Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prejudice and bias

There are many different races and cultures on this planet. Our country has become a complete mixture of cultures. I have always liked foreigners. It is exciting to talk to them and the interaction between cultures is interesting to say the least. Some cultures and races are more appealing to me than others. I have never been a racist and I hope I'll never become one. I have more problems with religion than with culture, although some religions are so connected with a culture, it's hard to unravel the ball of yarn.

In school, our kids have people in their classes or on the playground that were born in different countries and cultures. They don't mind. They think it's rather interesting. They don't see the race, they see the person. I like that about my girls. They're not prejudiced.

I have dated foreign people in the past. Some relations were better than others, but I can tell you: not one of them was boring. There are so many differences to get to know, languages to learn, customs to discover, food to taste. My heart saw no color, just love at first sight. I especially liked the curly eyelashes, the broad smile with the perfect white teeth and the skintone of my African-American boyfriend, the sparkling eyes and energetic dance moves of my Egyptian boyfriend. The heartiness and enthusiasm of my American fiancé. I have a Polish friend and there was a Turkish man in my school I liked to hang out with. I love the Arabic sounds in the language, the up tempo of Indian music, the zing of Japanese food. Yes, I'm a fan of different cultures.

Make an educated guess

Don't you just love George Clooney? He's adorable.. love his voice too. It's calm and serene and yes, sexy too. It's not because of George Clooney that I own a Delonghi Nespresso maker. Not at all.
I just like Nespresso coffee and most of all: Latte Macchiato! But I'm sure his commercial awakened me somehow. Maybe I wouldn't have looked into it any further hadn't I seen the commercial over and over again? Make an educated guess...
Have to go! My Macchiato is steaming and ready!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It takes a long time to grow an old friend

People come and people go. Over the years, you get to know different people. Sometimes the people you meet become friends. Others disappear out of your life. Nothing wrong with that. Not all the people you meet become friends. But every now and then, that friendship becomes real intense. The friendship becomes more important and you feel your friend brings joy into your life. It takes a long time to grow an old friend, is a perfect saying. Friends don't last if you're not prepared to invest in the friendship. It doesn't mean you have to see or hear each other on a daily basis. Good friends don't have to hang out together all the time. They can read one another without words. Distance is no object.

I have a number of friends that have become more and more important to me over the years. They know me. I know them. We can mess up without killing the friendship. That's what real friendship is about. You can be you without being afraid the other will judge you for the person you are. People make mistakes, people go way out of line. But if your friend is a true friend, they won't hold a grudge against you..

Puuuuuuuhleeeeeeeze mom!

Girls... The oldest asked us when we thought she would be ready to start going out on a regular basis. She's 15 (and a half, she claims) and she's a good girl. She's responsible and punctual and she hasn't let us down. We have given her the chance to go out every now and then, but I don't think we're ready to let her go out on a weekly basis. Not yet. It's just too soon. In our opinion of course. She says she wouldn't go out on a weekly basis, that would be too much. Just every now and then.

Then what's the difference???

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Feel free to ask

I'm attending another diabetes meeting tonight. The presentation is called: Feel free to ask. An endocrinologist and his team will be there to answer any question we might have. It's always an advantage to broaden your knowledge on the subjects that relate to you. I like to be informed and I like to discuss diabetes with others. I'm looking forward to this evening. Let's hope there will be a crowd and people won't be too shy to ask their questions.

I'll be meeting another diabetesforum member as well tonight. It's always nice to get to know the people behind the nicknames! And he's a pumper too! So much to talk about!

I've seen that face before

One day, I was in adult school, freshening up my knowledge of the French language. The face of my teacher looked real familiar, but I couldn't tell where I had seen that face before. The way she talked, the gentle way of interfering with people, it all felt real familiar to me. Then she told me where she came from. I remembered then.. She was a trainee when I was in highschool. She was studying to become a French teacher. She came to our class for a couple of weeks, to teach us French. Even then I liked her. So many years later, different location, but we met again. In the meantime, she's become a very good friend of mine. She's no longer a French teacher and I'm no longer her student, but we meet up every once in a while and then we talk about life. It's natural. It's good. I like our friendship.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Looking for a new family

On Facebook, I came across this organization that immediately drew my attention. Whippet Rescue Ireland is on a mission. They help abused, abandoned and neglected whippets throughout Ireland. We all heard about organizations helping Spanish Galgos and Greyhounds, but this particular organization is on the lookout for whippets in trouble. They aim to place all of the needy whippets in a warm and loving foster home, where they are loved and being cared for until a permanent home is found.

The whippets come into the care for various reasons. Sometimes their owner is moving or is no longer capable of taking care of his whippet. Other whippets are strays and some are severely neglected. But please help these people find good homes for these unique and special dogs. They receive no funding and they solely depend on donations from people out there, who have a heart for whippets.

Rescuing and rehoming whippets is what this organization does. Feel free to donate via their website. The money will be used to feed the dogs, make sure they are healthy and taken care off, before they go stay with their new families. As you all know, we have two whippets in our household. They are like children to us. We love them deeply and I can assure you: these two have brought so much love in our house!

So if you know someone who is willing to adopt a whippet or you have a whippet yourself you can no longer take care off due to circumstances, don't hesitate to contact Whippet Rescue Ireland. Those people have their hearts in the right place. They deserve all the help they can get..

We hope you enjoyed your stay

The oldest daughter came home with a note from school. Whether we were interested in hosting an exchange student for 1 week. The guests could be coming from Poland, Finland, Portugal or Spain. Male or female. Age between 15-17. I though that was a great idea! It's good to meet with different cultures and having an exchange student in the house is a great opportunity for all of us. So yes, we signed up. I told Hubby about the project and he was excited as well. Until I explained to him we were going to have a 17 year old Spanish boy and that he would spend his week in the same room as our daughter. All of a sudden, he changed his mind. LOL. Of course that was a joke. He should know me by now..

We told school we had no preference whatsoever. Anyone is welcome. Race, age, religion or culture is not of any issue. The student that will be staying here, gets to go to school with Lana. They have some special activities as well, and they'll visit several places. The purpose for them is to speak English and get to know different cultures.

I hope we'll get chosen as a host family. Many people have applied. If a student is to come here, it'll be the last week of October. So I'd better not make too many appointments during that week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A shadow or two by your side

Our whippets are very fond of structure and habits. They wait for you to get up in the morning and put your clothes on. Because they know you'll take them for a walk. They follow you around the house, side by side, like two shadows. They are so afraid to miss out on something, that they do not want to loose track of you. As soon as you enter the hallway to go get their leashes, both dogs become so excited, that one might think we forgot to feed them their Retaline. They are all anxious and excited and wound up. But sometimes, you're not ready to take them along. Either you need to do something else or go to work and then little Inthe is inconsolable. She cries and whines and has no idea why you won't take her.

