Monday, April 30, 2012

Queensday 2012

Today it's Queensday.
A very important day in The Netherlands.
It was the birthday our our former Queen Juliana and when she resigned she asked her daughter to keep that day as special as it is and celebrate her birthday with the country on that day.
Our Queen Beatrix celebrates her birthday in january, so the weather is never well enough.

On Queensday the country turns orange and nuts.
People dress up, children decorate their bycicles and have a parade, or collect old stuff and toys and sell it on the children's markets.
At many places old fashioned and modern games are organised and those who want to stay at home can watch TV for hours, because the visit of the Queen and her family to two towns in the country is always broadcasted.

This year the girls went to the main market in town, where sportclubs presented themselves, musicbands played, and free icecreams and sugarfluffs were handed out.
More of us planned to go there too and join them, but when we were already dressed and ready to go we saw on twitter we'd better stay at home, as the trafficjams were enormous and we didn't want to sit for hours in the car in the hot sun and arrive after it was closed.

Wise decision.

We enjoyed the TV, the sun, and the sun.

It was a pleasant relaxed queensday, worth to be remembered.

Oh, the girls bought a book for their collection, a balletbureauset and a few other little things.
Never found what they were looking for.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

That's Why God Made The Radio



1. The Beach Boys are back together (everyone alive, Dennis and Carl have passed, including Brian) for the first time in 25 years. It's their 50th Anniversary tour. Their new single is called, “That's Why God made the Radio”. Did radio play a huge part of your growing up years?

Yes. When I was very young we didn't have TV, so we would sit around the radio to listen to the music or stories or recorded theatre.
I was very happy to get my own radio, with lamps and relais inside, and copper wiring. Once in a while something burned through. Most of the time a relais. So soon I could repair it myself.
Later I heard my father had been a radio technician in his younger years.
Genes?

2. What is something that you are disappointed about right now?

I was saving money for a trip to england, but we need the money for other things, so it's gradually disappearing instead of growing.

3. What are you really anticipating right now?

The final exam of one of my daughters.

4. When was the last time you watched your favorite movie? What is it?

Out of Africa.
It was on TV about a month ago, but I watched only a small part. Visitors.

5. If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be?

One woman, and one man: gram and dad. Can't make a choice between them.

6. Who was the last person you hung up on?

I try not to end a phonecall as sudden. So I can't remember. Guess it was one of the boys moaning for more money.

7. Does it bother you when meme makers separate questions that could've been combined?

Noop, but I do feel bothered when they're about american issues, about american tv shows etc. I'm not american.

8. What is the first animal you would run to see if you went to the zoo?

So you want to see me running? Haha!!! You won't. LOL!

When I would go to the zoo where I went as a child I would go to the elephants. They say elephants can remember well. I wonder if he remembers me.

9. What is the food you always buy at the grocery store that you can't live without?

A kind of gingerbread I eat in the morning. It's the only food that keeps my sugarlevels in order in the morning.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring storm hunting blossom leaves

I feel pity for all those who need to leave their home.
Me oh my, it's storming, and not just a bit.
On TV I saw a large curl, so we can expect a few days more of this weather, because there is hardly any movement in the weather system right now.

In the bach garden the trees are full in blossom.
If each flower would become an apple I would need to give them out through my blog to have them eaten all. LOL!

Right now the garden slowly starts to be covered in the small whitish, pink and red blossom leaves.
It looks nice, but I prefer them to stay on the trees.

Yesterday evening the weather was still quiet.
We had a meeting in town and it was nice to walk through the sunny streets.
Got ourselves some take-away food at the wok restaurant. It was absolutely great. And far too much for me, so I took the rest home.

After dinner I had a talk with someone who applied for a training job.
Then we had a meeting.

Well, we didn't make the meeting.
No problem, as none of the paper ever attended those meetings, feeling an outsider because we only rent some space there and are not part of anything of the organisation there.

Instead of stumbling in far too late, we decided to do some other jobs at the office.
They're done now.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One step forward to a diploma

Just a few days more and the lessons for one of the girls are over.
Nect week it's vacation, then a week with two days of lessons and a few days to ask the last questions and then it's final exams.

Today we had to look through all the testresults and check if they were written down a 100% correct.

At the beginning of they year I gave her a nice box to save all her stuff and keep them at one place.
It was the best I could have done.
We took the box and all we had to do was put the content on the table, bottom papers on top and read the results aloud. One reading, one checking.
After reading each paper we put it back in the box and that was it.
Checking finished in a few minutes.

All was OK.

We both signed the list off and that was it.

She's doing well.
Just one subject poses a risk, but she'll spend extra time studying it the next weeks.

