Sunday, May 31, 2009

Take your suitcase and leave

Every time I didn't agree about something, you told me to pack my suitcase and leave. I have heard that sentence over and over, until that one particular day I had enough. So I told you I would pack my suitcase and leave. You replied: if you leave, you may never come back! And I gave up: if you say so..

So I went to my room and opened my dresser to see what I would take. I had no idea. What do you need when you leave the house that suddenly? I packed some pants and undies and a couple of shirts. I had no money, I had no place to go to, I had no job. But I left.. I had heard the suitcase sentence once too often.

Only two years later, when I was nearly 8 months pregnant, I went home again. Just to visit, because I had made my own life by then. You pretended nothing had happened and you didn't want to discuss the past. But you didn't make me feel at home. I didn't feel welcome. You never even asked about the two years you missed. You had no idea, but it didn't bother you at all.

The first time my husband told me to pack my bags and go, after we were in the midst of a firy discussion, I lost it. It all came back to me and I never wanted to hear that phrase again, and certainly not from my husband. He didn't have a clue. He knows better now. Nowadays, I only pack my suitcases to go on a holiday. And that's the only reason one should pack a suitcase..

Sweet dreams

are made of this.. The first album I ever bought. The Eurythmics. It came with a poster of Annie Lennox. I thought she looked pretty good. And of course I loved her music. I knew all the songs by heart. Well, at least I thought I did. In those days, there was no Google to look up the lyrics, so we made our own version. English is not my maternal language, so many words were invented by me. But I loved to sing along.

Whenever I hear Sweet dreams on the radio, I'm taken back in time. It's a good memory and I cherish it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Big me

I'm big. BIG! Not tall. Just big. Too big for my height. I've been too big for nearly 7 years now. I don't like mirrors, I don't like fitting rooms in malls, I don't like the XL label on clothes. I want to be slimmer. I want to lose weight.

I make healthy food choices most of the time. I have a fresh smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch and a warm meal in the evening (or the other way around, depending on who is home around lunch time). I hardly eat meat, I don't eat bread anymore, I skip on dessert.

Okay, I don't work out, because it frustrates me big time. Been there, done that, but it just doesn't work for me. I hate to exercise! I really do! If I'm forced to work out, you don't want to be around me. Because I'll snap at you and I will not be the nicest person to be around. I sweat and I get upset and sore. And sports leads to binge sessions and if there is something I want to avoid, it's the binge session.

My diabetes makes it more difficult to lose weight. Insulin is a hormone after all. I never had problems with my weight before and I always liked the way my body was shaped. My weight gain is one of the things I don't like about diabetes..

Does that mean that I will remain BIG for the rest of my life?

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away

We haven't been very lucky with our computers. They always seem to fail on us. Our first computer has been repaired so many times, the shop has had it longer than we have had the chance to work on it. Same for the notebook. You think a more expensive notebook will do a better job, but again, troubles from the very beginning.

Life wouldn't be the same without computers. How did we even manage without? I remember visiting my American host family about 7 years ago. The boys were amazed that we didn't have a home computer. How could we live without the Internet???? I had no idea what he was talking about. We had no computer and no way we were going to get one. Just imagine, that huge ugly thing in the den. Yikes!

But then I took computer classes and it will not surprise you that very soon our first computer entered our home. And it wasn't hubby or the kids that asked for it. I was hooked from day one!

It's an addiction, I admit it. Once you are used to having a computer around, you need it to google, to check your bank account, to visit websites, to make holiday reservations, to chat with your friends..

Last week, the notebook crashed.. again. It says the video card needs to be replaced. But I'm pretty sure the cooler needs replacement as well. The poor portable gets overheated while sitting in our lap. It's gone back to the shop.. again. So we're back to the desk top, that's not used to us working on it any more. It also needs a new video card. I hope it will keep doing what it's supposed to do, until our new notebook arrives.

My friends keep telling me I should buy an Apple. No troubles with Apple! Sounds like a good deal to me! So an Apple it will be. A white one, to be exact. And I'm so looking forward to it! Let's keep our fingers crossed, that this one will perform as promised!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Smoking in the boy's room

I love the smell of cigars. Or no, not the smell of cigars, but I love it when somebody lights a cigar. Some restaurants offer cigars to their customers. They cut the cap for you and light it before they pass it on. It's intriguing to watch this ceremony. I can see why men like cigars. It's fascinating to see them inhale and blow circles of smoke in the air.
But there it stops. That's the point where I don't like it anymore.

Some restaurants have a boy's room section where they can smoke their cigars and drink port. I think that is a great idea. I don't like it when people smoke in the house or at the dining table. I don't like the smell of cigars on someones hands. I don't like the smell it leaves in your house the day after.

But hubby and some of our friends smoke. So maybe, we should get a boy's room. Because I do think it is rather charming.

Curious George

It is kind of funny to realise, that people who do not wish to participate in your life, read about that life on a daily basis. Pretty interesting. Maybe they don't have much else to look forward to, than reading about the life of another person? Or maybe they miss out on so many things, they want to enjoy someone elses life? I don't know what it is, but it startled me. And it made me smile. Because after all, I must be worth reading if they take their time to visit my blog at least 6 times a day.. Go fish!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The eye of the tiger

The other day, I told you about my first summer holiday in an amusement park. That was a real hard summer job. But I didn't stay unnoticed. I spent quite some after work time with the animals and the zoo keeper noticed me around. He asked if I liked animals and I couldn't do much else but agree. Animals fascinate me. They always have. I told him I was looking for another job in the park. I wanted to work with the animals. He liked me. He said he wanted to give it a shot. But he warned me that mopping the floor was not harder than taking care of the animals.

So I started my second summer job and I became a tiger tamer. My boss showed me how to bottle feed the baby tiger cubs. They were only a couple of days old and they were the cutest! I was so thrilled to get this job. I promised my boss I would do the best I could and I would love and cherish those cubs. Like a baby, the cubs had to be fed every three hours. I had a lot of work feeding all those open mouths. They got to know me pretty soon and I gave them names. I asked my superior if I could buy them pacifiers and he thought that was kind of silly, but he let me. So while I was feeding 2 cubs, the others were comforted sucking their pacifiers.

I taught them to lay down, sit up and follow me around. The public loved it! They came to see the cubs and I was very proud of my crew. After 6 months, the cubs were sold. I shed many tears, but I knew in advance this was going to happen. For 4 years in a row, I was a tiger tamer. It was the most exciting and loving job I have ever done.

I'm proud to be a Leo

Leos are known to be generous, loyal, encouraging and ambitious. But they can also be pretentious, domineering, melodramatic, vain and stubborn.

I am a very independent person but I need to control something or someone and I need someone to admire and appreciate me. I'm a much happier person when I have an audience or a following of people to look up to me. I prefer not to be alone. I love to be around people.

Leos have a zest for life and a warm spirit and people are attracted to those characteristics. People like to surround this social butterfly and Leos are very hard not to like. My friends are pampered by me and treated well.

I despise dull and regular routines. If so, I will create my own drama and excitement. I enjoy basking in the spotlight. My energy acts like a magnet to other people and I love to nurture my friends by entertaining them.

I'm very generous and openhearted. At the end of each day, I like to reflect and see what I have achieved that day. I like a luxurious way of life. Don't make me go camping.. that's just not me..

My goal in life is, to make this world a better place. I'm proud to be a Leo. Can't imagine being another Zodiac Sign. It wouldn't be me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's gonna be one of those days

Yesterday I felt sick to my stomach. Whenever something really upsets me, I get a terrible headache and that always leads to sickness to my stomach. I hate it when that happens. But it's also a good indicator that something is not right.

So decisions needed to be made and I made mine. It's been enough. I'm not a puppet and I do not wish to be treated as one. You can be good, you can do the best you can, but if that's not sufficient, it's time to move on. And that's exactly what I did. Respect comes both ways. One way directions never last long. One can understand certain circumstances, but it doesn't give one the right to treat you like crap. Especially not if you do the best you can and even more.

It will need some time to heal, because when you give yourself 100%, you feel empty when you have to let go. It was a very emotional road to walk on and it will be even harder to let go. But it's the best decision. After all, I have a family of my own and those are the people who deserve my love and attention..