Last week we took them to the woods to let them have a good run. For the first time, we let Inthe run all by herself, without a leash. She loved it!!! And so did Rebba. But this time, you were their shadow. The idea of releasing them was a little too much for you. You were afraid they would run off and never come back. Maybe they would spot a pheasant or a bunny rabbit and go chase it. There's always a chance they might do that, but they listen real well to me whistling them back.

It was great to see those two muppets communicate. They were just walking next to each other, their bodies touching. And then they looked at the other like they were explaining the rules. In a tic both of them would start running their lungs out. At a certain point of their imaginary racing track, they would make a U-turn and race all the way back. It's wonderful to watch them have a great time! I love my two shadows. They make me a better me!

Cat in a hat

Little Lad Billy
From the sight of the picture, the title should be "dog in a hat". Since whippets have lots of characteristics of a cat (they do what they want, not what you want), the title is not going to be any different.

On Facebook, this picture struck me. I thought it was hilarious! Have never seen a dog wear a hat, but this fellow - Little Lad Billy - just loves his hat. It keeps his head and ears warm in the cold and rainy place of Ireland. I love him! He's so handsome!

Our whippets have pyjamas. One is orange, the other is black. Inthe doesn't mind putting on pj's when she's not feeling well. Rebba is not too fond of it. She refuses to walk in it. I guess it feels more like a straitjacket to her. But Inthe is open to anything.

No, I'm not going to buy a hat for the girls. Our daughters have warned me not to. Hahaha! well, they know their crazy mom. But no, I'll skip on the hat. For now at least..

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's gonna bite you!

His hand is all swollen. A huge mosquito stung him. Mosquitos this year are bigger and fatter than other years. It's like a completely different breed. They manage to sting you right through your clothes. We were out in the woods walking the dogs, when this cloud of mosquitos followed us around. I saw them on Rebba first, since her skin tone is pretty pale. Poor dog, I thought, trying to wave the bugs away.
And then Hubby got this terrible mosquito bite on his right hand. It started itching and swelling right away. It worried me, because these are not just regular mosquitos. Maybe they are swamp-like bugs??

I talked him into taking some antihistamines. He did, every 4 hours. But the swelling is still there and it itches like crazy. He finally managed to take his engagement ring of, but that was a real pain. I'm glad he took it off, because I'm sure some doctor would have clipped it off anyway, if the swelling wouldn't come down. It reminds me of the vacation we spent in Corfu, Greece. The place was just packed with this type of bugs. There was a swamp nearby. Normally authorities would spray the area with pesticides, but the budget had already been spent. That's why all tourists had huge bumps all over their bodies. The mosquitos came out around 5 PM. So we were not to come out at night any more, unless we were all covered up in mosquito nets. I remember counting 40 bites on my legs. And those were not the regular little red bumps, trust me. They were like little saucers: hard and big. If the swelling of the bite on Hubby's hand hasn't decreased, he'll have to go see our GP. Without hesitation. I know he's afraid the doctor will give him some sort of cortisone injection to stop the allergy, and he's terrified of needles. So yes, I'll keep an eye on it.

Conversation Maps

Yesterday I had a meeting in the hospital where I go for my diabetes treatment. The intention was to meet up with other Type 1 diabetics and discuss D. Our diabetes nurse was the moderator. It was a small group, but it was interesting and instructive. There were two couples (both men had diabetes), two young women (one got diagnosed with D after her pancreas was removed surgically - she happens to be my sister-in-law) and a man, who got diagnosed a quarter of a decade ago.
Every one of us had a story to tell. How they were diagnosed, how they handled it, how their partner reacts to their diabetes. Every person is different and every one of us deals with diabetes in a different manner. There is no right or wrong. There are guide lines, but no rules. After all, it's our diabetes and we know how our body reacts to different types of food and situations. But in the end, we all have the same condition called Diabetes and we understand each other. We know why we have mood swings if our sugars are low or high. We know when to have goodies or not. We know about D and D is always with us. So you'd better come to terms with D, since he's going to be our longtime partner..

I hope there will be more Conversation Maps meetings in the future. It's good to join a support group of some kind. I'm very happy with our diabetesforum but this group might be very interesting as well, because there's our diabetes educator to fill us in where we miss out. So thanks nurse, for being there and teaching us whatever we need to know.

Did you know that just 1% of our pancreas is responsible for the production of insulin??? Considering that a pancreas is approximately 12-15 cm large, that 1% is just nothing! But yet, the consequences are huge..

Friday, September 24, 2010


I'm deeply moved by the photographs my oldest daughter makes. It has happened before that I have got emotional over one of her pictures.. Please enjoy.


A thin line between love and hate

So many women are in a never ending battle with their scale. It's a constant struggle against the numbers they're facing. That is one of the rare occasions I'd rather be a man, because men don't care that much (at least not the majority of men). I have never heard of a man standing on the scale right after he comes out of bed. Going to the bathroom and getting on that scale again, dreading to see the same disappointing number. Thinking about whether he should have breakfast or not. Having to make a choice between Latte Macchiato (do men drink Latte Macchiato?) or Cafe Lungo. Finally preparing himself a bowl of cereal and pouring half of it back into the cardboard box. Changing clothes (again) because the bulging is not a sight to share with the colleagues at work.

The overall unhappy feeling the scale gives us, women, is sad. Whether women have the perfect figure - in the eyes of their jealous bigger friends - or not, they will never be totally happy about their weight. It's the stupid number that freaks us out. Nobody wants a size 16! We would all like a size 6, right? Why can't we just be happy with our female figure? We're not boys, so why do we aspire to look like one? Women have curves. In the right places. They have bums and boops and bellies. Nothing wrong with that! It's just up to us women, to start realizing that and to become content with the body shape we have. I'm going back to the kitchen now, to finish my half a bowl of cereal..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banana Split

Every now and then, our oldest daughter and the dessert lover of the house, wants to enjoy a good portion of Banana Split. It's easy to make, you need few ingredients and it's yummy. At least, that's what she says. I'm not an ice cream lover (just don't talk about Ben & Jerry's, that's different), but if Lana wants banana split, banana split she will have.

To my surprise, I found so many different versions of banana split on the Internet. I was truly amazed! Those are not banana splits!!! Hello!! Who said you could put strawberry ice cream, pineapple topping, marshmallow, chocolate syrup or even maraschino cherries and chopped nuts on a banana split??? That's just not done! Never!

This is the only way to make a real Banana Split:

You cut a large banana lengthwise and lay it on a boat dish. In between the banana halves, you lay three royal scoops of vanilla ice cream. You make fresh chocolate sauce (who may possible have thought chocolate syrup is a decent alternative? Ugh!) to top your Banana Split with. There may be discussion about this, but you have the choice to finish it off with fresh whipped cream or not. But this is the one and only recipe.


