Monday, November 30, 2009

Trust me..

Most of the time, I try to cook as healthy as possible. Fresh greens, fruit, whole grains, fat free, as little pork as possible and I cut down on the sugars big time. But once in a while, you really want to enjoy a delicious but not so healthy meal. Now what's wrong with that? I'm not Barbie and I wouldn't want to be Barbie either. I do my best most of the times. When I look around me, I see people buy take away and prepared meals. I hardly ever do that. I still cook fresh meals on a daily basis, even when it's sheer chaos over here. But that's how I want it. I want to know what's in our meals. Whenever I ask my family what they want for dinner, they are indifferent. It doesn't matter.. I think they forget how much time and effort I put in cooking a decent meal. Sometimes they just want to go out for pizza or fries. I wonder if they would still be as indifferent, if I would stop cooking fresh meals? Would they eat sandwiches instead? Or would they go out to dinner on a daily basis? Maybe I should test them.. If take away is what they want, I won't stop them. I'm their cook, not their doctor. I take care of my health. I can only hope they take care of theirs. I'm not going to fight over it. I think I have done the best I can to teach my family about healthy food. It's up to them to decide how they want to feed their bodies..

The things we do for love

My dear friend..

today is your birthday. Rumour goes that it's not polite to talk about a lady's age, so I'm not going to do that. Age is nothing more than a number. Or two numbers. It's like discussing a ladies weight. It's not done. That's all. You are as old as you feel. And trust me: you are not old. You are so vibrant and active. You glow and people turn their heads when you stride by. You are a proud lady with a strong personality. That's not a surprise to anyone who knows you. After all, you have raised 6 sons! I have had the chance to meet three and I adore them. You have done a very good job raising them. I think you deserve that credit. They have outgrown you, but they honour you with all their respect.
Your sons have taken you to many places. They have taken good care of you so far and I'm sure they will do nothing else in the future. We plan to have you around for many more years. Do you know what I really like? When we go out for the weekend, that we sing a long in the car. I just love to hear you sing.
You are pretty special.. I have known you for approximately 10 years I believe. I was going through some photo albums the other day, and I kept running into pictures of you. You are a photographer's dream. You are a natural. Always in shipshape.

I'm so sorry we couldn't make it to Berlin. I wish I were there to give you your birthday kisses and hugs. Because I know that's what you like the most. The love of the people around you. And yes.. you are loved..

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Then we take Berlin

I'm so sorry we are not going to be there with you, in Berlin. We have already gone to so many places together, over the 10 years we have known each other. Think of London - UK, Scheveningen - Nl, Roermond - Nl, Aachen - DE, Dortmund - DE, Maastricht - NL, Utrecht - NL, Nijmegen - NL,.. It's always a pleasure to go out with the Goose Gang! I'm a little jealous now, because all of you will be celebrating the birthday of our own Queen Mom. She's such a lucky lady, to have you as her sons. You all take care of her in the best manner possible. She's adorable and I respect her very much. She's a wise lady and she's very entertaining. It's great to see how good she takes care of herself. Her hair is always well cut, her make up neat and clean, her dresses are handmade and unique. She may be small of height, but she's a grand dame.

I wish you all a very good week in Berlin. Enjoy each other and don't forget to tell us all the juicy stories!!! And I want to see many pictures when we meet up to go to Scheveningen next month.

And mom: have a very, very happy birthday! Love from Kaprijke! xxx

Silk Sheets

I have only slept in silk sheets once. My host family in the US had a waterbed. They had told me I could use their bed if they were on a holiday. So I did. The covers were silk sheets. Hey! What did you expect? Flanel sheets on a waterbed? Na! I'm not too sure about sleeping in a waterbed. It's kinda wobbly. I think it's better if there are two people in it. But just by yourself, it's not cosy. I did like the sheets though. They feel great on your skin (if you sleep without pj's) and they make you feel sexy and your skin hungry. They make this wonderful crispy sound as well. Sounds like a plan!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I have never really felt very feminine in my life. I always felt more like a tomboy. Not that I didn't want to feel feminine, I really do. It's just not happening. I'm more the jeans and long sleeve shirt type. When I see those beautiful skirts and dresses in the shops, they make me want to buy them. And sometimes I do. I buy skirts and dresses and I even buy high heels and boots to go with them. Sometimes even a matching purse. But I don't feel feminine when I wear it.. I no longer want to be a tomboy. I want to be a girl. A woman. A lady...

Strangers and candy

Have you taught your kids whatever they need to know in order not to be abducted by a stranger? Abductors no longer use candy to seduce young children if they want to kidnap them. They talk to your child on the Internet. They try to contact them when they leave the school's playground. They offer them games for their Playstation or promise them to help them fix their computer. Children are so vulnerable, maybe now more than ever. Communication between parents and children have changed over the years. Mothers used to be stay at home moms. They knew about their children's activities. They offered their teens milk and cookies and a talk when they came home out of school. Parents knew what friends their children frequented. Children didn't come home in an empty house, where they could surf on the Internet for as long as nobody came home. Times have changed. Children have changed. So have parents.. Many parents no longer have time for their offspring. The kids are given a key and go home all by themselves. They grab a snack and a drink, they hop on the couch, watch TV or chat with their friends on the Internet. They feel alone. They have nobody to tell them how fantastic they are. That's the point where things become dangerous. Any stranger who gives this child the special attention it needs, gets the chance to bond with this child. What child wouldn't want to hear that it's loved? What child doesn't need grown up attention? What happens if parents can do nothing but nag about the lousy school results of their child? Right. It tells the predator, who is smart enough to pick in and comfort the child. He tells them that the parents are stupid and dumb for not seeing what a smart kid they have. And that's when those children get trapped. They start to really like this predator, not knowing what the consequences of these private talks may be. And then the predator invites them to his house, to come get the video games they were promised. And they'd better not tell their parents, since they are not the most loveable and understanding people out there. Forgot about the school reports??? And the fish is on the hook..

Imagine your child being abducted by some lunatic pervert. Wouldn't you slap your head and give yourself a wake up call? Our children need us. No matter what age they are. They are too vulnerable and they cannot protect themselves from the wolves around. The word PREDATOR is not written on the forehead of these men. They are not easy to recognize. But their actions are. You don't want a stranger to pull over his car and address you. When a child is in danger, the rules change. You are allowed to draw as much attention you need, to scare off a possible abductor. Tell your children you will never be mad at them for throwing a fit, if some stranger makes them feel uncomfortable.

"Garden of the night" is the movie you would want to see, to know how to protect your child..

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bad hair day

You are having a bad hair day. You really take good care of your hair and you wash it frequently, because you like the smell of clean hair. I like to watch you blow dry your hair in the bath room. You take the time you need, to do your hair before you head of to school. And then it rains. Big time. And your mood changes instantly. You hate rain. You hate cold. You are so upset when the wind is messing up your hair and the rain ruins your hairdo. How many times have you told us, you will move to a warmer place? Morocco sounds nice to you, and so does Egypt or Turkey maybe. But certainly not Belgium. That's not where you intend to live when you're an adult. And if we ask you how you will make an income abroad, you say: I won't! I'll just lay in the sun and enjoy a drink near the pool. That would be nice, but that's just not gonna happen. Keep on dreaming sweetheart. You have some time to go until you are 18. And trust me: it hasn't stopped raining yet and you will certainly suffer some more bad hair days in the meantime.

Cool dudes!

I love to watch my youngest brother-in-law fool around with his 3 yo son. Kiddo is the youngest of the grandchildren and he's spoiled all right! Just like his daddy, he rides his own motor cycle, an Easy Rider, to be more specific. He's an awesome kid and he knows all the cool moves. His daddy takes him to the swimming pool all the time, and Kiddo has no fear of water whatsoever. He will try out any slide in the pool or dive into the water without hesitating. He's a real dare devil, without seeking the danger of getting hurt.

