Sunday, October 31, 2010


I'm not much of a drinker. Alcohol is not something I would miss if I was told to skip it. It's not that important to me. I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. Mostly while having dinner at a restaurant or over a conversation with friends. I barely drink any alcohol otherwise. Or it must be that little sip of eggnog that I made. It's sitting in the fridge and it's supposed to ripen by the week. So I just have to taste a little every day. I just hope the bottle won't be empty by the time it has ripened!

If you like to have a drink and you wish to come over to our place, please let us know in advance, because there's this possibility that you'll end up drinking diet coke or diet sprite if you don't. I could make you Irish or Italian Coffee and I always have a bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge and some red wine on the side table, but that's about it. No beer, no liquor, no cocktails. But still, your visit will never be boring. We don't need the alcohol to have a good time!

The Perfect Party

She's growing up. Nearly 16 years old now. She asked if she could join her cousin to a school dance last night. Her cousin was born the day after her and they get along real well. He's gone out before and so has our daughter. Not every week, not even every month, but she's a sensible girl and we trust her. So yes, we are happy for her that she can go out every now and then. She's a teenager after all and going out is part of her youth. It's good for her, for she can practise in being assertive and setting boundaries. She has to learn to make decisions and being selective in the friends she hangs out with.

I drove her to her cousins house by 6 PM. They were going to meet up before the dance and have dinner together. What a great idea! The party didn't start till 9 PM and I told her I was going to pick her and a friend up at 1 AM. I'm sure she wanted to stay a little longer, but that was the deal. No alcohol was the other agreement. Going out comes with rules and our daughter knows that we are serious about the rules. It's up to her, but I know she won't break the rules. I'm pretty confident. She won't betray the trust.. and she didn't.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


He had the most terrible tooth ache ever. It was just so painful, he made an appointment with the dentist right away. He could barely think of anything else, since the pain was so overwhelming. Hot packs, cold packs, nothing helped to relieve the pain.

The dentist sedated his lip first, before he stuck a needle in my friend's palate. That needle came totally unexpected and the dentist probably poked the abscess at that time. My friend yelled, jumped out of the chair, pushed away the brute and ran out of the dentist's office. He was in sheer agony and never before had he experienced so much pain. If he were a woman, he would probably have said it was worse than delivering a child.

He barely made it to his house, when the abscess cracked, releasing pus and and icky stuff. Finally, the pressure was off. It was over... I would offer him a band aid to soothe the pain, but that'll be a bit tricky I guess..

Curiosity killed the cat

There is this wonderful lady in my surroundings, with great knowledge and years of experience, whom I love to talk to. She has so much wisdom and many interesting stories to tell, that I wouldn't have enough time to hear all of them. I'm so curious about her past, her life, her family. I wish she would let me write down her numerous recipes. I'm always curious about her cooking methods. She has a family of 6 sons and she has cooked so many meals in so many years, that she could write more than a dozen of family style cookbooks. I know I would buy them!

In January, we'll spend some time together. I'll bring my notebook so she can dictate her favorite recipes for me to keep and prepare. It'll never be the same, because following a recipe to the T is not something I'm used to doing, but I'll give it a try. Her recipes don't need any alterations. They are fine as they are.

She's a loving mom and I'm very lucky to call her my friend. It's my pleasure to spend time with her and discuss whatever keeps her busy. She has welcomed me into her family and I feel blessed. Thanks for being who you are, Mrs. T!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Huggy Bear

Today is international hugging day. Flemish people are not huggers by nature. Compared to Americans, we prefer to kiss and shake hands, but more often, even the Flemish try to hug. I'm a hugger!
I really like to hug and cuddle! It's a good stress reliever.

Some friends of mine are good huggers. Their hugs are sincere and warm and very welcome. Other people hug like spiders: cold, distant and creepy. I don't know if one can learn how to hug. It has to come from within. You can express a lot in a hug. Some hugs are loving, other can be comforting and consoling.

Even our whippets like to hug. Lana hugs them all the time. She grabs their legs, puts them on her shoulders and hugs them to pieces. They like to hug too!

So: are you a hugger or not?

You totally don't have to

As soon as Hubby gets out of bed, both whippets point their ears. They just know he's about to come downstairs. They know he will take them for a walk. So they are up and ready for him to enter the living area. They stand on the couch, ready to race to the door to greet him. They are so excited to see him and lick him in the face. He has to calm them down. From the moment he has put on his clothes and shoes, they won't leave him alone. It's the signal he's ready to go! and trust me: so are they!

Both whippets have a collar with their own personalized ID-tag. It has their picture on it and on the back, their name, birth date and our address and mobile number are engraved. Just in case they get lost.. Of course they are chipped as well, but bystanders don't have a device to read their chip, do they? I hope they will never get lost. That's why we are very particular about letting them run without a leash. We try to find rather remote and special places where no cars are allowed and where they can run without being harmed.

I like the way the dogs move their heads from left to right and back, when you ask them if they are ready to go for a walk. It's hilarious.. I think it's about time now. Let's go! You totally don't have to take them, but I'm very happy you do..

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I love to pop my knuckles! I don't pop them to irritate people. It just gives me a good feeling. It's like something I just need to do every once in a while. Consider it a method of stretching? It's like all the joints pop in to the right spot again.

As a teenager, I took flute class in a local music school. Even back then I would pop my knuckles. My teacher hated that! He warned me not to do so. He said I would get arthritis and I would no longer be able to play the flute. My fingers are still very flexible though and I can still play the flute.

Our oldest daughter can't pop her fingers, but her toes do pop all the time. I wonder if she'll get arthritis in her toes.. she definitely won't be able to play the flute with her feet.