Keep your fingers crossed, please.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

The government tumbled down

Much to our surprise we got a socalled minority cabinet after the last elections.
And not even that, the minority cabinet had to deal with a party that was not part of the government itself, but allowed them to function by "accepting" them. Only that way they had a majority in the parliament.

Never ever has a government created so many laws, large and small ones, which came through parliament, but were sabled down in the process of holding them beside the law and ethics. This is done in the socalled Second Room.

After 7 weeks retreat to agree on massive cutbacks to get out of the recession, last week they agreed for what they had accomplished so far.
The last step was send it to a special organisation to be officially reviewed financially.
So one could say everything was done and it only needed to be signed off after controling the calculations.

This came back on saturday and then the acceptance partner, Geert Wilders, said he didn't agree with it after all and pulled the plug.

In a way I'm happy this government will be gone.
It was a mess, kind of a bunch of amateurs.
But in the middle of a recession? When cutbacks need to be agreed on?

The Queen didn't agree to the resignation straight-away, offering them time to agree after all.

They won't...
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Outdoor fans and quality of living

The neighbourhood party was fun.
Meeting new people, talking with the old friends.
We are among the people who live the longest here and we were happy to see some of our friends and get into a good conversation.

The subject was quite unexpected: whether to buy an outdoor ceiling fan for this summer.
The past summers have mainly bee too wet, but when it got dryer we had very high temperatures that drove us into our homes with the windows closed to keep the heat outside.
That's a real pity because we all have very nice back gardens with gardenfurniture to sit outside and so we want to do during those hot summer days.
So having an outdoor ceiling fan is not a strange idea. On the contrary.
It will enable us to stay outside and feel well, and an additional gain is that the flow of air keeps insects away.

As it's normal here to live in a rented house, we have to talk with the house owner to enable those fans. They can take damp and moist, but no direct contact with water, so we need to have a kind of roof over the patio.
We already have a plastic one, which can be removed at will. And one of the houses in the street behind us has a fixed wooden roof with anti rain protection on it.
So we can show the house owner it's a nice addition to the house and it enhances living comfort.

I think there's a task for the new board of the neighbourhood organisation here.
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Autism and hypersensitivity

As most readers know one of my sons is diagnosed with classic autism.
One of the symptoms is hypersensitivity to sounds.

That the neighbourhood party opened with a percussionband right in front of our house was not appreciated by him.
I gave him a headset to listen to his own music at the back of the house, but the sounds move through the walls and floor and arrive at him as soft tremblings.
Just like a deaf person he's able to read them well and he still feels bombarded by sound.

My experience is that not many people are aware what hypersensitive people experience.
Light is an issue for him too.
We ignore so many lights and reflections and we don't realise it at all.
It makes me see what a miracles our brains are.
They filter out what would make us mad in the end.

But the autistic brain doesn't filter that out.
When I open a door and a reflection is caught in it, it can arrive at his brain as a forceful flash of light.
It can take him off guard and influence his mood within a second.

At school they had absolutely no understanding for it, and using matted paint was not in their repertoire of taking care of autistic pupils.
Here at the house I've changed the paint over the years after I became aware of the reflection problem.
It's such a minor adjustment and can means so much.
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The best drums

This week our neighbourhood exists 25 years.
We were among the people who started the neighbourhood organisation.
Our first goal was to welcome people in the neighbourhood. Later we got more and more issues to deal with and the organisation grew and after a few years we considered it time other people took action as well.

That we were involved people are forgotten, but not that it started in our street.
Right at this time a percussion band is drumming amazingly well.

As a former band member I can distinguish between good and bad instruments and these sounded so well that I had a quick peek at the instruments they are using. Right. Just as I thought: GMS Drums.

In the bagpipe band we used quite some snare drums and they used a few different brands, because people brought their own drums with them. Even though all of them could be adjusted, the sound was not as good as when a band uses high performance instruments of the same brand. Especially when playing outside under all sorts of weatherconditions.

In the past I used to play pipers and when the sun started to burn on the instrument the pitch changed a bit. People didn't hear that well, but as I can hear very well it was not a nice sound.
So at that age, I was about 8, I decided that it was important to have the same brand instruments for the complete band.

The new band leader took me with him to shop for new instruments when the band finally could afford them and the advice of the expert impressed me. I never forgot it.

It's a pity the band outside has stopped, but within a few minites theyll start again, so I'm going to enjoy their wonderful music.
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Autism and black hair

Last week I saw a program on the BBC about autism.

Most young people with autism had black hair and had the same bodybuilt.
The resemblance between them was striking.

