Friday, September 30, 2011

Nutella girl and peanut boy

She's a real hype, this beautiful young woman from Antwerp, who shares her life with this wealthy American man. "Den John" has become a statement in Flanders and he has stolen many hearts with his joy of life and the love for his wife. He makes more phonecalls a day than youngsters text messages, but still he is very available to spend time with his Astrid, his "darling". They have their own reality show, by the name of Astrid in Wonderland. There is nothing shocking to be seen, but it's amusing to watch.

Astrid has a soft spot for shoes or should I say: Louboutins? Her dress room is filled with shoes, extremely expensive purses, "amazing" clothes. She drives her own "chromed out pimped out pussy wagon" and that phrase made her world famous, in Flanders that is. We all know "how cool is that" and how "totally out of control" her life is. Nevertheless, she's not that extravagant. I believe she's still pretty normal compared to her American friends. It may be her being raised over here, that keeps her humble enough to withstand the total depravity of a rich woman's life. She's not that decadent that it would repulse you. It's just that she finds everything so "amazing" and that Snoopy has his own important role in the family, that makes her .. well .. something else.

"Den John" is so energetic - did you notice that drawer full of vitamins?? - and a very bubbly personality. One can tell he loves Astrid to pieces. They act like toddlers, playing with stuffed animals in bed, but I believe they have the time of their life. One can't be offended by this show, since it's so "normal" but at the same time "surreal". I mean, what's so newsbreaking about the fact that "Den John" likes his peanutbutter & jelly sandwich (not for breakfast, no thanks) while Darling Astrid indulges her jar of Nutella on toast? Exactly.. not shocking, but good entertainment. I wouldn't want to miss one episode.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's a small world after all

You and your brother immediately stole my heart, when I entered your home in the middle of a snowstorm that March. Your older brother sat in my lap right away, while you were a bit more timid. But soon enough we got to know each other better and we became best friends.
It was my job to bring you to school and pick you up around lunch. We had long chats in the kitchen and we had so much fun playing in the basement. I remember you riding your go-cart in the snow, wearing nothing more than a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Your ear to ear grin is a picture in my head I will never forget..

We keep in touch, your parents and I. When they let me know you were diagnosed with diabetes in 2006,  I was gobsmacked.. No... not you David... that was not fair!!!! I got my diagnosis 4 years earlier, but I was already an adult, married, with two children. You were only 18 and you have a whole life ahead of you. You were not supposed to get diabetes. I wished for you and your family a happy and healthy life without worries.

You had a hard time letting diabetes come into your life. It was not something you welcomed.. I wanted to come over and give you a hug. Let you know everything was going to be okay. I wanted to relieve your pain. Diabetes is a chronic disease, and up till now there's no cure. We keep hearing a cure is in sight, but so far, we're still waiting. We still need to provide our bodies with insulin and we need to poke our fingers several times a day to prevent complications in later life.

I read your family article online. I'm so proud of you guys! What a commitment. You are so lucky to have a supportive family. They love you to pieces, David! You're a pretty special boy, you know. I know you're a man now and it's been so long since I last saw you, that I still see the little blond boy you were back then in Chelmsford, Mass.

Let me copy the article here. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation could use some extra funding. Good luck David! Till we meet again. Say hi to your mom, dad and brother for me, okay?