Under pressure

Fifteen years ago, I got my first pressure cooker. For many years, it's been a handy kitchen appliance to me. I used it to cook red cabbage (don't you love red cabbage??!!), beef stew, chickenpot, soup,.. Unfortunately, while I was preparing beef tongue, my cooker fell apart. It couldn't be fixed, so I went to the nearest shop to get myself another one. Wow! the prices of the pressure cookers were really shocking. I had no idea what to expect! Hubby knows I use every kitchen appliance I buy, so I knew he wouldn't mind me getting another one and that's exactly how he reacted.

I was surprised by the efficiency of this new cooker by Demeyere. I got myself the 8 litre version. That beef tongue fits in much better than in the smaller pot I used to have.

It may seem funny, but I sometimes use my pressure cooker as a slow cooker. Osso bucco is the next dish I'm going to make in my pressure cooker. The other day, I saw Antonio Carluccio make his version of Osso bucco alla Milanese con Gremolata. And that's exactly what I'm going to make. Can't you smell it already? There's just one minor point: I won't eat the meat.. But the smell and the sauce full of vegetables, together with saffron risotto and gremolata, will be plenty for me. Hubby can have the meat and a huge chunk of bread to sip the sauce with..

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In memory of Eilish..

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Too many people out there, suffering from this condition. Today, I got an email in my inbox that made all the hairs on my arms stand up straight.. This little girl, only 13 years old, went to bed just fine. Sometime during the night, Eilish - who had type 1 diabetes - passed away. Just like that. Without a reason. The family will likely receive few concrete answers. It's just so sad. This family was so particular about Eilishes diabetes. They took good care of her and they loved her deeply.

What happened with this little girl? In situations of this manner, there is often spoken of "dead in bed syndrome" since the cause of death is not known. The syndrome is responsible for about 6% of diabetes-related deaths in people under the age of 40.

"Dead in bed syndrome" is not necessarily linked to poor blood sugar control. You go to bed without an issue whatsoever and you never wake up again. It is scary and confrontational, but luckily it is also rare. Research has shown that "dead in bed syndrome" may be the result of heart arrhythmia caused by an unnoticed nighttime hypoglycaemia. Some suggest it may be the result of hypo-unawareness. That's when a person with diabetes no longer experiences the warning signs of a low blood glucose. In most cases, our liver stores an amount of 16 sugar lumps. It's an effective method for when we don't notice our hypos during the night, when the liver releases the stored sugar to help us get through the episode. Unfortunately, sometimes things go terribly wrong. That's a possible explanation of what happened with Eilish. But nobody knows for sure, since you cannot determine ones blood glucose after death..

In the first years of my diagnosis, those nighttime lows really freaked me out. At a certain time in that period, I was afraid to go to bed. I would stay up as late as possible and poke my fingers several times during the night, to make sure I was not going to get a low without noticing. I've got over that now.

The story of Eilish is absolutely devastating. Her family must be hurting so badly now. It's such a sad story. It is one of the reasons why we need more funding to find a cure for diabetes. It could happen to any of us, diabetics, and there are no precautions we can take to avoid it.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition. It is not some joke. It's not just a little bit of sugar. I hope you're okay now Eilish, wherever you may be now. My love goes out to your sister Ella and to your mommy and daddy, whose hearts must be shredded over your loss. You will be missed terribly. You warmed the hearts of so many people around you. Things could have been different. Things should've been different. Nobody is to blame for your death, Eilish. You did the best you could. So did your family. You were cared for and you mattered big time. You will not be forgotten.. This candle is to burn for you and all the children out there, who are suffering from this condition. I hope no family has to go through this pointless ordeal..


Under no circumstances would I call myself a vegetarian. I don't eat much meat or fish - although I eat more fish than meat - but it's just that I'm not too fond of meat. I don't feel the need for meat or poultry. I do like my veggies and I would have a harder time giving up on vegetables.

Diabetics have more cardiovascular risk. Eating a lot of meat is not very healthy because of the large amount of fat in meat. But that's not the reason why I don't eat that much meat. I have never been a big meat lover. Not because I feel bad for the animals being killed for their meat. I don't think of the animal when I have a piece of meat on my plate. There are just so many other things to enjoy that I do not particularly ask for meat.

In Belgium, people are used to having three items on their plates: meat, potatoes and vegetables. Making a weekly menu, people start by thinking what meat they are going to have. The choice of vegetables is the last choice and not that important to many. I start by thinking: what vegetables can we eat this week? I try to pick 2-3 vegetables per meal and then I figure out what else I'm gonna have. I like legumes like lentils, beans, chickpeas, .. and I occasionally have falafel, but I don't like veggie burgers or vegetarian sausages for that manner. I don't feel the need to replace my meat by something else. My plate is full of vegetables and some carbohydrates. Every now and then I will have a piece of meat or fish, but not necessarily. Quorn is a good alternative, but I don't eat it that often. I never have tofu or seitan or tempeh. It's just not something I long for.

I wouldn't be bad for any of us, to have a meatless day on a weekly basis. Just like we used to have fish on Friday, we could make Thursday veggie day. You could use meat alternatives if you feel the need or you could have legumes or eggs instead. If you don't mind meatless days, you could have two or three meatless meals per week.

I feel healthy and my blood results show no lack of vitamins. Since I hardly ever eat bread, there are no cold cuts to be eaten either. Meaning no extra fat in my plate. I don't mind other people eating meat and I do feed my family the traditional way. But I have noticed that neither one of my girls are big meat lovers. They prefer fish as well and they eat quorn fillets. Hubby is a meat lover, but he no longer eats as much meat as he used to when we first met. Little by little I have cut down on meat and nowadays there's hardly any pork to be prepared in this household. I buy leaner meat like veal and beef or poultry. There are no complaints about the menu, so I guess they don't mind?

