Friday, March 30, 2012

A great shock

The girls finished their week full of tests and special assignments.
For one of them another step to her final exam.

We were so glad this week of stress was over again.
They worked so very hard to do it all well.

One of the girls was going to stay for the weekend with her oldest brother.
They had plans to go to an anime event.

The other one planned to go shopping with a friend and relax, and relax, and relax.

So we were supposed to have one of those friday afternoons before the weekend that we shed off the week and had our eyes on some peace and quiet.

In the morning there was a rumour at school an accident had happened somewhere on the main streets. But in a city more accidents happen, so there was not much special attention.

When both girls were home from school and just about half an hour after one of them had gone to her brother, we got a mail from school. Like all parents are glued to their mail. We only got it because we gave the officemail too.

The mail stated an accident had happend to one of the children of a teacher and that all schoolchildren would be supported at school.


My kids got no support at all, and we couldn't support them because we didn't even know the name of the family involved.
A mail went back to school.

Not long after that a message appeared at the schoolsite with the name of the child and the teacher. They didn't even bother to mail us back or mail us to tell us where to find it.

The shock was incredible.
We know the girl well.
She's the sister of a nice boy who was the classmate of one of the girls. The same boy is a close friend of one of our circle of friends.

Turned out she died after a terrible accident.
A truckdriver didn't take the lawn to the right but went on the line for straightforward traffic.
He realised too late he wantede to go right.
Instead of going straightforward and take a turn at a roundabout at the next crossing he went right from the straightforwardlane, not realising the bicycles were at his right to cross the street.
He drove straight over her and she got caught on his vehicle and was carried under it for quite an amount of metres before someone caught his attention and made him stop.

It was too late.

She died...

13 years...

a beautiful, kind, bright girl....


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring flu

We call it spring flu here.
Even though the weather has been amazing, people don't feel well.
The runs, you know, and headaches.

Here each and everyone has been under the wheather a couple of days.

One thing that's very clear is that our autistic son isn't able to feel what's going on in his body, or to say it better: he isn't able to put words to his sensations.
So once again he complained about hunger and was very irritated. Whereas we would have said we were feeling ill.

We also think his meds are not working.
So I mailed his psychiatrist to prepare him for the question next monday: other meds.

I wish we would be able to do without, but he realy needs these meds.
There's a huge discussion in politics about medication.
Politicians who don't know anything about the problems these kids are facing are taking a position that is only in favor of spending less money, not in favor of better care.

I've been very busy these past weeks trying to make them see sense, but me og my, those are hardheaded persons. I think stubbornness is a main characteristic of our politicians these days. Not wisdom. I bet they can't even spell it properly. LOL!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Warmest march 22nd ever

We had the warmest march 22nd ever.
Not far from here a temperature of 20.2 degree celcius was recorded.
We're living at one of the outer neighbourhoods of the city, so at this time of year we get firm winds and I'm sure we didn't reach the record.

But the sun! Oh the sun!
Lots of it.
It gave such a special feeling.

Already in the middle of the night the birds were whistling and having fun, with the special echoing sound of spring.
Then in the morning the sky was clear and spotless blue.

And in the room every minor dustparticle could be seen. LOL!

I managed to wash a bedcover one of the boys brought home because he didn't need it anymore and it's washed and nearly dry.

And I did a lot of cleaning in the house.

Ofcourse my autistic son needed more time to adjust than I did.

Nevertheless, it was a real springday, with green leaves developing on the branches so fast i could nearly see them grow.
In fact i could see that, when I left the garden for an hour and came back I could see the difference.

So I cut some shrubs in the front garden and decided there's a lot more that needs to be done the next days.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Changing the room

We've been looking how to change the room of the girls.
If it was up to me and I had enough money I would empty the complete room and create a whole new one.

They love their room.
I don't think it's impressive, but they love the feel of the place.

With good weather arriving this week it's time to get the thickest winterclothes removed from the wardrobe and kept at the attick.
Time for the big change, whatever it might be.