Chelmsford Family To Walk to Cure Diabetes

The McHugh Family will participate in the annual 5k.
&nbps;1 Comment
Chelmsford residents Dennis and Susan McHugh walked their first 5K with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) five years ago and have not given their feet a break since.
“The annual JDRF walk is very personal for us,” said Susan McHugh.
The couple discovered JDRF back in 2006 shortly after their son David, then 18, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
“When we first found out our son was diagnosed we really didn’t know how to help him or ourselves,” said McHugh. “The disease really is a life-changing thing that affects so many people.”
Following the news of their son’s diagnosis, the family contacted a close friend who referred them to JDRF. According to McHugh, she and her family quickly became involved in the organization, walking in the Boston 5k that year.
“We walked then and continue to walk because we see what the organization is doing. We want more of it and we want to support it,” she said.
Since 2006, the McHugh family has continued to work with JDRF not only by consecutively participating in their annual 5k, but also by speaking at informational meetings hosted by the foundation as well.
“There are a lot of organizations out there doing great things, and JDRF is one of them,” said McHugh. “They really have found the magic and caused us to be hopeful.”
McHugh said seeing the event grow year after year has brought her hope.
“The first walk we did was amazing,” McHugh said. “We met other families going through the same thing we were, and there was so much positive energy. We were all there to help support the research that will make the lives of those affected better now.”
McHugh said the families she's met through the walk are inspiration for her to keep going.
“Living with diabetes is manageable, but it comes with lots of complications,” she said. “It’s not like you can skip treatment one night, like you can with brushing your teeth. It’s an ongoing thing. The only thing consistent about the disease is its inconsistency.”
McHugh hopes that the support from her family and others in and around Chelmsford continue to raise money and awareness for a promising future of diabetes.
“I believe the disease can be cured,” McHugh said. “The answer is out there, and we just have to push it over the edge to us.”
McHugh and her family will be lacing up their sneakers for their fifth 5k with JDRF this Saturday, Oct. 1. She hopes others in the community will support the event as well.
“The walk itself is going to be on a beautiful day, with lots of wonderful people and lots of fun,” she said.
Although she is excited for this year’s event, McHugh knows that her support for JDRF and the future of diabetes is just getting started.
“Things can always happen, and we all must support each other to find a solution,” she said. “We will beat this. We will walk forever if that is what it takes.”
To donate to the McHugh family in their walk in the JDRF 5K this Saturday, please, click on "Donate to a Walker" and type in Susan or Dennis McHugh. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

For donkey's years

It seems like ages ago that I left for the US to live an au pair's life. At the same time: it seems like yesterday..
It was one of the best years of my life and I'm so happy I persisted in going. It was a risk, since you don't know the host family you're going to stay with. You do get a portfolio with pictures and a description of their family life, but at the time there was no phone or mail contact. So you need to straighten your back, look forward and jump in the deep. It was a very good decision of mine to go and experience a whole different way of life.

When you told me you wanted to go to school in Italy, my heart melted. Memories, nostalgia, call it whatever you want, but I could sense your excitement and your expectations of this unique chance. I told you to go for it and have the time of your life. We didn't think you would leave that soon. After you got your report card on Thursday, you only had the weekend left to pack your things and get organized. Your parents drove you all the way to Trieste, Italy, to help you find boarding. You were probably as nervous as excited, but hey: who wouldn't be? After all, you have always lived in your parent's house and this is your first time away from home. All by yourself, cooking your own meals, you will roam around the streets of Trieste and go to Italian colleges. I envy you, cupcake. I wish I were 20 again.. 

You keep in touch and it's good to read you every now and then. I have seen the pictures of your new environment and they make my mind drift off..

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's official now..

I'm so happy for the two of you! You really belong with one another and I presume you'll have a bright future together.

You had a place of your own and so did your girlfriend. But it was a good decision to find a new place, so you could start all over. A fresh start, your new life with your new partner. It's better this way. You needed a house as close to work as possible. It took you some time to find the most fitted house, but once you had set your eyes on it, the decision was made. Your girlfriend was as happy:
a nice spacious house, a wonderful garden for the little one to play in, three bedrooms and an efficient kitchen. We live only 4 kilometres apart now.