Let's say I could call myself a flexitarian. I don't eat much meat or fish, but every now and then I have some. I have beef carpaccio once in a while and I often ask for fish in a restaurant, but it's not something I can't do without. I guess I don't want to be pigeon holed. I am who I am and I eat what I eat.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Smelly feet

Four legs are pointing towards the ceiling. Inthe is laying on her back on the couch, her four legs stretched out upwards. I love the smell of her whippety feet. Her feet are warm and they have this particular smell that can't be compared to anything else. Honestly, they smell sweet and earthlike. I like to sniff them and touch them. Sorry guys, but you can't know if you don't own one..

Photo by Lana Joos

Choking in sand

Having high blood glucose - I'm talking > 300 mg/dl - and being extremely thirsty go together like a matching pair of socks. If you are used to having high sugars, you don't notice the effect any more, but having a normal blood glucose ending in a high number is sheer horror to me. I feel sick and awful and I have this overall feeling I'm choking in sand! My throat is so dry and it's like I've been eating ground cork. I would drink a bath tub of water. I won't eat until that horrible number has come down...

In cooking class, there was a type 1 who was diagnosed some 30 years ago. She was not doing well. Having lost most of her sight, she had one of her feet partially amputated. Her blood sugars have been raised for most of her diabetes career, leaving her with a HbA1c (it's supposed to be < 7% for diabetics, while non-diabetics have a HbA1c between 4 - 6%) of no less than 13%!! She called herself a brittle diabetic, meaning her diabetes was hard to regulate. For thirty years, she had been seeing the same endocrinologist. When I came home, I asked myself: would I have tried to find another specialist? Someone who was able to help me where the other doctor failed? She's not allowed to use more than 4 strips a day. Can you believe someone with poor diabetes control is prohibited from using more blood strips??? I don't get it.. I just don't. I'm so sorry for this lady. I wish it were different. She's still young and she's not facing a bright future. The damage has been done and it's irreversible.

It is so important for us diabetics, to have good control. It is so important to understand what diabetes is about. It's as important to have a good and happy life. Having terrible blood glucose is not a good life by far. The complications and their effect on your health are merciless. I'm glad I was diagnosed in 2002, not 1980. I'm glad my doctors and nurse are doing the best they can. I'm happy for my diabetic friends, who can tell me about their experiences and who teach me what there is to know. I'm so thankful for the support of our Belgian diabetesforum..

Monday, October 25, 2010

Red boots

Like many women, I love boots! And so do my daughters. We have plenty of boots, some high heels, other rather flat. Whatever color you pick, boots are always exciting and sexy, especially if worn under a pencil skirt. Whenever we go to a shoe store, we can't leave the store without shoes/boots. And now, with the colder season coming up, there are plenty of boots to choose from.

My youngest daughter had been asking for boots for a while. The boots she wanted were so expensive I nearly choked on the price tag. So that was a big no-no. Store after store, she nodded her head in despair. She wanted brandy colored long boots, no high heels, but not totally flat either. I know, she's picky and once she has a picture in her head, it's very hard to make it go away and have it replaced by a different model.

So yes,  I was very happy when she found the boots she really wanted. Not at first, because she wasn't convinced at all. Only part of the boots had the color she had in mind. And that was the upper part. She wanted the colors the other way around: brandy color on the bottom and chestnut on top. But hey: it was either these boots or no boots. So she thought it over and balanced out the options. Chewing on the nail of her thumb, she waved a lock of hair out of her face and mumbled: I guess I like these after all... Good grief.. Finally, after zillions of visits to several shoe stores.

Please, don't remind me that the other daughter needs boots as well. And trust me: she's worse..

Adding some crunch

A number one breakfast for me: home made granola!
  • 325 grams of oats
  • 100 grams of slivered almonds
  • 100 grams of chopped nuts (take whatever you like: hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts,../I prefer pecans in this recipe)
  • 145 grams of peeled sunflowerseeds
  • 80 ml of oil
  • 120 ml of honey
  • cinnamon to taste
  • vanilla paste (or extract if you don't have the paste) to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C. 
  • Throw the oats with the almond slivers, nuts and seeds in a bowl.
  • Beat the oil with the honey, cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mingle well with a wooden spoon.
  • Spread the mixture evenly on your baking tray, in one layer only. 
  • Bake the granola for 20 minutes. Shake the tray back and forth after 10 minutes, so all sides have the chance to get crispy. 
  • Let the granola cool on the tray.
  • Keep the granola in an airtight container.

You can eat the granola pure as a snack, but it's definitely worth having it over Greek yogurt, topped with home made apple sauce!
Trust me: it's so much better than store bought cereal and it's good for you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tears of a clown

I can see the grief behind the smile on your face. You cry from within, without showing the world. But I can read you and it's painful not being able to help. You keep going and you keep busy and it's good that you do. One day, it will be different for you.. Just love yourself and take good care of the people around you. Their love will help you overcome your secret tears..

Thunder and rain

Getting older and talking about the weather is something you come across day in day out. We are surrounded by elder people in our neighborhood and their favorite subject is.. exactly: the weather.. Whenever you open your front door, at least one of the neighbors is out there, sitting on the bench, nagging about the weather. Too cold, too rainy, too hot, too whatever-they-feel-like-nagging-about. And what's the point? What can one do to change the weather forecast? Absolutely nothing! So I don't get it.. Is it small talk? Do they believe it's fascinating? Or is it an opening?

