Sunday, June 23, 2013

Heart ultrasound and....

I went to the heart ultrasound without any expectations of good findings.
I knew by then there would be probably be a valve problem, perhaps even a contractibility problem.

It worried me a bit that I had to lay on my left side during the examination.
Up till then it had been a problem when I would be on my left side for longer than a few minutes.
The woman told me to signal that I had to sit up.

She started the examination by not allowing me to have a look at the monitor.
That bothered me a lot, as I want to know things at the same time as someone else does.
It´s my body...

But soon I realised she found a valve problem by the place she kept reviewing the anatomy and by the way she kept measuring what she saw.
I didn´t dare to move, nor ask to sit up.

Then she said there was no need to be frightened by the sounds which would follow.
Well, I welcomed them as I know the sounds of the heart very well.

All I heart was an enorumously leaking valve and a woosh that indicates a very weakened side of the heart.
It almost took my breath.
"Well, that´s a leaking valve for sure", I said.
She asked me to keep lying down even if it would be difficult.

Someone came in and left.

I was not allowed to sit up, and my breathing problems increased.

"I need to finish these measurements", she said.

Then I was allowed to sit up and I immediately looked at the screen.
All I saw was a very thin side of the heart and a valve that closed about half.

"Are you OK if I call your doctor in"?
Ofcourse I was.

He came, sat on the bed with me and looked at me.
I just looked back.
"You know?"
"Yes, I saw it and heard the enormous leakage."

"It's very bad. The valve is not closing at all, and the side is thin as paper. Your heart pmps 15% at most.
I want to admit you."

"Hmm... can I fo home and tell my autistic son and fetch my things.?"
"When will you be back?"
"Hmm...7 o'çlock?"
He smiled...I knew.
"OK, 6"
"Can't make it back at I'll stay."

"I've already arrabged a bed, so let's go there."

I was allowed to dress myself and walk to a bench.
It was about 5 steps away.
I could hardly get breath, but managed with all my energy to get there and sit down.
When I looked up he was standing near me looking at me.

One of my daughters walked in.
" I have to be admitted now. call the rest, please", was all I could say.

He was called and told the echopgraphist to bring me to the department as ony she knew what was the matter and could innform, others when something happened on our way there.
I didn't even protest when I was told to sit in the wheelchair.

More tomorrow.


First visit to cardiologist

When finally the day arrived I could see a cardiologist I felt a bit better because the pneumonia had gone, but I was far too fast very tired. I had difficulty breathing and because of that was on the list for a CT scan of the lungs.

I arrived half an hour early for my appointment, but the assistant asked me in anyway.
She said there was no need to make an ECG, as the former one was just a little while ago.
I asked to do it again, as I was ill when it was made and I hoped it to be improved.

She said I needed the whole standard assessment, including length and weight, but I didn't mind as long as I got an ECG.

It turned out to be exactly the same as the former one, so I knew something was terribly wrong.

I had to wait for the cardiologist and expected to wait for half an hour, so took a paper from my bag and a pencil and started to draw.
I can't draw well, but sometimes I just try to get my mind away from worrying. So it seemed very appropriate at the moment.
No need to phantisize about what was going on when a cardiologist was on his way to explain to me.

Quite a while earlier than expected he stepped into the room.
He saw me drawing and smiled.
I smiled back and said that there was no need to study what was on the paper, because I can't draw at all. I just needed to kill time in a creative way.

It just clicked between us.
I don't know why.
Maybe because he looked very much like one of our chinese friends in Amsterdam.
Maybe my mala did the trick, as it does more often between like minded.

He gently told me that something was wrong with my heart and he wanted to do an advanced heart echo, followed by a 24 hours holter, which is an heart monitor one carries around as a very small box.
He didn't want to speculate, just go through the process step by step, if I could agree.
I could.
He told me I was not allowed to engage in any sports of intensive bodily movements. My heart rate was far too high, in the dangerous zone. I would place my life at risk.

He also asked if I could agree with him being my cardiologist.
I said that the challenge would ne on his part by having me as a patiënt.
We laughed and parted with a good feeling, even though I now knew for sure something serious was the matter.


Livin' on a Prayer

1) This song tells the tale of Tommy, who works on the docks, and Gina, who works in a diner. Where do you work?

After what has happened the past weeks I'm not alloweed to work at all.

2) Jon Bon Jovi has said that he and Frank Sinatra are distant relatives. Tell us about one of your relatives.

The famous Erasmus is part of our family tree.

3) Jon and his high school sweetheart tied the knot in Vegas at the Graceland Wedding Chapel, and they remain married today. When you were in school, who did you fantasize about marrying? Where is that person today?

I was engaged to be married, but he went to study at another part of the country, so we hardly saw each other.
We broke up.
He married with a woman with many musical qualities. he lived now in the north of the country. he took over the business of his brother after the wonderful guy sadly died far too young.

4) The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation is devoted to supplying local food pantries and helping rebuild neighborhoods hit by natural disasters. Here's your opportunity to give a shameless plug to a charity you support.

I'm collecting money for an autism house annex caretaker's house.

5) Jon is often complimented on his hair. What's the most recent compliment you've received?

That O look so young the doc thought I had small children.

6) Everyone talks about their favorite vacation spots. But, since Sam is crazy, she wants to hear about a place you visited that you wish never to return to.

Can't be of help. Sorry.

7) When was the last time you played cards with an actual deck (as opposed to on your computer)? What game was it?

I hate playing cards, so I can't answer the question. But I was aksed to play cards just a week ago by an old man in hospital.

8) Do you bite your nails?

No. Inless one breaks and leaves a sharp edge.

9) Where are you as you answer these 9 questions? What's the view from where you sit?

In a corner between bookcases. On the shelf above the computer a small gnome is hanging, and a felt star. At the desk is a buddha statue, a prayer wheel and a few nice stones. And my glasses.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

I'm back!!!

I'm back!!!

With a lot to tell and the hope I'm able to tell it all.

It started a while ago.

I wasn't feeling well, had problems breathing and felt I had to prepare my autistic son for living in a protected environment outside home.
The last is almost impossible after the whole caresystem has changed due to the recession, but the whole idea of having to take care of him untill my death frightnened me to bits. I assumed that would be untill my 80ties and I saw myself repeating every daily activity year after year in the same way, without any change than his beard getting grey and I growing a terrible curved back.
On the other hand I worried about him being left alone when i wouldn't be on this earth anymore.

I was tired of fighting all those people who know everything so well about the lives of others without being able to manage their own, and seeing even uglier fights in the near future.
Ofcourse I have my friends, but I felt alone for some strange reason.

Then I got pneumonia, which was rather nasty and more troubling then the 5 times I've had it before.
It was like something had taken my breath away and left me like a night candle, trying to stay on.. barely.

When the antibiotics were gone I still felt ill.
My doc send me to hospital for a bloodtest to see of there was still an infection.
The nurse said I would get his call in about an hour, but it took him all afternoon so I assumed he had to speak to the lungspecialist.
I was right.

She wanted to see me. I would get a mail the next day which would tell me when to call for an appointment.
It came the next morning, thursday, and stated the department would have the paperwork ready on monday after 14.00 o'clock so I could call after that.
Then the phone rang: I had to be there on monday.

She showed me the x-ray with the pneumonia and a lot more that was ugly, listened to my lungs and told me she thought I had a lung embolism.
I smiled. Told her I didn't have one, but that something else was seriously wrong and went on trying to breathe.

Then I got paperwork and was ordered to have bloods taken and to have an ECG.
I had to walk through a large part of the hospital, even had to go back because the secretary had mixed up names, and could hardly make it to the ECG.

To my surprise I got the transcript straight with me including a computerized diagnosis and it scared the hell out of me. I sat down, wrote it all down and handed the transcript over to the doc.

She told me I didn't have a lung embolism and was allowed to go home, but with a referral to the cardiologist.
It looked like something was wrong.

I had to wait 6 weeks before I got an appointment.
By then I had deteriorated badly, could hardly walk, had difficulty breathing every day for hours on end.

More tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

quick message

Laane is in the hospital with severe heart problems.
In case you want to mail her, just comment here and I'll send her the message or ask for my mail.

Her Daughter.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Proving she's healthy.

One of my daughters came home from school last week with all her emotions boiling out.
Before she'd even opened her coat she started to tell me what happened.

"First put that coat away and sit down", I told her.