You're nearly done moving things and you'll get used to this new lifestyle pretty soon. It's official now: the three of you can start your life together.. We wish you all the best!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Important issues

Today I'm seeing my endocrinologist for my annual check-up. I no longer fear these appointments, since I'm doing better managing my diabetes. I had to go in last week to have my bloodwork done. I'm having mixed feelings about the outcome: that 6.5% is really good but how I got it is not the right way. There were numerous low blood glucose readings on my meter, just too many. That makes the average numbers lower but not exactly better. Low readings are good, as long as that low means within range. I don't have those low numbers by choice though. My need for insulin has dropped extremely in the last year. I needed about 135 units of insulin on a daily basis in 2010. It still startles me that nowadays, my penfills last a whole lot longer: my daily average insulin use has dropped to around 35 units. I keep altering my basal pattern of my pump and the low blood glucoses of the last month prove I can go on lowering my need of insulin. I'm still a type 1 diabetic and I will always run on insulin, but the less I need, the better for me.

The only exam that makes me nervous, is the kidney function exam. Can you remind me to drink more?
I barely drink 2 - 3 glasses a day and that's so not enough. I know my kidneys will fail one day, if I don't increase that volume, but it's just that I'm never thirsty! It doesn't cross my mind to fill a glass of water and quench my thirst. Sometimes my kidneys hurt. They let me know I need more fluid in my body. It would be smarter to act before I get the notice.

My endocrinologist is a fun guy. He's Dutch and I like to discuss diabetes with him. Since I have a wonderful diabetes nurse who helps me out 24/7, there's no much need for a doctor. It's more like a social visit. I'd like to keep it that way. It means I have good management over this chronic condition..

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cheeky messages

I love it when you do that: those little notes you put on my pillow, really warm my heart.. It's not something you do weekly or even monthly but every now and then, you scribble something on a piece of scrap paper, to let us know you love us. That is so sweet... Little girls grow up and it's not that easy to tell your parents that you love them. That's why these cheeky messages are so important and welcome..

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Loving and caring

The two of you are like Siamese twins: you can't be separated.. Little Inthe had to stay in the animal hospital for about 6 hours and Rebba went bananas.
As soon as Inthe got a shot in her bum to help her relax, you started to panic. Leaving her behind was not what you had in mind. You started to hyperventilate and you were shivering all over your body. Inthe had no idea what was going on, but she went into the bench, ready to be operated on.

We took you for a long walk, Rebba, and we had a hard time calming you down. You didn't feel at ease and you kept looking out for your little mate. It was so moving to see how you missed her. It's not easy to explain to a dog what's happening, is it? We walked and walked and had some coffees and lunch, before it was time to pick sweetie up. As soon as we got into the driveway of the hospital, you were alert. You didn't hesitate to enter the clinic this time, because you wanted to be near Inthe. What a joy when you finally reencountered. Inthe looked absolutely fine and she was all chipper and alive. We were so happy the operation went well and that she was doing so good.

Later on that night, the wound started to bother Inthe. There was no more anesthesia and you were hurting. Hubby was very gentle with you and carried you around the house. Rebba stayed close and didn't loose track of you. You both had a good night, snuggled in together in your bench. Rebba takes good care of you, Inthe. She's a real mommy.. Get wel soon, bunny!

Friday, September 23, 2011

How do you do it??

Both of you were in your rooms, sorting out things and cleaning up. Well, at least, that's what you were supposed to do. I climbed the stairs all the way up and that's when I heard you sing. I had never heard you sing before. In fact, you were playing your guitar and singing at the same time. The hairs in my neck stood right up.. How do you do it?? You have never taken guitar lessons and I had no idea you could sing so well???

I asked your sister and she confirmed your talent. She really enjoys the sounds you make. She even turned down the music on her TV to listen to you. She said you often sing and play the guitar or flute. I didn't know.. It's wonderful to listen to you. But as soon as I came into your room, you stopped playing/singing. Don't be ashamed: you're good!!!

I feel blessed..

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just a kiss

There's not much more I can do for you sweetie. There's not going to be any food in your bowl today. You had to stay sober for the big event. You have no idea why we're leaving that early this morning. You wouldn't want to miss a ride in the car, so you were all happy and chipper when I got both your and Rebba's leash. I had to bring Rebba too, because she goes frantic if we separate the two of you.