There's a bench in front of the house. When it's not raining, most of the time, 3 elder men sit on that bench, to watch the time and cars go by. It's nostalgic to see them pass their day, thinking about the good old times. They wear coats and hats and there are walking canes next to the bench. Their wives are at home, across the street, doing whatever needs to be done. One is hanging up her crisp white undies. The lady next door is making fresh soup. There's celery in it, I can tell by the smell. And the heads of the 3 elder men are turning slowly, from left to right and back to left. The man on the left predicts thunder and rain. The other two nod and say it's good for the greens in their backyard. I hope the crisp underwear will be dry by the time thunder strikes and heaven opens its clouds to let the rain fall out..

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The bottom line is..

Last night, we had three good friends over for dinner. I was so sorry to see that one of them was missing.. We are used to seeing all 4 of them, but Mrs. T couldn't make it. I hope she won't miss too many other gatherings?

I told my friends I would take care of the kitchen part. The fridge was packed with food to choose from. It's like having your own supermarket in your house and to me, that's the best way to start figuring out a menu. Opening the fridge door and sitting in front of it, that's when the inspiration bubbles up. There were veal steaks, turnips, green beans, pumpkin, celery root, 3 colors of peppers, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, .. I was so excited to start cooking and that's exactly what I did.

Since two of our friends eat low-carb and I'm a carb counting diabetic, it's a joy to cook low-carb. Hubby is a true potato lover, but this time I tricked him. Making scalloped "potatoes" au gratin without the potatoes, was a great idea. My dish was packed with thinly sliced pumpkin, turnip, celery root. In between layers, there was shredded cheese and a topping of white sauce. A good deal of freshly ground nutmeg, pepper and salt was the perfect seasoning for this dish. It's absolutely delicious and heart warming and there were no left overs. That says it all, right?

We started with a bowl of creamy, velvety soup, full of leeks, carrots, onion, celery and celery root. A marrow bone gave it its wonderful flavor. Some thinly sliced and toasted Turkish pide was a low-carb alternative for the usual bread roll.

Indian beans (Gujerati) are another favorite of this group, so I like to make these as a side dish: fresh green beans, mustard seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes and a good pinch of pepper.

A colorful bowl of very finely chopped vegetables (3 colors of peppers, carrots, onion, green celery, green beans, zucchini) is a favorite of mine and a thankful dish you can make ahead. There's no need to cook the veggies, since they are so finely chopped. There was a bag of fresh cranberries in the fridge as well, so some Ikea style cranberry compote was made in an instant. I'm sure the carb lovers liked that too!

For the first time, I prepared veal steaks. I got them from a Moroccan butcher and I wasn't too sure about the cooking time. Maybe I should've pounded them in between plastic wrap, to make them thinner? They weren't cooked all the way through, so some steaks went back to the grill. The juices from the meat were the perfect base for my tarragon gravy, enriched with a dash of Noilly Prat and some green peppercorns. Together with the meat, I baked some zucchini fries and quartered mushrooms.

My guests were to come over by 7 PM. Around 6 PM I still hadn't figured out what dessert I was going to serve. A low-carb dessert is hard to found and I couldn't find one that looked appealing to me. I remembered I had a bag of hand picked pitted cherries in the freezer and that's when Eva said: how about a cherry crumble? That was a great idea! I made the crumble out of almond flour, to have less carbs in it. It was bubbly and fulfulling and so bad for my blood glucose, but my correction bolus solved that problem real fast. And guess what: I should not have worried about dessert, because one of the friends brought a home made bowl of creamy tiramisu! Just the way we like it!

Nigella Lawson style, I got up in the middle of the night, to finish the last portion of cherry crumble. With one difference: I was allowed to have that crumble, because I needed to treat a nightly sugar drop..

The best conversations are the conversations we have over dinner. We had a great time and I'm so looking forward to the next gathering.

Sound asleep..

I can't remember the day our eldest daughter fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon. But she did, just the other day. We had to pick her up from school. Her tummy was really upset. In the middle of the night, it must have been around 4 AM, she woke me up, sticking a bucket of vomit under my nose. She said she was sick to her stomach, but she felt better after she had been able to throw up. She wanted to go back to bed after I gave her some meds against nausea.

She went to school anyway. By noon, the principal called. If we could pick up our daughter. She was not coping well and she looked real pale. So hubby fetched her, while I was treating a low blood glucose (that's what emotions do). For the first time in her life, I heard my daughter say: I don't want to smell any food!!! She laid down on the couch immediately and I asked her if she needed a comfortable blanket. She was not going to sleep!! Hello??? She's not a baby, okay?

It cannot have been more than 15 minutes later, when I checked on her. Two whippets by her side and covered in fleece blankets, my little girl was sound asleep, her hair all sweaty and her cheeks red. It took me back in time. It must have been 12 years ago, since she was really sick to her stomach. She was so tiny back then. Short and curly hair, dark eyes and red spots in her face from the fever she had at the time. Her little hand in mine, looking for comfort and warmth. She's still my little girl, although she will be 16 soon..

Friday, October 22, 2010

A signature knife

It's an open secret to you all, that I love to hang out in the kitchen. Cooking and baking is such a fun pastime to me. I love kitchen appliances and gadgets and there aren't many I don't have. I'm always on the lookout for new appliances that help me create fun and good food.

Knives and tools

Surfin' on the Net, I ran in to this website, called Knives and Tools. I had been looking for a good chef's knife for quite a while. Good knives are worth the cost and they make life in the kitchen a whole lot easier. So when I saw the great choice on that website, I decided I wanted to buy one. There's this special option on this site, where you can have your knife personalized. And that's exactly what I did.

It was not so hard to choose the knife I wanted. On several cooking programmes, I have seen this type of knife and the way the chefs use it to chop vegetables. So I ordered an 18 cm Four Star Santoku No Stain chef's knife, my name engraved in it. Looks kinda cool!

