Tuesday, August 31, 2010

As skinny as a rake

Not one of us will ever be as skinny as a rake, because we all love to eat and enjoy good food. Nothing wrong with that, right? Even better: why would we want to be skinny? We already have two whippets in the house..

Last night, we had our friends over for dinner and a good time. I enjoy cooking for them and it's always a challenge to prepare food to everyone's taste. Last night wasn't any different. There were several things to choose from. We started off with a Thai chicken soup with bean sprouts and lemon grass. That was comfort food to me.. I'm glad I can cook on my Range Cooker, because I really needed those 6 cookers. There were green beans with pancetta and mustard seeds, Bombay potatoes, Chinese noodles with mushrooms and cream, Malaysian Chicken Curry, Malaysian Coconut Shrimp, stir-fried zucchini/carrot/onions and Sesame Seed Steak Kebabs. And then we had a terrific dessert: egg yolk based liquor mousse. Very light and creamy. There weren't many leftovers and that's the way I like it! Dinner was low-carb. My blood sugars liked that very much! No spikes and not much insulin to bolus. But still a good dinner!

Le geek c'est chique

When we were  young, kids weren't fond of wearing braces. They were embarrassed and afraid to smile. That's a shame, because we could all have had beautiful dentures.

Our girls have wanted braces since they were in 6th grade. The oldest has been wearing hers for over one year now. She's doing so well, listening to the dentist and wearing the rubber bands on the braces as often as possible. She doesn't feel bad about it, because all of her peers wear braces too. They get to pick different colors, but mostly she picks black. Today she's seeing the dentist again, for another check-up. One more year to go. We hope.. And then it will be time for the youngest daughter to start wearing hers..

Monday, August 30, 2010

With or without you

Photo by Lana Joos
We are having a formal meeting with our friends tonight. Decisions have to be made. Something big is coming up. We're working on some project. It is truly exciting and very private at the same time. All 5 of us will be involved, hopefully. If not, it will be a little harder, but still doable.

Let's have another bite and something to drink, and then think things over. It is important to consider every scenario possible, before we make this step. It is everything I always wanted, but it's scary too. Don't forget it's long distance. You can't go there and fix things if you want to. But I'm glad there's at least one professional to convince and advise us. Let's hope things will work out the way we planned.

I can't believe it..

Our daughters are often invited to go to birthday parties of their school friends. So I drive them around town, sometimes even an hour drive away from home. I'm always amazed at the sizes of the houses those kids live in.. Wow.. This week I dropped the youngest one at her friend's house. What a wonderful home those people had. A heated outdoor pool with a fully furnished pool house (bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, changing rooms,..) was the eye catcher. Eva was so astound. She looked at me like: why don't we have a pool??? I think she has too many rich friends.. Or at least friends with more than wealthy parents. She frequents an old school in Bruges and apparently, many rich kids attend that same school. We are not poor, by any means. In fact, we do real well. But no, we don't have a pool nor a pool house. And no, we don't need three cars, two are plenty. Kids are so vulnerable. They see differences between families and they dream their dreams. If I ask them how they will accomplish their dreams, they say they'll marry a rich man.
We all need money to live. Living in the 21st century is expensive. People that say money can't buy happiness, probably have plenty. We all need money. Because we do want more out of life. It's more comfortable to live than to survive. Each one of us is used to a certain standard in life. Some are wealthy since birth, others climb up step by step by working hard and saving their money. And then you have the lucky ones, who win the lottery. Money can be a real pain too. Listen to people that are involved in nasty divorces. If they have money, the outcome is disastrous. Neither one wants to give up their luxurious lifestyle. And that's when the fight over money begins.
Knowing how to handle money is something we all need to learn. It starts at a very young age. You work weekends and holidays and for the rest of the year, you go to school. That's a good way to start saving for future dreams. At least, if you are lucky enough to get the money you saved.. Because not all parents are that honest.. In fact, some are real good at pretending you never saved any money.. Whatever.. dreams come true, not only in Disney movies.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


MENstruation, MENopauze, MENtal breakdown... ever noticed that most female problems begin with MEN? Men are lucky.. There aren't many typical male problems, like the problems women are facing. Think menstruation.. Just make the calculation. How about we take 13 years old as the starting period age? Let's say: for a 50 year period. Twelve times a year. Not a very appealing thought, is it? And then there's menopauze. More hassle. I hear menopauze is even worse than menstruation. Are women blessed with these two pfenoMENon because we're the only sex that can handle it? Perhaps so.

We all have mental breakdowns every now and then. Because there are so many things to deal with in such a short period of time. Even though men have come to their senses and try to help out more around the house, they are still mainly in charge of bringing home the paycheck (trust me, the paycheck is still important). Most of the household chores are still in women's hands. If men agree to help out, they sometimes hire help to do so: they ask their mom, they hire a cleaning lady or a nanny. And you know what? They are absolutely right! Women need to change this crazy superwoman ideal! They don't have to be everything and a whole lot more. They are women and that's plenty for a job! So ladies out there: don't wait for your husbands to hire help around the house. Find help yourself! You deserve it! It will keep you from having another mental breakdown..

Mary Janes

Maybe I should plan another trip to the local DIY store. My shoes need another cabinet for the other is way too crowded already. The other cabinet I made all by myself and it looks like a million dollars. I never found a decent cabinet that would hold all of my shoes. Pumps as well as boots, high heels or flip flops.
I have no problem giving away clothes, but I don't like to get rid of my shoes. Just the other day, when we came back from Oberhausen, my youngest daughter asked me to leave her my shoes after I died. In fact, I didn't have to wait that long, she said. She loves shoes, just the way I do. And you know what else she said? That she would buy shoes just for the look of it. There's not always a need to wear them. Some are so pretty that she would expose them in her bedroom. She's adorable..

In Oberhausen, Germany, I got myself a pair of petrol blue Mary Janes. They are comfortable. They may not be that elegant or feminine, but my feet like them. They match my jeans or white pants and I know I will wear them quite often. They are good shoes to wear when I have a long car ride ahead of me. My black and velvet sky high Nicky Vankets heels may be eye catchers and they may make my feet look dazzling, but I could never drive my car wearing them. So I guess I'll keep my Mary Janes in the car. Next to my Nicky Vankets's. Just in case.. A girl always has to be prepared for just about any occasion.. Always.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Zip it!

They are nagging back and forth like two little pacman characters. If one of them says "black" the other will say "white". There is no grey, there is no in between shade. Not for the moment. They have this particular age,  where normal communication between siblings is rather non existing. Sometimes they snap at each other for no reason. Thirteen is too young compared to fifteen. The gap between the ages is no more than two years, but still, it's too big a gap for the moment. They will grow closer once they get older. I know they will. It's just puberty.. monkey moments.


