Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Missing hours in her final year

When my daughter won't pass her final exams it might be due to missing hours of education in her final year.
The past weeks the flu hit our town, and our family ofcourse, resulating in teachers cancelling their lessons and leaving the students without proper education.

I consider it the responsibility of school to rearrange the schedule in such a way that the students who are heading towards their exams have the most lessons.

Well, this school doesn't do that.

So this week my daughter faced an early morning of one lesson, three cancellations, and two lessons.
So that means she missed half of the lessons she's entitled too.
Meaning she won't get the preparations kids from other schools get.
And as she's dyslectic, you can understand my feelings.

We try to help her as much as possible.
One of our friends is a teacher of science and the final year, and he takes a lot of time to help her.
But discussing problems with fellow students is different.

Ofcourse my daughter uses the spare hours to study, but due to her dyslexia hearing explanations in the classroom has much more effect than learning by reading.

So guess what mom is going to do?
Yep... ask questions once more.

Oh, how will life be when there's no school anymore?


Monday, February 25, 2013

Learning Tibetan

A long time ago I wished for the first time to learn Tibetan.
But I couldn't find a teacher.
I asked around when I got internet: nothing.

The buddhist center here didn't provide language courses. They didn't provide anything a normal person can afford.

So the wish moved toward the back of my brain.

But today I've found some online courses.
There's even a site to find native speakers who want to help.

I can't do much more than create awareness to the situation of the Native Tibetans in Tibet, but I can do my part to keep the Tibetan culture alive.

So I'll be studying.
And maybe I can learn as much that I can study buddhism in Tibetan.
Wow, wish I could do that!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Call Me Maybe

1) Do you owe anyone a phone call?

Not really.
There's someone who wants me to call, but I won't. I'm my own boss, so...

2) Do you still have a landline phone?

No, I was one of the first to pull the plug.
I don't like phones.

3) When was the last time you looked up a number in the phone book?

Last week, in the online phone book.

4) Do you receive more calls or texts?

Can't text on my phone.

5) Carly Rae made the Final 3 on Canadian Idol. Can you name another cultural import from Canada?


6) Sam grew sick of this song by hearing it too often on the radio. Where do you listen to the radio most often? Car? Work? Somewhere else?

In bed before going to sleep.

7) Mother Winters can work wonders with an iron and a can of spray starch. Every blouse and shirt she presses looks good as new. Is there a domestic chore you excel at?

Watching the dust.

That's a chore.... one needs to see it before one can clean it. Oh yes!

8) Do you consider yourself competitive?

I never did until I started cityville. Then I found out I can be very competitive.
Most of the time however I want to do things my way, and then there's no competition.

9) Tell us your superhero name -- as determined by the color of your shirt and an item to your right. For example, Crazy Sam now fights crime as The Light Blue Coffee Mug!

Red dwarf. LOL!

Want to take part too?
Click the logo.

Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cold friday

It's like winter will never end.

Yesterday a cold eastern wind was blowing.
It went through every corner of the house.

I've had the flu with everything that could be expected, including muscle ache.
And I was very tired. Slept a lot of hours during the day too.

Today is the first day that starts with me feeling better.

A friend asked if I had regrets because I didn't take the flu shot this year.
No, I don't have regrets. Especially not after reading an article in which the writer stated that only a few older people were protected against the flu. If I remember well he said 9%.
That's not much, and certainly not enough.

This weekend the forecast says: snow.
I don't know if we have the car. Our son needed it for his work, so...

Well, I have to go to bed and sleep a few hours, because tomorrow th day starts early.

At 5.15 one of the girls wakes up, and if she doesn't I have to wake her up to make her be in time for her practical training as a nurse.



A local printer

Ofcourse my work at the paper just goes on and on, even after I left.

One of the people who has been working there for years also left, and none even considered talking about a present, let alone taking steps to organise a proper thank-you.
I had to remind them.

The same about asking information about local printing companies.
Printing the paper was taken out of town about 13 years ago, and none before me even considered the idea that it might be a lot more cost- and time-efficient to print the paper closer to the office.

Now they sent the content and lay-out by mail to a printer.
They're not seeing any print-proofs, let alone they can correct any overseen mistakes.
It takes three hours by car to get the paper here in town.

It took me ten minutes to find out there's a printer just around the corner, who can deal with last minute changes, provides a lot more service and doesn't cost has much as the other printer does.

Ofcourse I've got the advantage that I grew up in a family of printers and bookbinders.
So I know what they're talking about and I know when a printer is asking too much.
Well, this one is the perfect one for the paper.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

His surgery 2

The anesthesiologist decided that he needs to stay at the hospital for a night after surgery.
He doesn't know for sure why, but I think it's because he's overweight and is sometimes short of breath.

