Saturday, October 31, 2009

The beauty salon

She just finished taking a shower and washing her delicate skin with a fragrant body shampoo. A colorful towel is laying on the heating, until she comes out of the shower. Little drops of water on the floor are the only remains of her being in the bathroom. She's quiet. The radio is on. She's getting ready. I hear her click clack when she tiptoes into the kitchen. She likes me to blow-dry her hair and rub her back with a soft towel. She's had her nails done just the other day. She smells of perfume and the intense scent tingles my nostrils when she paces towards the family room. She settles on the couch and closes her eyes to relax. She sighs. I decide to sit next to her for a while and I give her a cuddle. She kisses me and with her beautiful almond shaped eyes, she has me wrapped around her little finger. I decide to take her on an outing. She's so happy when I make the suggestion and she's so willing to join me. I tell her how happy I am to have her. She doesn't tell me, but I'm sure she feels the same. We get into the car and we drive off.. She's a true lady. She's elegant and slim and she has a phenomenal waistline. She has no fat on her bones and her long legs are well shaped, as is her bum. Of course she's blond and her eye lashes are long and thick. Her teeth are white and clean and straight. Her neck is long and very attractive. So are her collar bones. She's wearing a beautiful necklace. I'm so fond of her.. she's such a delight, our cute little Rebba-dog..

Coffee shop

Every once in a while, I have a coffee appointment with a lady friend. We like to hang out together and besides coffee, we drink loads of diet coke. We always have many subjects to discuss and diabetes is a hot topic. Her husband and youngest daughter both have diabetes Type 1. She's so good at dealing with it and I'm always willing to take her advice. We have more in common than we knew when we first met. I'm glad we don't live that far apart from one another, so we can make some time to go out and have a talk at the coffee shop.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A note to God

I'm not religious at all, in fact I'm a non-believer. But when I heard the song "A note to God", written by Dianne Warren and produced by David Foster, I had to find out more about this singer. The first time I saw Charice Pempengco, she was 16 and on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She's just this little girl from the Philippines, that has the most amazing voice ever! This young girl can make tears well up in your eyes, by using her wonderful voice. She has sung with Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. Her first album will be released this fall. I can recommend "A note to God". Check it out on iTunes and make it your favorite song!

If I wrote a note to God

I would speak whats in my soul
I’d ask for all the hate to be swept away
For love to overflow

If I wrote a note to God

I’d pour my heart out on each page
I’d ask for war to end
For peace to mend this world
I’d say, I’d say, I’d say

Give us the strength to make it through

Help us find love cause love is over due
And it seems like so much is goin wrong
On this road…… we’re on

If I wrote a note to God

I’d say please help us find our way
End all the bitterness
Put some tenderness in our hearts
And I’d say, I’d say, I’d say

Give us the strength to make it through

Help us find love cause love is over due
And it looks like we haven’t got a clue
Need some help from you
Grant us the faith to carry on
Give us hope when it seems all hope is gone
Cause it seems like so much is goin wrong
On this road we’re on

No, no no no

We can’t do this on our own

Give us the strength to make it through

Help us find love cause love is over due
And it looks like we haven’t got a clue
Need some help from you
Grant us the faith to carry on
Give us hope when it seems all hope is gone
Cause it seems like so much is goin wrong
On this road we’re on

No, no no no

We can’t do this on our own
So, So

If I wrote a note to God

'Til I am myself again

Today was supposed to be a very special day in my life. A lot has been going on lately and I have had quite some emotional and physical troubles. I had been looking forward to October 30th for some weeks and now nothing is going to happen today. I'm sad. I'm upset. I'm confused. I'm fat. I'm still here. I'm alive. I'm patient. I'm not patient. I'm messed up. I'm screaming for help.. But as I said: nothing is going to happen today. I can't wait for the day where I will be me again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


"Beware of the pan sitting on the stove!", I yell, running around, trying to get as many jobs done as possible. Putting the plates on the table, filling the washer with dirty laundry, feeding the dog and cat in between tasks and keeping an eye on the eldest daughter, who is checking the internet. While I'm doing all kinds of chores at the same time, I'm thinking of mothers in the old days. They had about 16 children in their homes, no washer to do the laundry, no dishwasher or microwave. They had no car to run their errands, no husband to help out in the daily household, nobody to come clean the house or have the shirts ironed. Were they better off than us? I absolutely doubt it. Then how come it's so hard for nowadays women to keep up and do whatever needs to be done? We all know that women are better at multitasking than men, but still we lack time to complete our agendas. Working moms know real well about multitasking and they get my respect. I still haven't figured out how they can go to work full time, take care of their children and husband, run errands, get a decent home cooked meal on the table, check the children's homework, work out at the gym, drive their kids to all their activities and be a good wife to their husband..
Some couples choose not to have children. They don't want to bother raising children. They want to spend their life as a child free couple, going on an holiday several times a year, have two fast cars, a big savings account in the bank. Do you think they would know the word multitasking? I wonder..


I have no idea what kind of -ologist I need to see to fix the pain in my lower back, shins and foot soles. I know I have facet arthrosis in my lower back. That was diagnosed some 15 years ago. I was told it was going to be part of my life for the rest of my life. The latest years, the arthrosis has become worse and my back hurts whenever I need to bend over (cleaning is painful, walking for a long time is painful) or stand for some time. I'm constant aware of my lower back, because of the nagging pain.
People tell me I need to exercise. Walking is exercise and shouldn't be that much of a strain on your body. But it is on mine. The more I walk, the more pain I have. Again, there is the lower back pain. But I also have these pains in my shins. It's like my muscles aren't long enough, there's no other way to explain these pains. It goes all the way up to my knees. It doesn't get better at all, it only gets worse. The more I walk, the worse it gets. My calves always feel heavy. I'm glad I don't have any pains at night.
I have around 45 pairs of shoes, but not one pair is good enough to relieve the strain on my foot soles. My foot soles burn and are overheated most of the time. I get blisters and calluses on my foot soles and the only time they don't hurt, is at night, when I'm in bed. It feels like little cuts in my foot soles, but there aren't any. My feet feel "puffy and bloated", but they aren't swollen. Tests are negative: my diabetes has not affected my feet nor my legs in any way, meaning I have no diabetic neuropathy. Then what is causing that pain??? I do not want to take pain relievers all the time, because I hate pills and I do not want to get addicted to pain relievers. But at some point, you just have to take them to get through the day... And I have reached that breaking point. Walking at a slow paste is not that painful, but keeping up with other people is just horrific. Being overweight is not helpful at all. If only someone could tell me how to get rid of this nuisance..

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

I'm not happy things have to go this way, but it seems like there is no other solution if you want people to pay attention to your problem. For so many years, I have asked different doctors about my issue. For so many years they didn't hear me. I know doctors are busy and they have (way too) many patients. I tend to help them out by giving them a short description of my medical file whenever I see them. I really don't expect any doctor to remember the medical background of all their patients. It does get tiring once in a while, to keep on repeating the same things over and over again. But then again, if you are still asking about the same subject after 7 years, it must be because you haven't been taken seriously yet.
Word goes that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And you know what? It may be right. For the first time, I feel people are prepared to look into my file. Did I sound desperate enough in order for them to get moving? I don't know. I feel desperate, that I know. I cried. A lot. Doctors don't like it when their patients get emotional. I don't like it when I get emotional. But you know what? I'm not going to ignore my feelings any longer. I want this issue solved and I need help. This squeaky wheel needs grease..

