Saturday, March 31, 2012

So not fair!

When you told us about the Comenius Student's Exchange Program, I was delighted you wanted to apply. Yes! our firstborn was going to explore different horizons and spread her wings out abroad to indulge some culture and differences in life. Not many students are allowed to go, you said. And you needed to write an exquisite letter to convince the principals of your motivation and goals. That was not an issue to you. When you let me read your letter, I was gobsmacked by your intelligence, your language skills and perseverance. Wow.. Your letter was persuasive enough to take the next step: the interview with the principals of your school and the Comenius Board. They asked for good school results (you're an excellent student), impeccable behavior (we know you and apparently your principals share our opinion of what impeccable behavior should look like) and an enlightened motivation why they should choose you to attend their exchange program. You were nervous (who wouldn't be?) although you did a great job preparing yourself for the interview. Coming home, you told us about the jury and the long wait before they would announce the chosen ones.

Right before Spring break, you were called into the principal's office. She had news for you, concerning the project. Like we had expected: you were among the better candidates and as so, they had chosen you to go abroad for 3 months, to go live with a host family in either Italy, Spain or Luxembourg. There was one inevitable obstacle though.. there were not as many vacancies as promised earlier in the contest. Leaving you out of the program for now... Holy macaroni! You were devastated, heartbroken and disappointed. For all these months, you had set your eyes on this adventure. We were all so convinced you were going to make it and not one single time had I doubted your application to the program. What a bummer.. Saying that it had nothing to do with you, didn't help. You are not going. Period. To you, that's all that matters. It's a shattered dream. A dream you really wanted to chase.

We won't give up yet. If one of the chosen ones decides not to go, drops out of school or ends up with bad school results at the end of the school year, you will be the first one to replace him or her. I know it's not of any comfort to you, but there's not much more we can do right now. Do not despair yet, okay? Keep on dreaming your dream and have faith that things will work out for you. I'll keep my fingers crossed that a host family will be found and that some school out there is looking forward to having you as their exchange student.

Friday, March 30, 2012

How long

Do you have activities planned you are looking so forward to, that you can't wait for them to happen?

When the children were younger, they would sit in the back of the car, asking how much longer it would take to get wherever we were headed to. Not being able to read the clock or estimating distances, must be hard. Being an adult, we know about time and distances. Does that make the longing go away easier? What have you been longing for lately? Anything in particular? An event? A meeting? A special day coming up? Are there appointments you are so looking forward to, that it makes the days go by way too slow? Wishing you could wipe out a week or two, so the longing wouldn't be that difficult?

I'm not a dreamer. I don't dream about the future or things that might happen. I live in the moment and enjoy the day as it comes. But sometimes I do wish time would go a bit faster. Sometimes I wish I were somewhere else..

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Photographs and memories

Photographs and memories
Christmas cards you sent me
All that I have are these
to remember you..

Summer skies and lullabies
Nights we couldn't say goodbye
And of all the things that we knew
Not a dream survived

Photographs and memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just can't be true
That's all I have left of you..

I used to have my own little treasure box, where I would safe keep my memories of former boyfriends. It came with a lock and a tiny key. It held all of my movie theatre tickets (not that I had that many), a plastic ring (given to me by a very shy young man in France at the age of 13), a cigarette butt (gosh, you all know how I hate cigarettes but I treasured that butt for the lips that had touched it), love letters, a candy wrapper, a pants knot that came off while making out, ..

Over the years, more memories found their final destination in my little treasure box. Pictures were added, love letters got torn and taped back together, an engagement ring got polished before I trusted it to sit by my other memories.

We lived together and had a passionate but at the same time very disturbing relationship. You were so jealous, lacked so much confidence. One day, you found my little treasure box under our bed. You frantically searched the apartment for the key, that you couldn't find, since it was sitting on my key chain I had in my purse. It didn't keep you from forcing the lock and scattering the contents of the box out on the bed. You went through all of my personal memories, my own private belongings. It broke my heart when I came home and found pictures to be torn in two, separating male and female on the portrait. You threw out what was of no meaning to you, but very dear to me. Memories that could never be replaced. I cried silent tears. You took away part of my past and you couldn't comprehend the importance of your deeds. You had no idea the handkerchief in my box was yours. Whenever you weren't around, I would hold it in my hands at night in bed to be closer to you. The handkerchief got burned in your rage.

The actual objects may no longer be available, but the memories will never fade. Because that's what memories do.. They stay with you for the rest of your life. But I wish I could have my treasure box back and go through all those little items, for I assume I must have forgotten some after all..

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The giggles

I don't know what it is, but I've had the giggles so many times lately. One night, with my friends at the diabetes pub, I had the giggles non stop. I couldn't help myself, but tears were rolling down my cheeks, just from giggling at .. well... if only I knew. Honestly, for no reason at all, I started to giggle and I just couldn't stop. It was kinda embarrassing and contagious too, I guess, since some of the others joined my giggling. Seriously! or maybe not that seriously, since giggling has nothing to do with being serious. It's spontaneous and funny and hilarious at times, but certainly not serious.

