Monday, December 31, 2012

Year 2012

I'm glad this year is over.
It went fast, far too fast.

There has been a pending feeling of unfairness above our heads.
What happened last year turned out to be not enough, and next year we will have to deal with an official decision about it all.
Don't think justice will be done.
Not with all those people who feed the official channels with things they don't know anything about, just assume.

At least two young people got in the news who killed themselves because of bullying.
None of those best-knowers acknowledged my daughter's need to deal with the bullying of classmates ànd teachers.
The bullying has ended, mainly because the teachers were finally unveiled as me. The bullying of the classmates stopped because the girls moved on to another level and got rid of those bullies. One of those ill doers even was moved to a school for kids with severe behavioral problems.
It could have been the end of it all, were it not for a vindictive woman and her sharp tongue. We didn't do anything wrong to her, but she was out to destroy our family life. It felt that way then and it still does now. Nothing we said had any influence.

It's interesting how eager some people are to see only the worst scenario and are not open at all for the truth. Well, maybe the truth is less interesting for them. They rather create their own truth and create hell for others. I wonder what this woman's past has been.

Well, she'll leave her footprint in next year too.

I'll write a book about all that happend with more clear insights than I can give here. I'm still emotionally far too involved to do it now. The details will be too much and many. I need more distance.

But the past year has been mainly good for our family.
Even though we got a huge kick from the recession.

One of the girls passed her final exams and was accepted as a student at the nurses' school.
The other studied at a higher level and is now doing her final exams. She's having her audition for the ballet academy in april. Her training is intensive, but her teachers are very happy with her.
I saw her last performance and was flabbergasted by the grace and technical level she reached. No wonder she wants to go on in arts.

One of the boys who was living in a minimal protected environment got his own appartement. The request for support he should receive according to the people who provided it at the time was not granted. He feared he needed to leave his appartment, but that was not requested, because they considered the withdrawal of support because of governmental financial problemsm no good reason to kick him out.
His girlfriend moved in with him and they're doing fine.

Our autistic boy was supposed to move out too, but it didn;t happen because of the unclear financial situations and rapidly changing rules about it all.
We just didn't know what the new year would bring, and moving out to his own place and then coming back home was too much.
He was re-diagnosed and it turned out his IQ was far below what was said a few years ago.
Now it's one, yes a simple one, point above the level at which he would receive all support.

We'll see what happens next year, when we have more clarity about the possibility of him living a rather protected life and not a life in an institution. The new governmental rules state it's not possible anymore. if that's the case we should move to another country as soon as the girls are settled on their own.

The most intensive change in my life was taking over the paper of a friend who was ill. The whole organisation was a disaster. People just being there in name.
I'm not sure what to do, but the past months my motivation just sank below sealevel. The only person working there was my trainee.
She did very well, and even though she's got special needs, she's learned a great lot.
Maybe we'll keep the online paper.

One of the other issues I had to deal with was worsening of the pain in my hip.
The x-rays showed nothing, but the pain increased. I assume it's a tendon problem.

I also had to deal with a false positive at the breast cancer screening. In the middle of the summer vacation, when my own doctor wasn't available. The back up doctor was kind of a pannic type.
Because I had a huge suspicion the way the initial mammaogram was made caused the problem I was not nervous at all. As I know how to "read" x-rays and echo's it was evident fast enough nothing was the matter, just too much compression of scartissue in the breast. The way the nurse upstairs dealt with it was terrible.
She took away all my confidence in that department. They say women can make an informed choice when something is the matter, but I think women are forced to make the choice that offers the department the most financial gain.
I've never been treated so ridiculously in a hospital, and I've seen quite a few from the inside.

The past year has brough my dream to move to another level.
In my mind the idea is taking shape of a house that is environmental friendly in all aspects. As little waste and pollution possible, using as much natural energy as possible, and as invisible as possible in the natural surroundings.
I need someone with the technical knowledge to think along, and someone who wants to built the idea...or better said: someone who wants to invest in it.

Something else that took shape was making hats.
The very creative dear mother of a friend died and one way or another I took up making hats. Felt hats. And they look marvellous!

So maybe the next year will be even a more creative one.
Inspired by people around me, by people who were here before me and by people who are yet to come.

