Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just Like a Pill

1. What was the last pill your doctor prescribed? Why?

Meds for diabetes.

2. How well do you swim?

rather well.
When I was young I even won contests for school and for the district.

3. Who has a big mouth that you like?

I don't know.

4. Do you believe in political correctness?

Yes, one should strive for it.
But many politicians don't even try.

5. Do you ever patronize people?
Can't remember.. so it doesn't happen often.
I think all people are equal, we make different choices.
I'm not perfect, others aren't perfect.

6. Do you or someone you know strive constantly to be perfect?

Yes, I know a few.
Some are very nice.

7. What song are you totally sick of and why?

There's one song that's plugged this season, and when I hear it I'm ready to switch off whatever is playing it.

8. How old were you when you got cocky? Or did you never go there?

I never felt the need when I was young.
My grandma said: Just be yourself and that's enough.
It is.

9. When you compete with someone, have you ever gotten hostile?


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Friday, June 29, 2012

She's got her diploma!

Yesterday we went to school with one of the girls to fetch her diploma.

We had a good discussion before what to wear.
That might seem odd, but it isn't.
At the school of the boys people liked to look neat and dressed well on official occassions, but this school considers itself more down to earth. In fact they miss the opportunity to make things special and make kids more aware that the way they dress can add to an event.

My daughter bought a nice afforable dress, as you might have read before.
She had one of those shouldercardigans on it and after searching for shoes, she decided she would use a pair of mine.
She looked very nice. Not overdressed, but very, very nice.

I had an attack of "nothing to wear" before deciding for black trousers, a very nice blouse, and sparkling shoes.

When we arrived there we were confronted with 80% denim trousers, 11% other daily wear and a few people who had taken an effort to look nice.

A friend rushed to us when she saw us. Mutual congratulations followed and then she exclaimed: "I'm so glad you look nice too, I felt such an exception to the denim rule".

78 kids had to get a speech dedicated to them.....
We sat there for hours!!! From 14.30 to 18.30 !!!

Well, at least the airco worked.

My daughter was one of the very few who didn't get a negative remark.
She was the only one to hear that when all other pupils would have been like her it would have been a perfect year.
She was told she was kind, caring, supportive of others, participating in an active way, communicating with everyone at school, etc etc. She also worked hard and serious. And the speaker said he would love to be in hospital with her as his nurse, as he's sure she'll become a good one.
Everybody had a laugh before he said that, well, he'd rather not be in hospital.
She was also one of the 4 who were praised for their politeness, good use of language and that sort of things.

I wish those people who had all those negative things to say about us could have heard what was said yesterday.
Especially because they didn't withhold anything. Some boys were told they were lazy, one of the girls was intoxicated with alcohol at a party and more of those things. I was flabbergasted they were saying those negative things in front of such a huge audience. Like they liked it. Ugh.

Well, my daughter, after hearing the comment on others, was so happy she was praied such a lot that she fetched her paperwork and rose and jumped of the stage, instead of allowing a photo moment. LOL!
She was sooooo happy!

Just one kid to go.
I hope we'll be there next year and she'll get her diploma.
I'm sure she will be praised for all her sister was praised for. And for her persistence in dealing with dyslexia.
So wish her luck too.


That helmet saved her.

Yesterday we had a terrible shock.
Two motorcyclists were standing in front of the trafficlights waiting to get entrance on the roundabout.
We saw them last week, but with their gear on one only recognises them by their drivingstyle. And by their motorcycle helmet, but I have to say that sometimes they pass so fast I forget to look at it.

The last time the female driver had problems with the right speed to start driving.
Her motorcycle jumped like a horse and she almost fell off.

This time she accelarated more smoothly and before our car they entered the roundabout.

We were not driving fast, and that turned out to be a real advantage.

As we were selecting driveways and moved to the right, she suddenly got to the right too, came in front of our car, had a jump of the motorcycle again and fell.
Because we saw the last time she probably was a novice on the motorcycle we were prepared for problems, so we came to a sudden standstill very fast and luckily no one bumbed at our back.

We went outside to help her, ordered her to keep lying the way she did and not to move at all and called an ambulance. Better safe than sorry.
Her friend or brother was very emotional, so I refrained from asking him how much experience she has on the motorcycle.
I just asked him if we could call someone for him, and needed to ask it 5 times before he realised someone was talking to him.

By that time the ambulance arrived.
I commented on their sopeedy arrival and they said they had the habit of waiting beside the road nearby after some of their stations were shut and they wouldn't be able to reach people with a stroke etc in time if they had to come from the hospital.

We got a compliment for keeping the girl stable and she was put in the ambulance on a backboard.
We gave our phonenumber and asked to call us how she's doing.

In teh evening she called us herself, telling she had been very lucky. She was saved by the helmet and the fact that we reacted adequately.
Well, I think she's lucky the other drivers hit their brakes as fast as we did.
Told her to get some extra drivinglessons.

What would you have done?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just a few hours

One of my daughters really looked forward to the special day with her classmates.
They had to bring the books back to school and from there they would go to one of the lakes nearby to have a fun time there.

The weather was gloomy, not summery at all, so she thought it best to take her swimsuit with her.
They had all agreed that with bad weather they would go to the swimmingpool.

After that they would go to the other side of town to have a BBQ.

So I didn't expect her back before late. And we also arranged that her brother would fix her with the car if she had no one to bycicle with.

We said our goodbyes and have a nice time wishes.

An hour later I heard someone in the back garden and I went outside, ready to give a burglar a good scare.
It was her.

They considered the weather too cold....
for an indoor swimmingpool?

When it was almost time to leave again it turned out she needed to fetch a classmate who didn't know where to go.
We had a look at g..maps where she lived and looked around a bit.
The BBQ address was near the pace where I've lived half my life, so she had a good look at the screen.
Then she went.
Waving goodbye: "Till past 22.00 hours!"

Not even three hours later she was back again.
They had a quick BBQ and that was it.
She even had a look around in my old neighbourhood with her classmate because they were far too early.
Recognised the house where I lived and such.

I feel sorry she had such expectations of this day.
She herself said she had a nice time with her classmate looking around at places she saw online. Feel the atmosphere of the neighbourhood. Imagining me as a small child.
She even saw the school where I was as a small girl. Had my first balletlessons.

So she had a highlight in her day and she felt happy with it.
At the same time we're happy she'll have her last year there next year.
The school has let her down so many times.
Lots of bullying, not standing up for her.

Now they need her in the board she's welcomed there.
But they forget she's given good advice a long long time before, but the teachers thought their ego was far more important than what that schoolgirl tried to accomplish.
Some teachers are OK. No problem with them.
But those two who told lies about her...
One rotten egg in a batch makes the whole batch stink at times.

Well, I'm glad her classteacher this year was a kind one.
I liked her far better than anyone before.
Such a pity she might get someone else next year.



He's got his scales

Our autistic son wanted scales.
He's got an eating disorder and is hungry all the time.
Complicating factor is that his medication also induces hunger and prevents weightloss.

We're very happy with his present psychiatrist, because he tries to find out where the problems come from.
The former ones just acted like his weight didn't matter.
I've complained about it a hundred times and only on two occassions something was done: writing a letter to let someone else deal with it.
Resulting in other doctors stating it was up to the psychiatrist to find a facility to sport alone.
Well, it's not here in town.

Because I keep commenting on his unwanted behaviour and giving positive feedback on his good behaviour, my son is very aware of his problem.
I cook healthy, provide a minimum of extra's, but he's still huge.