Zoo Boo

Yesterday I went to the Antwerp Zoo with my employer. It made me think of my time back in Oregon, where I have worked as an au pair. One of the au pair activities was Zoo Boo, a special event in the zoo, around Halloween.
This time, we were not in the US, but in Antwerp, Belgium. We took the train to Antwerp and I can tell you: if you are in a wheelchair: you need to plan ahead! You cannot take the train all by yourself, so your assistant gets a free ticket. Nevertheless, the assistant is not sufficient, because by no means can you lift a wheelchair on the train. So you need some strong men and a special device to lift the wheelchair on the train. We needed one in Eeklo, one in Gent-Dampoort and one in Antwerp. Things went smooth all the way. The sun was out, the animals were having the time of their life and we had great fun as well!

It had been a while since I last visited the Zoo. I'm glad we went and it was great to see the tigers, monkeys, fish, reptiles, .. and of course: baby Kai-Mook, the baby elephant that was born earlier this year. I had no idea elephants are being breast-fed until they reach the age of 2. Poor mom.. a 2 year pregnancy and then 2 years of breast feeding.. Wow..respect!

Working as a personal assistant is a special kind of work. You assist your employer whenever they need your help. That can be to help them prepare a meal, wash the dishes, go to the market, enjoy a movie, have a social talk or go out to a concert or the zoo. You need to have a special bond with the person you work for, because you spend quite some time together. It's not like working in a factory or being a clerk. It's different. It's what I like to do. And I believe I'm good at it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

V-Jay Jay

Whoever came up with the word "vulva" or "vagina", probably never realised how loaded these words were. I remember an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, where this young boy states: boys have a penis and girls have a vagina... Ouch... it sounds so weird, hearing it out of the mouth of such a young child. I always wondered how I would call "it" when I had children of my own. We have two girls and it is still awkward to talk to them about sexuality. I never speak of a vulva or a vagina, when I refer to their private parts. We have a special name for it. We call it our PP-bum. I did like the V-Jay Jay word out of Grey's Anatomy, when Dr Miranda Bailey was about to give birth to her son. Dr O'Malley was helping Dr Bailey and looking at her son's crown when it was coming out of the birthing canal, when Miranda yelled: Stop staring at my V-Jay Jay! I just loved that! What a great word that was! I hear Oprah use it now and then and it sounds much more fun and pleasant than the "old" words. I hear people give their private parts a special name. I wonder what your special name is.. I won't tell you mine though!

Verbal abuse

Bullies have a very good nose for easy victims. They know where to find sensitive kids. They can smell the anxiety of the kid they pick on. The bully can smell the perfect victim. They know which kid they can upset or get angry. If the victim doesn't stand up for himself, it is time to get help. There have been numerous suicides amongst young victims and the kids that are prepared to step out of this life, have become younger than ever. What is happening to our world, that children feel the need to call their peers "fag", "gay", "lesbian", "whore",.. ? Why would they call them bad names and pick on those kids until they kill themselves? I heard about two 11 yo's (E-LE-VEN!!) that committed suicide after being constantly picked on by some kids at school. They would punch them, call them names, beat them up,.. until the kids were ready to give up.
It's our job to protect our own personal space, by using words like STOP or by using body language. 50% of the bullies stop their actions if the victim stands up for himself. We should really teach our children to take care of themselves. They should have a voice and learn to say NO when things are getting out of control. They don't have to be the victim, they have every right to protect their private space. Don't rely on the school to fix the problems for your child. Step up and give your child the chance to become more assertive. They can only benefit from it.
Some parents go to the principal to talk about their child being bullied. Is that a good idea or is it only going to make the bully more aggressive? As long as the bullied child doesn't stand up for itself, things will not get better. The bullying may become more aggressive in the beginning, so the school needs to step in here and help the child. The bullying may go on outside the school. Think of cyber bullies, that intervene in the safe home environment of the picked on child. The bullies need help too. They need someone to help them become better people. Bystanders need to stand up for the victims, they need to speak up and help the child that is being bullied. It may mean a world of difference.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The leading lady of your own life

I'm working as a personal assistant for a young disabled woman. She's full of energy and very active. Always looking out for a good time and exploring new horizons. Tomorrow, we are going to spend a day at the Zoo, in Antwerp, Belgium. We'll take the train and of course we will take pictures.

I'm proud of her. It's not that obvious or easy to go out if you are in a wheelchair. There's a lot of planning to do ahead and you have to be aware that not all places are wheelchair-friendly. It's good to know that the lady is independent and courageous and alive and kicking. She's taking control over her own life and she knows her abilities and boundaries. That's a good thing. As soon as you have found out what your abilities are, you can live up to them and enjoy life. I'm sure we'll have a good time.

Foodies Goodies

They say some kind of food, you must have tasted multiple times before you finally appreciate it. Some foods though, I am convinced I will never have. Just because they are too disgusting or smelly or icky. To my own surprise, amongst the upcoming list of foods that take their time to become beloved, there are many I love already. How about you?

* anchovy (I like them not too salty and I prefer surf and turf)
* gherkins (sweet and sour, yummie)
* beer (no thanks, just smelling it already turns me off - thinking of drunk men makes it even worse)
* chorizo (I LOVE CHORIZO! the spicier the better - I'm still looking for fresh chorizo instead of the dried salami version)
* espresso (I only have decaf and I prefer our own Rombouts coffee)
* prawns (please remove the intestines and prepare them diabolique)
* hot chillies (I prefer the red over the green)
* squid (not my favorite, I don't like the rubbery feel to it)
* snails (I'm allergic to them, so no thanks)
* lamb (the garlic buttered chops are splendid - I'll have them pink please)
* mussels (we have them a couple of times a year - you shouldn't have more - The Philippines in Holland have the best)
* mustard (cheese needs tangy mustard, sushi and wasabi make the best match)
* olives (only the green ones, but I love them, especially if they are jumbo and pitted)
* oysters (slippery and not that high on my list, unless they are baked)
* pâté (I love it! I suppose foie gras may not be called pâté, but you can wake me up for onion confit foie gras)
* piccalilli (there are only two brands I like and we like it mixed up with mayonnaise: "piccanaise")
* lettuce (nothing wrong with lettuce, I can eat it every day)
* Brussels sprouts (sorry, big turn off!!!! - I may throw up if I smell cooked Brussels sprouts!! please let's think of something more pleasant)
* blue cheese (I have good memories of a delicious blue cheese soufflé at the Shakespeare's Theatre restaurant in London - in fact, I feel like having a blue cheese-pear-walnut and spinach leaves salad for lunch)
* sushi (definitely but only if it's absolutely fresh)
* tea (I drink it - don't give me any ice tea though)
* Belgian endives (only raw, with apple slices and chopped walnuts)
* whisky (absolutely not!!! unless I can have Irish coffee)
* wine (I prefer white over red and Australian/Californian/South African chardonnay is my cup of tea)
* sauerkraut (I think I haven't tried it enough to like it)

I love making lists. I love tasting different kinds of food. I'm always in for something new. Do you have a favorite food you think I should try?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Square pegs and round holes

Some couples fit like square pegs and round holes. Others are just made for one another. I never believed in love at first sight. I never believed in eternal love. I do believe that every once in a while, the right lid finds the right pot. I also believe those pots and lids are extraordinary and unique. Call it the perfect match. Just think of all those available partners in the world and how hard it must be to find the most perfect mate out there for you. That is like the most difficult thing to do, ever!

