Monday, July 30, 2012

Moves Like Jagger

1. Who makes the best moves in your life?

I don't understand the question. What do you mean?

2. Tell us about a time where you had to be selfish with your time, and felt guilty about it (whether it was time taken from your children or a significant other).

It's always a struggle to take some time for myself. In fact, only when I get very ill I take the time no matter what.

3. Do you feel that you can create more sex appeal or that it's just a given?

I think sex appeal is in the eyes of the observer.
So I don't care much about it.

4. Do your religious beliefs really influence your behavior?

Yes, and they did so even before I realised those beliefs.
I'm a buddhist and I think my behaviour is different from a lot of people as I don't judge very often, for instance.

5. Do you feel there are some things in a significant other that you can't change because of their sex?

Haha!! I haven't written the bookseries yet.

6. Do you see a younger less secure person when you gaze in the mirror?

No, I get the fright of my life each time! The person in the mirror looks a lot older than I am.

7. If you have ever been pregnant, or have been with a woman who was, how did effect your sex life?

Get a life yourself!!

8. What would you like to work on to become a better person?

I've stopped trusting a certain kind of people a while ago.

9. When did you think that you understood the sacrifices that people in the military make on behalf of their country?

My dad was in the RAF of England during WW2. He helped free our country from German occupation. So I grew up with it all.

This was really on behalf of our country.

Many battles are fought because governments want to impose their views on others, while at the same time their countries are in no real danger at all. It's sad peope have to die for that too. And most doo.

Want to see other people's answers or take part yourself?
Click the logo.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My great kids

It's great to have such a nice bunch of kids as I have.

The oldest one wants to do something nice for each of the siblings and he's trying very hard to find something fit for each individual.

So he's inviting his autistic brother over for dinner,
his second brother and his partner for a movie,
and his third brother for something that still needs to be decided.

Leaves his sisters.
One likes anime and he's found a few movies she hasn't seen.
The other one loves ballet.

As she has seen so many balletmovies, he didn't know what to do with her.
Go shopping?
Another movie?

When we were talking about it yesterday he suddenly had an idea:
he would invite her over with her balletgear and she would find his room with a bare floor so she can dance.

I think it's a great idea and she'll welcome it with open arms.

To finish all these special activities he plans a BBQ in his garden, where we all will have a good time.

We had a BBQ there last year.
The weather was terrible, so we moved the BBQ under the roof and sat down inside to eat.
It was fun though, as we all have our own life up to a certain degree and we always have to tell something.

So I'm looking forward to the BBQ and wish all my kids a great time.



There are different content management systems on the market and each has it's own merits.

Joomla is one of them.

The word is fonetic spelling of the Swahei word: Jumla. That means everything at once, all together, completeness.
The development team thought it a good representation of the bond between the developers.
Which was kind of interesting, as the very dynamic team went through a lot of commotion and changes, so to say.

To inform others they started a site called: "OpenSourceMatters" with a forum.
Within days it was crowded with thousands of people who were interested.

Joomla consists of a kind of modules and plug-ins.
The system went through a series of changes and the last long term version will be released soon.

Joomla can be self hosted by the blogger, meaning the owner of the site can decide where it's hosted. The site of Joomla provides a list where one can find the best hosting for joomla and lots of hosting reviews, showing the huge prize differences and hosting conditions.

When you intend to use Joomla you'd better hurry and click through the links of the hosting companies. Some have generous vacation offers up to 50%.

Blogging is a good way to keep record of what you have done, learn to express your opinion and get in contact with people with similar interests.
I've made some good friends, and hopefully you will too.
Good luck!


The Olympic Games

One of the friends of my girls is preparing for the next olympics.
She's very focussed and she probably will compete there with good results.

But first the London Olympics take place.
The excitement can be felt on TV, on radio and everywhere.
Even here among people who have no plans to go.

It's a pity not to go though as London is not as far away as Chine and the USA.
In fact, I looked it up, it's 104 euro to and fro with the train and boat. Taking the train here and arrive by train in London.
I think it's a bit more exensive than usual. because of the Olympics, but that's it.

Yesterday we were in Germany and one of our sons visited a large food chain to collect a new glass for his collection.
He had to wait a bit (got compensated with bubbly tea) because the peope there were saying goodbye to a few english speaking collegues who were going to work at the London shops of the restaurant chain.
They were so very excited!

One of my sons, the security guard, was excited too.
He applied for a job at the wellknown jobcenter and got nothing in return.
A letter that went to a friend in the same town arrived, so we can assume his application was received. He already arranged a sleeping place.
Well, he's going to watch the games with me here at home.
Isn't that a pity?

It's interesting to know if more foreign security guards with a dipoma didn't get a reaction.
Or did they intend to use the army anyway?
It's a question that bugs my mind since I heard about all the security measurements.

I hope all the money is spend for nothing, because sports should be safe at all time.
It's not politics, even though some want to use them for their own goals.

I'm going to watch, and if necessary plan the meetings I need to attend around the things I want to see.
I love the atletic items, diving, and such.
I don't know why, but real teamsports are not my thing.

How about you?
What do you like most?


Amethyst, my birthstone

I'm one of the january-girls. Born an aquarius I'm one of those peope with lots of dreams, the perseverance to realise them, a strong sense of individuality and world citizenship at the same time, and a lot more.
We're considered hard working people.

My birthstone is amethyst.
That's a purple variety of quartz and it's often used in combination with others colours of quartz and silver.

That's why I love amethyst birthstone gifts. They're colourful. And I love silver far more than gold.

Quartz van endure intensive use. It doesn't scratch easily, even though it's not as firm as diamond, en with good use it stays shiny forever.
I still have a bracelet of my gram and even though the silver is a bit worn, it's still so beautiful that I wear it often. And with much pleasure.