The first time my eyes caught this was about 15 years ago.
An online friend showed me some photos of her brother. He was diagnosed as autistic and displayed the same behavior as my son.
By the looks of them they could have been brothers.

Since then I've seen many autistic people and I think these people with the thick black hair belong to a certain syndrome within the autism diagnosis.
They all have a strong need to be in company, even though they have a hard time dealing with social behaviour and they tend to exclude strangers from their needs, thus limiting the social environment.
Most parents feel they are dedicating a lot of time to care and attention. And as learning is slow, they have to invest much energy in repeating small lessons, like "eat with a closed mouth", "say hello", and such.
Most of them, if not all, have eating disorders. Their hunger is profound, resulting in obesity.

Most parents of these young people complain about their lack of control over their own eating behaviour.
The costs are in a time like this a real problem, and the financial problems are enlarged by the fact that often new chairs need to be bought.

We've dealt and are still dealing with the same problems.
We've had a lot of chairs in our home that kept their identity for about a month. Then they were wood again.
It was not only the weight that caused that, but also a kind of tight repertoire of body movements.

Another feature which impresses me is the delay in development in dependency.
It's like they won't develop further than a certain age in their attachment to people.
My son behaves like a kid of 8 to 12. That's it.

When you're not aware that you have to look for small changes and should not expect clearly visible progress you're having a very hard time with these kids,even though they're very kind between the meltdowns.

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Stamps and coins

Yesterday I received some very nice stamps.
Collecting stamps has been one of my hobbies even though I wasn't able to invest much money.
In the past friends and family used to give me stamps. Sometimes I got a small bag they bought at the local stamp collector's shop.
The past years I've had some very nice ones when ordering beads for bracelets and telling the seller I also collect stamps and would prefer stamps on the envelope.

It's funny some people remember things and forget some important associations.

The same person who gave me the stamps yesterday told me he knew a trusted site online where they offer bulk morgan dollars for sale.
I was amazed, but also amused.
He thought I had a coin collection too?

Well, I do have a few ones, but they never were considered a collection.
I've never been able to collect the ones which were named after the famous coin engraver George T. Morgan.
Buying them in bulk is great as it's a good way to invest or to get presents for other collectors.

Be sure to educate yourself about the rules of purchases of these investor's and collector's items.
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We escaped by fate.

A while ago we planned to go this weekend to Amsterdam to find a dress for the gala event of school for one of the girls. She's petite and grandma Lotus has dresses of the perfect size in het shop and otherwise would want to make one for her.
But one way or another we forgot and yesterday evening, when we suddenly remembered the plans, we decided not to go.

The train we would have taken on our way home collided with another train. About 56 people were seriously injured. 13 of them are fighting for their lives. Over a hundred people had injuries which were less serious.

It's such a strange thought that we could have been on one of those trains, and that so many people were injured.

I have escaped a serious accident before.
When I was still living at home, I used to watch my father shave and talk with him before he went to work.
The routine was that he went to the bathroom and when he had passed my room I would leave it and walk behind him.

That day, for some unknown reason, I walked in front of him.
Would I have stayed in my room, like all the other days, just a few moments longer, I would have had the large marmor lamp on my head. I would have been killed, as the monstruosum was large, and tremendously heavy. For a long time I've felt very grateful that I escaped that ill fate.

 Today I feel tremendously sorry for all those who were on the trains there. It must have been awful!



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We're all different.

Being a mom of sons I've been confronted with a lot of questions about all sorts of subjects.
And because I'm a psychologist and I've worked at a hospital, people tend to think I know everything about everything. Which isn't true, ofcourse.

The other day a boy living in the neighbourhood was send to me by his mother because she thought I knew something about products some men and some sporters use.
The boys was fond of sports and thought he could boost his muscle growth with xanogen.

Ofcourse I was interested to know who gave him that information. Turned out he overheard some older guys talking about it.
As I think that kids never should use hormone supplements or something else to make them discountent with the size of bodyparts or their identity I told him this product was not meant for kids his age.
I turned to his mother to give her more information about the lack of knowledge about the product and about the cost of it. She nearly got a heart attack when she heard this was a testosterone booster and when she realised that she'd sent her own son to me with questions she should have researched herself well on internet, she uttered a thousand appologies.

All I can say about products like these is that a good upbringing and sound self-reflection should make a man aware that what he can't change with practice he shouldn't try to change. We're all different and that makes life so very interesting.


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'Til I Hear It From You



1. If someone, that you trusted, told you that your lover was cheating, would you believe them or not?

I'm too old for that question.


2. What is something that you are disappointed about right now?

I planned to do more this week, and there were too many things going on to stick to my plans. So no tidy attick.