I watched Jude Law and Cameron Diaz in "Holiday". What a wonderful and cheesy movie. But hey: they do well together. They do that well, that they should actually be a couple in real life! Or do you think they would no longer match if they would share the every day life of laundry, raising kids, go to work and collapse on the couch at night? Relationships between loved ones are truly heart warming and special. You take time for each other, you go out on dates, you have the best sex ever and there is nothing to worry about. You think you have found that one and unique lid to fit your pot. You want to grow old with this partner. You want to spend the rest of your life with that partner. You want to raise his children and have family dinners on Sunday.

And then you wake up. There is no Jude Law, nor a Cameron Diaz. It's just us. Not that glamorous, not that fancy, not that over-the-top in love. But you do love one another and you have a past together. Maybe you don't spend that much time together as you used to. Maybe you haven't been on a special date lately. I'm not even going to think about the hot sex in the early days.. and of course there are things to worry about and bills to be paid. Maybe they should make a Jude and Cameron movie after being married for 15 years. That would be interesting. I'm sure they would still love one another, for they have shared so many years. Maybe life wouldn't be that exciting any more, and the greedy love may have altered into settled friendship, but they would probably still be together. A little older. A little bit less attractive. Cameron may no longer look like Barbie and maybe Jude has developed a beer belly by then. Their experience in life may have taught them different lessons and their paths may have gone in different directions. But somewhere in the end, their paths can meet again. They can make time for each other. They could go out on dates. They could reinvent getting in love. They could go back to their first month of being together, with the knowledge they have gathered over the years together. Wouldn't that be exciting?

To be continued..

Hectic rat race

It's been pretty hectic lately. The agenda is full of appointments and there's hardly any time for the family. I'm going to plan some time off for the following weeks. It'll do us good.. Time flies by and chores need to be done. I have some tasks to perform and I'd better get started. What a great way to start a Sunday morning..

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Something to talk about

Some people have no interests whatsoever and they have nothing to talk about. Others can talk all day, about anything. Some contacts fade because communication is no longer what it used to be. I have wonderful people around me and there's always something to talk about. Today, we had another diabetesforum meeting. This time, we were invited by a relatively new member, in Limburg, Belgium. It was a 2 hour drive, but it was worth it. Of course there were the regular members and it's always a joy to see them again, but there was also our host, who is new to the forum but already loveable. Thanks for having us! I hope we didn't scare you too much and you will join us on one of our future meetings!

Bento Box

Nowadays, children don't like to bring their home made lunches to school. They prefer to go out to buy their lunch, but I'm not really happy with that. Most of those lunches aren't healthy and we don't know what our kids will buy. Will they buy unhealthy, mayonnaise salad sandwiches? Will they buy sausage rolls or crescent rolls? Or will they go out for French fries or burgers? Our daughter can buy her lunch once a week. On the other days, she had to eat a home made lunch. She's not fond of packing her lunch box.. Some time ago, I bought a Japanese lunch box, namely the Bento Box. It's a lunch box that consists of different compartments. Some have lids, some don't. The compartments are small and meant for bite size foods. Originally, the Bento Box is filled with cold, cooked and shaped rice or sometimes noodles. Side dishes may include cold cuts like meat, fish or sometimes tofu or eggs. Vegetables and fruits always find a spot in this box. The meal has to consist of protein, vitamins and minerals. You will need to put at least one protein item and at least two fruit or veggie items into your lunch box.

I have taken my Bento Box to work. This is an example of what I put in it:

* plain yogurt, sprinkled with fresh blue berries or dried cranberries
* cherry tomatoes
* half a Mexican wrap, filled with lettuce, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, turkey slices and some wasabi mustard
* grapes

My Bento Box is made to contain 600 calories. You will not overeat and your appetite will be fulfilled. Use many colors and textures in your lunch, and you will look forward to eating it. Bye bye boring school canteens, bye bye fast food place! I prefer my own home made lunch!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Unplugged from your loved ones

We hear each other every night. You let the phone ring and I call you back. You tell us about your day in boarding school and we tell you about what has happened around here. It is important to keep in touch, to prevent us from getting unplugged. I think about you a lot and I miss you. But then again, I know you are having the time of your life with your friends and you are doing so well in school. You seem to understand how important it is to study well and to do the best you can. You are polite to the teachers without being shy. You live up to the rules and you try to perform your tasks as good as possible. The teachers like you and you like them back. You are pretty popular in your classroom. That doesn't surprise me at all.
You have no TV or computer in boarding school. You don't miss it that much, but we record your favorite programs. This weekend, you will have a TV marathon, to catch up with the programs you did miss. It's great to have you home, sweetie..

Crazy Carbs

In the old days, diabetics were put on a very strict diet: no sugars! What they didn't know back then, is that all carbohydrates become sugar in our bodies. So we can never cut out all the carbs out of our diet. There are fast carbs and slow carbs. It's better to eat less of the fast carbs and more of the slow carbs. Some carbs affect your blood glucose more than others. It depends on how your body reacts. I have learned by now, that my body reacts fiercely when I have fast carbs like sugar, soft drinks, candy, cake, ... but also when I have slow carbs like bread or dairy products. Some carbs I like to leave out of my diet. I'm not going to eat Chinese food any more and I have noticed what fatty meals do to my blood glucose levels. Those crazy carbs!!! If I were real nice, and I mean extremely nice, towards my blood sugars, I would no longer eat fast carbs, no bread, no rice, no noodles, no potatoes, no fruit, ... It would be better for my HbA1c but I don't know how I would respond to that..

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trying to unravel this ball of yarn

Things can be so complicated. You worry about making the right decisions. You have no idea what the outcome of your decisions will be. But then again, I have made many decisions before, and I'm still here, right? I still have a roof over my head, I have my family and we are fed.
This time, the decision I'm about to make, is just a little bit more complicated. I'm glad to have found competent people to help me make the right choice. They are doing the best they can for me. I know their help is not obvious and it is pretty special that these people put so much effort in me. I really appreciate their attempts and I hope it will have been worth the effort in the end.
In life, people have to make so many choices. Some choices are not life threatening. Choosing between a pair of jeans or a skirt won't kill one. Other choices keep you awake at night and make your mind drift off during the day. After all, I'm not Remi, all alone in the world. I have a family that needs me, I have good friends to hang out with and I have to take care of myself.
I'm still trying to unravel this ball of yarn. It might take some time for us to figure it all out. But hey, I'm a control freak and a perfectionist. So I won't settle for any less.

