Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bike racks

Yesterday I was trying to tidy up the space in the garden where we put our garden equipment and other things.
Just before it started to rain I found a black thing, but I didn't know what it was so I put it at a dry place and left it there.

In the evening I asked one of my sons and it turned out it was one of those hitch bike racks that can be fastened to the backside of the car.

Because they went away to an event in the woods with several cars last weekend and their luggage was spread over all the cars, he had two racks in the back of his car.
He found that out when he was already here to bring the car, so he put the rack in the garden. He planned to call his friend to tell him to ask me for it.
Not very clever without telling me.

We often use our rack.
One of the girls needs to go to balletlessons in the evening and there's not always someone available to bicycle back home with her. In that case one of my sons fetches her at the balletschool, puts the bicycle at the back of the car on the rack and drives her home within 10 minutes. It saves a lot of time and energy, which is especially important at days when she has to make her homework.
And it's safe.
We're happy we decided to buy the rack. We bought it online and we never regretted we did.



Last week I saw a video at a satirical TV show about a women's talkshow I used to watch.
I don't have the time anymore to spend in front of the TV during the day, so I've outgrown it.
It was nice to see part of the show again, but I could understand it was broadcasted at a satirical show, because the women, even the hosts, were all talking at the same time. And one of the hosts answered the questions she herself asked the guest!

I thought it was a one time violation against everything on TV, so when i had the opportunity this morning to watch the show I took a cup of coffee and sat down.

Not long.
I was appalled by the low level of conversation.
The women around the table delivered nothing more than what I hear on the bus when I go to work.
And the chaos was not a one time occassion, but something that's a structural problem of the show. I couldn't even follow what those 6 women were saying because they all started to shout.

I don't often comment on shows, but this time I felt I needed to comment on it.
Imagine being old and with such hearingproblems that one can't discriminate between voices!

Afterwards I switched to the BBC and was even more amazed about the quality of their shows. What a difference!

Toggle clamps

Dealing with the friends of my son means fun.
Yesterday I was at the home of one of them. A boy with autism, but gifted with his hands.
His father created a workplace for him in the garage and he wanted to show me some new equipment and what he can do with it.

I don't know anything about his technical abilities, nor his equipment. I only see the most amazing things done. Welding things together, carving wood and making a wonderful fitted desk at my son's room.

So I stood there and he started to create something from a piece of wood and some iron things.
I kept a safe distance, trying to listen what he said.
Then he suddenly asked me for the auto-adjust toggle clamps.
He was very concentrated, and when his opened hand didn't catch anything, he asked the same question.

I felt utterly stupid when i told him that I didn't know what to look for.

He looked up at me with frowned eyebrows, then looked around and smiled very kind to me.
"They're not even here. I'll get them. Sorry".

When he came back he showed me what toggle clamps are and how to use them.

Do you know?

Young people protected by law

I don't know how the laws are in other countries, but here young people are protected against heavy lifting by the law.

The other day I was in one of the supermarkets, when my eyes caught a girl trying to lift a box with elements for a wooden wardrobe. Whatever she did, she wasn't able to get it in the space that was made for it.
She blocked the way of many people who wanted to leave the shop. After a few remarks that she needed to hurry an her reaction that she wanted to be able to give more space people left through one of the other shopping paths. No one lifted a finger to help her.

So we tried, but the box was too heavy.
One of the boys came to help, but all he could do was shift it, with our help, aside. He couldn't lift it on the shelf.

The showowner came and started to criticise the youngsters.
He was unkind.

I stepped forward and told him that there was no reason at all to deal with these young people this way. Perhaps he could show them how they could do their job properly.
I smiled: "perhaps they need a good rolemodel."

The guy tried and I think he stretched a muscle too far.

I stood straight in front of him and told him that by law these kids could only lift so many kilo's and that he should be reported for violating the law. This work should be done by a liftcar.
I told him we would keep in contact to see if the requirements of the law were met, otherwise we would report him and his shop.
In his presence I called all the young kids together and told them about the law, and that the rules were to protect their health. And eh...would they be a bit kind to their boss. He stretched a muscle in a very bad way.

A few days later he had a small forklift standing in front of the shop, and offered me a box with bonbons.
I rejected the box and told him to give them to the kids in his shop.
"Good for bonding, those kids wanted to harm their health to please you."