I'm lucky with such great kids and dear friends.
I'm sure more kids will fly the nest, just as life should be, and I grow more close towards friends and my own age.
Closer to the realisation of my dreams.

I don't care what work is involved: working with sheep, working in a shop, in a buddhist center or anything else.
We'll see.

Happy new year!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

My future.

My dream to be in London at the change of years won't become true this year.
Another year of dreaming has passed.

But we're planning more and more. Our ideas are crystalising into real plans.

My wish is to meet some wealthy developer who wants to work with me on an idea to make a very environmentally friendly house. Not only do I want to use as much natural light as possible, I also want just a little bit of waste, and I want the building to sink in the surroundings. I want to feel like I live in the middle of nature, and preferably I will.

It's great to think about it all. Reading a lot about what others did, thinking about what I want.
But I don't have the money and I need it.

So I'm also looking for a job that fits my family now.
I'm tied up at the paper until the second half of january, after that it's a moral tie.
With all those other people doing nothing it means that I will leave. I'm not their slave.
Already I have looked at temporary jobs, especially those at Dutch parts of UK businesses.
When the kids have moved out I will apply for whatever is available in the UK. Helping at a sheepfarm, binding flowers, teaching at a university, or being at a helpdesk of an insurance. I don't care at all. It should mean a step towards my own future. That's it.

It feels like going back to my roots.
Genetic roots.
Most kids, if not all, want to go too.

We plan to make a trip to Scotland at the beginning of 2014 to meet people who can help with realising our plans.
We need housing and such, jobs and all.

One way or another I have a very strong sense it all will happen.
Something will happen that will bring me to the place of my dreams.

I'm curious who it is and what will happen.

Untill then I work hard to realise my plans.


Awards for moms

Moms should get trophies and medals for everything they do.

So, that's said.

Myd ays are filled with caring, cleaning, organising, cooking, and a lot of other things ordinary momes do.
On top of it I'm a caregiver of an autistic person and a volunteer worker with people with special needs at a paper.

We don't have corporate awards at the paper. We should have.
My patience has outgrown my ego.
Well, that's not a real problem, as I don't have a huge ego. Anyway.
I would have won the corporate award. I guess I would have organised it myself.

For the collegues, when they ever read this: order the acrylic pointed one. I like that one best. And it arrives within two days, so you'll hand it over before the new year. Yes?

My son can give my an award of his own choice. He's got great taste. I've been fighting for his wellbeing for over 20 years now and it has far extended beyond changing nappies and breastfeeding. The battles with school, and all sorts of people who know best and don't know anything, hasn't been stopped yet.
I guess this week will bring another invitation to make him work at a regular job, whereas he hardly leaves the house. Now we've got the new diagnosis, displaying an IQ 20 points lower than the former one. Will this bring them to their senses? Or should I bring an award with me and put it firmly on the table.
They think I'm nuts and stupid. Am I?
Well maybe I am. But in the good way.

Leaves the award for being a fulltime mom, without pension, so the nearing days of old age won't be much more than what live has to offer now.
Maybe I should take that evening smile for an award.

That makes me rich.



As expected the world didn't come to an end last week.
It would have been quite an event if it really had happened.

I don't know if I'd mind being involved in the greatest change on earth.
Ofcourse I would be worried about my children, family and friends, and I would mourn the lost lives of all those unknown people, but it would have been my death too.
After all I wouldn't have considered for even a moment that I would have been among the chosen few.

The world would be cleansed from all those with evil throughts, all those who rather believe others commit a crime than assume their innocense and act on that.
maybe the grease, radioactivity and all the other toxins would destroy the earth after all. Who knows.

We didn't get the end, we didn't get the snow at christmas.
But we got rain.

Lots of rain.

Flood warnings in the UK, just 15 cm below the top of the dykes here.
If it doesn't rain a bit more than expected.
Right now it's puring down again.
Wet raincoats pile up. Well, I don't pile them, I hang them in a row. But you get the meaning.

The ground is soaked, meaning the harvest of next year starts to be in danger.
And that's not the first year this last decade.

Maybe that's what brings us on our knees: lack of vegetables and fruit. Caused by the weather.

In America people are dealing with snowstroms, thunderstorms and hurricanes, we're told on the news.

But the days are lengthening: spring will come...eventually.