Rebba had the same operation some time ago. Things went well and we no longer need to worry about accidental pregnancy. But you, little Inthe, are so pretty and the boys are too fond of you. You know you are pretty and you sure like to present yourself to available partners. Ooh sweetie, my heart bleeds that you need to have this operation, but it will be safer and in the end better for you. We are not familiar with raising a nest of puppies and I would be devastated to have to let go of your offspring. So no, we can't do that. Trust me.. it's the best and only option for you.

I hope you'll be fine and the surgery will bring you not too much discomfort. We'll be very gentle with you today. Let me give you a kiss and a cuddle. Good luck honey.. xx

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Now we're talking

I was supposed to meet three wonderful men yesterday. We had an appointment in the mall for a drink and a bite. It had been a while since I last saw our youngest date. I was real happy to see him and he looked fantastic! We share the same passion for cooking and he's so mature for his age, that it's a pleasure talking to him. What a fine young man! It shouldn't surprise you that we had dim sum for lunch and way too many latte macchiatos afterwards. A mutual friend would join us later, but somewhere down the line, he probably chickened out and sent his cat.. Too bad, because I'm pretty sure he would have loved the outing.
Somewhere in the afternoon, our other companion showed up. It was our first meeting and I had looked forward to that. He was in the hospital last August, and I had no chance to go visit him since we were having some fun in Florida. So we finally met and it was an interesting afternoon. The men I date are so versatile and different but then again so similar. They have mutual interests and hobbies and they all love to chitchat. It's a relieve to talk to men instead of women for a change. The conversations are different but as interesting;
Of course I don't really "date" these men.. I'm married remember? And they have partners too. Not to mention that they love men.. just the way I do or maybe just a little different.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Team leaders

Being part of a well functioning team is a privilege as much as a challenge. Working with both men and women may be confusing and exhausting, since each sex has a different way of communicating and working. Being a team leader is not an easy job and it needs a lot of people skills and insight. Some people will like the team leader, others won't. That's life. There are plenty of reasons why one will like/dislike the leader of the team. As long as all members keep respecting one another, it might work out well. There may be some disagreements every now and then and that's the moment when team leader and co-workers need to come together and discuss the issues. It's been proven a good way to solve problems. Things that need to be said, can be said and heard by all of the people involved. It's a good chance for all team members to open their hearts, mouths and ears.

Some issues are worth mentioning, others are just non-essential. It's up to the members to decide which problems are trivial or minor. Sometimes you interpret phrases in a different manner than they were spoken and that might give friction of some sort. Feeling unhappy and discontent is not going to solve anything. Negative feelings keep adding up until they become a pile that is doomed to tip over.

We all learn lessons in life. That's a good thing. It helps us to grow and to understand our fellow creatures.  It's not necessary to put issues in a negative daylight. They may be an opener to a better co-operation.

I hear you are a good team leader. People respect you for who you are and what you do. You try to be fair and not to side with anyone. They made the right decision to make you a team leader.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ola supermercado!

I love to shop for groceries. I know that many people find that a chore, but to me it's a party! There are several supermarkets I frequent and I know where I need to be to get certain specialties. I don't mind if that means I have to drive to Holland to get a certain brand of soda or a small jar of summer truffle. It's worth the ride.

I'm always on the lookout for new ingredients or products I have not used before. Roaming around the store is like the best time to come up with new recipes. It's so inspirational! I prefer to go all by myself, so I can take my time and nobody gets annoyed if it takes me 20 min to pick up different products from the shelf.

Coming home and sorting out my groceries, requires some organization. Most of the time, the dogs can't wait to come help me and see if I brought them any goodies or a new toy (okay, that does happen, but the children reprimand me for that). I prefer them not to be around, so I can sort things out and make sure everything goes where it belongs. There's a foreign food space in my pantry and I just love to add new items to that section. I remember that red curry paste, that was so hot I had to rinse my food under the tap before I could eat it. New product, new experience, huh!