Inform yourself about the laws when you're going to work somewhere.


Testweek again

This week is a testweek at the schools.

Now it's the turn of the girls to go through that I'm still a bit of amazed how they deal with it.
The boys always needed a lot of support, waking up and other involvement of "mom". They also had to deal with the stress involved and often launched complaints about the difficulty of the questions.

The girls just accept what they have to do and even enjoy being tested.
They feel they can show off what they have learned, and experience, because of that, less stress. Or deal with it in a complete different way.

Instead of waking them up ten times each day, and telling them it's really, really time to leave home, they like it when I sit down with them afterwards and listen to what they have to tell.

In a way and in that way, this week is an extension of the autumn vacation: no lines in front of the bathroom in the mornings.

For one of the girls it's the final year, so her tests are very important.
Everybody takes that into account, except... one of her teachers.

She was supposed to send some paperwork before the autumn vacation, but it didn't arrive until this week. The pupils who prepared for the testweek during the vacation were very disturbed and they decided to file a complaint. because it's the final year they can do it, because the teachers need to deliver their part far in time.

Let's see what happens. This school can't deal well with criticism, as we have seen so often before...

Stable mounts make a difference

The hurricane that is approaching the United States and in fact hitting New York forced friends out of their houses.
They had to take all of her furniture upstairs and had to seal photoalbums and important paperwork.

She couldn't take everything upstairs, so she had to use whatever was available to get equipment and other items higher.
We discussed her buying peerless mounts for her musical instruments.
Now they came in handy.
She didn't have her TV installed on them yet, but a neighbour helped her this morning and they installed the TV, covered it in plastic and sealed it.
Now it's high near the ceiling, so probably safe.

For a short while she considered to stay in the house, but she had to take into account that her children need to be safe too, so they left.
They're with family now, probably watching the same TV station as I am.

well, at least she can be sure the damage will be minimal.


New governmental plans

Today the two parties who want to form the new government presented their plans.

In The Netherlands we've got a multiparty system.
The elections involve the choice of one person in one party.
The parties that gain the most votes have the opportunity to make plans for a new government. The persons in that party who receive the most votes get a seat in the parliament.

The election campaigns are less negative than in America, but this year manipulation of the voter was enormous.
"Vote for Rutte when you don't want left to win, vote for Samson when you don't want a rightwing government."

The result was that the two parties rose to high levels and that people afterwards had the scare of their lives, because they saw the two leaders stick their heads together in a back room and didn't involve anyone in their plans.

Only during the last stage of negotiating they talked with employee's representatives, etc..

Today they presented their plans.

I don't know what's going to happen with my family but I think we'll bleed euro's a lot.

Pray I won't loose my husband. I have to find work within 3 months otherwise they'll give me a zero income.
No special support will be given to my autistic son. There's no need to move on with getting care, because he won't get it.
Rent will go up. No rising income.
We need to pay for schoolbooks again.
Etc etc.

U think the next time will be terrible.


Monday, October 29, 2012

He used a retractable knife

I've always tried to keep the small kids away from knives. I always thought there was plenty of time to learn how to use them when they were older.

Ofcourse I was right.

Even better: now we've got a retractable knife to open up boxes and do all the other things that need a very sharp knife.

My autistic son has an inbuilt fear for knives and scissors.
With the knife retracted i could teach him how to use it and diminish his fear of holding it.

A few days ago he got a package in the mail and as I wasn't at home, he needed to open it himself or wait until someone else was at home.
He took the knife and used it properly.

Ofcourse he was very proud. I was just happy he had all his fingers attached to his hand...like always.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

1) Do you ever fantasize about flying, beyond the rainbow or anywhere else?

Oh yes. I wisjh I could fly.
I've been in an airoplane above the clouds and it was so wonderful. I wish I would experience that again.

2) Do you think you have seen The Wizard of Oz more than 10 times?

Hmm, yes, I think so. Love the old one best.

3) Which Wizard of Oz character would you most like to dress as for Halloween?

We don't celebrate halloween here.

4) What will Trick or Treaters get when they come to your front door?

Same answer as last question.

5) Did you ever TP a neighbor's house or indulge in other acts of Halloween vandalism as a kid? (Don't worry, that statute of limitations is up.)