The girls had a party and they didn't feel like going.
There's far too much to do this vacation and they planned enough funny things.
But as always, their friends asked them and they went.

When they came back they were all happy and full of stories.
At the party was a terrific karaoke machine.
At first they didn't want to sing, but friends went and they didn't want to stay behind.
They had the best time ever.

My experience with karaoke machines is from a couple of years ago.
It was at a party too.
The machine displayed the texts far too slow, so it was more of a hum along than a sing along.
As I had been in a band I knew quite some songs, but most of them were not available on the machine.
So I was glad to be at home again.

The girls would have gone back straightaway though, they've had so much fun.

When they were young they went to a church nearby and applied for the choir.
They were accepted.
Then they told us. LOL!
It was quite interesting that they made such a huge step just to sing.
But that's what talent does in our family.
It's the same as with ballet.
One of the girls is talented, but she's got the persistence too.
she can go over and over a difficult exercise just as long as it takes to get it perfect.

And perfection is what she brings during performances.
But that's another blogpost.


Flea Circus

The other day I was watching TV when a scene about a flea circus was on.
The kids liked it, but I remembered a far more elaborate scene.
The past days it has been on my mind, and I started to wonder slightly if I'd romanticised the whole thing.

Then today I heard some famous music, watched and there it was: the flea circus from my childhood.

It turned out I remembered every single tiny move.
Absolutely wonderful.

The whole scene was acted so well that I again started to believe real animals were there to perform. LOL!

I pity people who can't remember things like that from their childhood.
I won't say things were better then (oh yes, they were), but the phantasy of children was used far more than nowadays. Or should I say: in a different way?

TV programs nowadays are so fast that one forgets right at the moment what's going on.
In the past we had one hour of children's TV on saturday and afterwards we tried to reenact the whole program.

The friend of my sister was good at organising and when we had our acts ready she made kids pay five cents to sit in our garden and watch our show.
We all kept a cent a visitor and faterwards went to the shop to buy two sweets, as we used to get ten cents a person for our show.

Yes, the rewards was as tiny as the fleas in the flea show, but so much more real and very sweet,

A friend and some last minute ordering

There's always something to do before the new year's celebrations take place.
I'm always happy to jump in and arrange things even though we have a sober new year ourselves.

A friend is organising a huge happening in a town nearby and he mailed me for some assistance.
He's seen a bogner at Musician's Friend and wanted me to order a guitar amp.
I asked him why I had to do it, as it's so very easy to do.
He didn't know why.

So I invited him over as it would save him a lot of time and effort to know how to order his musical equipment himself.

He came in a huge black stationcar. Me oh my, I would have dressed in eveninggown if I'd know that! Half the street jumped from their coaches to have a look.

I asked him if he wanted a welcoming committee with a bagpiper. LOL!

Well, I explained to him how to order things online and he was a smart student.

Then we sat down and he told me about the new year's concert he's organising.
The bands he has invited are on the top-20 and I can't mention the names of the solo-singers here, because it's a benefit and he agreed their names wo'n be used in any way.
But boy, wish I had no family and could go.

We've had a good talk about a musical I've seen recently, going through some technical aspects and my opinion that the main part should hev been given to someone else. he agreed completely.
And then it was time to say goodbye for the last time this year.


I feel ashamed

This year I felt rather ashamed to wish people a merry christmas.
There's so much going on in this world that has nothing to do with peace.

Researchers found out that the most rows in families are at christmas.
Those days people have to be together by tradition and not by free will, and that makes people feel uncomfortable, protesting and thus arguing starts easily and can hardly be stopped.

On a larger scale: there's still war everywhere in the world.

many people are concerned about Syrea, because the media are able to report about it, photographs included.

But almost nothing comes out of Tibet and how the people there are treated worries me most.
Children can't go to school unless it's in the chinese language and culture.
People can't follow the rituals of their religion, can't even buy their traditional clothes anymore.
It's a huge concentration camp, worse than in WW2.

All I can do is speak out against it.
My blog will be blocked again by those in change there.

So freedom of speech for all is just a dream.
Peace is just a dream.

Those who have the courage to speak out against injustice are hunted down.

I wish people would work more together to bring a better life to all.
Take for instance America. How the democrats are fought against by those who only care for their own wellbeing. They are against higher taxes, but they won't compromise for a better share of wealth for all.