So we sat down and she told me that her class-teacher had approached her in her rather irritating voice and had told her she was worried because my daughter is small, skinny and looks pale.
It sounds nice, and is probably meant well, but we've dealt with all sorts of people commenting on my daughter's looks and we're fed up with them.

My daughter is second of twins.
Many of the second twinchildren are smaller than their brother or sister. So is my daughter.

Funny thing is that she looked from the first moment on just like me. I used to have the same curly hair, the same eyes, and the same pale skin and I was just as skinny. The only difference between us is the fact that I was a bit larger and my character resembles more that of het twinsister.

When she went to kindergarten the teacher asked if she was healthy.
The teacher knew us well and knew that when I said "yes" it was OK.

When the girls went to primary school the teacher didn't know us. So we were told she looked bad and we needed to go to the schooldoctor with her.
We did, and told the woman to contact our family physician. He told her our daughter was perfectly healthy. Just small, pale and skinny.
My daughter got a clean bill of health and for a few months the teacher left her alone.
Then she started again. Did she eat enough? Did she sleep enough?

It became a chosen habit to visit our family physician every 6 months to show she was OK, so he could tell those teachers that. They believed him more than us, it seemed.

In the meantime our daughter grew het own sizebook.
She was able to eat more than her brothers.. LOL!
It was fun.
One of my friends couldn't believe it, so she invited my daughters over for dinner. Haha! She couldn't believe her eyes!!!

At school we were kind of dependent on the teachers. Some just accepted our daughetr for who she was, others judged us for not treating her well until they got to know us, saw the lunchbox of our daughter or called our daughter. One of them got stuck in her own judgements and made life hell for us. Oh, what people think.... and act on... me oh my!!

At secondary school we met about the same kind of couple of teachers. They didn't even bother to ask us something, they just judged... and hurt us badly.

But then we got a few good teachers who observed before they passed judgement. they saw how strong she was, how good tempered, how dynamic.
Funny thing is her ballet teachers never asked us about her health. None of them.

And the peers who dared to bully her about her skinniness were frightened off by her reaction. "Everybody is different."

By the time my daughter went to nursing school she had accepted herself. She didn't expect any bullying, and she certainly didn't expect teachers to put on their mothering voice and tell her she's not OK.

So I mailed that teacher.

Said that sure my daughter had some healthproblems during the flu epidemic that hit our city and ofcourse our family too.
But that she's OK.

Perhaps we need to inform our family physician that the old problem with well-meaning teachers has started again.

What would you do??


Poetry in music on a guitar

Music has always been of main importance in my life. Apart from ballet and later ofcourse my family.
Quite some people have created some wonderful memories with me.

One of those people popped up on TV a few weeks ago.
It was fun to see him. he was singing and sounded just like "in the old days."
I found him in the social media and commented on his singing and looks.
It was like he'd never changed, even though life sure hasn't been easy in the meantime.

Unlike me he never took his life in another direction. He sounded a bit ashamed. But I feel it's not up to me to comment on that. He wanted to explain and asked me to drop in.

I did.
It was like stepping back in time and into a world of the past.

One large wall in his livingroom was decorated with guitars.
A good gibson firebird caught my eye and made me smile.
"If you'd lived my life you'd never been able to have that one on the wall and use it to make music", I said.

Later he said that that remark made him feel at peace with the most important choice in his life: to dedicate everything to music.

Ofcourse he played his latest compositions for me.
Using such a gorgeous instrument adds a whole panorama of feelings to the music and text.
From rough rock to delicate melodies, it sounded all so much more... ripened.
He's one of the few people who can write poetry in music on a guitar.

We all live different lifes, and he thought mine would be more important because of the children.
Ofcourse we can give the new generation children. We have to.
But we also need to give them the arts, otherwise people won't get in touch with their inner self and their inner beauty.

We parted with the promiss to meet again when he's back in my country after a large world tour.
We'll be a bit older then, but still appreciating the best instruments and music.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Greased Lightnin'

1) Greased Lightnin' was the name of a car. Have you ever given your car a name?

Never had a car for myself, so it sure didn't have a name.
How easy it is to think everyone has a car.....

2) Could your vehicle use a trip to the car wash this weekend?

They don't accept bicycles.

3) This song is from the soundtrack of the movie Grease, the biggest money-making movie musical of all time. Have you ever seen it?

Yes, I did.
several times, because when I had outgrown it, one of my kids took an interest.

4) John Travolta's astrological sign is Aquarius. What's yours?

The same.

5) In addition to being John Travolta's birthplace, Englewood, New Jersey, played a significant role in telecommunications history. In 1951, Englewood's mayor made the first-ever direct dial long-distance call in the United States. Now it's your turn. Tell us something about your birthplace.

My birthplace was a frontcity in WW2.
The bridge provided the only means to travel from north to south and vise versa.
The English together with people from the resistance crossed the river by boat and now at that very same place a new bridge is built.

6) Travolta is an excellent dancer. How are you on the dance floor?

Well, age is taking it's toll, but I was at least as good as he was.
Seems strange to say, but I was.

7) Grease is an upbeat musical about the students of Rydell High. Another Travolta movie is Carrie, which features the worst prom night imaginable. Grease or Carrie -- which is closer to your high school experience?

I've never seen Carrie, so I don't know.
I enjoyed high school. Not every aspect of it, but we were with a nice group of friends and we loved organising things at school. We did.

8) What was your best subject in high school? What was your worst?

Mathematics was my worst, some other subjects were far better.
Best: the languages.

9) Sam made good use of the bus ride to school, using that time to complete her homework. What do you remember about getting to or from school?

It was a long bicycle ride.
When my mom forbid me to wear denim, I got one from my gram. Half way I changed trousers at the home of a friend. So I always arrived at school looking up to date.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Got a multiple-paged leaflet stating I had to wear a large sized t-shirt, so I went through all the moves of finding one.
The past months I've seen them all over the place, but last week I couldn't find one...anywhere.
But I fell for a very nice tunic, black with white city contours. Very nice fabric, perfect for the summer. Just leggings under it and ready.

Hb was not to keen to buy me a shirt for mother's day...that was the excuse for buying it, but a moderate expensive buy once a year should be possible. So I bought it anyway. Puh!

Then at home, the evening before the scan, I started to doubt my decision to wear it to the CT scan.
Plain nerves. Found me two old long-ish summer shirts and put those in the bag too.

Well, I arrived too early, was imemdiately referred to the scan department, was called in 4 minutes later.
She had a look at my ears and arms. "No jewelry". "Right, was in the leaflet."
"And do you wear a bra with iron?"
"No.. just an elastic top".

"Well, there's none to comment, so just walk in like you are and get it over with."

So I had to lay down, I just left my sjawl and mala behind, and was scanned.
Arms above me, breating in... in the circle, and out. Breating in...out of the circle...breating again.
Then she came in and told me she was also doing a round with breating out.
So she did.

And I could walk out of the hospital again.
Would have been nice to have all those scans, ultrasounds and other "few minute things" one after another.
It took me an hour to go to and fro, and about 5 minutes to be in.
On my way back I also got a good splash of rain.

But I've got my tunica...


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The cardiologist - part 1

So yesterday I went to see the cardiologist.

I was far too early. Almost half an hour.
Even after registering and getting one of those hospital identification cards.
The lung department never requires one, but cardiology does.

I sat myself on one of the new coaches.
They look like old fashioned train seats, with high straight vertical backs. So very uncomfortable.
But I found one of the best magazines and settled for a long wait. Alone. The waitingroom was empty.

Within 5 minutes I was fetched.
The assistant looked at the former ECG and decided it wasn't necessary to make a new one. "It was made just 2 weeks ago."
I asked her to make a new one anyway, because I was so ill last time.

So I had to go through the full line of weighing, measuring and the ECG.

I hoped the ECG would be completely different from the former one, but it wasn't.
Quite a disappointment, but it also made me curious what would be the next step: ultrasound?

I had the wait for the cardiologist and was in doubt: should I go to the waitingroom and fetch that magazine, or take an empty paper from my bag and a pencil?
I could be in for a wait of half an hour.
I decided to go for the last and made a shopping list, which I never do, and then started drawing. Well, sketching.
You have to know I'm not a very artistic drawer...

The cardiologist suddenly entered the room and expressed his surprise to see me bussy drawing.
Immediately this set off a good conversation, with humor. It clicked.