It's great to see that so many amethysts are used in combination with tree designs.
The tree is very symbolic in my life and I would certainly purchase or like as a gift something with both a tree and my birthstone.



When I wrote ATWT the true fans know what I mean: As The World Turns.
It's the longest lasting soap on earth and last year it stopped in my country, after it stopped before in the USA.

We'll never know the true reason it stopped, I guess. But the decision not to continue it has been a huge mistake.

many people who watched, watched the soap every day, for many years.
I watched since 1986, when my gynaecologist told me to rest in the afternoon. I said I couldn't, but he told me to make a cup of tea and sit down to watch ATWT. So I had to on doctor's prescription.
Well, I got addicted. Not to the tea, but to the storylines, the people, the fact that every day had an interesting resting point.

When ATWT oved to the evening, I had my time of rest then, when it moved back to the afternoon I adjusted just as easily to that time.
When I missed an episode I watched the repeat in the early morning, otherwise I would record it.

I only missed less than 5 episodes since 1986, which tells a lot about the series and the people playing in it.
They were pure professionals and became like family.
Even the father of the kids had no comment at all, which is quite something, because he always has a lot of comments on others.

Like many fans I like to be updated about the activities of the actors.
ATWT actors do us a huge favor to update is whenever they can.
It's fun to hear how their real lives go on, and interestingly enough, they don't mind to share it with their ATWT fans.

I try to watch the Bold and the Beautiful each day, but I often forget to switch on the TV and even forget the watch the repeat. It doesn't matter at all.
The same persons are still in love, the same are still manipulating and the same are still fighting. We forgot about the soap 2 years at a stretch and just needed 2 days to be updated.

So ATWT is it for me.

And you?


Morgan Dollars

George T. Morgan was born in Birmingham, England, in 1845. He went to school there and finally got to work at Messrs. J.S. & A.B. Wyon as an engraver.
In 1876 he went to the USA and was employed at the Mint as an engraver.
His talents were obvious and already in 1877 he stated to design half dollars and other coins.
His name was attached to alls orts of coins, like the Schoolgirl dollar of 1879, the Shield Earring coins of 1882 and the morgan dollar which was minted from 1878 to 1904, and in 1921.
The morgan dollar shows and image of Libert and at the other side an eagle with spreaded wings.

Teh morgan dollar came into use after the previous dollar, the Seated Liberty dollar got out of use after the passage of the Coinage Act of 1973, which stopped the free coinage of silver.

The silver miners wanted all silver to be accepted for coining, but that didn't happen. Instead an act was passed stating that the Treasury had to purchase between two and four million dollars worth of silver at market value each month and that that had to be coined into dollars.

That act was overridden by a new one in 1890. It stated that the Treasury had to purchase 4,500,000 troy ounces (140,000 kg) of silver each month, but that silver dollar production was ony required for one more year.
In 1898 it was decided that all silver bullions had to be coined into silver dollars. The issue of silver dollars stopped in 1904.
In 1921 reclaimed silver coins were made into Morgan Dollars, and then the design was replaced.

When his boss, Barber, died in 1917 he became chief engraver.
George T. Morgan died in 1925.

In 1960 lots of Morgan dollars were found in the Treasury vaults.
Collectors jumped upon it and since then the Morgan dollar is valued as a collector's item.
Prizes differ mainly due to the quality of engraving and the wear of the coin.
Some years less coins were issued and those "years" are considered rare.
Morgan dollars are an investment due to their high content of silver.


2 laptops needed.

I welcome the fact that the school of the girls goes more digital, but the way they do it... that's not my piece of cake at all.

Take for instance the papers they have to write.

A paper can now be sent to the teacher by mail.
Which is great.
As more teachers work part-time there's no discussion anymore about not finding an envelope in the mailbox in time, about mislaid envelopes and such.
The teachers can see when the paper arrived and when internet traffic works well they can trust the date.
But.... internet doesn't work well all the time.
Sometimes I receive a mail that was sent to me 6 hours ago, or even earlier.
It might make a difference between dates. But I can't see a problem in finsihing a paper better in time, nor can the only daughter that's left at that school.

The problem is that even though the paper is send by internetmail, they want a paper edition too.
So the whole care for the world thing, going green, being sustainable etc etc doesn't mean a thing.
The teachers don't want to change to reading online!!

When the teachers catch the mail at home they print it there... even when they know a printed version is waiting for them at school!

I can't belief how they throw away money that way.
Yet they want us to adopt all changes without protest.

Next year one of the girls is going to nursing school.
Needed: uniform (which I know the hospital provides, so I won't buy one in advance), books and a laptop. And money for the fun things in life, ofcourse. She needs to participate in social events too.

The other one is taking her final exams.
The school will provide the books. But she needs a laptop too this year.

So that's 2 laptops!! Two!!!

I don't understand why the school wants the pupils to have a laptop.
Most have computers at home now, and the school has a computerroom with good computers they got as a gift from a large company. They're functioning well.
But the guard doesn't function well. The room isn't open all the time, closes two hours early so kids have to leave with unfinished papers etc etc.
I would think it's easier to solve the staffing problems, and more costeffective too.

No. This school solves the problem by having all pupils buy a laptop.


They don't care.

Well, I think they have to.
School needs to provide books and some other materials.
I have to look it up, but I think I saw laptops are on the list.

Wouldn't that be nice?


Custom made T-shirts

When I'm on the road for the paper I like the fact that not everybody can see who I am.
In the past I've been "famous" for a few days and I didn't like it.
On the other hand: during events and other public occassions it comes in handy when people can see I'm from the paper.
It's not necessary to provide an introduction about myself or the paper, no need to show an ID or presscard, so I can start interviewing immediately.

So I discussed buying custom t-shirts.

People can recognise us, the journalists, and we can dress quickly if needed and hide the message with a coat or cardigan if we want to.
Ofcourse we can opt for custom coats. Some papers do.
But it's expensive and now everyone wants to wear the same.
One of our journalists feels comfortable with a leather coat, I'd rather not wear a coat at all unless it rains or is too cold.

