it was clear she learned a lot from it. So she told her friends why the helmet was designed auro-tuned, who certain features were added for extra protection, and that other features were added not only for confort, but also to protect the inside from getting moist.

I felt so proud!

She made clear that helmets are of utmost importance and that the first concern should be safety, but that fashion sure could be important too.

The last night before....

Yes, it's the last night before we're going online with the paper.
That means, it was online, but it has now a complete different look and a new set-up.

People have been working very hard, and we will be working even harder the time following tomorrow morning.

This weekend a lot of news items popped up, but we're going to bring the news of the day, and not the news of yesterday.

Tomorrow afternoon we're going to the local occupy group and see if they want to act normal to us.
The local papers have hushed up about them and no news is found about them anywhere.
Either the demonstration didn't take place yesterday, or the press doesn't want to deal with them anymore.
A perfect chance for us.

And if not, we're going home and that's it.

In the meantime I'm filling in the forms for my autistic son who wants to live a bit more independent from home.
I think it's a wise decision, because he won't have a chance for any independency when he doesn't take that step now. All those reforms in healthcare are not of any benefit of those who need care. If he doesn't move now, he won't be able to leave home unless he wants to go to a psychiatric facility.
That's nothing for him, but it's also getting more difficult to live with an adult extra in the home.

I hope tomorrow will be as nice as today, so I can do in the garden what I wanted to do last week. see...always planning more than a day has hours. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mr. Roboto

1. Do you enjoy holidays like Halloween or is your approach more robotic?

Whan an offending question!
I don't enjoy halloween, just because we don't celebrate it here in my country.

2. Have you ever been to a haunted house?

No, not a halloween one.
But I have been at a castle in England that was said to be a place where ghosts were seen.

3. What are you doing for Halloween this year?

That's monday, isn't it?
Planning my interviews for the paper.

4. What was your lamest Halloween costume ever?

Never had one.

5. Is handing out candy fun for you, or more of a nightmare?

We hand candy out at november 11, that's St. Maarten's day.
St. Maarten was a man who came past a poor person. It was cold and that person had no coat, whereas Maarten sat on his horse and felt warm.
He tore his cape in half and gave the poor person a part so he would be warm and protected against the weather.
In honor of this, we hand out sweets to kids that visit our door.

Americans have inherited both the remembrance day of the death and this tradition and made them into one.

6. Do you buy trick-or-treat candy and end up eating it yourself?


7. Did you carve any pumpkins this year?

I have seen a couple of pumpkins when we went shopping in Germany, but didn't take one home.

8. What was your favorite costume as a child?

At carnaval I've been a chinese person and later a nurse. I liked both.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve about trick-or-treaters?


Have a nice weekend!

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy and the press

Dealing with the press is an art and it needs to be learned.
In my young years protesting was for some people a daily activity all year round.
I remember they closed the main building of the university after asking everyone to join in, because it "would be fun". They took their sleepingbags and a toothbrush, bread and peanutbutterm, and milk or booze and went there for a sit-in.
They invited the press to join them for lunch and they had all the time of the world to explain things and allow them to take photographs.
They were treated well by the press in return, even after the universityboard threw them out.

They went home, showered and had a good night of sleep and appeared in another university building. They studied a lot, went to their exams and were very angry when a more agressive group of protesters blocked the entrance to an exam.
The press was present and the press called the police so they would get a corridor to attend the exams.

Yesterday my son the photographer went to the small group of Occupy to take pictures.
He was nice and kind and had no ill intentions at all.
He was threatened by a guy in such a way that he went away fast and called me to explain his situation.
I told him to come back and leave things as they are and contacted the group by mail.
Until reply.

My other son knew someone from the group and found out this group from Occupy felt negatively treated by the press and as a consequence threw all press from the campingsite.
Ofcourse that sang round and a radioman with an early morning program went there and woke them up with a lot of sound at 7 in the morning, with the message that he came to inspect the grounds for sanitary hygiene and such.
They removed him from the camping grounds with moderate force, as I understand.

These people forget they are dependent on the press.
Until today they got at least goodwill, and that was quite something, as many people are angry they're camping in the middle of town in a parc where no camping is allowed. Their presence is tolerated by the police, but people from the town are not very positive about it because even a small tent of a child will be removed in other circumstances.
By throwing the press out the badly choosen campingsite they place themselves in a corner where they don't want to be.

I think these young people don't realise that protesting is more than sitting somewhere for a good cause.
When the press doesn't convey their message they can't reach the people they need.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So it was "no"!

This morning I got a mail.
It was delayed for some reason as it was dated late yesterday afternoon, and it sure wasn't in the inbox by 23.00 hours.

Well it was there.

Yes, we were the only family in her research.
Yes, the presentation was for professionals of the whole of the eastern part of my country.

So she planned a presentation before she even had seen us! Before she conducted her research!
No wonder we were put under pressure!

One of my sons was nearly harrassed to be present on a time he wasn't even in town.