I love those giggles. They make me feel alive. They warm my heart and make my eyes sparkle. It's so good to be able to laugh and enjoy the good things in life. There's plenty of sadness and sorrow in the world. Let's make it a better place, by showing a glamourous smile and shiny eyes in a wonderful session of joy and laughter. Wanna join in?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I wanna, I wanna..

I wanna go to the beach and be lazy in the sun..
I wanna go for a ride in a convertible and crank up the music..
I wanna shop till I drop..
I wanna lay in a meadow and have a picnic..
I wanna share a cherry cookie dough ice cream..
I wanna go to an amusement park and have the time of my life on the highest rollercoaster, screaming my lungs out..
I wanna make some more fresh pasta..
I wanna kiss and cuddle..
I wanna I wanna I wanna I really wanna zigazig ah..

Monday, March 26, 2012

You make me wanna cry

You are so sensitive, so fragile, so delicate. Your heart is big when it comes to loving and caring, but so small and easily bruised. It has been damaged numerous times before. I just want to hold you and let you feel loved. I feel your sadness and it affects me too. It makes me wanna cry, because I live your grief.

It's painful when people get hurt and nobody's there to comfort them. I know the feeling, because I've been there. Out of experience, I know what it feels like to be sad and emotional and not have a shoulder to lean on. You feel lost and all alone, although the people around you have no idea. Not because they don't care, but because they can't see. They can't read you and they don't sense your grief. It takes one to know one. Is it a sixth sense to feel your hurt? Maybe.. or maybe it's because we relate so well. Maybe because we understand each other. Or maybe because we talk so much. Whatever it is, I want to let you know, you're not alone. Never again. There will always be someone to take care of you and make you feel welcome and loved. Because that's the least you deserve. Loving someone doesn't cost a dime, but it's priceless.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What's love got to do with it?

Everything! It's so obvious that you love her deeply. The way you look at her, says it all. The two of you have been a couple for over one year now and you're still madly in love. It's a pleasure to have you over. I hope you feel welcome here. You're a decent young man and you treat our daughter with respect. Your last months in highschool are coming to an end. It will be kind of awkward for our daughter to not have you around in school. You take the same bus every morning and every now and then, you visit us after school. I love to cook dinner for you. You appreciate my cooking and it's a pleasure to see you have second and third servings. Thank you for loving our daughter. You make her happy..

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It had been ages since we ate as well as that night in Voorschoten, Holland. Not expected, but nevertheless thrilled about the outcome. Upstairs restaurant welcomed us into their nice decor and the staff made us feel at ease right away. They pampered us with delightful creations. I was so happy and excited with this menu and so was my blood glucose. For the first time in my diabetes career, I went out to dinner and my numbers did not flip all the way. Not at all, they stayed within range all night even though we indulged and had more to eat than we normally do. That is what gastronomy does to me. Not many carbs, low fat but still very tasty. I would love to go back and have second servings. I appreciate good food and honest produce. My taste buds have been spoiled. I'm looking forward to visiting this place again.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm still standing

When you started highschool in Bruges, you never thought it wasn't going to be for the upcoming 6 years. Pretty fast, you had a whole bunch of friends. Being in boarding school, gave you the chance to really get to know one another. There was always a peer to talk to, a friend to turn to when things weren't going that smoothly and you had an older student to look after you whenever you felt homesick. You looked stunning in your uniform, stockings pulled up to your knees and a short blue skirt. You had a wonderful time in boarding school and it was painful for you to leave your friends behind. The whole class split and several girls attended other schools that next semester. So did you.. You had no idea what to expect...

You have been doing real well in school. There are different best friends now. They are wonderful young girls and you have great fun together. Friends are important to you and you have proven to be a good friend to them, taking care of them whenever they are sick, making sure their study material is up to date. The last few weeks have been hard on you, since you're doing your exams. Something you didn't have to do in boarding school. You struggled a bit to find out a new method to study, but you're doing just fine now. In the morning, you have your exams and in the afternoon you're supposed to come home and study. But you decided otherwise: you're staying in school to prepare your exams for the following day. Too much distraction at home, you say. I'm proud of you for choosing what's best for you. I'm sure your report card won't disappoint us. You are a good student. Hang in there girly. It's almost time to relax and have fun!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bad timing

