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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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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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!


Friday, March 15, 2013

A new way to process the paper.

Life is interesting.
I've left our local paper in favor of an online one, but the past weeks I've felt it to be a pity that no one uses the options I know to ease the whole production process of the printed paper.

I was called yesterday by another paper, which is local to a friend, and they wanted me to come over to inform them about options to modernise their paper, so they would need less volunteers, less time, and less money.

We had a very good and efficient meeting in which I explained a lot about what I see their best web print solution. It streamlines the whole process according to their wishes and needs.
One of the most interesting features is that it saves on overhead costs because at any moment the person who is in charge and everyone else can see what needs to be done and at what stage the process is.

They were very impressed by the fact that all orders and any other paperwork is integrated in the digital system. So it's far more environmentally friendly, it saves office- and archive space and money.

It's also far more easy to receive and work on orders for their print shop.
No matter how large the orders are, there's no extra work involved, because the computer can deal with it.

In a time that not many people are available to work at a volunteer paper solutions of this kind are worth to be subsidised, don't you think?


Second hand games

My autistic son loves his computer and his games.

Like everybody else he has to be careful with his money, but it's difficult as he is not going to daily activities somewhere, but stays at home.

To save money he's now ordering games online, preferably second hand games.

Today the mailman brought one.
It was well wrapped, but when my son tried it on the computer it didn't work well.
He was quite disappointed.
bt the honesty of the seller.
It means getting in contact with the seller. Explaining something which is probably already known, wrapping it again. Then I have to go to the postoffice.

That is just the beginning of the ordeal.

He's going to start to doubt the honesty of the seller.
This sets off a whole sequence of behaviour that I don't like.
He needs to talk to both his parents independently, to check his reaction to the problem.
If he doesn't agree with how we react he gets angry.
Well, his father can't hear well, so the process to explain things is slow. And his father is very straightforwars: "They didn't sell it second hand for no reason."
Wrong reaction!

My reaction is more adapted to the circumstance, and I know it doesn't matter what I say: he needs to vent.

After bringing the box to the postoffice the waiting starts.

I hate those tracking systems, because they either fail to work, or show delay.
It often happens that on friday afternoon the progress of the package isn't noted. That means he's preoccupied with the package not arriving in time (his time) every hour of the weekend.
It drives me nuts, because after one or two times one knows what he's going to say.
Drifting off with thoughts isn't an option, because he needs reactions at the right times.

I understand he works this way. It's his autism.
But it shouldn't have been necessary to make him so upset.

Some people are OK.
They send a good game, sometimes with a little nice note wishing him a good time with the game.
And there are angels, who put a present in the box too. Sometimes a sticker, sometimes cheap earplugs or anything else, including Asian children's playmoney.
I wish I would be able to give them a hug and thank them.
They make his day and mine too.
Not that he talks less. But he radiates gratitude.


Hakuna Matata

1) Sam is crazy for The Lion King. Do you have a favorite Disney movie?

Not really. A while ago I saw a movie about an african girl. Can't remember the name, and I don't know it was Disney. But it was very nice.

2) The song tells us that Hakuna Matata "means no worries." Is something worrying you right now?

The cost of living on a daily basis, at the moment. It make me feel I'll never realise my dream of moving into a small cottage and spend my old days on writing, photographing and growing my own vegs.

3) Who is the most optimistic person you know?

Most of the time I'm that one.

4) Elton John wrote "Hakuna Matata" but didn't record it. Name a song Sir Elton is famous for singing.

Oh my dear! I feel like making a schooltest.

5) Can you play the piano?

Yes, and organ too.

6) Congratulations! You just won a guided African Safari Tour! 8 days in Zambia and Botswana for you and a friend. All expenses paid, and allowing you access to breathtaking, unforgettable sights. It takes at least 30 hours to get there, and before you go you'll need yellow fever and hepatitis vaccinations and medication to prevent malaria. Are you up for it?

No problem. When? Tomorrow?

7) There's been a mistake. You really won a 4-night Disney Bahamas Cruise for two. Are you relieved or disappointed that you'll be partying with a guy in a Simba suit on the Lido Deck instead of observing a real lion in the wild?

Oh yes, I am disappointed, although I'll swallow and leave the mistake in the past and try to get my mind turned to half the time on a cruise. Can I take both cruises one after another, please! I need a break.