The other grandchildren think it's great that Kiddo has those very special Skull Shoes. They look great on him. He's a real dude. Just like his dad I guess.. He's a special child and we all love to hang out with him. He's a real rugrat, full of joy and energy. He loves to play outside and cross the swords with his favorite cousin. And you should see him handle the control of the playstation. Like he's never done anything else in his life!

You're doing a terrific job PJ, at raising Kiddo. I'm proud of you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trying to make sense in nonsense

You are very wise and absolutely adorable. You keep a blog every now and then and I love to read you. The way you think about life, the manner in which you write your lines, the logic behind your thoughts and the images I see when I read about your daily life, make me smile. You are leading an interesting life, going abroad to catch some sun rays and enjoy the moderate paste of Southern life. You are a wonderful nana to your grandchildren (they are the cutest!!!) and a terrific mother to your grown up children. We have met a few times now and you promised me to take me on a sightseeing tour in your favorite town: Brussels. I'm looking forward to that! I'd better wear my sneakers, to keep up with you. I may be the younger one, but you are the more energetic one of the two. Did I already say how well you are with clothes? You always seem to pick the right outfit and you could be a resident of Monaco. You look more like a princess than our princess Mathilde does. I'm curious about you and I want to know a whole lot more about you. I know you like fish - preferably fresh fish - and you like to swim. I suppose you don't combine both?
You like the sun, you like the French language and the French way of life. You adore your children and grandchildren and you are a terrific host whenever they come visit you down South. But you are as happy after they leave the house and let you relax by the pool, wearing your favorite shades.
You are a very classy lady. A little aristocratic, if I may say so. It suits you well. And I hate you for never having a bad hairday!
You are as true a delight as Côte d'or Milk chocolate. I assume I needn't say any more? Thank you for being you and making me a better me..

I can't look away

Photo by Lana Joos
I look at her and I think: is she really ours? She's so pretty, so smart, so different. She's full of energy, she's a good dancer and an excellent student. It's no surprise boys are crazy about her. Just look at her, I mean seriously, just look at her...
Hubby always says he's going to fix several pegs on the wall, to hang those boyfriends on. She's a daddy's girl and I don't think he will be that prepared to let go of his daughter. But she's growing taller and she'll be 15 in March. We can't strap her into a straightjacket, can we? She's young, she's attractive and she's popular. I'm glad she is. And most of all: she knows real well what she wants and what she won't tolerate. She sure has a mind of her own!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My life saver!

I'm still wearing the Continue Glucose Monitoring system(CGM), to help me get better control of my blood sugars. It has been a true life saver for me so far. Most of the time I can tell if my BG drops or rises. But sometimes I'm too busy doing something that needs my concentration, that I forget to focus on how I feel. That's where the sensor comes in handy.
I was in the car with my employer. We were chitchatting, the radio was on, it was just pouring out there and I was wearing two sweaters and a winter coat. I must have ignored the first alarm sounds somehow, because all of a sudden, my insulin pump made a constant high noise. Alarm! But what kind of alarm? I didn't feel low?? I read my sensor and it said: 51 mg/dl. That's already too low, if you keep in mind that the sensor is 20 minutes behind on the actual reading. So I grabbed my purse, looked for my meter (you can never find it when you need it) and checked my glucose levels. A pathetic 35 mg/dl... Hhmhm.. So both sensor and meter confirmed hypoglycaemia, although I didn't feel it. I had a box of chocolate milk (I keep those treats in my purse for special occasions like sugar lows..) and one unit of pure powdered dextrose. We were already at the hairdresser (that's where we were headed to) when I had the dextrose. It made me smile. I saw the glass tables near the mirrors and I almost asked for a straw to sniff my portion of cocaine. I behaved, I behaved, don't worry. But I wonder: do you think one could sniff dextrose? What would it do to you? Blow your brains out?

Separate beds

I have a new bed partner. It's not a he. It's a she. And her name is Rebba. We have been sleeping together on the couch for 1 week now. My back is sore and my eyes are baggy and dark. I'm tired, exhausted, dead. I snore. So I've been told. Rebba snores as well. So we snore together on the couch, making sure the rest of the family gets a good night rest. On one hand, it's easy to fall asleep on the couch after you have watched TV. But then again, it gets cold at night and looking for the covers that are spread over the floor as soon as Rebba rolls over on the couch, is not my idea of dozing off. She's warm all right and she puts her head in my neck, blowing her hot breath in my ear. She's funny.. On the other side is Arthur, looking at me like if he's saying: why aren't you in your own bed??? He doesn't snore, but he purrs and that sound is quite comforting.
Our eldest daughter is not happy with me sleeping downstairs. She says I need to see a "snore-doctor" to get the problem solved. I have no idea where to find such a doctor. I know there are sleep clinics in some towns. I could give it a chance..
We have a spare clutter room upstairs. Maybe I need to buy some bin bags to have the room cleared. Then I can make my own room and have a safe place to sleep, where I won't disturb anyone..

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Goose bumps

I get goose bumps real easily. Not because I'm cold - I'm hardly ever cold (if I wear a jacket or a coat, it must be because I really like the look of it), but because something has moved me. I have noticed that lately, I have goose bumps on a daily basis. A song, a line, lyrics, a book, a look, a smile, a story, .. so many things can make the hairs in the back of my neck stand up. I can get pretty emotional over it. I rather like those goose bumps, they make me feel alive and they show me that true emotions are important to me.

Everybody wants to rule the world

I guess I should be proud that a Flemish politician is going to be the leader of Europe. This older, bald, spectacle wearing man is going to represent Europe in the best way he can. I have the feeling that the British population was not really waiting for him. Or at least, regarding to the video they have shown on their news channel... Big and Betsy is not exactly a great representation of what Belgium is about. They could have done worse, by showing Marc Dutroux on the tape, but still.. A farting pig in a Flemish cartoon.. I don't know. It's kind of insulting to the Flemish population, don't you think so?

It's going to be up to Herman Van Rompuy (Hair-man ?? LOL) to show Europe that he's capable of being a good leader. Everybody wants to rule the world, but ruling Europe may be a good thing to begin with. Okay, he's not as goodlooking as Obama and he doesn't have the charm of Bill Clinton, but who says he needs this kind of flair to be smart and venturesome? Maybe we should encourage him rather than undermine his personality? After all, he's Flemish and we should be proud of him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A cry for help

It's the end of the year, the dark season has begun. Here and there I see Christmas ornaments in the windows of several shops and Christmas tunes jingle through the loud speakers. December is the family month. Many people look forward to this time of the year. To some others, it's sheer hell. They dread the Holidays, they fear the loneliness. They cry for help, but nobody seems to hear them. They are so desperately seeking for love and attention, that the only way out for them, is suicide.. It keeps me busy, to know why people want to take their own life. Isn't it sad that some people are so lonely that it's even better to end their life? Have they suffered so much that they can't take any more? It's sad.. it really is. A friend of mine has attempted to commit suicide on several occasions. She always made it. So maybe, just maybe, there was always someone out there who did care. But what if nobody cares? What if they miss your text message or death signal? Or what if you don't tell anyone how lonely and depressed you are? Because that happens too. You must have heard it before, that parents had no idea their son or daughter was depressed to the point that they couldn't deal with it anymore. Some of these victims leave a message for their loved ones, others just don't, leaving their survivors with oh so many questions. Why? Why now?
I hear some people call them cowards, for stepping out of this life. I don't think it's up to us to judge. I believe people can get so depressed that they truly don't see a way out. Some of them commit suicide all by themselves, others make it even more dramatic by getting hit by a train or jump of a bridge, where so many other people can get hurt as well. Is there a good way to end your life? I don't know.. it will always be painful to the beloved ones that stay behind, no matter what the suicide manner was.
A young student in nursing school tried to slit his wrists over a bucket in his dorm. While he was doing so, he texted a friend. That boy was alarmed by the text message and he and his father rushed over to the dorm to save the student..
The next day, another student, hung herself in that same dorm. She had sent her mother a text message "sorry" in the middle of the night, knowing that she wouldn't read it till the next morning. She didn't want to be found. She wanted to escape from this world. She wrote her family a farewell letter. I hope they will find peace and time to mourn over the loss of this young girl. She had a whole life ahead of her, but that's apparently not the way she saw it..