Brussels by night

I don't see you very often and it's been a while since you came over here, but we do keep in touch. Once in a while, we make long phone calls or I stop by when I'm in the neighborhood. Whenever I plan to come over, you make sure that I can also meet your grandchildren and they have become pretty young ladies. One of them is even expecting her second baby!

All your life and time, you have dedicated to your children and more in particular your two granddaughters. You go to the gym, you take classes in languages and computer class. You look after your granddaughter's first child and so will you when the second baby will be there in July. You are a very modern nana! It's great to see you play with the toddler. You are also fond of our two daughters and they like to visit you.
We often discuss our diabetes and you even share your glucose strips whenever I run out.

I remember the time I was living all by myself and working 3 jobs. One job was a teaching job and I was not going to get paid until several months later. You helped me out, paying the rent of my teeny tiny apartment, until I was back on track and finally got the paycheck I had worked for. You never abandoned me.

I guess we have similar characters. We like to laugh and enjoy life. Life is too short to sob about things that aren't worth it.. I think you will agree whenever you read this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I'm looking for low carb food. I love bread, but it has so many carbohydrates, that it makes my sugar spike and the need for insulin grows by the slice of bread I eat. So I gave up on bread.

In the US, there is such a large choice of low carb products. People over there know what low carb means. In Belgium, not many people know what carbohydrates mean to a diabetic. To me, eating low carb means better control, more energy, less tiredness. 

I keep looking for low carb meals to prepare, but most of the time I can't even find the ingredients over here. I still haven't found what I'm looking for. Maybe I should open my own low carb store over here?

Fakebook friends

Like many of you, I also subscribed to Facebook. Mostly, to find people I know but lost track of. It's great to find old time friends and see how they are doing. It's an easy way to keep up with your friends.

Facebook was on the news the other day. Communication is about to change completely. People don't socialise any more. They chat and they talk to one another on Facebook. Employees visit Facebook during working hours and tell the whole world how they count down the hours until they can go home or they play online bowling instead of doing whatever they are supposed to do.

What I don't like about Facebook, are the Fakebook friends. People that want to be friends, without knowing you. What's the use? I don't get it. I take great value to real time friends, and I sometimes communicate with them on Facebook, but not the other way around. Friendship is not about having 500 Fakebook friends... at least not to me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Meet the in-laws!

My husband comes from a family of five. He has 3 brothers and I sister. They grew up in a small town and they had a good youth. They had their own club house, they held secret parties in the woods where they built their own toilet and they had the time of their life!

Their parents were easy going. Not strict at all. They didn't set curfews or a certain time to go to bed. They didn't interfere in the relation ships of their children. But whenever one of their children was unhappy or in trouble, they stood by them.

The first time I saw my in-laws, I had known my husband (my boyfriend back then) for a month and a half and I had just found out I was 2 weeks pregnant. So not the best time to meet your in-laws. But they welcomed me with open arms and they were very kind. And as soon as they heard I was pregnant, they were filled with joy! We gave them their first grandchild and that will always be special. They helped us out wherever they could. We didn't have much income back then, although my husband worked 3 jobs and I worked until I nearly went into labor. But babies cost money and I had some debts to pay off.

My father-in-law painted our house and papered the walls. Every time we moved house, he would come over to paint and paper some more. He never complained. We fed him and made sure he felt at home and had everything he needed. That was his way of showing his appreciation and all of his children have had this same treatment.

Every other Sunday, all of us gather around the table for lunch. We laugh and enjoy a good family time. The grandchildren love to hang out together and it's pretty hectic when all 9 of them are there at the same time.

On Tuesdays, I stop by at "grandma's" for coffee. She always has some friends or relatives over and it is fun to have some girls' time. Sometimes I bake some goodies and she provides coffee.

There was no doubt: my mother-in-law was going to be Eva's godmother. And we are still very happy with that choice. Eva is very fond of her and she loves some special time with her godmother. They nose around the attic or look at old photo albums together. And they chit chat. Eva treasures those moments and I'm sure my mother-in-law does as well.

Some people don't get along with their in-laws, or have a terrible bond with their mother-in-law. I could not have chosen a better mother-in-law.

Some like it hot

I love spicy food. Not to the point that your taste buds set on fire, but it may be pretty hot. I really like Moroccan dishes: couscous, spicy merguez (lamb sausages), tahin, zucchini and carrot stews, chickpeas,..

It all started with Tabasco. The red kind, not the green. Green Tabasco is for wussies. Spaghetti Bolognaise requires Tabasco. Period.

A couple of years ago, I got into Japanese food, and wasabi is ever since in my fridge. Raw salmon, dotted with wasabi...hmhm.. It makes your eyes tear and your nose sting. But it's really refreshing and new. You should give it a try. Really.

Whenever I eat Turkish food, I want harissa. A chicken dürüm (a wrap) with veggies, lots of garlic sauce and then some sprinkles of harissa to finish it off. In fact, I could definitely use a dürüm right now, when I think of it. LOLZ.

Chinese soup asks for sambal oelek. Sometimes I make it so spicy, it's hard to eat. But that's the way I like my Chinese soup.

So how do you spice up your food?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Walk like an Egyptian

I have been romantically evolved with an Egyptian man, a long time ago. He was no good for me, but I was blinded by love. On the other hand, was that love? Being manipulated and humiliated? Everybody told me to leave him, but I couldn't. Because there was also another side to him. That side I liked. But unfortunately that's the side of him I didn't see often enough.

He was in Belgium illegally. He worked although he wasn't supposed to. I worked for him and I worked like 20 hours a day, until I couldn't think straight anymore. My best friend told me he was no good. That's when he decided I shouldn't see my friends or family any more. He told me they were racists, not real friends. Because if they were my friends, they would see how happy he made me. And I believed him..
My aunt and uncle never gave up on me, although they weren't happy with him. But they welcomed me at any time in their home. They made me realise in the end that I should leave him.. And luckily enough, my best friend didn't give up on me either. I didn't speak to her for a whole year, but then we started to talk again and I'm grateful for that.

That relationship left a very bad aftertaste in my mouth and deep wounds in my heart for quite some time. I lost myself completely and I had a hard time coming back to life. But I did.

I have visited Egypt twice since. I still believe it's a beautiful country and the natives are very attractive. I have also seen the look in the eyes of our eldest daughter, being admired by the local men. Egyptian men can make you feel like a princess. Some men make you feel like a slave. And that's a shame..

Wake me up before you go-go

When I was in my teens, I had no problems getting up in the morning. Rise and shine was my motto. I had to get up around 6 AM in order to get ready for school in time.

Nowadays, I'm too tired to get out of bed at such an early hour. But then again, there's no need to. So I get up around 7:30 AM. If my husband works the early shift, he wakes up at 4:45 AM. I wish I could tell him: wake me up before you go-go, but I'm afraid that's not going to happen. I don't even hear him get up. Some women get up to make their husband's sandwiches. I can't believe people still do that. I would hate it if someone else would prepare my lunch. How are you supposed to know what they would like to have at lunch time? I like to prepare my own lunch. Our children even make their own lunch box. They prepare it in the evening and put it in the fridge to keep it cool and fresh.

It doesn't mean I don't love you, but please: don't wake me up before you go-go..

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life is a cabaret

Our good friends introduced us to the world of musicals. Previously we had seen a couple of musicals with the children and all four of us were pretty excited about it. The costumes, the decor, the music, the atmosphere in the theatre. Either you like it or you don't. Over the years, we haven't taken the children to many musicals any more, but we have made it our adult city trips. 
Our friends pick out a musical and plan three days around it. Meaning we shop, we eat, we shop some more, we go to the theatre to enjoy the exciting world of the musical. For just a couple of days, we dress up and our life is a cabaret. We are the shining stars and enjoy each other's company. Don't forget to sing along because you absolutely need to buy the CD and play it over and over to relive the experience. 

I'm a fan. There are some musicals I haven't seen yet but heard so much good about. The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, to name a few. My favorite musical is Le Notre Dame de Paris. Hélène Segara as Esmeralda and Garou as the Hunchback. The music makes you drift off and takes you away in this fantasy world. I have the DVD but sadly enough, I haven't seen it live. 