No ofcourse not!

6) Who annoys you more -- people who never respond to your texts/emails, or those who never look up because they're always checking their texts/emails?

The last ones.

7) Who was the last person you hugged?

My daughters

8) What two colors do you like to wear together?

Black and red/blue...knowing black isn't a colour.
Dark blue and pink.

9) Did your alarm clock wake you up this fine Saturday morning?

No. I woke up myself.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

I fell

Today I fell with my bicycle.

I don't know what happened, but when I was falling I was near a wall and I consciously turned the wheel towards the wall to have some control over my falling.
I was able to lean a bit against the wall during the last part of the drop, thus preventing my leg to make a strange turn. I probably prevented a broken leg.

Interestingly no one helped me in any way.
People saw it happenening, I saw them looking, but they didn't lift a finger.

I was wearing my favorite shoes. One has a damaged nose.
My bag had damage, as had my bicycle.

I had some nasty bruising on one foot and one knee, some scratchwounds on hands and knee and my hip hurts more than ever.

At home I dropped my earring, and it took quite a while to find it.
I guess I was far more shaken than I wanted to admit to myself.

I skipped some plans for the paper and gave my legs a rest.

It has been a long time ago that I fell. That time I was on a men's bike so I took a risk.
This time I was just bicycling as always.
Maybe something got stuck in the wheel?

Living near the ocean

Moving to a better pace to live becomes more and more a reality in my mind.
It's not a dream anymore; it's a reality that needs to be created and become true.

Even now money is a real issue and lack of it might prevent realisation of the plans for the future my mind goes over and over the possibilities and opportunities.

One of my friends lives in aocean isle nc real estate. She's very happy with her home near the beach.
During the summer she enjoys the free concerts that are given to please the tourists and during the winter she enjoys the quiet and the ocean itself.
Living there means she's able to enjoy the small community and it's social life. Being among people of the same age never appealed to her, but now she enoys it very much,
maybe because advanced age needs recognition and care.

I always imagine my future home to be a small cottage with thick white walls, standing proud in the storms. She shared my dream, but now lives in a light, modern home, with wonderful views.
It makes me curious about my own future.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It's fun to see history repeat itself.
The last one of my kids wants to cook meals.

She had some basic lessons at nursing school.
Fun thing is that she learned to cook at home already, but she never cared for cooking for others.

The more social motivation comes from the experience at school, where they need to cook for good results and need to share the creations with others.

She managed to make a decent dish of spaghetti with sauce.
She was very proud and we liked it.

Interesting is though, that she's able to cook far more complicated meals, but that she's able to do what school requires has more meaning to her.

I'm very happy she loves her studies.
Not all subjects are favorite, but the prospect of being a nurse makes her enjoy what she didn't like in the past.

Even the second hep-b shot didn
't bother her. Wow!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The End of the Innocence

1) "The End of the Innocence" is one of Crazy Sam's favorite songs. Do you like it? Loathe it? Or is it before your time?

haha, it's outside my time. I don't know the song....I think.

2) Obviously Don Henley was a smoker back in the 1980s. Do you smoke? Are you a former smoker? Or did you never start?

I don't smoke.
I smoked 6 weeks, a long long time ago, and quit when I looked at myself and my wallet.

3) Childhood is generally considered an innocent time. In what town did you spend yours?

In a town that had been occupied during WW2 and was still recovering from it.
History against new. Interesting.

4) Do you abide by "innocent until proven guilty?" Or did you come to your own, pre-trial conclusions about famous defendants like Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson?

It's not up to me to judge others.

5) Is there an old TV show whose cast you'd like to see reunite?

As The World Turns.

6) Do you know how to ride a horse?

No, I don't. Never cared before about last year. Now I think I missed something.

7) You're ordering ice cream. Cup or cone?

The one with the most icecream!

8) Do you believe a gentleman should help a lady with her coat?

I love that!

9) Which search engine do you use most often?

The g one. Don't expect me to write an advertisement for it. LOL!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

A gold chain

Those who know me well know I love pocket watches.
I collect them, but to be honest: I don't have any of real value.

But most of them have emotional value.

One of them has a blue enameled top and very nice crled hands inside, with nicely callygraphed letters and cyphers.
It doesn't have a chain, which is a pity.