My grandmother died at a relatively young age. I don't remember much of her. I do remember her black curly hair, with grey stripes in it and the yellow fingertips, from the nicotine she needed so desperately. And there's always this vision of my grandfather using grandmas bum as a darts board. She had type 2 diabetes and at a certain point, she needed insulin to treat her condition. In those days (I'm talking some 25 years ago), there were hardly any glucose meters around. She had to pee on a stick to check her glucose levels. Grandma wore those huge white panties, you know, the panties you could pull up all the way to your armpits? She would lower these and bend over, so grandpa could find the best spot on her bum to shoot up her insulin.

Grandma and grandpa were great fun. They used to laugh a lot. I don't know how much these two knew about diabetes back then. It was different than it is now. There was less education back then. I don't know if they knew about carbohydrates and the effect it had on your glucose levels. I do remember big bags of marshmallows. Grandma craved marshmallows: the pink and white striped ones as well as the chocolate covered coconut marshmallows. Of course those treats were an overdose of sugar.. I guess grandma would've liked the idea, that now you can buy sugarfree marshmallows..

I don't remember what exactly killed her. I believe she died of diabetes related complications, but I'm not sure. She was not the only diabetic in our family. I wonder if - wherever she might be now - she knows I'm a diabetic too. A different type and a non-marshmallow eating diabetic, but in the end: we all face the same obstacles and challenges. I don't worry too much about my future. I do the best I can to take care of myself and D.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Undying love

My daughter told me about a movie she and her friends watched in boarding school. The girls were all in tears afterwards. It didn't take me that long to tear up. It started halfway the movie for me..

Professor Parker (Richard Gere) finds an Akita puppy in the railway station, on his way home from work. Hachi(ko) and Parker become extremely attached to one another. Every day, Hachi follows Parker to the railway station, where Parker heads of to work. By 5 PM Hachi sits in front of the station to wait for his friend's return. Parker and Hachi understand each other real well. Hachi is such a clever dog. Akita dogs are a very special Japanese breed. They are not the fetch-the-ball kind of dog. They cannot be bribed to doing things they are not designed for. Akita dogs are known for their loyalty towards their owners, their friendship and the prosperity they stand for. The first time Hachi plays fetch, is a very special but at the same time very sad moment in the movie.. See for yourself. The movie is based on a true story.

I need some more kleenex.. I guess I want to watch Hachiko, A Dog's Story one more time..

My will

When is the best time to start writing your will? I'm not planning on dying yet, not anywhere soon to say the least. In fact, I plan on living a long and healthy life. But you know what? I'm almost 40 now (okay, I turned 39 last month, but that's closer to 40 than you may think) and maybe that's when you start thinking of old age..?
I don't know?

A will huh? Don't you need property or at least some money to write on that will? It would be kinda silly to write a will stating nothing but cook books, novels and other thingamajigs, wouldn't it? We do own the house we live in. Our children tell us they don't want it. It's not their kind of house.. LOL. Kids.. They will appreciate the money once they sell our house after we're old and retired and playing cards at the nursery home nearby. I hope there will be more than books and a house to leave them. After all, we have welcomed our girls into this world and I wouldn't want to leave this world unprepared.

Normally I'm a pretty good planner. I love schedules and agendas. I'm just not very familiar with wills. Okay, I've never even seen a will before! It scares me I guess.. Reading someone else's will makes us realize we are not immortal. Maybe I'm not ready to face those facts? I always thought of wills as something romantic. Like some rich guy leaving you all of his belongings. But reality is different. People don't do crazy things anymore. They don't trust you with their money just like that. And are they right or what? Money is not a piece of paper you can print at home. It takes hard work to earn some money and it takes even more effort to make that money grow. So you really have to think about where you want that money to go to, in case of .. (I don't even want to say the D-word).

I'm sure the Internet has plenty of templates you can look into. No, I haven't checked yet. It's too soon I guess. It's too confronting. It's too scary. For now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Days of Our Lives

Our oldest daughter is hooked on this TV show: The days of our lives.. really. She records every episode and then she watches 5 in a row. In the meantime, she and her friend discuss whatever has happened and fantasize about what might happen in the future. Every now and then, I peek from my MacBook to see what thrilling story they have to tell. And I must say: their lives are so exciting, so extravagant, so... unreal. And most of all: so not me..

But hey.. in my teens, there were other but similar series to watch. Think Sons & Daughters, The Bold and the Beautiful (it's still on TV..), Dallas, Dynasty.. I do believe The Days of Our Lives beats them all. The characters all seem to live in the same block on the same street. They are just about everywhere at all times. They are very good eavesdroppers! There's always someone on the look-out, spying for Jack or Joe. It's so exciting it becomes ridiculous. It is so predictable too! On Monday, you know what's going to happen, but they won't reveal until Friday. If you're lucky, because sometimes they let you sit in agony for a little longer.

I wonder what story they would come up with, if they would film our Days of Our Lives..

Sweet but smelly

When our house was under construction, we moved in with our grandparents for several months in a row. It must have been winter time. We went to school in our hometown, not that far from where our grandparents lived. Winters were colder back then than they are now. Or is that the vivid memory of the child I was then?

I remember coming home from school with ice cold hands. Grandma would call me in to lead me to the living area. She would grab my numb hands and clasp them in her armpits. That was her way to warm my hands. I can tell you: they were warm real fast! But the idea of my hands in those smelly armpits was less appealing.. It was sweet of her though and it's still a good memory..

Monday, September 20, 2010

Green fingers

Plants can truly brighten up one's house. I have a couple of huge plants to decorate my house with. There's a big problem though.. I suck at watering my plants. Either I drown them, or I completely forget to water them. The soil becomes so dry, it almost falls apart in dust. And then I give them so much water, they die anyway. Plants that don't need much water do much better around here. And I'm good at growing herbs. Well, I don't even grow them. I buy them and hubby plants them in my herb garden. The sun and the rain do the rest.

I always forget to buy fertilizer and yes, those plants do need food to keep growing and to make their leaves shine. I'm looking at my plants right now and trust me.. it's not a pretty sight. Maybe I should get up and trash them. They are not going to make it anyway. Some new plants and a watering schedule might get me back on track.

MacGourmet Deluxe

A friend sent me a great programme to write my recipes down on the computer. I have tried it out for several weeks and I liked it so much, that I decided to buy the programme. Meaning I will have to take the other cookbook I made so far, and copy all of the recipes in MacGourmet Deluxe. It'll take me quite some time and maybe I'll know my recipes by heart by the time I'm finished, but it's worth doing. The programme gives you the opportunity to easily share your recipes with your friends. Shopping lists can be made and weekly mealplanners are available (I still haven't figured out that one..). I'm a fan!

MacGourmet Deluxe helps you collect, edit, use and share your favorite recipes and notes on your very own computer. It includes built-in nutritional data from the USDA database, which makes it possible to easily calculate nutritional info for your entire recipes.