Let's think about these young lives, that have been taken. I never believe they want to die, I believe they no longer want to feel the pain they're experiencing. If someone is depressed, take them seriously. Get help and surround that person with love. It may be their last day.. When have you last told your beloved ones how much you care?
You don't have to call 911, this post was not autobiographical.


How about pasta for lunch? Or would you rather have a sandwich? NOT! I'm always in for pasta. My friend makes the best Pasta Carbonara, but my favorite pasta is still Pasta All'Arabiata: spicy, no meat, just scrumptious delicious.

I would like to share my favorite pesto pasta recipe with you though. It's just so easy and you can make it before your favorite TV show is on. Put the kettle on, so the water can come to a boil, while you light the fire place in the den. Pour the boiling water into a large cookery pot. Throw in as much pasta as you can handle (I prefer tagliatelli in this recipe) and don't forget to salt the water. Pick the perfect pasta bowl out of your cupboard and get it ready. Drain the cooked pasta, leaving some cooking liquid in it. Stir it up with wonderful red pesto (store bought is just fine this time - no time to make our own), toasted pine nuts (keep them in a tupperware container so you always have them ready), strips of smoked ham (how about Serrano or Parma ham?), some cut up chest nut mushrooms (no need to cook them in advance - they will wilt in the hot pasta) and a tablespoon of double cream to make it even more scrumptious. Rush back to the fridge, to grab that piece of Parmesan that has been waiting for you all along, and use a carrot peeler to make the perfect cheese curls this pasta requires. You're ready for the show. Just make yourself comfortable on the couch, covered up with your favorite blanket and dive into this delicious pasta. The heat of the fireplace will warm your cheeks and the pasta will warm your tummy. My idea of a bowl of comfort food.

Don't forget to have chocolate mousse for dessert.. To be continued.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well I'll be darned!

‘Daughter pregnant by sperm in swimming pool'

TOURISM: The 10 craziest complaints of the year
Too many Germans in the hotel, sperm in the pool or a snoring neighbor. More and more tourists file complaints and go to court after they spent their vacation abroad. They ask for some kind of compensation. But are they right or are they just way too demanding? Make up your own opinion on who's entitled to some kind of compensation and who's not.
1 A Dutchmen who had booked an all inclusive holiday in the Dominican Republic, filed a complaint about the color of the all inclusive bracelets. He associated the pink bracelets with gay people and he refused to wear one.
2 A German tourist complained about the Islamic prayers she heard from the speakers in a Moroccan town. The judge overruled the complaint instantly.

3 A German couple thought it was not done for locals to get a suntan on "their" beach in Mauritius. Complaint overruled. A British tourist did receive some kind of compensation because there were too many noisy Germans in his hotel.

4 The hotel receptionist handed the bill to this family, which they refused to pay. They said they were not going to pay for pay TV, since they had not watched it.. They had better asked their teen son first, who thought porn was pretty interesting..

5 A New Delhi traveller complained that the beach was too far away from his hotel. A little strange, since the capital city is like 1000 kilometres away from the beach.. Go figure!

6 A French tourist on a safari in Kenya said it was unheard of, that the locals didn't speak his language and that the roads were too.. sandy...

7 Room description in the travel agency brochure lead to a conflict between the agency and the customer. The description of the room was: double, bath, toilet, terrace. The customer thought he was going to have two bath tubs in his room..

8 A Dutch family gave the extra bill for moving to another resort to their travel agent. They kind of forgot to mention the reason they had switched to a different hotel. Their daughter had shared her bed with nearly every staff member. Many of them got fired afterwards and the family was too embarrassed to stay in that same hotel.

9 After having spent her holiday in Egypt, a young Polish woman came home, pregnant. Her mother was outraged when she took it to court. The daughter had said the pool was infected with sperm, and that's how she got pregnant. I suppose the judge had a good laugh over this one!

10 On his way to South Africa, a tourist couldn't go to sleep, because of the snoring sounds produced by his neighbor. He asked for some sort of compensation, which he didn't get. Having a seat in business class doesn't mean nobody will snore.

A real riot

The girls were ready to watch the Junior Eurovision Songcontest. They were big fans of the Belgian contestant Laura and the Dutch singer Ralf. They were so thrilled to see how well Laura did. Laura was real confident and she did absolutely great! What a star she is! The title of her song was: Zo verliefd - Madly in love.
The different European countries were ready to vote and the girls were sitting at the end of their seats, screaming, cheering and shouting for every point Laura deserved. And the other countries must have loved her, because they gave her very good points. Not enough, if I listen to the comments of my daughters. But nevertheless, she's the first Flemish girl to get scores that high in the Junior Eurovision Songcontest. I'm so thrilled about Laura's achievement, that I nearly forget to tell you who really won: the Dutch singer Ralf! with the song: Click Clack. Smart move, to sing in sounds. Most anybody can sing along. Congratulations Ralf! You were the best (at least, you would have been the best if it weren't for Laura).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

When nothing goes right...

go left. Take a turn. Go back to bed. Or call a friend and go out for dinner. That's exactly what my friend and I did last night. We have known each other for 20 years now (go figure!!) and we still call each other on a weekly basis (I admit she calls me before I have the chance to call her - I'm bad, I know I am, please forgive me.. just hang up and I'll call you back). I think it's the first time we went out for dinner together and I had been looking forward to it. It gave us the chance to talk in private - it was a big restaurant, a castle to be more specific - while her husband - he's the cook in Het Kasteel van Saffelaere - prepared our meal. And let me tell you: he's a great cook! It's always a pleasure to have a delicious dinner that has been prepared by a loved one. Dinner was on her. She knew she didn't have to do that, but I appreciate it.
Fyi: We started out with an apperitif and some appetizers. This is what we had for dinner: an espresso cup of creamy Belgian endive soup as a starter, followed by a cylinder of brill filet on braised kale, with a soft and creamy sweet yellow pepper sauce. A sherbet helped us refresh our tastebuds, so we could enjoy the main course of tender venison medallion with a smooth brandy sauce, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, Belgian endives and a lovely red pear, sauteed in red wine. Don't forget dessert though: a lukewarm tarte tatin with a scoop of home made vanilla ice cream, a divine portion of succulent chocolate mousse and physalis fruit. After dinner, we could enjoy a comforting cup of good coffee with goodies in the lounge. Did I forget to mention the sparkly glass of Champaign?
Thank you my friend! I enjoyed our conversations, the food and our longterm friendship!

Killer Texting

I plead guilty. Yes, I have texted in my car before. I know I shouldn't be texting in the car and I know it's dangerous. You just do it, and I know many of you do it too. Even though it's forbidden in our country, I see all drivers around me using their cell phone or text a message while driving. I mostly text when I'm sitting in front of a red light and sometimes while I'm on the highway.
I watched a Dr Phil show on Killer Texting and I was truly shocked.. If you are sending text messages in your car, your control of your vehicle goes down 95%! Your ability to react when someone hits the break in front of you or when a child crosses the road, goes down by 35% if you're driving and texting at the same time.
It's over. I'm not texting and driving ever again. Really. I saw the testimonial of a mom, whose daughter was instantly killed by a young driver, who ran a red light because he was paying attention to his cell phone rather than realizing he was driving his car. A killer car, it soon turned out to be. Because that's exactly what happened: it took no more than a few seconds, to run the red light, hit the uncoming car with an innocent and correct driver, killing her right there at the spot.. What a waste of life..
The mother of this beautiful young student, has started a campaign. It's called Hang up - Save a life. The poster shows a picture of her gorgeous daughter, that is no longer amongst us, because of the silly idea that we need to text and drive. Not one text can be that important, that it can't wait until we have stopped the car to read or reply. It's a shame how many lives have been ruined so far because of accidents caused by texting while doing other things like driving, cooking, riding your bike, crossing the road..