I said that he should expect a change of date, as hospitals don't like new surgery patients on friday afternoon.

He;s trying to finish as much at his work as possible. A lot of what he doesn needs discussing matters and explaing things to others on the phone. He won't be able to do that for a few days.

As he's a man he expects he'll be bedridden for two weeks. LOL!
I told him that after extensive surgery leaving a scar all across my belly from left side to right side I was up and running within a few days. I asked a friend who's had the same surgery and he was up and about the same day, with just a minor strange feeling in his ear.

I hope I won't get the act of the completely ill and lost patient after his earsurgery, unless something goes wrong, because I hate a melodramatic man acting like he's delivered 6 twins at the same time. LOL!

Well, I can ask all my questions next friday, as he asked me to go with him.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

His surgery

The father of the children has always had hearing problems.
It was said they were due to loud noises at beatconcerts in his young years, but I seriously doubt it.
His parents talked loud and clear, like they were used to his hearingproblems and unconsciously adapted to them.

Well, the past years his hearing got worse, as might be expected with advancing age.
Often he hardly heard what people were saying and he filled it in in his own way: by guessing, which often caused hilarious situations.
I bet you can imagine that. Someone understanding: there's a bee, when there's said: he's three.

It took quite a lot to make him go to his doctor again.
He had already given up.
I think he liked it quiet. LOL!

Well, after some huge irritations...a lot of them,.. he finally went and was send to the specialist in the hospital.

It was decided he woud get surgery to widen the entrances of his ears before trying out an hearing aid.

This week he has to go to hospital twice.

Tomorrow for blood tests and such, including a meeting with the anesthesiologist.
And friday for a pre-op hearing test and some other examinations.

It's expected that the surgery will be on march 1.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Pour Some Sugar on Me

1) Do you have a favorite "hair metal band?"


2) Def Leppard got their start in South Yorkshire, England. Have you ever been to the UK?

Yes, and I've had such a good time there that I want to go back.

3) Who would you rather chat with, one-on-one: Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William or Prince Harry?

Well, the younger ones might be the most pleasant to have a chat with.
Prince Philip might be the choice, because my dad came across him during WW2 and went to his wedding. I have a letter to me from him, so it would be nice to thank him in person.
But my choice would be Prince Charles.
A friend has met him quite a few times and tells me he's a kind guy. I don't know, but I trust my friend's opinion.
I would love to hear what he has to say about our Royal Family and the new King and Queen we'll soon have.

4) Do you use real sugar, or a sugar substitute?

I hardly use additional sugar. When baking I use normal sugar, but the very few times I need sweet it's stevia I take.

5) Valentine's Day is big for candy sales. Did you indulge in any Valentine-themed, sugary treats this week?


6) Do you regularly balance your checkbook?

I'm the lucky one not to deal witgh that part of family life.
It seems traditional not to, but I have other responsibilities.

7) What was your last impulse purchase?

A pair of boots for 12 euro and it's the best purchase in the footsection I've ever made. They're warm, comfortable and not even very slippery when ther's ice on the streets.

8) When Sam was a girl, she had nightmares about snakes under her bed. When did you last have a bad dream?

That's such a long time ago that I can't remember.

9) We're ordering pizza. Do you want deep dish or thin crust?

I never order pizza. I don't like it.

Want to take part too?
Click the logo.

Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Finally less pressure on him

Yesterday I went with my autistic son to a council organisation where they put pressure on people to work.

My son was assessed by a docotr that ignored the reports of the psychiatrist and our family physician.
He didn't ignore the very handsome social worker, who was with us, and he even flirted with me.
I would love men to flirt with me, which hardly happens, because I passed the age of mindless flirtations and I've always been too shy.
But the guy flirted with me. Oh, we had such a laugh!!

Until we got his report.
He considered our son to be able to work 100%.
After my objection he changed it to 80%.

Then we got an elderly woman all over us, putting pressure on my son.
She had me tell her that I would take no responsibility at all for him going to a job more than once or twice. She told me I was angry.
I wasn't, just telling her the truth about life with my son.

Turned out she had a course on autism, but didn't know anything about it.

We phoned a few times, not enjoying it on either side. But she backed out more and more, resulting in my son getting a kind of disability benefit.

She didn't resort to the usual controls of every three months, but she gave him a year to get his life sorted, trying to find a place for supported living.

Well, you know what we went through trying to find him a place to live.

Last monday we had to be present in her office.

My son was very nervous. He didn't know the building and he was afraid of what she might do.