Well, considering everything: the way we were informed and not informed, the lack of reliability of the tests at our age, the inability to provide data because we have no one who can fill in a gigantic list of questions about our own youth... but also the way her research was set up, the results she expected which couldn't even be gotten from her researchdesign. And considering the complete lack of care for our anonimity... everyone who knows us will recognise us in the presentation of the results and everyone who doesn't know is yet will recognise us when they meet us...
Considering this all I had no other option than to decide that we should stop with our cooperation.

So I called the girls who had arrived nearly at the corner of the street where she conducts her research and I told them what I thought would be a good decision and they completely agreed.
Then I informed the other kids and they were happy about the decision too.

So we were able to get all our groceries in today.
We even found two cakes for a very small prize.

And I was able to go to the meeting of the paper this evening and try to solve some issues.

On my mind now is the question why this person involves herself in mindfulness and meditation.
To go the buddhist path is to be respectful towards all living beings.
I don't think that talking about mindfulness and meditation has resulted in anything good, looking at the way we were treated.

Well, we had something else to think about for a while.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday again

Today I dreamt that the alarmclock made a lot of noise but that I was still so tired that I put it out and turned on my other side to sleep more.
About an hour later (in my dream) the alarm went and I was wide awake, remembering the whole sequence of putting the alarm off, taking my glasses, etc etc.


When I came downstairs it was still far too early.

Part of the day was spent on preparing for my activities for the paper.
Not long from now the online paper will air and I have to write a lot.
Pending are a few articles for the printed paper, which are completely different in style and content.

Then I had to take action towards the researcher.
I don't trust her one bit as it's clear she has put a presentation on her agenda without even conducting the research. That's absolutely not done.
The fact that each time I get in contact with her she frees a new piece of information about the research is at least a suggestion that she's working without the expected ethical standards.

Tomorrow is the big day.
We feel we're forced into participating in the research without informed consent and we're torn between wanting to help someone, wanting to move autism research forward and knowing our genetic code.
But she has in no way told us she would give us the results.

I expect quite a discussion tomorrow, because I don't want to be fooled.
I can't find anything about the research in my town, except for a remark that research is done.
As a lot of research is a repeat of research in other countries I expect a mimick of The Autism Genome Project.
So I did a quick search with that title and the name of my town and heypresto! There we are. So they want to be famous on the researchmodel of other researchers, adding things to it that can't be added. They want to link certain genes to certain questions in the questionnaires/to certain symptoms.
To do so you need a statistical method with lots of families and when they don't have direct access to the data of the large international genome project they won't be able to get any reliable results.

We will be tested with one of those autism tests.
When we said "yes" when we were asked to participate in genetic studies we didn't know we would be tested. I would have said "no".
I'm way beyond proving to people like that that I've got phantasy, look at another person's eyes, use appropriate gestures and the whole lot.

The whole toodoo will take all day, because we have to bring and fetch people each 1 and a half hour. For the busses special cards are needed nowadays and we don't want to buy them for everyone. They're too expensive.

We won't get anything in return, not even the costs for travelling.
People who have normal families are compensated for their efforts and travelcosts. Thank you. (NOT!)

So I'm not very willing to particpate and I probably won't do the test. They won't like it, but they should have informed us properly so we could have made a free decision.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mondag again

It's called vacation, but ofcourse it's for me one of the busiest times of the year.
Especially now the weather has changed tremendously and we need to have that change of clothes between summer and winter.

I feel sorry for my doctor, but I was right about the fact that there was almost none to no research at all that proved the flu shot effective against the flu.
Now it's official.
I have written about it in my son's blog. See the square at the topright in de sidebar.

The girls had a birthday party of a friend this evening.
They expected a nice evening, but it turned out to be a huge disappointment.
There were far too many people and two different groups. I doubt if they had enough to eat and drink, because when they came home they ate a few sandwiches without any problems.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Time of year

It's the time of the year to sneeze a lot.
I guess there's something in the air that triggers it, but I wonder if it's natural.
When we were in Germany last saturday I felt well and nothing was the matter, whereas that morning I had a stuffed nose and started to sneeze when I came outside and it started again when I stepped out of the car.

We live not very near, but in a town where electricity is generated by a coal installation.
rthe past years I noticed the sneezing episodes with a lot of people who don't sneeze the rest of the year.
It was relatively bad last year and I wasn't surprised when the news reported that something went wrong while cleaning the filter and a lot of dust had escaped.

I guess each year something goed wrong, because we have at around the same time again.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The way they wear their hats....

About half a year ago we were asked to take part in research of genetic factors in autism.
We were OK with it. It would involve a bloodtest per person and some questionnaires, maybe duplicates of what we already filled in.

We were positive because all could be done before the summervacation and wouldn't interfere with school, nor work.

But we had to wait and when we were already forgotten the whole event we got the message that they wanted to go ahead.

Forst we would get the questionnaires at home and we had to come to the hospital for a blooddraw. That was OK.

But soon the plans were changed.
They wanted to give us the paperwork when we were there for the test.


What test?

They wanted to test us all with the ADOS, a test to diagnose autism.
We went along with it, but not in happiness.
Most of the kids were tested and got official diagnoses, so why do that again?