The other week, we went to see two musicals in Holland. No need to say we had another wonderful time and our hearts are satisfied and filled with joy. Thank you guys! You got the music in you!

The Husband Chair

Have you noticed, whenever you go shopping, that some men remain in their car, while their wife runs the errands? I always wonder why they don't join their wives? Why do these women bring their husband along, if he's going to stay in their car? Is it because they don't have a driver's licence ? Don't these men get bored or do they prefer staying in the car over strolling through the supermarket? 

Some stores have found a good solution for these men. I have seen it in clothes shops. I call it The Husband Chair. Husbands are supposed to wait in these chairs, while their women change clothes in the dress rooms. They are supposed to nod their heads when the lady shows off her colorful new dress. They are supposed to shriek their ooh's and aah's, even after the fifth dress up party. If they are lucky, some salesperson will bring them coffee and a cookie. But that will only be in the more expensive stores I guess. He can also keep all the shopping bags, the misses' purse, her cell phone that keeps ringing over and over, because her friends can't miss her and want to hear all about her day out. Sometimes I feel sorry for these men.. I really do. But why don't they just tell their wives they want to go home and watch the ball game or that they would rather sit on a bar stool having a beer with the mates instead of spending an afternoon in The Husband Chair? I haven't figured that out yes, I suppose..

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rug Rats

My in-laws have 9 grandchildren, 4 girls and 5 boys. Lana is the eldest and her cousin was born the next day, so they are only 1 day apart. The eldest grandchild is 14, the youngest nearly 3. 
They all love to go play at grandma's. Because grandma is great! She lets them dress up in her best clothes, they can paint and do projects and chase the chickens in the back yard. They can use the flesh forks to eat instead of cutlery. And they are allowed to eat on the couch, in front of the TV. There is nobody that tells them to clear the table or do the dishes. Nobody makes them make their bed. When they are with grandma, they are real rug rats!

Okay, cookies and soda for breakfast may not be the best option, but after all: once they are back home, they are back to normal. LOL. It's great for them to have wonderful grandparents and someone that loves them unconditionally.

We have to pick up our rug rats tonight. They spent 3 days with grandma and grandpa. Because their parents needed some grown up time with their friends. I missed them. But I truly enjoyed some time without them as well. And I'm sure they had a great time too. And we bring them small presents. It will be good to hug them later this evening..

Don't stand so close to me

I don't like it when people intrude my space without my approval. Some people really cling to you, physically but also mentally. They try to live your life, to the point where it becomes scary.

In therapy, I learned to set boundaries. Both physical and mental. We did this exercise, where two members of the therapy group stood in front of each other. This one person had to come up to you, without saying anything. You had to set boundaries, in how far he/she could approach you. But you couldn't speak. Both members had to use body language and try to be real firm about it. It was really hard. The person I did the exercise with, was a very goodlooking and tall man. I compared him to Bambi, because he was so gentle and kind. But as soon as he crossed my boundary in the exercise, he freaked me out. Even to the point where I burst out into tears. The poor guy! He never meant to scare me or intimidate me. He kept on apologizing to me, but he really didn't have to. Because he taught me a very valuable lesson in life. It made me realise that I was not very good at keeping people out of my personal space. And that was something I needed to work on.

I have noticed some improvement and I'm happy about that. You don't have to please the world. You don't have to be nice to everybody. If it doesn't feel good: make a statement!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where's the action in this town?

Okay, we live in a very small town. More young people move over here, but still, it's a town where many elderly live. There's not much to do around here. We have a supermarket, a small grocery store, 1 pharmacy, 4 bars, 2 diners, 1 small school, 1 library, a couple of hair dressers, 2 gas stations, 2 butchers, 2 bakers, a retirement home, a police station, a fire department and a post office. That's about it. 

Around midnight, everyone is asleep. You might see a lost cat, but you won't see people hanging out on the streets. We get a good rest at night. There is hardly any vandalism. No car accidents. No abnormalities. No action. No nothing. 

It doesn't bother me. That's why we came to live here. That's why we bought a house in this cute little town. That's why our kids can still run errands by themselves or ride their bikes. I'm happy and I like to live here. I wouldn't want it otherwise. Unless..

Gross habits

People pick their nose. 
They fart. 
Men grab their groin and scratch their private parts. 
Some people don't brush their teeth or bite their toe nails. 

Everybody has at least one gross habit. I don't want to know yours.. I'm not going to tell you mine.

It is what it is..

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You get what you give

We live in a hectic world and people tend to pay more attention to virtual friends than to real time friends. Whatever you choose, it is important to network and have friends to share your life with. Never underestimate the importance of good friends. What makes you happy in life, is feeling good about yourself and loving yourself for the person you are. Your friends can be your mirror and show you your good characteristics and the ones you might improve a little. 

Some people say they have no friends. Friendship means hard work. It means investing in the other, without having the feeling of it being a chore. Don't invest in friends that aren't worth it. If it feels like an obligation, it is probably not a good friendship to you. And remember: you get what you give. 

A friend once told me, that it's easy to criticize others. But what we criticize the most in others, is mainly what we despise the most in ourselves.. Think about it, the next time you badmouth someone. Maybe you need to evaluate yourself..

Heaven is a place on earth

When I was about 11, my teacher told me that if I didn't behave well, I would go to hell. She scared me. I believed her. Heaven was only for good people. Not for me. I didn't deserve heaven, according to her.  I don't remember what I did, to make her say things like that. I was a child. Children believe what their teachers tell them. 

That's when I started to dislike church. That's when I gave up on religion. I didn't want to go to hell. I tried to be a good girl! I wanted to go to heaven!

So I straightened up. I planned on leading a good life. But then I realised I could make my own heaven, right here, right on this Earth. Bit by bit, I designed my own heaven on earth. And you know what? I don't need rice pudding and golden spoons to be happy. I don't need to be dead to live happily ever after.. I want to be happy now! I want to live now! 

How about that?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I remember you

It's been quite a long time, since we last saw one another. It's good to hear that you are doing real well. You are married to a beautiful lady. You have a son and a daughter and another baby is on the way. You haven't changed that much, looking at your pictures. It seems like yesterday..

We met on the ski slope in New Hampshire. We got acquainted and you were a pretty cool guy. You were fun to hang out with and we had a blast whenever we went out together. I got to meet your family and I still have my scrap books from back then. Strange, how things have evolved.

You were in the air force. I had to go back to Belgium, without you. But I came to your graduation in Texas. This long distance relation ship was doomed to end.. You lived over there. I would have done anything to come back to the States, but I never managed to do so..

I met my husband. His uniform looked a lot like yours. Because he was in the air force too. Different country, different army, but still the air force. And I had a deja vu. 

I'm happy now. I have a fine family. I'm sure you would like them and you and my husband could talk about the army together. 

I'm forwarding you the ring you once gave me. It belonged to your mother. I hope one day, your little girl will find the right man for her and she will wear the ring. 

You will always be special to me, because we had a great time together and you were a wonderful man. I'm happy for you, that you got married and raised your own family. I'm proud of you and I wish you all the best..

A clean house is a sign of a wasted life

I love to come into my house, when it has just been cleaned. The smell of cleaning products, the smooth feeling under your feet, the tidiness around the house. It takes a great effort to clean a complete house. It wears you out and the satisfaction doesn't last long. You keep telling the kids to take their shoes off because you just cleaned the house. You don't feel like feeding the cat, because the cat food never remains in the bowl. Cooking is not allowed, because that would mean you would have to clean the stove again. No showers may be taken, or you need to clean the bathroom again. Pff... what a pain.. 

Some people have one special day of the week reserved to clean their house. Nothing else can happen that day. Bye bye spontaneity. Many years ago, I thought Fridays were the best days to clean the house, so you would have a clean house for the week-end. But then your kids have their friends over and after they have left, you can start cleaning again, to have a clean house for the week to come.

So now, I clean whenever it's needed. We vacuum often and we have all special cleaning systems to make our life easier. Although I love a clean house, it will never be my favorite pastime
We used to have someone come over to clean for us. And you know what startled me? That everybody paid more attention to try to keep the house clean after she had gone. How come they don't have the same attitude when I clean the house?