It holds a tool for taking notes on wine, so you can keep track of personal ratings, bottle labels and cellar info.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Girly Girl Studio

What a great concept Girly Girl Studio is! Facebook showed me the fan page and immediately I checked it out. I'm crazy about unique gadgets and Girly Girl Studio wasn't any different.

The people behind Girly Girl Studio give their customers the opportunity to design their own handbag, wallet, shirt, purses,.. Every item is custom made within the US. For those who are not that creative, there are premade handbags as well. But part of the fun of this website, is to design your own purse, choosing between different fabrics. I had a ball picking out two handbags and one wallet. I felt like ordering one more, but I have so many purses already. I'm darn sure though, that the ones I created now, will be flashy and unique!

I'm looking forward to receiving them!! I'm totally excited!!! Or was that pretty obvious?

Do join the Facebook group of Girly Girl Studio. They have a Free Facebook Friday, every Friday. Meaning they hand out unique pieces of their work, for FREE! If that is not inviting, I don't know what is.

Keeping up appearances

I couldn't but smile when hubby told me he had muscle aches..
At work, he has the opportunity to go to the gym. There are several options: tred mills, exercise bikes, power plates..

You decided to ride the exercise bike this time. You do ride your own bike, but you're not used to working out on an exercise bike. There were quite some co-workers in the gym. Sooner than expected, you were worn out, but hey! You were not prepared to give in! What did you think??? So you tried to keep up appearances and you kept going. And going. And going.. The result is that you are just so sore.. It is kinda funny though.. Men.. so transparent, so easy to read.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


It's getting colder. It's no longer an option to keep the back door open day and night. Hubby just turned the central heating on. So I guess I'll have to reeducate the whippets. Especially Inthe is used to running in and out whenever she feels like it. Rebba is more at ease, since she spends most of her time on the couch. If Rebba doesn't have to go outside, she won't. But Inthe, that's another tale.

We started last week, by closing the door to the terrace. It's like Inthe has become claustrophobic instantly! She cries and she weeps and she's just inconsolable. She has no idea why all of a sudden, her way out is no longer available. She's completely frantic over it! She gives me that special puppy look like: why are you doing this to me??? It breaks my heart of course (whippets are really good at making you feel guilty), but it's the only way to teach her that the doors will no longer be open whenever she wants them to be.

I let them in and out 4 times a day now. For at least 15 minutes, they have outdoor recess, like school kids have their recreation on the playground. Rebba is not happy at all, but Inthe really looks forward to her playtime in the backyard.

I have decided they should spend some time in their outside kennel as well, on a daily basis. An hour at least. So they really get used to being out there every now and then. Rebba didn't like it at first. She just knows when they'll have to stay there for a while. To her, it means "mommy" is going out. And she doesn't want mommy to go out. She's too smart. But I tempt her with goodies and now she's become used to it. I don't even tell them. Goodies in one hand and a bowl of water in the other, I just go outside and in a jiffy, they are beside me. I piddle in their kennel for a while, until both of them come in as well. Then they sit down to get their treat and I leave. They go inside their doghouse straight away, to take a nap. It's good for them to have a safe haven. And it gives us some peace of mind as well.

Help find a cure!

Diabetes is not some disease that stays unnoticed, unfortunately. Most of you already know someone who is suffering from this chronic disease.

Someone I love has diabetes. 
Someone you love might too someday..  

You would probably be happy then, that researchers do their utmost to find a cure. For decades we have been told there was going to be a solution. Researchers are getting closer, more than ever. But they need finances to keep going. They need to keep going, to help millions of people with diabetes.

Hippo and Friends is a Dutch non-profit organization, that is offering all of its time in helping children with diabetes. They have come up with this texting event. Text "steun onderzoek" (support research) to 3355. For every text message you send, the Belgian Diabetes Registry receives € 2.00 to help finance diabetes research. The cost of a loaf of bread, to help people with diabetes get a better future. Assume you can be the one, that donates that specifique € 2.00 that will help find the solution. Wouldn't that be awesome??

At this moment, the 3355 number is only available for people in Belgium. Let's hope the action will spread to many more countries. Feel free to share the link with your friends and family. Tell them about the text message and ask them for a donation from the heart.

And I know your heart's in the right place..

Oh! and before I forget! There's no limit!
You can text as many times as you want!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Always on the look-out for new words, but when this e-mail I got, just said: WILCO, I was like: wil-what??? I replied: ???? That's when my husband explained his Air Traffic Control language.. Wilco means: will comply.. Hmhmhm... I guess I have a new word to write down in my dictionary. He could also have said: Yes ma'am! That I would have understood and it means the same. Sort of..

It's not that hard to smile

It's nice to spend time with friends that are optimistic and fun to hang out with. We all have our problems and I must admit, some have more than others. But you know what? Some people are really in deep trouble, but still they smile and they try to make the best of it. I find that very attractive. Life's too short to worry about this and that. We can't control everything in life and life isn't always what we expect it to be. But that's no reason to keep yourself from smiling, right? I won't say your problems are not serious or important. I might even cry over your misery, honestly. We all have our bad moments in life, but every once in a while, it's good to leave the troubles behind and focus on the good things. Because life would be really miserable otherwise. So keep on smiling okay? Life isn't as bad as you might think.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's now or never

You're 13 and a half now. I've been driving you to Bruges every Monday and I was there every Friday to pick you up. It's not always that easy to come get you. Sometimes your daddy and I are not home when we are supposed to pick you up. So this week, I suggested you could take the bus every once in a while. You weren't too sure about that. You said it's kinda silly to drag along a suitcase on a bus.. You said everyone would look at you. But I know you're just afraid. You've never taken the bus all by yourself. That's why I suggested me and my friend could come to Bruges, as we often do, but this time we could take the bus. After school, the three of us could walk to the bus stop and take the ride home. That made you more at ease I guess.

You must have thought it over. Later that night, you had spoken to your school friends. Some of them have taken the bus from day one. They told you it's no big deal. You would have to catch a bus near your school. It would take you to bus station. There, another bus would be waiting to take you directly to Eeklo. No stops in between. We could then pick you up at the bus station in Eeklo. Fair enough? We'll give it a try, okay? How about this Friday?

Milk & Cookies

In the middle of the night, I felt like having a mug of hot milk and some cookies to dip in the milk. I should've done it, since my blood sugars were low. But it made my stomach twirl, so I skipped the idea. I ordered my pump not to deliver any more insulin for a while.

I'm still very sore and my tummy is so painful. It's hard to stand or lay down. Can't seem to find the right position to catch the sleep I desperately need.
Hubby is going to work today and the girls are in school. Just me and the dogs and the couch. I'm cold. I feel ugh. Maybe a shower would make me feel better, but just the idea of getting up and going is too much. What if I slip in the shower and fall down? Nope, I'm not even going to try on my own.

I haven't eaten anything but some pudding, half a bread roll and one slice of bread since Monday night. Just thinking of food makes me want to throw up. Not even a glass of water can cheer me up. Let's hope things will improve by tonight..