I couldn't manage to make appointments because the boys had their work and the girls their school.

So I got in contact and it turned out they also wanted to do a dyslexia test.

We were having 90 minutes of tests, then a wait of 15 minutes, and then a meeting with the big woman.

A wait of 15 minutes?
Yes, to put the video recordings on the computer.

Video recordings?
Yes... we were video observed too.

Without asking?
Oops, forgotten.

The paperwork was send home.
I had absolutely no time to go through cm's of questionnaires.

Big woman called. She sounded like a little girl, but who cares?
On my question why she didn't contact us sooner she said she had a death in the family and took time off.
Now she was in a hurry, all needed to be done before the tenth of november.

Like I am I tried to see the positive: we could do it all in the autumn vacation.

But the boys had different plans, and so did the girls, and I got the job at the paper, so I needed my time too.

We decided to bite through. If possible.

Then I opened the envelope with the questionnaires, expecting them for all of us.
Not only half of us.
So that meant double the amount of work or me. Ugh.

Still, a bit naive maybe, I thought it would happen.
Then I paged through the paperwork: a thick lot needed to be answered by a parent or someone else who knows me from my childhood.
I don't know anyone who knows me from my childhood exept someone who has terminal cancer and is above 80 years of age.
Do you see someone like that answering questions about my pregnancy, how I was at 4 years of age, and answer sexually inplicit questions?

On top of it, I should also ask that person to answer a questionnaire about my life before 12 years of age, typed in small letters, and ask a friend to do the same. My hb should also answer the same questions and the same ones should also answered by me.
Well, I'm at an age that people would have suggested I would be autistic or something like that at least once in my life.
There were also questionnaires about hyperactivity.

This too wasn't discussed with us.

So it completely went wrong with my positive attitude.
They should have discussed the fact that they wanted more and more, and that we needed to involve other people in this in a huge extent.

So I mailed my hesitations about the lot of questionnaires and asked them to reconsider, as all the boys were diagnosed by a wellknown psychiatrist and one of the girls was tested too. Not because she had symptoms, but because she wanted to be absolutely sure she had no autism.

Soon after hb was called by the psychiatrist of one of the sons.
We were not cooperative enough.
And the suggestion was made that the woman had already enlisted to present the case.


I was told we were part of a group of families, not the only family.

And why did she call him? He was not part of the research and not the supervisor, so in a way she was breaking confidentiality.

Well, she's got a mail now that she needs to reconsider the tests and lists.
That she needs to make appointments first with the boys, to be sure the whole thing can be done.
And that we are not the least bit motivated anymore.

We are motivated to give blood. No problem there.
But the way they have lured us into this research is at least unethical.

Good plans

A new meeting this evening, and it was a short one too.
Within the hour we dealt with an interesting list of subjects and we were all content about the outcome.

Problem is that I seem to be the only active writer, so the next weeks will be extremely busy. But interesting.

With all the political developments there's enough to write about.
The occcupy movement has inspired a group of people in our town too to set up their tents and the similar comments as everywhere else were made too: go and work and that sort of things.
Most people who protest have work, and took a few days off to join the core of protesters. There's a lot of goodwill and I heard quite some people state they will bring cookies and hot chocolate. If they'll all do it at once when can flood the river. LOL!

I was glad with such a smooth meeting. The most negative person wasn't present, and the person who kind of coordinates things was very happy with the developments on almost all areas.

So I was at home relatively early and could sit down for a talk with one of the children.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dental hygienist?

Today the photos of my son the photographer were in the regional paper. He was proud, but he was also a bit used to the fame. It wasn't the first time.

I went to the dentist.
I was getting out my coat when I was called in already. Some people started to complain that I came in last and was called in first. It made me feel a bit guilty and I told the assistant. She said they should have chosen my dentist and not the other one. Mine works on time.

Well, he had a look and told me the bone below the implant is shrinking and the turns of the crew were visible. They should be treated each day in a special way, so I should see the hygienist to be told how.

So I went away and asked for an appointment at the desk.
The earliest opportunity: the end of february!!

Maybe I should ask an online dental hygienist how to clean the turns of the screw.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A good day for a girl

We were supposed to hear something about the audition this past weekend, but we got the message today. As expected my daughter was not through and we were quite happy with it, after all.
She wanted the experience of the audition and was only partly interested in the musical. That's why she didn't sing.
So she sounded quite happy when she called me to tell the outcome.

I think they didn't take her because she's too young and she's legally only allowed a certain amount of hours traning and performing.
Looking at the amount of hours of practice for the weeks until christmas, she sure would have lost her grip on this schoolyear.

This evening she had a her regular balletclass.
Last week she informed her teacher about her plans to go to the balletacademy and she asked him if he thought she would succeed. He said she sure could do so.
He's a former teacher of that very same academy and he knows what's required.

Today he started to check her technical knowledge.
I'm so glad I've taught her a lot on that area.
He's going to ask her things each week.

The positive feel was strengthened by the remark of one of the women that she saw that my daughter had grown a whole cm during the past weeks. So sweet to say something like that.