People surely won't say after my death: she had a wasted life.. That says it all..

Monday, May 18, 2009

A clown with a mask

You were my teacher at the time. We were in a class of about 15 adults and you taught French. You were a very warm and gentle character. I liked you a lot. One day, you asked me to stay after class. You had to talk to me..

You said I was a clown, wearing a mask. There was so much grief and sadness behind the mask. Sadness you recognised. Grief you wanted to help me out with. We had long conversations. We understood one another. With you, I could be me. We kept in touch. You became my mentor. There is so much wisdom in the words you say and the gestures that don't remain unnoticed. Sometimes we would just hug and cry. They were not only tears of sadness. 

I always look forward to spending time with you: healthy luncheons, going for a walk, spend time in your cosy home, our long and illuminate talks. I have grown because of you. You made me look at me and evaluate myself. You told me I was a valuable person and I had so much talent. If only we could have our own business together. You could do what you were good at and I would do my part. That would be thrilling!

Thank you for your advice, your warmth and the strength you have been giving me over all these years. I miss you. I hope we will meet up again soon. Maybe in your new home?

I want a new drug

I have been addicted for nearly 7 years. I took shots for 4 years and my house is full of needles and syringes. And my addiction doesn't cost me much money. I need the addiction in order to be healthy. I used to shoot up about 5 times a day. The needles didn't bother me that much. It was the independence that hit me the most. Couldn't go anywhere without my needles, syringes and drug. I depended on it! My life was at stake!

I traded my syringes for another method. I'm still addicted to my drug, but I no longer need to take shots 5 times a day. Now I hurt myself only once every 3 days. No more syringes, no more needles. 

I want a new drug. Because I'm getting too used to this one. My body is becoming resistant to it. Meaning I need more and more of the same drug to maintain the same effect. And I don't like that. I don't want to depend on some drug to live my life. But it is what it is and there's not much I can do about it. As long as there's no remedy found against diabetes, I will need to give my body the insulin it needs. Because I want to grow old and live a healthy fulfilling life. So don't call me a drug addict. I have diabetes, and that was not my choice..

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lovin' every minute of it

It must have been the summer where I turned 14. I had applied for a summer job in the amusement park nearby. They said they couldn't use me, because I was too young. But I really, really wanted to work there! Even though I didn't have the right age! I wanted to make some pocket money to call mine. 

And then they called me. They had a vacancy, to begin the next morning at 6 AM. I was so thrilled! I had no idea what the job description was, but I didn't care. I had a job!!!

I had to clean the cafeteria.. what a bummer. I had never cleaned anything prior to this huge job that was awaiting me. I had no idea where to start or how to even hold the mop! I was only 13, going on 14. 

But you know what? Although it was very hard work for a teen, I loved every minute of it. Because I got to spend time in my favorite amusement park. And for the next four years, I had the best job ever. I'll tell you about that job some other time. You're too curious!

Under pressure

Today I asked myself: what does pressure do to me? Do I perform better under pressure? Do I need pressure in order to do a better job? 

I know I don't like to be under pressure. I like to do things at my own paste. That doesn't implicate that I'd be slow, but I don't like it when people rush me. Because I want to complete a job without making any mistakes, so it needs some checking. 

I have worked in a sandwich bar for 6 months. Sometimes there were 30 customers at once and I was the only person to prepare and sell the sandwiches. But I did great and people didn't get aggravated waiting turns. But I got stressed alright. And my blood sugar is the best meter: my sugar level goes real high when I'm under pressure. I need more insulin to bring it down again. 
But there were also times, that my blood glucose was really low when I was working under pressure. Chewing on sugar lumps kept me going, but what a relief when all the customers were served and out of the shop. Then I could fall to pieces and have some lunch..

Conclusion: I'm not very fond of being under pressure..

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sharp dressed man

This friend of mine knows how to dress. I love well dressed men. The way they shop and look out for new things. The way they combine outfits and take their time to pick out their clothes for that particular event. The order they have in their dresser. No clothes on the floor, no dirty shoes, no holes in socks. Matching belts, watches to go with every outfit, ties in all colors - without any silly Disney characters on them - and male jewelry. Every other time, a new set of glasses. Manicured nails. Well shaved. Fragrance at all times, not only on Sundays..

He would never wear a shirt that hasn't been ironed. His clothes are always hung on special padded clothes hangers, so they won't wrinkle. Costumes are brought to the dry cleaners to always look their best. 

He's a joy to hang out with. He's great to shop with. He's a good help when I need clothing advice. He's my buddy.. I love him and his cuddles..

I love to laugh!

I heard that people that laugh half an hour a day, live longer. So I think I will live a long life :-)

Laughing and making fun is a big part of happiness. Try to see the sunny side of life and enjoy the good times you spend with the people you love and cherish. I'm glad I am an optimist. Some days I might be down, but most of the time, I am happy. I prefer laughing over crying, although crying is as valuable a feeling as laughing is. Sometimes I laugh so hard, that it makes me cry. Eva is very good at making me burst out into laughter. She's so witty!

How about we would all set a time and date and then we would laugh.. just laugh. Wouldn't that be a great feeling?

Friday, May 15, 2009

You have a talent to listen

We haven't known each other for that long, but very soon I found out that you should have become a therapist. You have a talent to listen. You make people analyse themselves, so they can come up with their own solutions. And that is what therapists do. They don't give you the solution, they make you think about your own way out. You are not afraid to give your own opinion, even though that opinion is straight to the point and the other might think it's no fun to hear. But it's the truth. You can't change what you can't acknowledge, Dr. Phil once said. You are really good at showing people all their sides.

I hope in the future you will be able to do something with your talent. Meaning as in a job. I don't really know for sure you would want to make it your profession. It can be pretty exhausting to listen to people's problems on a daily basis. You are a true people person though. You need to be around people, so they can appreciate the person you are. Because you are pretty special..


I subscribed to this website, where you get freebies. In return, you test the products and give feedback. You tell your friends about this new product, that is not on the market yet, and you debate it with them; Then you report to the company what their opinion on the product is. 

You get to keep the items. Otherwhise they wouldn't be freebies, right? But you have the choice whether you want to try out the product or not. 

I don't like the freebies that come in cereal boxes or as coupons. I never even open those freebies. I trash them right away. I don't even want to know what those freebies are, because I didn't ask for them. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Faces behind

The editor of the Belgian magazine of Bayer Health Care, contacted me to write an article in their March 2009 edition. They also copied one of my recipes. You can read the English/Dutch article below.

Smile faces behind the scene

"My diabetes made me enjoy cooking even more"

Cathy (37) lives in Kaprijke and is a mom of two teen daughters. She has had diabetes type 1 for seven years. Cathy lost her job, but she didn't give up: fine, healthy and unique cooking is her life. She already writes about it on but she would love to see it as a new step in her career.

"I had not turned 31 yet, when I was diagnosed diabetes type 1. For 8 months I had felt really bad. Working a part time and a full time job at the time, my GP thought I was just worn out... Which I was , but that was not what caused the overall feeling bad. Because of the diagnosis, I lost my job and I went back to school to learn another profession. It was not a piece of cake to find another job. I didn't want the diabetes to win, so I tried to find a way of dealing with it. A 'colleague-diabetic' pointed out there was a new forum, and she invited me to join in actively.

You are very active on the forum, posting an average 20 notes a day

The forum means so much to me! It came in the air about a year and a half ago. In that period of time, I have learned a lot more on diabetes than in the six years prior to the forum. In the meantime, I have met 42 members and some fine friendships have been made. It gave my diabetes a positive boost. We learn from one another, we tell each other what's bothering us and we understand each other. Even though one's partner can know all the theoretical sides of diabetes, they don't have the disease...

We encourage each other to maintain good control and we stand by our friends whenever things don't work out the way we want them to, to the point that we are ready to give up. It won't come to a surprise to you that I'm not the only 'forum-addict'. 