That's what this world is about.
And I feel a shamed about it.

Is that strange?


Guitars in my life

My dream has always been a top prs acoustic guitar.

Not because I was such a great player, but because a friend was exceptionally good at playing guitar.
After I left my shyness in the past, he used to accompany me when I was singing.
We made a good team. No matter what I sang, he made it sound perfect.

He taught me a few things on the guitar.
Then I bought one myself, well adviced by the local guitar dealer.
It was a beautiful one, great sound, but I never bothered to look which brand it was.
As long as I could play and sing I was happy.

Beside school, ballet and work not too much time was left to practice, but even when I had only two minutes I used that time.
So gradually my playing improved.

Then we went with a group of young people on vacation to the beach.
We rented a small house, cooked together, and had fun during the evenings.
Then my friend arrived, with his guitar.
He looked at me, but i didn't respond as i didn't want to sing in front of that bunch of critical people.

It was late that evening when he started to play.
Just some background music while the others were talking.
But gradually people fell silent and the music got more in the centre.

Then he payed my favorite song and soon I hummed along.
I forgot everybody around me and without even realising I sat there singing and enjoying his music.

That performance was one of my best.

Now my daughter plays the guitar.
A very cheap one, but she plays well.
Maybe one day she'll have a good one and feels confident enough to share er music.
It sounds so very well.


Boots 2012

I didn't have boots.

It hasn't been a problem for years, but this year it was.

Walking for about half an hour each day to and fro the office means going through the filthy streets of town under all weather conditions.

So when the first batch of snow fell I made my mind up while my socks got wetter and my feet colder: I will buy boots.

But looking in the leaflets and shopwindows made my heart shrink.
Me oh my, those boots were so expensive!
Even the old fashioned rainboots were about 20 euro.
Let alone real leather boots or those with the new materials that prevent moisty feet.

I looked around some more, but gave up.
My old shoes would be my footwear this winter. "Let's hope it won't be freezing.", i thought.

Then, when shopping for vegetables and other cheap products in a large supermarket in Germany I saw boots.
At first I didn't even look at them, but then the price caught my eyes. 12 euro.
"Can't be anything", I thought.
But I'm so curious! So very curious!

I had a look, fitted one.... fitted the other and then I was sold... eh.. the boots were sold.

Great fit, warm, modern breathing material, and when walking the top didn't rub my leg to pieces.

At home one of the girls took an interest, fitted them and wanted them too.

The other girl...

I was so happy those legs were girls' only!

So now we have three pairs standing in the hall.
Two of the same size, but with another footbed, and one smaller pair.

And on top of it: this winter breaks all records of rain... rain and rain.

My feet are still dry... well, except after a shower.

Lucky me!


The humidor at christmas

A few years in the past the second christmasday was not at my gram's but at home.
Visitors would come, like my other grandmother, my uncle and aunt and a family friend.

He was huge!
Not only in length, but also in.. volume.
He got a couch of his own and space on the table, because he would bring with him his
travel cigar humidor.
This marked for me a special day, as he always used to carry a plain wooden box of sigars with him. The humidor was saved for christmas.

To me it was extra special because I was the one who was allowed to open it for him.
A small key was taken from the chain of his pocket-watch and handed over to me with a smile and: "Be careful, child, there's only one such key in the wide wide world."

I would put it in the lock with utter care and turn it under the watching eyes of the whole family.
Opening the box was an utter delight.
The smell of expensive sigars has never put me off, and I loved the sight of a soft beige satin with which the box was lined.

In the meantime my uncle would have grasped the small cigarcutter from a small pocket and my mother would have lighted a candle, telling all to be careful as she didn´t want her house burned at christmas.

When I was very young, my uncle would take out the cigar himself, but when I was somehwat older I was allowed to take the cigar between two fingers and hand it over to him.

He would hold it in front of him, smell a few times and then have me clip of the tip.
With a few small takes of breath he would draw the flame to the sigar and then suddenly light it.
Only then I was allowed to close the box, turn the key and hand it back over to him.

He would lean back, the people in the room would start breathing again and my mom would move the humidor a bit more to the centre of the table so my uncle could put a small glass in front of it.