Her brother fetched her and brought her home.
It's already dark now and autumn has started well.

With just a bit of homework as a dessert for the day she said: "It was a good day for this girl".

Yes, it was.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A good square 50 cms of cakes with raspberrycream, ahhh....

It's been terribly cold and today I was able to wear one of my favorite cardigans. Not that I longed to wear it during the summer. But the shivers go up and down my back when I'm sitting quietly here and crawling inside a large bubble of wool is so very convenient.

Yesterday I spent a nice day with my oldest son and a trainticket to travel through the country.
Ofcourse we visited our favorite shops in Amsterdam.
Then we wanted to go to Alkmaar, because this was one of the last opportunities to travel everywhere for free.
Maybe because of the weather, or the busy market, or the low sun,... but we didn't like the town very much.
We walked into a bookshop to feel a bit warmer again and there I found my favorit book I had been looking for for such a long time. For almost half the price. Lucky me!

After that we went to our favorite town Haarlem, where I found a very nice buddhism bead in the smallest shop with the most buddhas. It was a few minutes before closing time that we left there.

On the market we saw the bakery we love so much: "'t Stoepje".
They were trying to get rid of their last items, just what we needed. So we got a bag and could fill it for 5 euro. Which we did with enthousiasm. When we thanked him and paid he walked away and I was a bit suprised, because he never acts like that. There's always a smile and a lot of kindness and a welcoming joke was the absolute minimum.
But within a few moments he was back with a very large box with special cakes.
He said I should walk away without saying anything and enjoy it all with the kids.
A good square 50 cms of cakes with raspberrycream, ahhh....

It took quite an effort to get them home without messing them up, but we managed to do so.
Which was quite something, because we went to the beach for a quick fish dinner. It was yummy, but it was too cold to dip my feet in the water or to go walking.

We were so tired that we slept in the train half of the time.

But it was a nice day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mrs. Potter's Lullaby

1. Adam Duritz (writer and lead sing of Counting Crows) mentions previous girlfriends in songs. In Mrs. Potter's Lullaby he sings “There a little piece of Maria in every song I sing”. Is there a piece of an ex that will always be a part of you?

Well, there are always small gestures and such that stay after you've been with someone. So I guess that when you know two of my old friends well you can notice a flaw of movement resemblance now and then.

2. Who was your very first significant friend?

A very nice guy, who has made a wonderful professional carreer and has a lovely family now. So I won't mention his name.

3. What are four (4) things you hope to do this weekend?

Wake up in time, be at the railwaystation in time, walk on the beach, sleep in on sunday.

4. What do you consider to be the main purpose of your blog?

To vent, to remember things, have a bit of quiet time. "Mom is writing, don't disturb her."

5. Tell us something that you've never before written about in your blog because it's too personal.


6. If you could choose your doctor, do you prefer someone of the same or opposite sex?

We've got a male family doctor, but gynaecological issues are for the specialist.

7. If you could dream about anything tonight, what would the subject matter be?

I nice garden house, a vacation at sea, a cottage in Scotland.
I probably dream about spiders again. It's that time of year. They're everywhere and I have a close look around the room to see if none of them is there. Ugh!

8. How do you react to practical jokes when they're played on you?

Have a good laugh, then it's less fun for the person(s) who pulled them on me.

9. What's on your agenda after this weekend for the upcoming week?

Eh...filling in piles of forms, planning an important interview, going to the dentist, writing down my ideas for the paper, doing something nice with the girls.

Have a nice weekend!

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

Friday, October 14, 2011

The flowers are arranged

One of my friends abroad is planning her wedding.
She's been busy with it quite a while now, but due to family circumstances she has to move the date forward and cancell some arrangements.

When I heard this I felt that sending her excuberant gifts is not done, so I called her and she said she would love to have flowers. Especially flowers that match with her wedding bouquet.
When I asked her which flowers she decided on she said she didn't know yet.
So that helped a lot. LOL!

Sending flowers from here is quite some job, so I said I wante to fulfil her wishes but had some serious concerns.
She already thought about that and I was told to have a look at

So I did.

She gave me great advice and I want to give it to you.
You can even order flowers or a coupon and pay with facebook credits.

I was happy to get in contact with a florist who knows what to do when he receives my friend's flowerchoice. I got a huge discount, both on the flowers and chipping and because of this very positive experience I decided to use another coupon to send chocolates to my friend to sweeten the days before her marriage.

Ofcourse the site can also be used for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and other occassions, so bookmark it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I thought to use the bit of free money I had on buying a present for the girls upcoming birthday. It's still a month to go, but time flies and right now I have that small bit of money available.

So I searched the worldwide auctionsite and found the girls some outstanding watches. They were in nice colours, and of a design that can't be found here in the shops. I kept a close look on them and stayed up far after midnight to get the right bid. The first and last.

Yesterday morning they arrived and they were awesome.
I wrapped them carefully and put them away.

In the evening I had to go to a meeting with my oldest son and he told me he had ordered...yep...a watch online for one of the girls.
He gave a description that didn't match those I ordered, but nevertheless.
It makes my present useless.