I kind of pitied him. Tried to calm him down, but it didn't work enough.

We had to wait quit a long time at an unconfortable table and far too small chairs.
I bet the person eh,...deskclark who bought them is underweight. LOL!

When she called us in she was all smiles, from ear to ear.
Wearing red high heels, blonde painted/bleached short hair. Like she stepped out of the poser program without someone removing the wrinkles.
There's some dignity in getting older, greyer, and needing reading glasses.
But she sure didn't know about that.

Well, she started like the last time, with a far too elaborate introduction for someone with classic autism. I felt my son moving to stand-by position without even looking at him.

When she needed to take a breath, I kindly said I needed to clarify something before she was going to get into a discussion. My son't IQ was retested and it wasn't average but 81.
That's 1 point above getting all the support the country has to offer.

She suddenly came to her senses.
Before her eyes were glued above us on the door behind us.
Now she had to get her brain working. Ugh.

I almost felt guilty for telling her.

But she stopped telling what he had to do, and was far kinder to him.
He didn't know what to do with the sudden change of facial expression and mood.

After a bit talking to and fro, she asked me if I thought he would be able to get a job.
I shaked no, said it would cost more to make him work and give him support than that it would give society something and told her about his experiences at daycare.
She wanted him to go to the daycare in the neighbourhood. That's the new policy.
Great! There's none.

So she offered we could come back if we needed something, said she needed by law to call him back next year and saw us out.

Finally there's less pressure on him. Wow!



Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Losar

Losar Tashi Delek!

I wish everybody who celebrates the Tibetan New Year a good new year.

Most Tibetans, however, won't feel this day as a celebration, just as a turn of the page of the calendar.

So many crimes against humanity are committed in Tibet that it hurts my heart.
It's worse than my parents and grandparents experienced here under the German occupation, and that says something.

I don't understand that so little attention is given to the oppression the Tibetans have to suffer.

Other hotspots on the world are immediately crowded with journalists and human rights people. That's maybe the difference. Those people aren't able to get into those areas of Tibet that suffer the most.

I think it's time that all those missing will get a face.
Like the mothers of the Plaza del Mayo, the white mothers, we should wear white and the photos of Tibetans who have disappeared.
On the other hand, it will make the Tibetan people suffer even more.

What's wisdom?

So it's not happy new year, but more an invitation for new viewpoints and new visions on how to deal with the terrible things happening there.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Notes behind a paper: door closed

Today I had a day out and when I arrived home I was told there was a nasty mail in my mailbox from my friend of the paper.
One of my sons was all over the top and planned to resign.

I read the mail and resigned immediately.

First I was manipulated to get the online paper free form the printed one, and now my friend....once my friend.. stated doubt of my integrity.
I know he wanted to get rid of the printed paper, but I didn't think he would deal with matters this way by compromising my good name.

He knows where he can hit me most and he used the knowledge.

So I resigned.

The past week we had a good boardmeeting.
There I stated he should be told to leave, but the others wanted to go about ina more friendly way.
They outnumbered me.
So they numbered me out as reality has shown.

Starnagely I can't be bothered a lot.

I'm disappointed a friend would act like this, and ofcourse I've got a lot of emotions about loosing what used to be a good friend. But I've experienced in life before that people are with you for a limited time of life and then go their own way.

I now need 500 dollars to get the online paper registered as a business, and then I can do what I like most: make a paper with people with special needs, from out of their own neighbourhood.
Im looking forward to it, but I need some donations and some business advice.

First I will finish my tasks at the paper from my own home.


Friday, February 8, 2013

The Way We Were

1) In honor of Valentine's Day next week, what's the most romantic movie you can think of?

Out of Africa. It's still my favorite.

2) The Way We Were was a tearjerker. Do you think that most real-life love stories end in heartbreak? Or do you believe in happily ever after?

I know happily ever after does excist, but most love stories end with real life.

3) What's your favorite love song?


4) In 1993, Barbra Streisand married actor James Brolin, who first became famous as Dr. Steven Kiley on Marcus Welby, MD. Who is your favorite TV doctor?

Oh dear. I don't even know his name.
So let's be bold: Dr. Bob of As the World Turns.

5) In 2012, Streisand renewed her contract with Columbia, where's she's been recording since 1963. So she's been with the same label for fifty years! Where have you worked the longest, and how long was that?

10 years at university as lecturer. And 10 years at a magazine to learn to be a journalist.

6) Sam Winters once worked as a hostess in a chic bistro in Worcester, PA. That's why she frequently gets frustrated by bad service in restaurants -- she's certain she could make it run more smoothly. Where do you find yourself getting annoyed most often?