Okay, I confess: low blood glucose never comes in handy. In fact, low blood glucose sucks. Big time. Especially if that low is dangerously low. Numbers like 32 or even 24 mg/dl. Those are the lows you'd really rather not have. If the number is still higher than 50, to me that hypo is solved easily and the symptoms aren't that bad. Below 40, things become a bit trickier. My mind definitely lacks sugar at that time, resulting in poor thinking and not being aware of what's going on. You walk around like a zombie, not knowing how to solve that low, although there's a small can of regular soda in your purse and a candy roll - sitting in your pocket - is poking your thigh. It's probably not a good idea to enter that boutique and gather some blouses and shirts, before you take them to the check register. The cashier is friendly and asks you if you were able to find everything alright. You nod, but you have no idea what she's talking about. Using your credit card is no issue, but it's a shame you don't notice the bill is not correct. Those blouses were on sale.. the cashier forgot to deduct the discount. That's when the other comes in handy. To point out the mistake and feed you some sugar. To let you know you will be okay. To help you come out of that terrible low.. and keep your finances well balanced.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cucina principessa

That's what you call me... cucina principessa..

I love to spend time in my kitchen. Whenever the smell of food mounts its way to your floor, you rush down the stairs to see what's cooking. You love to eat and it's wonderful to see you enjoy a good plate of home made food. Your sister has this special sense for recognizing herbs and spices. As soon as she opens the front door, she can tell what I'm cooking or what ingredients I'm using. I find that very interesting and it keeps amazing me. I'm glad both of you are interested in cooking and food and both you girls know how to cook simple but tasty meals.

We have been away for 3 days and you girls were home alone. No parents, no dogs, just the two of you. And you did well, cooking your own meals and washing up afterwards. I'm proud of my ladies.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Unexpected but highly appreciated

It's not even been 6 months since we got to meet each other. Pretty soon after we started talking, we arranged a lunch date. And another one.. and another one. And our lunch dates became lunch and dinner dates, since the babbling is never finished. We say we connect, and that's exactly how I experience our friendship. Because that's what we are: good friends. I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow, for yes, another lunch date. A special one, since today is your birthday and I would like to give you a warm hug and your birthday kisses in person. You're coming over to my region this time. It's been too long since we last met (last month I guess - LOL) and we have so much to talk about. Make sure you have nothing else planned buddy. Let's spend some quality time together. Happy Birthday Mr Shoeman xx

Monday, March 19, 2012

Don't you remember?

Seventeen years ago, you opened your mouth and screamed your first sound on this planet. Just one day after your cousin was born, you decided to join her. What a delight to have two little babies in the family at the same time. The two first grandchildren (of nine) for my inlaws. It was a shame though, that I never got to visit you in the hospital, since I was taking care of my own little girl in a different hospital. But ever since, we meet up regularly and you and your cousin get along just fine. It hasn't always been like that. As toddlers, you weren't the best of friends, competing with one another. But the two of you made up and now you are good friends. Sometimes you even go out together and it's charming to see how you chaperone your cousin to the car, when it's time for me to pick her up.

Happy Birthday dude. I can't call you boy or kiddo and you're not a grown man either, so I'll call you dude, okay? You're a wonderful young man.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Take your time

Take your time to grow up... Life is full of excitement and challenges are peeking around the corner. What more could you wish for, than spend the last couple of days in London, UK? You were so excited about this school trip, that you have talked about it for months in a row. It felt kinda awkward though, to let you get on that bus to Calais, where you and your school mates would catch the train to the UK. A bus full of young children crashed in a tunnel in Switzerland, just this week. No less than 22 school children and 6 adults lost their lives. It's devastating and scary.. The whole country is mourning and the pain in our hearts is not even bearable. But life and love is about letting go. We must have faith that you will be okay. There's not going to be any accident or awful news. You will come home and tell us all about your journey abroad. That's what we promised ourselves..

Happy birthday sweetie. You turned 17 today. That seems like a very long time, but then again, it's like it was only yesterday when you entered this world. So pure, so innocent, so perfect. You have become a wonderful young lady. We love you honeybun. xx

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I have this gut feeling that Spring is starting to show its true colors. The day our chickens laid their first perfect egg of the year, brought me joy and happiness. It was smaller than the eggs they normally lay, but nevertheless, it was tasty and fresh. Daffodils are sprouting from the soil that is being warmed up by weak sunbeams. Little birds are twittering (or should I say tweeting to be hip?) their songs early in the morning, hesitant but still noticeable. That is, if you are willing to listen to them. I love this time of the year. Leaving the dark winter days behind, we can look forward to new life being born. We desperately need more sunlight. Vitamin D is so important for our well being. Our innerself needs this boost to keep going. We lack so much sun in our country, that our oldest daughter keeps saying she will move abroad.