So I started to look for one, which matched the enamel and the golden line on it.
But I couldn't find anything in the shops nearby.

Discussing the matter with the kids resulted in the question why I wouldn't opt for a gold chain.

It appeals to me to have something of real value, which keeps the value, even during the recession and the time after it.
It's so nice to have something timeless in the family.
Maybe we can replace the pocket watch by a valuable one in due time.

A plain gold chain cabn always be a part of a fashionable outfit.
It would even match my scottish costume very well.

Oh dear...I've made the decision already, haven't I?


Thursday, October 18, 2012


I can only imagine how many people are ill or under the weather this autumn vacation.
The strange changes of weather, from cold to 20 degrees cencius, from terribly dry to very humid, are tearing down the physical resistance of people and the results are devastating.
Just before the vacation about 25% of the classmates of the kids were ill.

I think the way the schools and businesses recycle air is also due to the high number of ill people. Many buildings have closed windows, which can never be opened. The airconditioning reacts to outside temperatures, but they change ever so often. Filters clean the air and re-use it.
Even though they say it is healthy, it sounds nasty.

And maybe it is.
Science hasn't identified everything that's in the air and it's far from known what affects our health.
So maybe we're creating a lot of illness ourselves.

I have to say I've felt far better when I left working at the university.
I loved my work and I would jump on the occassion to work there again, but what the building does to people? They've got stuffed noses, tearing eyes, etc etc.

The past days I've been sneezing a lot.
My family often bursts out in laughter, as I'm not known as a sneezer.

I've felt under the weather the past week, so I guess I've had the autumn flu, as we call it here.
Soon they'll start those flushots again.
Too late??

Monday, October 15, 2012

Falling with a chair

When the children were small, and even now, it was strictly forbidden to balance on two legs of a chair.
I know all kids love to do it, and even grown-ups love to balance and feel the excitement of not falling. Probably because they never fell.
But the risk involved is too much for my conscience.

The children didn't like the strict rule, untill the saw what happened with a classmate.
He was warned numerous times not to balance, but he ignored the teacher. And maybe she ignored him after so any warnings.

He fell flat on his back with the chair.

Hitting his head on the table behind him, hitting his back on the chair and hitting his shoulder on the bag of his fellow student.

The ambulance was called, his first aid consisted of keeping him lying there exactly as he fell, and all the pupils around him got a good lesson of first aid after a nasty fall: leave him alone, talk nice and wait until the paramedics arrive.

They did. The teacher got a huge compliment, and the boy was aching when he was put on the stretcher.
Hundreds of eyes followed him when he was brought to the ambulance and rushed off.

He had a contusion, broken shoulder (he didn't hit only the bag, but also the horizontal stand of the table behind him), and he had to lay down for 6 weeks to prevent lasting damage on his spine.

My kids took this lesson to heart, but many others simply forgot what happened after the boy came back to school.

No balancing with a chair will be a rule at their home too.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ain't No Other Man

1) Do you believe there's only one person (and there ain't no other) for you? Or do you think we can truly love several partners over the course of our lives?

I hope several during a lifetime. Not necessarily more at a time, but I think the different stages in time create different relationships.

2) Do you have this, or any other, Christina song on your iPod/mp3 player?

Don't have such a thing.

3) Christina Aguilera won a Grammy for her performance of this song. What do you deserve an award for? And who would you thank in your acceptance speech?

According to my kids I deserve an award for mothering.
I would thank them, and for all those who stood by and didn't lift a finger, for making me work a lot and be as fit as I am now.
And I would thank school and all those other organisations and people in them for making my life as difficult as possible, for hurting my children and me, for providing so much paperwork that our neighbourhoodorganisation certainly got a lot of money out of it when I threw it all away. I learned a lot about myself, but doubt if they really looked inside their hearts and had our best interest as a focus or their own ego.
And I would thank all those who have been my friend, for a short or long time, who made us grow, reach out to others to help them, and who enabled us to be ourselves.

4) Christina Aguilera has her own brand of perfume. Do you have a fragrance or scent you regularly wear?

No. I try to be as smelless as possible. When I'm at the shops. in the bus etc and the awful smell of young people reaches my nose....ugh... They think they're doing well with all those terrible smells. But they're not.