I'm disappointed. Just disappointed.. That's the only emotion I can come up with right now..

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm very sorry for your loss

Ratatouille - his last moments
I'm starting to feel sorry for Ratatouille. We have been bonding I guess.. In the early morning hours, Ratatouille ran back to his shelter in the kitchen. He must have hurt himself somehow, because several blood stains were to be found along his escape route. Did he get caught in the trap after all? Did he chew on a leg that was captured in the spiral ring? I don't know... but he's hurting. There's a bad, rotting smell in the house and I can't trace it.

We were advised to put several things on the rat traps: chocolate, peanut butter, bacon drippings, wet cat food. We've tried it all by now. You could say he's a spoiled (b)rat!

The man from Animal Pest Control came this morning. I expected some long bearded, heavy, smelly man (I know I know, prejudices..) but hey: a very good looking, well trimmed stud rang the doorbell. I showed him Ratatouilles picture and he confirmed it was a brown rat. He taught us that we'd better line up both traps. If he misses the first trap, he'll jump onto the second one. Like us, he doesn't want Ratatouille to die behind our cabinets. It would cause a horrible smell and a terrible mess. So he needs to come down. He left us with some more poison. I'm sorry Ratatouille, but you don't belong with us. You are going to see your ancestors real soon. I hope..

UPDATE: May Ratatouille rest in peace. He died in a ferocious fight.. I will keep the details to myself, but I can tell you there was a lot of screaming (from my part and yes I sat on top of the couch) involved as well as the rolling pin, pliers and a broom. There's a dent in my toaster and blood splatters on the back splash of my Range Cooker, but he's gone.. R.I.P.

Moments of stress

I know you must be stressing out right now. There's no need to. You'll be just fine. Have faith. Trust your doctor. He's doing whatever needs to be done and he'll come and tell you the good news as soon as you open your eyes. You won't have the time to blink, because he will have told you you are going to be just fine.. I'll light all the candles around the house for you. Because you have become important to me. I care..

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Tonight there's another parade in the town where our friends live. We're all invited to join them, so we can watch the parade together. The girls are really excited! They like our friends too and they are happy to join us for a change. They have been dying to see the house our friend has decorated. He's a great interior designer and he's so unique and creative that you can't but love him!

It's going to be a great night! We'll have a good time over a bite and a drink and in the end, we will all go outside to see the fireworks. And let's hope Ratatouille will have fled by the time we come home... He made the traps snap twice last night, but he managed to get away. He's hiding under the central heating in the dining room. Animal Pest Control is coming tomorrow.. They'd better catch him!

There's more to life

It's been a while, but I'm glad we're finally meeting up again. I have been looking forward to our date. I've cruised around Lier before, but I've never really explored the town. So I'm anxious to hear what you have planned for us.

You are a special lady. A beautiful appearance. Life hasn't been easy on you, but you manage well. Raising three children all by yourself is no sinecure. Of course all families have their ups and downs, but you keep going, despite some disillusions. I'm proud of you and I hope you are proud of you too!

We have several things in common. Diabetes is the reason why we met. In the meantime, we have become friends on several other levels. I'm so happy to see you every now and then. This time is no different!

In the evening, I'm having another outing with some more friends. Who said life is boring???

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Around lunch, my insulin pump let me know that the battery of my pump had died. The pump comes with one battery. The glucose meter aka remote control has three. Their life expectancy is approximately 4 weeks.
Take a look around your house, to see how many batteries you need in your different appliances. Quite a bit huh? Some are expensive and last longer than the cheaper ones. I can't use cheap batteries for my insulin pump, nor for my glucose meter. They require high quality batteries. I try to limit the sounds on the pump, so the batteries don't die that fast. But still, they run empty way too soon.

It would be good if the pump and meter would have a charger like cell phones do. It would save us a lot of money.

Reality kicked in

One more week.. The kids are starting school again in a little while. They complain and they whine about it, but deep down, I know they are glad. Both girls love to go to school although they say otherwise. But they are teenagers and that's what teenagers do: complain about just about everything!

Today we are going to pick up the books. Those books are so expensive, and they are rental books. We will make it a day out. Pay grandma a visit. The sun's out, so maybe we'll walk around town as well. We'll see..

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another whippet

Inthe and Rebba have a little brother... He doesn't have a name yet. He came as a total surprise to me. My friends got him for my birthday. That's really funny, because last year, we were in Sevenum, Holland, on our way to Oberhausen, when we ran into a lady with two whippets. That's where I kneeled to give the dogs a big cuddle. That's when I told my friends about my love for the breed. That's when they told me they were going to get one for my upcoming birthday. And that's when Hubby decided they couldn't get me one, since HE was going to buy one for me..

They must have remembered that and still, they know we already have two! But here he is: he's so slim and beautiful and his tan is almost silverish. He's all shiny and very quiet. I love him! He's sitting in the window sill, looking over our family room. We won't have to take him for walks. My new whippet is a wonderful statue..

Never, never, never give up

You decided to give up on cigars three months ago. I'm so proud of you! I know it's not easy. I can tell by the amount of chewing gum I'm buying to keep you busy.
Last week, we went away for two days with our friends. Three of them smoke. I was a little worried you might get tempted, and maybe you were, but you didn't give in. It would be a shame if you would start again. You don't talk about it - you are not the most talkative person - but I just know it's on your mind on some occasions. Like when we were driving to Germany and we were kinda lost.. You probably nearly died for a cigar! But you didn't get one.. So let me tell you once more: I'm proud of you for being so strong.

Monday, August 23, 2010


We named him Ratatouille, after the rat from the Ratatouille movie. With the only difference that ours is not cute and he doesn't cook.

He's still sitting there, in his private place behind the kitchen cabinets. Every now and then, a little dropping comes down. That's the proof Ratatouille is present. I want him out of here! Right now! I'm afraid to use my Lattissima, because it's sitting way too close to his shelter. I hope he will eat all of the poison and die, so he won't get killed in the trap. Just imagine him being caught in the trap without being dead??? He will scream, that's for sure, and I'm not prepared for that noise! And who will kill him if he's in the trap but not dead? Not me!!!

Let's hope Ratatouille decides this place is not as exciting as he thought it would be. He may have thought this house was rated 5 stars, but hey, he's wrong! No more food, no more drinks. No more All Inclusive! Move out!

There's a rat in the kitchen what am I gonna do?

There's a rat in the kitchen
This song crossed my mind instantly, when I saw this awful brown creature behind my Delonghi Lattissima!! AAaarrrgghhh!!!!