Last week he got his weighing balance from
He is very happy with it because he's able to monitor his weight himself now.

I'm also trying to make him keep an eating diary.

And when he lives at his new place I'll give him a recipebook for healthy meals.

Right now I'm trying to motivate him to help a younger boy who needs to exercise.
That way he'll move a bit more himself.

Not scientific at all

Today I came across the annual reports of an organisation for alcohol- and drugabuse.
I thought it to be interesting for the readers of the paper to write something about it. Especially as the regional paper paid some extra attention to it and I thought it deserved a bit more space.

Often one has to request researchpapers, but this time I could download it.
I should have known.

They questioned a few people in the pubs in town and generalised the numbers to the whole population of the region.

Well, what do you expect in a pub?

And the later you come the more they have consumed.

We all know that, don't we?

We all know that in a pub there's a large chance you'll find people with drinking problems.
A pub is the place to look.
Not at the hairdresser, not at the handbagshop.
You'll probably end up generalising that almost no one in the population drinks.

I guess the writers of the paper forgot that.

So I wonder why on earth they wrote that paper in such a way.
It's completely unscientific.
Are they stupid?
Do they think other people are stupid?

Well, it's clear they got a lot of subsidies because they numbers of alcohol- and drugabuse users are growing.

Will be interesting to see if they have to give it back.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Power outage

We just had a serious power outage.
I don't know what happened, but it was clearly not caused in our house.

But I have a rather good idea what might have been the case.

This weekend the annual neighbourhood festivities are held.
We've been there to take some photos for the paper.

Last week they announced a special event: a concert at the lake.
So I thought it would be something like in Amsterdam, with a large stage on the water.

Instead there were some tents between the lake and the other part of the neighbourhood, some tables and chairs, and some stands for the market of tomorrow.
Not at the least impressive.

The music was eh...well tried.

The electricity cables where on the floor. Not very safe.
I assume someone stumbled over one of them and disconnected the power without realising it.
The safety system detected the disconnection and an automatic outage was the result.

Or... they might have used too much electricity, causing the whole system to shut down.

One way or another after quite a while they found the problem, solved it and we're back in light and online.

What did I write the other day about electricity dependency? LOL!

In the end he was right

In the bagpipeband and at home we use quite a lot of accessories for our instruments.
I play more instruments than the bagpipe alone, and as a consequence people think I know almost everything about musical instruments.
That's not the case.

But I do know quite a lot about mouthpieces, reeds and tunign equipment.

A while ago one of the girls decided to change subjects at school.
The gymnastic lessons where interfering with her balletlessons, so she decided to take one of the artistic subjects.
She missed about 3 months of the subject and the teacher didn't bother to inform her what they had done in the former lessons, not what she had to prepare for her first one.

I feel he wanted to shock her.

So she sat there, competely new and he suddenly fired a question about Korg digital pianos to her. "Tell me something about them", he said.

In her cool and sometimes distant attitude she took her time and then answered: "They're the best."
For a minute it was completely silent in the classroom, then he looked at her and walked towards his desk and took a thing oput of the drawer and handed it to her.
"What's that?"
"Without a blink she looked at it and said: "It's a ligature".
"For what?"
"A saxophone mouthpiece".

Well, he was very impressed.

She was lucky.
The evening before I had to exchange the reed of the highland hornpipe, which is embedded in a saxophone mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is attached to the hornpipe with a ligature. She sat beside me watching the whole process.

Last week she had to perfom self-composed music on a digital piano.
She didn't feel very confident, because the teacher gave a fellow student a difficult time with sudden questions.

She came home after the performance with a big smile.
She had done very well, and he didn't ask anything else than: "I think you're from a family where more people than you play an instrument, am I right?"

Well, he's right!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind

1. Do you ever have trouble making up your mind?

Ofcourse, who hasn't?
But usually I can make decisions, if needed very fast.

2. Do you think you always learn from your mistakes?

No, it's human to keep making the same mistakes.
But I belief that in time we can deal with them and move on.

3. Have you ever felt that you were either older or younger, for your age during a particular time?

Both, but not at the same time. LOL!

4. Have you had trouble losing weight?

Yes. When I stopped ballet, I stopped far too rigourous.
So I gained a lot. I never could compete with my past, so it sticked.

5. Who's the most "wholesome" rock artist that you like?

I don't know. And in fact I don't care.

6. Do you like to party or are you more of a homebody?


7. Do you feel the need to share your burdens?

Not my daily aches. I'm not a person who complaints a lot. It doesn't help one little bit, so why burden someone else?
But there are some issues in life I want to share, because some people have some good things to say about it, or share the experience. Sometimes sharing even means getting the opportunity to change a lot for other people.

8. Do you know the lady next door? (yes, you can pick either side.)

We don't have much contact with the one at the right. (my right. LOL!)
She's in a strange relationship with her husband. He's got ADHD and she orders him around and gets very angry when he forget things or does things different. So it resulted to a lot of arguing and loud rows.
I said something about it in spring 2011, something to one of the boys like "please close the door so the other kids won't hear this" the and she got mad and closed the window with a loud bang. I guess she suddently became aware how much of a burden the daily fighting was.
It has been rather quiet since then, but the words that have been exchanged are minimal.

At the other side I know that neighbor rather well.
She's nice, compassionate, and she shares experiences with us, like dyslexia.
She likes to hear my experiences with schools, because her mum fought the same battles in almost the same way.

9. Do you ever feel inferior?

Oh yes.
But I'm not dwelling on it anymore.
When I feel inferior it usually has to do nothing with me.
I feel inferior when people look down on me. They should respect me instead. So...

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Friday, June 22, 2012

The joy of internet

It's nice to see people enjoy internet.
To me it means relaxation, global communication, knowledge and a creative outlet.

More and more people have to be on internet and I feel that people are almost forced to do so.
Some payments can only be done by online banking, so older people have to go online if they want or not.

I don't think they should be introduced to internet by explaining them the how to do's of banking.
I think it's far better to make them enjoy the medium and relax by using it.
They will remember new knowledge and new usages far better that way.

One of the easy ways to enjoy internet is to help them use a free website creator.
There's no need to learn compicated things.
Just follow the visual cues and that's it.

Putting a few photo's online should be easy, but they also should know the implications of putting photos online.
Internet security is important and when they understand what can happen when you display your loved items on internet, they will soon enough understand the importance of passwords and other information.

It can be shared all over the world.

I think one of the most important things is to teach older people what physing means and how it's done, to prevent them from handing out their passwords.

But never forget the joy of internet!

Strange ways to win the elections

Just a few months and we have to vote again.

In this time of recession political parties resort to the most ridiculous plans to win a few voters.

Take for instance one of the smaller parties that want to change the law against hacking.
They want to legalize distributed-denial-of-service attacks, Ddos attacks.
Ddos attacks are targetted actions to get a website overloaded so it goes offline.
These actions are often used as a kind of protest against an organisation or business.

The political party want them acknowledged as protests and not as criminal facts under strict conditions.
They should be announced in time so a judge can forbid them, and the organisation or business can take action to counteract the overload.

They consider Ddos attacks as a way of internetfreedom.

Are they nuts?

When I break in the house of someone else and take it down it's still criminal, isn't it?
Well, websites are property too and shouldn't be taken down.

It worries me that parties come up with such ridiculous ideas and take the focus away from what they really should do: generate plans for good cut-backs that won't affect poor people.



The clock at the paper wasn't working properly so we took it down and bought a new one.
It runs on batteries, not on electricity.
I hate it when there's an outage we don't know the time.