Buying presents for a 16th birthday is challenging.
One of them loves anime and cute things, prefers pink and lace clothes.
The other loves beads, is more down to the ground, wants useful things and prefers warm spritve clothes or ballet items.

They both love horses.

So ideas are welcome.

A new bathtub

The bathtub needs replacement.
Ofcourse it would be nice to go for the easy option and have it removed and replaced by a showercabin, but I have always used my bath for more than showering alone.
It always came in handy to soak sleepingbags and bedcovers, have some large items cleaned and hang woolen wear to drip out and dry.

I would love to have a clawfoot bathtub.
Not only because it looks marvelous, but also because it's so very convenient to clean.
You can stand far closer to the tub than we can now and you can clean underneath without any problems.

We now have a bath in the is closed on the front. It looks built-in. You know what I mean.
Whenever you have to go underneath the bath, because of leakage, you have to remove a panel and be courageous to stick your head underneath, either to use a bright lamp and you'll see every tiny spider, or a dimmed light and scratching whereever you feel itching.
I'm quite ready cleaning the plateau where the family members put all their shampoos and soaps.

A clawfoot bathtub would also a wonderful combination with the new closet we bought last month. Maybe we could even inspire the houseowner to allow coverage of those 1960 tiles with a wallvinyl like they have in the hospital here. It's so beautiful and so easy to clean, allowing absolutely no moist to get into the wall.

Oh, it makes me dreaming about a far better house.

A journalist

I'm officially a journalist again.
The local paper needs a good revival and I'm happy to use all the experience and knowledge as a journalist, motivator, and a lot more.

We've got the green light to start the paper in a refreshed way. Not as a sleeping online version of the prented paper, but as a new actuality paper.

It'll be hard work, especially in the beginning as the team is very small and we have to overpower a regional paper with a partly local edition which is owned by some superbusiness and written by professionals.

We're dealing with volunteers and we need 1500 euro right now.
But I feel we're able to do what needs to be done and maybe something will happen that enables us to hand over the money to the head editor.
I'm sure there are good people outside who value the effort to modernise a volunteer-run local paper of almost 30 years.

The fact that papers are able to survive made me think that this one too should be run as a business. No people anymore who write one bad piece of text in 3 months and who proudly claim to be a journalist, but hard working people who can be proud because they gave it all.
Maybe it'll even result in a real income.
Time for the professionals to advice us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Living in another way

Today we had a good talk with some of the kids to make clear huge changes will be made to keep our family financially sound.
For some autistic children it's very difficult to adjust to different food, less desserts and things like that.

Changes need to be very drastic.
Everything is getting more expensive. The house, education, healthcare, clothes and everything else. And the income is not keeping in pace. The minister doesn't want to grant an increase in income, but yet we have to pay such a lot more for healthcare alone the next year that we won't be able to live the way we do.
Problem is we already were living very sober.

In the past we've had other times in which we had to cut back a lot. But with small children it was a lot easier. All was concentrated around their healthy and good meals and the rest just went OK. They had all they needed and I made a huge pan with thick soup when we had the ingredients and put portions in the freezer for when we were really hungry.

Now we're dealing with puberty driven girls and adolescent boys we're dealing with so much more.
The living standard is much higher now, school more demanding and everything is so much more expensive.

Well, we'll see how things will go.
Right now we've made some plans to cut costs, and I hope they're able to stick to it.
Wish we had some land to grow our own vegetables.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The changes in society can be observed everywhere and under all circumstances.
Today the results of some research were published: 25% of the policemen won't react in risky situations.

Quite some peoople say they understand this, as the public has become more agressive.

I don't like generalisations and that's all the publication of these researchfindings seems to generate.

People start to complain about all policemen writing too many tickets, all policemen sitting on their bodyparts which are meant to be sat on instead of writing reports of criminal facts, etc etc.

Others complain about all young people being agressive and they conveniently forget to talk about football hooligans and the other 99.9% of young people who behave well and don't even like to disturb others.

Fact is that we have lost our neighbourhoodpoliceman. There should be one... somewhere... maybe hidden behind a tree, but I don't know him. I've never seen him in all the 30 years we're living here.
The policeman of the neighbourhood of my childhood knew all people. So he knew how to control people. Some by threatening to tell the parents, some by taking them for a while to the policestation and others by being friendly and taking them serious.
That policeman got respect...and coffee. LOL!

It's said the present policemen are not trained well.
That might be part of the problem, but not all.
The motivation to become a policeman is the main element of self respect. When you know you became a policeman because it makes you look well, you will be insecure.

I'm waiting for the discussion of tomorrow.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Someday We'll Be Together

1. Have you ever left a relationship but knew that eventually you'd get back together?

Yes, but it will be in another life, because he's happily married and has children.

2. Are there things that you hate to buy? Items that you either hate to spend perfectly good money on or hate to spend the time it takes to buy them?

Well, as many items are not supposed to be part of my life, looking in my wallet, I don't want to spend any feelings on them. No jealousy and certainly no hate.