Cooking doesn't have to be boring. In fact, you don't need to make a dish twice in a whole month. Maybe it's time to make some more monthly menus? Good idea! Let's get started!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's just a number

Diabetics are supposed to check their blood glucose before and after meals and around bedtime. Many of us check multiple times: between meals, before a long distance car ride, during illness, because there's a suspicion of a low or high blood glucose.. Sometimes even 10 times a day.. Every check means a report. The numbers on our blood glucose meter don't lie. They state nothing but facts. Not always pleasant facts, but facts nevertheless. Those numbers may be very confrontational, especially if those numbers are not within the range we want them to be.

A doctor's consultation requires a download of those numbers and seeing the print out can be even more disappointing. Sometimes you really dread those appointments and there must have been times when some of us rescheduled those appointments, because in advance we knew the outcome wasn't going to be comforting. So that's when you don't go.. But the numbers stay. They don't go anywhere, not even if you ignore them.

That's when diabetics may decide they no longer want that bad feeling. They stop checking their blood glucose and they skip the blood work. Because the confrontation is too hard. We don't always need numbers to know how we are doing. But sometimes the numbers decide for us. Highs and lows make us feel insecure. They may scare the heck out of us, because we know what longterm high A1c levels do to our bodies. Every blood work, every reading is some kind of report, like we are school kids. We sometimes get reprimanded for those numbers by our team, by our family, by ourselves..

Don't let the numbers get to you. They are just numbers. They don't say anything about you or about the person you are. At least, that's what doctors tell us. Doctors who don't have diabetes. Doctors who don't have to check their blood glucose 8 times a day and face the facts..

Saturday, September 17, 2011


You are too weird.. The way your eyes move around their sockets while your eyelids are not completely closed, is just freaky. The convulsions of your spiderlike legs are so strange, that you scare the girls. It's like you are running around in your dream and we are living that dream. The "writ" sounds you make while twitching your eyeballs, would go well in a Halloween scenario. I have tried to record those sounds with my BlackBerry, but I'm always just one minute late. I wonder if those dreams are actual nightmares to you? Are you afraid at the time? Or does it just look so weird to us? If only you could speak..

Friday, September 16, 2011

Seventh heaven

Three days we have been spending together. It had been a while since the 5 of us last went out. There was some catching up to do. But mostly we had fun and a good time.

It's time to unpack our suitcases. I had no idea what to bring this time. I have cleaned up my dressing many times in the last couple of months and there's not that much left. Would we go out to dinner? Would I need high heels to dress up? I didn't know and that's just the way I like it: you keep surprising us. You know what we like to do and you're good at planning fun activities. Thank you for caring!

's Hertogenbosch was a whole lot of fun: wonderful shops, good food, plenty of sun and a nice place to rest our bodies. Did I mention good company? It's always a joy to hang out together and this time wasn't any different. I have a completely new wardrobe and yes... I bought shoes and boots (again). But guess what? Hubby has become a shopaholic too! The times he had just one pair of shoes is long ago now.

This one street in 's Hertogenbosch is loaded with inviting restaurants. It can be compared to Leuven or Brussels in that manner and the atmosphere was very pleasant. We had dinner at In den zevenden hemel and the staff was so nice! The menu was amazing (in fact, I wanted to order 3 appetizers and have a 4th one as dessert) and I had a hard time picking out my preference. There were too many things I would have enjoyed. I made a good choice though and I hope this restaurant will be on our favorite places to go - list for the coming years.

My batteries are loaded again. I have fresh energy.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

You look ravishing

Happy Birthday sunshine! Can't wait to see you and give you your birthday kisses. You have been away for a week and I must admit: I missed you!!! Although we kept in touch (thanks to the Internet), I wish I could have joined you to attend that interesting diabetes convention. But I'm sure you'll tell me all about it.

We will meet up some day soon. I want to give you a hug and tell you what a beautiful person you are. Have a wonderful day with your beloved husband and your gorgeous children. xx

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Knowledge versus wisdom

Knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing that you shouldn't put tomato in a fruit salad..