Ofcourse I used a saft battery to make it work.
We always have a nice collection ready for use, because there are always people needing batteries.
Often we use the kind that can be reloaded. It's more economic and environmentally friendly to use them.

The disposable ones are collected here when they're empty.
We've got a box in the kitchen to collect them and when the box is fill we bring the batteries to one of the shop that collects them there or to the socalled chemical van.
That's a van to collect the different chemicals that can't be thrown in the bin because of pollution. One can bring the batteries there too.
The van is stationed every wednesday afternoon at the small shoppingcentre near our neighbourhood.
Very convenient.

Electricity dependency

The past year we've been confronted with a lot of problems reaching the online bank.
It's ridiculous that we are forced to handle more and more administration online whereas the system can't handle it at all.
Even the tax office couldn't been reached due to too many people needing to fill in the online forms.

Why do we need to go online?

It's nice to protect nature because we're not using as many trees for paper.
But is using internet as cheap as it's suggested?
Electricity is needed.
On the side of the bank to keep our accounts updated and accessible, and on our own side, to go on internet.
Many people have a lamp near the computer to ease their eyes.
Disposing of old computers and manufacturing new ones costs a lot to and creates even more pollution.

I don't like the fact that we've become so much dependent on electricity.
The past years lightning has caused an increasing amount of damage.
For a large part due to the fact that electricity was not available.

It's not only because at home we can't reach our money anymore, it's also we can't pay in shops, sometimes can't even enter them, can't use certain trains, freezers won't work, etc etc.

Today one of the towns that was hit by lightning last night is still mainly without electricity.
People are complaining a lot.

Even medical care is compromised because the computers won't work and electricity is limited at medical facilities.

It worries me that so many people's lives can be put on hold because electricity dependency.


He wants quality

My father had a very nice wallet and he had it for years.
He was careful with it. Even impregnated the leather once in a while.
I don't think it's necessary nowadays.

The leather wallets for men are already well prepared for heavy duty at the factory.

One of my sons, the security guard, needs a new wallet and he said he wants one that looks professional and is of high quality.
It was fun to hear him talk that way, and I know where his sudden shift form carelessness to quality comes from.

People in his profession wear identity badges all the time and the past year he had to deal with lots of card holders and sleeves that didn't even survive a day.
Except for one badge holder that he got from his father after he received his diploma.

It's not always allowed to wear your own card holder, but on the better security jobs people are more aware of quality and allow personal sleeves and such as long as they are transparent.

So he now wants quality for his other things.
Ofcourse we agree with his improved lifestyle.

It's nice to see such changes.

So a new chair

I've let you know I could hardly sit because my back and hip hurted too much.

The problem was limited to the chair at the desk.
I was already looking for a new chair, but couldn't find one that we can afford.

Yesterday one of our sons needed to look for a bedside table, and he asked if I wanted to go with him.
You know... mom's advice and such. LOL!
He's got a serious relationship with a nice girl, but he's still juggling with the male independency thing. So mom was asked. LOL!

We had a good time looking around at the furniture warehouse everybody knows.
He didn't find his bedside table.
Well, he saw some nice things but forgot to take measurements at home.

Then I discoved a chair that looked like it could be mine.

We went through quite some effort to take it from the shelf before I could try it out.
One of the salespeople even came to help apologizing for it being put there.

It was quite comfortable and the back gave some soft support, instead feeling like brick.
When I looked at the pricetag I was surprised. 7.95 euro. Wow!

We placed the chair on the shelf again and walked away after noting the numbers and where to find the package.

We walked past a table and there it was: the chair!!

The salesperson didn't even notice it. Haha.

At home we followed the instructions and ofcourse one screw didn't fit.
It's always one screw!

Well, it can do without.

I'm sitting now a lot better, and my back hurts less.
I think it will be fine tomorrow.


His van with the job side security boxes

Now our kids and their friends grow older life isn't becoming less interesting. Even though I have to say that when they were little kids I enjoyed the simplicity of life.

The other day one of the friends of our boys paid a visit.
It was so nice to see him.
A full grown man.
Still with his curly blonde hair, but also with a low voice and the self-esteem that belongs to his age for people who do well.

I was a pain when he was young. I remember telling him he was not welcome in our garden for a whole week, because he was bullying another kid a bit. He felt so bad, but took it serious and reported at my door precisely 7 days later. On the time!

he now travels around the country to fix complicated heating problems other technicians can't solve.
he showed me his van, with equipment carefully stored away in job site security boxes.
We had a good laugh, because he used to be one of the most untidy people in the world. His mom complained about him a lot.

"She's now proud of me", he said.
Well, she should be.
I even felt proud, and I'm not even his mom or aunt.
But he was a very important part of the childhood of my children.
And it was good to hear he's grateful for the way I didn't accept some of his behaviour at that time. But most of all he's grateful for the way we accepted him in our lives and treated him the same as our children.

When he walked our and waved goodbye I knew that was not the last time he popped in.
Soon he'll come by with his girlfriend. Isn't that nice?

Longest day of the year

We had the longest day of the year and it looked like we were in the middle of autumn.

In fact, apart from a few days in spring with wonderful weather, we've had grey days and rain, just like the past 3 years.

The feel of summer is far away.

We had another rainstorm a few days ago and a new one was forecasted for today.
Code orange they called it.
So we had everybody in at home in time for the bad weather.

All we got was a thundershower with lots and lots of rain.

I loved the sound of the thunder.
It came from far, roled over our heads and faded away.

Last week a house was hit by lightning on the roof, a few hundred metres away from us, so we got the kids down. Just in case.

Well, we only had an electricity disturbance which could be solved within a few minutes, so we were lucky.

But it was dark early in the evening due to the thick layer of dark clouds.

No longest day for us.


Barcode scanner changed his world

A few months ago I visited a market.
I saw some nice things, but they had no pricetags on them.
I asked the guy and he want inside his car and came back with a booklet.
He started to search and it took quite some time before he came up with the answer.
He apologized for it.
Then said: "I don't know how those other people do it."
So we talked a bit about his lack of time for tagging the items he's selling. It tunred out he was still at university and had to do a lot of practical work, leaving him too tired late in the evening to do other work.

I suggested a symbol barcode scanner after talking to the manufacturers which one he needed.
That way he could scan the item at the market and give the customers their answer within seconds.

Yesterday he mailed me.
It was a mail full of gratitude, because he contacted the manufacturer, got his answer withim minutes and on top of that he found out that a barcode scanner with cable and other accessories was not as half as expensive than he thought.
Because he was able to give his customers the price so fast, they didn't walk away from his stand anymore and he saw his sales-figures improve.

I'm so happy for him!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Be back


Just a short message that I don't feel well at the moment.
My hip and back hurt me too much to sit long.

Be back soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hot Fun In the Summertime

1. What do you have planned for fun in the summertime?

Nothing yet. But I want to have a day at the beach with the girls.

2. Who was the last celebrity that you thought was bright until you saw them interviewed?

No anser, because I almost never care for that sort of thing.
Who did impress me even more than she did as Carly is Maura West. I heard her on a radio interview a few days ago and I'm very, very impressed.

3. Do you think that the U.S. and our present war(s) seem to just ignore our history?

Well, let's say that your own values are ignored.
Peace and democracy can't be enforced with weapons.

4. Have you ever conformed just to "fit in"?

Yes, like everyone else I've had that period in my life.
I don't want to fit in anymore. When I do I do, when I don't I don't.

5. Do you feel that you at times do not enjoy the moment because you are worried about what will come next?

Yes. But it's against what I want for a lifestyle.
Most often I take each day as it comes.