It's a pity we need a sponsor to realise our plans to use t-shirts with the name of the paper on it.
In fact the offline paper needs a large financial injection to be printed and we lack hundreds of dollars each year.

But maybe I'll order one for myself next week.
Just to show the others how it looks.


Ice melting at Greenland

The ice on Greenland is melting rapidly.
It's due to a surge of high temperatures, which not only hits our country , but also causes problems in Greenland.

Last week the enormous amount of water that resulted from the melting of a glacier, wiped away a firm bridge over the Watson River, also called Qinnguata Kuussua River, at Kangerlussuaq, which used to be called Sondrestrom.

Maybe that last name rings a bell.
The town is situated at the west coast of Greenland, about one third up of the coastline. Two rivers converge there. Both stem from the Russell Glacier which is wellknown and a large tourist attraction.
Thown is of huge economical importance as it hosts the largest commercial airport of Greenland.
The airport has grown from the initial militairy airport, called Sondrestrom Airport or Bluie West-8, which was founded on October 7 1941 by the United States Army Air Forces.
It was one of the bases that were founded when Denmark got occupied by the Germans in WW2. The USAAF thought those bases would secure the safety of the USA.
After WW2 the importance of the bases was lost, but during the cold war it was thought they could function as parts of the Distant Early Warning Line and they were manned again. With the decline of the Russian importance in the world the use of the bases diminished and on september 30 1992 the last airforce men left the place.

The buildings were left and they're still used by the local people.

Not many people live there as the conditions are harsh.
When the army personell left the population of 404 dropped to 291 and a year later, in 1994, only 281 people lived there. In 2010 the population had grown to 552 people.

Cruise ships can navigate the fjord and tourists are welcomed at the settement.
They come to watch the glacier, walk on Greenland's icesheet, watch the wonderful surroundings and ofcourse the northern lights.
Some use the airport to board one of the domestic flights of Greenland to go up further north. When the weather permits flights are scheduled every day.

Due the the problems caused by the watermasses the area south of the bridge doesn't have any electricity, ehich means they don't have good water and can't use the radar.
It's unknown at the moment if the electricity supply is restored.
It might well be.
The river has found new races to run and the level of the main river has dropped.
Concerns that a lake had drained were not necessary.

But more water is expected.
The temperature at a height of 3000 metres was 2.2 degrees celcius a few days ago, as was measured by the summit station.
The white snow has melted and it has left the darker snow bare. Which means the sun has more grip on the snow and melting speeds up, causing more flooding of the lower areas.

Every 150 years the temperature gets as high as last week.
The reason is unknown.




Last week the Four Days Marches were walked in and around our town and the summerfestivities were held.

That meant musicbands on the streets during the day and open air concerts during the evening.
They drew such a large audience that the organisation had to make the choice to contract less famous people. Which is not a real problem, because it provides an opportunity for new artists to present themsleves.
It also means more informal concerts and funny situations.

Because I had to be in town anyway I went to the musicshop to buy d'addario ej26 guitarstrings for the acoustic guitar.

I'm not a topmusician and you won't find me playing at the summerfestivities, but when I play I like to hear a good sound and those strings are the best and very affordable too.
My opinion is that the best strings and reeds are of benefit for the listener, the musician ànd for the instrument. It's like the instrument gets better with the right fibrations.

On my way back to the bicycle I stopped for a small concert.
Two guys playing the guitar and singing.
It sounded great against the walls of the old castle. Soft breeze, setting sun. No rain for a change.
I was very focussed and even in between songs in a kind of dreamland, when one of the guys tried a spanish sequence and a string snapped.

He looked very helpless to his friend and then said. "We can't play anymore, I forgot my new strings."
By that time the shops were closed, so he seemed to be caught in the situation.

"If you fancy using D'Addario's I can help you", I said and he heard me and looked up.

"That rings a bell, so yes", he said and asked me to come past the security gate and help him out.
So we put a complete set of new strings on the guitar and had a short talk before they went to stage again.
Nice guy.

"They play better than before the break", someone standing beside me said to her friend. And he agreed.
"That one new string makes a real difference".

I had a little smile to myself. "Never change one string when you need to change strings", my guitarteacher used to say.
Well, with good strings it doesn't matter, because they last very long, but this time we replaced all three, just in case.

So I still have to buy new guitarstrings, but with those nice memories I don't mind. I'll order online, so I can use the new set for my own guitar.


Summer at it's best or...

Today the temperature was very high, as was the humidity.
Not a good combination.

I had to use suncream, which I don't like, because my skin feels closed and greasy.
I've got a rather pale complexion, so I needed to use something.

Luckily I have a very thin cotton blouse, and on top of cotton trousers I looked well and was dressed ad cool as possible.

But there's no escape from tropical temperatures.
Especially not in the car.
It's an old model without proper airconditioning.
I think today we could've baked an egg on the hood. So you can imagine we were fried inside. Bathing in our own juices.
With the windows open it felt cold, with the windows closed it felt like being killed.

So I was glad we were dropped off at the office and I could change my clothes into something as cotton as the blouse before. But clean and dry.

Because we were early we took a walk through the citycenter, having a look at all the new buildingsites.
Oh, they don't look like an improvement at all.
When we arrived in the old part of town I really enjoyed the old buildings I know so well and the cool breeze coming from the river.
It made me feel a lot better.

When we came back from the meeting we heard one of our sons had been to visit and he went home feeling unwell too.
Luckily he started to feel better when the temperature dropped.

Tomorrow will be even worse.
But there's no need to go by car, so we'll survive.



Controling hunger

The past weeks I've been dealing with our pharmacy again.