3. Jonathan Frid, who was the original Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows from 1967-1971, passed away in Canada at the age of 87. Who is your favorite vampire?

None.

4. Should there be age limits on social networking sites such as facebook?

Well, I worked out a good system with the girls when school forced them to take a facebook account. I play at their facebook a game I like, so when something goes on they can easily ask me to have a look.
And they do.
Now I think the girls are old and wise enough to make good decisions at social sites, but I think parents should involve themselves far more than some do. Kids can write so easy: "Tomorrow we all have to go to the dentist at once" thus informing people about an empty house. And it's not only kids who are not aware of the implications of their writings.
So an age level and good information are requirements.
I also think that children shouldn't use their won names on internet.


5. Tell us about your pets. Do you have one that you wish would run away?

No pets here. But I would wish the allergies would run away. Does that count?

6. Do you ever have a hard time with morals?

No. Not at all.
But I do have a hard time with some people who think I do.

7. Did you make 'a plan' the first time you made love or did it just happen?

No plan, but we didn't jump on the bed the first time we met either.

8. Do you agree that fame is lousy or would you love to give it a try? Why?

Depends under what circumstances fame is an issue.
I've been on TV, at the first page of the paper and such, all in a good way, and it was a bit annoying to wait for the elevator at a large shop in town and being stared at, and people pushing elbows and whispering "that's her", but a friendly nod and just moving on was OK.

9. Do you believe in forever, as in 'love forever'?

I think some couples expeirence love forever.yes.
But many should split up when the kids are grown.
Maybe there are far more different kinds of love than we are aware of and we should incoorporate that difference in life far more.
I see many couples dealing well with life when they have kids to focus on, but when the kids leave there's nothing that binds them.
It should be easier to split up then. Like starting your life anew. Wiser.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Skipping gymnastics, that's all.

We had to wait quite a while after the ballet teacher wrote a letter to school to ask them to grant one of my daughters permission to skip gymnastics and give some other assistance during her preparations for the important audition for the ballet academy.

Well, they've granted the permission to skip gymnastics. Instead she has to write a paper why she loves ballet so much. So that's very kind.
But she doesn't get the support the topsporting pupils receive and that made the balletteacher a bit mad.

It's like only sporting pupils do something special. but balletdancers have to train just as hard.
The balletteacher supports our daughter as much as possible. She gives her lessons for free, which is great! I appreciate that so very much, and she knows it.
But the school keeps a far distance from anything that even suggests support even though her class teacher wants it.

Now the dyslexia is creating more problems, as at this level my daughter has to read far much more, we see no other option that to make school assign some special hours of remedial teaching to her.
I'm not happy with this constant fight with school, but it's just a few months and one of the girls has taken her finals and hopefully has passed, and next year at this time we'll be probably at the same stage with the second girl...maybe a year later, and then it's over.

For now we try to see things positively and enjoy the good moments of life.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the board now




Today we had the annual meeting of the paper.
The attendance was low, as I expected, as people don't feel committed to it.
Just those I worked with the past months were present.

Among some others I'm choosen at the board now, and in a way I feel ok with it.
On the other side it creates an enormous responsibility.
Others don't seem to feel it, but I do.

The paper was nearly dead when I arrived, some people are very reluctant to accept any change.
In order to revive the paper and push it over the threshold into the future changes need to be made, even if the friend who has worked there very long shall be against it.

I think the paper is worth the challenge and the changes. So....
But it would be nice to find someone who donates a few thousand each 3 months. It would create a stability the paper needs very much.

We've found someone who works at the office with one of my sons, the ICT one who is renewing the computers.

When my autistic son finds a place to stay I
ll be at the office a lot more, which is very convenient, because the girls have their balletlessons nearby and I can fetch them and bicycle home with them. Now one of the boys has to go to town and fetch one when only one goes, as we want her to arrive home safely.

It feels good to be a journalist again.
In the past I did the job too and enjoyed it a lot.
But now I run the paper and it's more and more my responsibility. Guess it won't be long until I'm the offcial chairman.

Many of the journalists of the regional and national papers worked at ours first, so I feel like I've taken a step into the future, whatever it might bring.
Now I would love to have one of those expensive camera's.  So I still have some dreams. :)

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ain't Too Proud to Beg



1. What was the last thing that you begged for?

I never ever beg.
That's a decision I took after I begged some social worker to change her description of me.
She depicted me as a needing person, who suffered from ill health and was a burden for my children. Implying I was unable to take care of my family.