Last night, I was getting ready to go to bed, putting my empty glass on the counter top. That's when I saw this creepy creature crawl behind my coffee maker! SCREAM!!! Both whippets and tomcat were laying on the couch, dreaming their dreams. They didn't come to the rescue. That fat rodent really freaked me out! I ran upstairs to get Hubby. Not that he's a big fan of rats or mice.. With a broom in one hand and a blanket in the other, he was convinced he could catch the ugly beast. Good grief! It must have heard my heart pound! I took my camera to take its picture. It was looking right into the lens. Hubby ran off as soon as he spotted the rat. The only thing he could say was: that is definitely not a mouse! that thing is huge!!!!! Without exaggerating, it must have been 30 cm without the naked tail (that must have been around 15 cm I guess). Its little black eyes were staring at me as it was sitting down, stretched out, pointed ears in the neck and ready to attack!

Hubby threw the blanket over the beast - that's what he does when he needs to catch one of our chickens - but it didn't stay put, on the contrary. It ran up the back splash, into a little hole, back to its shelter behind my kitchen cabinets! Shoot! So now it's sitting up there again. I can't believe it has lived here for more than a couple of days, since we haven't found any droppings or urine stains. The back door is always open, so the whippets can go in and out whenever they want. Now I know who eats the cat food at night.. not Arthur..

This is not a job for Lisa Williams. I'd better call Animal Pest Control!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


In the early morning hours - around 4:45 AM - I heard a clattering noise in the kitchen. Without turning on any lights, I went to see what was going on. A flowerpot had fallen down from one of the top shelves in my kitchen cabinet above the sink. That was strange, because things do not fall down just like that, do they? It could not have been the cat, because there's no way he can climb on that top shelf. And then I heard this weird noise, coming out of one of the kitchen cabinets. Now that was creepy! Trust me! So I turned on the light. I didn't see anything unusual, besides the flower pot that had fallen down, but I could still hear the creepy noise, coming out of that cabinet. I carefully opened the door, to see nothing but coffee mugs and dinner plates.. The sound was louder when I opened that door. It was like something was hiding between the wall and the cabinet. I went to get Hubby, because I knew he wouldn't believe me if I told him later. He heard the same noise and he opened the next cabinet as well. We both stood there, listening to a sawing and tapping sound coming out of the cabinets. And then all of a sudden, the sound faded..

I told our oldest daughter about the weird sounds in the kitchen, and with eyes the size of saucers, she stared at me and said: that's exactly what I heard when the two of you were in Oberhausen!!!  She had also looked in the cabinets and just like us, the tapping and sawing sound freaked her out.. She didn't tell us because she thought we wouldn't believe her. We still don't know what the sound is, but I can tell you: it's not supposed to be there.. I think I'll check with the neighbors today. Their shed is right next to our kitchen wall. Maybe something is in that shed? Do you think I should call Lisa Williams?

To be continued..

The Belle of the ball

high heels..
You looked ravishing in your cream colored, strapless wedding gown.. You were very elegant and feminine and girly, but still very natural. You wore that dress like you had never worn anything else. It suited you perfectly well. Your husband was very handsome as well. A very nice couple, I must say. And the wedding was pretty original too. We loved the ceremony. You have very good friends, you know! They must have put a lot of work in it, to make that ceremony that special. I'm happy they did, because it was worth it.

What a different location you picked for the wedding party. We were invited on a boat to have dinner with you, your family and your friends. It was nice to get to know your other friends. You and your sisters look pretty much alike, although you are very different at the same time. Dinner was excellent and surprising too. Unique, like the two of you!

My friend and I came in little black dresses and super high heels! We had a great time! We chatted with your friends and danced to the music. We enjoyed a cool breeze on the deck of the boat, over a cold glass of wine. Thanks for having us.. have a wonderful honeymoon in the US! Hope to read about your adventures on your honeymoon blog!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just pop the question

Central Park, New York. Your best friend and partner surprised you with THE question every girl is waiting and wanting to hear: will you marry me... And of course you said: I will..

Today is your day. Today is the day it's going to happen. You have been looking forward to your wedding for many months now. I'm so happy you asked me to be there...! That is pretty special you know. I don't attend that many weddings, since I'm not that much of a party animal. But this time, I wouldn't want to miss it. In fact, I can't wait to see you and your husband!

I could bring a guest and my friend M is coming along. She's heard so much about you that she could be your friend as well. It'll be a wonderful day. A day to remember. Your special day.. Some more friends will join us later in the evening. Looking forward to that as well!

Congratulations K & G. You are a wonderful couple. I love you.

You are so vain!

Yes, I'm vain. This morning, I unpacked all the bags from Oberhausen. I can't believe I bought 5 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of pants, a dress shirt, a turquoise jacket, a leather jacket, a little black dress, a black and red jacket, a purse, a necklace and a a bracelet.. Was that too much? Probably.. Do I feel guilty? No, not one bit. I truly enjoyed my birthday and it was fun to try on several outfits. I had a little fashion show for the girls and they loved the things I bought. Our youngest daughter asked if she could have my shoes when her feet will have grown into my size. We'll see about that.. Some heels are so high, I feel way taller wearing them. I have no idea if I'll be able to walk on them. Maybe I'll tip over!!! We'll see. I'll stack some spare shoes in my car. Just in case..

Friday, August 20, 2010

You can reach me

The girls didn't join us on our trip to Germany. Both of them stayed home with the pets. This was mommy and daddy's time. They don't mind, since we take them along quite often. They have travelled along to many different countries: the US, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Tenerife,.. So every now and then, we go abroad without the kids and they have some parent free days. They know how to reach us and they have no problem cooking their own meals. They know we always bring them treats: shiny earrings, some cool T-shirts or whatever they fancy at the time. They are happy with whatever we bring them.

Of course I missed them, what did you think? It's great to take the kids abroad, but every now and then, I need some grown up time with the friends, without the children. After all, they are no toddlers any more and they no longer need a nanny. I'm sure they will be happy to see us come home and I'll cuddle them way too long. And then things will go back to normal. Just like it's always been..

It's just a symptom

August 20th. I'm having my 39th birthday today. For many years, I have celebrated my birthday abroad, with Hubby and our friends. That's the way I like it! I like to have a good time on my birthday. In my youth, I haven't had much fun birthdays, and maybe that's why I have always wanted that day to pass quickly. But not any more. For the last 10 something years, I have really celebrated that special day. And why not? After all, it's a great opportunity to celebrate life. The first happy birthday I remember, is the first birthday I celebrated in the States. In Portland, Oregon, to be exact. For the first time, I really had a birthday party just for me! With loads of cards and presents and beloved ones around me! The following year, I celebrated my birthday in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Another birthday to remember! My American host family threw a wonderful birthday party for me and they invited my at the time boyfriend and my friends who were also working as au pairs. Nothing could go wrong from then on.