Everywhere where they need forms to be filled in.
They have the stuff on their computer.

Oh and when organisationshave a mailform on the site and then they mail back telling me to phone them.
I always say I can't hear. LOL!

7) Have you ever taken a polygraph test?

No, should I???

8) Crunchy, smooth or organic peanut butter?


9) Describe your favorite sweater.

It's not the nices, but I wear it in the house everyday, except when it's in the laundry.
Red fleece.

Want to take part too?
Click the logo.

Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.


The past weeks a lot of discussion was on TV and radio about the small earthquakes in the north of the country due to winning gas.

Yesterday evening I was just ready to leave for bed, there was a buzz on people had felt a shock.
Soon many reported the same, even though it was past bedtime.
Almost an hour later a second shock followed.

Those were not earthquakes like those felt in other parts of the world. Just 2.7 and 3.2.
The first one wasn't even recorded on international seismographic sites.

But it was a nice gesture of nature towards the discussion about gaswinning.
It seemed to underline the report which was issued last week, stating that due to gaswinning more severe earthquakes can be expected in the near future.

This morning we got some very interesting newitems about it.
One, rather rich person, claiming age old wooden poles through the home were split.
They were all split the same,,, which seemed strange.

well, I'm glad I'm not an insurance expert. LOL!

In case you wonder if we have eathquakes in the part of the country were I live.

I felt two earthquakes. One of them of a magnitude of 4.5 on the scale of Richter.
Frightening, but very interesting.

Those were probably due to coalmining of the past.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New directions in care

I'm gad that finally there's a discussion about care starting in our town.
I mean care for the elderly, handicapped and others with special needs.

The government is cutting back on finances in a huge way.
And they're bringing organisation from national level to local level.

Due to cutbacks family, friends and people from the neighbourhood should jump in and take part of the care for others on their shoulders.

Most of the discussion is by people who are used to organising things, but who don't understand a bit about the real issue of care: human contact.

When they have no care tasks themselves they talk so easy about everything.

Like last evening.
Someone said what any others said: people should get used to people with secial needs in their social environment.

They were quite surprised I said that maybe the people with special needs need extra support too, because they feel less than others and are not always used to being accepted.
Never ever dud they see problems from the perspective of the person who needs care.

And I didn;'t even tell them there will be a moment tehir neighbour will need to take them to the toilet and shower. LOL!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Change of direction

Finally we managed to get together with the board of the paper.
People with full agenda's shouldn't be part of a board like that.

I prepared the agende elaborately, so everything that I knew needed to be said about a subject I already wrote down.

I also wrote a letter to the board stating decisions needed to be made.

Interestingly, they all said they received the paperwork too late and didn't read it.
Surprisingly, the decisions that needed to be made were made very fast.
No reading? Don't fool me!

Well, there was not one word about me leaving the board, except me stating that I didn't want to accept bullying of people in any way. I'd rather leave.

The new direction the paper should be going was finally accepted by the board member who's longest at the paper.
He first didn't want to acknowledge we were right that a new vision was important.
But then he was confronted with his inability to make decisions and he should accept the fact that he couldn't look into the future and be sure of the outcome, but that the old ways were bad for the paper... so...

Even though we tried to be strckt with the time we needed a new evening to discuss matters.... Will that take months too?


Friday, February 1, 2013


1) Have you ever been to the opera?

Yes, and I enjoyed it.

2) Maria Callas was often called a "diva." Is that a compliment or a criticism?

In that time it was a compliment.

3) Aida was composed by famous Italian Giusseppe Verdi. In addition to opera, what else can the world thank Italy for?

Spaghetti. One of the fastest meals I can make my family.
Pizza: which keeps one of my sons silent of needed.
Etna: fascinating vulcano.

4) Verdi was Italian and Callas was Greek. Would you rather vacation in Italy or Greece?

Don't have the money.
But I've been in Italy and I liked it. I could understand the language quite well and speak it a bit, and to me that's important. I alwyas like to be able to meet peope and talk about things.

5) The Marx Bros. starred in A Night at the Opera. What's the funniest movie you have ever seen?


6) What's for dinner tonight?

We haven't decided yet.
We will sit together and see what's availabkle and what we can make of it.
Should be a TV show such moments.

7) Are you wearing any jewelry right now?

No, but I always wear a mala.

8) Sam Winters has a scratchy throat and watery eyes. How do you treat the common cold?

I ignore it, spray my stuffed nose if necessary.

9) Do you need your glasses (or contacts) when you drive?

I don't drive, not do my glasses.

Want to take part too?
Click the logo.

Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.
You can request the logo, but only when you will credit properly.

There's also a header and a square of 125x125 available.