3. What is your favorite cartoon show and why?

I don't have any. I don't like cartoons. They're too noisy.
I once saw an african cartoon, not a show, but a movie. I liked it a lot. But the name? Forgotten.

4. Are you anywhere close to doing what you wanted to do as a kid?

I wanted to be a mom of a large family, I am a mom of a large family.
But I never got the house I expected to go with a large family. LOL!

5. Now that you're in the "real world," is your current job now really what you want to do for a living? If not, what would you ultimately like to do?

No time for a job. But I want to be a travel journalist. So come on, give me a chance to be the female Michael Palin.

6. A local university has asked you to teach a class about the one thing you know the most about. What would you be teaching and what would the name of the course be?

I have been teaching and I would take my former job back.
Now I would rather teach... eh... on the subject of autism, for instance.

7. Commercials ... they can make us laugh or can annoy the heck out of us. Tell us about your favorite commercial and/or a commercial you simply loathe.

The one I loathe is a yelling one about shoes. I hate it.
And a favorite one? Dunno. I hardly watch. I thought the commercial break was to put on the laundry, go to the toilet, make a cup of coffee, help a kid with homework, cook and do other nice things.

8. Tell us about your favorite comedy movie of all time.

No Idea. I watch movies and I forget them. They're like jokes.

9. Tell us about your favorite black and white movie of all time.

I guess that's the old Heidie one.

Have a nice weekend!

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Skin disorders and soap

You won't believe how many skindisorders can manifest in a family of 8.
Psoriasis, eczema, some other skinproblems and ofcourse acne.
Each individual needed individual attention and medication and sometimes I got irritated because of all the bottles, boxes and soaps.

The past time however things seem to have become a lot better.
We've introduced mud soap.
Don't think I emerge each skin disordered person in a bath with filthy looking clay to soak and become discoloured. Not at all.

Mud soap is a product that deeply cleans the skin in a very gentle way. It contains minerals that feed the skin and moisturise it, so it won't irritate and dehydrate like a lot of other soaps and soapy products.
We tried it all: washing liquids, gels, soaps, granules, lotions, milks.
But since we have the soap in the bathroom the symptoms of the skindisorders have become less and the amount of bottles and boxes had been reduced to an aboslute minimum.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee

The Nobel Peace Prize 2011 is for three outstanding women: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman.
To me it's always a surprise when men get the nobelprize or any other prize as a single person and women have to share. Like we women don't deserve the full honor to be praised individually.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female president of an African country.
She was born in 1938 in Monrovia in a mixed african, european, american family and got her education in Monrovia and the USA. When she went back to Liberia she got a place in the government, thus using her economical knowledge. Because she publicly criticed the leaders of the country she had to flee.
But she returned... to become president and realise many of what she think her country needs.

Tawakul Karman is a 32 year old Jemen mother of 3, who always stood up for human rights and freedom of press. She initiated in 2005 the human rights group Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC) for promoting human rights, "particularly freedom of opinion and expression, and democratic rights".
She is a very practical person and is able to energise and inspire people to join her sit-ins and other forms of protest. But she also raises a lot of problems for herself, because standing up for female rights in an islamic country is not accepted.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee was a social worker who started to organise peacework at the local fishmarket where women would sing and pray for peace. Gradually her work developed from the thought that all women, regardless of their religion, needed a better place in life and that it was able to gain that by non-violence.
It was because of the enormous inspiration and work of Leymah Roberta Gbowee that Sirleaf finally became president. Leymah Roberta Gbowee was not only persistent and thorouhly convinced that only peace can lead to happiness and a better situation for all people, she was also able to bring people together and convince them, at the local, national and also at the international level.
What moved her to the bottom of her soul, the way women were treated by men, by being raped, infected by diseases and killed or thrown away, motivated her to put security on the list beside peace.
Thus making it important that not only peaceful behaviour but also peace of mind should become availabe for everybody on this planet.

To me Leymah Roberta Gbowee is the top Peace Prize Winner of this year, but I respect the fact that the Nobel Prize for the other two women will be a small contribution to their safety in a time where violence and inequality sadly still exist.

Steel bracelets

The friend of my daughters who underwent surgery earlier this week is recovering well.
She enjoyed the visit of one of my girls and she's part of the plans for this weekend.

She's a very kind person and I sense she's not getting all the attention she needs from her own family, so we don't mind doing something extra, like driving all the way up to her place and buying presents for her. Don't think personal attention ifs forgotten, because that's most important of it all, but a present is nice to see before you go to sleep and when you wake up. It makes you feel connected to the world when you're ill and hidden between 4 walls.

yesterday evening we had a look at steel bracelets. She's a very sportive type and can wear something like that.
We've seen awesome ones but decided they would suit one of the friends of the boys beter, the prize considering.
A small gift should also go with a small attack on the wallet.

But there was enough inspiration created to finish a beading project and we decided to look for a nice scarf.

Junk on the road

Traffic around our town is always a bit of a mess because one side of town only can be approached by using a bridge. And when cars habe taken that bottleneck they are confronted with lots of signs and trafficlights. When you don't know where to go, you need to gamble, because it's almost impossible to read all the signs.
So trafficjams are a normal sight in the morning and evening, and often in between too.