He did his examinations and then told me not to sport or physical exercise in any other way, as my heartfrequency is far too high.
he said he thought it not to be caused by a heart problem. We've done all the tests necessary before, and nothing came up, so the mystery is referred back to the lungdoc.

He was pleased a CT scan has been planned already for wednesday.

Then we turned back to his field of expertise. He's going to search out why the computer signals ventricular hypertrophy by doing an echo.
I will also be called in to fit the whole machine toodoo for a holter-examination, which means measuring the heartactivity for 24 hours at home.

I liked his way of dealing with things. He was straightforward, not fond of guessing, and just a very nice guy.

I feel lucky to have two good specialists looking into my health.
None has done that properly before, not even the guys who were supposed to care for my diabetes.
It's great to have two people that are able to communicate well and I won't mind walking part of the more serious medical road with them. I can be myself.

So when I went home I was partly worried about what to expect, but was also smiling because he asked me how I managed with all those children when shopping as they won't fit in the car. I answered we don't have a car at the moment, but that it doesn't matter. They're between 26 and 17 and they're pretty well able to take their bicycle and follow me. he had a good laugh and said he forgot my age.
Well perhaps that's the problem why none took me serious before: too dynamic, not the complaining droopy old middle aged woman who needs care and attention.



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Another mother's day. I'm getting quite experienced, am I?

Today was a bit strange, as the oldest boys had other things to do.

One of them had to work, and one of them was invited for a helicopter flight with his father-in-law-to-be.

As we don't have much money at the moment I told them to turn back to macaroni chains and homemade cupcakes.
I got the cakes. LOL!

And a small present: a very nice container for in my bag with a small mirror.

We just had a nice day and that was OK for me.
But it was not without memories.

When the kids were young they had to learn a poem at school and present it at home.
They've never known that I was often the poem writer for mother's day. LOL!

My autistic son never liked mother's day very much.
He didn't like the DIY which school requested from him and he didn't like the fuzz at home.
He still has issues with that, because a break in routine doesn't make him happy.
But we never refrained from this special day.

I hope all mom's have a special day.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mama Told Me (Not to Come)

1) This song is about a lad who didn't take his mother's advice and attended the wild party anyway. When you were young, did your parents approve of your friends? If you're a parent yourself, how have you handled it when your kids start hanging around with friends you're not crazy about?

No, my parents didn't approve of them all. In fact it was my mother. But she objected against everything. The boy was too short, the boy had an uncle who.... She was afraid I couldn't assist her in the house anymore.

I have dealt with a friend of one of the girls I didn't like to get a more permanent place in het life. I asked him to come over and when she said "no", I asked her why. I just made her think without saying anything nasty.
Just to be able to see him from a different angle and to see her future behind tomorrow changed enough to make her tell him to come back when she would be still single at 30.

2) A 2010 poll named Marge Simpson of The Simpsons the most popular TV mom of all time. Who is your favorite TV (or movie) mother?

Mother Walton. LOL! She had a large family, could deal with all those changes of plans and people dropping in just like that. She never got angry with the kids, or I didn't see those parts, and she had a nice smile.
Last year I discovered Mamy on the BBC. I hope I wrote this right. She's my all time favorite. LOL!

3) Crazy Sam's mother is a big fan of The National Enquirer. As she likes to say, "They were right about John Edwards!" Do you read the tabloids? Cast a guilty glance at them when you're in line at the store? Or ignore them altogether?

I ignore them... or rather, they hardly pop up in my life, and the ones I saw in hospital in the waitingrooms were too old.

4) Mother Winters always gave Sam peppermint tea to calm her stomach. Do you have any tried-and-true home remedies to share?

Not really, tea will do.

5) Thinking of guts ... When making decisions, do you tend to consider all the options carefully or do you "go with your gut"?

Both, if possible. I try to consider the options, but if necessary I make an immediate decision and deal with the consequences.

6) Spring is here! Do you have a green thumb?

Yep, but need more green time.

7) Have you put away your winter clothes yet?

Right in the middle of it.
But oh, what did we have a long winter and how grey and terrible it is now.

8) After you lather and rinse, do you repeat?


9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away Hershey bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds?

Good milk chocolate.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Like a vacation

Last week the girls had a vacation from school.
This week is broken with festive days, resulting in free too, that we feel like it's an extended vacation.

The feeling is complicated with the fact that one of the girls is preparing for her final exams.
She only needs to be at school in the schooldays.
And we try to be as cheerful as possible, not to give stress a definitive place at home.
She needs to come home and find it a relaxing place.

So it's kind of strange.. again.
The years in a row I've got kids do their final exams.
It's the last year this time.

The next group of years that kids have exams will be when the kids finish their next level of education.

It's kind of surprising how fast time goes.
In my mind I held them in my arms yesterday and already we're talking about moving to another town, future plans to move, what the requirements are to move to another town and even another country.

My plans for the future to move to my roots are complicated by the new plans of the British government.
Strange they allow pensioners to move to another country which has no special requirements and ask from me to be beneficial to society, otherwise they won't let me in.
Well, I don't plan to sit somewhere on a rock with my arms aside me to support my poor back.
I want to do whatever I can to make a living, so..... come ans ask me in....NOW!!!!
:) :) :)

Well, after the kids have landed somewhere secure and have stabilised their future well enough.
I still have a task, even though it´s getting smaller and smaller.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Girls and swimwear

I love my girls to bits.
And I value their way of dealing with fashion.

One likes to experiment. For a long time we thought she would study fashion, but she went to nursing school when she learned that during a recession people won't find work in fashion unless they're the very best of the world.

The other daughter was more moderate in her choice of clothes.

But swimwear...that's something else.
They want what's in fashion and they want the best.
Last week they found la blanca swimwear at and since then they have spoken about nothing else.
Their friends have seen the site too and are just as enthousiastic.

And to be honest: I have seen some pretty bathing suits too.
I love them in one colour.
But the girls fall for the Kaleidoscope collection and the Rainbow Palm collection. Both designed for the summer of this year, both colourful and pretty.
So I have to say there's nothing wrong with their taste of fashion.

Because not all families of their group of girlfriends have the money for new swimwear immediately available some of the mothers have agreed not to give in and tell them to get a vacation job to pay for their new bikini's while the ones of last year are still good enough.
They wanted quality last year, meaning expensive clothes, that means it lasts longer than a year.

But I'm sure they'll find a way to get the new look of this year.
And some of the girls have younger sisters who would love the former swimwear.


Bilangual children

because I was very young when I learned some english and it was of great help at school, we decided to raise our children in such a way that they would be able to speak their national language as perfect as possible and be so familiar with english that they would be able to understand the language well and would be able to speak it in such a way that they would be able to express themselves enough to engage in conversation.

We also agreed I would be the one to speak english, because my pronunciation is good.

It was no effort at all to speak english with them at times.
When changing nappies they got familiar to the sounds, for instance.
And I would learn them the names of objects in both languages.

When the oldest was about 2 and a half years old it turned out that we had made the right decision.
A couple came to live here and they and their kids were speaking english as the only language.
We became good friends and the children played together.
And learned together.

Both little boys used to walk around our round table and point to the things on the table, playing a language game: cup-kop, paper-krant.
The english speaking boy learned dutch very fast, and my boy learned some words he didn't know yet.

This language game was something they shared for years.
Even when they were 8 they used to ask themselves: do I know the name for that in another language, and when they didn't they would ask.

At school my children did very well on the subject.
They enjoyed tasks others loathed, like writing letters and stories.

They had it easy on the subject for their final exams and this morning one of the girls told me that she was happy she learned english so early in life.
She's dyslectic and she feels it's not interfering as much in english as in her native language.

I'm very happy that all this turned out a very good decision.


Spiders and boys

Haha, when you think the boys catch spiders for me, you're wrong.
200% wrong!

It's me who catches the spiders for them.

Yes, that's strange.
I'm afraid of spiders and still I have to put an old shoe on them and send them off to a next life.

We need a spider trap here. A good one.
Preferably one without poison, because I don't want to kill anything else or make the kids ill.
So one with glue, but without me having to take the spiders away from the glue.

Yesterday evening I was ready to go to bed when the third son came in looking like he'd seen the devil in person.
Near the door of his hobbyroom, so outside in the garden, on the wall, sat a spider.
A large one.
I still get the shivers when I think back. It scared me to bits.

Still I had to take all my courage and tell it goodbye forever and hit it with an old shoe.

Why an old shoe? Because the sole is flat and the spider can't grasp the thing and cling to it.