I still find it pretty special to celebrate my birthday abroad. Being around people you cherish, in a pleasant place, with nothing but good memories. Yes, I'm a very lucky girl. And I'm having a ball!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Enhancing your appearance

We are in Oberhausen, Germany. Our good friends invited us for a shopping spree in the largest shopping mall of Germany. We've been here before and we kinda knew what to expect. That's what I was looking forward to. Although I have had a hectic week, I was really looking forward to these days. How does my daughter call it? Chillax? That's exactly what we are going to do. Besides shopping and going out to breakfast, lunch and dinner. And enjoy each other's company of course.. I hope to find a real nice outfit, since I'm attending a wedding this Saturday!

Get ready for the tabloids!

Last month, a professional photographer came to our town to make a photoshoot of me. I'm not really fond of having my picture taken, but this time was different. I felt real good about it and there was some bonding between the photographer and me. She sent me the first shots this week and I get to pick three for free. I am so happy with the result! I can't believe it's me in the pictures! I'm not sure yet which pictures I'm going to pick, but I guess I'll order more than three. It will be a nice memory and maybe it's time to make another album.. The pictures will be used for an article in a diabetes magazine next month. I'm really looking forward to that and I hope many people will enjoy the article.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feeding the friendship

Keeping in touch with the friends is important. Without getting an update every now and then, you loose track of each other. It takes time and organization, but in the end it pays off, because of the energy you get from meeting up with your friends.

Some of my friends have real hectic days, busy with work and stuff. So there isn't much time for outings with them. Most of them have partners or children or both. A lot of people to reckon with. I'm so happy Hubby gives me the opportunity to keep up with my friends. I really need that contact. My friends are part of my life, part of who I am. Of course I have my hands full with my own family and kids. But the kids grow up and we grow older and one day - when the teeny fingerprints on the wallpaper will have faded - the kids will have left the house and we'll have too much spare time. Thanks to my friends, I will always have people to hang out with!

Getting pampered

I wish you a very happy birthday! You and your friends have taken the children on an outing for the weekend. You haven't been dating that long, but the two of you get along real well. I'm so glad you are happy again! Your children and your friend get along just fine too. And that's important.

I hope this year will be better than last year. You have been through a real turmoil. Things will improve from now on. You are optimistic and your children love you deeply. Don't worry: you're doing great!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Queen of Spam

Yesterday, my friends on our diabetesforum opened a topic for me. They call me the Queen of Spam, since I have written 20.000 posts in nearly 3 years. To me it's not really an effort, because the forum is very dear to me. It is important to get to know other people with D. We learn from one another and we try to help out wherever we can. I have met quite some forum members by now and with some I have a more intense contact. Distance is not a problem (trust me, Belgium isn't that large): we meet every now and then. Even with the members from Holland.

Sometimes I wonder how many more topics I can start on diabetes. But you know what? It's not been a problem yet. I frequent other websites as well and I read online articles on diabetes. I listen to peers with D and to my medical team. So there's always plenty of information. It would be selfish to keep all of that information to myself. Not all members have that much time, so it's good to have one place where they can check it all and stay up to date.

I plan on posting many more topics. What if one day diabetes will be cured? Would that mean we would no longer have our favorite diabetesforum?

Quality time

Hubby is taking the girls and his godson to an amusement park today. The little guy was really looking forward to that. Looking at the several rollercoasters on the website of the park, he was daring his godfather to try out the most scary rides! He knows his godfather is afraid of heights and he believes that's just ridiculous. I'm curious.. maybe neither one will do all the rides..

I'm sure they'll have a blast! I'm staying at home. A full day in an amusement park and the shaking back and forth on the rides is not really the best thing to do after surgery, is it? My day will come.. The plan was to pay my mother-in-law a visit. But last night, my friend let me know they had returned from Poland, unexpectedly! I'm so happy she's home again! So sorry grandma, I'll go see my friend today!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A luscious lady

Nigella Lawson is a pretty special lady. Raising her children by herself, after her beloved husband died, she's doing a really good job. She's so sophisticated and refined and still, she gives you that comfortable feeling that she could become your new best friend..
Have you seen her figure?? She's a walking hour glass and it suits her real well. She's so feminine and proud of her curves. Do you think she would have complexes as well about her body like everybody else?

I love to watch her shows and her way of cooking. Her food is everything one could hope for, and more. The sizzling of olive oil in a steaming hot pan, I can almost smell whatever she's preparing. Her recipes are so easy, tasty and honest, that you wish you could stop by, have a seat at her table and dig in. She gives you the feeling she wouldn't mind you paying her a visit. She's the proof that good food doesn't have to be that fancy. Good ingredients, some inspiration and enthusiasm will take you where you need to be: experimenting in your kitchen!

Cooking Camp

Hubby's godson is coming over for 3 days. He's subscribed for Cooking Camp with his auntie. At least that's how he calls it! He loved to cook and help out in the kitchen. I have no idea whatsoever about the meals we are going to cook. It's possible we're going to bake some Challah bread. We'll see what he's in for..

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Take your time

Yesterday, my friend from Limburg drove all the way up here, so we could go visit another friend together. As I have said before, just like us, he's been diagnosed with D. But he was also diagnosed with cancer, some 3 years ago. We had no idea what to expect, since we hadn't seen him for a while. But to our surprise, he looked great! He wasn't that swollen any more and his memory was better than the other times we visited him. As always, his wife welcomed us with coffee and cake (no sugar added). She's such a sweetheart.. We were happy to see their new puppy.. Well... puppy.. he was humongous!
It was great to see Mr en Mrs P. He kept saying we couldn't go home yet, although we knew our visit must have worn him out. After all, cancer is not a cough.. But we'll be back buddy, don't worry!

In the evening, my friend and I went out to dinner. It took us some time to find a restaurant (it was weekend after all and we had not made any reservations), but we made a great choice! De Steenen Haene is an exquisite restaurant. Great service, excellent menu, unique interior. My friend and I chatted all night over a wonderful dinner we truly enjoyed. I would love to take my family there one day. I'm sure they would enjoy the scenery and the food as much as we did. One starter I would like to copy at home: a portion of hand peeled shrimp, a brunoise of avocado and finely shredded lettuce. Great seasoning with a nice zing to it. Very tasty! The restaurant serves homemade farmer's pate and I'm sorry I didn't buy some to take him with me. I'm sure Hubby would have liked that, with some mustard on the side, pickled onions and gerkins. It was a busy day and we drove quite some miles, but it has been worth it..

An Oh my Gosh moment

Six more days until you and your "sheep" are getting married.. I'm nervous for you. I know I shouldn't be, because the two of you go together like salt and pepper, so there's no need to worry. For the first time, I'm looking forward to attend someone's wedding. Really! I'm anxious to see you!