The nagging wife

Having a talk with my girlfriends, it came to the forbidden "husband" subject. What is it about women, that they always end up talking about their husbands? Do you think men talk about their wives in the same way we talk about them? I don't think so... It's quite shameful how we women can nag about our men. It's not that we don't love them or don't appreciate them, it's just so natural for women to complain about their husbands. You would lose your credibility if you would not nag about your husband. As if..!
I wonder why wives nag about their husbands. Are they unhappy? Are they seeking attention? Or is it because women just like to nag? Women can talk about their husbands all day. They tell similar stories, they nod when the others reveal their darkest secrets. Do you know what I'm anxious to know? What the heck do men talk about, when they have a guy's night out? Cars? Money? Sports? Women? I suspect they talk about women, but do they talk about their wives? I don't think so.. I think they like to brag about former girlfriends, but I don't think they will share secret information about them and their wives. Please men, help me out! What do you talk about???

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I goofed up

This morning, I wanted to insert a new sensor into my tummy. Everything was ready to do so and things went real smooth. No bleeding, not any problem at all. So I left for my lunch date, driving off to Antwerp. An hour and a half after I had shot the sensor, my insulin pump gave me the BAD SENSOR alarm. Duh! How did that happen? I tried to start it up again, but it refused and kept giving me the same alarm. So I called a help line (lol, this is like playing Jeopardy on TV). My friend is also testing the sensors and she has had this same alarm on two occasions the other week. Her hospital gave her two free sensors in return for the two she screwed up. She did the best she could to help me out, so I would be able to start it up again, but unfortunately it didn't work out. I called the representative of my insulin pump and he did the best he could, but it was no use. The sensor gave up and it was dead... bummer... That means that 45 euros are wasted. I'm not happy with that at all!
So I called the hospital if I could pick up some new sensors, since I was in the neighborhood anyway. That was no problem, but nobody is going to reimburse me for the bad sensor...

I'll try inserting another one tomorrow, after work. We'll see how that goes.

After all, I had a fun day at the mall with my friends. We didn't get to do any shopping. Too busy chitchatting, having lunch and coffees!

Catch some rays

If the sun were out, I would lay outside and catch some rays. But the days are getting shorter and darker and I miss the sunny and cheerful days. 
Instead of mourning over the sun that's hiding behind the clouds, I'm having a lunch date with two wonderful lady friends. We are going to spend some time together at the mall and we'll meet for lunch as well. I'm really looking forward to seeing both of them. One of them has just come home from spending some time abroad and the other friend has had surgery on her wrist. Gotta run! Have some rays to catch!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It wasn't me

Coming home from work today, I found a very nice bunch of flowers on the dining table. They were not put into a vase or into water, they were just laying on the table. The first thing that crossed my mind was: there must have been a delivery for one of the neighbors who probably wasn't home at the time. Hubby was home this morning, so he must have taken the flowers to be delivered to whomever they were meant for.
I'm not used to getting flowers from my husband, he's just not that kind of guy. It's not that he wouldn't buy me any, it's just that it doesn't cross his mind. Anyway, I still didn't know who the flowers came from and who they were meant for. In the meantime, Lana came home and she was astound to see the flowers. She asked me if it were our anniversary or something. But it wasn't. She couldn't think of any reason her daddy would buy me flowers. So we still didn't know.
I put the beautiful bouquet in my nicest vase and I waited for hubby to return my call. In the end he called me to tell me the story. Right away, he told me he didn't buy me the flowers.. This morning a lady rang the doorbell. She brought me flowers, because she thought they would cheer me up. We used to be friends, but then something came up and we lost track of one another. It was nice of her, to think of me. It was nice to get a lovely bouquet of flowers. It was a surprise...!

The American Dream

He's witty, he's gorgeous, he's articulate and he has a wonderful accent. I love the way he talks, moves and the sunny character. He's sweet, knows how to comment and he's a magnificent dancer and choreographer. His name is Dan Karaty. He's a member of the jury of So You Think You Can Dance. I love to watch him. His enthusiasm is contagious. Have you seen the sparkle in his eyes when he watches the dancers perform? He's a reason people would start to dance. So Mr Karaty, I hope to see a whole lot more of you..

Monday, October 19, 2009

Come as you are

I have a lovely girlfriend I like to visit. She's mature and she has a lot of wisdom. I love to talk to her and we share life experience. She has more life experience than I do and I indulge all of her advice and qualities in life. Today, she has invited me into her home, to spend the day with her companion and her two British friends, Katie and Raymond. They are lovely people and I have met them before. They were coming over to Catherine's place for the weekend and they asked if I could come over too, to have a good time together. So I did.
Raymond and I love Frank Spencer, so we have Frank and Betty conversations (believe me, you don't want to hear those, but we ROFL). He gives me the chance to practise my English and I love his British accent. Trying to mimic it all the time. He's always amazed at how good my English is, especially if I use phrases or words he rarely uses.
Then there is Katie. What a lovely lady she is. Warm, intelligent, interesting. Katie, Catherine and I (Cathy) all have similar names. Is that a sign? We like to entertain and we cook. We got totally into talking about recipes and cooking. I love Katie for being able to share these same interests. I'm sure nobody could understand the conversations we had on pantries and seasoning and home made products. I made cheesecake, creamy coleslaw and chocolate peanut fudge to bring and together, we made a goat's cheese tart and a very nice salad.
My friend Catherine has recently bought this house in a very rural area. It is so beautiful up there and I enjoy the peace and serenity of her home. Of course we went for a walk in her huge garden and orchard - I should have brought Rebba along (she's on heat, so it's not the best time of year to take her along) and we had long conversations. It was good to see Katie and Raymond and I'm glad I was invited.
Catherine, although you weren't feeling well, you looked great and you seem to be very happy. I look up to you, my mentor..

Even the old days were new once

I hear my grandparents speak, when I talk about "the old days". As soon as one starts to speak about the old days, it means you've lived long enough to do so. Maybe I have reached the stage where I can speak about the old days..
Getting a letter from your former high school, that welcomes you to the reunion of the class you attended 20 years ago, makes you twitch. Twenty years huh... that's a looooooong time. Am I getting old? I don't feel old. I don't look old, at least, that's what I thought since I don't have any wrinkles. The other day though, I took the lady I take care of to the doctor for a check-up. He was happy to see she had brought her "mom" (hello???) this time. She's freaking 33! and I'm 38. Either he has an eye problem or he thinks he's funny.
I still remember "the old days" pretty well. We were young and reckless, innocent and naive. And most of all: we had no worries. We thought we would conquer the world and nothing could ever happen to us. It's striking to hear our eldest daughter talk about her life and her future. She's going to live abroad, she says. She will guide people around, while she enjoys the sun. The other one would like to work with people or children. Both of them are in to languages and the youngest is looking forward to the day she's 21, so she can go abroad to work as an au pair. What do the French say: L'histoire se répète?
I can imagine our youngest one in the States. She would be a great au pair. She's good with children, she's independent and very eager to learn about other cultures. And I won't do anything but support her to get to learn other countries and see other horizons. She's adventurous and I see a lot of me in her. Even the old days were new once, and one day, my children will tell their children the exact same experience..