Knives and Tools ship real fast. The knife was here in a flash, well packed and protected. It was ready to be used that same day. I must say: it's sharp as.. a knife should be. And that's exactly what a knife is meant to be, so I'm thrilled and ready to cook!


They are sound asleep on the couch. They love one another so deeply, that they would be devastated to be separated. Inthe has laid her head in Rebbas neck. It's so heart warming to see their love.. Sometimes, Inthe embraces Rebba in her sleep.. I have never seen so much love between dogs. It's like they are not whole without the other. Somehow, they prefer to lay on top of each other to fall asleep. Doesn't matter how, they want to feel each other..

At times they fight and Rebba punishes Inthe for misbehaving. But most of the time they get along real well. In fact they are best friends!

Photo by Lana Joos

To me, they can have as many tête-à-têtes as they want. I won't disturb them. It is too cute..

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spitting image

You never ever liked fruit. Not as a baby, not as a toddler or a school girl. In fact, whenever we would try to feed you mixed fruit, you would just spit it out and give us that crazy look, your lips pouted in disgust. I thought the years would make you milder towards fruit, and yes, every now and then you do eat a piece. You still don't like the pure thing, you prefer goodies like raspberry pavlova, banana smoothie or banana bread, green apples but only if they are peeled and cored and chopped into little cubes. You like strawberry sauce and red currant jelly and sometimes I peel on orange for you. You won't eat it unless it's free of pips and membranes (I do agree on that one - that's the only way I eat my oranges). You do like fresh figs though and coconut, but that's not a fruit unfortunately. Applesauce is okay, but only if I make it for you, without lumps and pureed in the blender, with some lemon juice (there's some more fruit!) and vanilla paste added. But the fruit you adore and eat on a daily basis, is freeze-dried fruit and more specific: freeze-dried strawberries. They are low-calorie and no sugar added. Just the pure stuff and to you, it's absolutely the best ever. Mainly because it doesn't require rinsing, cleaning, cutting or preparing. You just open a bag of freeze-dried fruit and indulge. But that's okay. I'm happy you found at least one fruit that you crave!

I want my mommy..

This Monday, when I drove you to school, you looked kinda pale. You said your tummy hurt. It was that time of the month and I remember my periods as not being pleasant. So I felt for you and I gave you some pain relief to take along. Every night, when you called me, you told me your tummy was not feeling any better and you had painful cramps.

On Wednesday, around recess, you called me on the phone and I could hear the tears in your voice. You wanted me to pick you up. Your teacher said it might be better just to stay in boarding school and relax in the afternoon. They gave you other pain medication but you said it didn't do anything for you. You cried and I contacted the principal of your boarding school. Talking to her, I let her know that your appendix has been swollen for a number of years, causing you pain every now and then. It's not something we worry about all the time, but I did want to make sure everything was okay. I didn't want your appendix to burst while in school. So around teatime, I picked you up and drove you home. We pampered you and laid you down on the couch, hot cocoa and a blanket within reach. Your sister went to the pharmacy to get you some more effective pain relief. Hopefully it will help you relax. xx

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just wait and see

I had an appointment with the hairdresser this morning. Every 6 weeks, I like to pay her a visit, so she can tame my hair and make it look all shiny and glossy. I love the way hairdressers pamper you. They massage your head while they shampoo your hair. They take their time to blow-dry your freshly cut hairdo.
I asked her for a different hair color. It's been kinda reddish for a while now, and I wanted something else. More autumn-like. Brownish maybe or chestnut. I let her decide, since it's her job and she knows better than me what colors suit me best. And I believe she did a great job!

I feel new again and I feel like going out. Anybody?

What's up?

Martha Stewart's Apple Crumble Pie

This afternoon, my mother-in-law and her best friend are coming over to have coffee and cake. Every Tuesday, people come over to grandma's house, to have a chitchat over coffee and cookies. This time, I wanted them to come over here, to give her a break. They were looking forward to that and I'm always happy to invite them.

I thought of baking an apple pie. In the baking book of Martha Stewart, I found a recipe I haven't tried yet and maybe this is the exact occasion. There are plenty of apples in the fruit bowl and all of the other ingredients are to be found in the pantry. I'd better get to it, because I want to make sure the pie will work out well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ready for take off?

I love to fly! I think it's such a comfortable way of travelling. No traffic jams, no irritated drivers, no reading maps! Just relaxation until you reach your destination.

I had to get a new passport, since my other had expired. Getting a new passport is not a nuisance or so, but having your passport pictures taken is always a disaster. You're not supposed to smile..
I hate pictures of me with a stern face, because it's so not me! So I chose a picture booth in the supermarket to have the pictures taken. Because I know you have three chances to pose. Only after the third set of pictures, you have to make up your mind. This time, I was more or less happy with the pictures. There was just a little flash of light on the side of my head, so I hope the clerk at the city hall won't reject my pictures.

I will need a visa as well. That means that somewhere in the near future, I have an overseas holiday planned!! I'm so thrilled!!! There will be five of us to be travelling together. We're going to a part of the States I haven't visited before. This time hubby and the children are not coming along. They wanted me to join the friends anyway and that was very generous of them. It'll do me good to spend some time abroad. I'm so looking forward to it!!!

Deal with this

The other week, I recorded a true story, called: The Interrogation of Michael Crowe. It was awful and I felt sick to my stomach watching it. I just couldn't believe these things actually still happen. It was heart breaking to see Michael and his family and the way all of them were treated and abused by the police. They kept lying to Michael, telling him he killed his own sister, telling him they had evidence. The constant interrogation of Michael made him crash until he reached the point where he confessed to a murder he had not committed...