The soft light of the candle would bring the wood of the laquered box to life.

Sometimes my father would start singing± `Oh holy light...` and break the magic of the moment.

What a good time it was!


Singing at christmas

When I was young christmas was a very special event.
In fact it was the highlight of the year.
That was because we all sang in a choir.
Not the same choir, and that complicated things a lot.

In the afternoon of the 24th I had to sing in a sort of preparation service for the children. The children were told what happened before christmas and the story stopped where the real christmasstory began.

Then the kids were told then when they came to the shepherd's mass early in the morning, they were allowed to dress up.
A Catholic attempt to get them in church.
It worked well, I have to say that!

Late in the evening of the 24th my mother had to sing and after that my father had to either conduct the choir or sing himself, or do both.

Far after midnight we had a meal with all of us. I had sleepy eyes and was told to go to bed as soon as I had eaten something and had a cup of cocoa.
I had to be up and in church at 5.30 hours!

So at 6 we sang the shephers mass: me and my friends.

My mother sang at 11.00 hours and my father ànd mother, ànd I sang in the afternoon all those christmassongs we know so well.

Right after that my mom had an attempt at burning the christmasmeal, which made us long for the next day at my gram's.
Ofcourse we thanked our mom for a perfect dinner.... which might never come... and she was glad we were happy with it.

The second christmasday was much easier, with only my mother and father singing at the same time. I used to be with my gram and they would pick me up afterwards.

We watched a show at TV, or listened to Mario Lanza and ofcourse sang along.

Those were such happy christmasdays.....


The solution: flyers

As soon as Christmas was over my mind was on how we can earn enough money to make the paper survive.

I don't know what it was. maybe an eangel whispered in my earn, but as soon as I woke up I thought that cheap flyer printing might be an option.
With a catching photo and a good text we might be able to reach those who can donate money.
We need about 3000 to catch up, and about 6000 to cover all the costs until the next paper issue.

In the past I've made flyers to bring a cultural event to the attention of people who would not have gone otherwise to the event.
We attracted about 3000 more visitors than usual and that's quite a lot.

Ofcourse we need a donation to buy the flyers. But it can be done online and by what I've seen they deliver perfect flyers.
There's no problem distributing them as we have enough volunteers to do so.

The idea sopunds great and I will arrange a meeting soon to get it organised and done.

Second christmasday 2012

Today is second christmasday and in our country it's celebrated within the family or by going christmasshopping.

We are, by tradition of our family, invited over to the house of the eldest and we have dinner there.

He always makes far too much, so we all told him to keep it simple and plain, and not too much.

He made chepherd's pie, which I love to bits, with rösti and things.
And ended with a nice pudding with a huge home-baked wafer with whipped cream, fruit and some very special spiced sugar.

For some this might sound not enough, but I can assure you, even a farmer would have had more than enough of it.
So I took the pudding and wafer home.

We had a very good time together.
We watched Brave to complement the rather British farmer's lunch.

We had such a good time and I didn't even have to cook and do the dishes. LOL!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I wish all my visitors, readers, pop-inners and passers-by, as well as my dear friends a very merry christmas!

I'm sorry, I can't visit you all at the moment, but I will later.



Saturday, December 22, 2012


1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether -- either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas?

Well, as written often before, we don't celebrate Christmas with gifts.
We celebrate Sinterklaas, where the tradition of Santa Claus springs from.

When I was small I was a bit shy, like almost every small child used to be.
When I grew a bit older, I wasn't afraid of Sinterklaas. I was a kind and caring kid, no chance to be naughty, and I admired Sinterklaas for giving away everything he had.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?

For most people I'm on the nice list.
Some misplaced me on the naughtly list, because they think they know me and my family. They're very mistaken. But Santa will find out. He knows.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?

No money.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year?

No, others first.

5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie?

As long as it's jolly and binds the family together. I love watching a christmasmovie with the whole family.

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day?


7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party?

We don't have those parties.

8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather?

Hot chocolate/cocoa

9. What will you remember most about 2012?

The recession.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

She explained a lot

Yesterday I had an interview with a broker here in town.
She owns a wonderful house, with a large area to receive her customers, or "clients", as she prefers to say.