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I hate diet food - day

Being a diabetic, I have to watch every bit of food I put into my mouth. Not one single meal can be eaten, without having to wonder: how much insulin do I need to cover these carbs, what will this food do to my blood sugars? Some eaten foods may spike your blood sugar that high, that you need a nap and a lot of extra insulin to recover..
Salads are good for us, and meat and fish have no carbs to them. That's about it. There are carbohydrates in almost anything else, meaning I need insulin to stop my blood sugars from going bananas (banana - 19 gr carbs per 100 gr). But hey, do you think we are not human??? Most days, I do pretty good at sticking to the diet - well, I don't call it a diet though, it's more of a lifestyle (at least it sounds more positive than the negative loaded word "diet"). But some days I would like to send diabetes to the moon and give in to all the good things around. I used to fight those days, really. It frustrated me so much, that I would end up binge eating. I do not want to go back there, so once in a while, I allow myself to have a "I hate diet food - day". I think I had one today... and I'm ready to hit the sack, for the carbs have worn me off..

From hot to not

Yesterday we went out to dinner. The location was very promising and we had been there before. Some time ago a new owner took over this wonderful restaurant and we were really curious to check it out. The building is an old convent and is just absolutely beautiful and unique. Lots of parking space, a great view and a very exciting place.
But what a disappointment dinner was... The menu was unique and the dishes looked delicious. Until we asked for our beverages. No port... bummer for hubby. Okay, we had two wines instead. One full glass and one that wasn't even filled for 1/4.
We were looking forward to a special appetizer and I picked an eggplant-feta dish. Sorry..we ran out.. Hubby asked for home made shrimp croquettes. Sorry..not tonight. Hhmhmhm... My second choice was goat cheese and hubby had the smoked salmon. No seasoning of any kind, no bread, no dressing, no nothing. Not even a drink to accompany our dishes.
Almost an hour later (there were only 6 people in the restaurant, so I have no idea what took them so long), we finally got our main courses. Hubby had eel with a plain salad, without any kind of dressing or seasoning. I had grilled tuna with dry rice and ratatouille without any tomato sauce. It was just so dry and not interesting at all.
The waitress asked how dinner was and told us we could also tell her if we didn't like it. So we told her. Hey, what did you expect? It's not that the restaurant was cheap or so?!
We were really surprised to hear that the chef thought we were too demanding. After all, this is not a restaurant, but a simple diner. Hello? I don't think 90 euros is cheap for a diner?
The waitress was willing to offer us coffee on the house, but she was not allowed to.

We were disappointed. Really. What a shame for such a nice location. The waitress informed us that the chef was not the best chef around. We should come back on a Friday evening, when the regular chef is around. I don't think so. From hot to .. not!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's Dinner Time!

It's been a while, since hubby and I went out to dinner together. I happen to have quite some lunch dates with friends, but once in a while, hubby and I like to go out to dinner.
I have called several restaurants to make a reservation, but it seems like we were not the only ones who were looking to go out to dinner tonight.
But I found a great place and I'm looking forward to going out tonight. It's a surprise for hubby. Both children are out this evening. One is going to a spaghetti party and the other is babysitting her cousins. So we have some time off! Great!

Rise to the occasion

You are doing real well in boarding school Eva. It appears like you have made the best decision for you. You are happy with the method of studying and the good grades tell us you rose to the occasion. You want to do the best you can and you are prepared to study well. The school is doing a very good job at guiding you kids, and so do the educators in boarding school. Good students in your school are not being picked at. They are no geeks, they are smart kids and they take care of their future. I like that! And so do you, apparently... keep up the good work kiddo!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Take a hike!

Rebba is a doll, she really is. She has adapted so well in the month and a half she's been living with us. She's got used to our habits and to the other pets in the household. Our tomcat still isn't really sure what to think about Rebba, but she has not given him any reason not to like her. He comes closer to her, day by day, and he's really brave to approach her when she's sleeping. Then Rebba doesn't budge one bit and Arthur feels like he's the boss!
Hubby takes Rebba for a walk on a daily basis. She loves to go outside. I would love to take her on walks, but my shins hurt so much when I take a walk. No doctor has been able to tell me what the cramps in my shins are, but it's not getting any better. So most of the time, hubby and Rebba have a walk date.
Whenever hubby is ready to take Rebba for a walk, Rebba gives me that look, you would expect from a Hush Puppy dog... She wants me to go along and she keeps looking back for me. I really have to tell her to take a hike and get out of the house!!! And then she is playful and happy and totally ready to go run!

Is there something I should know?

The person who has always shown the least interest in me, is reading 10 pages at a time on my blog. This is just too ridiculous... What is there to know, that she doesn't already know? Wasn't she the person that told me to get a life? It's pretty obvious that she has plenty of time to nose around in my life. It is rather pathetic you know. I feel sorry for her, for not having anything else to do, than follow my life and read my blog twice a day. I used to feel anger and disappointment, but times have made me milder, and now I can feel nothing else but pity for this person. It's pathetic.. How did they call it? She didn't know any better?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Deep throat

I'm telling you, I had a gastroscopy today and I am not willing to take that examination ever again... Oh my gosh.. The initial plan was to sedate me, but since I didn't come with a driver, it was not allowed, for you cannot drive the car after having had sedation. So the second option was a light sedation and I agreed to go for that option. The nurse tried to inject the sedation into the veins of my left arm, near my wrist, on the inside. It didn't work and my veins started to swell up and it got real nasty and stingy. So they decided to try my other arm. Same thing: a no-no. Last attempt: the back of my hand. Ouch... that was not a good idea either. So there was nothing left for me than say that they could perform the exam without sedation. Stupid plan...
As soon as they inserted the gastroscope down my oesophagus, I started to gag. I felt awful and my throat felt so raw and painful. I kept gagging and the doctor asked me to make sure not to throw up.. but I did. In fact I puked all over myself and that wasn't nice at all. I felt really embarrassed but I couldn't help it. It's a normal reflex and it took them so long, since they had to do a biopsy of my stomach and my duodenum.
After the gastroscopy I had to wait for 2 more hours before I could see the doctor. I was fortunate to have a scarf in my purse, to cover up the stains on my clothes. I tried to wash it off as good as I could, but I would have showered and changed clothes if I had had the opportunity.

I have deep, very deep respect for women that know what a real "deep throat" feels like. They could pay me a fortune, I wouldn't do it... Sorry guys! Any man who dreams about this fantasy, should have a gastroscopy without sedation. They would certainly never demand it again, if they had any respect towards women...


There's no need to sugarcoat the situation. I know what my condition is like and I know the risks diabetes brings. We hear about the complications every day. I have read about the effects of high BMI's on our health, the risks of creating cardiovascular diseases. Overweight and diabetes are a lethal combination and I'm well aware of that.
I'm going to have another talk today and this doctor makes me feel at ease. He's very gentle and understanding and certainly very tactful. I hope we can find a compromise so I can face a good and healthy future, to spend with the people that are special to me...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shattered dreams

Sweet Lana,
I hope you will be able to continue your dance classes and do whatever sports you like to do. The specialist said there's quite some oedema in your knee and he would like to have you in for a bone scan, on top of the NMR scan. He wants to make sure there are no other problems...
We went to the store to order a device to protect your knee while dancing. It will be in by Friday and I hope it will be sufficient to help you out. I really do not want to shatter your dreams. I know how much you like to dance and it's so hard to make you understand that it is so important to take care of your body, to prevent damage. You cannot understand it right now, the only thing you hear is, that the doctor wants you to slow down and take it easy. I hope you will be smart enough to stop dancing when you feel it's hurting too much. Maybe I should talk to your dance teacher and ask her to keep an eye on you...

This stinks!