One of the girls suggesting to interchange a wardrobe and a closet, and removing a thin wall which was created at their wish when they were small.
They wanted a dreambed then, with a circus and arabic feel.

So we created a wall with holes in it at the top, suggesting clouds, painted dark blue and with lighting in the dark stars.
Red and gold cushions on the bed, paintings of windows on the wall overlooking the sea and hills, and lots of gold paint everywhere. Even the roof was coloured in the favorite red.
It was lovely and a fun place to play and sleep.

Later it became a nice corner to read and now the bed has been removed and it's a studycorner of one of the girls.

Interchanging the wardrobe and closet means a complete change of the feel of the room.

So we have to discuss this well, because it also means less space to store things.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Forget You

1. Have you ever felt that you needed to just forget an ex-lover?

Yea, ofcourse. In a way.
But people won't disappear from my mind on command. Wish that was possible!

2. Spring picnics and cookouts are here! What would you want to have on your plate as you head back to the table?

Well, maybe at your place, but here there's not much possible on that subject.
certainly no cookouts. The smell of the BBC of the neighbours is awfull enough. Don't want to sit gasping for breath in the garden... no way.

3. It's St. Patrick's Day, March 17th! Do you celebrate? Drink Green Beer? Go out?

No. It's not celebrated here.
So no strange green events happening, no miniscule creatures running through my home.

4. Did you remember to wear green today?

No, see former question.

5. What phrase or saying do you over use?


6. If you could (or could have) change(d) something about your relationship with your parents, what would it be?

I would have urged my farther to reveal more about his work during the war in the RAF.

7. If the NCAA Men's or Women's Final Four basketball tournament was played in your hometown arena or within easy driving distance from where you live, would you try to attend one of the games?
No, ofcourse not.
It's american, is it?

And I need the money for more important things. Sorry.

8. No matter what's going on in your life, what always makes you smile?

Whistling birds in the morning, humor.

9. We've asked this before: What else is on your mind? Go ahead and rant.

OK, if you want to know.
I'm bugged by the fact that we can't afforsd wintertyres for the car, and that I found out one of the covers of a light is broken.
And I'm fed up with people spying on us to find fault.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Plans for the near future

Our second son is moving.
He found a wonderful appartment, painted it and had a vinyl floor fitted.
It's amazing.

I like the kitchen, which is closed. Some people think that's old fashioned, but I think it's great not to have all those smells all through the house.

Some friends helped him to move his stuff.
He could do with muscle power to get the washing machine and fridge upstairs.
Two of them also have a car and offered to help.

Dealing with kids with autism spectrum is sometimes utter fun.
One of them had his father fit suv bike racks at the top of the car, so my son's bicycle could me moved too.

It was so very nice of him to think about it.
But the move was from one part of town to an adjacent one, about 10 minutes on the bicycle or maybe even less.
Well, the boys wouldn't be the clever ones they are if they were not able to use those racks to move boxes with books and other stuff.

It's good to know one of the boys has got those bike racks.
In the past they thought about going on a camping and bycicling tour through Europe when they all would have the money to do so.
One after one is getting a job, so that vacation will be in the near future.

They've got those handy racks now to take their bycicles wherever they want to go.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ill and deduction

There's always something with the school of the girls.

Last week most of us had the seasonal flu, including the girls.

My dyslectic daughter was really ill. She slept a lot, and the rest of the time she felt nauseated.
Well, I had the same, still have a bit.

Monday she went to her english teacher to discuss an exam about a book.
She was clear about not having finished the book at all.
The teacher didn't ask anything. The exam would be on thursday.

Even though my daughter worked hard, she didn't manage to read the book completely. Part was due to the fact that she began again from page one, to be sure she would remember everything.

She mailed the teacher about it and expected the exam would be moved to the end of next week or so.
Instead she got a mail stating the teacher would deduct points.

So I suggested the teacher to contact the classteacher to discuss the matter, or invite me over for a talk.
I also asked how much point she was going to deduct.

I think those teacher are overstressed because of the international exchange.
The whole school is upside down during those two weeks. Added to that all the stress about the financial cutbacks.