That goes for diabetes as well. Over the years, so many different articles have been published and new treatments were introduced. Times change so rapidly, that sometimes it's hard to keep up.

In the 9 years I have been "blessed" with D, I have learned so much. Although my grandmother was a diabetic, I didn't know much about the condition. I knew my grandpa had to shoot up insulin in her bum, but further than that? No.. we were ignorant at the time and there were no discussions with us children on the subject.. Later on in life, I found out that some of my aunts have diabetes too.
Once you're confronted with the disease, you either have the option to go hide yourself or to pull yourself together and learn more about your condition.

The first edition of Diabetesmagazine came in by mail. I'm very proud of this project and the lady behind it. She did a wonderful job at picking out themes and subjects for this more than interesting magazine. We were in touch on several occasions, to discuss the magazine and its contents. It's a positive approach and I like that. It'll be a magazine to keep, since there's also an interview with undersigned. Yes! Am I proud about that? You bet I am! I really like to inform people on diabetes and I'm more than willing to show them life doesn't have to end after the diagnosis. Times have really changed and diabetes gets noticed much sooner than in the old days. It's good to know the symptoms, so you can get treatment as soon as possible.

Feel free to order your own magazine. It's worth it..

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's oh so quiet

It's oh so still..

Life has gone back to normal. The children have adapted pretty fast in school. The youngest one is making new friends and her sister is happy to see her old mates. Now I see the ease of both girls attending the same school. Although they leave for school at different times and the oldest one is home before the other one decides that school is really out, the routine is different from last year. They won't admit it, but I'm pretty sure they are glad school has started again. Both girls do well in school. They get good grades and they are good at paying attention in class. I guess they do look a little after their mom..

Monday, September 12, 2011

Somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of you when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it's an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end
Always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times 
you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I'd done
And I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I couldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

I used to know
That I used to know

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An oh-no moment

Even 10 years later, watching a documentary on 9/11 still shocks me. Nobody needs to hear more than the date 9/11 to know what we are talking about. It's devastating to relive those moments of terror, to see the footage and hear the panic in peoples voices. It's just so surreal to see that horror actual happen. So many people didn't even have a chance. They were surprised like rats in a trap. They didn't have the time to say goodbye to their beloved ones. There were no longer going to be merry Christmases or graduations to celebrate. America would never again be the same..

I haven't visited New York since. Every time we take a plane, you look out for suspicious subjects. You don't really know what to look out for, but still, you are a little anxious. Will this 9/11 be a scary day? Will something happen that will shock the world a second time? Let's hope not.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Le monde entier est un cactus

Trust me, I like to socialize and hang out with friends. There are not enough days in a month to meet up with friends and have a good time. Lunch, dinner, shopping, chitchatting, going for a walk (okay, that's not my favorite outing but it's good for us), diabetes meetings, .. sign me up. Life is too good to dwell over small problems and drag yourself through the day in negative thoughts. I'm not always that chipper and bubbly. I have bad days too. Some people run into bad situations more often than others. Some choose to stay in a bad environment, others get a grip and choose for a better life. I can cope with some negativity but I also feel I have to protect myself from overdoses of dark thoughts. I'm like a sponge, you know. I soak up peoples innermost feelings and I live their unhealthy situation. It gets to me at night and it keeps me from sleeping. Too much negativity wears me out and that's when I decide to take a break and surround myself with beauty and joy, laughter and sunshine. It's difficult for me when people cling to me and expect me to call them all the time and spend all of my leisure time with them. I feel trapped when that happens and it's suffocating. I need space and time and it's so not me to feel like a bird in a cage. Yes, I do feel sympathy for many people and I have no issues with the fact that life isn't always a piece of cake, but I'm no longer prepared to indulge myself in someone else's negativity..