My sweet Lana, your knees are still hurting big time. Today, I'm going to take you to the hospital for a NMR scan of both knees. We have an appointment with the specialist afterwards. You know what he told you: be careful, take care of your knees after sports by putting ice on them, don't overdo it.. But you're young and playful and you love to dance and ride your bike... I hope your knees will be fine and the doctor will find a way to relieve the pain..

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Schoolyard sweetheart

I received a letter this morning, from my former high school in Roeselare. They are planning a reunion in November. A list of all our class mates is included and it's great to read those names again. We graduated 20 years ago.. but it seems like yesterday. Some class mates I don't really remember, but others are still pretty clear in my head. I had some friends I was closer with and of course, there was my schoolyard sweetheart. There weren't many boys in our school in those days. In fact there were only two and both of them happened to attend our class. He was cute and he was attractive and all the girls were crazy about him. And so was I. We hung out for a while and we got along pretty well.
I got in touch with him again, on Facebook. He finally married the girl he already loved back then and they are really happy together. They make a great couple. Just like me, he has two children.

I wonder how many people will show up. I remember the last reunion, no more than 7 people of our class showed up. It was a shame, because it's always great to talk about the old days and our adventures in school. After all, we spent 3 years together and we were teens. What more need I say?

I'm not sure if I'll attend the reunion this time. I will pay the contribution and we'll see.

Stormy weather

Fall has come, leaves are twirling in the air and the mornings are cold and wet. We have huge chestnut trees in front of our house, and every now and then, you can hear the chestnuts fall on the street.
Autumn always make me go back in time. My time in Portland, Oregon, where fall is the most beautiful and colorful season of the year. Visiting Multnomah Falls, getting some fresh air in Newport Beach or sitting in the jacuzzi on top of Mountain Hood.. it's the best time of the year. My great aunt Selina had a deep burgundy red maple tree in her front yard. I can still see it if I close my eyes. I see the shape of its leaves, the smell of the mulch on the dirt and the running around of squirrels. Aunt Selina has passed away several years ago. I'm glad I had the chance to get to know her and she welcomed my family into her home. Last time we went to Oregon, was in 2001. The girls were only 5 and 7 and it was their first flight. We arrived the day before Halloween, on a cold and dark night. Even the children remember the scenery of Oregon, with its wide and vast land, deep colors and tasteful filberts. We ate tons of chocolate covered filberts from Uncle Ray's orchard, until we were sick and in bed with tummy ache. Autumn in Oregon fills my heart with memories and warmth, and my stomach with home made Grandma Ople's apple pie..

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shop until you drop

I had a great day. It was necessary to go out today and do fun things. The last week hasn't been very cheerful for me and I needed something to look forward to. So I went out for lunch with a friend in a really nice restaurant in Lokeren. We had a nice meal and a good conversation. Her dog Nox accompanied her and he's so sweet and well behaved!
Afterwards, we ran errands and did some shopping, so I have some new outfits. It feels good to dress up. Can't wait to go to the hair dresser and get a new color.

Thank you my friend, for brightening up my day!

Rush rush

I'm in a rush. I have to drive Eva to boarding school and after that, I'm going to Lokeren, to visit a friend. We have planned an outing and I'm really looking forward to it. We don't see each other that often, but we keep in touch by mail. She's good company to hang out with. It'll do me good, to get out and have a chat with a friend. It's been a hec of a week...
So see you tonight!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Talking to the walls

There are days, that you have the feeling you are talking to the walls. Nobody pays any attention to what you say, they don't respond to any of your questions, it's like they don't even notice you. You talk and you spit your heart out without being heard. This week has been that kind of week. I hope it came to an end this Sunday night and we can start a fresh week...

Bling to the max

They persuaded us.... I never thought I would give in, because I believe they are too young to own an iPod, but they promised me they would take care of it and they would save their allowance to buy it. Lana bought hers today and Eva's is coming in on Thursday. The broad smile on their faces expresses pure happiness. I remember my first walkman and how impressed I was. We recorded songs from the radio and we were real busy doing so. I guess MP3's, MP4's and iPods are the walkman of this time and who are we to stop them from saving up for one? As long as they are careful with it and respect the value of their device. You know what startles me? That they need no manual to explain them how things work. It's so natural to them, to start up a new device, like they have never done anything else. I'm glad they are good at it, because I'm a total nitwit when it comes to electronica.
They bought the iPod Touch 8GB V3 and I hope they will enjoy it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm hooked

I'm really hooked on this Continuous Glucose Monitoring. It's been my third day now, and I have learned so much by now. If only I could buy this sensor, it would really ameliorate my life. It gives you a real safe feeling, knowing that the monitor will warn you when you go low or tend to go high. It stimulates you to pay even more attention to what you eat and you can observe the effects of the food or your activities on the screen. What an invention. This is worth more to me than any I-Phone, Flatscreen TV or Wii. It is expensive, but it improves the quality of a life. Isn't our body our number one priority? As long as one's healthy, one is not really concerned about life and death, being healthy or sick. But once you get a chronic disease, you realize how precious life is and how important it is to take care of yourself. I would like to thank the researchers for looking into this matter and helping us out the way they do. Hopefully sometime soon, there will be some kind of reimbursement for this product, so many diabetics will get the chance to benefit from it. In particular, my mind and heart goes out to young children, who do not have the means to tell their parents they're not feeling well. The sensor might be a great help to them. I also think of people who don't feel the difference between good glucose levels and low levels. It might help them so much to prevent hazardous situations.

Chop sticks

Both our daughters love Chinese food. We have made it a tradition, that when they have good grades, we go out for Chinese. Last night was no different. So we had soup as an appetizer and then we had babi pangang, shrimp miehoen and sweet and sour chicken fritters. I had half a cup of soup and 4 tablespoons of miehoen. I was very anxious to see what the food would do to my glucose levels. Oooh my gosh... I knew Chinese makes our sugar levels go up, but I didn't expect it to go up that fast... I started with a BG of 169 mg/dl and just one hour later, I saw a confronting 312 mg/dl on the screen of my insulin pump. What a bummer... And it was still going up. I put the leftovers in the fridge, but I already know I will no longer eat them. Ugh..

Now that is why CGM is so important for diabetics. If you are confronted with these numbers, your appetite is gone in no time. Thanks to the Continuous Glucose Monitoring, I can read my BG levels every 5 minutes on my insulin pump. It's a great tool but oh so expensive. It is worth it though. And I hope I will learn a whole lot more about my body and about my diabetes this way.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Some light into a dark void

I'm looking for some light, into a dark void. I don't know what to do, what's the best decision to make. I realize I'm the only one who can make the final decision and I will have to hold all responsibility for that matter. How can I make the right decision if the information I get is so opposed to one another... ? For that reason, I will postpone my decision. I hope time will tell and I will hear some other advise, from other people as well. People that know what they are talking about. People who have been on the same rollercoaster and who can tell me it's tough, but okay... I'm falling apart... and I feel like Humpty Dumpty...

Too tired..

I want to go back to bed. I want to sleep. I want to stick my head under the pillow and pretend I'm not here. I am not here. I am, but I'm not. I want to be left alone for a while..