So I have made a decision and that's what I'm going to teach my children too. I hope you will reconsider as well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Women are always right

even if they're wrong.. I have many lady friends and we talk quite a bit. Let's say we talk a lot. A whole lot! And we can talk about almost anything. It doesn't matter what the talk is about. In the end, we make the same evaluation: women are always right! Oh please.. we know we're not always right, but what did you expect? That we would admit it? NOT! It's just not done! You must be joking if you think we would ever admit that we are wrong. We may think it, but we won't say it. The stronger sex? I don't know. Right fighters? Maybe. Reality? My friends may hate me for this, but no, we're not always right. I hope not one single man is reading this blog. I don't want them to get any ideas!

Stand by my side

Sometimes, it's hard to be a man. Giving all his love to just one woman. He may have good times while she's having a bad time. Doing things he can't understand. But if he loves her, he'll forgive her. Even though she may be hard to understand, he loves her. He's proud of her. Cause after all she's she. And she's a good woman. A little troubled, but a good woman after all.
Give her two caring arms to cling to. And something warm to come home to, when nights are cold and lonely. Make her feel like a woman. Show the world you love her. Give her all the love you can. Because what else does she need.. than to be loved and honored..

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We are family!

Our youngest daughter and her friends from boarding school, have entered a radio contest. The winner was promised a very special dance party at their boarding school, with a well known DJ and lots of fun. It was very nerve wrecking to see whether they would make the finals or not. And they did!!! Last night they won the contest and tonight the boarding school is awaiting a superlicious one of a kind dance party!!! All 170 female students of the boarding school are all hyped up and ready to dance. As a bonus, the boarding school was promised another gift: 4 Wii appliances + a number of recent games. What a terrific price for these young girls. I'm so glad the educators and principal of her boarding school are open minded enough to let them have this kind of fun. It will be Eva's first dance party and it will be one to remember. The guest of the night will be the world famous (in Belgium) singer Sylver. She's a delight and the girls are amazed she will be singing for them tonight. I'm happy for my little girl. She doesn't get to spend that much time at home any more, but she's more than happy with her new family in boarding school. Loads of sisters to play with and cuddles to give to. They are just one big happy family..

The One Million Dollar Question

Is stem cell therapy the future? I'm about to find out. This Friday I'm going to attend the launch of an integrating project in the Royal Academy of Medicine in Brussels. Several American doctors and scientists are going to tell us all we need to know about the Production of Cell Transplants, the Regeneration of Beta Cells in the pancreas and Reprogramming the Immune System.

I have been invited by Professor Pipeleers of VUB Brussels, to attend this event and I'm looking forward to it. I'm really excited about this whole process. Several Belgian doctors have dedicated their time to research on stem cells. At this time, we are looking into using embryonic stem cells, to help people recover from different kinds of diseases, including diabetes. The embryos being used, are embryos that are left over from IVF procedures and would be tossed away anyway. It's quite a controversial that embryos are being used for research and many people are opposed to it. I wonder if they would still be opposed, if one of their beloved ones could be helped by stem cell therapy in the future, to get rid of their disease?

Anyway, I'll have my pen and notebook ready and I hope to get tons of information. I hear they are looking for volunteers as well..

I'll go to Brussels a little early. I could use a macchiato or a hazelnut latte. Anyone wants to join me?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making life worthwile again

I stayed in bed this morning. I wanted to sleep. I didn't want to think. I wanted to doze off and dream my dreams. Life isn't always what it seems.
I guess I'm not having a great time at the moment. I hate the end of the year. I don't like the cold weather, the darkness of winter, Christmas. Bad memories. Not the most pleasant time of the year for me.
I'm always glad I have good friends to rely on. People that understand and care. People that don't give up on me and stand by my side. People that are there for me, unconditionally. But it's just not good enough this time. I want to stick my head under the covers and go back to sleep. I would like to hibernate... and not come back until things have gone better. I hate to feel the way I feel. But I can't deny my feelings, can I? No one is to blame but me. Trust me. I'm not blaming anyone for the way I feel. And it's my own responsibility to overcome this discomfort I'm feeling. Nevertheless, it's good to have some back up to save me from drowning..
I think I'm gonna have some chocolate mousse. Quite a bit.

I wonder

I wonder what you're thinking
I'd really like to know
It's hard to get through to you..
You intrigue me
it's scary at the same time
I hope one day
You will let me read you..

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Music was my first love

I started playing the flute at the age of 7. I took classes twice a week, but I didn't own my own flute till I was 21. It's been a while since I last played and to be honest, we have 3 flutes in the house (both my children wanted to play the flute too, but only one is still playing), but I have no idea where mine is.. The school of our girls asked us to borrow one of our flutes to use it in the classroom. So that's what we did. And than the music school asked to borrow one flute for a student who couldn't afford one. So we did that too. A music instrument is meant to be used. We wouldn't want it to die, right?
I'm glad my eldest daughter is still playing. She'd rather play electric guitar, she claims, but since she's never played one before, we have no idea. Instruments cost a lot of money, but I'm glad she's playing the flute. And she's pretty good at it too!
Music was my first love, and it won't be my last. What's your first love?

Don't be such a wussy!

She's such a wussy! No kidding! She hates to go outside when the grass is still wet in the early morning. She's not fond of cold or wind or rain. Hubby takes her on long walks, but she still doesn't like to go outside by herself. Whenever she needs to pee, she goes outside on the terrace. She's just too lazy to go all the way to the back of the garden. Unless you accompany her.
Her favorite spot is on the couch, under her blanky. Really.. You should see her roll her eyes if you tell her to go outside for a pee. It's like she would say: "you must be joking! have you seen that weather out there???" You love to cuddle up with us and most of the time, you hide your head behind our back on the couch. Or you put your paws over your eyes. You're a funny dog Rebba!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Short circuit

I feel lost...

Michael Buble - Lost


I can't believe it's over
I watched the whole thing fall
And I never saw the writing that was on the wall
If I'd only knew
The days were slipping past
That the good things never last
That you were crying

Summer turned to winter
And the snow it turned to rain
And the rain turned into tears upon your face
I hardly recognized the girl you are today
And god I hope it's not too late
It's not too late
'Cause you are not alone
I'm always there with you
And we'll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When your world's crashing down
And you can't bear the thought
I said, babe, you're not lost

Life can show no mercy
It can tear your soul apart
It can make you feel like you've gone crazy
But you're not
Things have seem to changed
There's one thing that's still the same
In my heart you have remained
And we can fly fly fly away

'Cause you are not alone
And I am there with you
And we'll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When the world's crashing down
And you can not bear the cross
I said, baby, you're not lost
I said, baby, you're not lost
I said, baby, you're not lost
I said, baby, you're not lost

Girls can do anything

boys can do, and we can do it in high heels. Seriously. I always tell my girls they can do anything they want in life. Being a girl can't stop them from achieving their goals. They don't need to wear high heels right away though. They're too young to ruin their feet!