They're supposed to deliver the same day, but they never can.
They make mistakes like handing out wrong medication, even with the name of someone else on it.
And they didn't give info about side-effects and risks.
It happened so often I had to file a complaint.
It didn't help one single bit, until I used twitter.

A friend told me to order online, but that's not an option.
Or is it?

Today I came across:
To my huge surprise a lot of warnings about risks and side-effects were plainly stated on the site, making clear people have their own responsibility when they won't rely on a doctor's prescription.

I can understand that people who deal with obesity and the adverse reactions of other people want to have some control over their hunger and loss of weight.
Even though society is a bit more critical of very thin models, not much has changed in the way people think about overweight people.

the past week I maailed a heath insurance about their cleams that all obesity can be controlled by eating less and moving more.
Some people benefit of a better diet and more activity, but some hormone controled types of obesity can't be influenced by those means.

People shouldn't be driven to unwise decisions to prove to others they can look different.
The older I become the more I think that one should feel at home in one's own body, no matter how it looks.


Magic knowledge

Isn't it fun that small children always think mom knows everything?
It's like we moms are able to look through walls, listen through ceilings and know, just know it all.

My kids behaved well, because they had that strong sense that mom was watching all the time.

Ofcourse I wasn't.
I had to clean the house, do the laundry and all those other things moms do and trust my inner sense and ears.

The so much valued silence was always distrusted.
A swift response would catch them in the act of doing something they were not supposed to do and soon they though: "Better not do this or that, because mom always knows."

Funny thing is they're almost all grown ups and they still think there's magic behind my knowledge.

Take for instance the way the dishes are done.

This evening I came home and thanked one of the girls abundantly for doing the dishes.
She was surprised, the others too.
"How do you know?"
"Yea, how do you know it was her and not dad?"

Well, because she does it all and cleans the surface afterwards.
Her sister stops somewhere in the middle and expects the 7 dwarfs to come in and do the rest.

And I won't say anything about the boys.

Their dad puts everything in the washing bowl and expects that the dishes do themselves in some magic way.
They never do.

But those very same dishes tell me a lot more than they think I know.

That's a kind of magic, isn't it?


My dream: a sunroom

One of my dreams is to have a garden house. Or a sunroom, as they call it nowadays.
I would love to have an octagon or oval one, with a nice door and a few windows. Maybe two or three.

They're not difficult to build.
It's possible to make choices online and order one of the personalised sunroom kits and create a sunroom in one day.

Ofcourse for me with a red roof with a small cupola.
Because nice top is the real finishing touch.

All I need there is electricity, so I can put some lamps there and use my computer.
And it would be nice to have a bed there. A foldable one, so it won't take much space, but I can still have the feeling to be away from home.

There's enough room available in the garden.
I would put it at the place where I used to grow vegetables.
A nice spot in the back of the garden behind the large rose that's supposed to smell good but never did.

Maybe I could have a glass top, so I could lay down and watch the stars.
Oh my dear, that would be amazing.

With flowerbeds with violets around it, and honeysuckle.

Pity it's a dream for me, but maybe you can afford such a nice building.

Quick work

Yesterday evening I was chatting on twitter with a friend when I saw a tweet about a fire-alarm in town.

At about the same moment the phone rang and my son said that he made a photo and it was on it's way.
So I went to the mail and there it was.

Then a mail arrived from a friend living nearby the fire telling me about the circumstances of the fire and the person who lit it.

I even got a direct account of the arrest of the man.

Within no time I published it on the paper.
Being the first with the news again.

Quick work and good cooperation.

Today the local newspaper (one with paid journalists) wrote the police searched for the man over half an hour.
That's absolutely not true.

They were still talking with the firefighters when someone pointed out to them where the man was, and they went with two groups of policemen to the place to arrest him.
No search of half an hour at all.

Why do I find out so often people are bending the truth for their own convenience?


She arranged those tyres

One of our team at the paper works at a garage.
She's a great woman and she loves to tell about all the changes around her.

Here in town a new bridge is built and the garage had to be demolished to make room for it.
It was rebuilt a few hundred metres from the original spot.
I have to say it looks marvellous!

They were going to sell Bridgestone S20 Tires, among others, and she was very enthousiastic about it.
In fact she arranged everything.

But due to the rebuilding of the garage the introduction was delayed and it took place last week.
When she was on vacation.

I feel so sad she missed it.

But I'm happy for the customers, because they're able to buy the best tyred there are.

ID on a tropical day

Here we need to have our passport or other ID with us all the time. By law.
It´s so annoying.
Especially as the same law states that the police can´t request to ask it without any legitimate reason.

So when you ave done nothing wrong they can´t ask for it.
So why have it with you when you´re not a criminal?

We went to get our groceries in Germany, like we often do.
Fruit and vegetales are half the price they cost here, teh breadrolls are far better, jams and gellies are at least half the price, etc etc.
Laundrydetergent and softener are about one third of what we pay here.
Need I go on?

So the cost of car-fuel is always outbalanced, as we have a large family and need a lot of fruit and veggies.

As the temperatures were very tropical I didn't need a coat, and taking a bag is not an option in those shops.
Without pockets I needed my son to keep my passport in his rugsack.
So he did.

After our meeting this evening we brought him to his house and we went home.
Then I realised that he still has my passport with him.

Which means I can't go to outside the house tomorrow.
No. I'm not planning a criminal act, so they won't ask my passport.
But.... not carrying it is a criminal act.
So they're allowed to ask for it.

It's so stupid.
But after lots of years I'm still not used to carring an IS at a tropical day.


He didn´t see the cable cover

Yesterday we got visitors with small children.
They announced their arrival well in time, so I took some vases and other stuff I wanted to keep unbroken and put them away.

I did the same when my children were small.
Peopel told me they should learn not to touch important items in the house, and I decided there was another time to learn than at the age of one and a halve and two.
When they were able to appreciate valuable items, a few years later, I put them in the room again, together with them, and they got the responsibility to keep them clean and unbroken. I taught them how. They were focussed on the item until their attention was drawn by other things and I started cleaning them again.