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You are on your own now,

is what my doctor told me this evening. We have had a fierce discussion and I'm heartbroken. We talked on the phone for half an hour and it was not a pleasant talk by far. I'm devastated and desperate and I don't know what to do. If I do not take his advice seriously, I can no longer attend the study on CGM and his team will no longer accept me as their patient. It's not fair, it just isn't.

I do respect him and I know he's world famous and very intelligent. I appreciate his knowledge and experience, but I'm so hurt and lost and he has no alternative for me. If he's the best and he can't give me any hope, who can..

I want to crawl into bed now and cry a river..

Wake up call

Don't talk to me about wake up calls.. I've had mine last night. All I want to do now, is zzzzzzzzzz... but it's a working day, so I'd better get moving..

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A new day has come..

and a new experience is crossing my road. I'm a volunteer to test the Continuous Glucose Monitoring of my Paradigm 722 insulin pump. It means that a sensor will test my blood sugars every five minutes, so I can check my BG* whenever I want, without having to prick my finger. The system is not that reliable yet, that we will not need to prick our fingers to know our BG, but it's getting there. I will still need to test 4 times a day.

I hope it will be a big help to figure out what is happening with my glucose levels at night. I tend to wake up with high numbers and believe me, that's no fun at all. You feel tired and not rested and you are thirsty and not feeling your best. I could also test my BG every hour at night, and I have done that before. But the next day, you are a wreck and I do not want to do that again.

Unfortunately, the sensor is very expensive and we have to pay for it ourselves. One sensor costs 45 euro and you're supposed to detach it after 3 days. I hear some people leave it for 6 days and some even for 30 days. I don't know what my body will think about that. I'm afraid the skin would get infected and a rash would appear all around the sensor. I'll try to use it for as long as possible, so it will be worth the cost.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that the sensor will be of some use to me. Two friends of mine are testing too and their experience is totally different. We'll see!

*BG = Blood Glucose or the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood


Once you have children, your group of friends may change. It's like you have upgraded to a different level. At least, that has been my experience. You have friends to have momversations with, and you have your other friends, who have no children. It's good to have a chat now and then, with other moms. They know what it's like if babies vomit over your new outfit, they know what it's like to get up 3 times at night, they know how funny it is to feed your baby its first mixed fruit. They enjoy looking at the pictures of your offspring and they cheer for your toddler at his first day at school. You have momversations whenever you drive your children to whatever classes they take after school, whether it is ballet or soccer, you always have other moms to talk to.
And then the children grow up, and they choose different schools in different cities and the momversations get more rare. Your children are getting more independent and you can relax some more.. But for how long? I know they will start dating somewhere soon and they will go out on week-ends with their friends. Then the momversations are most certain to come back!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The light is on, but nobody's home..

Have you ever had the feeling, that your head is so full of thoughts, that you are there, but at the same time you're not? People talk to you, and you give them feedback, but you are not with them.
There's a lot on my mind, and I have a hard time concentrating on other thoughts. I function, and I do whatever needs to be done. Once in a while, my children talk to me and I answer and communicate with them, but afterwards I cannot remember what we talked about. It happens that I ask them about their day and they say they have just told me.. Relax girl.. relax.. that's exactly what I need to do.

Old habits

Just like you, I happen to have old habits, that I don't even think of anymore. We have become so acquainted with our own awkward way of handling things, that it has become normal to us. Some rituals - like putting on your socks in a certain way - are so weird, that I ask myself: why am I so rigid in these habits? I have thought about it and I have come up with quite some wacko habits:

* folding sandwiches in a certain way
* hanging up the laundry: socks with socks, then underwear, T-shirts, shirts, pants,.. I could not hang socks in between shirts for example
* I don't like it when people touch you whenever they talk to you
* filling up the car with gas, is something I keep postponing, until I nearly run out
* filling up the car with gas, I always want round numbers, like 65 euro. I would never fill it up until like 64,34 euro!
* I can't remember the plots of movies or books. So I can read/watch them over and over again
* I have my mouth wide open when I apply my mascara
* I can't stand a different handwriting in my notes
* I will never sit in a restaurant or bar with my back towards the door. I want to see who comes in
* I hate backseat drivers, telling you to slow down or warning you for that biker crossing the road
* I don't like it when people keep explaining things over and over, although they know you get it
* I will not use a wash cloth that's already wet. I just need a fresh one
* coat hangers need to face the same direction: backwards
* I don't answer private phone calls
* If I watch a cooking show on TV, I want to make the recipes right away

And how about you?

Monday, October 5, 2009

All by myself

A huge change is about to happen in my life, and I thought I would have to battle this fight on my own. But that's not the case. I have so many good friends around me and a family that is truly amazing. Today I had a serious talk with my girls and they were so loving and caring and they honestly understand what I'm going through. So they will support me as good as they can, in whatever I decide to do. They love me for who I am and so do my friends and relatives.

I also have doctors to back me up on my decision and it's good to know. After all, they have to guide you through this ordeal and you lay your body in their hands. But I'm confident and I have tried to find the best doctors available.

I'm no longer all by myself.. I feel blessed...

What a schmuck!

AAAaaarrgghhh... I can't help it, but this man really turns me off. He's a Flemish TV-cook and his show is called SOS Piet. Please, make him find another job or some other activity to keep him off the screen..

You just have to watch this video
It could be hilarious, but in fact, it is pathetic. What a schmuck.. He's really good at making amateur cooks look ridiculous, but this time, he did a pretty good job at ridiculing himself. Way to go, Piet.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The looney bin

The looney bin, the booby hatch, the crazy house, the funny farm, the nut house, the snake pit.. Those names are not the most pleasant names for a mental institution. Mental institutions are not only for nutty professors. Some people have psychological issues, that require special treatment. It's not fair to them, to refer to their care facility as the looney bin or all the other hurtful names. If you have a psychological problem, it's good to find professional help. One cannot solve all of his problems by himself. That's when a professional comes in. It's no shame to ask for help, on the contrary, it show great courage to do so. I'm sure it's not easy to tell a total stranger about your most inner feelings. It might be the best way though, to heal the child within yourself. Don't give up. Do it for you. Do it for your family. Think of your future. I believe in you. Do you believe in you too?

Dog in a bag

O what a laugh we had! It was Friday night, movie night, and the kids had had some crisps while watching the movie. The empty bags had not found their way to the bin yet, and were laying on the table.
The children were already sound asleep, when hubby and I prepared ourselves to go to bed. All of a sudden, I heard Rebba jump up and down on the couch and I went to the den to see what she was up to.
I couldn't help but laugh... She had tried to find out whether there were any crisps left in the bag and had stuck her head in. She couldn't get her head out though, and she was running around on the couch, not knowing what had happened to her. I wanted to take her picture, but it was too dark for the camera. Bummer!
We saved her pretty quickly and she was so happy to be released. She licked our faces with joy, tasting of crisps...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Scar tissue

I heard there is a procedure to remove scar tissue. I have a couple of scars on my body: a small scar on my upper lip, is the first one that crosses my mind. I have had this scar for ages, since I was a little girl. It doesn't bother me at all and hardly anyone notices it.
Then there's the scar on my right wrist. One scar, two operations. I had a cyst in my wrist and I had it removed when I was about 20. Only 6 weeks later, after removing the cast, the doctor told me the cyst had come back.. At the age of 22, I had it removed again, by a different doctor. It never came back. He opened the old scar to remove the cyst and closed it up again. It has weakened my wrist, but the scar is mainly invisible.
There's also the scar on my right knee. I had a friend in my home town. We played at her house quite often. She lived near the railways and we liked to play down there. One day, we were pretending that bank robbers had taken over the train and we scared ourselves so bad, that we ran off, screaming and shouting. I fell on my knees and my friend's dad had a lot of work removing the gravel from my right knee. It didn't need stitching, but it hurt big time.
I have told you before, that I have worked with tiger cubs in my teens. My favorite tiger cub - Miro - bit me in my big toe, leaving a small dent. It wasn't that bad, and it reminds me of Miro.