5) Do you have any allergies?

Yesp, for certain smells. Like for one of the main brands of deodorant young peope use. Some food allergies too.

6) There's an older lady who proclaims during a TV commercial, "I will give up beer, bread, wine or soda but I won't give up Life Alert!" No, we're not going to debate her diet. Instead the question is: What are some of the staples that are always on your grocery list?

Nothing for me. Just healthy food for the family.

7) What's your favorite sitcom of all time?

Is As the World a sitcom? It's my favorite.

8) When it comes to your socks, do you prefer solids, stripes or prints?

Haha. I have some nice ones with flowers the girls bought me years ago. They won't perish... I wear them. I hate stripes.

9) At what age do you consider a person "middle aged?" And when do they transition to "old?"

There's some official age for all that isn't it?
But I think it's mental age that counts.

You're old when you're not participating anymore, and middle-ages when you complain a lot about younger generations. LOL!

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Paris on the list

When my duaghter got home from school she didn't say much.
Some rather nasty cold is troubling us, and she too had the symptoms.

So it took her a while to put her things away, hang her coat etc etc.

Then she came to me and told me with a very happy face that she's going to Paris after all.

It's not all fun and happiness, because she'll arrive at home at her birthday.
But I'm sure her classmates will make the morning very special.

I;m glad the school finally took some responsibility.
It would have been a disaster to ket part of the group go on the trip and leave the others at school, doing some silly assignments to keep them bussy.

I'm off the bed.
The flu has caught me in a bad way. The headaches are the worst.

Stay healthy!

Do it well

The last days to prepare gardens and other outide items for the winter have come.
It's getting colder.
In fact we switched the heating on a few times already.

This morning I saw the councilworkers prune the trees and shrubs near the road.
I was surprised, because I thought those trees should be pruned in spring. But maybe it doesn't matter.

They started cleaning the large swimmingpool yesterday.
Today I saw the repaircrew walking in and out.
Because the pool is used to often en by such a large number of people they need specialised repair done.
I also saw them carying pentair pool parts. The best equipment and parts, so the council is investing in the swimmingpool, against what the local TV suggested.

A wise decision, because health and safety are important issues.

Last year in one of the other towns a huge lamp fell of the hold at the ceiling above the swimimingpool. A child died and the mother survived, barely.
It feels like our local council learned a lesson and implies it at the moment: use good parts and use well trained personell.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

He's back or maybe he'll never be.

Taking care of a paper is not easy.
Especially not when the people who work there are individuals with a high urge for competition and huge ego's.
I went through a lot of trouble to make them a team with the same ambition: to make a good paper.

At times I had to step over my own boundaries to make them move.
But finally we reached something. Slowly. But we did.

I was able to introduce a few new features to make the paper more efficient.
Nothing was perfect. But we were moving.

We all agreed it was worth to have a thorough try-out with an online paper.
It took a lot of time.

My friend is back.

No thank you.

Just telling me I was not doing things his way.
He was so opinionated, putting me down in public.
I don't think he even realised he did.

It seems to be the story of my life that people think they can put me down, look down on me, walk right over me.

He was my best friend.

It will be all over when he can't take my reaction.

I have learned so much the last years from people who thought they could say everything ugly they could think of about me.
I'm the person who I am, not the person others want me to be.
I'm not depending on the opinions of others about me.

It's nice when they think I'm a kind person, because that's what I am.
But when they think different, it's up to them.

But loosing a friend this way.
It gets to me.

He's hurt me very deep with his complete lack of respect, because I thought he always respected people.
I was appalled by his negative attitude, his sense of knowing it all better.
Can people change that much? Or did I miss this all those years.

He's the only one one this earth who knew me as a girl.
Or maybe I'd better say I knew him when I was a girl and he was a kind, caring, and energetic positive person who inspired others.

I doubt if the person he was will ever come back...


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bud's Last Stand: But Sat-9 Will Go On

Thanks Bud, for all the saturdays of fun.

1. If you could experience any life form that was not a human of your sex, what would you pick and why?

I won't tell you otherwise I have to dress up to stay incognito.

2. Do you believe in the American Dream or has it passed through time?

Why should I believe in that dream? I'm not american. I should have my own dreams. :)

3. It's been asked before, probably weekly, but what's irritating you today?

Stubborn people, and people who don't want to move on in life.