Well, I informed the classteacher, stating that I think it's not wise to deduct points for dyslexia and illness. But it's up to them.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Attack on schoolkids

The last week it was international student exchange at school.
Yep, the event my girls participated in last year.

I remember asking the schoolleaders about the responsibility for the students and they said school was only responsible during school hours. I kept on confronting them that they were taking our kids abroad and that meant they had full responsibility 24 hours a day. Maybe handing it to the parents there, but they still were sole end-responsible, as they accepted the choice of parents by the other schools.

Both my girls had a good time.

Some incoming students didnt have a good time here though.

They came at the busstation last week, after an evening of fun.
A group of gang-like young people started threatening them and beating them.
They ran to the host-family and their boy stood outside helping the freightened kids into the house when a friend of a neigbour gave him such a blow that he passed out.

Later it turned out he had a concussion and jaw injury.

So tell me... will these parents accept none was responsible for these kids?

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Parent's evening again.

I was not happy we only had a meeting of 10 minutes, meaning more than two hours away from home for 10 minutes.
But my son was able to fetch me. Long live the car!!! (I can tell you, it won't live long anymore. Ugh!)

We discussed my daughter dyslexia and the teacher told me she was very much impressed by her dedication to schoolwork.

My daughter want's to become a balletdancer or teacher and that means she has to finish a certain level of school, otherwise she won't be admitted to the ballet academy. She's one of the very happy few who know what to do with her education.
I also told her she should get a plan B, in case she won't get through the auditions.
Some years they look for a special kind of girl, and when they want brown hair and you've got black hair you won't be accepted.
Well she's got a plan B too, and even a bit of a plan c.

Her balletteachers are convinced she'll be good ballet academy "material" and they're training her now.
Great people.

They've suggested asking the school for special priviliges, like top sporters have.

The class teacher was all for it, and had even a good suggestion for the letter to the schoolleader.

I'm happy the girls are doing so well at school. And even though I'm not happy with that school at all, the classteachers try all they can to create a good schooltime.

(They won't be able to erase the effects of what the two teachers in the past said. Such a pity they created an image of the girls and us that was not true. Saying my girls were afriad to go to school! We still talk about that once in a while, because the girls never had one day they felt hesitation to go to school, let alone fear.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Preparing the garden for spring

My son is so happy with his new house.
It's interesting to see how much he has learned the past years about all sorts of things.
His partner wants white curtains in the livingroom, but he immediately replied that it's not clever, because closing and opening them each day will make them dirty far too fast and far too visible.

He asked me to go shopping for some furniture, because she had to work.
We had a very pleasant day and he was not the only one who got good ideas.

I saw a nice table with 4 chairs and imagined them in the back garden. The set was not expensive at all. We haven't bought it yet, because we lacked room in the car.
We discussed buying it and even considered ordering some patio umbrellas or those large market umbrellas with tilt option. We had a large one in the past and it was absolutely perfect for our large family. It provided shade for at least 5 large chairs and when there was a drizzle we still could sit outside.

Next week I'll start preparing the garden for spring.
Some trees need to be cut, bulbs planted, and moss removed.
It's a pity a few plants have been killed during the very cold period, but it openes room for something new.

I want a nice seating area in the back garden.
Well, I would love to have my own gardenhouse, but with the recession there's not enough additional income to realise it.
So maybe that furniture set with the umbrella will be a good replacement.


Saturday 9: Easy

1. Have you ever had a romantic breakup that was easy?

Yes, and it wasn't easy.
Mainly because there was a feeling of being not good enough, lack of self-esteem.
On the other hand... the break-up was mainly due to being too young and studying in dofferent cities.

2. When was the first time that you felt betrayed?


3. Do you feel religious beliefs should have a role in politics?

As a buddhist I wish there was more self-reflection, honesty, compassion and care and ofcourse a lack of war-liking.

4. Are you doing anything special this weekend?

There's always something unexpected happening in our family.

5. Oreo cookies turned 100 years old this week. How do YOU eat an Oreo?

I don't like them, but others that are nice are eaten this way: top, then the broders of the cooky and the cream at last.