Diabetes is not a joke. But at the same time it's also a challenge. Mood swings come with diabetes and diabetes comes with mood swings. It's our job to look out for ourselves and feed our body with positive energy. Negativity makes my heart tick too fast and raises my blood sugar like a launched rocket. I completely understand that people are not happy with the choices I make, but sometimes one has to stand up for himself and move on in life. That's what I do. I move on, I try to live my life to the fullest and I enjoy the small things in life. Happiness is not something that awaits you after death. There's plenty of time to nag about situations and to feel unhappy when your time has come. Pull yourself together and choose to live now. You can only benefit from it and so will your surroundings.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Every now and then, there are stories that take my breath away. Stories worth mentioning, stories to be shared. Today I would like to share this video with you. There's not much I can say in advance. Just see for yourself and you will know what I mean..


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Got any plans for the night?

I have to stop. My agenda has to be blocked for the rest of the month. Too many appointments, too many outings. It's not that I don't enjoy those dates, but it means I'm away from home too often. I had not expected September to be that busy. There are some things I need to do around the house, so I might have to do some chores late at night.

Today I have another lunch date with my friend, who is leaving the country this month. She and her partner need some more sun they can't find in Belgium. I don't blame them. We do need the vitamins the sun brings us. In fact, people are a whole lot happier if the sun's out. Let's keep our fingers crossed we will have the opportunity to have lunch outside on the deck, in the sun.

I'm looking forward to our chitchatting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Good to know

Please don't feel all alone.. because you're not. Maybe in the past you didn't know anybody else with diabetes, but times have changed. People have become more open about their condition and it no longer has to be a secret. There are so many ways to encounter other diabetics. There's our diabetesforum and there's the Conversation Maps at our hospital. We have meetings in our special diabetespubs (there are 3 now!) and we meet up for lunch whenever we feel like it. Please feel free to join us.

You said you really enjoyed our conversation. For the first time in 28 diabetes years, you had the feeling someone felt what you felt. You could share your story without getting that "you bore me" look. I could sense your pain, your tristesse, your memories of your diagnosis as a young teen. Those memories still haunt you. Hospitals scare you, because of those bad memories. Nobody took the time to explain things to you and you were told never ever to have sugar again. You were told you could never have children because of your condition. In fact, you were told you were not going to have much of a life.. And that's what you believed, because that was the only voice you heard..

I really feel for you. Diabetes treatment has changed over the years. You have changed hospitals and we now share the same diabetes nurse. Step by step, you are working on coming to terms with D. It will take some time for you to let go of the "you can't have that"thoughts.. Life hasn't been easy on you, but you have a very supportive husband. You're a clever and beautiful lady. You'll get there, don't worry. Don't feel guilty for getting diabetes and don't let diabetes take over your life. You're in control, you really are..

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


There are so many words to describe potatoes, but spuds? Are you serious? I overheard the Australian chef Bill Granger say it and I just knew I had to check that word out. I even started to like the sound of it: spuds.. Sounds a whole lot more interesting than the plain potatoes huh?

In fact, I like potatoes in all its shapes and forms and preparations. Boiled potatoes are my least favorite, but I do eat them every now and then. I hardly ever eat them warm. If I have boiled potatoes, I want them the next day, right out of the fridge. I sprinkle some vinegar over the spuds, season them with salt and pepper and some spring onion. That's how I like my boiled potatoes. There's no need to add mayo to this dish, it adds nothing but calories and it leaves you with this feeling of guilt. No good..

For some time in my diabetes career, I didn't eat potatoes. Because my bloodsugar wasn't very happy with potatoes. There were too many spikes and that's not something I wanted to encourage. It was not just the potatoes. My body wasn't very good at digesting bread and rice and pasta either. But I'm still a Dutch girl and I wouldn't be me if I wouldn't find a way to make my body digest those "spuds".