This is the story of Michael Crowe...

The lives of Cheryl and Stephen Crowe change one morning when they find their 12 yo daughter Stephanie stabbed to death in her bedroom. As procedure dictates, the police take each family member away individually, to be questioned. Brother Michael, 14 at the time, and Shannon, the younger sister are taken into custody until their parents can be cleared.
Without the knowledge of his parents, Michael is non-stop being interrogated by the police. The police believe Michael is the murderer of his sister. Although there is no evidence, the police keeps focussing on young Michael, lying, harassing and coercing in the process.
At a certain point Michael eventually confesses to a crime he didn't commit: murdering his sister. Both Michael and his two best friends - who were questioned under the same threatening tone - finally get capable lawyers to defend their rights.
Dorothy Sorenson, the attorney hired by the Crowe family, is willing to clear Michael and his friends while trying to find the real killer, who they believe is Richard Tuite, a transient who was seen around the house the night of the killing.. Richard Tuite, who has been in contact with the police before. Richard Tuite, who had already stabbed a person once and who had been in jail on numerous occasions.

Stephanie Crowe, only 12 years old, was brutally murdered at her home in her small home town. Authorities foolishly jump to conclusions that the 14 yo brother Michael must be responsible. They work hard to force Michael to falsely confess to what he did not do, telling him he probably just didn't remember.. Meanwhile, the real killer is still out there..

It will take no less than 7 years to reach a verdict.. The jury faces a true ordeal, but finally Michael is released. Tuite is guilty of the murder of Stephanie Crowe and is sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Michael is married now and hopes to finish college. His life and the life of his family is traumatized by the injustice done to them by authorities.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Let's roll up our sleeves

Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to attend my first cooking class for diabetics. My daughter thought I was going to take cooking class for dummies.. NOT! Hello...???

I think it's really going to be interesting. Some of the other students I have met in the diabetes pub in Ghent.  And I have met the teacher as well. She's a dietician and diabetics are a great part of the population that comes to consult her. Most diabetics have type 2 diabetes and I'm a type 1, but in the end we all have diabetes. Treatment is different somehow. Many type 2 diabetics take nothing but tablets. They have to rely on a strict diet, exercise and their tablets. As a type 1, I totally rely on insulin. For every gram of carbohydrates I eat, I need to inject insulin. That's why I try to eat low-carb, so my insulin dosage remains low. I know dieticians aren't very happy with low-carb eaters, but that's okay. It's not their body, right?

Can't wait to go! I'm looking forward to it. I'll tell you all about it when I get home.

Not living up to the expectations

Last week I got really agitated with the customer service of a local store. Our girls bought an iPod each in that store, just the other year. As there was no adapter included in their box, one of them bought one in the same store, only one week later. Now that adapter is no longer functioning, so I took it back to the store, since they gave a 2 year warranty on the product. To my surprise, not one of the 3 sellers was willing to help me out. They said it was no use returning the adapter to be fixed, since the cost of fixing it was going to be higher than it's worth to begin with. Hello??? How about their warranty of 2 years??? So they asked me about my warranty certificate. Normally you get an invoice, but hey, not for this item, since the cost was less than € 100! So I was only given a register ticket, which we no longer had.

At home, I checked online banking and I instantly found the exact date we bought the adapter. That's when I went back to the store, with a print of my payment. Guess what? Exactly.. they couldn't accept this bank statement! DUH! Oh come on! How about some goodwill??? really!

I was getting more and more frustrated so I wrote them an e-mail, explaining what had happened. This lovely lady from customer service called me on the phone, to explain how they work. I can agree to the point that it was my mistake to not have kept the receipt for the adapter. We have been customers in that store for many many years. They have no interest whatsoever to keep a customer, over a lousy € 24.99. I just can't believe they are so narrow minded and unwilling to offer a solution, we can both agree with.

My daughter will get herself a new adapter. Not from Vanden Borre, trust me. They just lost 4 good customers.. My husband, me and both girls have bought several items in that store. Well, it's their loss, not ours. Switch in Sint-Niklaas will help us from now on. And I'm sure their customer service will be more helpful, as they have proved so far!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Roast

Sunday Roast
Photo by Lana Joos
This morning, I felt like making Sunday Roast. Not just the roast, but the whole thing: scalloped potatoes au gratin, baked pork roast, finely chopped vegetables (celery, carrot, yellow pepper, zucchini, onion), caramelised apple cubes, yorkshire pudding and bacon and thyme based gravy with a touch of port. It was a bit of trouble, but definitely worth it.

Eva dressed the table real well and it was pretty festive, like Sunday luncheons are supposed to be. A good glass of wine and some diet coke for the girls to finish off the meal and then it was time to sink into the couch and have a Sunday siesta. Not for too long, because the whippets are longing for a walk along the beach!

Yorkshire pudding
Photo by Lana Joos


Rebba is the most typical whippet one can get. She loves to sleep, hang out on the couch, cuddle up with the family, sleep some more and go for long walks - that is if the sun is out. When it's looking greyish out there, she won't budge. She hides her head behind a pillow, wishing for us not to spot her. She's like: no way! not in that drizzly weather!

When we wake up, the dogs need to go outside to, well, you know. Inthe races out as soon as possible. She's so in a hurry, she can't wait for me to open the door, jumping up and against the door and walls. Rebba is as excited to go outside. As soon as the door opens, she sticks her nose out, sniffing some air and at the same time taking a glance at the weather. That's when she decides whether she'll go outside or not. She knows I'm encouraging her to go outside after all, but in an unguarded moment, she sneaks back to the living area, trying to hide from me. So I call her back and she digs her head deeper down the pile of pillows. In the mean time, Inthe is having a ball in the garden, playing with her toys and digging up dirt.