Food is your favorite topic: you have your own header on the Bento Box

I have always enjoyed cooking. Now even more than ever, do I prefer fresh and seasonal ingredients. I have decided to eat low-carb to get good diabetes management. Quite often, me and my friends eat out. We always look for great restaurants and I have found quite a few. I love to write my opinion on the menu and the ingredients used. It's great to see that some restaurant keepers are willing to make an extra effort for diabetics. I'm assertive enough to ask questions and make suggestions and some restaurant keepers keep it in mind. I would like to thank them for doing so.

Making my own booklet on diabetes friendly recipes and restaurants, is a dream of mine. The recipe header on the forum is one of the most visited!

My latest header is the Bento Box - the Japanese lunch box - hardly known in Belgium. Maybe it's time we give it the attention it deserves!

Smile Gezichten achter

"Door mijn diabetes kook ik nóg liever"

Cathy (37) woont in Kaprijke en is moeder van twee tienerdochters. Ze heeft al zeven jaar type-1 diabetes. Cathy verloor haar werk, maar bleef niet bij de pakken zitten: lekker, gezond en verrassend koken is haar leven. Erover schrijven doet ze al op en als het even kan, wordt het een nieuwe carrièrestap.

"Ik was net geen 31 toen ik de diagnose diabetes type 1 kreeg. Ik voelde me al 8 maanden heel slecht. Doordat ik destijds fulltime én parttime werkte, dacht mijn huisarts dat ik gewoon oververmoeid was... Dat was ik ook wel, maar het was dus niet de oorzaak. Door de diabetes raakte ik mijn werk kwijt en heb ik me omgeschoold. Het bleek niet zo makkelijk om weer aan de slag te gaan. Maar diabetes mij klein krijgen? No way. Ik begon verwoed te zoeken naar een manier om ermee om te gaan. Een 'collega-diabeet' wees me op het nieuwe en nodigde me uit om actief deel te nemen."

Je bent héél actief op het forum, gemiddeld 20 berichten per dag

Het forum is zó'n meerwaarde! In het anderhalf jaar dat het bestaat, heb ik méér geleerd over diabetes dan in de zes jaar daarvoor. Ondertussen heb ik al 42 mensen ontmoet dankzij het forum en zijn er mooie vriendschappen ontstaan. Het heeft mijn diabetes een positieve wending gegeven. We leren van elkaar, kunnen ons hart luchten en begrijpen elkaar. Hoe goed je partner ook op de hoogte is van de theorie van diabetes: hij heeft het zelf niet...
We sporen elkaar aan om een goede diabetesroutine op te volgen en we zijn er voor elkaar als het even niet meer lukt en je je diabetes een ferme trap wil verkopen. Ik merk dat ik niet de enige ben die 'verslaafd' geworden is aan het forum.

Voeding is je favoriete item: je hebt een eigen rubriek over de Bento Box

Ja, ik heb altijd graag gekookt. Natuurlijk heb ik nu nog meer oog voor verse en seizoensgebonden ingrediënten. Voor mijn eigen diabetesregeling eet ik vooral koolhydraatarm. Met mijn vriendenkring ga ik graag en vaak uit eten. Het is altijd zoeken naar leuke adresjes en ik her er al een paar gevonden. Ik schrijf dan recensies over menukaart en gebruikte producten. Het is fijn om te zien welke restaurateurs bereid zijn om rekening te houden met diabetici. Ik ben assertief genoeg om vragen te stellen en suggesties te doen en sommige restaurateurs gaan daar ook op in. Die verdienen dan ook een pluim.

Ik wil een boekje samenstellen met diabetesvriendelijke recepten en restaurants. De receptenrubriek op het forum wordt écht druk bezocht!

Mijn nieuwste rubriek is de Bento Box - de Japanse lunchbox - nauwelijks bekend in België. Daar wil ik graag iets aan veranderen!

Love handles

I have never liked skinny men. One time, I even broke up with a very nice man, because.. he was too skinny. He had no love handles. He had no bum. He had no body. 

I like my husband's body. It's soft and just right. Okay, he has some love handles, but they don't bother me at all. I think it's rather sweet.. He's not overweight at all. He has the perfect weight for his height and he's a sports man. He likes to play tennis, he rides his bike, he runs. He's in good shape. He's nearly 42 but his body doesn't look 42. I think I'm a lucky woman.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You're history

My mom thought I had the best boyfriend ever. She adored him. He was prince charming. Well, at least to her..

One time, the two of us were hanging out with some friends in a bar. They were talking about women in not a very nice way. So I decided to sit somewhere else and mingle with the other folks present.

I overheard him speaking with his friends. They told him that I was not humble enough. That he should boss me around. That he shouldn't take crap from me. As if! They ridiculed our relationship. That aggravated him. So he told his friends to watch him..

He yelled at me, to go get him some cigarettes. I didn't respond, because I didn't like the tone in his voice. His friends laughed some more. He got all hyped up and his chair was thrown on the floor. He came towards me and grabbed me by the neck. He shouted that I'd better notice him and listen to him, since he was my boyfriend and he deserved my respect! I was petrified. Really. He scared me to death. He slapped me in the face. I fell on the floor. His friends stopped laughing. But nobody stood up for me. I was 17 and I felt very ashamed..

I managed to leave the bar and I ran to the first phone booth I could find. In tears, I called my mom and asked her to pick me up, because my boyfriend had hit me. The answer she gave me, I will never forget: what did you do to upset him? He's the best man you'll ever get! You must have triggered him!

I couldn't believe what I had heard.. I hung up the phone and hitchhiked home. 

My boyfriend came over the next day to apologise. It was over for me. I never wanted to see him again. The next day, he was playing cards with my mother, when I came home from school. I ignored him. He kept coming back for 3 weeks, on a daily basis. I didn't give in. 

I hear he's been divorced twice. I feel sorry for the wives he married. I feel sorry for the children he raised. I feel sorry for my mother, for taking his side.. She was supposed to stand by me.

Make sure the i's are dotted

Perfectionists are not easy to live with. Really. They nag about the little things, they want things done their way. They live up to their own high standard and they expect others to do the same. Sometimes their demands are unreasonable. Sometimes they do things over, because things don't measure up to their standard. It's tiring. It's hard. It's reality. It's me..

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ignoring the past

Some people wish to ignore the past and deny what has happened. They want to force you to erase your childhood memories and say things never happened. One's feelings cannot be denied or ignored. Either you felt those feelings or you didn't. I feel sorry for the people that think you are not entitled to your own feelings and say that your feelings were not right. They might have lived their childhood in a different way. They might have been happy all along and I truly hope they were not messed up the way I was. I don't tell them how to live their lives and I don't intrude their lives as they have intruded mine. 
I didn't haunt them the way they haunt me. But it's been enough. I'm no longer the little girl that was afraid to be punished for every remark I made. I'm no longer afraid to speak up for myself and I sure ain't going to let anybody dictate me how to live my life any longer!

Were they told their child was a BASTARD, because its parents weren't married??? I don't think so. So don't say I can't have mixed feelings about motherhood! My mother-in-law is still in shock when she brings up the words she heard my mother say.. Some people really wish to live in denial, because the truth is too painful and they might want to reconsider their deeds.

It is kind of interesting though, that nowadays my life interests them more than it used to when I was still living at home. They tell me to get a life. How come then, that they spend their time looking me up on the internet and reading all my posts on different sites?? Go figure!

Making whoopee

I can't believe it..

but it's true. I caught you in the act. With another woman. I can't even remember her face or what she looked like. But it was another woman. I'm devastated. Don't know what to do. You said you had been seeing her for 3 years.. 3 years!!!! How come I didn't know??? Why didn't anyone tell me?? I'm crushed, I'm a waste basket. You say you won't leave me. You will give her up. But how can we ever overcome this? How will we tell the children? I never thought this could happen to us. It's awful. It rips your heart out. I don't want to leave you. But 3 years??? Come on!! What were you thinking? Were you that unhappy? And in our very own bed!! How you must have laughed over me, the two of you. Was it good? Was she better?

Imagine how happy I was to wake up. My heart was still pounding, but you were sleeping beside me. Just you. And me. No other woman. I observed you for a while. I touched you. You rolled over. I smelled the sheets. I couldn't scent any other perfume than ours. My heart was still pounding too fast, and my sugar was low. But you were here.. next to me.. and I realised you are mine. Only mine. And I know there would never be another woman. Because that's not the kind of man you are..