Many years ago, there were jobs for men only and some only for women. Okay, I must admit, it is weird to see a man work as a midwife or a kindergarten teacher and it's different to see women work as bricklayers. But it happens. And if that is what makes them happy, why not? It's not obvious for girls to attend a boy's school. I remember a young man in our school, who wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. He lasted for maximum 5 months I think. He couldn't cope with all his female colleagues. Girls that try to survive in a working environment of mostly men, need to be strong minded and pigheaded, to continue to do their job. Some men don't like women on their work floor. Others think it's pretty much okay, as long as they keep up with the men.

I always wonder what profession our daughters will choose..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Albert Hall

Saturday evening was fab! We had a dinner party appointment in the Albert Hall in Etterbeek, Brussels. The staff members of hubby's work were invited to enjoy dinner and to stretch their legs on the dance floor. I really looked forward to going out and having a good time. And it was a great party. Wonderful people (it had been a while since I last saw hubby's colleagues), excellent dinner (how about tuna sushi with caviar, fresh foie gras ravioli with truffle sauce, venison and a succulent dessert buffet), good music and great company. We were invited to sit at the table of honor and I was seated next to the manager. We get along well and his wife is so energetic and a woman to look up to. Talking French to the manager and his wife, talking Dutch to my friends on the other side, it didn't matter. I love to speak other languages and I had a great time. I even danced! And if you know me: you know I definitely never dance! So you will believe me if I say I had a really good time.

Too bad my sugar went low again.. I hate it when that happens on an evening out. That stupid 36 mg/dl on my meter changed my mood completely and I was ready to go home. On those days, I despise Diabetes and I wish I was never diagnosed. Most of the time, I cope with it real well, but yesterday was a true emotional rollercoaster and my BG took a ride on it.

We were invited to go to Mexico. The manager has a house over there and we are very welcome to stay there if we want to. So maybe one, we will finally visit this wonderful country..

Try to be butch

I have gay friends and I have no problems with people's sexual preference at all. It's pretty common now for men (even straight men) to acknowledge their femininity. They no longer have to be real studs and they can show emotions. Women like softer men, that are not afraid to shed a tear and rip apart a kleenex box, or laugh loudly wetting their undies while watching a romantic comedy. Some men are too soft though. They are skinny, have a very feminine look and are just way too soft. They can have the best personality ever, I would still ask them to try to be a little more butch. Manscara, guyliner, messenger bags, earring, fancy shoes,.. no problem. As long as they don't overdo it. I'm not really in to skinny men. I remember finishing a relationship with a wonderful man that was too skinny and not butch at all. He was just too feminine, although he was a great guy. I need some flesh on those bones okay?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

He saw the light

You are truly amazing! I have so much respect for your creativity it makes me humble. What a great guy you are and how lucky am I to be your friend. I have introduced you to a couple of friends who are very dear to me. They have bought a wonderful house and needed some help to decorate it. You were the first person that crossed my mind. And I knew you would do a great job. They love you already!! No wonder, because you have done so much work for them so far. They came to see your home interior this Thursday and they were gobsmacked! That didn't surprise me at all. I have seen your talent and you keep amazing people. The ooh's and the aah's are very common words when people enter your unique interior. I wish you could decorate our second floor. I know you would do such a great job, as you did on the first floor. I love you pal! You rock!

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day. Many events are being organized to make people aware of the quiet assassin Diabetes. Diabetes is not a cold. It's no game either. It's serious business. People still think Diabetes is just about taking some tablets or shooting up insulin. They think a diabetic can never have sugar again. They believe diabetics have caused their own condition by eating too much candy.
There's a lot of work to be done, to make people aware what Diabetes really is about. Every minute, people get affected by this disease. Every minute, new diabetics are diagnosed and people die of the complications caused by Diabetes. I told you it wasn't a game. It's serious business. It takes strength and courage and a lot of patience and will power to keep your numbers within the correct range.
Little children get diabetes, even new borns. Elderly people, toddlers, working women, retired men, young moms, active fathers, teens in love.. Diabetes doesn't discriminate. It can happen to anyone of you, at a time you expect it the least. Don't judge us. Bare with us and cut us some slack, will you? It's important for us to have your support. It's important that scientists work on finding a cure. We are important and we matter.

Today I'm wearing my Blue Circle Pin, the sign of Diabetes. I haven't done anything wrong. I didn't ask for this disease to affect my body, my life, my family. I have nothing to hide. I'm proud of myself, for taking so good care of myself and my diabetes. It's become part of who I am. I won't let Diabetes win.

Friday, November 13, 2009

You're on candid camera!

What a laugh we had today! My friend and I were shopping for groceries, in the store where you can scan your purchases yourself. It took us a while to scan all the items, but finally we were ready to head towards the exit. And then it happened: my friend was talking to me and she no longer held on to her shopping cart. The inevitable happened: her cart ran into the pole of the scanner and the ceiling came down, electricity and all. The lights died and one of the check registers broke down as well. Dust was coming out of the wide open hole in the ceiling and we were like: what the f..??? The cashier yelled: I can't believe she just ran into that pole!!! Like my friend did it on purpose - which of course she didn't! Everybody was looking at us and we didn't really know how to react. So we started to giggle - we're girls, remember? Another cashier ran towards us, because the loud noise had scared her. She said it was not our fault at all and accidents do happen. Luckily nobody got injured. The first cashier said she would send my friend the bill. As if..

I suppose that's what it feels like if you're on candid camera!

Taking a shortcut

I love to shop for groceries. I have my favorite stores and I tend to frequent them weekly. My most favorite store has a new gadget since last week. They have given their customers the option to scan their purchases all by themselves. As soon as you enter the store, you scan your loyalty card to obtain your own private scanner. Every item you intend to purchase needs to be scanned. LOL. It's a lot of fun, but you have to be sharp-eyed! Make sure you scan the correct barcode before you put your purchases in your shopping cart. Sometimes it takes some time to figure out where the barcode is, but since I like to shop for errands, I don't mind. I give you one tip: don't bring your children if you're going to use the scanner. Believe me, they will love this toy and they will try to scan as many objects as possible. And it may be the intention of the supermarket, but probably not yours!
It's a good solution to avoid waiting in line with your arms full of groceries. Scan your own items, pay for them and leave. It's great to take a shortcut and have some spare time for other hobbies!

I have tried it 2 times now. I think the store manager will need to evaluate the system, because there are some abnormalities. What will they do if people put 2 tomatoes in a bag, put the sticker with barcode on the plastic bag and then add 1 more tomato? What will they do if someone puts an expensive bread in a bag that is designated for cheaper bread? Because the scanner will only recognize the barcode of the cheaper bread, without knowing there is more expensive bread in the bag?! A cashier would certainly know, the scanner won't, since computers are not designed to think. They just operate.

The first time you use the scanner, you get a coupon for 250 extra points on your loyalty card. At least, that's what the shop manager intended when he handed out the coupons. Is it a surprise though, that you can use another coupon and another one and... because the scanner has no idea you have already used your coupon. DUH! I believe they will need to do some more research before they let the customers go wild...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A smart cookie!

What a smart cookie, the inventor of this pancake maker! I just love to make pancakes from scratch. My recipe is the best I have ever tested, honestly. The pancakes are moist, delicious, have a nice color, are light and just fabulicious!

A couple of weeks ago, we had a meeting. The host invited us over for a pancake party and I was surprised to see her make the pancakes. She had two pancake makers by Cloer. I had never seen this kind of pancake maker before and I was thrilled! I love kitchen appliances and one can always surprise me with an appliance I haven't got yet. You poor the pancake batter in the pancake maker, close the lid and set the timer. The pancake maker will warn you when your pancake is ready. No more burnt pancakes, and you no longer need to flip them over. I know, there's is some charm to flipping over pancakes, but when you need to make a big batch, I'd rather do something else but flipping over pancakes. I could just set the timer and get to do some other work around the house. Sounds like a plan to me!!!