I walk back to the couch, pick up that leaden whippet girl (trust me, if she doesn't want to walk, she seems more heavy than ever) and bring her to the deck, her legs all stiff and not willing to walk. I put her out and close the door. She tiptoes over the deck, sits down for a pee and tiptoes back to the door, trying to keep her feet dry. She gives me the most dirty look ever and decides right there on the spot, that she's not going to love me for 5 minutes. She's adorable..

Saturday, October 16, 2010


That's a word I've heard so many times in the last couple of weeks. My eyes are shining and I feel great. People say I look radiant. That's a nice thing to say and I embrace the compliment. I can see it when I look in the mirror. I'm rediscovering myself and that feels so right..

Adding a little flavor to life

Today is going to be another great day! I'm about to pick up my friend to head towards our destination. I'm all stressed, but it's healthy stress. It's rather excitement I guess. I have done some preparation the day before and my cook books and kitchen appliances are in the trunk of the car, so I'm ready!

The place we're driving to, is the house of my mentor. She has a great place and a huge back and front yard, full of vegetables and fresh fruit. Some more people are to be expected, 9 to be exact. We haven't all met, but that's no problem. We'll have plenty of time to mingle.

We are going to stroll around the garden, to find and pick the ingredients for the recipes we're going to prepare. We're going to make so many different things: banana bread (no bananas in the backyard, DUH!), autumn cake packed with nuts and apples (harvested on the spot), vegetable tajine (I heard there are parsnips, carrots, onions, tomatoes, zucchini and maybe pumpkin), Bombay potatoes (grown in their backyard) and chapati (Indian flat bread). Last night I made the best chocolate mousse ever and this morning I woke up early and thought: how about making fresh tomato soup to bring as well?
My fingers are itching! They want to get started!! Off we go!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

True joy

This morning I had a feeling of true joy! I felt like jumping up and down and all around, and I'm glad I was alone in the house so nobody could hear my YIEHA scream, because that was kinda over the top. For 8 years I have waited for this moment of glory and now it's there.. I don't know how to handle my joy yet, but let me tell you: it feels like a million dollar! Let me indulge in this moment of true happiness..

A winter's day

It was so cold I couldn't keep myself warm. I'm normally not a cold person. In fact, I rarely wear a coat, not even in winter. But this time, my feet were cold as stone and I had this overall uncomfortable feeling. We have loads of blankets in the house and I spent some time on the couch covered in fleece. It made it a little better, but I was still cold. It's not like I was getting ill or anything like that. Maybe it's the fatigue? I don't know. I hope to get some warmth real soon.. I need the sun I guess.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Keep your mind wide open

Your knees are still hurting. The pain started nearly two years ago. Some days are better than others and the pain comes and goes, but there haven't been many pain free days lately. You're an active girl and you love to dance and ride your bike and be a sporty teen. But the pain hasn't been very helpful in remaining active. In school you have to run in sports class. That's not the best sport around if your knees are not being very co-operative. Last year, you skipped all sports classes, in school but also in your leisure time.
You started dancing again in September and you're not overacting. But still, your knees are holding you back.

Last week, we went to see a sports doctor aka homeopath. He said he was going to do his best to help you get better. It was hocus pocus to me (and to you too, I guess), but we decided to give it a try and keep our minds wide open. You never know, right? If it doesn't heal you, it won't kill you either..

Scared to stand out

You are a very sociable girl. Your friends (trust me, there are way too many) love you very much. They look up to you. But you don't know why. It is strange to see, how shy you can be. You don't like to stand out. You don't like to be in the middle of the excitement. Being a bystander is what you prefer, although people often think differently about you.

There's no reason to be shy or afraid, sweetie. You're a wonderful kid. Being clever, smart, witty, friendly, goodlooking, talented,.. I don't see a reason why you would hide. I hear you play the flute very well, but then again, you don't want to play before an audience. The band is planning a concert on Sunday, and you are terrified and anxious. Your grandparents will come over to see you play, and you hate the idea! But why kiddo? You'll do just fine! Nobody expects more from you than you are already showing us. So chillax okay? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't worry..

Don't worry about people from your past. There's a reason they will not belong to your future. There's a time for everything. Don't regret any encounter, not even those from your past. We meet people for a reason. Every person we meet teaches us things in life, whether they are beneficial to us or not. There are always lessons to learn. There's no use crying over it. We all need to experience different encounters before we learn our lesson. And if this one person couldn't teach us all we needed to know, there will surely be another to continue where the first one left of.

Some people believe they need to teach you something the hard way. To some that may work, but we all require a different approach. What works for you, doesn't necessarily work for me. If you see that your teaching method isn't working, it would be good to listen to your student and reconsider another method. After all, the goal is to teach the other a lesson in life, right? There's absolutely no need to be rude or aggressive towards the other. Humiliating or punishing the other for not understanding the lesson is just not done. Maybe you're not a good teacher.. Don't always blame it on the student..


It's 8:00 AM. It's your time to go into surgery. You had to be in last night and I hope you were able to catch the sleep you definitely needed. You were on my mind a lot the last couple of weeks. I'm pretty sure, you had some doubts last night, didn't you? Trust me, most people would have doubts. After all, nobody else can make the decision for you and it's your body and you will have to deal with the outcome of the surgery. But you know what? You're stronger than you think. How about we believe you'll do just fine? Wouldn't that be the best option?

I'm looking forward to seeing you. We chose Leuven. I've never been there, but you told me you knew a great place for us to hang out and have a talk. It will be interesting to say the least. And you know what? I wish I could be in the hospital today, to give you a hug and to tell you everything will be all right..