I try to stick to a certain amount of potatoes/bread/pasta when I have them. No more than 30 grams worth of carbs. And that works fine for me. I don't need any more. Did you know that only the first couple of bites give you the taste you craved? After that, you just fill your stomach. Since I found out, it no longer hurts my feelings to stop right there. There's more to life than potatoes!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Morning sickness

I could tell you weren't sleeping well, but I thought it was the storm that kept you from dozing off. Wrong guess... around 02:30 AM, you jumped out of bed and raced to the bathroom. Your worst nightmare had come true: you were sick.. It there's something you can't have, it's sickness.. I really felt for you, hearing you turn your heart inside out. I could feel your agony and the sweat in your hands. The sounds you made were horrible and you must have thought you would die right there on the spot. For 45 minutes, you sat there, feeling like crap and cursing at those canned meatballs you had as a late evening snack. There wasn't much I could do but bring you a bottle of water, was there?

The last time you were sick, must have been 14 years ago. I was pregnant with our second daughter and there was quite some activity in my stomach in the early hours. Telling you I was going to be sick, you hopped out of bed to land on hands on knees, making gagging sounds. It terrifies you to throw up and you would do anything to prevent it.. Let's hope you will feel better soon.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pretty special

You really are something else..
We went out for lunch together. You always know great places to enjoy a good meal and I truly enjoy your company. We hadn't seen each other for a couple of weeks, so there was some catching up to do. You keep surprising me and I like the way you look at the world. I'm always chipper and happy after a meeting with you.
I don't know how you do it, but you are such a good motivator. You know the right things to say and you are good at discovering the talents in people. What a wise lady you are..

Enjoy your stay in Lissabon. You deserve it..

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Once upon a time

Yesterday I woke up and I thought: I can't believe I'm 40.. Really. Time to rejoice the past and relive some wonderful memories. I'm pretty happy with the life I'm leading. I have done some amazing things so far and I'm lucky with my family. At the age of 20, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. There were no real goals in life and not many perspectives. I have doubled that age now and you know what? I'm still leading a pretty comfortable life and there's no need to worry or live in agony. Of course we all have good and better days, but it's not my attitude to dwell over things that can't be solved on the spot. Life is too good and we'd better live it to the fullest. Don't worry about age, don't worry about some grey hairs..  But then again, I must admit I was flattered when the lady in the shoe store estimated my age at 34..

Friday, September 2, 2011

The rhythm of life

Life is coming back to normal. The whippets are laying side by side on the couch, their bodies wrapped in blankets for the cosy feeling it gives them. The radio is on and for now, that's the only sound in the house, besides my tapping on the notebook. I have a lunch meeting today with my friend aka sister-in-law and I'm looking forward to that. Haven't seen her since we got back from the States and I would like to thank her and her partner for taking care of our house during our absence.

Hubby has gone back to work after his 1 month vacation. I can remember how that feels like.. all of a sudden you have to focus on work again and hop onto that crazy rollercoaster. No time for a nice cup of coffee with a home made cookie, no time to sit outside in the sun or mow the lawn if you really want to feel like doing something. But then again, his job is very interesting and daring.

I have planned some housework for the upcoming week. Some chores have to be done and I prefer doing them when I'm all by myself. The whippets will spend some time by themselves in their outside kennel and enjoy the last sunbeams of this summer.

Let's pick out a summer outfit and put on those high heels. The car has been washed and cleaned and my favorite Glee CD will lighten up the ride. See you in a while!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

School's out for summer

Just 2 months ago, school was out for summer. There hasn't been much of a summer though. Temperatures were too low to enjoy the sunbeams. Not warm enough for outside BBQ or puddling in the pool. Only 2 short trips to the beach in Holland..

Nevertheless, the girls had a good time. They enjoyed their time away in summer camp. It was a good opportunity to have fun with their friends, away from home. Mom and dad had a good time too. Top of the bill was our vacation in Florida, where the sun welcomed us and warmed our hearts.

The new books have arrived and school supplies will have to be bought this weekend. Bus routes are being checked, luncheons prepared and closets need to be reorganized and cleaned up. Three members of the family will be in the same school now, since Eva is joining Lana in school and so is one of their cousins. Time just flies by and before we'll know it.. autumn leaves will wave across the pavements..