I'm on the look out for Mary and her little lamb. I love Spring. Everything is so new and fresh and hopeful. The sun will brighten our mood and warm our hearts. You're more than welcome, my most favorite season of all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't worry about a thing

This is what I would like to say: don't worry about a thing.. but I'm taking some time off from this blog. No particular reason. I'll be back before you know it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I know your ways

You and I are so much alike... we have similar features and our humor is not always to be understood by others. My little girl looks after me and in that knowledge she looks after you too. It was good to hug you and kiss your cheeks and tell you how much you are loved. You are very special to me. Good days or bad days, you have always welcomed me into your home. Driving home from highschool, I would stop by your house first. There was always a hot cup of tea for me and you were anxious to hear about my week. It felt like coming home..

I'm so proud of you. When you told me your HbA1c had dropped to this very acceptable 5.4%, my heart got filled with pride. There is not one day you don't go outside to take a brisk walk. It's paying off. Following the guidelines of your endocrinologist and dietitian, you are doing so much better than a couple of years before. We talked about your mom today. How she died at the age of 58. The exact age you are now. Can't imagine what it would feel like to lose you. Having chosen you as the godmother of our oldest daughter, you will always have a special place in our hearts. I see how you look at my children with deep love and interest. You ask them about school, their friends and their special friends. You enjoy their stories and you love to cuddle us. That's what moms do.. and that's what you are to me: my own mammie... xxx

Sunday, March 4, 2012


We all have our flaws and our limitations in life. It's interesting to find out what ours are.

I have two sisters-in-law who are very interested in living a healthy life. They work out, eat healthy food and are working on their innerself as well. They don't live their healthy lifestyle to loose weight, no. They don't even need to loose weight. They are convinced that eating healthy food will nourish their body the way it's supposed to be nourished. It's interesting to share opinions and recipes.
One sister-in-law is eating low carb and it's paying off. She feels so much better since she eats more veggies and less carbs. No more stomach troubles and plenty of energy.
The other sister-in-law is taking it even a step higher. She even works in a company that produces and distributes vegetarian produce. After her working hours, she goes to evening classes to become a health consultant. She's doing real well and living healthy is beneficial to her.
I learn a lot from both ladies. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rise and shine

It could be my motto in life: rise and shine. I like positive thinking and I like to move on. Life is too short to dwell over missed opportunities or unhappiness. Does that mean I'm always chipper and exuberant? Don't I have any off days, where I would love to stay in bed and not budge an inch?  I do.. trust me, I do.

Lately, I've had several conversations on this subject, with as many people. Friends who are close to me, know me better than that. They know I'm not always that outrageous and joyful. Just like the rest of you, I have my weak moments. I dislike those weak moments though.
I don't like the sun hiding behind dark clouds. Bright sunlight has my preference over cloudy, rainy days. People are counting on me. I'm good at cheering up others and it fills my heart to pay others a visit if they are in need. But who keeps me safe?
Where's my shoulder to lean on? That's when this difficult question pops up: do I allow myself to fall apart and cry my heart out..? I think not. I'm afraid I won't be able to crawl back up if I do. We should all have a shoulder to cry on. Ever heard the song: Cry me a river? If you have, you will know where I'm headed to.

There are plenty of friends who will lend me their shoulder. There are good friends who will catch me whenever I might trip. I have a couple of phone numbers I can call at any time, even in the middle of the night. That's a comforting thought, although I doubt I would ever dial those numbers. I don't want to be a burden to anyone. You can come and tell me about your troubles in life and I'll give you a hug and a reassuring tap on the shoulder. It's more than okay to let me know how you feel. If only I could be my own best friend, it would make things a whole lot easier. If only I could sleep a bit more... I'm tired..

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nothing new under the moon

Things are going the way they are going. Nothing spectacular happening. Just the usual daily household, you know what it's like. No real excitement. A bit of cleaning, some dusting, maybe some baking as a distraction. There are no particular outings planned or excitement to look forward to. Just me and the dogs, at home, relaxing and getting some chores done. Life can't always be as exciting, right?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Il y a vraiment du metier ici

It won't come as a surprise, if I tell you that I love to cook. Not just the cooking part, but reading recipes, tracking down special ingredients, making preparations in the kitchen, thinking about a logic menu choice.. it's all part of the fun. Imagine my happiness, when being in 's Hertogenbosch, Holland, we visited a cookshop and I ran in to this product I had last bought on the Net. It was a bottle of true vanilla bean paste and it's nearly impossible to find around here. The product is being imported from the exotic Madagascar. I was happy as a child around Christmas with my bottle of vanilla bean paste. I will treasure it and use it sparely.

Seeing that pumpkin and a container of ricotta in my fridge, I decided to make some more ravioli. Coloring the pasta dough with saffran, it came out beautifully well. It would definitely match with the orange filling. The ravioli's are to be cooked first, before you fry them in a shallow pan in a bit of browned butter. Add plenty of freshly grated nutmeg and serve with Parmesan cheese on the side. What a fulfilling task that was. I'm proud of me. I'm proud of what I do and the food I serve. It fills me with joy to see how well the result was. I have put a lot of effort in it and it was worth it.