She explained a lot of what she needs to do for a living, and gave me a good insight in her online work.
"Here you can see the floorplan of the houses, she said and you can find the outer banks mls listings here ", she showed.
She also drives people to the houses they want to inspect, explains all about the financial aspects of buying a house.

She was such a vivid person that she got me really enthousiastic about her business.

Before I met her I thought people like her were all in for a good profit, but it turned out that her main priority is to enable people to find the house of her dreams.
I'm glad she freed me from some stereotyped thinking.

I wish we had a good location for the office of the paper.
She told me to come back with that very same wish when the recession is over.
Maybe... maybe...

The teacher who called

One of the girls has to run today for a special cause.
The school supports another school in Africa and today a sponsorrun was on the program.

Preparations started a few weeks ago with training and asking people to be a sponsor.
My daughter took it very serious, but people don't have much money to spend on such a cause. She collected a fair amount, however.

This morning iI was busy cleaning the house when a teacher called: she wasn't at school. If we knew where she was.

I'm not of those people who panick immediately when something is the matter, but this time I started to worry straightaway.
She left home over an hour ago, where could she be?

The decision to try and call her was made very soon and within a moment we knew she was safe at school, standing in line to get her turn for the sportive event.

Because the teacher alarmed a few other pupils she decided to turn on her phone and answer a call immediately. She's not allowed to at school under normal conditions.
She said she already heard that the teacher was phoning parents, causing a lot of concern about the wellbeing of their schildren, whereas the kids in question were standing in line for or already participating in the event.
The teacher had forgotten this....


She's eager to move

For many the christmasseason is a time to gather with the family and have a good time.
But for one of my friends it's a time for looking for a new house.

She's got a new job and needs to move.
So she's looking for houses for rent in fayetteville nc.

I would feel stressed, but she's relaxed and perfectly comfortable with the pending move.
She's found a good team of brokers who have offered her already a few good options.
Someone she knows from internet will have a look at the houses she likes, so she'll get a good idea what to expect before leaving everything she knows and moved into the unknown.

Her eagerness to start a new life is very inspirational.
We have our dreams and cherish them, but she puts her ideas for the future into practice and goes for it with all her energy.

Her children love her for that.
The older ones will stay and handle cleaning the old house and such.
The younger ones go with her and already enjou the prospect of a new school and meeting new people.

How would you feel?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We've won a cake!

Everybody knows I'm not lucky with winning contests and draws.
Apart from winning an enormous yellow suitcase two years ago, which has never been used, because I can't afford a vacation, I've never won anything else.
But, very stubborn, I keep entering contests and draws.
One dat that vacation to New York in a 5 star hotel will be mine, the cruise to antarctica, and even that spacejump. It's just a matter of waiting and waiting even more.

The bags with sweet, wellnessweekends, luxury beds, beadsboxes, jewelrychoices and al sorts of coupons just passed my eye, but didn't land on the doormat.
No mailman will get a backinjury because of the presents I win. Ever. I'm sure of that.

Today, today however, fate made a mistake.
Or maybe some weethearted cakebaker took pity or just was impressed by the way I wrote why we deserved a cake.
He hads out a cake a day to someone in the country and... today the cake is ours.

Me oh my!!
I almost jumped from joy.
As a matter of fact I had a smile from ear to ear for hours!!

So now we're going to wait for a cake to arrive.
As far as I've seen on their site there's a photo involved.

No problem.
The cake I won is for the girls.
I wrote I wanted to give them a surprise because they're so kind for their handicapped brother.

So ... it's showtime for them.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Carols

1) What's the first holiday song that comes to mind?

A carol my grandfather wrote.

2) Are you sending cards (either by postal service or email) this year? If so, have they gone out yet?

Yes, a couple. But just a few.
I always write them the weekend before christmas.
The email ones will be out today.

3) Can you see any holiday decorations from where you're answering these questions?

Yes. A small felt angel hanging in front of a red felt snowstar. Very nice.
It's dangling just before me.

4) Do you wrap gifts in paper or take the gift bag route?

Well, our gift event has been at december 5-6.
We did wrap the small gifts we had this year. But don't speak about it.
It makes me feel sad and small, because lack of money dictated our ways of celebrating Sinterklaas.

Christmas is without presents in our country, just plain christmas.