There's only one problem: I have not yet found a store nearby, where they sell this pancake maker. I know there's one more appliance in Zonhoven, Limburg, but that's a 2 hour drive. I'm still looking into buying one and I know it will be in my cupboard someday soon.

The Secret Millionaire

Some people are very fortunate, speaking financially. I mean, really fortunate. As in rich, as in millionaire rich. Most of them have gathered their fortune by working amazingly hard. Others have a family fortune that started centuries ago.
I would like to be a millionaire. It must be great to have all the money you wish for. You know me, and you all know that I'm a giving person, not a receiving person. I like to give, that's who I am. I would like to be a millionaire and have a lot of money to spend on other people. There's charity, there are friends who could use some extras, there's family that might need a helping hand. I would donate a large amount of money to diabetes research. I would like to be a secret millionaire. Nobody would need to know where the money that helped them, came from. That is just not important. It is more important to share than to show off.
Of course, I would keep some money to ourselves. People that say money is not important, are the people that have plenty. You need money to live. Sometimes people need money to survive! It shouldn't be like that..
My eldest daughter was thinking about that the other day. She just couldn't figure out why the government didn't print some extra money to hand out to the people in need. She couldn't understand that a simple piece of paper could be worth that kind of money. If only things weren't that complicated..

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The father daughter thing

You are such a daddy's girl. It's great to see you interact with your father. The two of you are just hilarious together. You don't need words to understand one another. You like to crawl up against your dad on the couch. Then he will tell you to stop clinging to him. That always leads to a fight. Not a real fight, more like a cat's fight. You will punch him, he will tickle you, you will punch him again and he will tickle you some more. And then you are on top of him, trying to be the strongest of the two. You should know by now though, that your dad is stronger than you are and he's not good at losing. He wants to win. So do you. So the two of you keep going until someone gets hurt. I guess it's a father daughter thing. It's great to watch.

Top shit

It must have been 18 years ago, when a couple of us decided to go for it. I had been in the US for only a few weeks, when some friends invited me to go for a bungee jump. I had never even heard of it, but I'm always in for some adventure and fun. So I decided I would join them. Nobody told me in advance what we were going to do. They just told me I would love the experience and it would be the experience of a lifetime!

We got to the fair and there I saw what we were about to do. Well - WE?? Everybody chickened out, watching some other people taking their jump. But hey! I didn't come all the way to the States to back out, did I? So I decided to just go with the flow.

A couple of men explained the procedure, but I didn't really listen. I was totally fascinated by the other jumpers. I just couldn't believe I was going to do that.. Amazing, truly amazing. So they hoisted me up. I remember the height was the same as our church tower. And believe me: it's high! The man next to me kept talking to me - I kept staring down, looking for my friends. And then this guy asked me: are you ready???? uugghhh... ME???? I heard the crowd count down: 3 - 2 - 1 - BUNGEEEEEEEEE!! And I jumped.. did I jump alright.. Because I had not heard the explanation, I had no idea what I was doing. Apparently I was supposed to hold my knees, but I made a free fall. I think I know now how people feel when they decide to jump of a building in a suicide attempt. It's horrible. But then again: it's TOP SHIT!!!! Someone down there was filming the whole event - that didn't last as long as it seemed - and you can hear me scream: ONCE MORE!!!!!

What a joke! At the time... The next day I was sore all over my body. My host family was not impressed at all. They thought I was not responsable. How could they trust me with their little girl, if I put my life at risk? Whatever.. it was an experience of a life time. And it was an experience I would never try to do again. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I could use some company

As I have told you before, I work as a personal assistant for a disabled lady in a manual wheel chair. She has Cerebral Palsy, a medical condition she got because of a doctor's fault during delivery. She can do pretty much everything all by herself, but she needs company once in a while, to help her out with things she can't do. People ask me what I do on a daily basis in my job as an assistant. I'll tell you about today.

We had a short briefing this morning, about what had to be done today. After putting the trash can outside, I took Mrs. A to the doctor and to the pharmacist. We sat down for lunch together and then we went for a walk (I push her wheel chair), did some shopping together and then took the car to get some groceries as well. Her boyfriend is over at her place this week. Then she likes to have home cooked meals. I made way too much food on demand today: oven baked meatloaf, baked meatballs, cooked meatballs in tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, creamy tomato soup,.. I'm sure they will enjoy their meals the next couple of days. We didn't get to hoovering the house, nor did we do the paperwork that was required. I'll be back on Thursday, to do some more personal assisting.

Trust him but keep your eyes open

Two middle aged men were in the hospital at the same time, for different surgery procedures. One man woke up after having had a urological surgery, although he had no urological problems at all. The patient that was supposed to have this urological surgery, was seen by another surgeon for a full narcotic check-up he didn't need at all.
It's just not done... Both men have left the hospital by now. One man has to go on with his life, missing a healthy part in his body, due to a mistake by doctors. The other man had the correct surgery after the doctors realised what they had done. The urologist that performed the surgery on the wrong patient, is a very competent person. Nobody knows how this terrible accident could occur.
The hospital has started an intern investigation and have informed both patients and their family straight from the beginning. Both patients have every right to file a complaint against the doctors. Neither one of them has done such a thing so far. They could claim some kind of reimbursement or compensation. How can they ever make up for the missing part in his body though...
It's a good thing there are narcotics to help people through surgery. These stories are rare and it shouldn't scare you to undergo surgery. It's freaky though..

Monday, November 9, 2009

I have to hit the rack

I'm tired... both physically and mentally. I feel pain and strain in my neck, my shoulders and my lower back. My feet feel warm and my foot soles feel overheated. They burn and sting and I have calluses on the bottom of both feet. I have way too many shoes, but not one single pair is good enough to walk on for an entire day. I truly believe my body is giving me signals. It's telling me something is not right. If only I could listen to my body.. If only I could get a good night rest.

Last week's 911 call hasn't done me much good. It still worries me that one day, I will slip into a diabetic coma. I'm wearing my sensor all the time now, although I'm not sure it will be covered by insurance. It makes me feel safer, knowing that the sensor will wake me up in case of a low blood glucose. It's frightening to sleep without it.. I have some friends that have been in a diabetic coma before and they are just fine. But there are also people that are severely damaged after a diabetic coma. Is it so abnormal to be scared?

Help! I need somebody!

You have called me several times in the last couple of weeks. Or at least, your assistants have called me. I haven't answered any of your phone calls. I didn't know what to say. Maybe I'm a coward? Maybe I'm afraid to get too involved again? Maybe I'm afraid of what you are going to ask me? I don't know..

I got a phone call this Friday evening. I was told you had fled your parents' house to go back to your own apartment. Of course you took your baby girl and your tomcat. I know you would never leave her behind. She's your life, she's your everything. You had no assistance that night, and the caller asked me if I could come to take care of you and your baby. I couldn't. I just couldn't... I haven't seen you in 5 months. I have never even met your precious little baby.
I don't understand why you ran off. I thought you had many assistants at your parents' place and you were well taken care off. I thought it was the only way for you to be able to keep your baby girl. You have a progressive disease and you are no longer able to take care of yourself. It's too hard to take care of your baby all by yourself. You need assistance, you need help. I was so happy your parents invited you into their home, to make sure you could keep your baby. They are your back up.

You texted me yesterday. You. Not an assistant. I know how hard it is for you to text all by yourself. You wanted to let me know you are in the hospital. You even told me what room you are in. Is that an invitation to come visit you? I feel for you, I really do. You have intrigued me all along this long and windy road. Can I help you? I don't think so. What can I do? You made choices. You're a grown up and you have a mind of your own. Sometimes I understand you, sometimes I have no idea where you are headed to. You are very clever and you always find your way out.