Well, everyone who knows me knows I'm very well able to take care of my family and I certainly won't impose health problems on the children. I don't suffer from ill health even though I'm dealing with some nasty chronic diseases. It's a matter of attitude towards disease and I sure do have that attitude. LOL!
She didn't bother to change her description, so we suffered the consequences from that, as you know.

After that failure of someone who is taken as an official information supplier and feeling dependent on the opinion of someone else I've decided never to beg for something like that again.

If you want to think I'm a feeble old lady who depends on the support of her children, please expose yourself as plain stupid and non-observant. maybe others will even think you're jealous because I was able to raise 6 kids without any proper help (apart of some after the deliveries).

2. Have you ever lost a best friend after a fight?

No.

3. When was the last time you just wanted to be invisible?

Last week when two kids of about 3 were discussing digging a hole in the sand of the playground near our houses. The voices where so funny and the way they repeated each other. I was invisible, standing on the gardenpath, until I realised my appointment wouldn't wait. LOL!

4. Which room of your home tends to be the messiest?

The attick needs attention, and my room is mainly the room I put things that need to be put away. And as I don't have always time.

Needless to say the kids need sometimes some positive reinforcement to tidy their room. They're old enough for me not to see it. LOL!

5. You are to be locked in a room forever with a celebrity. You get to choose. Who do you pick?

Dunno.

6. Has someone ever left another person to be with you?

Strange question? What do you mean?

7. What’s been kind of a drag for you lately?

Dealing with the paperwork for protected living of my son and the official organisations involved.
Kind of boring to repeat things on paper over and over again, espcially as they tend to report paperwork got lost.

8. How are you different from your (current or most recent) significant other?

Completely different.
Different interests, different character. Almost everything.

9. What is the most perverted thing someone has ever said to you?

That I abused my children and would be sued for that, just to make me say my husband abused the kids.
I was shaken, completely chacken and shocked by that. I never ever laid a finger on the kids, nor my hb.
It made me physically feel sick, as I believe kids should be raised in a positive environment and that positive reinforcement, trust and patience is the trick, not hurting kids.
Later that person said no such thing was said.
Well, two years later or so she was officiale removed from her job because something similar. When I remember well someone taped her telephone conversation and could proof borders were crossed.


Want to read more answers from other people?
Or maybe participate?
Click the image and you'll get to Samantha's site.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Enjoying spring

A tiny bit of rain made my garden change tremendously.
It's like it contained the best fertilizer ever used.

The prunus is showing signs of redness, so the blossom will develop next week when the weather will be ok.
The apple trees are showing leaves. I hope they'll produces apples this year.
Last year I had about 3 of them and the year before 5. The rest were eaten by the birds. LOL!

The neighbours have taken down their apple tree.
I still feel happy we were best friends with the person who lived there before them and the person before that one. We were best friends and they enjoyed giving us what was on the tree. The harvest was always a full day of hard work, because of the enormous amount of apples.

It's also fun to see that some of the forsythia branches I put in the soil have rooted. So there are small sprinkles of yellow at the borders now.

I wish I have more time to work in the garden, but the paper takes a lot of time and there's a family to take care of, so.. .
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No gymnastics?

The balletteacher of my daughter has decided it's time to remove gymnastics from the school's schedule. The reason she's written down is that it negatively influences the development of balletmuscles. She didn't mention one of the main other reasons she even considers more important: the meny injuries caused during the gymnastic lessons. At the schools of the boys we've seen in all those years just 2 people with inuries that ware gym-related. That's all. At the school of the girls it's sometimes two in a month! Just a short while ago one of my daughters witnessed another pupil getting hurt. She was the one taking appropriate action by moving the boy aside and fetching a cold pack as soon as possible. The teacher did nothing and my daughter thinks the injury was not even taken serious. After the discussion we had at school about the cross country running event and the assignment that should be taken instead, we are rather unpleasantly curious what will be the assignment in case they agree with skipping gymnastics. If there will be an assignment at all. Because the pupils who are considered preparing for topsports have to do nothing instead.
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Do smart phones have smart owners?

I don't have a smart phone.
My phone is of the old fashioned simple style. I can call someone and someone can call me. That's the basic system.

The message on the answering machine states that I can't call back.

That's because I don't know how to listen to the messages.
And I don't care to learn it.

We're living in a time that people are dictating others when and how long they should be available.
I don't want my time to be the pocession of others, I want to spend it the way I want.

The last time I see more people in my environment buy a smartphone.
They show it off and ask me if I want one too.

It's not about wanting, it's about being able to afford and it's about lifestyle.