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So how are we doing?

I was released from the hospital right after lunch... well.. if a little cup of pudding can be called lunch. The sight of my real lunch (spinach, mashed potatoes and fish with a sticky sauce full of clumps) made me gag. I couldn't throw up, but I was real close.

The operation went well. Three out of the 5 previous keyholes were used again, and they made one extra in my belly button. The keyhole needed to remove my gallbladder was just a little too small, so they needed to stretch it a little. It's very sensitive now..
The ultrasound didn't show any gallstones, just sludge. But there was actually one stone in my gallbladder and some grit in the bile ducts. I hope they got it all out. I hear diabetics are more susceptible to having gallstones.

I have no stitches this time and no threads to be removed. I'm happy!

I'm not feeling too well. I'm sore and I feel nauseous. I can't even think of food, without feeling sick. So I guess I'll spend some more days on the couch. The whippets will keep me company..

For a special lady..

You know it doesn't make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I'm sure you would agree
It couldn't fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday my dear friend..
Happy birthday to you! xx

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eton Mess

It won't be much of a surprise to you, that I just love Nigella Lawson. Not only does she look fabulous, her recipes are so simple, so delicious, so .. Nigella! Just watching her prepare a meal is a feast on itself. The way she handles food, makes you drool. I have a couple of her books at home and whenever I read her books, I have a shopping list in the other hand. Believe me: by no means can you read her books without disappearing in the kitchen afterwards to start experiment. So that's what happened the other night. I was watching one of her shows on TV and she made Eton Mess.. Oh my gosh! Did that look supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or what??? I had a couple of egg whites left in the freezer (thanks for the tip Nigella, I keep my excess egg whites in ziploc bags in the freezer), so I made meringue. And today, I sent my daughter out for strawberries. We always have double cream in the house, for emergency cravings. Yummie! Okay, okay!!! I'll give you the recipe! If only you promise to let me know what you thought of it!


4 cups of fresh strawberries
2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons pomegranate juice (I used white balsamic vinegar because that's what all I had, but it worked wonderfully well)
2 cups whipping cream
4 meringues (homemade or not - if you make them yourself, you can freeze leftovers easily)


Hull and chop the strawberries and put them into a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over the red rubies and add the juice or the balsamic vinegar. Leave the fruit to marinate while you whip the cream.
Whip the cream until thick but still soft. Crumble the meringues into bigger chunks (for extra texture) and finer crumbs and stir the meringue into the thick cream.
Set aside half a cupful of the strawberries. Fold the meringue cream and the fruit mixture together.
Take 4 wide glasses and spoon the Eton Mess pile high in the glasses. Top with the leftover strawberries. Chill until you want to serve your guests. Or do as we did: enjoy this dessert right away!

Off you go now!

My suitcase is packed. I'm ready to go. They told me to stay sober. That's not really a problem for me. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long before it's my turn. As usual, I have asked for a single room. I don't like to share a room when I'm in the hospital for surgery. You are not looking your best after an operation and I don't need any neighbor to look at my sleepy head in the morning. I don't know yet what time the operation is scheduled. We'll see when we get there.

Hubby is taking me. He's taking the day off tomorrow so he can come visit me. It'll be strange to be back in the clinic, but at the same time, it's not my first operation any more. Been there, done that. Don't you worry, I'll be just fine. I'm a tough cookie, remember?

I'm bringing my MacBook to keep you all informed. It'll do me good to talk to you on the Internet. It's less tiring than calling or texting everybody separately. My mother-in-law and auntie have called me several times by now, to wish me good luck and a speedy recovery. They are so nice and loving. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Emergency call

Your daddy and I were out shopping. I heard my cell phone ring in the store, but I didn't feel like answering it at that time. On our way to the car - we wanted to get a cup of coffee some place - daddy got a phone call as well. So I decided to check my cell at the same time. Unknown number? hmhm.. I dialled my voicemail. It was your principal (your dad was talking to her while I was listening to the message). She had to rush you into ER. Apparently a wasp had stung you.. in your tongue! How on earth could that happen?? Oh sweetie! That must have hurt terribly! Your tongue was all swollen and the principal didn't want to take any chances. I'm glad she took you to the ER. They gave you some pain relief and antihistamine. She said you were fine and you were going to stay in school. She wanted to warn us though. It was possible that we needed another visit to the doctor this evening. You never know how people respond to wasp stings..

Around lunch time, you were having your jelly sandwich. You were enjoying your last bite, and that's when something crunchy startled you. All of a sudden, the sandwich tasted bitter and you spit it out, to discover a wasp! You probably bit its head of..

I'm glad to have my Boîte à Bobos. It has antihistamine and pain killers as well. Maybe we'll need them tonight.

I got you some edible paper, host type. They are printed tattoos. Maybe you can put one on the sting. I'm sorry sweetie. It's not funny. Not at all. Really.. hihi..

Boîte à Bobos +

The other week, I was going through the pantry, trying to clean up and throw out things that no longer belonged in there. One part of that pantry holds medical supplies. It startled me to see what a drugstore we have in the house.. I don't know if it's a good sign or not. We have medication around for most anything: headache, tummy ache, diarrhoea, tablets for motion sickness, cough syrup, nausea tablets, vitamins.. Bandages, sterile swabs, rubbing alcohol, band aids, tweezers.. Ointments for burns, bug bites, muscle cramps, allergies, .. And then there's a special section for my diabetes treatment: infusion sets, insulin cartridges, pump batteries, insulin pens, glucose strips, needles for my lancing device, glucose tablets, liquid glucose gel, waste bin for used needles, extra glucose meter and tons of pump pockets.

Most First Aid Cabinets don't have that much space to hold all of these supplies. Neither does ours. But most things are kept separate. I keep tablets in one section, ointments in another. My diabetes supplies are a completely different section. Most of those items are kept in closed boxes. Those boxes have labels, so anyone can get me whatever I need whenever I need it. There can't be any confusion. That's the same spot where I keep the manual of my insulin pump.

We even have a First Aid kit for the pets around here. They have their own set of tweezers (for tick removals), tablets (we don't like them to have worms), pain killers. Both dogs and tomcat Arthur have a Health Passport, that we take along on every visit to the vet. I keep my own health records in Google Health online.

In the living area, I have a Boîte à Bobos, with a small supply. It sits on the couch and it keeps glucose tablets, an insulin cartridge and infusion set, insulin, pump batteries, an extra lancing device and needles to go with it. Sometimes this place looks more like a drugstore..

I keep another Emergency Kit in the trunk of my car. It holds pretty much the same things: emergency supplies for my diabetes treatment, an insulin prescription, tablets for headaches and some band aids. It's better to be safe than sorry, right?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A dance of joy!