6. Does it seem that when you learn more about yourself, that others' opinions of you seem stupid?

No. I don't care what others think about me.
But I know some people who think I'm a little dependent woman, not being able to think for myself, living under the rule of my husband.
It comes from one woman and she has influenced a few people who can destroy my family.
So I don't think that opinion is stupid, it's ill informed and downright scandalous!

7. In rock & roll history, what bands or artists do you think made the biggest impact?

I just enjoyed the music and I guess I will come up with some names everybody knows.

8. Who do you blame for the state of the economy? Why?

People who wanted to have loans for things we just pay for.
You can't live on an illussion of wealth... well, they could for a short time.

9. Do you get upset and do you think you're being lazy when you do nothing?

Well, I'm not lazxy at all, so that's not a problem.
But I regret a day isn't a week, there's so much to do and not enough time, because I think being available for my kids is more important than anything else.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

She passed her exams!!!!

She did it!!!

She passed her exams!!!

We're so happy!

This morning the news said that double the amount of pupils had failed.
That was not encouraging and created a lot of stress.

I have to say she kept rather calm, but I was very nervous.
As nursing school has already accepted her it would have been terrible to be kept from going there because of the exams.

When the time approached the classteacher would start calling those who failed we sat together in the livingroom, trying to focuss on some TV program. Don't ask me which one, I don't know.

It took almost an hour waiting when not her phone, but the family phone rang.
Her sister brought it to her and she curled up on the coach and listened.
She didn't hear the teacher...well, with her ears she did, but not with her brains, but I heard what she said.

Then suddenly she stretched out completely with her hands above her head... "yes!!! Yes!!!", thanked her teacher and gave us all such a big smile a whole plane would have fitted in it.

She passed her exams!!
Isn't that great??


A yamaha flute

A little while ago I bought one of the famous yamaha flutes in a second hand shop.
It was an alto, made of kingwood, well kept, still in it's original case with all the original equipment.

It set me back only a fiver, so I was quite happy.

At home I discovered quite a large crack at the bottom part.
I assumed a problem like that would pop up as the flute was too cheap.
To my surprise the crack was not hidden and as far as I could see no one had taken the effort to repair it.
So that was quite good too.
We've got a flute repairman in town who does a very good job, so I wasn't afraid the flute would be beyond repair.

At that time I put the flute back in the case and decided to give it time to adjust to the less moist atmosphere of our house.

Today I took it out of the case again and the crack stayed the same.
It's a very clean crack, well worth repairing. The sides of the crack are perfectly clean.
At the moment I don't have enough funds for a professional repair, but thinking about it is always possible.

I've got a few options.
Either send it to the repairman and leave it to him.
Or order a new bottom part, which will cost me quite a lot as those flutes of kingwood are very expensive.
Or put a ferrule around it, keeping the wood together. It's good for bagpipes, but won't it compromise the wood when the flute is blown and moist starts to swirl inside it?

I guess some professional advice is needed.



Astroid passing earth this night

Recently an astroid was discovered on a near earth course in our solar system.
The thing is about 1.600 feet wide and it will pass the earth at a distance of 14 moondistances from earth.

That's less far than venus passed. In fact 1/10th of the distance.

This asteroid, named LZ1, is just discovered a few days ago, during the transition from june 10 tot 11 so we don't know a lot about it.

The Canary Islands telescope is following it and it can be seen as a white dot against the sky.
It's rather bright and it moves fast: 10 miles every second, that's 20 times faster than a high velocity gun.

The past day a time lapse video has been made by the scientists following the astroid and tomorrow they'll issue a new one, on which the astroid can be seen passing the earth...seen from our perspective, so against the starry sky.

It's interesting that scientists haven't seen this astroid before.
There's still so much to be discovered, so much to be learned.

I feel happy the son of one of my friends is going to study these fenomena.
As a child I was very interested and didn't lose any of my enthousiasm for these speciale events.

And you?



Christmas in June

Just a few hours and we'll know if one of our daughters has passed her exams.
We've been talking with the other kids about a nice present that either could be assembled from parts given by each member of the family, or represented a theme.

We couldn't find any suitable idea until someone suggested to give personalized christmas ornaments.

We all agreed that was a very good idea, even though christmas is far away.

We first went to the all year christmas shop in Amsterdam, but we didn't find what we looked for.

Then we surfed online and found the perfect online shop to create our idea.
In the meantime some friends joined in too.
So we decided to make a list of all her hobbies and design ornaments to represent them.
So we had an iceskater and a balletdancer and a lot more.
I'm sure she'll love them.

As she would love to babysit the baby of a family nearby and they would love her as a babysitter they suggested making an ornament with the handprint of the baby.
With the help of the customer service of the ornament shop it was possible.

In a time that christmaslights are used every day of the year, christmasornaments can have a place in the home during the year too.
I'm sure my daughter will hang them in her room and place them in the tree at due time.



Recession creates social behaviour

Dealing with the recession is not my favorite passtime.
I'd rather have enough money to do what I think should be done. But that's not the case.

I've found out, however, that the recession is not only bad.

The past years I've kept the clothes my kids couldn't wear case off...
And now I can use them well.

A month ago I was able to give a family a choice of trousers for their children.
They were very happy because it saved them a lot of money.
I was even able to give them a few things for their baby.

A few days ago a friend told me she knew another family in need.
They needed T-shirts and that was arranged too.

Then I got some clothes from people I don't know to give to others.
As my house is full enough I gave it to a friend to deal with it.

First I have to rearrange our house as one of my sons is planning to move out and he has some things at the attic that he wants to take with him. It means a lot of untidiness before everything has found a new place.

But the idea of giving away what can be missed inspired others to give away things too.

And that's precisely what I like: people thinking about what others need, not wanting things in return.

That way the recession changes people into better human beings, creates social behaviour.



A familiar face

His face was slightly familiar, so when he passed me I looked at him to find out who he was. Someone from my past?

He felt someone was looking at him and looked up, a bit puzzled.
Then he stopped and stared at me.

"Sorry", I said. "Your face looks familiar."
"To you, yes."
He smiled and vaguely a younger face started to emerge from my memory.
"Give me a minute."
He smiled again and then I knew who he was.
Someone I tutored at university and the only one who thanked me with a book with wonderful poetry.

We went to a restaurant for a cup of coffee and some memories.
After his studies he worked a while in his profession, but then had to take over the family business. Now he's a catering equipment supplier.
It turned out we have mutual friends, so we will meet each other in the near future, when we plan birthdays and other social events a bit careful.
It will be fun to see his family, as his wife is one of my former students too and his children look just like he looked when he was younger, he told.

I'm so glad that he recognised me and gave me the time to refresh my memories.
It seems to be so long ago we were at university.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The kids love to cook

Boiling an egg is not the favorite kitchenjob, but baking fish and other things, even baking eggs isn't a problem at all.

I think it's very important children know how to cook.

When they were babies I kept them out of the kitchen. No exceptions.
I even used to cook when they were asleep.
Kids were not allowed to enter the kitchen when I was cooking, until at a higher age and until they were able to realise that cooking is potentially dangerous.

That gave me the opportunity to watch them carefully when being present when I was cooking and teach them the ins and outs of kitchen safety.
They felt very grown up when they were finally allowed there, and would act far more responsible and aware. It was also easier to teach them.

It's interesting that some kids loved to make cake, while others wanted to learn something completely different like baking fish, creating sauzes and such.

Right now most have mastered cooking and love to work together to make a meal.