No vases were broken in my house. Nothing when the kids were little.
And now they're people who care for beautiful stuff.

So these friends came with their little ones.
The grown-ups had coffee, the little ones some little kids drinks and when we started a conversation the kids payed.

Then the father suddenly looked around.
"Where have you hidden your cables?"

At first I didn't understand what he meant, then I realised and said:
"We've got a cable cover and some cord protectors."

He was very interested, especially when I told him we're using them at the office too and even the garage at the corner uses them, although those are more robust as they need to be able to take the weight of a car.

I`m glad I was able to give him a few ideas to keep his kids safe and sound.
That´s what parenting is about.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Breast cancer screening

Next friday it's time for the next breast cancer screening.
I'm not looking forward to it.
Not because of the possible diagnosis, but because I hate the way they deal with a part of my body.

In the past we had to visit a mobile x-ray unit and the woman in it was kept hostage or so. Nothing else can explain the way she dealt with the women. Unkind, not a smile and certainly not respectful.

The room was as small that we would go outside when it would have been our toilet.
There one stood with a large machine, and a small woman under the armpit.
She pulled and pushed. Not to get more space, but to get my breast pressed in the machine the right way.

I think she wqas nipple oriented, as she never saw something else.
Once she pulled so hard she got half my arm squeezed in the machine too, and when I warned her she told me to shut up.

I filed a complaint, because at home my arm, half my armpit and my breast turned out to be blue.
The only answer I got was that I was placed on the list of women who couldn't access the mobile unit, so I would be invited to go to hospital.

That turned out well.
They were using the new machine for the first time the very same day I arrived there for my screening.
A lovely nurse handled my bresat like it was made of the finest porselain in the world, and it didn't hurt at all.
Before I knew she had kindly done the second one too and I was on my way top the roomy dresscabin.

Thank you.

So there I'll go next friday.
To have bodyparts sqeezed between two plates like they should have been decent pancakes instead of female prideness.
Why I expect that?
Because the second time I went for the screening to the hospital they did so.



Wine making

During our university years we used to make our own wine.
Not with one of those wine making kits one can buy today, which guarantee a good wine producing process, but with materials we created ourselves or found at second hand shops and old farms.

We had a few large bottles, found at two farms. The filters and waterstops were constructed from materials we got for free. Some of the throw-away department of the university. We useed to go there to see if someone wanted to throw away something and we could use. During our student years we managed to get proper furniture that was done away because the colour of the office changed from blue to green. It was perfect!

But back to wine making.
We did it at a kitchen of a student house.
The bottles stayed there with a mixture of fruit, sugar and a few other additions, and one could hear the gasses plop out through the waterstop.

When the brew was ready it needed to be filtered.
That was my job.
I didn't like it, because one could get drunk from the alcohol that filled the space.
Others liked me to do it because I did it quick and efficiently and not too much alcohol evaporated.

After filtering the whole stuff got some extra time to "plop" and then the filtering process was done again and the wine was bottled.

Three weeks later we would have a party with lots of food and fresh wine.
I always waited to drink from it until a few days later when the others had their headaches or not.
Only in the last case I would have a few sips.

I remember one year that a lecturer of the university joined the party.
He particularly liked the red wine and he ordered a lot of bottles.
We didn't have such a lot.
The we asked what he wanted to pay for them: 30 gulden!
That was a lot of money.
We sold all we had and were able to buy all our studybooks for the next year at once.

Wine making is a great experience and I hope everyone will at least once have a go at it.
It's worth the effort.


Remembering during the marches

The past week we hosted in and around town the four days marches.
We tried to cover the festivities and marches as much as possible for the paper.
Which meant leaving the festivities as they were, and concentrating on the marches, because we had only 2 people available, which is far from enough.
An additional third was walking. He provided two photos a day.

I went with my son to the most difficult part of the marches, with camera, and we took as many photos as possible.

At the war cementry we were able to witness a commemoration service of the Swiss army. They brought their own band and traditionally dressed women.
It was a very nice service.
Every hour that day another army had the fields for their own service.
Due to other work we were not able to wait for the Canadians. Which was a real pity as they brought some bagpipers with them.

It always touches me to see how many people are moved by a service like that.
It turned out a veteran accompanied them and he was almost carried away when the service was almost over. He was crying so deeply it brought tears to my eyes too, and some men standing beside me suddenly started coughing.
Now the WW2 veterans grow so old many realise it might be the last time they're able to honor their collegues and friends at the war cementry.
They don't realise they could get in contact with a local family to have them place flowers on the graves for them, or ask the army service man who looks after the cementry.
You can even ask me or my family to visit the graves her in town. We would gladly be of service.

For the paper I covered the item inside a daily account, but I'll split it later this day, because more photos came in just a few moments ago.

Some people think it's strange that during the four days marches a commemoration service takes place.
I think fun and sadness of life are just the two sides of the medal.
These young soldiers walk where during wartime their fellow armymen landed to free our country from German occupation. Many died.
We're grateful for our freedom so I respect the fact that these armies take the freedom to remember.

Thank you.


Live answering service

People asked me if I've worked during my vacations when I was still at school.
Yes, I did.

The first year I was accepted at the telephone office in our town and they made me sort out the duplicate forms of the archive.
Arund me people were designing telephone offices and that interested me far more.
Within a week I was working at a design table too, first doing the odd jobs, later running through the designs of others and looking for omitted connections.
I loved it!

The year later I was accepted as a telephone lady at the information service closer to home. It was an all women job and it took me a while to feel at ease between the gossip and accounts of marital distress. Then a male coworker was added and the whole social content changed, much to my delight.
I enjoyed it so very much that I worked there all vacations, weekends and sometimes even in between when someone was ill.
I had one of the best times of my life there, untill the computer was used as our main information source, we were listened in all the time and we were not allowed to give as much service as before.
When an old lady was afraid to call her pension office and I encouraged her I was called to the boss's office and told I was never ever aloowed to do that anymore. No nice conversations anymore, just good morning and goodbye.
Time to quit.