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too old to be a party animal

I have never been a real party animal. I never went out to clubs or parties when I was younger. I preferred to go out to a bar, to spend the evening chatting with friends. Since I hardly drink any alcohol, people might think I'm a bore. But I don't need alcohol to entertain myself or others.

Some people my age or older, are still party animals and they are pretty good at it. On Monday, they already talk about the upcoming week-end, when they will go out and party, have too many drinks and stay up way too late. Sometimes, they pick up a date and don't remember that person's name when they wake up in a house they were never in before. 

But of course, there are also party animals that just love to dance. Period.

I'm not a party animal. And that doesn't bother me at all.

Dancing Queen

Our eldest daughter Lana started dancing at the age of nearly 3. I still remember her first pink leotard and tutu. She looked gorgeous! I believe every little girl in a pink dance outfit looks fabulous and the ooh's and aah's are pretty common amongst parents involved.

At the age of 5, she danced ballet and Spanish dances. With her nice tan and almond shaped eyes, she had the perfect look for the Spanish classes. But she was too young and after a year she gave up. Funk dance took its place. 

For 3 years now, she has subscribed in a better dance school and she has made major improvements. No more pink leotards, but I still get emotional when I see her perform. 

She's talking about taking street dance classes as well. She's very slender and she has good rhythm and she's elegant. The ballet teacher says she has great and strong legs. I'm proud of my dancing queen. Very proud..

Sunday, May 10, 2009

You don't know anything 'bout me

Did you ever know me? Did you ever consider getting to know me? You always wanted me to lead the life you had planned for me. You decided about most everything: the friends I could or couldn't have (mostly couldn't), the schools I attended, the profession I was going to do, where I was going to live, how long I could go out on the weekend, what boyfriend I should date..

I still remember my very first own decision: I wanted to go to the US to work as an au pair. You said by no means that was going to happen. My father backed me up. He thought it would be good for me. But you never approved.
Nevertheless, I saved the € 1.000 it took and I went to Brussels several times, all by myself, to find out about the programme. You were not interested and you were angry and upset.

But for the first time in my life, I stood up for myself. I had wanted to do this since I was 17. And finally, 1 month before my 21st birthday, you drove me to the airport. You whined about the parking fee, and about the long lines at the gate. You told me I was going to be back in 2 weeks. The only thing I could think of was: how fast can I get out of here??? You drove me off, mom! Only you! You could never be happy for me. Whatever I did wasn't good enough for you. You couldn't stand me being happy.. And I still hold you responsible for that. It is still haunting me. You are still on top of me. With every decision I make, I think: what would she have thought about that? But you know what? Your judgement is no longer important. I have made my own life. I'm happy now. I have a great husband and two wonderful daughters, and although you decided to stay out of our lives, they have been the 12 best years ever!

No one is to blame

Today is Mother's Day. It's supposed to be a fun day, and children celebrate the mother they love. To me, Mother's Day is always a day of mixed feelings. I haven't spoken to my mother in 12 years. The bond has been broken and can never be mended. Too much has happened and no one is to blame. So many things were left unspoken, discussions were taboo. Children don't always have to agree with their parents. You're entitled to an opinion of your own. But not in my family. It was my mother's way, or the highway. I did everything her way, until I was 22 and on my way home from my au pair year in the US. I knew things were never going to be the same. I had spent a wonderful time with a very loving family, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. What an eye opener it was to me, to see that people can debate over almost anything, but still love one another... I had never realised that before and it was a very strange sensation to me. It made me reflect on my youth and I got very emotional over it. Things could have been so different. But we can't turn back times, can we?

From then on, things did change. My mom would never accept me for who I was and she would not see me as the adult I had become. She wasn't ready to let go, she wasn't ready to cut the umbilical cord. But I was, more than ever.. So she gave me the choice: move out and never come back or stay and do as I was told. Meaning: staying at home until I was married (don't you need a boyfriend to get married?), getting a job as a teacher (I never wanted to be a teacher in the first place!) and give up my social life (if you have a curfew to be in by midnight at the age of 22, you have no social life, believe me..). I said goodbye to my family and that was the point of no return. 

We have 2 beautiful daughters now and we are very proud of them. I hope I will be mature enough to give my children the freedom they deserve, so they can live the lives they wish to lead. They need to feel loved, in order to set them free and discover the world. I love them very deeply and I would be devastated if anything would happen to them.

So Mother's Day is a day of mixed feelings. I'm blessed to have 2 bright and pretty girls and I appreciate them for who they are. Why can my own mother not accept me for who I am.. Why is that too much to ask..

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thriving in my kitchen

If you know me, you know I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Since we have bought this house in 1997, this is our second kitchen. I'm very happy with it. It's handy, it looks great and above all: there is a lot of space for all of my appliances. 

I think you can never have enough appliances and one can always please me with another kitchen gadget. I love to shop in kitchen specialty shops. Going through the appliances, I come up with new recipes and inspiration to cook some more.

I'm very proud of my stove. It has 6 gas burners and a large oven. Every day, I use this stove to cook on and experiment with food and herbs. I don't know where I got the love for cooking. I had not cooked an egg before I went to college. I didn't do much cooking then either. When I lived in the US, I used to prepare the meals for the children and I got the hang of it. Bought myself some cook books and I became addicted..

Nowadays I read cook books as if they were some kind of an exciting story. I watch every cooking programme on TV and I love to go out for dinner, to get some new ideas. I'm very happy to have a friend that shares my interest for cooking. We share recipes and once in a while, we cook together.

Whenever I read a fabulous recipe, I rush to the kitchen to start making it. My pantry is stuffed with basic products everyone should have access to. I can always cook a simple but delicious meal with whatever is in the fridge or pantry. I believe that is pretty exciting..! I hate an empty pantry! I think I have to go out to get some more groceries..

Girls just wanna have fun

I'm always excited to see my lady friends. They make me smile, they make me happy and there's always so much to discuss. I don't get to see them that often, but I don't think that is necessary either. Distance makes the bonds grow fonder, remember?

Yesterday was one of those days. And it was a lucky day, because I got to see two good girlfriends. One in the afternoon and one in the evening. I feel blessed.

The first friend I had a date with today, is a mom of two. Both her husband and their youngest child have diabetes type 1. I have never met a person like her, who takes all the responsibility of taking care of 2 diabetics. Because it is not a piece of cake, believe me. Sometimes I forget she's not the diabetic. She's a wonderful person.. and I'm glad I got to know her, through our forum.

I had the opportunity to test out my camera again. The youngest daughter of my second date, is 6 and she's a little fairy. She has wonderful blue eyes (looks after her mom) and blue eyes are not easy for photographers. They turn red before you know it. But the pictures came out real well and I think she will be happy with the result as well. 
I had really missed my friend. I believe we had not seen one another for about 6 weeks and that is a long time. Since we both work now, and her children are younger than mine, getting together isn't that easy any more. But whenever we get together, we catch up and both of us can go to bed with a good feeling of true friendship..

Friday, May 8, 2009


People that know me, know that I am very willing to help others out. I try my best to do as much as I can, to make other people's lives better. That's just the person I am.
Sometimes to the point, that I loose myself. I give myself 200% and that means there's not much time left for my family or friends. And that's where the problem begins. 

My father has his own business and all his life he has worked very hard. Although he retired in January of this year, he still works full time. And he always told us, kids,  that good is just not good enough. You always have to be better and do better. It's never enough. You should always work as if it were your own business. You always have to make sure your boss needs you and you have to make him happy by all means.. Because after all, he's the one that feeds your mouth.

I don't agree with him anymore. What's the use? Because in the end, your boss will still be your boss. Time goes by, your children grow up and we grow older. Time flies and we cannot catch up with what we didn't have time for. 

The other day, somebody told me I want too much. I want to travel, I want to socialise, I want to be there for my family, I want to work, I want to do the things I like to do. She made me think about it. And I remember the words of my grandparents: "you have to save your money for later. You can travel when you stop working. You can do the things you like when your children leave the house.."

So who is right? Why can't I live the life I want to lead? Why do I have to be torn? Who can predict the future? Are you sure you will live long enough to fulfill all of your dreams? I want to live NOW!