Today we had soup, potatoes, vegetables, sausages and icecream.
Not bad at all. Wow!


Good cigars made with care

I love to tell my children about the ancient professions. Especially about those that have survived the winds of time.
Here in town we can find only two shoemakers. They're the only ones who are left of the 80 we had when I was young.
Some other of those 80 shoemakers are still alive, but they have left their machinery in the past and now make keys and glue soles on shoes. They don't look like they're much happier.

I wondered if any cigarmakers were left.
My uncle used to smoke Padron cigars and he used to tell me with how much care they were made of Nicaraguan tobaccoleaves grown from Cuban seeds by women who knew exactly what they were doing. Some wehere so fast in roling the cigars that one could hardly see their hands.

He took me to one of those women, who had settled in our town because her boys had moved here to go to university.
She was nice and smiling and slowed down her movements so I could see how much skill was involved and how much knowledge of the qualities and characteristics of leaves.
When she had shown the way a wrapper is roled around a cigara few times, she gestured I should try it.
I did. It was far from easy, and she did far better than I did, ofcourse.

A good wrapper protects the cigar from too much humidity or dehydration, that's what she told me.
"And all cigars carry a bit of love of the maker."

Isn't that sweet?



Do you know these TV programs in which women are told they're not dressed to their age by people who look like they've forgotten fashion has moved on since 5 years ago?

I don't like them.

OK, the change is remarkable in some people. Those who don't mind having a camera on their unwashed hair, sagging eyes and pants. Sometimes they're interviewed at home and they look far better dressed and their hair looks OK.
Are they paid to appear on TV like they've nearly drowned?

I don't understand why people have to tell others what to do, anyway.
We all have our own lives, our own learningtasks in life, and life is the teacher most of the time.
Maybe they even have to find out their own personality, have to trust themselves enough to wear whatever they want or whatever.
And then two presenters come and go through their lovingly bought stuff and throw it on a pile.
They poke in fat, pull shoulders and comment on bodyparts they haven't chosen themselves; all in front of the camera. Ugh!

Oh, I would love to have a new wardrobe.
Just give me the money and make me go somewhere where they have what I would love to wear.

Don't tell me I need to go in grey, black and dark blue, throw my wonderful pinkish natural looking lipstick in the bin and get the builders in to create a face with foundation on me.

I would love to go hippystyle.
I don't, now. Not really.
But I would.

And don't take the turkoise clothes away.
I look great in them.

Even when I'm 93 and those presenters wear grey and black themselves.
Which might fit them, ofcourse.



The XBOX and health

One of the boys has got an eating disorder. He's always hungry. Because of his autism it's hard to deal with it, as he interprets all efforts to make him eat less as loving him less, withholding him something important, and so on, and so on.

Labeling his hunger feeling as something else helps him quite a lot, but the periods it works are short and the efforts to relable are huge, both in energy and in time.

So a while ago we allowed him to have an xbox and some games to make him move.

He hates leaving the house, so a fitness centre won't work. We tried it, but there was too much noise, too much light, too much from everything.
So those games were a real help.

The past weeks he's exercised with his sisters, who love to move and who consider those games a lot of fun.
I can see he's lost some weight, but he can't see it himself.
Nor does he feel it.

So we're trying to motivate him to keep moving.
Yesterday he said he would if we would buy him a new game.
Well, taking the responsibility to move and get healthy should not be dependent on us buying a game.
I think he has to change his lifestyle.
I cook healthy and provide enough fruit and fresh vegetables. But he has to do the rest.

What do you think?


Wannabee scientists

One of the problems internet creates is wanabee scientists.

Sometimes they're disguised as social workers, teachers and others who are believed by the public far too easy.

The past months people with ADHD were kind of harrassed by the media.
Even politicians claimed ADHD just meant that people could not deal with busy behaviour of a child and as a consequence had the child labeled.
Well, a label won't change behaviour a lot, so it won't cure a thing.

The reason children are diagnosed is because parents and others can have a better insight in the unwanted behaviour and can get assistance to deal with it.

In the former schoolsystem every school could rely upon the expertise of a special institution that would come to observe in the classroom and give the teacher and parents advice.
Now these organisations are too expensive and each and every child needs to be diagnosed outside the school. After that teachers need to be provided with enough proof to make them change their approach to an individual one.

In theur almost holy striving for cutbacks it was and is said children should not get medication.
When asked if they would withhold insuline to juveniles with diabetes those same people reply with: "Ofcourse not"!!

Yet they got the media buzzing with motto's like: "Kids need demedicalisation" and much more.

They even published that parents are not critical and love to have their kids on meds.

So parents put their heads together and decided to start an anti-campaign.
We were able to get some wellknown psychiatrists join a parents' organisation and a site was created.

Lots of parenmts already gave very enthousiastic reactions.

Let's hope we can provide the public with good information.

But there are still a lot of scientists wannabees dressed as educationalists, child protectors and others at positions from which they can make and break kids and their families.

It worries me to bits what they can do, because we have experienced it ourselves.



Preparing for exams

One of our daughters still has a year to go at school.
She decided for a higher level at school than her sister, even though she has to deal with dyslexia.

She has found the perfect balance between hobbies and school, ballet and school, and she wants to go to the ballet academy.

Right now she's working for the last test of this year.
Not rushing through the books as her sister, but qworking at her own pace in a kind of self developed gre prep.

She's online a lot and should have her own computer, but we're all quite willingly to make place for her.

First she looks at her homeworktable what she needs to do for a subject.
Then she looks up things online about it, to get an overall idea of it.
She watches small movies, looks on homeschoolingsites, etc.
After those preparations she reads her schoolbook, which takes a lot of time, but because she's prepared well and has an overall understanding of the subject reading is less difficult and she remembers facts far better.

After that she'll do the assignments.

But homework is not ready when it's handed in.

She wants the teacher to tell her how difficult the questions were, she wants the right answers, and some other information.
In her own way she makes a detailed performance analysis, and even after the test results have come in she tries to learn from her mistakes.

Each year she starts rather quiet at school, and this year the results were "as quiet" at the beginning of the year.
But now she's doing OK on all subjects and we're looking with trust to her examresults next year.


A dream and some thoughts

Last night I had a dream and it bothers me a bit.

We went to see the baby of a friend and I thought back about how pretty my kids where as babies.
Most of them had black hair and big brown eyes, which drew the attention of people because most people here have blue eyes as a baby.

I guess that must have triggered my dream.

The dream was colourful and very real, which made me feel a bit confused when I woke up. Which is something that doesn't happen often.

My dream was that suddenly it was discovered that my uterus was quite large.

Well, I don't have a uterus anymore. So any offspring will come from my children, not me.

I also considered it could be a warning.
My uterus was removed about 15 years ago.
Since then I had a check-up and that was it.

My father and siblings all died of cancer, so I've always been aware of the signs and signals and I attended breastcancer screening every two years.
The last time I've even agreed to go next time with one of the women in the street, as we were called to hospital at about the same time each year.
She's always very worried as she imagines herself dealing with a bad outcome of the screening.
I'm always far more positive. I'm very happy it's possible to diminish risks of a late detection and that in case of a bad outcome it's probably cancer in a very early stage, well treatable with as little discomfort as possible.

I think that when you live in fear all the time you're wasting precious time.

Maybe the dream told me that.
To honor each day.

Well, I already try to do so.



Gifts and decsions

The parents of one of the classmates of the girls are so very sure their daughter has passed the exams successfully that they are looking for equestrian apparel as a gift.
Especially now the economical situation is hard on most people there has been a huge discussion in how costly gifts for a diploma should be.