This morning those who haven't chosen for the train already blamed themselves for not doing so because they were confronted with a new issue.
Not the buildingtraffic of houses or the closure of strokes due to rebuilding parts of the road, no. There was junk on the road. Plenty of it.

What kind of waste it was and where it came from is unknown.
All I know is that it was there very early, at about 7.00 hours, so it wouldn't have come from one of those huge junk containers that are driven from one side of the country to another. They're not on the road by then.

The consequence of using the public road as a waste place was a 10 km long traffic jam. On the radio people were warned they should calculate about 25 minutes extra time for their way to work.

Pity most people turn on the radio when they're on the bridge to leave town.

She needs to be in medical scrubs

One of the girls should work a day at a place of her choice to get an idea of what needs to be done on a dayshift. As she's interested to follow a carreer either in nursing or in daily care for small children she has asked a friend if she needs a hand at her job of childminder. The answer was "yes" but she had to wear proper medical scrubs and put her hair in a bum or in any other way to remove it from her face and away from grasping little hands.

Ofcourse the shop in town only has the usual scrubs. The green, white and blue ones. So we had a look at internet and to our surprise a whole new world opened.
There are scrubs with flower, christmas images, little owls, cherries on black and a whole lot more. They go under the name of Mary Engelbreit, do you can imagine there's more to it that only a lovely pattern. There are elegant rims, print-and-solid tri-band along bottom, and a lot more additions that make these scribs wearable outside the workingplace too.

Like I expected the choice was made soon: cherries on black. Perfect for the job, perfect for this time of year.
Ordering online was easy and fast.
So guess who has the honor of keeping a close look at the mail?


I already know the feelings I had today.
Suddenly the wonderful weather has changed and it's the old fashioned grey and dark autumn again.
Like you switch the tv off after a wonderful movie and long for the music.

I haven't been on a vacation for so long now that a friend said to me it was time to break my life long retreat and move to other countries.

Well, it's a time of renweal, that's clear.

After a good talk my daughter has reviewed her options at school and has chosen other subjects. Rather inconvenient now the schoolyear is already a month old, but it should be possible.
She needed the time to make her choices without distraction.
She had chosen for a balletcarreer, if possible. The choreography classes she's doing now are as much an inspiration to her as choreography has been for me. She's aware of her chances of being enabled to attend the academy, but she will dance anyway.
If she can't become a choreographer or balletteacher she's going to be a yoga teacher.

All evening I bumbed against sites with Lama Tulku Lobsang, who will be in my country during a few days at the beginning of november. He's offering studies of Tibetan yoga and medicine.
It's like an old light has been ignited again. Wish I could study it too.
But I have to be realistic.
No money.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fake buddhist

Today we had a meeting at the school of the girls.
We landed in a room with a tibetan holy text on the wall and a free tibet sticker on the agenda. With my mala around my wrist it seemed to be the perfect combination to care for the wellbeing of my daughter.


The guy either loved to hear himself or thought that by talking on and on and never give the chance to the other party to say a word the meeting would be over sooner.
Like all other people at that school a simple remark was seen as an attack, feedback was considered unwanted and subjects that were important (and matter of criticism) were told to be not important at all.
He only wanted to bring his message across: they were doing everything right, my daughter could refuse to take part in the cross country run of 10 km, get a renwed chance to do something like that and if she wouldn't or couldn't do it she would get a 1. Which is the lowest mark here. The 1 could be compensated, so there would be no problem.

There is a real problem! An untrained person is forced to run the most difficult cross country run in the area of 10 km almost untrained. It's considered a trainingsrun for well trained professionals!
We feel we're not heard that the risk to get injured is considered very high by the organisation.
The person in front of us hides himself behind statements that the schoolinspection has considered this a realistic subject (The schoolinspection has nothing to do with it, the ministery had to agree with the way subjects are taught) and that he has spoken with the regional organisation of atletics. I'm not impressed by these arguments, because he's a representative of the pupils that train for topsports, not for the normal pupils. They would never ever have agreed with only 6 to 8 weeks of training for a professional run, training without supervision, without coach, without the teacher.

When he tells me that he took part in the run himself last year I doubt his statement seriously. There is someone with his surname on the list, and I've seen the photos of that person and it's not him.

When we leave the meeting we feel like escaping from a terrible event.
That guy is responsible for his own karma.
He sure has displayed nothing of what makes a buddhist.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good decision

She was one of the people who were non-caring the past year.
I remember thinking her for the attention and non-care and closing the door as fast as possible. That was quite something as it's my habit to watch people walk down the gardenpath and entering the street, waving goodbye, until I can't see them anymore.

Her daughter had an accident and needed surgery.
The surgery was planned a week after the accident.

Both my daughters were friends and they wanted to visit the daughter but were told "no".
The whole way of dealing with a young person who had pain and had to go through the stress of waiting for surgery seemed to be weird. No company of friends at a time that everyone can do with a listening ear, a shoulder, distraction? As the week moved on we got a feeling of child abuse, of not allowing someone contact with friends. A few minutes on internet with the girl strengthened our feelings.