Now there's half a lifetime between then and now I'm considering a telephonist job again. It might be the right way to get my Scottish cottage realised.
One of my options is to be part of the live answering service at
They also provide a 24 hour's service and working at all hours was what I enjoyed a lot. My readers know I'm a bad sleeper, so I've got enough time to do so.
What do you think?


Vacation job

My daughter had a vacation job for three weeks.
She expected quite a lot of it, but it turned out a lot less.

The group she worked with was OK and she enjoyed the social aspects of the job.
But the boss was not the boss anyone would want.
She had a temper and couldn't withhold it from her co-workers, she didn't know what needed to be done, so sometimes she gave the wrong instructions. She didn't oversee the job activities well, so the kids had to unpack things and redo them. And even though their hours were agreed on, she would send them home early when the works wasn't done, so she could get home early too. But my daughter made less hours that way and got less pay.
I informed the organisation and they had a good talk with the boss, resulting in three hours friendlyness and sticking to working times. Then she shed her nice attitude and fell back on het "normal" behaviour.

Well, my daughter accepted it the way it is. We talked about it and she said she had a good look now on working conditions there. Next time she would be more picky about a vacation jobm, because it should be a bit nices. She's not against working very hard, but she's against people burdening others with their attitude.

Well, she's at home now.
Slept in for a few days and feels very energetic.
She has not earned what she wanted, so she's considering working at a shop.
I think she should enjoy the few weeks she has left before her final year at school starts with the exams.


Wholesale jewelry

My daughter finished her vacation job and enjoyed her weekend very much.
She made lots of plans, like changing her room, having a day at the swimmingpool and listening to music and making bracelets.

She's very creative and she needs to express herself one way or another.
Ballet is her all time favorite and next year she's going to audition for the dance academy, but creating nice things with beads is a good second.

She orders her accessories and beads online.
Have a look at wholesale jewelry at bajulimports and you'll understand why.

Most of the time she invests her own money, but once in a while we pay the bill, to stimulate her and to express how we feel about such a lovely hobby.
ost of the time she gives her creations away to people who celebrate their birthday, and last week she made a special one with shoes for someone who was walking the four days marches here in town.

I said that maybe she could even make a small living out of her creativity. But she's so kindhearted she rather gives the bracelets to people who feel happy with them as a gift.

Isn't that great?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Saw the Light

1. Has something ever made you "see the light"?

I've never seen the light as they show it in movies. I'm glad because it would have scared me to bits.
But I had an aha-experience now and then. If that's what you mean.

2. Do you believe you have any control over your luck?

A bit, yes.
Because I can have some control on how I experience what happens in my life.
It's all about reaction.

3. What is something you have had difficulty rising above?

People saying things about me that are not the truth.

4. Would you want to be rich?

Yep, no problem.
I would ask the girls to go with me on vacation.
They would get horse riding lessons, I would go for my driver's lisence, get a car, and drive to the sunset.
Would buy that camera I badly need...

Noop, I won't go on.

5. Tell us about a current or old song that helps you "face the world."

I would like everything like "climb every mountain" and songs with a rainbow..

6. Has any dream of yours come true?

Hmmm... received kids, got my bagpipes...

7. What would you change if you became "the king or queen" of your country?

Throw all the moaners out. LOL!

8. How do you feel about LGBT rights? (If you need to look up LGBT, then you probably need to learn more.)

Well, I'm not american, so I had to look it up.
I'm all for people being the way they want. Laws are to prevent fighting, not to enforce views and opinions on people.

9. Have you ever been disappointed in yourself?

Yes. High standards....

Want to see other people's answers or take part yourself?
Click the logo.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Good morning in an autism day.

Living with autistic people means making conscious choices about what to say and what not to say.
My son takes everything literally, so when someone askes me when I like another cup of coffee he should serve me just one and not two, because that might upset my son. (Unless he askes again if I want one.)

Sometimes I forget my plans to be aware of what I say.
It's very nice to welcome people downstairs in the morning with an enthousiastic: good morning!
The girls enjoy it. The whole world enjoyes it, but he doesn't react with "a good morning to you too."
He often says: "I don't know if it's a nice day, I'm jst downstairs and haven't had a look outside." or "How can you say it's a good morning. The rain ours down and internet is slow."

When the girls are at home we sometimes have a good laugh about his reaction.
Sometimes his arrival in the morning is more of a theatre act than real life.

"Did you have a good night?"
"How can I tell? I was asleep."

Some people think living like this is a burden. But it's not.
It makes one aware of the content and intention of language. Knowing that language can have many meanings has helped them at school when learning other languages.

So: good morning to you.
Or at least I hope so... :)


A dream to realise

When I was young the sea was a place for a vacation.
When I was I lived near the sea for 6 months and enjoyed the beach daily. No matter what kind of weather it was, there was always something that drew my attention and made me feel happy.

Then I moved back to the town we live now and had no opportunity to see the sea for 30 or 40 years, but once.

And I really missed the sounds and the smells. The sigh of birds sailing on the wind.

A few years ago we took the opportunity to buy a railwayticket for a day endless travelling and we agreed within a minute where to go: the beach.

Since then the thought has enlarged in my mind that I want to live near the sea again.

Not just in one of those one level towns, where everybody seems to rent out rooms, but near a nature reserve or something like that.
With trees, mountains nearby and the harsh weather reaging around a little cottage. My cottage.

It's a dream that should be realised. It's the place where I want to be old. Write my books and take photographs.