It made us even more aware how important it is to feel the joy of accomplishment in yourself, when you've passed the exams. Because that's where people draw motivation on to move forward.

It's fun that I thought that but didn't say anything, but our own daughters said so.
Ofcourse small presents are appreciated and we'll take care of that, but they both have the hobbies they themselves have chosen and when they need a present for their hobby they put it on their wishlist.

The classmate in question has been horseriding since she was 6. The perfect age her parents thought to start a career in that area. They would have loved to see their daughter participating in the Olympic Games and they have been "motivating" her to work hard towards that goal.
The girls had her own horse when she was 10 years young.

My daughter enjoyed finding out what she wanted to do next: nursingschool. It's a positive decision. Hèr decision.

But their daughter needs to study for veterinarian. She doesn't want that and I won't be surprised that in the end she'll end up a nurse too.

I hope it'll be a positive decision, made by herself.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The river is not healthy at all.

Our town is divided by a large river.
It's one of those highways for heavy transport.
Each days lots of ships pass and only recently someone got the idea to measure the dust in the air.

The hypothesis was that the river might create as much pollution as the main road in town.

So research was done and...
those people sitting on benches to relax won't think they're breathing in healthy air anymore.

It turned out that the airpollution levels at the river are as bad as those at the main road which is filled with heavy traffic each day.

No plan to change that has been created yet, but I think it's very important to be aware of the situation.
With a new crossing/bridge over the river matters will be worse.
It's expected that even more traffic will cross the river and those few electric cars won't make a difference.

As new neighbourhoods are planned at the north of the river, with lots of children and a couple of schools the council will have to face serious questions about the health of these people.
Even if I have to ask them myself.



The cutbacks are shaking the decisionmakers behind their desks.

I don't understand some of their decisions and it looks like they don't know what they're doing either.

First they wanted to close the pool of the village nearby.
They said the costs were rising too fast.
Turned out they needed repairs done and asked for quotes. It was impossible to repair below budget that way so people were told the pool would be closed.
One look of someone with true knowledge and it was clear all that was needed was a new heater and repair on some tiles. So the guy suggested a raypak heater and an afternoon training for boys of the building school.
The council agreed and the pool was open a few days later.

The pool in the east of town, the one where I learned to swim and won some competitions, was about to be closed. No money.
Then suddenly money turned up and now a competely new pool will be opened near a large playground. So both will profit from each other.

The open air pool would be closed.
People protested and the pool won't be closed.
Even better, another pool will be renovated.

Tell me, where does that money come from?

Telephone dependency

I'm the first one to use this diagnostic label, and I'm sure it'll be part of the DSM VII. LOL!

Today I had a talk with the girls about the use of telephones, including mobiles.

When the kids grew up and the boys started to have terrible long talks with girls, telling everybody to leave the room, so our house wasn't our house anymore...
Well, at that time we decided to give all kids mobiles and we did away with the regular wired telephone.

They all got a certain amount of money on their phone every month and it was their decision how to use it.
And they were not allowed to phone in the livingroom anymore, nor anywhere else where they wanted people to leave.

I wanted to teach them social behaviour, awareness and a healthy approach on financial matters.

It worked.
I have to say our livingroom became much more relaxed place to be, the phonebills went down and the kids learned to say "no" to the habit of having to call back.

Now all kids have mobiles, but it's the way they use them which was the subjectmatter this afternoon.

The girls told me they were amazed by how much money other kids use and how meaningless most calls were.
"It's like they need someone everywhere they go."

I think there's a lot of telephone dependency that goes unrecognised because kids are used to using telephones.
The influences on social behaviour, self-reflection and a lot of other important characteristics of people are underestimated.
Kids can't keep themselves busy anymore, can't rely on themselves, can't be by themselves.

That's not good.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Corporate golf balls

The new golfstretch in the nature area nearby will be opened soon.
I'm not a golfenthousiast myself, but I'm always in for a contest.

The organisation asked for ideas to draw attention to the opnening and I entered with the idea to enable people to order customised corporate golf balls in a gift package.

I know, it's a rather down to earth idea, but on the other hand it's a great idea to enable golfball collectors to get some special items.

It makes me remember the first time I saw a golfterrain.
It was near Kendall in the UK.
I was a small girl and because I was so easily overlooked I was allowed entrance to a men's club.

The building was huge and full of history.
The hall alone could hide a large home.

Then we entered the sitting room.
The huge windows drew my attention and I can't remember sitting down, but I do remember overlooking huge sloopes with green perfectly cut grass and mountains in the panorama.
I forgot where it was and I would love to know now.
I guess it was north of Kendall, but I'm not even sure of that.

That day we also visited a snuffmill with a true watermill.
It was so amazing that I still can draw the whole interior.

Oh memories.

Rotterdam in the news

Rotterdam is in the news the past days.

Yesterday the town had to deal with terrible rainshowers, flooding for example the cellars of the large cinema.
Today the underground trains were brought to a standstil after finding a suspicious bag in one of the trains at the railstation of Delfshaven. That station and some other stations were closed too. Leaving three of the four underground railways closed.

Just while I'm writing this one of the newspapers reports the package doesn't contain explosives, but there are no official statements made yet.

It's a pity, because to day a special event started at Rotterdam.
It's the 43rd Poetry International Festival.
20 famous poets from all over the world will attend.

Not all in person.
Dolores Dorantes, the Mexican poet, received so many deaththreats that she applied for political asylum in the USA and will participate on internet and with prerecorded short movies.
Among the others who give masterclasses, read from their own work, or debate are: Sascha Aurora Akhtar from Pakistan, Olli Heikkonen from Finland and Ron Silliman from the USA.

Theme this year will be : the unfinished.

Sound good, doesn't it?


Yoyo strings should be riskfree

As an experienced mom I'm aware of danger that others simply don't recognise.

Yesterday I had to bring a friend in a school some paperwork she needed and wasn't able to fetch herself. It was not a real problem to bring it, as I could go between sone heavy rainshowers.

When I walked to her classroom I had to wait for a moment as she was talking with one of the parents and I looked around a bit.

On one of the tables I noticed a couple of yoyo's.
They drew my attention because their strings were dirty.
I guess no one realised that a dirty yoyo string is at more risk to snap and launch the yoyo in a firm way causing injuries or other damage like broken windows.

Putting a new string on a yoyo isn't a big job, so when my friend was ready with the parent and came to me I pointed out the problem and asked her if she had any strings available.
She didn't, so I ordered them online and took the yoyos with me so I can redo them at home and thus remove the risk from the children and the school.

I've enjoyed it to bits

You know I wanted to go to England to be present at the jubilee, but the recession came far too early to realise it.
In fact we're so struggling I wouldn't even consider going to England with not enough pocketmoney, so...

So I was glad the BBC gave full coverage of the main events.
Most of us were.

So we sat here watching TV, eating english food and enjoying the fact that we were warm and dry when the boats paraded on the Thames.
No wonder Prince Philip fell ill. He stood with his wife in the fast winds the whole time, even though he and others knew his health is quite fragile. I'm so glad he's out of hospital now, and right in time for his birthday too.

Yes, I know his birthday by heart, because it's the birthday of one of our sons too.

I admire the Queen for standing the whole time, even though I wouldn't have expected otherwise knowing her the way I do. I bet our own Queen would have done the same.
She too enjoys to be on the water and She too has the stamina to put being a Queen before feeling well.

I thought the church service to be very sober and the music not very uplifting. It must have been Her personal choice, so She can do with my comments.