The newlyweds are finally home from their honeymoon in the States. I was so thrilled with their blog. Several times a day, I checked their stories and photos. They did great and it was good to read them. They've been away for too long. I missed my friend!!! She's an active member of our diabetesforum as well and I'm sure the other members missed her too. Despite their active vacation, I hope they also found some time to relax. Both of them have busy careers and little spare time.

Welcome home, K&G!

A wonderful mommy...

Rebba is the best mommy Inthe could wish for. The way Rebba looks after her, is so tender and loving, it moves me. Inthe is an outside girl. She loves to play in the backyard and most of all: she's fond of the rain and muddy ground. Rebba on the other hand, prefers to stay inside, on the couch, under a cosy and comfortable blanket. She doesn't like to get dirty. As soon as little twit runs back in, Rebba starts cleaning her up. She licks her wet paws, dries her snout and ears and helps her calm down from the racing around. They communicate well. Rebba makes Inthe stand in front of her, so she can dry her off with her fast and adept tongue. As soon as goofy is dry, she runs straight towards the back door, to continue her games. I'm sure that Rebba often thinks: what have I done to deserve this little brat? but at the same time: she loves her to pieces. They are together 24/7 and they are so attached to one another. It would be devastating to break them up in one way or another.
I envy Inthe, for having such a wonderful mommy. She's taken very good care of and she's never alone. She has a mommy to comfort her, to hug her and to turn to whenever she's in trouble. Some moments, they have disputes, but ten minutes later, they are asleep on the couch, their heads in each other's necks. Their love is unconditional. No terms at all..

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Going back to school

Like many of us, I'm going back to school. Not a regular school though. I've subscribed for cooking classes. They call it: cooking for diabetics. People with diabetes should no longer stick to a sugarfree diet. In fact, they can eat what any other person taking good care of his health may eat. Healthy food, that is beneficial for all of us. Of course you're not supposed to have truck loads of sugar, that's pretty obvious. But neither should any other person, right?

I'm really looking forward to the cooking classes. It's going to be my first cooking experience in a school related area. Exciting I must say! Maybe I'll get to know some more people with D. There are so many of us. Everyone nowadays knows at least one person with diabetes. Or at least, that's what the statistics tell us. Don't you think it's about time that people start to take better care of themselves? Time to invest in our own health? I'm sure it's a darn good investment! I think I need some time on a sunbed in a distant place, to relax and enjoy life. To have someone around, bringing me a healthy, nutritious salad full of vitamins and good stuff. I don't think there will be sunbeds in school, but who will stop me from pretending?


Some arrangements need to be made, before I head back to the hospital. I want to make sure the groceries are done and the freezer is packed with home cooked meals. The intention is to stay at the hospital for 2 days, but you never know what happens, so I want to be prepared.

I'm not afraid for this operation. It's routine and plenty of people undergo this kind of surgery. No big deal. The only thing I worry about, is that my scars are going to be cut open again. I know it's better than having 5 new scars, but still. I was happy with the way they were healing. I used special Cica-Care band aids to make the scars less thick and red. The thing I'm not looking forward to, are the stitches. It was okay for one time, but a second time in just two months is a little too much, even for me.

I hope my diabetes regulation won't be disturbed too much from the operation. Things are going real well now. In fact, my average blood glucose (HbA1c) has finally reached a 6 number: 6.9%. Okay, that's almost the same as the 7% I got last month, but it's not a 7! So I'm really happy with that number! It is my lowest A1c ever, by the way!

I'm getting so much support from friends and family. Thank you all. It means a lot to me. It's comforting to know that many people care and that they wish you all the best. I feel blessed..

Friday, September 10, 2010


Today I spent most of the day in the Emergency Room. This morning, when I was talking to my surgeon on the phone, he asked me to come to the ER to have an ultrasound of my gallbladder. I had all the symptoms of gallstones. So I drove up there and spent most of the time in bed, waiting for someone to take the ultrasound.

There were no gallstones to be seen, but the doctor saw a significant amount of sludge in my gallbladder. Sludge can turn into stones. There's no need to wait for that to happen. Because it might become surgery on the spot then.

Having your gallbladder removed is not that unique. Many people live without a gallbladder. The liver makes the gall, not the bladder. The bladder is only "the container". So it shouldn't be a problem. Fatty food is no longer an option. But it's not my favorite food to begin with. I like healthy food!!

Next Tuesday, a different specialist is going to remove my gallbladder. I'll be staying in the hospital for approximately two days. I hope they won't make any more scars. I have plenty so far. It'll be another keyhole operation. I have faith and confidence and I know I'll be just fine. But you know what? I hoped it would be over already..

When the going get's tough

Last night, I was talking on the phone with my little girl, when all of a sudden, I got this dreadful pain in my stomach. I was gasping for air and saliva dripped out of my mouth in little streams. I gave the cell phone to Hubby, so he could continue the conversation, and I stumbled to the bathroom. I felt like throwing up, but there was nothing there. For dinner, I had had a wonderful salad and that was nearly 2 hours earlier. Man, did I feel awful! Never before had I experienced that kind of pain. It wouldn't go away. I tried to walk around, sit down, lay down on the couch, but nothing took away the pain. Sweat dripped from my body, so I pulled off my clothes to find some relief. Really, I thought this was the end! The pain started to fade away about 20 minutes later. Good grief!

I contacted my diabetes nurse. She thinks I might have gallstones. Sounded real familiar to her. That means I will have to call the hospital today and talk to my surgeon and endocrinologist. If I really have gallstones, it means I'll spend a couple of days in the hospital, to have my gallbladder removed. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Believe me, I do not want to experience that pain again. I'd rather go into labor again, than having that killing pain..

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A melt down

Hey sweetie,

just look at you.. You are having a little melt down. Yesterday, you were really not in this world. You were cold and not feeling that well. What could we expect, after that terrible boo boo?
So I went upstairs, to look for your pyjamas. They are nice and comfy and most of all: they keep you warm. You slept most of the day. I guess you were still a little in shock.

We went to see the vet again tonight. She gave you some more antibiotics and another pain killer. You were wonderful Inthe. You sat down on your bum while the vet changed your bandage. It stuck a little to the wound, but you're a tough girl. You didn't even blink your eyes. The wound looked clean and it's starting to heal already. Let's keep our fingers crossed that blood will keep flowing to the remaining tip of your ear. We are not waiting for an amputation..

I just wanna be ok

My operation was 2 months ago. I'm doing real well, although I'm still tired from the narcotics. But the overall feeling is absolutely great. My blood sugars have never been this good. In fact, I'm looking forward to my next HbA1c! I'm pretty sure it will be even better than the last 7%, which was a very decent number. I hope to be in the 6% area this time. That would be the first time in my 8 year diabetes career. It tells me I have done the right thing.