You and your fiancé are still looking into writing your wedding vows. Wow.. I'm impressed. You have really thought things over and you are serious about it. Pretty soon you are going to be Mrs instead of Miss. How about that? Strange huh? But you'll get used to it real fast. I wonder if you will remain your maiden name or present yourself as Mrs Husband's name.. ? That feels special. At least, that's how I feel it.

It's like getting an upgrade. You will become members of a different group of people: the wedded ones. So many people around us get divorced and still, the two of you have decided to give it a shot and go for it. And I must say: I admire you for that! You are best friends with your partner and you love each other deeply. You communicate well and you spend a lot of time together. Communication is so important and so is the humor in your relationship. I know the two of you have a great time, cooking side by side or telling each other anecdotes. That's a very good base for a lifelong marriage.. I'm happy for you xx

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The significant other

Rebba ° June 23, 2006
Photo by Lana Joos
Hi sweetie!

Almost one year ago, we went to get you in Holland. I fell in love with you instantly. For so many years, I had longed for a whippet of my own. And there you were, waiting for us. Ready to come home.. You were sitting in my lap in the car and you weighed a ton. You had no idea what to expect from your new family and we didn't know what life with you would be like. 

We got acquainted real fast and you behaved real well. We gave you a new name and you didn't mind at all. Your new name - Rebba - fitted you like a glove and you responded so well whenever we called you. Whistling is effective too. In a sec you stand by our side. 

In the beginning you were a little afraid to go for a walk. New surroundings, new people, new smells, new everything. But again: you are easy going.

Just three months later, we decided we wanted you to have a playmate. That's when we started to talk about getting a puppy. You were 3 when we got you. You were potty trained and friendly and accustomed to people. Was getting a puppy the right thing? 

You must have thought you were expecting puppies. You cried and made nests and you told us you wanted to have a family of your own. That's when we decided we really wanted that puppy. Inthe is a great companion for you. Every now and then, you frown your eyebrows when she's ditching the place, but you completely fell in love with her. You probably see her as your baby.. You teach her things, you scold her when she doesn't behave and you play along. The two of you race around in the backyard and you love to go out for a walk together. You have become so attached to Inthe, that you are in sheer panic when we try to take Inthe or you some place without the other. So we don't. 

I wouldn't know what to do if you weren't here anymore. You and Inthe have become members of the family. Even the in-laws love you and they always ask for you to come along on Sundays. That's why I hope we will be given many more years with you and your little playmate..

Go Greek

A friend of mine is a huge Greece fanatic. She loves the place, the food, the people, the language.. If she had the opportunity, she would move to Greece and spend her days roaming around the islands, go for long walks, bicycle rides, do some diving and enjoy the Greek food.

She's coming over today and we're going to have lunch together. I planned a Greek lunch for the two of us. Tzatziki, Greek Farmer's bread (home baked) sprinkled with oregano she brought me from Greece, Greek salad of lettuce, red onion, olives, hard boiled eggs. There will be a side dish of fresh green beans and tomatoes and some oven dried cherry tomatoes. Maybe some smoked salmon on the side, although I'm pretty sure that's not Greek..

In the afternoon, we're going to drive some more to visit another friend, who lives an hour and a half away. He's a very courageous man, although he is very ill. We have visited him before. Just like us, he has been "blessed" with D. All his life, he has tried to live as healthy as possible. That's why it came as a real shock to him and his beloved ones, that cancer ruined his body. He's still amongst us and we are very grateful for that. He's a terrific person and he has so much wisdom. I'm ready to go give him and his lovely wife a warm hug..

Friday, August 13, 2010


Don't you all love antipasti? There are so many different little treats to spoil yourself with, that I don't know what to discuss first. Maybe I should start with the latest tapas I bought? That was tomato caviar... and that was pretty exciting to eat! They are mini cherry tomatoes, the size of small pickled onions. They taste so sweet (they are not sweetened with sugar by the way!) and tender and juicy. There's a red and a yellow tomato caviar and either one is fabulous. I mixed them in a bowl with bite size mozzarella marbles, put some garlic pepper on top and added some freshly shredded basil leaves. What a great snack! Forget about crisps, drop the popcorn ad throw out the candy bars. This is what you were looking for!

I'm looking forward to more tapas by this brand. There are stuffed apricots I would love to try, sundried tomatoes and so many more products. Enrico distributes these great and honest products. They are located in Holland. I'm so happy to live that close to the border, so I can get my treats whenever I want. Check out the site! I'm sure you'll love their tapas too!

Loading up on carbs

I used to be a big carbohydrate lover. Bread, baked potatoes, rice, pasta, cookies, cake.. I believe too many carbs are not meant for humans. Diabetes has become epidemic.. Is it strange if you see how many carbs people have been eating in the last, say 50, years? In the old days, people had more meat and fat than carbs and there was less diabetes.

Since I've been diagnosed with D, my body no longer likes carbs. In fact, it resents carbs now. My body lets me know, by raising my blood glucose levels. I should've listened to my body way sooner. My pancreas couldn't cope any longer.. Is that why it gave up? No longer producing insulin? Did it teach me to eat less carbs?

My daily intake nowadays is around 60 gr of carbs. That's a whole lot less than what my dietician wanted me to have in the first place. She talked 220 gr of carbs.. way too much for me. My blood glucose is much nicer for me now, showing less rollercoaster moments. This is exactly what I was looking for..

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm going down!

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my surgeon for a first check-up. He was real happy with my results so far and I couldn't but agree with him. I gave him a bottle of excellent wine for the good work he delivered. He changed my life and he's a very good surgeon. I haven't felt this good in such a long time. The scars are healing well and the overall feeling is .. well.. how should I phrase it? Ecstatic? Would that be the right word?

I had my blood work done as well. This morning, my diabetes nurse called me. She was as anxious as I was to see the results. She's a doll! One could have cut the tension with a knife!!! She asked me if I already knew my new HbA1c (the average blood glucose of the past 6 weeks). No! but I was pretty sure she was about to tell me??? And she did! She cheered for me and I yelled HURRAY! My numbers have dropped from 7.7% to 7% and that's a big achievement over such a short period of time. I'm so thrilled! I hope to end up in the 6% area by the next blood work appointment.

I'll keep up the hard work since it is paying off. I'M PROUD OF MYSELF!!! I'm rediscovering the person I used to be.. only a better version.

Ladies only

The girls and I had this plan, to take grandma to the movies in September. It must have been ages since she last went to the cinema although she always loved to do that. Every month, there's a special ladies only night at the movie theatre. And then we said: hey, why not invite all the aunties of the family? So the sisters-in-law are joining us as well! Meaning there will be a group of 7 wonderful ladies to have a great night out!