The smart phone owners I know are better trained in brainless conversations.
They know how to give an answer without giving true attention.
So I know some kids who ask their moms: "Mom, you don't agree I'm without sweets, huh?" "Nono...I don't agree" is the reply, when they move their finger across the screen to move something I can't see.
The kids run away and make a dive in the sweetbox. "Got it!!"
With me the exchange of smiles. LOL!

One of my co workers of the paper is completely controlled by his wife through the smart phone. He messages her to tell where he's going and even when he's due home.
So last week I got a small devil in me after he messaged her and I went to the shop opposite our office to see who the people are and what kind of shop it is.
Turned out to be a marketing firm. Nice people.
I hope my co worker's wife understands we've spend a few minutes there on my initiative.

Often I feel very silly when I'm in the company of smart phone users.
Either they want to show the thing off, so I have to see how flexible the menu is, how easy one can scroll through pictures and things like that, or they're caught up playing with it.
To be honest, I'm not really interested in what the thing is able to do. So I nod politely asking myself why I should care? Oh, I'm happy they have something nice. No problem with that. But it has no place in my life at all.
I'd rather go through the photos with my children telling tales and joking, having another look and seeing someone else take the photo up and tell another story.

Often I feel I shouldn't be present when people deal with their smart phones, whether they call someone or play with it.
Like they are more interested in people who're not present than with me.

It always makes me ask myself if those owners of smart phones are smart enough to take part in real life.
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday sun and spring cleaning

We've had such a beautiful springweather a short while agao, but now it looks like it's autumn again.

I feel like spring cleaning though so we went through the clothes and sorted them out.
A friend of the girls said they can use good looking ones in their family and I'm more than happy to give them to that family.
In fact I stored quite a lot at the attick for people who can use them. I didn't want them to end up in the shredder.
But the attick is loaded and a lot has to be removed.

Now the kids are moving to a new stage of their lives I'm more than ready to get the attick as emtpy as possible, maybe even create a space for myself there.

I used to have my own space at what later became the babyroom and even later became the room of the girls.
With a far too busy family the attick was the place to put things without looking back. With in the head: later....later... later I will clear the whole lot out and sort it and...

To my feeling that time is appearing.

In fact I feel the time has come to change the whole house.
And oh my dear, that creates a lot of untidiness before everything is rearranged. Can't do everything in one day.

But I want to store things in such a way that when one moves out he can take his lot and leave me with the empty space.
With everything piled up year after year thats a lot of sorting.

The last thing I'll probably do is putting photos in the albums.
In my mind that a job for when I'm too old to move through the house the whole day.
How nice it'll be to go through all those memories.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Must Be Seeing Things



1. Have you ever watched something unfold, that as you watched, you could not believe what you've witnessed?

Yes, ofcourse.
But I don'ty thtink it's up to me to tell those stories, as tghe privacy of people is involved.

2. What is your favorite city in the world? Why?

I used to hate Amtserdam, but now I like to be there.
There's a nice buddhist temple there and around it a lot of chinese live and work.
I'm not chinese, and I don't even look like I am, but they have always made me feel welcome. They even invited me over to their buddhist events, and they accept that I'm a tibetan buddhist, whereas they are of a slightly different tradition.
It's nice to feel so welcome and to find they have bought, for instance, something special Tibetan they know I will love. Even when I can't afforsd it the prize is suddenly far different from the regular prize.
It moves me to tears to see these people always involve people from the Tibetan community in their city events, which is completely against the way Tibetans are treated in the country of their roots.

Well, I guess my blog will be blocked for the chinese readers for the next three years again.

I also liked London, but I haven't been there for so very long... Time to go and see for myself if I still have that special connection.

3. What is the strangest film, to your sense of reality, that you have ever seen?

I can't remember names of films.
But a while ago I saw a short movie I didn't understand at all. It looked nice though, but the storyline was wasted on me.

4. It seems that the older that you get, the less you want the hassle of seeing a live concert. Who is an artist or a band that you'd actually pay to see?

Give me the money and I spend it on something else. LOL!

Well, I used to love to go to live concerts. We always have some of them in the summer, mainly of unknown bands.
I would love to go to Santana...and stand in the front row and dance.

5. When was the last time that you lost your temper?

Pooh...well... uhmmm... don't know. That's long ago.

6. When you were little, did you think "sex" was a bad word?

I'm so old that when I was little the word didn't exist. Not for me.

7. What does your smart phone do that really surprised you when you loaded the app?

Why do you assume I have one.
I don't.

8. Have you ever been attracted to someone that you should not have been? (Feel free to take this lame question any way that you please.)

Yep, he was married and my fancied love was gone soon.

9. Will you see the new "The Three Stooges" film?

I don't know what you're talking about, so the answer is: "No".