I'm not ready to say goodbye yet...

My Deltec Cozmo insulin pump, that has kept me alive for nearly 3 years, has gone out of business. The worldwide financial situation has made the company stop making medical supplies for diabetics. I am really attached to my pump and I'm heart broken.. I don't want to trade my Cozmo for some other pump, that has no benefits to me what so ever. Okay, there is one option that I believe to be valuable: the continuous glucose monitoring. But by no means will we be able to use it, because it's too expensive and the clinic is not going to provide for it. So what's the use?

The only insulin pump I wanted to try out, was the Omnipod. Because it is wireless. And that's the one and only reason. But the Omnipod is not available in our teeny tiny country. 

I was so happy with my pump. I could personalise it, it reminded me to provide insulin, there were many alarms I set and used all the time. This really sucks... 

I was really happy with customer service as well. They helped me out whenever I needed their help. At home, I used the software to make back ups of my daily diabetic life, so I didn't have to keep any written records. 

I feel for the American employees that lost their jobs because of Deltec going out of pump business. I pray for them and their families that a good solution will be found. In our country, people will not loose their job over it. They will switch to another brand and they will move on with their lives.

I want to thank Deltec Cozmo, for the nearly 3 fine years that I could use their pump. It's been a true pleasure and nobody else has been that close to me 24/7 as my Cozmo. I'm not ready to give it up. I'm not ready to say goodbye yet. Please don't make me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Going out for lunch

Every once in a while, I go out for lunch with a friend. It's always fun to go out with a friend or to go out for lunch, but it's even better when you can combine both. 
I live in a very small town and there's not much to do around here. I like to take the car and drive around, looking for nice places to take my friends to. Some places I frequent quite often, others I never go back to, because the hosts weren't polite or the food wasn't great. Cooking is my passion and I love fresh veggies and luscious fruit. Most of the time, I ask for a salad. The combination of salad greens and fresh fruit is a favorite of mine. When ruby red strawberries, sturdy chunks of fresh pineapple and moist cubes of mango appear in my salad, it can really make a difference. 

What I do miss over here, is a choice of salad dressing. To most Americans, it's normal, when you go out for lunch, that you are asked what dressing you would like on your salad: Thousand Island, Blue Cheese, Italian dressing,... Do restaurant keepers over here even consider asking? Nope. They just serve whatever dressing they feel like, and mostly it's some bottled dressing and not the real stuff. And you don't get it on the side. So if you don't like the dressing, bummer!

Cotton balls in my head

It's been pretty hectic around here and too much is going on at the same time. I feel numb and it feels like there are cotton balls in my head. I need to make some more to-do lists, in order to organise whatever needs to be done. I make lists in my BlackBerry, lists in my head, lists on paper, lists on the notebook. It feels great when you can erase some items that you have completed. But that's not the case yet.

A couple of years ago, we had this lady that came to help us clean the house. I thought that was wonderful and it gave me extra time to do what I like to do most. Until she stole Eva's piggy bank. Twice! That's when we decided not to have anyone around the house anymore. Meaning the cleaning is up to us again. Leaving us less time to enjoy life.

I would like to clear my head and take all the cotton balls out. I think it would feel real refreshing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dr. Phil?

I think it must be a true eye opener, to have Dr. Phil as your personal therapist. I love his shows and normally I record them. In the late evening, when my family is in bed, I watch his episodes. I have learned so many good things already. 
What I love the most about Dr. Phil, is how he advices couples to be grateful to one another. Every morning, you should ask yourself: "what can I do today, to make the life of my partner better?" Isn't that a great thought? It sure would make life a whole lot easier.. The world would be a lot better if we would live it the Dr. Phil-way.

Dr. Phil and Oprah Winfrey are very popular in the States and over here, more and more people get to know their shows. I think Oprah is a magnificent lady and she can be real proud of herself. 

It would be fantastic if one day, I could attend the Dr. Phil or Oprah Winfrey show.. But I think it will remain a dream..

Trick or Treat!

I feel  like I went trick or treating :-) 

Today my surprise box from the US has arrived. I was so excited to open it..! And it contained all I asked for, plus some superb extras. What a joy! Thank you dear friends, you are absolutely wonderful. I just had my first fluffernutter in 10 years, to solve my sugar low.

Guess what I'm going to make today? Meatballs and chocolate chip cookies, using my brand new cookie scoops. I won't serve them together, don't worry, but I want to try out all of the new things I got. 

And I can make more hazelnut lattes, with the tasteful hazelnut splenda they sent me. Joy oh joy!

I feel like a kid at Christmas!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

I still miss my American host family from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. It took me almost 4 days by train to travel from Portland, Oregon to their lovely home. It snowed all the way over there, so I didn't see much else than white landscapes and my intention was to see all the different states we passed through.

My host dad picked me up at Boston Railway Station. I was exhausted.. didn't know whether I was supposed to eat or sleep. I felt filthy because I had not had the opportunity to shower on the train.

But my host family made me feel very welcome all at once. They trusted me with their 2 precious sons of 5 and 9. They were absolutely adorable and one of them sat on my lap right away. The boys wanted to teach me English words, because they had had a Belgian au pair before and she spoke nothing but French. So they were pretty glad I understood them and they could communicate with me.

The saying: absence makes the heart grow fonder, is a true saying. I missed my host family deeply when I had returned to Belgium. I cried over them for quite a while. It's been a long time and I have visited them once. But they are still in my heart.

The strange thing is, I didn't miss my own family while being in the States. So the saying doesn't go both ways for me. And I had the impression they had not missed me either..

Sometimes I wish I had found a solution to remain in the US back then. But on the other hand, I would not have met my husband, nor would I have had my two wonderful girls..

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Black cars

I'm deeply in love with my espresso black car. I think it's my own little treasure and I love to drive it.

Most cars I keep for 3 years. My previous car was also black and I think black cars suit me best.

Hubby thought this car would be fun for me to ride, and I think he was right. I love it! Mine came with energetic orange seats and I fell in love right away.

There's not much room for me and the girls, so maybe I won't be able to keep it for 3 years. The girls grow up and the backseat is not very spacious. But since the youngest is going to attend boarding school in September, I won't have both of them in the car at the same time that often. So we'll see.

He does have a mind of its own, my Mr. Colt. Sometimes he's not acting like he should, opening windows when he's not supposed to. Or refusing to close the roof top. But I think at times that is rather neat. It makes me think of Herbie.

So I'm ready to go for a ride. Wanna come along?

I'll be there for you

March 18th, 1995. Our first daughter is born, 3 weeks early..

I didn't want to get married just because I was pregnant. I thought that was the wrong reason. 
I never wanted to get married when I was a teen. But then again, I had not met my husband yet. 

On May 5th 1995, the two of us said our wedding vows. Getting married and saying your wedding vows is not something you do overnight. You think about it. You don't sleep. Your heart pounds. It makes you sick to the stomach and it excites you at the same time. And then you sign that little piece of paper, that makes you husband and wife. And that's it. You are married. Just like that! As if!

Both our parents insisted on a marriage in church, although I'm not a believer and my husband only goes to church to bury someone or celebrate a baptism. We gave in only half way, and the ceremony was over in 10 minutes. The priest blessed our wedding rings in church, without having a religious service. After that glorious moment, we had a great party and invited everyone to a barbecue. 

Marriage is no fairy tale. It's hard work. It takes efforts and sacrifices on a daily basis. But in the end, your other half stands beside you, whenever you need him. 

Every year, hubby asks me what he can get me for our wedding anniversary. He has asked me for 14 years now. And I never know what to tell him. But this year, I have known long in advance. I want him to say: I'll be there for you. Because that's all I expect from him: that he will be there for me..

Monday, May 4, 2009

You are wonderful people

I have known a period in my life, that has been pretty rough and awful. I had no place to live, no money to spend, no nothing. My aunt and uncle always helped me out. They are wonderful people. My aunt would take a long train ride to come see me and take my laundry home to be washed. She would fill my cabinets with food and tins and more groceries. She would help me out financially. She loved me. She cared..

My uncle helped me move out of a very bad situation. He drove all across the country to help me and I will not forget that. 