Grandma is not supposed to know about the event of the night. She knows we are going to pick her up to go some place, but she has no idea we'll go out for dinner and see a movie afterwards. Very exciting! We told her we were going to have a great time at some wellness centre.. LOL

I hope the photographer present will take our picture. It will be a memorable picture of all the girls in the family on their first night out together. Our youngest daughter will be in boarding school at the time, but I'm sure the principal will let us pick her up. The night wouldn't be complete without her..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Follow the leader

I don't know who the leader in our household is, but most all of our pets have tried to escape by now. First we lost Arthur, our tomcat. He had been kidnapped by a neighbor - cat hater. We didn't retrieve him til like 7.5 weeks after he was abducted. Then Rebba the whippet fled and ran on the highway for 2 hours. Little Inthe tried to escape her dog run last month, but she got stuck in between the bars.

A couple of weeks ago, one of our three turtles disappeared from his habitat. It was too hot out there for him to survive without any water. We never thought we would find his new shelter. But there he was: sitting on the banks of the neighbor's pond. I guess he preferred a room with a view.. He's back home now. Do you think Hubby should start building a new territory for the turtles now??

The love for your child

Not every mother loves her child, but once she's loved it, that love is eternal. There's nothing more wonderful and no better feeling in the world than when your child comes up to you and says: I love you mommy.. can I have a hug?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Latte Macchiato anyone?

This morning, a special delivery was made at our house. My early birthday present!!! I was so excited to see what hubby and the girls got me for my upcoming birthday. They must have checked the wish list on my blog, because they got it just right!

The Nespresso Lattissima is sitting on the kitchen counter and I have enjoyed my first Latte Macchiato. That was awesome! It's just incredible how a coffee maker of this size can make the most delicious latte. You have 4 choices: espresso, lungo (regular), latte macchiato or cappuccino. The milk foam is frothy and creamy, just the way I like it! It's magic how the coffee drips into the foam of milk and separates the drink into different colors.

I immediately made an order for Nespresso cups. I don't drink that much coffee and mostly it's decaf, but trust me: I will make quite some cappuccinos and lattes! I ordered some prepacked chocolates as well. Because a Latte Macchiato deserves good chocolate to accompany the drink.

I wonder if I could make a frappuccino as well.. I sure found some great recipes on the website!

The perfect manicure

Your nails are way too long. You do run quite a bit and you take walks on the sidewalk, so I don't understand how your nails can grow that fast in such a short time. I'm taking you to the vet this afternoon, to have them clipped again. You hate it when they clip your nails. I can't do it myself, because you are just so terrified! The Dutch dog parents who took care of you for over more than a year, are very good at clipping your nails. They are used to it, since they have so many whippets and Italian greyhounds. I bought the nail clipper - in fact I bought several - but none of them does the job. Your nails are really hard and I'm afraid to hurt you..

I just told you about your appointment with the vet and you are shaking all over. Sweet Rebba girl.. don't be so afraid. You'll look much better with short nails and they won't bother you anymore.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Life is too short

to stress yourself with people who don't even deserve to be an issue in your life.

I used to be friendly to whomever I met. That was not always a good thing. Being naive in friendships can be dangerous. For that reason, I have deleted some people from my life. I don't want to hang out with negative people. People who don't want you to be happy. People who thrive when you are not feeling well. People who take advantage of your goodness and only want to know you when they need something from you. It took me some time to realize, that you don't have to be nice to everyone. Because the world isn't always a friendly place and neither are its citizens.

A friend gave me an amulet. It says: friends are the family you get to choose. I believe that is a very good saying. Because after all, we don't get to choose what family we are born in, do we? But we do have the choice to pick our own friends and yes, some friends become our new family. That's just how life goes.

I always told myself I was not going to grow older than 50. That would mean I have 11 more years to go. I think I'll reconsider that thought.. although it was not that bad a thought to begin with. If you truly believe you will die at the age of 50, you will live your life to the fullest. You'll make sure you will not regret your stay on this Earth, even if it's a short stay. But then, every year you live longer, is a gift. It's always going to be a bonus, something extra. I liked that thought! So yes, life is too short if you think you are going to die somewhere soon. But you can broaden your horizon and use your energy to do the things you like to do the most. Hang out with the people you truly care about. And enjoy every minute of our short stay on our planet..

Fighting the extra pounds

A couple of friends are looking into following a diet written by Dr Frank, a Dutchman. It's nothing controversial, but it's definitely healthier than Atkins's diet. Dr Frank suggests a low-carb/high protein diet (no more than 30 grams of carbs per day). Lean protein, not the fatter products. No legumes and just every once in a while a piece of fruit. Having more protein means you will not loose your muscles and your tummy will not starve on this diet. Because the protein gives you a fuller feeling and it stays that way for a longer time. You won't go hungry on this type of diet.

The diet itself is pretty good and there are many good recipes to experiment with. The only thing I question, is that your body is deprived from whole carb products that are good for you. Diabetics are not even supposed to live up to this diet, because the high protein content could damage their kidneys. Then how come that's not the case for non-diabetics?

If you are a true carbohydrate lover (speaking bread/potatoes/pasta/rice/fruit/crisps/chips/legumes/cake and cookies..) this will probably not be the best diet for you. It's supposed to be a new lifestyle, not a life behind bars. I never minded having a juicy steak with a salad and skip on the chips. Or a nice piece of grilled fish with roasted red peppers without the rice. The thing is, we do need our carbs. At least 60 grams per day. Because our brain needs those carbs to function well. And let me assure you: 60 grams of carbs is still a whole lot less than what most people are having. I believe that the majority lives on a diet of > 300 grams of carbs per day! So maybe a diet between 60 - 120 grams of carbs might work as well?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Push it

I plead guilty.. I want things done my way, because I'm a perfectionist and that way I'm sure the result will satisfy me completely. In whatever I do, I want to give myself 200%. I won't go for anything less. Some people say I need to relax and take it easy. Cut back on the perfectionism. It's hard, but I'm trying. I'm trying for the full 200%..

I have a wonderful diabetes nurse. She's a good motivator and mentor and I believe she's a perfectionist as well. Maybe that's one part of why I like her so much? I like it when people give themselves completely to reach their goals. When I frequented the other hospital in Antwerp, my doctor asked my what my goal in blood glucose control was. I told him I wanted an average blood glucose of 95 mg/dl. He lowered his glasses a little, looked me in the eye and said: pardon me? Are you a little perfectionistic? I told him it was my goal, not my average. At least not at that time. LOL. A couple of months later, he lowered that goal to 80 mg/dl.. Go fish..