The physical scars are healing well. Five little lines and some dots from the staples are all that are left from a surgery, that wasn't that minor to begin with. The emotional scars are healing too. It's been a rodeo, and I was about to give up, but I made it and I'm happy with my decision. It was a true ordeal and the operation is still controversial, but for me it was the best option possible. Would I recommend the operation to my peers? I don't know. A whole lot depends on your attitude towards the operation and towards D. You must have come to terms with yourself about the whole thing. It's not just something you decide overnight. You must have really thought it over. It does affect your life and it may affect the life of your beloved ones, if you don't do what you're supposed to do. So far, things are going just fine and I'm proud of myself for doing the best I can.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We are all related

Last night, the 7 of us went out to the movie theatre. There was grandma, 4 sisters-in-law (I included myself), and the two oldest granddaughters (my girls). We had a terrific time! It was a joy to have a ladies night out. In fact, we should do that more often! Seriously, it was a lot of fun! There were goodie bags and there was a great movie. Julia Roberts took us along on her journey towards Italy, India and Bali and told us everything we needed to know about Eat - Pray - Love.

We went out to dinner first. Nothing fancy, just pizza. But it was fun and different without the boys. I think they're a little jealous. Nothing keeps them from organizing a men's night out though. I'm sure they would enjoy that as well!

Thanks girls! You rock!

You make me wanna cry

My sweet little girl.. Last night, while I was out with the girls, Hubby called me. Something terrible had happened.. You and Rebba were playing outside, like you do all the time. All of a sudden, you came rushing in, followed by Rebba. There was blood all over the place. He thinks you and Rebba got into a fight. You lost a quarter of your ear... I'm completely devastated.. How will we be able to fix that? You must have been hurting so bad, Inthe..

Hubby picked you up and ran to the vet's house immediately. She disinfected the wound and put you on antibiotics. Your heart rate was too fast to put you under narcotics, so she asked Hubby to come back the next morning. There's a chance she will have to amputate another piece of your ear. I'm driving Eva to school now, and then I'll take you to the vet again. Please, please, let her diagnosis be less dramatic. You'll never grow another ear, that's certain, but if you could keep half? My heart is bleeding for you and for Rebba as well. I know she didn't mean to hurt you. Both of you are dominant personalities. You and Rebba are the same size now and you have the same weight. Rebba wants you to listen to her. After all, she's been here longer than you and she's older. But you do not want to be tamed. You dare her quite often and she tries to hold you down. Until things get ugly, like this time. Please keep your fingers crossed for little Inthe. Please..

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's written in the stars

This is what my date of birth says about me:
  • Loves to joke
  • Attractive
  • Suave and caring
  • Brave and fearless
  • Firm and has leadership qualities
  • Knows how to console others
  • Too generous
  • Takes high pride of oneself
  • Thirsty for praises
  • Extraordinary spirit
  • Easily angered
  • Angry when provoked
  • Observant
  • Careful and cautious
  • Thinks quickly
  • Independent thoughts
  • Loves to lead but also loves to be led
  • Loves to dream
  • Talented in art and music
  • Sensitive but not petty
  • Poor resistance against illnesses
  • Learns to relax
  • Hasty and trusty
  • Romantic
  • Loving and caring
  • Loves to make friends

If this describes me as a person, I won't fight it.

Sweetener or Sugar?

I know, it's a contradiction. Many still claim diabetics can't have sugar. But hey, guess what? Neither can you! Sugar is just not healthy. But then again.. it makes life more beautiful, doesn't it?

Ever tried baking cookies or a pie with sweetener? I'm sorry, but it's not edible. People that claim otherwise, haven't eaten sugar coated cookies or a crumble topped pie. You do need real sugar to get the yummy taste we all crave. So yes, I use sugar and I'm not ashamed of it. I use a whole lot less sugar than the recipes ask for. I count my carbs and I make sure I shoot up enough insulin to cover it.

In some recipes, I do use sweetener. Splenda Brown Sugar Blend is still my favorite. It is half brown sugar, half sweetener and it still has the structure of the real stuff. It is great for baking (I made my own gingerbread the other day), or to sprinkle over rice pudding. And I always use sweetener in my coffee (preferably Splenda Hazelnut), never ever do I use sugar in coffee. Not because I can't have it, but because I don't like sugar in my coffee.

And how about you? How do you feel about sugar? Or sweetener?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Don't get me wrong

Things have gone back to normal.. The kids have started school again and Hubby has gone back to work after 5 weeks of vacation. Time to breathe and calm down. There are many things I'm looking forward to: cleaning out cupboards, without having to stop at a certain time to pick somebody up or to start making preparations for lunch. I would like to empty my wardrobe as well, and see what can go to the bin or the second hand shop. Rearranging the pantry will keep me busy for an afternoon, but that's something I really like to do. Even playing ball with the dogs sounds appealing now.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed having the whole family home for the summer. But at a certain point, things come to an end. Things have to go back to normal. That's how life works..

And so say all of us!

We have a new sister-in-law. She's an attractive young lady in many ways. She looks great, has a terrific sense of humor and wisdom and she blends in real well. I must say, it's a joy to have her around and we are all fond of her. It's wonderful to see how happy she makes my brother-in-law. He's having a great time and they are truly in love. She gets along well with the little one, without trying to replace his mommy. And that's not always as easy as it seems. If one time, she doesn't come along to our Sunday meetings at the in-laws, we miss her already!

We welcome you and we are privileged to have you around. And so say all of us!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Heavy breathing

Hugging and sleeping together
Photo by Lana Joos
If you've never owned a whippet, you have no idea how funny they are. They can be very active, racing around the backyard until you have this scary idea they might drop dead. And then they crash on the couch, sticking their long noses behind the cushions. They make it so difficult for themselves to breathe. That's when the snoring begins.. First you hear their heavy breathing. It almost sounds like panting. Do you remember those cartoons, where some character is sound asleep and they let you hear those surreal sleeping sounds? That's a sound you might hear when you have a sleeping whippet in the house.

Once they are sound asleep, they start making those funny sounds, like "wreet-wreet". One of their lips goes up and down, whenever the sound is being released. You can see the rapid eye movement and sometimes it's like they are having convulsions: their legs move back and forth, like they are still racing on the track.

Whippets love blankets. It doesn't matter what color they are, as long as they are comfortable and soft. We have tons of doggy blankets in the house and in their outside kennel. They love to wrap themselves in a blanket. It's not that they are cold - they just love the cosy feeling of laying under a fleece blanky. I don't blame them.. Another favorite spot is the hind of your knees. They would fight over that spot! You'll never have cold feet if you have a whippet in the house. And if you have more than one (like most whippet fanatics do), you won't be surprised to find a bundle of whippets on the couch. They love to climb on top of each other. At a certain point, you have to unfold them, because all of their spider-like legs have emerged and you can no longer tell the difference. So it's good to have different colored whippets, like ours..