I had not seen my uncle, aunt and cousins for quite some years, due to family issues. As soon as I had saved enough money, I bought my own car and went to visit them. I was so glad they were back in my life. Every Friday, coming home from college, I stopped at their place, to tell them about my week in school. They were always very happy to see me. And I always felt welcomed..

I don't see them often enough, because they don't exactly live just around the corner, but whenever we visit them or they visit us, we have a wonderful time. My aunt is Lana's godmother and Lana loves her very much. My aunt makes her feel special and loved. And Eva is uncle's favorite. They have the same humor and they get along real well. 

Cuddling with my aunt gives me a good feeling. Whenever I need advice, I turn to my uncle and I trust him. Both of them have their heart in the right spot. I'm glad they have come into my life and I nurture our visits.


A very long time ago, I played the flute in a local marching band. I must have been about 10 yo back then. Every Friday evening and Sunday morning, I left the house to go play music with the band. Not many people my age there to hang out with, but we got along pretty well. On special occasions, we would go out in the streets to play music. We wore uniforms and mine was way too big. I was a kid and they only had grown up uniforms. So the little hat slipped over my eyes, my sleeves covered most of my hands and my skirt - that was supposed to be just under knee height - hid my ankles. Most of the time, I was too afraid to play my flute. Afraid to make a mistake. So I pretended.

Sometimes the leader of the band asked all flute players to stand up and play. I hated that.. all I wanted to do, was disappear in the ground. How many times did I whisper my Abracadabra, but it never worked..

I stayed in the band from age 8-18, mostly because my parents made me, but also because I loved to play the flute and mine was provided by the band. My sister got her own piano and my brother a set of drums, but my flute was borrowed.. So if I wanted to continue playing, I had to attend the band. By the time I was 21, I had saved enough to buy my own flute and I left the band. I haven't played much since. But at least it's my flute now and I don't need to attend any band if I don't want to.

Our eldest daughter has been playing the flute for 4 years now. She does real well. She's in a band. So every Friday, she meets with her peers and they play great songs. When they have to perform in public, I wonder if she says the magic word.. Abracadabra..

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cut me some slack, will you?

I don't have the thumb strength to text anyone. I'm worn out. My friends call me to hear how I'm doing, but I'm too tired to talk to them. So I don't pick up the phone. It's nothing personal. All I want to do, is chill. I do appreciate them calling me, but it's just been too much the last few months. That's not the fault of my friends and I do miss them. I miss our conversations, I miss our outings and get togethers. 

My nights are too short and so are my days. Do you think, by any chance, I could get some time off from the world? No phone, no people, no nothing. Just my bed..

What would my life be like if I would be working full time? I only work 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. I'm happy that my husband doesn't force me to work full time. Because I know I couldn't.. What's wrong with me? I feel real lazy and I act like a couch potato. Can't seem to get my house work done, have no energy left. I guess I'm running on empty..

Chubby Cheeks

If I check my child hood album - I only have one - I see I have always had chubby cheeks. And I never liked them. People - mostly powdered, elder ladies - used to pinch my cheeks and say: oh, she is so adorable, look at those chubby cheeks! 
Yikes! Like I enjoyed that pinching? Not a single bit!

I still have chubby cheeks. I'm still not very fond of them. But I have no wrinkles. How could there be wrinkles? I'm sure I would get wrinkles if I lost my chubby cheeks. Some people say I have a moon face. I think I have one too. Moon face, chubby cheeks, whatever.. It is what it is.

My youngest daughter has chubby cheeks. I think she looks great. Nobody ever pinches her cheeks or makes any remarks. She's lucky. I don't think her cheeks bother her. They shouldn't, because they make her face pretty.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman

Most of the times, I'm glad I'm a woman and not a man. On some occasions I would like to be a man though. It must be great to have moments that your head is totally clear and all you have to think about is, what your wife will have cooked for dinner or when your friends will be picking you up to go to the gym. What a luxury. 

My head is never clear. I always have so many things to think about. Is there bread in the house for school lunches? Did I program the oven, so my family will have a home cooked meal while I'm at work? 
Picking up the groceries on the way to work, I have to keep in mind that some shoes need to be repaired, the youngest needs a new swimsuit, thank you notes need to be written for the upcoming party, presents need to be bought for future birthdays. Filling up the car with gas, I remember that once I'm home from work, there's laundry to be washed, a bathroom to be cleaned, housework to be checked. 
Having my dinner is mostly combined with cleaning up after the children or sorting out some more laundry.

But then again, I'm lucky to have a husband that is committed to his family and helps out whenever he can. It doesn't scare him to do the dishes or vacuum the house. Ironing is mainly his chore. And he's really good at it.

I seem to lack the energy I had, before I was diagnosed with diabetes. Just before diagnosis, I worked two jobs and I had the idea that I could conquer anything. I thought nothing could happen to me. I thought my energy would last forever. I know better now..

Craving Carbs

I'm a real carbohydrate person. I love fresh baked bread, pasta, rice, baked potatoes, cookies,..
People need carbs in order to get energy for their muscles. No carbs = no energy. But too many carbs make you lazy and tired. So you need to find a balance.

When you have diabetes, you are supposed to know all about carbs. In the old days, diabetics had to give up on sugar, but nobody told them about carbohydrates. It's not until several years ago that scientists realised that all carbs effect your blood glucose level. Not just sugar.. So they turned our world upside down. There are still many diabetics out there, that don't know about carbs. They still believe what doctors told them 50 years ago. 

People with diabetes can eat anything, if in reasonable amounts, and that is no different than healthy choices anyone should make. I mean, give us a break, will you? Stop telling us what we can/cannot eat, if you don't know about diabetes treatment. 

We can eat anything, but that doesn't mean we do. For example, I do not drink regular soda pop, because I do not want to inject insulin for something that can be easily replaced by something as simple as diet soda pop. And I prefer the taste of diet soda anyway.
Yes, we can eat pie, but I was never fond of pie in the first place. So why would I eat pie now? I do eat pie, if I made it myself :-)

But then.. bread.. I love bread, in all its forms and shapes. Too bad bread spikes my blood sugar and the slow digestion leaves me with a full stomach and high blood sugars for many hours. So I try to cut back on the bread. Most days I don't eat it. But on special occasions, like when we go out for dinner, I will have some bread and then I'm so satisfied.

I love pasta as well, but pasta also spikes my blood sugar, so I tend to eat more sauce than pasta. Lolz. I'm not sad about that.

Don't treat me like I'm dumb. I do know about carbs and what they do to my body. So don't try to persuade me to eat pies and cookies and breads and high carb meals. Because I won't, although I crave carbs..

Friday, May 1, 2009

Backseat surfers

Don't you think it is annoying when people read over your shoulder when you are working on the computer? I hate backseat surfers! They can read whatever I write after I have finished writing, but not while I'm still working on my lines. I compare it to reading the newspaper and having someone comment on every article you read. DUH! 

You are my everything

Dolly Parton is not particularly my favorite singer, but the other night, on my way home from work, I heard this song on the radio and it made me realise how happy I am to have you as my husband.
Maybe I don't tell you often enough, but after 15 years, you are still the man I love and honor. And I wanted you to know that..

You are my inspiration, you are the song I sing
You are what makes me happy, you are my everything
You are my daily sunshine, you are my evening star
Everything I'll ever need or want, that's what you are..

Talking in your sleep

As a teenager, I used to talk in my sleep, according to my mother. Sometimes, she knew things about me she wasn't supposed to know. I always tried to figure out how she found out! She always said: you talk in your sleep!

Coming back from the US, where I worked as an au pair, I cleaned up my room so it could be more of an adult room than a messy teenager bedroom. Under my bed, I found my little metal locker, that my mother gave me after my brother distributed copies of my diary to all of his friends. At the time, I was devastated when I found out and ran home, all teared up. My mother said that was not done! and she bought me a metal locker and a brand new diary. I felt safe again. I gathered all my private belongings and kept them in the locker. 

It was not until I came back from the States, that I finally found out how my mother knew all about me. I was looking for my school diplomas in her bedroom and I came across an envelope in her drawer. It contained a key.. it looked pretty familiar to me. It was the spare key of my "private" locker.. 

So don't tell me I talk in my sleep.