My diabetes nurse, Mrs N is different in many ways. She can push me. I can take it. I like the way she talks to me and the motivation behind it. We try to compromise and my BG has never been this good. I'm very grateful for her advise and help. She tells me to chill when she feels I'm loosing the pedals. But at the same time, she stimulates me to do the best I can. See, perfectionism isn't that bad after all, is it? In the end, I will benefit from it. And so will my health..

An appetite for life

My appetite for life is never ending. Life's good. There are so many horizons to explore, so many fun things to do. There's a reason I don't like to watch the news. So many sad things happening in the world. Newborns get killed by their moms, people commit suicide like never before, road accidents have become warp and weft. One should become depressed listening to all this bad news..

I'm not blind to whatever happens in the world, but I prefer to focus on the good side of life. I don't want to survive, I want to live! Because life is worth living. Because life on this planet is so short. Happiness is to be found in little things. In this century, everything has to be bigger and more expensive and more exclusive. That manner prohibits us from appreciating the ordinary things in life. A freshly toasted English muffin, a good song on the radio, a pale sunbeam peaking through the curtains, the warm body of a whippet next to yours.. Life's good. Really. If only you would try to recognize it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Like a kid in a sweet shop

I love cookery shops!!! They sell great stuff and I'm always on the look out for new kitchen appliances.
Last year, we bought an authentic tagine in Morocco. It looked decorative on the windowsill in our living area. But it was also great for cooking the most wonderful dishes. The last time I used it, was to prepare a delightful chicken - peach dish with cinnamon, ginger, coriander and a pinch of saffron. Unfortunately the heat of my gas stove cracked the bottom of the tagine. There was a small crack in it, when we bought it. I never thought I would use it that often.

So I'm trying to spot a new tagine. I hear Ikea sells them with a non-stick coating. I'm not too sure that's what I want, because it appears kinda fake to me. Emile Henry has great tagines in his collection as well. There are two cookery shops in Bruges I like to visit as well, and I've seen their tagines before. They were just so expensive..
Maybe I just need to wait for another foreign trip to get myself a new one.. My cracked one is still sitting in the windowsill, surrounded by some smaller versions..

Your turn

We met only last month, but we have a lot in common. Yesterday, I visited you in the hospital, right before you went in to have your surgery done. You were anxious and scared and frustrated, because the operation date had been delayed, again. Your blood sugars weren't too happy with the whole situation. I hope the visit calmed you down a little, so you could have the surgery in peace.

I hope everything went well. I won't call you until late this afternoon. You need to relax now and take your time and be with your family. Hang in there, will you? Everything will be okay..

Friday, August 6, 2010

Foreign cuisine

My bookshelves are packed with cook books. I guess I like to collect them and quite often, I look for new recipes to experiment with. Whenever we go overseas, I like to buy a cook book from the countries we visit. It's great fun to try to imitate the dishes you had whilst on vacation. Moroccan Pastilla for instance. The children absolutely love this dish. It's a savory tart, made of phyllo pastry and filled with shredded chicken and blanched almonds. The combination of spices like cinnamon, saffron and coriander give it that typical Moroccan taste. It's an easy to make dish and it's so delicious. I've made it for the in-laws some time ago, and the Pastilla was gone in a flash. That speaks for itself, I guess..

Our youngest likes Japanese food. We have made sushi before, but we are not by far handy as Japanese cooks. Those are true artists, shaping their sushi and sashimi like they've never done anything else. Asia is not particularly a place I would like to visit though. But lunch at a Japanese sushi bar does sound appealing to me. If it weren't for the extremely high carb content of the sushi..

Ciao Bella!

Some people are so not romantic.. We had a great time watching the movie "Letters to Juliet". It was just so romantic.. The girls loved it! I wonder what kind of man they will encounter to share their life with. The oldest daughter is pretty fond of the Southern type: dark hair, dark eyes, tanned skin. I'm not sure yet what type the youngest fancies. But both of them would love to have a partner who respects them and who they can have fun with. I could imagine our first born with an Italian man. That would definitely be her piece of cake. After all, Italians are romantics, they are not cold as fish. They may be a little too romantic, if you know what I mean.

Although Romeo and Juliet was not written by an Italian writer, it's still a great love story. If Shakespeare had been Italian, his name would have sounded more like Williamo Shakespirelli I guess!

After having seen the movie, both girls want to make a summer trip to Italy. They want to see the wall in Verona, where loved ones post letters to be answered by the secretaries of Juliet. They would like to rent an Italian car and visit several Italian cities. Sounds interesting, to say the least. You never know.. they might run into a Lorenzo, Pablo or Davide.. and loose their heart in Italy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Put your hands up!

I'm no dancer! Absolutely not.. I love to watch other people dancing, especially if they are professional dancers or if I can tell they are having a great time on the dance floor. Dance temples are not my place to go. I get cranky and annoyed and the music cannot charm me at all. I have no idea whether our girls will visit dance temples, we'll see. I won't keep them from going though. They can enjoy themselves as much as they please. It's just not me, that's all.

Counting Carbs

Counting carbs is part of a good diabetes regulation. In the States people with diabetes have been counting carbs for decades. Not all Belgians are familiar with carb counting, although it's not that difficult. And it's a great way to estimate your daily carb intake.

The easiest way to count carbs is to read labels. You check the amount of carbs in 100 gr of the product you purchased. Determine the amount of the product you will eat (use your scale!). Say you'll eat 30 gr of a product that contains 76 gr of carbs. Using the rule of three, this is how you count the carb content of your meal:

100 gr of this product = 76 gr of carbs
1 gr of this product = 0.76 gr of carbs
30 gr of this product = 22.8 gr of carbs (you can make that 30)

So your meal consists of 23 gr of carbs. Easy right?

It's trickier if no information of carb content on the package is available or if there is no package at all. That's where a Food Database comes in handy. You can purchase one in a bookstore, but there are also Food Databases online you can use for free. I have a friend who made a Food Database available on the cell phone. No need to go online. You download the Database and then it's always available on your mobile phone. It comes in different languages and it's really handy.

You will still need a scale. Track down the product in the Food Database. Let's say a product contains 58 gr of carbs. Put the product on the scale, to check the weight.  Use the same rule to find out what the carb content of your meal is.

100 gr of this product = 58 gr of carbs
1 gr of this product = 0.58 gr of carbs
65 gr of this product = 37.7 gr of carbs (38)

Some labels also specify the amount of carbs per portion. That's even better! No calculating, no need for a scale. As long as you stick to one portion or a derivative from that portion.