8) Let's bring this back to real life -- do you have any vacation plans?

Oh, it was make-belief? What a pity.
No vacation plans yet.

9) Describe your luggage. Is it durable and high quality? Or are you like Crazy Sam, who has been known to use an Old Navy shopping bag as her carry-on?

Depends on where I go.
I've won a very good hard cover case last year. It is huge! It'll do for a long trip from home.
Otherwise it's a bit less quality, but nice.
And an over the shoulder bag.

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Best mattress.

Sleeping shouldn't be a problem, but for many people it is.
I'm one of them.

I've never spend much time sleeping.
Falling asleep is a problem. I'm a real evening person and I like the silence of the night. It makes me creative.

In addition: I sleep very light. So when a child needs me I'm there.

But the main problem is that I can't find a good position to sleep because of my hips.
They hurt during sleep, after sleep, or at both times.

I think a memory foam mattress would be the best option for me.

Right now the wooden bed base needs replacing.
Last week I saw one that might fit, but we had no transport.

Right now I've got a yoga mattress on the bed and it helps a bit.
I also go to sleep when I'm really tired, so there's no need to turn a lot before falling asleep.
The alarm always goes early, so when I'm awake early.
This keeps a regular sleep-routine.

I'll also visit my family physician again because I want to keep a close watch on my hips.
Everybody needs healthy sleep to prevent further problems, so a new mattress will be bought soon.

Dry skin problems. Please give advice.

I've always had a relatively dry skin. It didn't bother me much, unless after a bath, doing the dishes or such. A simple cream would solve the problem.

I remember my gram using cream the same time as I did, or vice versa. :)

I was happy with any cream, but during the years the manufacturers have changed the contents.
One of may favorite brands changed into a bad smelling greasy stuff, others didn't do their job anymore for longer than a few minutes. I even had to find out that I became allergic to some after the formula was changed.

The past years the problem has become worse. I guess it's due to age.
The skin on my arms has become dryer too.
And after wasking up or washing my hands they're so dry they get hooked on fleece and such and feel irritated.
The skin around the nails breaks, causing little wounds.

Because of the diabetes it doesn't heal at all times as well as it should.

I can do with some good advice.
Using gloves is not an option, not is hanging my hands in a greasy liquid at evening.
Been there, done that.

But something affordable?


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Paris is the place to be.

I'm not amazed my daughter and I sat down this afternoon and had a conversation about Paris.
It's very cold outside. Unusual for this time of year, and the sun is really inviting to go outside.
We wondered if the weather is better is Paris.

Last year she went there on a schooltrip and had a wonderful time.
The first thing she said when she arrived at home was: "I'll go back there."

I can understand it.
I visited Paris about 20 years ago, in spring, and I still remember being near the Louvre and hearing those special early morning sounds of Paris. Each city had it's own sounds, and Paris is not different.

It's funny that my daughter defines Paris not by hearing, but by seeing.
She has seen Paris in the evening and knows why the name, City of Light, is the crown on the city. She tried to make photos of the Eiffel Tower with all the lights on, but her camera couldn't cope with the lights. She's got the memories though, and she still smiles when she thinks about her days in Paris.

One of my sons went there too a few years ago.
He stayed with a family in a luxury appartment near the center of town and got the inside experience of daily life there.
A few weeks ago he looked online at parisluxeapt for Paris luxury apartment rentals to set himself a goal for the near future.
He wants to know more about the history of Paris which goes back as far as 4200 BC.
Knowing that he now lives in the oldest city of The Netherlands might add a smile on your face.

It's interesting that each person who has been to Paris has different feelings about the city.
Some love the nightclubs, others the museums. One of my rich friends love to shop there, as it's home of Haute Couture, and her husband just craves for bacquettes and wine.

Maybe Paris should be our summer-destination, and yours too.


Why my kids don't smoke, drink or use drugs.

Other parents have asked me why my children aren't smoking, drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Well, one smokes and there's a histopry to it. I
ll write that down another tuime.

But the others consider alcohol, drugs and cigarettes unwanted in their lives.
It's not a problem for them to say "no".
In fact they don't even give much attention to a question about it or when others react to their "no".

I think there are a few reasons why they don't want to drink alcohol, smoke or use drugs.

They are informed very well. Which doesn't only include information about the consequences of the substances, but also why people use them.
I think it's important to signal the moments one can start using and to stress that there's always a choice for something else. Kids need to recognise this and have enough selfreflection to identify these moments.