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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

His wedding ring

We received a wedding announcement of a dear friend in the mail this morning.
His fiancee is an artist and she made the card.
It was beautiful
Drawn with ink and then coloured with watercolours that were merely fading clouds.
Wonderful!

Just an hour later he called.
If we like it.
"Yep, those who are at home like it. Those who aren't will like it."

I heard he wanted to ask something else, so I asked what he wanted me to do.
Turned out he couldn't decide which wedding rings to buy. He couldn't find the perfect ring for himself.

They both have a celtic background and honor their roots, so I understood immediately what he was talking about.
But I also had the right solution to his problem and presented him the url with even a choice between different mens wedding rings.

I don't think I've ever made someone happy in such a short time over the phone.

Because the shop offered free engraving he decided to have their motto engraved in the rings.

To be able to help him this way made me feel very happy. He's a guy who is always ready to assist others, whether it's driving them to work early in the morning, do the shopping for his old aunt, or do the garden for the neighbours.

Don, I wish you a very happy wedding and the day of days!
With better days to follow, ofcourse.

Your rings come with a lifetime warranty, so no worries about that!

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Spring cleaning.. and more

I'm in the middle of a huge spring cleaning.

And more...

My second son has found a nice appartment and I think he can take a few things he left on the attick.

One of the girls is taking her final exams and might find a place to study in another town, so she needs a few things... yep... from the attick.
And when she passes we can throw away a lot of schoolstuff...and we will!

My autistic son is talking about living in a protected environment and I sure won't stand in his way. So I can sort out his things a bit too.

On top of it all someone really can use some of the clothes I stored for the occassion, so they need to be sorted too.

The girls want to change their room, the boys are changing theirs too (and how!).

So I'm busy everywhere.

Cleaning downstairs at times, sorting things out upstairs, writing my bits.
Caring for the family, worrying about an ill friend.
It nearly got at me last week when we all had the flu.

The flu was nasty. We all got it and it lasted quite a while. With lots of belly aches, nausea and such.
Ofcourse my diabetes got messed up, which is never good.

Most of us feel better now and I sure do.

But I have to work my way through everything that needs to be done.

On top of it the house owner decided to send the painters.
That means protecting plants in the front garden and taking away the special roof we made against the wall, to protect us when we go into the garden.

So lots of extra work.

It's more than a simple spring cleaning this year.
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Flowercoupons

Last week a new program started on TV.
I don't know how it's called, because it's at prime time and I'm always busy doing something. Most of the time doing the dishes.

But when I'm called and I sit down, a cup of coffee has been made by one of the kids and I don't care how the program is called anymore.
It's about people using coupons.
Not the way we are allowed here.
We get coupons like the ones for two for the prize of one, three with a discount of 10%. No free items at all.
And we're only allowed one coupon per product. So we can't use more than one coupon for one item.
It's also impossible to use the enormous piles of coupons people use in that program.
One per person per brand.
And no other discounts on the same product, just one.

I saw coupons on Proflowers.com the other day and I would love to see that here. I absolutely love flowers, either in the garden, or if they need to be cut, on the table, as long as possible.

It's amazing to see how people use coupons to save hundreds of dollars.
I can imagine what I would do with so many savings.

But I'm not sure were to put all those groceries that are not imemdiately needed.
Those women, and a few men, have special rooms in their large house to store these items like they've got a shop.
One woman had 4 rooms full of groceries, the kitchen, a special cabinet for meds, and a garage for car supplies and cleaners.

Her house was so very large I doubt if she needs those coupons to have a nice life.

Shopping that way required a lot of preparation and indeed, she needed a lot of her time to find coupons and calculate what she needed to do to get the best discounts.
In fact family members had to help her find the coupons and cut them, organise them into piles, and then it took hours to find out how to get the most gain.

I can't live that way, and I'm glad we can't use coupons like that.
It saves me a lot of time and stress.

But I would love to have a flower coupon, though.

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A small spot

In the middle of the road is a small spot with pavement and a traffic light.
I've passed it thousands of times without consciously seeing it, but yesterday it was different.

It was covered with flowers, notes and some furr animals.

This was the place where that young girl died, due to a stupid mistake of a truck driver and the commercial pressure not to loose time by following the rules and turning at the next turnabout, about 600 metres from there.

A man with white hair, and artifical sunned skill is hanging on the traffic light with one hand, leaning against it not to take any place.
He looks sad.

It's obvious he's mourning her sudden death.

I planned to take a photo for the paper, but immediately I let it go.
No way I wanted to disturb this froozen image in the busy traffic of the early morning.