Southport nc real estate provides all I dream about.
I'm now living in a university town and that means interesting conversations, study-opportunities and events I like. I expect to be as interested in good discussions about scientific subjects when I'm old, and as Southport is situated near a University town, I would get there just what I want. Including a good shopping area, where I can get my groceries, nice furniture and other conveniences which won't be very expensive.

The enormous trees will remind me of my childhood, when I played an eternity each day under the green roof with my friends. We even created our own house with the wood we found. I bet it was the first sustainable building in our area. LOL!

Dreams are to guide us, and to make us have a goal in life.

Well, mine is clear, isn't it?



Last week I went to hospital for some x-rays of my hip and today I went for the results.
Like my doctor I expected artrosis, because the pain is moving along that line.

Well, the x-ray showed.....nothing.
Nothing at all!!

Ofcourse I am glad that it's not artritis and my body is structurally well enough to realise some of my dreams...whenever I will get enough money and opportunity (=time) to realise them.

But on the other hand.... the pain is not between my ears. So where does it come from?

I start the day with pain, and sometimes it takes almost all day for it to disappear.
Some nights are so bad that I wake up from it and have to walk around.
Some painmeds don't work, others do.

To me it seems the muscles are not involved, but the pain is in the hip.

Well, I guess time will tell. But i feel flabbergasted.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

4 days marches 2012

Last saturday the festivities around the four days marches have started in our town.
I wanted to be there, but the rain was pouring, meaning my camera would be of no use to make quality photo's, so I stayed at home.

In fact we were glad we got the groceries in a bit dry.

Today the marches themselves started and that meant being "en route".
One of our collegues at the paper walks the marches every year, so I was still awake when he was about to start to wish him well on his phone.

Imagine that we can now be present at another person's life all the time while in the past we waved someone goodbye at three in the night and hear and see nothing about him until he arrived home.

I have to be honest: I liked it better the way it was in the past.
One could indulge in walking, for instance, without being called a lot of times.
And I can't tell you how often we tried to pay for our groceries and someone called. Ugh!

But today I valued the opportunity. Which was nice.

I also enjoyed the fact we can go there by car, do what we need to do for the paper, and get out.
In the past I was stuck for a complete day at one spot and I didn't dare to drink something because I had to use a toilet which was not available.

Well, those days are over and the 40.000 walkers and having a hard time because of the weather.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Don't Talk to Strangers

1. Has talking to a stranger ever caused you a problem?

Yes. Those who have read my blog know.

2. Have you ever gloated or wanted to brag over success?

I'm sure I have. I'm human.
But the past years I don't care to gloat or brag.

3. What do enjoy most about your life?

The girls and nature.

4. Do you ever over think a situation in your life?

Yes, I do. To the point that I have to say to myself that I have no influnece over things whatsoever, because most think-worthy situations are those created by others or by an interpay between others and me.

5. Tell us about your best friend.

He's a good guy, a real individual who is able to be himself and he doesn't care at all what others think. He's wise.

6. How important is intelligence when picking (or having picked) a mate to you?

Let's say it was present. But I didn't want to hand the results of an IQ test to me.

7. What's the closest situation that you've had to dealing with an enemy?

Closest? 1 meter. LOL!

8. What was the circumstance that led to your most recent utterance of aha!?

I was just a tip of a pencil away of filing a very serious complaint against someone high in the hierarchy last week and then I got a letter of the organisation stating he's leaving.

9. Have you ever tried getting even?

Maybe, in the past.
I'm not much of a competitor, nor a hatred driven person.

Want to see other people's answers or take part yourself?
Click the logo.


Friday, July 13, 2012

A visit to...

Yesterday I went to the doctor after more than a month of terrible itching at my back. It was at just one spot.
I noticed something was growing there.
Even though I'm not keen of sunbathing I thought it best to have him check it.

And it was time he took again a look at the hip, which causes pain every day now.

We know each other for over 25 years now.
I hardly ever visit him for myself, so he had a good laugh when I told him I had an itch at my back and needed him for it.

When he looked he started to talk about cancer risk.
I know the stuff and he knows I know it.

At my father's side all of my father's generation died of cancer, at my mother's side the women died of uterus cancer, the men of heartproblems.
(Don't worry, my utures went out when the girls were two).
So I know the drill, I know the risks and to be honest, I've learned to deal with it and I don't care a lot. I'm careful, but I'm not emotionally attached to the idea that cancer might be my killer.
An niece of my gram, an old aunt, was very afraid of dying of cancer. Well, she ran under a car. The fatal way.
So when my time arrives, it'll be there anyway.

So we decided to freeze the growth.
Luckily I didn't feel the pain.
They freeze it at the hospital too. Don't even look properly, so this was even better.

But we decided to make an x-ray of the hip, to be at the safe side.


He needs that insurance

My son is a photographer by profession and if needed I take part of his duties as well.
That works well for the paper and for us.

I knew we missed something, but didn't know what when a friend dropped his camera and told us his insurance took his financial worries away.

That was it! We needed an insurance for photographers.
Apart from material damage there are also other problems like arriving too late because of road damage and being charged for it.
We've got a personal liability insurance, but he and I need a professional one too.

As the paper runs on volunteers we don't have the money to arrange an insurance like that today, but maybe we can find a sponsor to help us out.

The past months he's worked on a large order from a large organisation, so I think he's insured by them
He's going to ask that tomorrow.

Next week the town will be buzzing again because of an international event.
We'll work a lot and it's a good feel when everything is arranged properly.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A place to live -- a kind of memo

Still no word from the casemanager or the home-team, so I mailed them that we wouldn't feel strange when a mail would arrive in the middle of the summerholidays as we would probably be at home. We just have a few daytrips on the agenda.

It yelled: HINT HINT!!!!

So we got a mail with data within a day.
Maybe it was planned, maybe it was just another day I caught a mistake. Dunno...don't want to know.

So the whole process moved forward at the beginning of august.