4. What do you think you'll end up looking like? (A picture would help.)

An old grey lady, fallen prey to gravity. With a smile. Always with that darn smile.

5. Has anyone told you that you could not do something?

Yep. Don't know why people always feel that competition with me.

6. Is there anybody dead that you'd like to talk to?

Yea, my gram and dad. I could do with some advice for the future.

7. Have you ever done volunteer work?

Yes, I'm completely living volunteer work.

8. Have you ever walked away from a job and regretted it?


9. How did you find Saturday 9?

Can't remember. I think it found me.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Preparing for my old age

Through the years I've been aware that eventually old age will come and burden me with stiff muscles, bad eyesight and a slow mind. Oh, and a thin skin.
I never worried about it.
But now the recession has hit our country, and many more, I've started worrying about those last years of my life.

I have to make some imnportant decisions that will influence the way I will live during those years.
Ofcourse I'll get a small pension, enough to stay alive and not enough to do anything funny.
So maybe I have to have a close look at annuities.

It seems a good idea to arrange a regular monthly income that will enable me to travel a bit, eat something nice once in a while and buy something nice for myself, my children or grandchildren.

The subject of annuities is not something that should be decided on without further information and thorough knowledge.
One of my worries is that I won't be able to invest in them, or in other words accumulate enough money, to generate a nice income.
We're struggling financially quite a lot at the moment, and almost all the money goes to the children. That's how it should be.

So I have to think a lot about this... a lot!

Knitting is "cool"

When I was a little kid I saw my gram knitting a lot of times.
She didn't like it very much, but my uncles needed socks. And buying socks in a shop was far too expensive.

My other grandmother loved to knit. She made many cardigans and in the sixties she even knitted me dresses. She made socks for almost all th members of the extended family and a lot more. She even knitted little bunnies for the yearly auction at the old people's home, a place where she never wanted to be.

My mother was able to knit and when we were small she knitted quite a lot of clothes. Among them a cardigan with a scandinavic design I particularly liked.

So it was a kind of tradition to learn knitting myself.
I was taught the basics and I took it from there, making the most difficult designs and loving it to bits. Along with crochet.

My children had lots of knitted clothes, made by me, with love.
But when they grew up, knitted clothes got out of fashion and only the knitted cardigans and winterhats remained.
Machine knitted stuff is cheap, so why knit myself?

I saw that this year knitted wear is in fashion again.
The same dresses... the same over the knee socks.

And today, much to my surprise, my daughter asked me to knit her some clothes.

Knitting is "cool", she said.

Only the best

I don't know what's going on, but these past weeks we've been talking about mountaineering a lot.

On top of that a friend arrived in town yesterday to buy climbing equipment at a local shop. They provide the best materials, which is very important because he climbs the highest tops.
He went there with my son, so he had someone to help him after purchasing everything he needed.
He ordered me to check if the MSR evo ascent snowshoes were still available at the shop online.
He was lucky. They had the kind he wanted and they would send him the last pair.

Buying all the equipment for an expedition is fun, but also generating a lot of stress.
The challenge becomes clear. There are so many riscs.

A bit more than a week ago an avalanche came down on basecamp 1 of the Mount Everest.
Nature changes a lot. A place that looks a certain way will look different a few days later.

Those snowshoes are a good preparation and they might even save a life in due time,
So I feel happy he's almost readt.


Paris yes or Paris no.

One of the girls got a letter from school, inviting her to go on a trip with her classmates to Paris.
She's in her final year, so this would be the last trip with her friends.
She was very eager to go, but only if the majority of her group would go too. She was not keen going there with people she hardly knows. I can understand that. When she passes her exams she will never see them again.

So she got our permission and then she waited with handing in the form.
She wanted to be sure no classmates would stay at home.

When she finally handed in hers she was told the buss was full and she might not be able to go.
Ofcourse she was not very happy with this. Which is an understatement.
She went to the person responsible and he said he agreed with her: they should have a larger buss.

Now we're waiting... and waiting...

Is she going to paris or not?


A traditional present in fashion again

Finding a nice present isn't a problem when you know what kind of fragrance the person who should receive it likes.