5) The holidays are an important fundraising time for charities. Here's an opportunity to do a shameless plug for your favorite. What organization or cause do you wish got more support at the holidays, and all year around?

At christmas I always feel a lot of compassion with the homeless. Imagine living on the streets, being cold, and seeing all these warm bright livingrooms behind those windows, with people opening bottles of wine and eating special food.
It makes me melancholic of our relatively richer days, so imagine when you're in need.....

6) Andy Williams was famous for his family holiday specials. What TV family would you most like to spend Christmas with?

Didn't know christmas was about TV.

7) The holidays are a big time for travel. Where did you go on your first airplane flight?

I was 12. To Birmingham England. I loved it.

8) Does the weather have an impact on your mood?

Under normal conditions, no. But when christmas is almost there and those days are as dark and rainy as they are now... well, I have to fight to keep positive and bright.

9) Snack time! You're about to make yourself your favorite sandwich. What ingredients do you need?

It depends. Now I like everything with cinnamon. So give me something with that and I'm ok.
What about applepie instead of a sandwich???

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Yoga supplies

To step outside daily routine I asked a friend if she could do with some help.
She owns a large studio and was painting the walls, putting new mirrors in, and doing all sorts of other things to make it look like new.

She was very happy to hear me on the phone.
we discussed the kids and then she asked me to come over and have a look at the renewed studio.

It looked wonderful.

All she needed was an extra balletbar and yoga supplies.

She thought a new shop in town would be the best to go to, but not after she had a close look on those supplies on internet.
That was a wise decision.

The new shop turned out to be very nice. But also very expensive.
We ordered a complete studio kit for 10 students from the site we found and then went for a cup of coffee.
We ended up sipping hot chocolate in front of an open fire, listening to christmasmusic and discussing a christmasmenu for her collegues from work.

I would love to do that every day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Today a new memo from the friend of the paper arrived.
It was negative and on the border of insulting to people who work at the paper.
He wanted "capable" people.

The whole negative attitude and the way he looks down on others, including me, makes me wonder what has happened to the guy who respected people, had a degree of wisdom and who certainly cherished his friends.
His note sounded like he's become a grumpy, selfcentered and bitter old man.

He also asked if people had done their tasks in such a way that it made me feel angry.

So I wrote him a letter back stating he shouldn't complain, but start to be active himself.

The way he deals with things makes me want to quit.
It takes all the energy out of everything.

So more and more I think it's best to take the online paper and move out with it.
I think that working with the shopowners of the streets nearby will enable the online paper to thrive. Especially after the recession. LOL!

Dealing with the online paper without him makes me feel energetic, full of initiative and in the middle of town.

So in my mind I'm already forming a new team.
The student will stay with me. So will my sons.
With a few more people and a large financial injection all will be well.


Monday, December 10, 2012

A personalised baseball bat as a gift

It's the month of gifts and happiness.
Unlike some other countries here in The Netherlands we celebrate our day of gifts at the beginning of the month.
Our Santa Claus is called Sinterklaas, en he leaves his gifts at the homes of people during the night from december 5th to december 6th.
Christmas is more of a get-together around some nice food and drinks, and is ofcourse about peace in the world, and the original christmas story.

But finding out which gifts kids and grown-ups want is the same in all countries.
This year it was not easy, because we don't have much money to spend.
But I started in time and found something nice for each of the kids.

A friend had an easy time for his son.
The boy wanted a bat to add to his collection of personalized baseball bats.
What a perfect idea!

It was just a pity he expected the bat, instead of not knowing what to expect at all, as is a rule in our family.
So we ordered the bat online, made a fake present which was much smaller and arranged things in such a way that he thought he surprised us with a visit and he saw the present without his father wanting him to.
It took quite some muscle power to keep our smiles away from him, but it worked.
He nagged for over a week about wanting to know what he would get. LOL!

So when he finally got the most perfect bat for his collection he was all over the place. He was so enormously surprised!

Isn't december a wonderful month when you're full of ideas?


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas market

We suddenly realised it was the last day of the German christmasmarket in the borderarea.
We went laSst year and had a good time, so we said we wanted to go this year too.

But in all the huzzle and bustle of daily life at the begiing of december we forgot.

One of our sons asked if we wanted to go with him and his girlfriend and we did.