In the meantime I need to mobilise that casemanager to make an appointment with an organisation that looks with my son at what he likes best.
Will be quite a job, because he doesn't like anything they think is nice for autistic people.

I don't know who had the idea all autistic people like animals and plants, so they will be happy at a farm. My son hates dirty hands, dirty smells, and everything that moves in the wind. LOL!

So we'll see, we'll see...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Whatever Gets You Thru the Night

1. What helps you get through the night?

Sleep, blogging, playing Cityville or something like that. Laundry, and doing chores.
I'm not the kind of person to complain I can't sleep.

2. Do you ALWAYS keep an open mind?]

Do you think I'm a saint?

3. Who is the wisest person you know?

My gram was wise, my dad was, in a way, and alive: the Dalai Lama.

4. Who is the strongest person you know?

Can't say.

5. How would we tell by your behavior if you are having a bad day?

Depends where the bad comes from.
When it's pain you can see my movements differ.
When it's the boys I'm overly patient and calm.
And when it's paperwork you might hear a complaint somewhere.

6. Does your ego sometimes get in your way?

Noop. The advantage of being a buddhist is that I became aware ego is bad for you.

7. Do you believe in Zen? If yes, can it be mastered?

You first have to give a description of what you understand zen is.
All I can say is that I'm from a different buddhistic tradition.
Zen came to be far after buddhism developed and it changed tremendously under the Meiji dynasty.
Different masters tell different stories about what Zen is, so...

I do believe meditation is a good way to find your peace inside and to come to understand more of your own nature.

8. Do you believe you could teach someone, like your child, to be competitive?

No need I have to teach that, as the schoolsystem creates enough competition.
I don't think I'm a good teacher of competition, because I think one should strive to work as hard and as good as possible, regardless of what others do.

9. Do you believe home is not a place but rather a state of mind?

Yes. I sure do.

Want to see other people's answers or take part yourself?
Click the logo.


Friday, July 6, 2012

A place to live -- political issues

In this time of cutbacks people with special needs are hurt disproportionally hard.
And so are we.

The system here wants people to get an indication for living in a protected living situation.

As there are different living situations there's a mass of indications, depending on needs, intelligence and abilities.

Living can be done ofcourse in an institution, but outside the institutions there's quite some choice.

One of my sons went to a trainingshouse with 24/7 assistance available in the house (because people with physical disabilities also lived there) and now lives with a few guys in a house with 4 appartments and minimal assistance (visits to them and they can be called all the time).
The other went from his own appartment with assistance available all hours and a few hours of meetings a week to his own home with a few hours assistance for a year and then he'll be on his own.

The levels of social life (eating together or living in your own appartment and cooking yourself) and levels of availability of assistance (in the house all the time to out of the house to be called in) and amount of hours of personal assistance (meetings to discuss daily issues and individual development) Are reflected in the indications.
ZZP 1 is the lowest level of assistance.
ZZP 3 is the highest level of living outside an institution with full time assistance available
Higher ZZP indicates more special care in a institution.

And here politics comes in with changes that affect thousands of young and old people.
My speciality is young people, but most what goes for the young also goes for the old.

To create the cut backs they want on people with special needs they have decided:
  • People who live at home with less than 10 hours a week won't get help anymore.
  • ZZP 1 to 3 for people with psychological and/or psychiatric needs will  mean that they won't be able to live in a special house, but have to stay home and they'll get help at home. If that's not possible they have to go to an institution.
For my autistic son that means he has to go to an institution or will get assistance at home.
Which is ridiculous!

Someone will be paid for what I'm doing and have done for the past 26 years.

How can my son gain any independence when he's here at home?
He has to be confronted with the reality of waking up in his own room/house. He has to be responsible for buying his own food.
We don't have the room for soneone to be all independent.

And we sure don't have the room for a stranger to be in the house to order him around or to discuss every single action.
I would love to give these tasks to someone else, but not when that someone else comes here in the house and sits beside me earning her money while I have done exactly the same and got not even a small pension!

Other consequences of the political decisions are also frightening.
People who live in houses with assistance will have to pay for their own rent.
Now they get benefits and part of there money goes to the rent. But the rent is low because it's part of psychiatric care.
When they have to get on the normal housing market my sons won't be able to make it. As simple as that.
Does that mean they need to come and live here at home again?

That's complately impossible.
Our house is far too small for 8 grown ups.

Right now I'm using the skills I've developed as an autism ambassador and advocate to address the issue.
Some politicians have become a bit aware of what's going on behind their paperwork.
But those who need to know have closed their minds.

With so many on the spectrum and with ADHD we could start our own party....


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A place to live -- the first step

Our autistic son is ready to make a huge step in his life.
We're ready too.

He's dealing with complicated feelings.
His sisters have reached a higher level of education now. He can't say "I'll help you", because now it's clear he can't at all.
So he overcompensates, as I see it, with giving his father lots of criticism. So in a way he tries to become the male of the family.

After quite a few talks about this he agreed it's time to manage his own little imperium instead of our large one.
So we applied for a place in protected living.

We had a long talk with the casemanager and we agreed she would make an appointment at one of the traininghouses.
As she was very clear that there was an extensive waitinglist (which was not the case as I knew from someone inside the organisation) we thought that we didn't get an appointment because of that waitinglist. Many of the houses of the organisation got a make-over so perhaps she wanted to wait until it was nearly time to move there.

After 6 months she wrote a letter stating we were unsubscribed from the organisation because of lack of reactions.
A close look into the matter revealed she had made some mistakes, including sending mail to a wrong address.
So the procedure was started again.
Including the waitinglist. Which is unfair, to my opinion.

We got our appointment two weeks ago and my son was impressed with what he saw.
It provided good motivation.

We mailed the casemanager that he was willing to make the next move and she mailed the team of the house that they can invite us for a meeting in which his needs are assessed.
That's a week ago.