6. If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?

Maybe I should be less inspried to take action when confronted with injustice. It's not good for my blood pressure. But someone has to try to change the world...

7. Describe a time when you should have tried harder.

There are always situations that could have been different.
What's the use of regret?

8. What is your favorite baseball-related movie?

Baseball.... not my thing.

9. What is one lesson you have learned in the past year?

That there are people who are so blinded to help others that they can't see what they should see. They only see what they want to see and don't care about the consequences.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Middle Ages

One of the girls is dyslectic.
It's always a struggle for her when she needs to read a lot. It takes her at least twice as much time as others and it tires her more too.
But she battles her own battle and most of the time she does very well.

The past week we've dealt with the seasonal flu. A nasty bug that causes headaches, nausea and faintedness. Apart from the runs.

When she went to school again today she was flooded with homework tasks. One was for literature history.
She had to work on a site and others had already said it was far too much.
So we logged in together. I hate kids complain about homework, but when they're right they're right.

The site was huge!
The main layer was full of links to different subject.
She had to work on the Middle Ages and the Golden Era.
Those pages contained about 30 to 40 links to pages which were sites in itself.
A main large text, with questions about it, and all sorts of links to new texts with new links.
One of them was a 10 lessons long subject about the old dutch language. Including grammar.

It seemed too detailed and more something for university students.

I also checked other links and I thought the same. The wagonplays of the middle ages were all mentioned with a summary of it's content.
In my time we read them all during the language lessons, but this teacher skips that and makes the pupils do it all at home.

I mailed her asking what she wants to be done, because studying the whole site will take about 4 to 5 years. The time a university study lasts.

Do you think what I think?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

That's great!

Even though I've got the flu we had a meeting this week with the new board.

We discussed a different way of approach of the paper and a lot of other important things.

My ITC son had been working on a new site for the paper, but it took him so much time that I took matters in my own hand and started at a different url what I considered the best way to publish.
I presented it to my fellow board members (son included) and they were quite surprised by what I made.
So the choice is made for my look for the paper and the concept.


But right now we lack writers, so guess what I do each evening when everybody is to bed?

So anyone who wants to help me...send me pictures.
They're a laguange that works for everybody.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

He's got it!!

a place to liveMy second son got the news a while ago that he was considered ready to change the protected living environment (an apartment with an assistant available for a few hours a week in another apartment in the same building and on call 24/7) to a normal apartment.
He never used the on call opportunity.

About two months ago he was offered... eh... something.
A living space no one wants. We drove past it yesterday and it's still empty.
Refusing it was quite a problem but an interesting experience for me as a journalist.
When I had to interview one of the council people it enabled me to ask some very serious questions about how people are treated.

Then he got a week ago the news there was another apartment available.
Parking pace in front, as requested.
Good neighbourhood, as requested.
With doors in it, as requested.
More than one room, as requested.
Closed kitchen, as requested.
It is go-o-o-od!!

So good that when he got the key last tuesday he started painting immediately, and we went to that Swedisch I... shop yesterday.

He's so happy, so very happy.

And I'm too.
He made a better start than we did.

Maybe, maybe we've got an extraordinary name and that council person pulled some strings?
We'll never know.

Meetings by phone

The past weeks I've been working a lot for the online paper.
It's a pity not many people are available to assist me, so I have to do the job myself.
That means hunting for local news all day.

I feel like a student again, because I used to do a couple of things at the same time, like now.
I write down what's going through my head, then go upstairs to do the laundry and in the meantime let the thoughts create themselves and when I have a logical line I go downstairs and write it down.

It works for me, it works for the paper and it certainly works for the housekeeping.

The weekly meetings are not my piece of cake. I always try to escape them, like yesterday.
I wish teleconferencing would be considered.
With the parking and gasoline costs it's a lot cheaper and it's more convenient too.
I also like meetings by phone because people have to listen to each other and it's far more efficient.

Some people tend to ramble on during the meeting at the office. They won't on the phone.