You told me you were not in the hospital because you are sick. You texted me you are in the hospital because your parents called the police. At least, that's what I understand from your texts. Were you all by yourself in your apartment? Is that it? Didn't you have any assistance for you and the baby? If that is the reason, I understand why the police came after you. It's just too hard kiddo. You shouldn't be all by yourself and your baby needs to be protected.

I hope you will go back to your parents' house. I hope you will find peace and faith in the people around you. I know how suspicious and paranoid you can be. I'm sure nobody wants to hurt your baby or take your baby away from you. I think they want nothing but the best for you and your little baby girl.. I'm pretty sure about that. I hope you will come to your senses..

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hold your head up

It's your birthday today. You turned 37. You have come a long way and you are doing a great job. Things haven't been going real smoothly lately, but I can tell you to hold your head up high. You are doing the best you can and you are entitled to some happiness. Life hasn't been easy on you. You left your country and you started a new life over here. You have a family of your own now. You have a wonderful job and you've worked real hard to get that job. I'm proud of you and I want you to know that.

We went on an outing today. We visited several places and we even ended up in France! You were impressed and it was good to see you have a good time. Of course we ended up somewhere to have dinner.
Taking you home, you told me you had made a special birthday cake with strawberries and you had put aside a piece for me. I know you are a really good baker, so I was looking forward to this promising cake. And as usual: it was just perfect!

Happy birthday my friend. I'm glad I got to spend this day with you..

Sticky fingerprints on wallpaper

and hot chocolate stains on jeans. Whoever has children, will recognize these memories. From in the pregnancy, we get attached to that cute little wonder that is about to grow out of our womb. We phantasize about this baby and have our own idea of what it is going to be like to be a parent. By the time the baby is born, we are looking forward to the first smile the baby will grant us. We always want to be a step ahead. We want nothing but the best for our children and we try to live up to that belief.

Sticky fingerprints on wallpaper start to fade and the spoilt jeans have been replaced numerous times. The children have grown to be tall and well proportioned. They are young ladies now and they like to dress up. They pretend to be 16 when they try out the highest heels in the shoe shop. Several necklaces are being tried out, to fit their newest outfit. I enjoy to watch their moves over a cup of hazelnut latte. They twirl around in their mini skirts and show off their colorful pantyhoses. I'm happy to have two daughters..

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Excellent timing

It was great seeing you! We hadn't seen each other in approximately 4 months, but that's no problem. We easily pick up where we left off last time we saw one another. It was good to have a talk with you and I'm glad your husband liked my Indian dish. I know it was not traditionally cooked - how could it be, I'm Flemish after all - and the combination was probably not correct either, but I could tell he liked it. He was hungry after all!
We had a pleasant evening and so much to discuss. You looked great! Still a little crazy, but aren't we all? I'm glad we can laugh a lot when we go out and enjoy a good meal. You always make me laugh when you ask me even before I leave: so when will I see you again???? Trust me, we'll see each other some time very soon.

You have got to fight the fight

My sweet little friend... It's been a while since we last encountered, but you're on my mind a lot. You have been given the chance to start a new life, in a new town, on a new school and in a new apartment. You were looking forward to this new life and I thought the change would do you good.
The latest notes I read about you, say that you are still not happy. You feel lost. You feel alone and school hasn't been what you expected from it. It's hard and it takes a lot of studying. You are tired. You are fed up with all the crap you need to take from people you don't want to take crap from in the first place.
I feel you are sliding away again. You cry for help and you have the feeling nobody's listening to you. I hear you though. I know you need help. But then again, you refuse to be helped. It's so hard to read you or to find out what kind of help you exactly need.
I'm scared. Your actions scare me. I fear the day I will be notified that you didn't make it. Please, don't let things go that far. It's been enough. You have gone through so many ordeals. You need help, you really do. Stop fighting and surrender. I hope you will find the courage to get the help you need..

Friday, November 6, 2009

I know how you feel..

I know people sometimes say they know exactly how you feel. But I know how you feel, I really do. I wish I could be more of a help to you, but you know I can't fix your probs. And I know you're not asking me to do so. It hurts me though, to see you're in pain. I have known you for quite some time now and we have shared many good times together. I know about you and you know about me. Even the sad and unhappy stories. We share so many thoughts and we have a lot in common. I think about you a lot and I wish you all the best. Don't give up. You'll find your way out.

A men's thing

Men are hunters. Women are not. At least, women are not supposed to be hunting. For many many years, men hunted for women and they had mistresses and committing adultery was pretty common. It was not accepted, but then again, what could women do?

Nowadays, women have become hunters as well. Men are not happy with that at all. They feel threatened. They are losing it. For so many years, men had girlfriends on the side. They bragged about it to their mates. They were macho. They were "men".
Have you ever seen a man cry, because his wife had an affair? These things happen you know. And because men are not used to being cheated on, they have no idea how to cope with it. But still, if men cheat on their wives, many will say it's the fault of the wife. She wasn't good enough and she didn't please him sexually. But what happens when women have an affair? They are called sluts and nobody will support them. Their girlfriends will not say they are doing the right thing. They will lose their girlfriends.

It's a strange world. Men and women are supposed to be equal. But they are not. How could they be? Men have a gun. Women don't. Women are not supposed to be hunters. Maybe that's why they were not given a gun to begin with..

I'm glad to be a woman. I don't need a gun. I don't want to be a hunter. I'm just a woman. And I'm married.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dudes and chicks

What happened with boys and girls? Was something wrong with that? In any TV show, you will hear youngsters call their friends dudes and chicks. I think "dude" is kinda cool. "Chick" on the other hand, doesn't sound that respectful. To me, it sounds cheap and disrespectful and vulgar. If you call a girl a chick, it's like she has no meaning to you whatsoever. Like she's an airhead. Not of any importance. Someone you chew on and spit out afterwards. Not someone you would like to call your girlfriend.

Dude on the other hand is cool. Not that I would call hubby a "dude", just because he isn't one. Dudes are cool and wear baggy pants and hooded sweaters and they have at least two tattoos and probably stretchers in their ears. They shave their heads and are not afraid to experiment. That's what a dude's like to me.
But then again, my brother-in-law calls his little son: "dude" and I must admit: he looks like a dude. He's cool, but all the other "symptoms" don't go for him. He's just a great kid and I love to see him hang out with his daddy. I guess you could call both of them dudes. LOL.

A nice hot cup of cocoa

I could do with a nice hot cup of cocoa. Pure and dark chocolate, hot and steaming full fat milk, sweet, soft, tiny marshmallows, topped with a dollop of sugary double cream. A fluffy cushion by the fire place, a fascinating novel and my favorite blanky. The warm head of my sweet Rebba in my lap and the silent purring of cat Arthur on the other side of the couch. Wanna join me? Anyone? Okay, forget about the real chocolate and think pure cocoa. Let's skim the milk. The marshmallows will never happen either and the sugary double cream.. well.. I'm still in denial but at the same time, I'm dying for sugary double cream.. but then again: NO! I can still sit by the fire place, enjoying the cat and the dog and the exciting book though. Maybe the cocoa will taste different. But it will be made with love and it will be good for me. And with a little bit of imagination.. I'll get there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Calling 911