I also always stressed that smoking smells bad. And what smells bad is probably not good for your health.
That's easy to say for me, because I'm allergic to some cleaning liquids, so I'm aware of the combination smell, bad.
I wanted my children to be aware that passive smoking is bad too.
I grew up in a time that smoking was normal. People weren't aware of the dangers. My father wouldn't have smoked when he would have known the dangers for my lungs. As soon as I learned that passive smoking was an issue I informed him and he didn't smoke near me again.

Another reason for my kids to take me serious is that I have been honest about my smoking and drinking alcohol.
I never used drugs, but I've smoked six weeks. I stopped as soon as I realised that I didn't have the money to keep up with the social smoking that was taking place at that time. I was literally transforming my precious money to smoke.
During my years at university I had a few drinks, which is an understatement. LOL! I never got really drunk though. But I know what alcohol does, and also know what it doesn't. It doesn't solve problems, it doesn't make you a better person, even though I became most of the time a kind of stand-up comedienne.
So I could tell my children from experience that using alcohol and tobacco doesn't improve your life at all. It's mainly a way to keep your hands occupied at parties. Well, use a shawl or a bracelet to keep busy.

And I'm leading by example.
So I don't smoke, use drugs or use alcohol on a regular basis. I only use alcohol about 3 or 4 times a year. One or two glasses of something I really like. Most of the time it's because I got a bottle as a gift.

So in a way it's normal in our family not to use this all.
It also saves a lot of money, and we can use that for positive things, like ballet lessons for the girls, or other things.



When I was at school I had a correspondence friendship with a girl from New York.
I can't remember her name well.
I think it was Andrea Gould, but I'm not sure at all.

We used to send cards, letters about school and social life and sometimes little gifts.
I saved the stamps with care.
And the dollar coins she gave me for my birthday.

I wonder if she saved the coins she got for her birthday.

The weekly letters were a real joy, but as soon as she and I changed schools the frequency diminished and our friendship became a precious memory.

During the years I've often wondered how she was doing.
The coins are resting in a nice green box in a drawer, together with other coins.

One of my friends said to me I should sell one of the dollars and go to New York and try to find her.
I don't think we're talking about the famous Morgan dollars here. They are worth a lot.
But the ones she gave me were current dollars of the time. They represent not much more.

The coins she got from me have increased in value though. We changed currency, so they're of historical value now.
At the time she could have bought a large luxurious icecream here, and now she could go with them to a good restaurant for dinner for one.

When you want to buy coins that increase in value you need good advice. Don't forget that.
Investing your money in coins and gold is very clever and a good insurance for the future, but only when you're well informed.


Yes, it was cold.

Yes, it was cold.
Those weatherforecasts were perfect.

We've had storm.

Yesterday night it was here about minus 10 degrees celcius, and somewhere else even minus 13.3!
A new record was broken.
Last night it was very cold too. I haven't seen the figures yet. I estimate it was about minus 7 with lots of moisture.

When I woke up there was a layer of snow. Just a centimeter. But it's March the 14th!!!!!

In the south of the country they had a good 10 cm of snow yesterday.
Here it was clear.

Now the sun is shining like it's summer....well, it looks like that from the room here.
Doors closed, heating on.

When you enter the outer world it's like stepping on the northpole. Brrr.

So we're still wearing our wintercoats, hats, and winterboots.
Boy, am I happy with those winterboots.
I can't sing the song of praise for them often enough.
For a bit more than 12 euro confortable boots, which are warm too.

But I want it to be spring now.
New leaves on the trees, working in the garden, windows open early in the morning.
The smells, the sounds.

How about you?


Hair brushes and twins

The past weeks the twins are changing a lot.

They're each on different sides of life, regarding to school and profession.

For one the final exams start soon.
She has made important choices for her future.
Training a lot for the auditions of the dance academy has made her feel more confident. She's also changing in her face to a more mature person. She used to have lovely, very long hair, which she cut to shoulder-height a few months ago.

The other one is traning as a nurse and she has found out she liked caring for the elderly. And they like her.
She is changing too.
Her looks are very different from those of her sister. She's not very tall, but she doesn't mind. She still likes life to be easy.
Si she decided to cut her hair too. Not to look the same as her sister, but because her hair bothers her at work. She had the most beautiful curly long hair I've seen. Last week she decided to cut it to shoulder's length.