My girls wanted to lay flowers there, but after careful consideration we decided it would be best to send a personal card to the parents and rest of the family. They live nearby.

Later, when we are driving home, we pass the same small spot.
It's like a silence is on the road there.

A sadness which will never ever disappear,
and will be gone when the council workers remove the flowers and other expressions of grief.

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Another appointment

Today we went with our autistic son to his psychiatrist.

I like the guy far more than the former one.
This ones listens, digests the new information he gets and really thinks along with us.
He comes up with new ideas.

He's less charming than the former one.
That guy had more social skills. He knew how to throw people in feeling of wellbeing so they would forget where they came for.
He never showed any hesitation to make me write letters he copied with a change of one or two words. And even though he suggested we worked together, I didn't think we did.

When things got rough he showed his true face. Which meant that his own interpretation of s situation he didn't know anything about was pushed on me in such a way that he violated the ethics of his profession.
let'sleave it at that.
At the moment I could have done with a professional attitude of questioning in a scientific way, he got sucked up in his own misconceptions. Bah!

There was no way to keep this from the new psychiatrist who listened carefully, asked some critical questions, took no position at all, chewed a while on the subject and then made some good remarks and asked how my family and I were doing. Wow!

Well today he listened carefully again.
My sons meds are not working properly. They create a chaos in his head and to stay on top of it he repeats the same over and over again. 20 times, thirty times, fourty times.
Not sentences, stories.
And where we would get bored about ourselves and get detached from the emotions, my sons gets emotional over and over again.
I can deal with a lot, but not with this.
I'm a patient person, but not patient enough to be a saint.

So after careful wighing the pros and cons, and the psych mentioning the side-effects, which he has to do by law, we had no choice than to try something else.

He took it last evening and I wish it works and brings his pleasant positive old self back again.

The guy also had a god referral we're sure going to use.

So even though he was not charming at all, not smiling at me like I was the only woman in town, not giving us the feeling that we were lifted out of daily life, he gave us the feeling he really tried to offer the best he has.

That's what I value most!
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Autism and money

It's autism awareness month, so I think it's good to tell you something about the way our autistic son deals with money.

Ofcourse we taught him everything he needs to know to lead a healthy financial life.
That means staying out of debt, planning regular spendings and costs of daily life well and keep a close look on politics, because the past years many changes have been made that influence the financial situation of people like us.

We informed him about the consequences of using a debt service and the pitfalls of using credit cards.

He's one of those autistic people who have only one special interest: computers and games.
And he forgets that when you get a discount it's not the discount that defines your financial situation at the end of the month, but the amount of money spent.

So it's a day to day struggle to make him aware of the impact of his wants. because he wants everything.

Last week he found an offer on internet of a game shop that is closing. All he wanted to do was to buy the cheap games. Well, I was able to make him sell some old games.
He asked if he could have some money in advance to pay for the new ones. Much to his irritation I didn't agree with this plan.

He understands that the main reason for the recession is the loans people took to pay for items the wanted. That even when you get a mortgage for your house, it's a loan, and that means you're not able to pay for the house.
But he's not able to project this idea on his own situation.

In a way I have to repeat the basics of a healthy financial life over and over again.
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stuck in the Middle With You



1. In romance, have you ever been stuck in the middle with someone?

I don't quite understand the expression, but I think I do.
I was in love with a nice guy and a girl tried to elbow me aside by telling me he had chosen her. He told me he didn't and told her off.

2. Which current commercial is the currently most annoying to you on TV or radio?

A shoe commercial which contains a lot of yelling. Ugh!

3. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning?

Motivating others to keep everything clean for ever!

4. What area is your expertise in?

I've been taught a lot in my life and I went through a lot.

I'm a critic, and I've learned not only to deliver the criticism, but to offer an alternative too. Areas"dance/ballet, singing, writing and a lot more. Who cares?

5. Have you ever bumped into a former lover and found out they were now gay or straight depending on your relationship with them?

No.

6. When was the last time that you got stabbed in the back?

Don't ask! Those officials reading this might take it personally.
They should.

7. For a few years in a row, you receive a nice tax refund: do you make an adjustment with your payroll deduction so they’ll take less, or do you leave it that way so that you can continue to receive the big check every spring?

It doesn't work here like that.

8. Do you remember the most naughty night of your life? (And do tell a bit, if comfortable)

Ofcourse I don't remember. Do you?

But it was quite moderate considering what others call naughty.

9. How would you handle yourself if you were regularly in the press and tabloids?

I have been in the press in a positive way and I could handle that well.
But when there would be a negative storm... don't think I can cope with that with as much peace of heart.

.
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