The large market was a disappointment.
Maybe due to the weather. It was raining, the paths were terribly muddy and still slippery with large bumbs with iced snow, and it was still light.

The choir which was supposed to bring happiness and joy was awfully nervous and didn't have any volume at all.

We had a cup of warm wine, which was delicious, had a look around and went.

On our way we saw two other markets, so we wanted to go there.
We passed one with about 2 or 3 stalls before we knew it, and then went to a small village where they had some stalls in a very small street.

It took ages to find a place to park, due to all regulations, but we managed to find something, only to discover the marketpeople were packing their stuff.

But... we saw lights in a churchlike building and decided tyo have a look there.
We were welcomed by warmth and light, nice smells and lots of stalls with wonderful items for almost no money.

It was marvellous!

I got many ideas for velted hats, saw lots of of jewelry and..we even bought a few things.

Two glass stars, one kind of snowy white, one a bit smaller dark blue.
And for the dollshouse I bought a handmade well for just a few euro's and got a gift package with it which was as expensive as the well itself.
The people where so very nice.

Then I saw some pendants and I love them. Just transparent raisin with a little flower inside. Just a few euros. But so very lovely!
The woman was gathering a few things and forgot to take a bead, so I gave it to her.
Sje was very nice and started to talk with us about being bussy and loving to make bracelets.
I said I loved making them too and that my daughter was even more of an artist. If she was allowed to come over and have a look?
She was enthousiastic and told she gave one-day-courses for 3 to 4 people, teaching them to make beads, bake them and create something with them.

So I know what I'm blogging for the next few weeks.

My daughters are so kind for their autistic brother that I think they deserve something special. A belated birthdaypresent.

Sponsors will be welcomed. :)

They didn't get much for or boxing day, so a decemberpresent for them would be perfectly right.

Maybe that's even the best of that market: it gave me a bit of the christmasspirit, the wish to make the house all christmassy and make all people around me happy.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blue Christmas

1) Do you ever suffer the blues during the holidays?

Yes. After one of my children, my father and gram died I always remembered them during christmas.

2) More than 18 million visitors have toured Elvis' home, Graceland. Have you ever been there?

No. I'm not amwrican. It's too far away.

3) Elvis dyed his naturally light brown locks black. Do you dye your hair?

Not at the moment, but before christmas I will.

4) He also insisted his young girlfriend, Priscilla, dye her hair jet black. If your lover asked you to change your hair, would you?


5) Elvis served his country at an Army base in Friedberg, Germany. Have you ever been to Germany?

Yes, almost every week. We live in the border area.

6) Elvis famously had an affair with Ann-Margret during the filming of Viva Las Vegas. Have you ever indulged in a dalliance with a coworker?


7) Thinking of his movies ... Elvis was, by and large, unhappy with his film career and once said, "The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one." Are you happy with the way your career is going/has gone?

That doesn't matter, does it?

8) Elvis lost "the battle of the bulge" toward end of his life. Are you happy with your weight?

I'm not happy with it, but I'm staying on the same weight, so I consider this natural for my age.

9) As a teenager, Elvis worked as an usher at a movie theater. What was your first job?

Typing adresses on envelopes.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The car, a trip.

We were sitting in the livingroom, discussing the appointment we had at school at the end of the afternoon, when our second son came in.

He was all over the place.

Right at that time he should be on his way to Belgium with the family of friends.
One of the cars broke down and now they were short of transport, so....

Rain pouring down, low temps, but why refuse a kid what's needed?
Ofcourse his father said "no" at first.
But when we discussed his and our options it was clear: he should take the car, we would go by bus.

And so we did.
When we went to the busstation it was dry.
The rest of the time the rain opured down again and we could only be glad it was not icerain.

At school we didn't have to wait for our turn.
So that was a good thing.

The guy was nice withouty being overfriendly and giving us the feeling he was hiding something. (We always had that feeling with our former contactperson.)

He told our daughter that she had take the weights of the marks for het schoolwork more serious, so she wouldn't spend time and effort to tasks that wouldn't contribute much to her endresult.

I already told het so too, and he already said it in his lesson, so that was a trip that didn't add anything at all.

Lost time, lost money, and no gain.
We need't even have had our talk with our son about the car.

Well, we were glad to be at home. That was something!