Oh, the idea of bringing thát spider into the room.... NO!

So when people tell me I'm lucky with so many kids I think about their lack of courage when it concerns spiders.

So I'll get us a spider trap. A safe one.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5, 2013

It's the day after remembrance day, so freedom day.

Last year we went to the national concert in Amsterdam, which was very special to me, because the Queen waved to me personally, much to the delight of the people around me.

This year we decided not to go.
We expected too many people there as we have a new King and queen.
But when we heard our former Queen would be there we felt a bit left out and stupid not to go.
Well, we watched it on TV and it was not as nice as last year.
Quite unexpected the concert ended too early.
I guess it was done on purpose for safety reasons and to enable people to leave the city in time.

Next week I will tell more about the new King.

Life is a bit busy here.
Spring has finally started, so there needs to be a lot done in the garden.
I don't really mind...

And next week one of my daughters starts her final exams.
She has a reasonably well basis for compensation, but ofcourse she's not the best in all subjects.
Dyslexia has been interfering a lot this year, as we expected.

The other lady to be needs to study again. Pathology at the moment.
Not her favorite subject. She likes to take it a bit easy.
So I sat down with her and explained a lot and tried to find out what she already knows and where the blancs are.
Let's say I'll ask her a lot the next days what all those difficult words mean.
I feel very lucky I know them well, so there's no escape for her. She needs to know it all when she really wants to become a nurse.

But today is a day off and they went to celebrate with a group of friends.

May 4, 2013

It's remembrance day in The Netherlands.

After my father died it got a special meaning to us, because he served in WW2.

My family was part of the resistance.
He worked a lot with radio's and wiring and such.

I never knew how he travelled to England.
He knew Paris reasonably well, so he might have used the pilot route, which was known to my family.
Recently I learned there was a resistance group of young people in a city nearby.
One of the names mentioned was a name I've heard before in the conversations in the family.
So maybe he went with a couple of young guys, using a more northern route.
He once mentioned an american training base and soldiers from that base landed more north in Europe. The boys might have been taken to america and from america to england.

He never said something about it, so I don't know and his files in the RAF are still closed. As are those of his army chaplain, who was decorated when he came back to our country after the war.

Remembrance day is always a day to remember them and those they knew.
So many stories, so many young lives.
The dilemmas of making war and not wanting to kill people. I know from them how heavy the burden was they carried with them all their lives.

And still, no recognition for my father or my family.
They kept secret about their resistance work, but now they aren't even mentioned in the history books.

My kids will keep on looking so they once can write about some great people.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tunnel of Love

1) Do you enjoy amusement park rides?

To be honest, I haven't been in an amusement park for many. many years.
But I never really enjoyed the rides.

2) In this song, Bruce likens romance to riding through the tunnel of love. The Red Hot Chili Peppers sing about a "Love Rollercoaster." What amusement park ride reminds you of your relationships?

Well, it's always the stereotyped rollercoaster in any relationship, isn't it?

3) Bruce's nickname is The Boss. Who was your best boss? What made him/her a good supervisor?

Difficult question, as I've had quite some good bosses.

My boss at university was not the best, as he gave me my own responsibility and his.
But I enjoyed it a lot and I have learned a lot by doing all his work too.
I didn't mind a bit.
So he wasn't a good boss technically, but has been from a personal and historical point of view.

And when I was a telephonist I had a really good boss.
She was firm, with all those women there she had to be.
She also knew her people well and gave compliments at the right time.
She trusted me, even though I was 15 (and older), and she was right.

4) Bruce's father was a bus driver and his mother was a legal secretary. What professions did/do your parents work in?

My father was a flying engineer in the British Royal Airforce, and later worked at the national telephone company in an organising position.
My mother was a telephonist.

5) Bruce met his wife Patti at a bar in Asbury Park. Do you believe you can pick up lasting love in a bar?

Well, it happened to quite a lot of people. So....

6) Springsteen was unable to work for years because he was embroiled in a lawsuit with his management company. Have you ever been sued, or sued someone else?

No, never and I hope it stays that way.

7) Bruce won an Oscar for writing the title song for the Tom Hanks movie Philadelphia. Do you have a favorite Tom Hanks movie?

No, I don't think so.

8) Bruce's official Twitter account (@springsteen) has more than 389,000 followers. Do you tweet? If so, how many people follow you?

It's not important how many people follow you, because some just do because they want to be followed back and have lots of followers. It's more important if you can find people to talk or have fun with.

9) Bruce's drummer, Mighty Max Weinberg, led the band on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Who do you think is funnier -- Conan or Jay Leno? Or are you looking forward to Jimmy Fallon?

Well, it's american TV, isn't it? I should look up those people, watch them online and give a fully informed answer, but I won't. How can I look forward to someone I don't know at all?

Have a nice weekend!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Better health... or urgent referral to cardiology?

Thanks for all the well wishes.
I feel a lot better.

Ofcourse I'm still very curious about the results of the CT scan and the cardiologist.
The CT scan is at the 15th of May, the cardiologist...I don't know.
Should be before the 4th of june.

But Im eating again, and I can do things again.
My breathing is nearly normal.
The heartfrequency is down to a 100 per minute in rest, which is not OK yet, but almost normal. Not for me, for the statistics.
And that's what dealing with unknown doctors is all about, isn't it?

I still haven't had the date of the appointment in the mail.

On the site of the horpital it said that a referral of one of their own specialist would take about 6 weeks, and one from the family physician just 2.

Si I asked the informatio centre on mail.
Got a mail back asking me to ring.

When they can be reached by mail, they should answer by mail.

Then I had to clarify my question. Like I asked something straight from an unknown language.
As a reply she asked for my personal details.

I said: "No. No need to give me preferential treatment. I just want to know there's a discrepancy from a month between those referrals." And maybe she could advice to ask my family doc for a referral or just go to the cardiologist of the other hospital in town.

When she mailed back she had gone to cardiology with my name, and she told me details only one who hads been in my files know.

Me oh my, did she put me in risk for an urgent cardiology referral!!!

Not only said I "no" to taking my details to cardiology, she also appeared to have spoken with someone there in detail about my medical history.
By law and professional code she's not allowed to.

I wish for once she had sticked to the rules.
She managed to mess up a while ago to, so it's someone who either doesn't care about law or is not able to learn.

Ofcourse I shouldn't have asked to explain me why an internal referral takes so much longer than an external one.

Oh, and I asked if they knew anything about the effect of the waitinglist on the health of the people on it.
She didn't know.

Well, I do now.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Parachute jumping

My second son took some more parachute jumps this weekend.
He just needs two more jumps for his diploma.

Yesterday evening he asked if it was OK for him to come and show photos and some movies.
Yes, ofcourse!

It was great to see him sit in the small airoplane and wait for his turn to jump.
One of the guys was hesitating, but my son just went like he'd done it thousands of times.

Yes, he is afraid that moment.
Yes, he realises it's plain stupid to jump from a plane in the sky just for fun.

But it's special to be a parachutist, just like his grandfather.
I think that's the main reason for doing it.

Initially he wanted to jump with a small parachute during the national remembrance day, but he´s now considering not to take the risk.
Each year young men are injured when they land on the uneven terrain, and he knows someone who got stuck with his foot in a rabbithole when he landed and he broke his leg in a very bad way.

It´s a pity he´s lost his dream, but on the other hand: he's still using his brains and weighs risks in a sound way. (Well, I'm a parent, so I value that most. LOL!)

I loved to see the world from the pespective of a parachutist.
It's amazing to see the whole world so tiny.
To be away from it in the silence and to be with yourself.


Handle nuts

It's spring, so that means going around the house and see what needs to be done.

There is ofcourse some paintwork necessary.
As always there are some dirty patches near the staircase.
And one of the doors needs to be painted.

Apart from that: some repairs need to be done.

One of the doorhandles needs to be renewed, the handle of the downstairs tap doesn't work smoothly anymore, and at the attick some handle nuts need to be replaced.
I knew that last autumn, so I've taken the opportunity to have a good look around and decide which material would be best.
I've decided for malleable iron handle nuts.
But even then there's a choice, between zink plated ones and plain iron ones.
That's not a difficult choice, considering some people are allergic to zinc. So it narrows the choice down to the plain iron ones.

All I have to do now is measure the size and order them online.
My friend needs some for her attick too, so we'll order them all in one go.