Those are the outer scars, that can be fixed, so I've heard, to make the scars less visible. Those scars don't bother me though. I believe inner scars are harder to be mended...

Beware of what you wish for...

She's probably the most controversial mom on Earth. At the very least, she's the most exceptional mom on Earth. We must admit, that we have all heard about her: Octomom aka Nadya Suleman.
Nadya had given birth to 6 children, after being treated for not being able to get pregnant. She tried IVF and every time she got pregnant because of this treatment. On every IVF attempt, 6 embryos were implanted into her womb. She knew that having multiplets was one of the possible consequences of having 6 embryos implanted at the same time. She had given birth to twins before, but nobody could predict octuplets.. not Nadya and not her doctor..

Nadya had 6 children, was unemployed and had no income. Her mother let her live in one of her houses and helped her out with the children. Nadya dreamed of a big family, with a lot of children.. and no husband. She wanted her eldest child to have siblings, many siblings. And that's exactly what she did. After the 6th child, Nadya had some embryos left and she decided she wanted another child, the last in line. So she went back to her doctor - who was aware that Nadya was a single, unemployed mother of 6 - to get pregnant again. He implanted 6 embryos, just like the previous attempts. Only 9 days later, Nadya could feel her tummy grow. And not much later, her gynaecologist confirmed that all 6 embryos were alife. Later on, they noticed a 7th baby in the womb.

Nadya's delivery was carefully planned. No less than 46 doctors, specialists, nurses, care givers were at the scene to help her out. All 7 babies came into this world perfectly sound and safe and the gynaecologist was preparing to get the placenta out of the womb, when he felt a little hand: miraculously, an 8th baby was born...

Nadya has 14 children in total now, lives in a house that is not spacious enough for a family this big, without any financial help. She's working on getting a degree, so later on, she will be able to provide for her beloved family. She never asked for octuplets.. she wanted one more baby, and she got 8 instead. Aborting one or more of the embryos was out of the question, since Nadya believes that every child is a gift of God...

For her sake and for the sake of the children, I hope God will take care of them. He has taken a great responsibility there..

Friday, October 2, 2009

What a lame excuse

I had côte d'or milk chocolate in the pantry.
I had double cream in the fridge.
My little girl is coming home from boarding school today.
Our chickens did their best and we have way too many eggs this week...

It know it's a lame excuse, but all of this just asked for chocolate mousse, don't you think?
So I made my favorite chocolate mousse recipe ever: Polish chocolate mousse.

100 gr of côte d'or milk chocolate (that was not mentioned in the Polish recipe, but I truly believe this is the only brand that is good enough for this mousse)
3 eggs, free range
100 ml double cream
50 gr real butter
1 tablespoon of sugar
a dash of salt

It seems like a lot of work and loads of dishes to wash, but it's not that bad. And you know the satisfaction of the chocolate mousse will boost your day.

Melt the chocolate (break it up in pieces) in the butter, in the microwave, low heat.
Separate the eggs.
Whip the egg whites with the salt until stiff.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until all sugar is dissolved.
Whip the cream.
Add the cooled chocolate to the egg yolks and whisk. Add the cream to the chocolate and fold it in.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, spoon by spoon. Do not mix!
Divide the mousse in bowls. Let them sit in the fridge, for as long as you can wait to indulge.

Time flies by

Days are flying by. Autumn has started and we already turned the heater on in the house. I like to sit by the fireplace at night, reading a book or watching a good movie. It's dark earlier and hot chocolate with whipped cream is on the menu. Stews for dinner, chowders for lunch. It's there and we can't stop it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I confess..

Okay okay, I'm not perfect, I'm not even near being perfect. In fact, I have many imperfections. And I think it's about time to confess.. Don't push it, give me some time okay? I don't want to feel totally bad about myself after these confessions, you know.

  • I wash my car only once a year (and it always rains the following day)
  • I hate cleaning up the kitchen after cooking
  • I walk the dog less than I should (I'm working on that though)
  • I snack in between meals and some snacks are larger than some meals
  • I eat cold dinners for breakfast and breakfast for lunch
  • I'm a little addicted to the Internet (okay, skip the little)
  • I do not always want to hang out with people, sometimes I like to be all by myself
  • I hate getting up early
  • I stay up too late, what makes early mornings even more difficult
  • I'm not always a good friend - sometimes I don't have the time or the energy to be a good friend
  • I can be quite a nag
  • I take the car to go to the pharmacy, just around the corner
  • I only go to church to attend a baptism or a funeral
  • I prefer my in-laws over my own family
  • I like to watch the same movies over and over again
  • I listen to the same CD over and over again, until I never want to hear it again
  • I cannot stand the smell of cooked cabbage or cooked organs
  • I spend too much time and too much money in the supermarket
  • I still haven't set a goal in life
  • I love to eat fancy food like foie gras, lobster, oysters, crab, smoked salmon, sushi,..
  • I seldom eat regular cuisine
  • I crave crisps
  • I have diabetes but I cook with real butter, real sugar, real flour and I don't feel guilty about that
  • I nag too much about my husband's smoking habit but that's only because I care about his health
  • I want to have every kitchen appliance possible and I'm getting close
  • I'm not patient at all
  • I hate to wait in line or spend time in a waiting area
  • I prefer English over Dutch or French
  • I would rather live in the US than over here
  • I hate rain
  • I talk to the pets in baby language
  • I'm very lousy at taking care of plants
  • I spend too much time and too much money in the supermarket (I mean it)
  • I'm not as productive in the house as I should be
  • I have a secret bank account (although there isn't any money in it - lol)
  • I have no idea why I'm telling you all of this, but if feels good
to be continued..

Love is a battlefield

Love is wonderful, love is magic, love is pure. Sometimes love is hard to find.. Many of my friends are disappointed in love, in marriage, in friendship and relations. Do we expect too much? Are we too difficult? Have women become too demanding when it comes to love? Maybe men can't keep up with the changes modern women have gone through. In the old days, few women had a voice. They didn't have a job, they had loads of kids, they were there to satisfy and please their husband and feed the family. Times have changed. Women work, they decide on the number of children they will or won't have, they have friends, hobbies and they are interested in sports. I can imagine this being very confusing to men. Looking at their parents and grandparents, this is not the way they were raised. So yes, I believe it's hard on them and they no longer know what their position in the household is. They used to be the provider in the house. Now many men share this position with their wife, and in some families women make more money than their husbands. It must be so confusing to all men out there. Women no longer need men to protect them and their offspring. They do pretty well on their own.
But what hasn't changed: women need to be loved... They enjoy the male attention and they like to be flirted with. They still want to be the pray, not the hunter. Love is a battlefield..