I thought the whole hair changes would mean less fuzz about hairs in the house, combs and brushes, shampoo and conditioner.
I was wrong. They still have their own wishes.

Yesterday I was told I needed to buy them each a mason pearson hairbrush.
They're lucky I grew up in the family of the national champions hairdressing. I know a brush is not a brush, but a piece of equipment for treating your hair with respect.
My grandmother's mom got one straight from London as a present for the birth of her daughter in 1898. And since then all the women in our family are taught all the benefits of a good hairbrush.
So know the knowledge has reached my daughters without me telling them the name of the best.
They found out, thanks to internet.


Monday, March 11, 2013

That hospital doctor

Because he had to work at the time of the appointment they sent him by mail, he called and reschaduled.
If he didn't mind getting another doctor, it was OK by then.
So he got an appointment at a very convenient time.

After a wait of almost an hour, and the parking meter ticking the time away with pleasure for the council, I asked how long it would take.
When we arrived only two people were waiting, but by now the whole huge waitingroom was filled with people and many were called before us.

We were called in within 5 minutes, seated for a room, and called in after a minute or three.

A young doctor gave us a hand and told the patient to sit down in a chair, with his back towards me, so she could reach his ear.

Then she started to talk to his ear, which was stuffed with all sorts of things, so his bad ear.
he had been lucky she took the effort the day before to look through his files, so she saw he had been operated upon by someone else. She had phoned the guy and asked what needed to be done and he had told her.
He shouldn't have rescheduled, because he should have kept his appointment.

There was no means to shut her up or to say something as a reply. Like that the hospital threw an appointment on our doormat without even considering the possibility we might not be available.
She kept going on and on.
She even mentioned there would be a kind of small cottonballs in his ear. She missed to take one out with a former patient and then it got infected.
All in a kind voice that was trained probably in front of a mirror.

After about 10 minutes or maybe even more I told her kindly that the rescheduling was done with full cooperation of one of the secretaries. She suggested another doctor.
So maybe the hospital should be far more clear about which rules to follow when rescheduling.
Or maybe the appointment should have been made with the patient and not without the patient in the first place.

She first was surprised someone intervened. I said: this is not an attitude that should be displayed towards a patient. It flipped out, because she made me feel like in the old days when I was teaching at the medical department.
She was probably well trained in discipline, because she reacted like a student. Me oh my!

Then she started working.
And missed one cotton ball. LOL!

She counted the ones on the tray six times.

I thought it might be at the bottom of the ear, as she sat a bit too low to work relaxed.
Maybe too low to see it.

When she looked for the third time again the cotton ball was found: at the bottom of the ear.
Well, well.

Then she had to put gauze in the ear.
She used the wrong equipment: precision scissors. So each time she needed to get hold of the gauze, she couldn't.

No way we had time to talk to het about anything else.
I doubt if we wanted to.

And the parking meter? Don't talk about the thing. I was shocked!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Winter... again?

The weatherforecast is quite unbelievable: this week we'll get temperatures at night of minus 10 degrees celcius.
Who cabn believe that after experiencing the first signs of spring?
I've seen crocusses, the first sign of greenish hue among shurbs, the first morning sounds of the birds.

I've even digged for blouses at the attick.

So I think it's ridiculous to have full-blown winter again.

They even said we will get snow! A lot of it!

I've already bought some roots for dalia's, some seeds.
The wintertyres of the car are almost to the stage that the profile is not enough to pass the traffic safety rules.

Everybody I know is longing for spring.

So we feel it's not fair winter is coming back.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Midnight Train to Georgia

1) Have you ever been to the Atlanta?

Such a pity I'm not american and no one knows that non-americans need to be filled in about certain american things.
Well, at least I'm sure I've never been there.

2) Do you enjoy traveling by train?

Yes, a lot!
We always try to get the cheap day-tickets and go to places in the country where we've never been or where we visit friends.

3) "Midnight Train to Georgia" is Sam Winters' signature number at the karaoke bar. What's your go-to song when you take the mic?

I've never been to a karaoke bar.
But I know many songs, so as long as the texts are a few moments up in front, I'm OK.

4) Do you drink tea?

I used to, but not any more.
I love cinnamon tea.

