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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