It's easier that way.
Saves shipping costs and only one of us needs to be at home when they're delivered.
My son doesn't mind to be at home for the delivery.
He likes the mailman a lot, especially since he knows the guy has an autistic son too.
The mailman always takes a few minutes to talk with my son about his computergames.

So those handle nuts will be welcomed with enthousiasm here.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Don't Want to Talk About It

1) Crazy Sam is beyond sick of all things Kardashian! What's a topic you're just tired of and don't want to talk about anymore?

I don't get tired quickly, but I think all the attention for the private lives of celebreties, football women and such is just a waste of time.

2) Rod Stewart has been recording for more than 40 years. Do you have any of his music on your iPod/mp3 player?

I don't have an iPod or Mp3 player. But i know his songs anyway.

3) Rod Stewart is known for his coif. How much time do you spend on your hair each morning?

About 3 minutes for a quick wash and comb.

4) Rod's first child, a daughter, will turn 50 this year. His most recent child, also a daughter, is 2. How close in age are your children? If you don't have any children, how close in age are you and your siblings? If you don't have children OR siblings, well, tell us what's immediately to your left as you respond to this meme. If you don't have anything to your left ... Oh, hell, I give up!

17 and 26, and between.

5) Which do you prefer -- french toast or pancakes?

Ugh... french toast!
So it's pancakes.

6) When was the last time you lost your cool?

A long time ago.
In my mind? Just a moment ago, as my autistic son hates to shower and I think it's time. So I have to be very patient and talk him into it.

7) Crazy Sam once had a pet hamster she named Bart. Have you ever cared for a hamster or a gerbil?

No. not really. I think they're cute, but not to have and hold in a cage.

8) Are you ticklish?

Don't even dare to look at my feet!!!!

I once kicked a doctor when he tried my reflexes there. I think he still remembers it.

9) Ouch! You have a headache! What's your go-to remedy?

Ignore it.

Have a nice weekend!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The car broke down

Well, we knew we had an old car.
We knew it would stop sometime.

But ofcourse it stopped right at the most inconvenient moment: on our way to hospital.

Luckily the appointment was just a check of his ear, so nothing urgent or special. But still.

When we drove away from home I heard an unknown sound.
My intuition, not knowledge of cars, told me it was not OK.
When we went up the bridge, I said I didn't want to go to Germany for groceries, as we planned to do after the visit to the hospital.

On top of the bridge we heard an even stranger sound and decided to go into a small road between two factories.
He said he saw blue smoke, I didn't see it, but I felt worried.
When teh car stopped I stepped out and took our coats from the backseat. Passport safe. Phew.

No need to get the fire extinguisher out of the car.
There was no smoke.

We parked it in a decent way and I went home and he went to the hospital for the check-up.

Later he called my son and they both fetched the car after checking what was wrong.
As I thought, one of the bands was torn up completely.
It might have caused a fire, but didn't, because we stopped in time.

Now we don't have a car anymore, because it's not worth fixing it.
It means no transport, no cheap groceries.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A day at the hospital

Today I went to the lungspecialist.
I was quite glad to, even though I was a bit suspicious that there was no need to call the hospital, but that the hospital called me to come in. Being used to waitinglists ... And I had a mail on friday stating I could call for an appointment on monday 14.00 hours and later...
Just 10 minutes after that mail I had an appointment for the doc.

Well, I got a lady doc.
When I told her I had pneumonia the last week and still had difficulty breathing she told me that "at my age" it would take between 6 weeks and 3 months to feel the old self again.
(I didn't tell her that I don't mind grwoing and developing, but I want my condition back. LOL!)

She listened to my chest and said there were no deminished breathing sounds at the right, but enhanced sounds at the left.
I didn't say anything.

Then we sat down and she put one of those saturation metres on my finger. 98%, so quite well.
And then it was like she shot in the air.
"You've got a far too high heart frequency. All in all I suspect a lung embolism and you won't be able to go home unless I've ruled it out or treated it."

Well, as I have a risk of thrombosis...

She ordered a D-dimer test and some other blood tests and an ECG.

So I phoned home and told them I would be away for some time that afternoon and went to get the bloodworks done.
When I finally sat down there, she asked me name and birthdate and it turned out to be wrong on the paperwork.

Instead of phoning and faxing, I could walk back and get the right paperwork myself.
Considering the fact that I was breathing terribly it was worthy a formal complaint.

When I came back, I had to wait for several calls, as the phone presumably goes before medical urgency.
Then I was told to sit on the emergency chair, so I would be the first to be called in.
But they all just pressed the button to call someone from the main waitingroom and forgot the emergency chair.
When I realised this I went to the nurse I'd seen before when she finished a patient and she did the bloodworks.

After that I rushed to cardiology for the ECG.
I was breathing very shallow and fast.
I expected some waitingtime and I was welcoming it. But instead I had to go into one of those terribly small dressing rooms, get my t-shirt out and I was called in.
I had to lay flat on my back. I hate that, because of my bad back, and I never feel well.
My heart waas racing like cracy and laying flat I could hardly breathe.
She just popped those electrodes on and made the ecg.
It was not right at all, so she threw it away without saying anything and made a new one.

As it was urgency she popped it into my hands and made me go.
I nearly fell against the door as I almost fainted when I got off the bed, but none cared.

Then I had to walk through half of the hospital again to bring the print to the lungdepartment.
On my way I took a leaflet with a blanc back and sat down in the hall and wrote down the results of the ECG.
I was not happy at all with the results, even though I thought and think they're not very trustworthy.
I learned in the past that an ECG should meet some requirements to be valid and trustworthy and these requirements were not met at all.
On the other hand: one of the results suggested a diagnosis that is quite familiar. In fact it's the same heartdisease that caused my first daughter to die the second day after her birth.

But I've had x-rays a lot in teh past and never ever someone commented on it, so I couldn't believe it was right.

Nor did I believe by that time I had a lung embolism.
Walking through those long corridors of the hospital would have cause a shift of the embolism, I thought and that didn't happen at all. So...

Well, I delivered the ECG print to the lungdepartment and I was told to sit in the waitingroom. It was one of those white painted basement rooms without windows, with a few magazines and a coffeepot.
I didn't care for the coffee. I just wanted to go outside and sit in the sun.

So I said I would go out to the benches in front of the main entrance and enjoy the sun. I would be back by 4, because i didn't expect the bloodresults in any earlier.
She said she did.
I went anyway.

When I came back they were not in and it took another 10 minutes.

The ladydoc was very nice, which always makes me a bit suspicious. LOL!
I didn't have a lung embolism, so I was alloweed to go home.
She even said I was right I didn't have an embolism.

But the ECG was not right at all and suggested a heart disorder so I need to see a cardiologist. Yea, make an unltasound and see if there's hypertrophy...
And the lung x-ray was not right at all. If I have been in contact with toxic fumes or something like that? No.
She showed me the photo and it looked like fibrosis, I thought. So I need a CT-scan.

Then on top of it all I need all those asthma tests, because I always went to another hospital and they don't have a file at this hospital.

It will take ages before I know more: june 6th.

Untill then I have to keep quiet and live healthy. Well that second part is done already...

So I went home with difficulty breathing, without anything to help me....


Friday, April 12, 2013

You Belong with Me

1) Like the girl in this song, have you ever been in love with someone, but was afraid to tell them?

Yes, ofcourse. But waiting turned out to be very good. The guy grew into a real freak.

2) Taylor Swift has been known to write songs about her real-life lovers. If you were to write a song about the most recent person you were romantically involved with, what would the title be?

Too early, too long.

3) Ms. Swift recently turned 23 and has already won VMAs and AMAs and Grammys. What were you doing when you were 23? (If you aren't 23 yet, where do you see yourself when you hit it?)

Hmmm, 23. I was at university and was the youngest staffmember. Studying psychology and teaching methods and techniques of research. It was, apart from statistics, considered the most boring subject and my aim was to turn it into something really interesting. Imanaged to do so, so my boss gave me more and more space to work the way I wanted. It was a real joy.
Pity a recession came and I was, as the youngest, told to move on when they had to cut back in a very serious way on personnell.

4) When you were a child, did you sleep with a plush toy? (If yes, please include its name in your answer.)

I had a doll. Loesje.

5) I'm making a Starbucks run. What can I get you?

Never been to Starbucks. It's here now, since about 8 months, but I don't hear good stories at all.
So just pour me a coffee.