The other main event, the concert, was very much enjoyed.
We witnessed some wonderful moments, and enjoy seeing some of our favorites.
The sound was not always as good as expected, but with so many artists I think the sounsmen did wonderful.

I know a lot of criticism has been uttered about the TV work on the boattour.
I think the people here are more considerate of the very difficult conditions the crews worked in.
It's about the joy of the jubilee, and they pictured it very well.

So all in all we had a very good time and plan to leave for London at the next main event...when we've got the money.



The finish of a red carpet

Just a day to go now and we'll know one of our girls has finsihed her final exams or not.
I have to say I'm quite nervous. Probably more than she herself.

So I'm glad people have asked me to help out to organise a special event in town.

It involves a red carpet event.

I just received a few photos (not to be used for a blog, sorry) and immedaiately I saw what was missing to give the carpet just that right finish to make it special.

I'm talking here about portable stanchions.
They need to be put alongside the carpet, but also at the beginning to keep people from entering the carpet before the event, so we won't be confronted with people vacuuming the carpet just right before the start of the event, offering the media a sight we don't want to offer.

So we discussed the matter by phone and it's decided to order the stanchions in gold colour, and the ropes that need to be put between them. Red with colden snap ends.

It sounds strange perhaps, but they'll fit perfectly the interior of the hotel where the event is held.
The entrance is with lots of red and a bit black, and the accessories are golden. There are even golden picture frames.
So the theme is drawn into the reception area, which gives a true feel of glamour.
That's what one should feel when walking a red carpet.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


1. Do you believe people can truly change?

Yes, I think so and I know.
I've seen many people realise what's important in life and that they are responsible for their own reactions.
I've also seen people change for the worst. Ego is a key note in there.

2. Do you think there is anything wrong with being average?


3. Do you believe in fairy tale love?

Yes, I do.
I've witnessed a few couples who managed to stay in love and to be competely caring for each other until death.

4. Has anyone ever spread something malicious about you?

Yes. And I don't understand why.
I guess raising 6 kids with relative ease, pleasure and creativity was a kind of mirror to their own problem rainsing just 2.

5. Have you ever done something at a party that you've ever regretted?

No, and I've had my fair share of parties.

6. How do you go about setting your goals?

I always take my kids into account.
And I'm flexible.

7. Do you believe you deserve everything you want?

To be honest: yes! I don't want much.

8. Do you have people in your life you could always count on?

I have. But I don't lean on them.

9. Did you ever make a close friend from someone that you've dated?

Yes. Oh yes. Lucky me.

Want to see other people's answers or take part yourself?
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Advertising for next week instead of current week

The past weeks I've thrown away some of those door to door brochures far too fast.
When I wanted to have a look after all I relied on internet to provide me the information I wanted, but that was a stupid thing to do.

I've found out that already on friday morning en even earlier most shops have the current advertisements removed and have them replaced by those of the week ahead.

Quite stupid, because they'll miss quite some customers.
With one and a half day shopping still to go I probably would have bought at least one article of the advertisements. As most often there's something useful on the list.
But when I don't know that for sure, I'd rather go to shops that provide me more insight in which products they have on their shelves.

In the past we didn't have those problems, but since more shops are German owned their online habits are disturbing our way of living. I hope the privacy attacking habit of needing to enter adress to get the advertisements won't be taken over. To me that's a step too far.


The DJ prepares well

Last week I went with one of the boys to a friend who has extended the building with....a music studio!!!
It looked great!!

I've been in quite some studios in the past and had some nice introductions to sound at concerts by professional soundmen and DJ's, so when I saw his DJ controllers, turntables, mixers and other stuff I got really enthousiastic.
He was amazed.

Until I explained about my past and my love for good concert sounds and then he started a whole story about how he went about to buy DJ Equipment.

As we have the joy of some megaconcerts in town each summer, he decided it would be best to write one of those organisations ans ask them if he could have some practice job. he was invited for a few talks and then he was allowed to work along with some famous DJ's and get professional experience.
He used that time to be informed about the best equipment in the world and what he really needed.

Last spring he was lucky to get a nice unexpected inheritance and this enabled him to buy what he needed and give his parents part of the money for the extension of the house too.

In a few weeks time he will join a megaconcert again, but now as a paid member of the crew.
he gave me a small show and I have to say I could hear that he used the best professional equipment.
When I said he needed a fog machine to complete it all he had a chuckle.
"Yea, and then you come and borrow it to use it on stage for your girls."
"No", I said, then you can take me with you to those concerts as fog-machine operator."

He just smiled, so who knows....



The insurance replies...

So I needed to go to the dentist and I wanted to know what the insurance would cover.
A mail would do, I thought.

No reply...

The appointment was on monday, so we finally decided to call them on wednesday, or thursday.

She would mail.

So we waited and waited.

Friday late afternoon we got a mail with a lot of text, which involved a list of treatment details...but not of me.

So a mail back...

Later we got a call in which the woman said I was allowed a detal implant because a new period of 3 years had started.

I didn´t trust it, so when I went on monday I had made the ill decision to get the molar removed.

The dentist however had considered the financial situation too and had decided to give a root canal treatment, put a pin in what was left over of that molar and make a construction around it so he could later place a crown.
We agreed on that.

I was lucky that molar had just one root. Saved time too.

On wednesday I got another mail of the insurance company.
I was allowed a dental implant minus 240 euro and cents, because I already had one some time ago.

Me oh my, imagine I had started the implant process on monday!!!
(I also wonder where those cents come from...LOL!)



Playing is developing.

More and more people put tiles in the backyard to prevent weeds from growing.
Our garden is more of a jungle, so there's no place for weeds either. LOL!

In fact, there never was.
When the kids were babies and toddlers, we had a lot of grass and a vegetable lot.
But as soon as they could walk we bought some backyard playground equipment.
Not some unstable stuff, but good material that could be securely anchored.
In fact we only bought equipment that was used at schools and had to meet safety standards.

The swingset is still in place.
Until someone wants it and agrees to lift the concrete out of the ground too.
It's now used as a bicycle standard and as one of the anchor points for the roof over the backdoor. Even the wahing lines are tied to it and I can hang as much laundry on the lines as I want.

The playhouse we bought is standing in the corner.
Whenever children ask for it, I take it out and they can use it. It has even a slide to attach to it, for very small children.

In the playground between the houses the kids could play on a merry go round and a deluxe playground structure with a wobbly bridge.
As I consider playing the best part of developing, the summers always created an enormous opportunity for growth. The teachers noted it when they came back to school.

With all the equipment together we could offer our neighbourhood children the facilities other neighbourhoods offered in a formal playground with access fees.
As all parents took turns to watch the children (during some summers), parenting became a bit less intensive and much more fun too.

My autistic boy was often able to play in his own garden and feel safe, while the others played in the playground under the watchful eye of one of my friends. Almost every day some children came to my garden to have a quiet time in the playhouse, with something to drink and a few cookies.

It was a great time!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A good meeting in a restructured office

One of our people at the paper rearranged the office.
I'm so glad he did.

It looks far better even though the furniture is far too old and shabby to my taste.

The meeting was a real pleasure, even though two of the people had to be guarded constantly because of the tendency to start a meeting of their own. LOL!

But we had a good meeting, made some nice appopintments and above all: felt inspired.

I want the office to be a place of energy and inspiration.

My friend is about the return. I expect him later this month.
He won't agree with all the changes, as he's a person who want things to stay the same.

But moving forward is best and those who are present agree they feel much lighter and start to feel a bit better equiped too.