Last night I was rushed to the hospital. The special intervention team and the ambulance had their blue lights on in front of my house and there was a lot of commotion in the house. I had called my GP, because I had been experiencing lows (33 mg/dl - 53 mg/dl) for 2 hours, without being able to recover from it. My doctor advised me to go to the hospital. Hubby was at work and I was at home with the girls and a friend of our eldest daughter. I felt sick to my stomach, I was nauseous and had a pounding headache. I had a slurred speech and had difficulties concentrating. My children had already given me pure glucose to help me out, but it didn't get any better. So my GP told me to call the hospital for further treatment.
It wasn't easy for the paramedics to find me. We live in a small village, and there aren't that many streets. Seven streets have the same name though and they really had a hard time finding me. We saw blue lights flashing by, going the wrong way and back. But finally they got here...
My eldest daughter had warned her dad and had run over to the neighbors for help. All I could think of was: please, let the paramedics get here before I slide into a diabetic coma!!! I didn't want them to be traumatised by seeing their mommy go into a coma.. The youngest one was playing in her room and she had no idea what was going on downstairs. I asked my eldest not to scare her. Daddy was on his way home and the ambulance was here to help me out.
They rushed me into the emergency room (I didn't see any McDreamy though..), where I finally came to my senses. I threw up in the ambulance (sorry paramedics, but I couldn't help it) and some more in the hospital. They wanted to keep me there under surveillance and that was a good idea.
I'm really tired now. I want to catch up some sleep.
It's good to have neighbors who are willing to help out if you're in trouble.
It's a good thing that my children are capable of helping out if mom is not conscious enough to take care of herself.
It's a good thing hubby rushed home from work to stay with the children while I was in hospital.
It's a good thing to have paramedics to help you out..
My friends were so worried and I got too many phone calls. The paramedics in the hospital asked me to warn them when I was ready to take a rest. LOL.
And of course, there are my diabetic friends, whose support I embrace and cherish..

Thank you all, for being there for me.

My little pony

In Belgium, there's a tradition that all children look forward to: Saint-Nicholas. The holy man climbs roof tops, sitting on a horse, loaded with bags filled with toys and goodies. He and his helpers - the Black Peters - shove the presents down the chimney, for the children to find in the morning. But first, the children need to write a letter to Saint-Nicholas, telling him how good they have been and finishing it of with a wish list of presents. Around Saint-Nicholas' Day, our mailboxes are filled with commercials on toys and games. So the children cut out pictures of the things they like and stick them on their letter. Of course the letter needs to be sent to the holy man. It needs a stamp and of it goes.
Most children are really in to this tradition until the age of 8 or 9. It's a feast they celebrate in school as well. First the Black Peeters come to school, mostly secretly, throwing little cookies and tangerines in the class rooms. Some Black Peeters are a little naughty and cheeky. Those are the Peeters the children like best. Some Peeters carry a bag made out of sackcloth. Those bags are meant for the bad children.. They'd better behave if they do not want to end up in the bag!
Some parents tell Saint-Nicholas about the mischief of their children. You should see the look in the eyes of the kids when Saint-Nicholas - all dressed up - points them to their wrong behavior. Some kids are really scared and fear the Black Peeters and their sackcloth bags!
The night before the feast of Saint-Nicholas, children are supposed to put one of their shoes in front of the chimney. They should make a drawing for the holy man and leave some lumps of sugar and a fresh carrot for the horse . They may also put aside a can of beer for Black Peeter, but that's not obligatory.

It is a nice tradition. You can compare it to Santa Claus (the Dutch word for Saint-Nicholas is Sinterklaas - how similar that is to Santa Claus), but it's not the exact same thing. Some parts of Belgium celebrate Saint-Nicholas on November 11th. Other parts have him on December 6th. Either way, any child looks forward to having the holy man come through the chimney, leaving them with a bunch of presents.

I wonder if Saint-Nicholas will bring us some goodies this year...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I come with a package deal

When you met me, I had a past. You had your past too. Fifteen years later, we have a joint past. Each one of us comes with a package deal: take it or leave it. We have grown as parents and we are raising two wonderful girls. That is a one of a lifetime experience. Both of our children come with a package deal. Too bad neither one of us comes with a manual. Sometimes it's hard to read one another or understand what's going on in our minds. At some point, I don't even understand what's going on in my own mind. Then again, I'm an open book to most of you. I'm not that hard to comprehend if you take your time to listen to me. Communication is very important. Listening is even more important. I don't always want your advice or a solution. Sometimes I just want to be heard so I can find my own solution.
It would be nice though, if I could read you a little bit better. I would love to Google your manual and download it to read it whenever I get the chance. Because I still want to get to know you better. There's a big part of you I haven't seen yet. I hope one day, you will give me the key to read you.

My very own survival kit

I have my very own survival kit in the car. I know it's sitting under the driver's seat and it's a safe feeling to have it there. I need it in case of an emergency. I think of a fire in the house, an accident, an unexpected outing. Once in a while, I need to replace some items, but most of the time it's complete. So this is what I keep in my survival kit:

* glucose tablets and glucose gel
* blood glucose meter, strips and a pen and needles to poke my fingers
* catheters and reservoirs for my pump
* inserting device for the catheter
* band aids
* a pen and paper
* a couple of syringes
* prescriptions for my insulin (I can't store insulin in the car, because it needs to be cooled)
* a mini can of regular coke
* a battery for both my pump and my meter
* emergency phone numbers
* snacks

Monday, November 2, 2009


Live it, dream it, earn it!
How big you make it, is all about how far you take it. So many kids dream of having a dance career. They all join the same school in New York to live their dream. The new version of Fame is amusing and was a pleasure to watch. We went to see it with the kids in Terneuzen, Holland. The music was great! Think of Asher Book and Naruti Naughton: they are fab! Go see it yourself. You won't regret it. Fame is back! Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Over the rainbow

What a bird.. 13 yo Nora Foss al-Jabri from Norway has a very delicate voice. She's golden. Nowadays more and more young talent is being discovered thanks to mediums like You Tube. She was first discovered on Norske Talenter in 2008 and she's doing so well. Her version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is magnificent. My favorite song by Nora is Over the rainbow.. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

With a little help

My physical health hasn't been what it's supposed to be. Is it old age - LOL - or is it the hard work - LOL again - or is it just wear? I don't know, but it's not getting any easier. Our house is not the smallest house and it takes an effort to keep it clean. I'm normally pretty organised, but when it comes to cleaning, I can't stay focused. I start doing one chore and I continue to the next chore without finishing the first. That's why it's possible that I'm ironing while a bucket of soap water is still standing in the bathroom and the kitchen floor needs to be dried up. Some chores just don't get done, because I lack the energy and the physical well being. That's why we have hired someone to help out. She'll start November 9th and I'm looking forward to having her. It will be wonderful to come home in a clean house that smells of pine tree detergent and has a shiny floor to see your reflection in. I won't be in the house, because I don't want to give her the feeling I'm checking on her. But I will check on her once in a while. I'm a little suspicious, since our last helper has emptied our daughter's piggy bank twice. I hope this lady will be honest enough to be trustworthy.

The surrendered wife

Saying less is more, is the motto of men who like to boss their wives around. Women are supposed to be humble and willing and prepared to give up their lives to devote their time to their husbands. Of course the men wear the trousers in these households and they do not tolerate any form of discussion or criticism. They expect their wives to be personal slaves. By no means should these men do any chores around the house. The wife is supposed to thank her husband for picking out the clothes he wants her to wear that day. She should be more than willing to fill his bath tub after a long day at work. It's pretty obvious that he decides what she's going to cook for dinner or when she's supposed to go to bed. Need I say that these women should set their alarm clocks to be up in time to get his favorite breakfast up and ready for him? Obedient wives should be submissive and quiet and the helper of their husbands. It's normal for these women to receive orders from their spouse and they happily devote their time to them.

I don't think it's normal for any woman to be happy picking up the dirty socks he throws on the floor for her. How about respect for the other sex? Did I miss something? Are we going back in time? Have women fought all these years to deserve some respect, for nothing? I'm really surprised to hear that you can sign up for a "surrendered wife course". These courses teach you how to serve your husband and make his life wonderful (and yours miserable, but I guess they forget to tell you that part?). We have fought so long for men to understand NO when a woman says so. Are we really going back there? I just can't believe women are still willing to do so.

I'm sorry hubby, but I'm no Thai woman nor a surrendered wife. I'm never going to be one either. And to be honest? I don't think you would like me if I were..