In the past people always welcomed a nice candle, with or without a bottle of wine or a plate with a few kinds of cheeces.

I thought people who live now wouldn't be as happy as those in the past, but I was wrong.

A friend who needed to buy a present within 15 minutes was very stressed. Her boss wanted her to be at the office in time, so she had not enough time to go shopping.
I told her to look online for lafco candles. And so she did.

A few days later she was able to take the candles with her to the party and to hand them over.
They were accepted graciously and put on a table. The visitors smelled the candles and uttered loads of nice comments. Some even asked my friend where she bought them.

So these caldles are in fashion again.
Isn't that nice?

I saw her!

It has been very busy at the paper, but student-a is doing very well.
She's learning a lot about the paper, is practising her writing with lots of dedication, all within her abilities.

Student-b called in ill this wednesday.
That means, I mailed her if she still wanted to spend time at the office and she replied too late. Said she was ill and reported it to school.
Well, either she's sloppy or doesn't know the rules. She needs to call or mail the paper in time in the morning. Not during coffeetime.

Still, I was a bit worried about her. It must be nerve-wrecking when you're expected at a place and you're ill the first day, I thought.

Today I was walking home, a bit earlier than usual.

She walked at the same pavement.

I saw her!
At a time she should be at the office.

I haven't had a reply on my email yet.
How do I get rid of that nagging feeling she's partying somewhere?


Outfits for babygirls

Just another month and the girls will be celebrating their birthday.

I remember when I brought them home from hospital.
It was a very joyous event.

At the hospital the nurses prepared a room for us so we could have all the time of the world to show the girls to the boys before we would take them home.
I was touched by so much understanding for the autism of my sons.

I dressed the babies in a special outfit and then showed them to the nurses before saying our goodbyes.

They were very impressed by the take me home outfits for girls, and said more parents should care as much for their babies.

This was almost 17 years ago.
Now parents can order lovely babywear online, even with an embroidered name.
Each baby can be introduced at home in lovely clothes.
So that's one more reason to remember that precious moment.


Monday, October 1, 2012

October 2012

Yesterday the weather was wonderful, today it's complete horror.
One way or another nature has decided it's autumn and it's showing it in all it's aspects.

Autumn is the season I don't like.
The decay of the trees, the brownign of the world.
Oh, I love the smells, I love the chestnuts, and I really appreciate the colours.
They help me to keep positive as long as I guide my attention to them.

So for me autumn is one big exercise to keep positive.

But the longing for wintersnow and springgreen slips in, slowly but steadily.
It creates a kind of melancholia that remembers of yellow photographs.
Because it's a repetition of the years before it's familiar, kind of sweet.
It's not depressing, but it makes one change the house from open to the world to a nice cosy place to sink in the couch and have a warm woolen sjawl around you.

My dream of moving so Scotland involves that very special feeling.
How I would love to have one of those cottages that can be found near Oban, for instance. Small, white, with thick walls and windows almost hidden in the walls to keep the storms out and the warmth in.

October came fast this year.
Maybe because the summer was kind of bland and september suddenly looked like summer.
We could have done with a few weeks more of sun and warmth.
But it's almost time to fetch the wintercoats.

So let's watch the leaves fall.

Music needs to be a personal experience

The past week we've been surprised by someone in the neighbourhood playing bass guitar... loud!
He was clearly a beginner. One could notice that in seconds.

Our walls are not very thin, so he was playing very loud. So loud I considered to get my highland bagpipes and surprise him with even a louder noice. Problem is I play better and people sometimes ask me to bagpipe a bit more, whereas I think I should keep the level of the noise low now we have three babies in this street of the neighbourhood alone.

We were talking about making noise when I remembered the in ear monitors at musicians friend.
She uses in ear listening for almost everything and has inspired my son to use a scan radio with earplugs. So maybe she can use her social skills on this mutual neighnour who clearly has musical aspirations.

Making music is so easy nowadays.
Lots of instruments have electronic devices to listen without noise for the people around, for recording and even for mixing different channels.

There are "silent" electronic bagpipes too.
I would love to have one, but they're about 300 dollars, so a bit too expensive for me at the moment.

So I plan my musical escapades very well, and I use the smallpipes that make less noise.
Maybe I should ask my neighbour if I can join him and sing along with his guitar.

What do you think?