6) It was 60 years ago that Clarence Birdseye first marketed frozen vegetables. Now it's your turn: Share something you learned recently.

I learned recently .... eh..... eh.... that young people have a quite different approach of teamwork than we had in our days.
They work very methodologically, according to simple rules and brainstorming isn't brainstorming anymore. It's applying practical use of those rules. Thinking out of the box is hardly possible that way.

7) In junior high, were you class clown, teacher's pet, a geek, a jock ... or did you just melt into the background?

I was in the students board, schoolpaper and such, trying to make school a better place for everyone.

8) Was your most recent ticket for parking illegally or was it a moving violation?

To be ho9nest, I've never ever had a ticket.

9) Tell us about the last museum you visited.

Just the main museum of town.
It used to be a quite cosy place, now it was huge, white and glass, and even though I liked the collection, I didn't feel great there.
Wanted to use the space for a dance. But didn't dare.

Have a nice weekend!

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Practice makes a star

When one door closes another opens.
So even though I have to keep quiet I can have a good time.

No gardening at the moment, and no bagpiping either.
So I went upstairs and decided to practice guitar.

I'm the happy owner of one of the good alvarez guitars. Well, good, is not the right label: outstanding is better.

But I also have a rather good practice guitar and I took that one downstairs.
It's not very easy to play.
One simple mistake and one can hear it.
So it's perfect for practice.
And when I've finally managed the technique well, I'll work on the real one.

I'm very happy I was taught this way of practicing a long, long time ago by a very good mucisian.
He was in our town for a performance and I was the lucky girl who had to show him and his bandmembers around.
he liked it very much and wanted to do something back.
I didn't accept money, so he asked me if I played guitar.
By then I knew how to play a few chords. Nothing more.
He took the time to teach me for over an hour and I was delighted.

The value extended my whole lifetime.

"Practicing", he said, "is of the utmost importance.
So use a difficult instrument and then go to the best instrument and you'll play even better."

He was right.

So instead of sitting down and moan a bit, I'll practice a nice song and surprise my family in due time.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oops, not good.

Today I went to our family physician to have my lungs checked.
Had a firm course of antibiotics to deal with a pneumonia and i should be well and running by now.

Instead I'm tired, relatively breathless, unless I do absolutely nothing, and sleeping is crap.
Especially at the end of the afternoon I'm very tired and in need of a bit more air.

It's especially bothering me, because the weather is finally getting better and I feel like working in the garden and plant the new willow tree and try to enliven those roses.

I was lucky one of the boys drove me.
The doc was not happy with my right lung. Not enough breathsounds.
So I was referred to the hospital for emergencyblood tests.

The nurse told me they would be ready within the hour, so when i didn't hear from my doc two hours later I expected him to call the lungspecialist.

Turned out he did.

The bloodtests came back clear.

The x-ray, made when I had pneumonia, was a bit too clouded and diffusely clouded for a pneumonia alone so the lungspecialist wants to see me.
Not tomorrow, as in an emergency, but straightaway next week.

So I have to stay quiet until then.
He didn't say not to worry.

Well, I have beent thinking I might have COPD for a while now.
I don't smoke at all and none smokes in the house here, which is a rule as old as 25 years, but there are ofcourse other bad influences.
Like the fine dust in this area.

We're already looking around for a new place to live, but we're keeping it slow at the moment to give the girls all choice for their future. I don't want them to think they move too far from home or something like that.
When they want to study a bit more up north, we can move along with them if they want that.
So we're completely free in that.

And it's not the best time to move, financially.

It's interesting that more people around me are complaining of the air here. One of my sons and some friends and acquaintances said the past time they experienced itchy eyes, throat or even breathing problems after crossing the bridge over the channel here.

That's interesting, because one might expect clearer are when moving out of the city!

I hope we're able to have some time in the woods tomorrow or sunday. I feel better there.
And then we'll take it from there.
I'm lucky the children aren't small anymore and they don't require a mummy who runs around and is at 6 places, ànd near the laundry machine, ànd cleaning, at the same time.
They now want a mom who keeps her distance when they need it, is available when they need it, who keeps their clothes wonderful. LOL!

In fact they need practice to run their own household, so I'm sitting here with a smile.

I'm not a kind of panicky rabbit. I just want to know what's going on. That's it.

So all is fine.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Antibiotics, and then?

So today I finished the package antibiotics I was prescribed.

The right lung which was not functioning well, is doing better.
I think.

But I still can't breathe freely.
Crackling, wheezing. I feel twice as old as I am.
My energy level is up, but far from 100%.

But I'm taking up the old jobs, so the piles of laundry are diminishing a bit.
Right now I'm happy with the large laundry machine. Get's the whole lot moved and done a lot faster.

Yesterday it was the first day the laundry could be moved outside.
Now the new lot is moving in the wind.
It smells so great when it comes in again. And it's so much softer.

Last night we had very low temperatures again, but from now on day- and nighttemperatures should be on the rise.
I'm looking forward to the arrival of spring.
Hope I'm better then.
Not all the roses I've bought survived, but some can be put in the ground.

Well, first see what the doc says about my lungs and make some healthy choiced for better diabetesmedication.
Let's renew!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Whenever I Call You "Friend"

1) How did you meet your best friend?

Don't know anymore. At school, or here in the playground. I don't know. Shame on me!!

2) Mother Winters used to say she loved all us kids equally, but at various times she liked one of us more than the others. Does your "friend ranking" ever shift? Or is the person you think of today as your best friend always #1?

There was someone else. A friend of over 42 years. But this ended a few months ago, because of his lack of respect for other people.
I'm very loyal, so I'm still a bit shaken by my own decision to end the friendship. Can't be friends with someone who doesn't respect others.

3) What makes you a good friend?

I'm a good listener, caring, loyal and all that. I'm just a good friend.

4) Think back to your childhood -- what games did you and your friends like to play?

Rope jumping, sleeing and all that sort of childhood games we used to play then.

5) Would you rather lose your hair, or the little toe on your left foot? (Yes, you must commit to giving one up.)

Awww, that little toe is already so very little... I can do without.
But I also can do without my hair.
Hope others can do without it too without getting a heart attack because of laughter.

6) Think of the phrase, "like nails on a blackboard." What is your least favorite sound?

The very same sound.

7) Do you add fabric softener to your wash or place a softener sheet in the dryer?

I use the dryer as little as possible. It's far too expensive.

8) Showtime, HBO, or neither?

What's HBO?????

9) Have you ever fired a gun?

No, ofcourse not. Who do you think I am? Or what?
We're not allowed to have guns here.
We're peaceful people, have keys and locks on our doors and a phone to call the police when we need force to get someone removed.
Apart from that I can yell as bad that people won't be able to hear anymore after I've been yelling, so no guns.

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Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.

She's made a choice

Today one of my daughters went to audition for the fast track course to attent the dance academy.
I didn't expect her to get a place, because she's not very experienced in modern dance.
But she wanted to audition for her own reasons: to see what she needs to learn and if she's right she's way ahead with classical ballet. She also wanted to see of this part of the school is for her.

When she came back it was immediately clear that whatever the results, she won't go there.
"So childish!" was her first remark.

But she got the answers she wanted.
She's indeed very good at classical ballet.
And she's not that far behind with modern as she thought.

She also passed the physical, meaning she's bodily fit to be a ballet dancer.

So she was very content even though she wasn't admitted to the academy.

Ofcourse it's a disappointment.
But the chance of getting through was petite.

Now she's going to focus on her final examns and we'll have to see what plan B brings.

She's lucky there's time enough to make decisions for her future.
I think she needs to make them herself, but I try to assist as much as possible.
It's great to have all those different perspectives on the future.
Like you can conquer the whole world.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It was "no"

She wasn't admitted to the dance academy, but was told that she should audition for the fast track course.
She lacks experience in modern ballet.

This didn't come as a surprise.
Most kids start with streetdance or such. She started with classical ballet.
She's very good with that.

But it's a completely different way of moving from modern dance.
She took lessons, but not long enough.

So on friday she'll audition to the fast track and at the same time sees if that's something for her.

I'm very glad I've always been very honest to her about the chances of getting through the auditions.
Turned out she didn't even get the chance to show how good she is in classical ballet.

I wish someone who can offer her a chance will read this blog.
She needs a fair old-fashioned chance.

Right now dance education in this country is far too much centred about what sells well to the crowds.
My daughter doesn't want to be kept bussy with an education, she wants to learn something and give good performances in return.