I would say: give it a try. Go for it. Get to know the carb contents of the foods you regularly eat. It's not as hard as you think. It'll help you find out what type of food you can have and what products you'd better avoid. And it will help you get better control.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This is my life

You started smoking as a child. That's what people did in your days, that's just how it was and there were no statistics on the consequences of nicotine. You're a whole lot older now. Your wife got diagnosed with breast cancer, but she conquered this horrible condition. You were so happy that she was going to be with you for many more years. Many people asked you to give up on smoking, but you couldn't be convinced. It was your life and nobody - not even the doctors - could keep you away from cigarettes.

You are very ill now. This machine filled with oxygen is helping you breathe, because breathing on your own has become too hard. Your lungs are sick. Really sick.. You said: if only I had known.. if someone would have told me, I would have stopped smoking many years ago.. You hate the life you are leading now. Depending on a bottle of oxygen to feed you the air you desperately need. It's heartbreaking to see you in a wheel chair, because walking has become too strenuous for you. Your wife is homebound as well, because you're afraid to be left alone. Afraid you will run out of oxygen and die a horrible death. So she copes and she takes care of you and you wine and you moan and you feel terribly sorry for yourself.

It's devastating to see you struggle. The tubes in your nose tell the world you're not healthy any more. The horrible sound your breath makes after you tried to walk two steps.. The sweat dripping down from your forehead, when you grasp for air. I can't say it's your fault. You should've known better, but what's the use telling you... you know.. you know..

Intruding my personal space

I'm a physical person. Hugging and kissing is part of who I am. What I don't like though, is people intruding my personal space. During my au pair year in the States, all of us girls were taking Self defence classes, to protect ourselves from unwanted individuals. One day we practised on how to protect our personal space. I had never thought about that before, although I knew I didn't particularly like some people to come that close to me. This was about physical closeness. You know, when someone stands too close to you or touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. The teacher told us it was okay to tell that person to step back and not touch you in that manner. Us Belgians are not used to saying anything like that, because we might offend the other. Isn't that silly?? Because they do offend us by intruding our space..

Physically intruding one's space is one thing, mentally intruding that space is something else. That might even feel like a threat. You no longer feel safe in your own environment, because there's always someone watching over your shoulder. It makes you feel awkward and you become a suspicious personality. It must be horrible to live your life followed by a shadow you don't want to be there. Some people have no idea how their filtering into your life feels threatening. You could say they should know better, but some people just aren't smart enough to get the message..

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eat with your eyes

Isn't she adorable?
Photo by Eva Joos
You love to spend time in the kitchen. I had to run errands and I asked you to make bread pudding from the leftover bread. That was not a problem for you. You know where to find the ingredients and how to read a recipe. The oven has no secrets anymore and the dishwasher helps you cleaning up.

You made the best bread pudding I ever tasted! And guess what you did? You made pictures while you were baking. Every step in the recipe was captured on film. That was hilarious! You rock kiddo!

I guess I'm gonna have another piece of bread pudding right now!

Wait and see

I made reservations for myself and the girls, to spend a wonderful time at ladies@themovies in Bruges. It is meant as a surprise for them, because they helped out so much since I left the hospital. They are good girls and they did the best they could to be helpful. So they deserve a treat.

We are going to watch "Letters to Juliet", a romantic love story - Romeo & Juliet style. I'm really looking forward to going out with the girls for a change. It's been ages since we last went to the cinema so I guess they will love it too. And because it's ladies@themovies, we'll be treated like VIPS with a reception and goodies. I got great seats! We'll probably have dinner in Bruges before the movie, so it'll be a whole day treat. Perhaps they would like to do some shopping in Bruges beforehand?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Once upon a time

Seven years ago, I made a photo album for my father-in-law. It must have been shortly after his father died, that I decided to gather all the old pictures his father left him. It took me a while to figure out who everybody in the pictures was, but my mother-in-law was there to help me out. It was a lot of work to make the album, but I was very proud of it and my father-in-law was touched.. It had pictures of him as a toddler. There were pictures of him growing up as a single child and of the time where he met my mother-in-law. Their wedding pictures are in the album, as well as pictures of all five of their children.

Of course there are pictures of the grandchildren as well. There were eight at the time I made the album. There are nine by now. Each grandchild has its own page in the album with childhood pictures. This weekend, grandpa had to find the album, because the grandchildren wanted to take a look at the pictures (once more). They love strolling through old photos! And we had a great time as well!!! There are wedding pictures of the children and birth pictures of the grandchildren. It is striking how well the grandchildren look after their parents. Really! I'm sure if you would ask one of them who's in the picture, they would think it was them, not their parent. There are so many similarities, it's frightening! I love those memories.. Maybe I should consider making a sequel. The grandchildren have grown and we are ageing as well. We'll see..


Recently I bought myself a bottle of baby foam bath. Whenever I see a line of baby products in a shop, I open a bottle to smell the scent of new born babies.. Call it nostalgia, call it whatever you like, I just can't resist sniffing the bottle. How come that grown ups never smell like new borns? Even if they use the baby products? New borns have that specific sweet smell of baby powder and foam bath and baby lotion. It's a smell you can't compare to anything else. It makes you go back in time and relive the memories of your children's baby time..

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dolce far niente

The surgeon who operated me told me to lay low for a while. At least a month, he told me. I'm used to being active and go places, so that was a real challenge for me. But guess what? I'm getting used to it! I must admit, I still need the quiet time and the relaxation, because I had a major surgery after all. The narcotics wore me out and every now and then, I need to nap to recover. But that's okay. I'm coping well. I've been reading and watching movies and looking for new recipes to try out. So yes, maybe Dolce far niente will be my new motto!

The sound of silence

A friend of mine is a longterm fan of silence. She has a big house in the country, where silence is high priority. No music in the house, no sounds in the garden, no nothing. That is so not me. As soon as I wake up, I turn on the radio. I just need to hear voices, music, sounds. The radio in the car is always turned on as well. I couldn't drive without music.

But guess what? This morning,  I woke up and I truly enjoyed the silence. I forced myself to listen to.. nothing but the silence. It was really overwhelming. I tried to focus and concentrate to discover sounds of nature. I heard the oh-oo-oor of a lonely pigeon on the deck while a flock of other flapping pigeons was flying off.. An early car leaving for work and the soft ticking noise of the clock in the room. Little Inthe was snoring a silent roaring sound. Tapping on my MacBook, a humming fly was the only sound I couldn't appreciate. Even the ticking of my finger nails on the keyboard was exciting to hear. Those are sounds I normally don't hear when I turn the radio on. The neighbor's rooster was crowing his morning speech, waiting for a mate to answer his call. The it's-time-to-eat alarm on my insulin pump broke the silence and that was kinda disturbing.. I guess the town is awakening. The screaming sound of our tomcat Arthur trying to fight an unwanted visitor in our garden, finally gets me off the couch.

I guess I don't hate the silence that bad after all. I'll give it another shot tomorrow..