Cankles and pigtails

I just can't believe I bought this kind of meat. Not for us, but for the whippets. I'm sure they'll love it! Just the sight of it in that wonderful stock, makes my stomach swirl. I can't grasp it, but sometimes people even eat cankles! They make a sort of Dutch stew - hodgepodge - full of cabbage and carrots, celery, onions, turnips and potatoes. And on top, a cankle and a pigtail try to sink in the mass, soaking up as much of the stock as it can hold. Once it's thoroughly cooked, the meat will fall off and the hodgepodge will have all the flavor it can get. I'm sorry, but it's just not me.. But I bought the ugly pieces of meat and I poached them for the dogs. It'll need some time to cool down and then they can dig in. Outside, no discussion about that! They can enjoy themselves in their kennel.. I don't need to witness any of it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I think I do..

Do you love me? 
After 25 years, you ask me that question: do you love me? 
I know we've been together for 25 years, but still: do you love me?
I think I do..

My sister-in-law and her husband met 25 years ago and ever since, they have been a happy couple. Not that obvious nowadays, but they still get along real well. They love each other and even more so: they are still madly in love. Isn't that special? I think it is..

They organised a party tonight and invited their family, friends, colleagues from work. Even the children could come along. We had a great time. The theme of the night was Egypt, since both of them love Egypt. They have visited the country so many times now, they could be residents. The dresscode was Egyptian of course. Many guests had rented special outfits and it was great to see they did. It's always fun to have a theme at a party. There were Egyptian decorations all over the place. 

Top of the bill was the surprise act my brother-in-law had booked for his wife. A very pretty belly dancer came to perform her act. She was not only a belly dancer, if you know what I mean. Many male hearts must have pounded. I'm sure we would have heard the pulsation if they had turned the music down.

It was a great party. It's good to see that - even after 25 years - people can still love one another and care enough for each other to remain a terrific couple.

Just between you and me

Sweetie Pie
Photo taken by Eva Joos

Hey you gorgeous.. Where has my little girl gone? Thirteen years ago, you were so tiny and vulnerable. Totally depending on your mommy and daddy to feed you and to hold you. And look at you now.. You are so.. mature.. Since you started high school, you have changed dramatically. Not in a bad way, certainly not. You and your sister are both in high school now and that has changed our family. We have no more children! The two of you are true teenagers and perfectly capable of taking care of yourselves - up to a certain point of course.
You like your independence. You can handle responsibility, so we give you that opportunity to grow. Having your own bank account meant a lot to you. You save your allowance and you know how to wire money. That's good! I'm pretty sure you'll do real well in the future. You're a bright girl. I'm proud of you xx

Friday, September 3, 2010

Now that was outstanding!

I'm going out tonight, with a good friend. The invitation came as a total surprise, but I'm glad I have the opportunity to go. I'm sure we'll have a great time and the music will be great. I'm a lucky girl.. Wanna bet I'll tell you the night out was outstanding?

What's cooking?

Lately, I have made quite some different soups. I guess I'm going through a soup phase? A creamy tomato soup is still favorite here, as well as white asparagus soup. But what's wrong with chicken stock, packed with finely chopped veggies? Or mushroom soup, Thai chicken soup or apple curry soup? There are so many soups and recipes to try out. It's a good way to have your daily vegetable intake and it's low calorie/low carb. So what keeps you from making your own soup? I try to start from fresh chicken or vegetable stock. Okay, it may be time-consuming to make your own stock, but it's so much better than the store bought stock cubes. And at least you have control over the ingredients.

Sometimes I put a couple of marrow pipes in my stock. Yes, both whippets sit beside the Range Cooker, to wait for their goodies. The marrow gives a really nice taste to the stock. That's the stock I keep to make my creamy tomato soup. I use the blender to make it velvety. That's one of the only soups my children will eat. No lumps or chunks, just creamy and velvety.

Soups can be very filling, especially if you make it a mealtime soup, with potatoes or pasta in it. I'm always looking for new recipes. The best ones I keep in my own cook book. And that book is getting thicker by the day. Have a bowl!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Limited edition

Have you ever realized how unique every one of us is? So many people on this planet and not two are completely alike. You could say we are all limited editions. Even twins can be very different next to their obvious and less obvious similarities. People can look so much alike on the outside, but be totally different when it comes to their personality. Is that a comfort? To me it is! There shouldn't be many more of me! Too hard to handle! I'll stick to the limited edition!

One little piggy went to the market

Every now and then, my friend and I meet in town to go to the local market. Not that we even make it to the market to shop for groceries. Mostly, we meet some place to have a drink and a bite and we start chatting. By the time we're done talking, the stall holders have packed up their goods and left.. So far so good. But that's okay, I prefer to run for errands all by myself, so I can take my time to get to know new products and pick whatever I prefer.

My friend and I are meeting up again. I'm looking forward to seeing her. The sun is out, the kids have gone to school and Hubby will take the dogs for a walk.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A change would do you good

That's what your Dutch doggie mommy said, when we came to take a look at you last year. She had picked you up in Denmark, where you had lived for 2 years. Her house is full of whippets and Italian sighthounds. They loved you deeply, but you told her you lacked attention. You wanted more cuddles and someone to call your own. They decided we could have you if we promised to take good care of you. So on September 1 2009, you came to live with us. I can't believe it's already been a year. I remember your first day in our house. You raced around the backyard, playing with your toys. You were really happy to come live with us, although you loved your Dutch mommy and daddy deeply. We adopted you, but every now and then, you have the chance to visit your other adoptive parents. They still love you and you haven't forgotten about them. We picked another name for you and you know your name real well.

Since your playmate Inthe came to live with us, you have declared yourself a mommy. And you are a very good mommy to her! You take care of her, you teach her things, you scold her for bad behaviour and you dry her when she's been out playing in the rain. Inthe is so fond of you and she follows you around the house.

You are a very smart whippet. When we need to go some place, you and Inthe spend a couple of hours in your outdoor kennel. You're not crazy about the idea, but once you're in the kennel, you go to the dog house and you lay down and sleep. But it's a real charade to get you there. Most of the time, you stay on the terrace, while Inthe races to the kennel straight away. We end up carrying you all the way back there (you're heavy girl!). You're just too smart! Did I tell you that we all love you to pieces???

Seems like old times

School was never a problem for me. I really liked going. I was eager enough to learn, although I never liked to study. But I was good at paying attention in the classroom, so a lot of information came through anyway.

Both our daughters are doing real well in school too. They are amongst the best in their class and they get good grades. They don't study that hard, but just like their mom, they pay attention in class. School starts again this morning. Only for half a day. It was moving to see our youngest put on her uniform again. She looks so cute in her mini skirt and blouse. She's changed so much over the last year - from a tomboy into a little lady. The oldest on the other hand, looks so grown up already. She's tall and people estimate her older than she is. Sometimes she even believes she's older than 15. But she's not.

Life is going back to normal. It will be quiet around the house. Just me and the dogs. A lot of me-time. Time to do some cleaning up. Time to cook. Time to relax. And then, by 12:30 PM there'll be more movement around here, when the oldest drops in. I'm ready to hear the stories.. It seems like old times..