So I decided my girls would visit her in the hospital or at her home at the second day after surgery.

This afternoon my daughter called to ask what time would be convenient, and we brought her there.
When we arrived to fetch her the mother just left the house to post an envelope.
She acted nice and kind, thanked us for bringing our daughter and enabling friends to see each other, and she even asked how I was doing. I seemed so stressed last time she saw me.
I kept my calm and said I was doing fine as life has taken it's normal turn again and that I was stressed indeed when she last saw me, because people treated us as unfair as possible and caused much pain. Then I asked her how she was doing.
She said that dealing with a child in pain was hard, and she was ever so happy my daughter told her she was coming. Both girls had such a good time together and please would she and her sister ( who had far too much homework) come soon again?

So we made a good decision when we said we would go there, no matter what.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another mess at the pharmacy

The pharmacy we need to use for our meds is a real pain in the you-know-where.
Ofcourse it was my stupidity to order meds on friday.
I should have given them at least the relaxation of an afternoon without patients, so I should have ordered on wednesday.

And ofcourse I shouldn't have ordered my whole list of meds. The one that has been the same for so many years, except the diabetestablets, which have changed because the old ones were not throught to be safe enough, so now my glucose levels are all over the place again.

The intention of tghe system of doctor's recipes and pharmacies delivering them is that the pharmacies keep a close eye on what's ordered.

So I had to bring back certain antibiotics when I was pregnant, because I, myself, found out that I shouldn't take them, and I had to refuse recipes for meds that are bad for my asthma or contain too much sugar.
It was not the pharmacy who took care of that, I did.

Like when I discovered they gave the wrong dosage a couple of times, had the wrong pills in the box, etc etc etc.

Oh, the system is so caring!!

Last saturday the bag with meds was fetched and they had discovered there were no lancets on the recipe. Hmmm... not a real problem as I had enough of those.

The bag seemed to be far smaller than usual.
So I had a look.

Asthma meds were not present.
And the most important pills? I looked three times, emptied the bag on the couch, looked on the floor if maybe... They were not there.

I decided not to make a point of it and I ordered the meds again.
So that's a nice extra bill. Grrr. But the stress of finding out where the mistake was made: at the doctor's office or at the pharmacy, wasn't a good choice either.

This afternoon one of my daughters said to me she was going to fetch the pills, she didn't mind a bit of extra bicycling.

When they saw her they didn't ask for het ID, but called her father to ask if she was allowed to fetch the meds.
They can see in their system she's got the right age!! But they treated her like an 11 old one.

You understand I don't mind making that an issue, together with the missing meds.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Record and sunday

Today the weather was unbelievable again. Summer at oktober 3, is a record.
Only now I realise we wanted to go to the woods for a walk and to reap nuts and such. We forgot.
Partly because on of the boys needed the car to go swimming with his girlfriend.
When he brought the car back we were already talking about dinnertime. Our autistic boy and his father were expected at the oldest for dinner.
In the meantime we cleaned the room of my autistic boy as far as possible and as long as time before dinner reached. He hates it when someone cleans his room, mainly because of putting stuff back at it's place.

I took the time to wash and dry his bedstuff and put the sheets etc back on.

We want to paint the walls, but that should be done when the temperature is lower.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sleeping to Dream

1. Do you ever go to sleep to simply dream?

No. I sleep because I have to.

2. When you’re having trouble staying awake, what are some things you do to make sure you don’t drift off to sleep?

Sleepwalking is unknown for me, so I start walking.

3. What’s most likely to cause you a prolonged period of not enough sleep?

Lots of building noise and stress.

4. When you’re going through a prolonged period of not enough sleep, what parts of your daily routine are likely to change, and how?

Dinner won't be as interesting, because I think it's safer not to cook.

5. In what ways does your personality change when you go through a prolonged period of not enough sleep?

I'm used to periods without sleep and I don't change anymore.

6. Who in your life seems regularly to have not enough sleep?

Me in my life.

7. When you're sleeping, do your closer friends tend to be male or female? Why do you think that is?

Huh? What do you mean?

8. If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would it be?

I won't answer this question anymore, because I've answered it far too often.

9. In a dream, is your past something that you can go back to?


Have a nice weekend!

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Saturday, October 1, 2011


And a beautiful day it was. Just a few degrees less than yesterday.
But again not the time to sit down and have some sun colour my skin.
Appointments for the next week are made or have been requested.
Dinner was sober, but tasted marvellous.

In the evening I had the time to roam a bit on internet. I would love to talk more about my experiences with buddhism with someone right opposite me, find a teacher. But there seem to be only very commercial and rich buddhists in my town. A 100 euro for a course of 6 evenings. No way we can afford that.

So I was enjoying the silence and asking myself what will happen in the buddjist area, so I can become a better person, when one of my sons came in and told me someone we know of my age had a stroke.
We all felt very sorry and I said I wanted to go with him when he's going to visit.
I think his family can do with someone who is able to listen and who can provide a hug.