In the meantime my other daughter is thinking about how to say goodbye at the old people's home where she worked the past 10 weeks.
She has learned so much there and has had such a good time, that she thinks about spending her future as a nurse for the elderly. She never thought she would like it there. But she now says she's had the best time of her life there.

So we're in a time of massive changes to futures.


Monday, April 1, 2013


The past week I've been feeling unwell, as I thought due to bronchitis.
It's not strange this time of year.

Today one of my daughters had her audition at the dance academy and I went with her to bring her and wish her well.
I was very happy for her when she walked to the building.
It's completely unknown if she'll get through, but the opportunity to audition was her main goal.

When the car turned and we drove home, waiting for her call, I could hardly get enough air, and at home things didn't get better.

I finally decided I needed a doctor.

We tried to get a normal appointment at the doc, but there was no room. The lady who answered the phone is not a very kind woman and she didn't even inform why we needed the doctor. She should have asked.
Right at the spot I decided I didn't want another bad night, so I asked her to tell the doctor I had called.
No reason, just my name.
Right at that moment he walked into her room and asked who was on the line. She said my name and he repeated it with a huge questionmark and asked: Why does she need an appointment?
"Breathing problems?.
"Let her come in. I'll see her in between."

He send me straight after the examination to hospital for an x-ray.

Turned out I have pneumonia.

Well, finally I get something for free and it's pneumonia!


Friday, March 29, 2013

I Don't Want to Wait

1) Are you impatient?

No, I'm not under normal circumstances.
But when things really need to be done and I know a fast way of dealing with something and I see someone can't take a decision, I tend to get things finished rightaway.

2) Do you believe some people have a gift for predicting the future?

Yea, sure. Especially weathermen, and -women. LOL!

3) The microwave is a great invention for those who "don't want to wait." What was the last thing you prepared in yours?

I only heat up things. So it probably has been a quick meal for one of the kids.

4) This was the theme of the TV show Dawson's Creek. Michelle Williams, a costar on the show, went on to earn multiple Oscar nominations. Name another performer who started out on TV and then became a movie star.

Dunno and I don't feel the urge to break my brains...

5) What's the last bit of advice you received?

A former teacher of the kids telling me I did so well with bringing them up that I would be perfect as a foster mom.
I was happy with that, but I don't think I'll be elegible as a foster parent at my age. LOL!

6) What's the last advice you gave?

To one of my kids: eat healthy and don't use your tongue so much for speaking. LOL!

7) Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What leaves you feeling refreshed or rejuvenated?

A shower.

8) Easter is also recognized as the start of the spring season. What are you looking forward to this spring?

I always look forward to spring. It's my fav. season. The birds, new leaves, flowers, bright skies...

9) Which would you rather find in your Easter basket: yellow marshmallow chicks (aka Peeps) or a chocolate bunny?

A bunny!!!

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Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I, a paranormal?

My son and his girlfriend wanted me to come with them to a jewellery fair.
I think their hidden agenda included giving the mothers-in-law to be the opportunity to meet each other in a relaxed setting.
It's the way I arranged to meet his girlfriend too.

Not sitting up and performing during a coffee drinking session on the couch, with everyone looking at each other, not knowing what to say. We just went shopping. Not too long. But long enough to get a simple idea about the other person.
The next time she visited at a birthday and just melted in the company.

So now it was my turn to meet someone who doesn't live too far away, but just far away enough to use another shopping centre. Otherwise we would have met already.

So we went looking for beads and bits and pieces to make jewellery.
The whole event was a double one.
The second half was a paranormal fair. All kind of clearvoyers sitting at tables collecting 15 euros for about 10 minutes of telling what they saw in coffee, hands, sand. Some were laying the Tarot or other cards. And a few just "knew everything" and even were able to speak with people in the here-after.

I felt sorry there was no-one drawing angels. MIL and I agreed we liked that most. The soft coloured flowing drawings are most of the time very beautful, no matter if they depict real angels or not.

We went to one of the clearvoyers.
He was able to see a lot in a hand.
When it was my turn he took my hand, hardly looked at it and told me I was tired.
Well, everybody could have said that.
Even more: I sat there with my shoulders forward in one of those typical asthma positions and heypresto! He told me I might have lungproblems.

He didn't see my shoulders were aching, nor that I was hungry. LOL!
Well, he tried his best, but whatever he told my son was wrong. Completely wrong.
And he kept on talking and talking, so no-one would comment in a proper way and no-one could ask questions.

MIL wanted to go to another session, so we went to an english guy with a very nice woman who translated everything. They were able to bring people to tears.
I was able to see some patterns in the way they dealt with people. Very interesting.

Ofcourse they didn't pick me as one of their subjects.
I don't mind. The other guy said I was paranormally gifted, someone said it 30 years ago, but most my best futuretelling is about which kids will like dinner and which won't.

We ended out rip with buying some beads. I loaded a very samll bags with very small beads for 2,50 and had one of my daughters all happy and bright with them.

I expected that.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

In the Wee Small Hours

1) Crazy Sam's mom and dad still talk about how exciting it was to see Sinatra in Vegas! What music did/do your parents enjoy?

Even though they were both singing in a choir and my father was a conductor, my mom didn't have a special interest in music.
My father liked a lot, as long as it sounded well.

2) We all know Sinatra sang, and he won an Oscar for his acting. But he also painted and was proud to sell a few canvasses anonymously (signed "Artanis"). Do you have a secret talent?

Yes, I think so. It's not really secret.

3) Those close to Sinatra maintained that every time he sang,"In the Wee Small Hours" (hear him perform it live here) he conjured up how it felt to lose his great love. Have you ever had your heart broken?

Who doesn't?
I think it's not about being your heart broken, but how you deal with it. Do you take the victim role or do you learn and move on?

4) In 1966, when he was 50, Sinatra married 21 year old Mia Farrow. Their union lasted less than two years. Do you think a wide age gap necessarily dooms a romantic relationship?

No, I don't think so. But younger people tend to have more radical ideas and this might lead to discussions that put people further away from each other than necessary.

5) Offstage Sinatra wore orange sweaters and liked seeing orange throw pillows in his home and dressing room because he believed "orange is the happiest color." What color raises your spirits?

Any colour that's bright. It has changed during ny life. Now I like bright pink. I don't wear it. But it's a nice colour for a good mood.

6) Frank and his loyal buddies were famously known as "The Rat Pack." How many people do you consider close friends?

I think my time has yet to come.

7) Sinatra's children followed their father into show business. What advice would you give a young person entering your career of choice?

One does and I told her all the ins and outs. The way people deal with wanting to be on top, the cheating, bad mouthing and the whole lot. Beng into show business requests a certain frame of mind. She's all set for performance, but doesn't want to know about back stage life. As she is a person who wants to experience things herself...

8) Legend has it that Frank was embarrassed by a scar on his face (received at birth from the forceps used in his delivery) and worked hard to cover it. Do you have a physical characteristic that you try to hide?


9) In 1964, when he first heard The Beatles, Sinatra was very dismissive. By 1970, he called the Beatles' "Something" one of the most beautiful ballads ever. Tell us about something you changed your mind about.

Work. I now would take anything to realise my dream. Including sheep farming.
Never thought that would happen. Animals were a nono.

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Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.

Working an extra 8 hours

Today I took part in an international event called something like 8 hours overtime for a good cause.

The aim is to develop for a good cause something they really need but can't afford, like a logo, publicity campaign or something like that.

About 30 people took part in my town.
We had 4 good causes to work for.

My group was an interesting mix of people from all sorts of professions.
Funny thing was that I landed on a subject that I know a lot about: assisting people with special needs.
One of the group was able to use the brainstormsession to get inspired to make a new front page of a flyer. Which can also be used as a poster, for instance.

Well, I'm too tired to get into details.
But I can tell you this evening was very worthwhile.

We were cared for in the best way possible. Well, whenever does it happen that someone fills a cup of tomatosoup for me?

Our final creation was so good, that the woman who received it burst out in tears.
Tears of joy.

And now I'm off to bed...



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The missing 4

Yesterday I wrote about the new mistake of the pharmacy.

Today I got a mail back from the boss.

"We only want to give full boxes."

It almost sounded like a joke.
Imagine that those boxes contain 100 pills.
Will we go 99 short?

And how about the bill?

Did they send a bill for 90 pills to the insurance or for 86 pills.

I asked her, but she didn't mail back and won't. I know that already.