I myself feel like I'm up to start bicycling to the office again after my 4th son has found a place for protected living.
We've got our first meeting at the house at the end of the month.
I guess I have to restart the "a place to live" series.



Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ballet and the clothes of the emperor

Isn't that a nice title?

Yesterday the girls had their ballet performance and ofcourse we went to see it.

One girl danced in three parts, the other in two.

It was kind their balletteacher fitted in a piece they created with their friends themselves on saturday and sunday afternoons. They rehearsed in a school nearby, which they organised all by themselves. Quite a thing to get permission to freely use a space in a school in a weekend. Wow!

We had to wait to enter the theatre far too long. Which reminds me I have to bring that under the attention of the organisation.

The theatre was loaded, so that was great.

All performances were nice. One could see people were doing their utmost.

The girls did great.
I was very impressed.

Especially the performance on pointes was very good.
I didn't expect that as they started this year with it.
Well, they practiced at home too. And I'm glad those thumbs on the floor won't be heard for a while. LOL!

They did very well and I enjoyed the performance.

After that I was rushed to the university where I had to attend a.. eh.... eh... kind of course, groups of meetings, about the stories people find inspiring. They had to read that story in front of an audience and then they got a short interview.
The session I attented was about the clothes of the emperor. The interviews was...let's say and anti-climax after the success of the balletperformance.
Another journalist present said he was bored to death, as he was there already quite a while and asked if i would walk with him to and through the door.
So I left too, mainly because they could fetch me going home with the girls. One time to drive, instead of picking me up near midnight.

Waiting for them to fetch me I heard a performance of the metalfestival beside the university. Quite good.
I realy enjoyed it.
If our musicjournilist won't write about it, I will. LOL!



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Crown of Creation

1. Do you understand a belief model based on creationism?

Want a short answer? No.

2. Is your house run more like a dictatorship or a democracy?

You don't belief I sit round the table with all members discussing when the laundry will be done?
I won't put a political model on it.

It's more like a hotel with cooperative times. LOL!

3. Are you likely to forgive a transgression and give someone a second chance?

Yes, why not.
I guess I'll stop doing that when I'm perfect.

4. Is religion a big part of your life?

Well, as a buddhist religion is interwoven with daily life. It's the attitude to live.
But I'm not conscious about it all the time.

When I was catholic it ruled my life more, with all the to do's and the don't do's.
We've got about the same values, but one way or another it comes far more natural.
So in a way it's a bigger part, but it's more me, so not a part.

5. Do you feel your job (or your spouse's if you work at home) is safe?

As a journalist I have to make choices. I could investigate the mob and infiltrate. But I don't think it's my piece of cake. As long as I have children to care for the dafety of my family is the first and my personal safety the second.

But collegues have been shot, jailed, etc. So when you make certain choices you'll put yourself at risk.

6. Do you believe in gay marriage? Why?

Yes, I think all people should be happy in the way of their choice as long as they won't harm another person.

7. Do you think the current U.S. war will lead to a more peaceful world?

No. You can't force real peace on people. It's called oppression.
Peace is a metter of attitude, worldview, respect, care, etc etc.

8. Do you like people with swagger?

I don't quite understand the meaning of the word as it's used in so many ways these days.

9. What kind of budget do you live on, is it tight or carefree?

Tight, tight, tight, tight.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

I wish you all a happy jubilee

Just one day and London, no all the UK, will be buzzing...

It was one of my biggest wishes to be in London at the time, but I won't.
Kind of sad to see the recession taking such a large lump of dreams of people.

The decision not to go is a sad one, but not as bad as the decision to give the dentist a go ahead for another implant, or some other less expensive treatment, or just to pull the molar.
I'm due to be at his practice next monday, but the insurance company hasn't replied yet.
Oh well, they did, yesterday, but they replied on another person's case. Not mine.
So when they won't reply I'll go for the cheapest option: pull the thing.

It's not that I like that decision. But what to do when kids need to eat?

So we'll watch the Queens jubilee from here and from internet.
Wish the BBC would ban the i-player for a few days.

Well, I wish everyone, especially HM the Queen a very special jubilee, with lots of happiness and hopefully good weather too.



GPS for Bikers

I didn't know there's a GPS available for bikers, so when I saw a motorcycle standing beside school with a gps system on it I went there to have a look.
The owner, one of the teachers, was just arriving at his motorcycle and he was quite willing to explain me everything.

He told me his GPS system has been created by bikers for bikers, so it fits the needs of a biker in a perfect way.
He's got a garmin zumo with additional uses. There's a gauge attached that controls the need for fuel. It's waterproof, fuel proof and it even can withstand fuel spillage.

It was nice to talk to him.
He's very proud of his motorcycle and when he started to show me details, some pupils came to watch too and within minutes it looked like ge was giving a lesson about how motorcycles are built and what people can do to personalise their own bike.

He offered me to take me with him for a drive around the area, but I had to go home.
I'm sure there will be a better time for it.


When I was young my grandma took it upon her to tell my mother to make me watch the first landing on the moon.
She was quite firm about it and so I watched the event, with millions of other people, in black and white.

I've kept my interest in the sky ever since.

It was a delight to be able to witness launches and everything else just from my computer, and when the ISS crossed the sky above our heads I took some of the kids to see it in the middle of the night, thus creating memories they'll never forget. (I hope)

I didn't witness the launch of the first commecrial flight, however.
Too busy with other things, or too sleepy. Don't know.
I knew it arrived at the space station and that was it.

Until yesterday I felt the need to check NASA TV.
It happened before and then I turned out to be just in time to witness something phantastic, so I listened to this urge again and there it was: the dragon, just seconds before leaving the ISS.
So I saw it leave, and while keeping a close eye on the potatoes and vegetables cooking in the kitchen, I witnessed the dragon entering space, and splashing in the ocean.

It was amazing that it took such a short while to return to earth.

I wonder how long it will take before humans can go to the ISS and return in a weekend.
Pity our André Kuypers won't be there anymore by then.

So I've watched a dragon in sky.
Hope that when I go up it won't be the year of the monkey. LOL!

Keep your gun safe

I wonder why so many shootings take place.
Have people changed? Is there more aggression than in eras before?
Are people less responsible when they're allowed to have guns in their house?

I only know one person who had a gun.
My uncle was a policeman and he was allowed to have a gun at home.
I've never seen it.
He took no pride in it and he always kept it in a well secured safe.
In fact I didn't even know where the safe was.

People can't understand we're not allowed to have guns here, unless we're a policeman or part of a gun training organisation. And even in that case we're not allowed to transport the gun just as it is. It has to be out of sight, and without bullets.
They say we should protect our property so we need a gun.
We keep our stuff behind well locked doors. And in most cases that's enough.
Most burglaries are without guns, so why risk lifes?

Hiding a gun at the topshelf of the wardrobe is not enough.
In the past we've seen enough examples of kids finding the gun ans shooting themselves, their friends or familymembers by accident. And what about the hormone-rage driven teenagers? How do parents feel when their kids get a gun and shoot in school? the idea alone makes me feel sick.

Guns should be kept well in gun safes from
Preferably apart from bullets.
Ofcourse I understand that it's less available, but do you really tell a burglar he should wait until you've got your gun from the topshelf?
And ever thought about the fact that that same burglar could get at the gun first? Or anyone else could find the gun and take it away?

So in the safe it should be.
Some safes are even able to withstand a temperature of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and keep watertight for over 72 hours. So they can be bolted to the floor or wall and keep your guns safe.

For those who collect guns larger safes are avalable.
Always go for the most responsible option.