5) What's the most recent thing you purchased for your home?

Oh, you caught me...
A small fabric bird, kind of patchwork, with bells.

6) Are there dishes in your kitchen sink right now?

Yep, and they're waiting for me... Imagine...they're all for me....

7) Have you ever been fingerprinted?


8) What was the last check you wrote?

That's ages ago. Can't remember it.

9) What color are your eyes?

Blue...grey blue.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

He's had surgery

As long as I know him he's had earproblems.
He didn't hear everything, and he had problems with psoriasis in his ear.

I got used to saying everything at least twice, got used to speaking clearly and if possible when he's looking at me.

Because there have been so many developments in hearing aids I urged him to go to his doctor again.
He didn't want to.
But his hearing was so bad that we had the feeling we'd better mail him even when we were in the same room.

So he went a few months agao.

He was diagnosed with bad hearing and a small earduct.

Treatment was a good option to them, and it started with widening the earduct.
He had his surgery last friday.

Ofcourse he thought it would be something very nasty and claimed a lot of care and pain before he even went to hospital. It went that bad that I told him that he wasn't going to give birth through his ear, nor would he have such a long scar as I have (straight over my abdomen from left to right.).
Putting his surgery into perspective silenced him a bit.

Well, they were very kind before the surgery.
He had to be in hospital at 7.00 hours in the morning and went to the OR at 8.15, so no need to be without food all day, or be stressed by waiting.

Not everything went OK.
His surgery did, but his heartaction lowered a few times, so they kept him near the OR for a few more hours... without telling me anything. So the stress was mine.

He had no pain, no other problems and has recovered well ever since.



Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's a Sunshine Day

1) The best known Brady Bunch song is, of course, the show's theme. Do you know the lyrics?

I don't even know the song. I'm not Aamerican. Sorry.

2) The Bradys were a blended family. Do you have stepparents, stepchildren or stepsibs?

No, nothing step, all real.

3) Samantha admits that, when she was 12, she taped Greg Brady's photo over her bed. Before you judge her too harshly, come clean yourself. Did you have a major pre-teen crush? Who was it?

I can't remember. I didn't tape a photo on the wall. Wasn't allowed. I think I lived in a atime that pre-teen crushes went as far as the neighbouring boy. I have a photo of Arnold and me, so I guess he was my pre-teen promised groom. Never heard anything about him ever again. His sister became a TV host and she's doing very well. Looks a lot like her mom.

4) Which TV character do you wish lived next door?

OK, let the whole As The World Turns cast and crew come to live in our neighbourhood.
They're so very kind to their fans.

5) It's a sunshine day! Describe your sunglasses.

Brown glasses that make the clouds pop out of the sky. So beautiful!! The frame is nothing special at the moment. Maybe next summerseason....

6) You're on a 90-minute flight. How will you spend the time? Do you read a book? A magazine? Look out the window? Take a nap?

Look out of the window in awe all the time.
Oh, how I wish I could fly again.

7) Do you have a favorite brand of toothpaste?

Yes. And I won't tell you otherwise you buy all the packages. LOL!

8) How many keys are on your key ring?

3. From the main door, my bicycle and another ones... dunno where it's for.

9) What do you miss about summertime?

The birds singing in the morning... flowers ...

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Logo made by me with photo from Mirna.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Now I'm more at home again I've got far more time to make music.
Each day I'm practising bagpipe-melodies in my special flute.
I really enjoy it, and my family members don't complain.

Yesterday I was tidying my room and found a guitar pick.
It was a nice one, multi-colour, strong. Clearly for a steel guitar.

I wanted to put it in the box with the other ones, but instead I took one of my guitars and started to play.
At first my fingers didn't do what I wanted them to do, which made me feel old.
But gradually my playing improved and I forgot the time, trying to remember the melodies I loved so much.

I'm so grateful still being able to play.
A friend taught me long ago, the one who gave me the best guitar picks in the world, and who allowed me to play on his twelve string guitar.
It made me feel so rich and creative.

We lost contact for a while and when we went for a walk nine years later, he didn't even remember having a twelve string guitar.
It always strikes me when people forget things like that.
But he still remembered our evenings together.
He playing on the guitar and both of us singing.

There are days I wish he would be able to be here and enjoy time as much as we did then.

Now my daughter plays the guitar and I wish she would find such a great friend like he was.
She uses his guitar-picks.