I think I have to report this to the inspection. A pharmacy should deliver what the doctor prescribes, not what they want.
My oldest son told me he received a different kind of anti histamine. They didn't even bother to inform him. And the result was a massive allergy attack.

I wonder what will be their next "surprise".

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another mistake of the pharmacy

The past years we've had to deal with quite a lot of problems caused by the pharmacy.

I have to check everything, including the name on the stickers.

Last week the psychiatrist of my autistic son wrote a recipe for two meds.
As he needs 2 tablets of one kind and 1 of another kind, it's simple. Just multiply everything with 90.
So that's 180 of the first kind and 90 of the second kind.

So guess what we got.



OK. Wrong!!!!

180 of the first kind and 86 of the second kind.

I tried to mail the pharmacy.
Wrong mail on the site.
But I still had the mail of the boss there, so...

Then I wanted to answer a questionnaire about the site.
Not possible, unless I spend half an hour on giving private information.
So I gave up.

Now we're waiting for the reaction of the pharmacy.
We suggested they deliver the missing tablets.

I'll let you know when they arrive.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Money and retirement

It's like the elderly are a burden to society.
we're presented this way in the media of my country and yesterday I heard the same from people in a political program in British TV.

It's like we have done nothing in our lived than wetting nappies and now we claim a good pension too.
Come on!

We've worked many years, paid towards our pension and insurances, and now the recession is troubling us in many ways we're told there's not enough money available for old age.
I wonder why we've spend out time researching the way we need to guarantee an income during our last years,
AnnuityAdvantage and all those special terms one knows nothing about when one is young.

During the accumulation phase we worked very hard not to be a burden to society. Now it's near the payout phase we stare poverty in the face, because state pensions are lowered, costs have increased and will increase even more.

Im so glad we didn't keep our money in an old sock, but asked expert opinion about the best way to deal with our pension and tax issues.
But what to do now? Change it all into a life insurance policy, in an endowment policy, or something else?
Ask an immediate payout, or just a regular income?

All I know is that more expert advice is needed. More than ever we need to be aware of the influence of tax payments on our pension and on the inheritance.


Not descending

We live not very far from an airpost.
That means that at times we're bothered by airoplanes flying above us.
They're most of the time still very high, so it's more a psychological than a real problem.
The idea that one might drop out of the sky is scaring, but the chance it really might happen is very small.

This afternoon we were driving home.
(With that new bicycle on the back of the car.)

Suddenly I saw an airoplane flying rather low in an unknown direction.
I mean, it was not flying towards an airport.

I was saying something about it and digging my camera out of my pocket, when it suddenly made a sharp turn and flew towards the airport.
It was a strange sight.
Right at that moment my son, the photographer, phoned: "Mom, there's a plabe flying very low, and it looked like it's even descending more.
I could calm him. It was flying low indeed, but not descending more.
And, "Yes", I was taking pictures.

My camaera is far from what I need. It's a phone and it can't take any photos within 10 metres. So birthdayphotos and such are blurred and hazey. But the "far from the camera" shots are rather OK.
So it's possible to do some research when I see the photo. Find out which kind of plane and such.

the plave fluw low, and at a certain moment it looked like there wqas smoke coming from one of the wings.
It might have been due to the conditions in the sky, though.

Furthermore: the sky looked strange and there was a rather cold wind blwoing. Maybe there were such low temperatures near earth that the plane had to fly low.

I tried to find out more by searching the site of the airport and asking people.
But I could get no information at all about a plane in problems.



Next on my list: the banjo.

Those who know me know I love making music.
Not karaoke, but playing an instrument.

You can find musical instruments everywhere in my house.

On the table in the livingroom there's a whistel that has the same settings as a bagpipes.
It enables me to practice a melody immediately when I hear it.
It's a nice flute with a mellow sound so the neighbours won't cling to their chairs like they do when I play the highland bagpipes. LOL!

Upstairs I've got a few guitars.
And an old three stringed kind of violin.
It creates a very deep sound, which was used at the beginning of the last century for healing. Just like the fibration of bowls is used for healing now.

When I was young I wanted to play each and every instrument on the world.
I now know that's impossible.

But I still have a few instruments on my list that are one way or another within reach.

I can shop goodtime banjo online, I recently found out. It's great to know the realisation of a dream is within reach.
Why the banjo?
Because the sound is very special and because there are quite some funny songs that only fit banjo music.
It's time for some highly entertaining music.


Our family and bicycles

We all have our own bicycle in our family.
That's not surprising in our country.

Kids are taught how to ride one at an early age and you can see people of all ages on them.
We have special socalled bicycle paths alongside our roads, or a special bicycle area at the roads.

We're used to flat tyres, failing lights and a lot more.

My father taught me how to repair my bicyles and I taught my kids the same.
But when I was young we seemed to have more time to spend on our bicycle.
Cleaning it was done every week.

Things are changed a lot.
The kids have less time to repair their bicycles and when they clean them the risk that it's stolen is a lot higher.

We all have experienced that we wanted to take a bicycle and that it was gone.
Two were even taken from our garden, and one was taken from the parking space at the local church. (Yes, that's a long time ago... We're not visiting that place anymore.)
I remember when I wanted to go home with a two year old and two full shoppingbags and the bicycle, including the kids' seat, was stolen. I was so angry. The thief could have seen it was from a mom!

The girls need good firm bicyles, because they have to carry a lot of books with them.
They should have a new one every year, but that's not possible.

The past weeks one of the girls had a lot of flat tyres, so we wondered if there was an irregularity in the wheel. Her brakes were causing problems too.

Well, she's lucky.

This afternoon one of the boys called.
He was at his work and one of the people there wanted to sell a bicycle. My son immediately thought it to be a good one for his sister and phoned us.
We said we agreed with him and told him to buy it.
Because things were arranged so fast, the guy who wanted to sell the bicycle lowered the prize.

Well, the thing is standing in the garden now.
Waiting for a good look at it, and maybe some repairs.
And certainly for a good time with my girl on the bicycle paths.


Healthy snacks

It's interesting that the kids here focus on healthy eating whereas in the media it's said that young people don't care about it.

Maybe it's due to the fact that one of them studies healthcare, and another one wants to become a balletdancer.
Or maybe it's because I cook healthy and have told them that healthy snacks taste better than the regular bags of greasy baked potatoes.
I think that all those strange new chips are creating an adverse reaction too. Like the taste of french fries with ketchup. It tastes like old clothes, and doesn't even resemble the french fries taste.

I'm proud my kids follow their own taste and are not feeling ashamed to take to school what they like best: bare fruit snacks.
They remember me of the apple slices I used to make with my gram. We used to take special apples, clean them, slice them and hang the slices to dry in the air.
It was a way to preserve the apples, but also a way to save the nice taste for the days when there was no harvest of apples possible.
Later a friend from the tropics gave me dried banana slices. Their taste was delicious too.
But making those dried fruit slices was very time consuming.

The girls discovered last week an online warehouse that sells healthy snacks.
Because they remembered me telling the stories of the past about dried fruit, they ordered fruit chips.
Well, they were a huge success!
The taste is heavenly and as a mom I like the fact that it's clear where the taste comes from. Not from chemicals, but from organic cinnamon, apples from a farm that is specified, etcetera.

Some friends of the girls need gluten free food. They always face problems that products don't taste as well as normal products. They tried some gluten free products and were impressed.

So, apart from my autistic son, no overweight kids here.


This week I bought a balance/balacing board

This week I bought a balance board/balancing board.

I've wanted one for years, but never found one I could afford.
I guess it was because I found them in shops which were meant for professionals.

Well, two weeks ago one of the supermarkets had them on offer.
I decided not to buy one, because they were still too much for me.
I left the shop with a strange feeling, because it was within reach, but we had other financial priorities.
They only had ten of them, so the shopowner wasn't expecting to sell them.

A few days later we had to buy something there, and 7 were left.
So they were selling rather well. Considering.

I nearly forgot about it, but when we went to buy bread I saw they were in the sales.
But again...still a bit too expensive.
We went on looking for what we needed, when my eyes caught a torn box.
It was a balanceboard-box with a still perfectly wrapped board in it, and a price-tag which made me put the box in the shopping car immediately!

I'm so happy with it!
In the box was a booklet with exercises, and on internet there are so many sites which provide ideas for using the board.
I also found out that those with grips can be used for even more exercises, and I have one with grips!

Lucky me!