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunny side up

How do you like your eggs? Sunny side up, I may hope? That's how I like the people around me: sunny side up. I try to surround myself with positive, happy people. For too many years, I have been surrounded with negativity and critics that destroyed my personality and selfworth. I don't feel like going back to those years. It took me a long time to get over it, but for many years now, I'm done with my past and negative people. It is such an enlightenment and relief to talk to positive people, that contribute to your own personal health and selfesteem. Those are the people I cherish.

Of course life is not always sunny side up, I do realize that. Even I sometimes have darker moments, but I try not to stay there for too long. It's better to get a grip and move on. Only health or death are worth our concern. Nothing else matters enough to hold your head low. Look out for small things that make you happy. Love yourself and treat yourself in the best way possible. Please yourself and don't forget to pamper yourself every now and then. People that don't love themselves, are not capable of loving others. I speak out of experience.. trust me.

Fashion is not about comfort

It's so tempting to wear sweatpants around the house and on some days, you just don't even want to bother so you keep your jammies on all day. That's so not what fashionistas do. They dress up and they would never walk out the door with no make up on. They always want to look their best and they spend more time in the bathroom than in school or at work. Of course it's exciting to look fabulous and stunning! Fashionistas never seem to have bad hair days and their lipstick never fades. But don't they ever get tired of always looking like a million dollar??? I mean, do they even know the good comfy feeling sweatpants and T-shirts give you?? I doubt it. I think I need to do some shopping.. for new sweatpants. The old ones have too many stains..

Monday, October 11, 2010

My personal shopper

Today, my personal shopper and I went out for the day. We frequented several stores and the trunk of the car was not large enough to hold all of the bags. So we had to put the extra bags in the back seat. LOL. He's great at giving shopping advice and he always finds bargains. He's a doll, really, wouldn't wanna miss him. I love hanging out with him. We think alike quite often, as in saying the exact same thing at the exact same time. And we have more in common... We even share dessert, how about that?
It was great to unpack all the new stuff and make the house look pretty. Love it!

Thanks buddy, for taking me along. I had a blast. x

That fall feeling..

Autumn Cake
Photo by Lana Joos
Across from our house, their are quite a few chestnut trees. They keep the sun away from the house in summer and make sure the cars are in the shade. But in the fall season, I admire the colors of the leaves twirling down from the huge and old trees. They gather in small heaps until the wind blows them on our doorstep.

I was in the mood for making some sort of cake with fall produce: apples, pecan nuts, cinnamon and a streusel topping. The whole house smelled wonderful.. I love the smell of cake and especially the fragrance of ground cinnamon. I use cinnamon all the time, not only in sweet dishes like applesauce or cake, but also in Moroccan dishes like chicken tagine with tons of vegetables (carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, pumpkin, parsnip,..).

Maybe I should take the whippets for a walk in the woods. I'm not too fond of the mosquitoes that still hang out there and ticks are not my favorite either, but seeing the dogs jump in piles of leaves, is priceless.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Beneath the veneer

On most days I'm optimistic and fun to hang out with. That's when I try to hide the fatigue that I have experienced for so many years now. I thought having better blood glucose would solve the problem, but it hasn't. The fatigue is wearing me out. For the last couple of months, I have hardly slept more than 5 hours in a row. It's taking its toll.

I try to be happy and cheerful and fun, but some days I'd rather crawl up on the couch and sleep for a decade. Honestly. I'm sick and tired of being so tired. I do take my vitamins and as soon as I lay my head down, I'm off to better resorts. The thing is that circumstances keep waking me up, interrupting my sleep. Although I have no problem whatsoever to fall asleep again, my sleep was interrupted and that's not a good thing... The lack of sleep makes me irritable and I realise I'm reaching my breaking point. It's getting harder day after day and I desperately need some catching up. If only..

In concert

Yesterday a friend invited me to accompany him on his night out. He had promised a mutual friend of ours, to go to his place in the evening. That mutual friend is a pianist and a composer. He writes his own music and plays all of his songs and melodies by heart. He invited a small group of people to come listen to his repertoire and it was interesting to say the least. He's serene and calm and very creative. We were all very impressed by his music and his ability to compose glorious music. At first it surprised me that I didn't recognize any of the songs he played. But then he informed us that all of the music was composed by him. Mostly in the middle of the night, the inspiration for a new tune grows in his mind. It's necessary then to write it down immediately, before it leaves his head.

He's planning on recording a couple of CD's because people keep asking him where they can buy his music. It's great for meditation and relaxation, peaceful music in the car on your way home or as background music in a restaurant. And don't forget: his music is unique! So if you're looking for an excellent and creative pianist to illuminate an exhibition or a family gathering, do contact me. I'll forward him your request.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Inner peace

Happiness is finding your own inner peace in the eyes of the other.. That's a line my new sister-in-law shared with us. I found it really special and it confirmed the feeling I had about her and my youngest brother-in-law. They are happy. They are in love. They make a good match. I wish them all the best.

Cupcakes and chocolate mousse

I'm in the mood to bake desserts and goodies. Don't know what to make first. The girls love chocolate mousse, but I feel like making cupcakes or brownies or chocolate moelleux or muffins of some sort. Having truck loads of cooking books doesn't make it any easier. My latest cook book (in fact it's about baking) is one by the hand of Martha Stewart. I have deep respect for her and the way she made it to the top. Her recipes are clear, honest, exciting, not too difficult, delicious and scrumptious. There are several recipes in that book I would like to try out. The only problem is: who will eat it?? I won't, since the recipes are not low carb. But I do enjoy the baking. So maybe I'll bake some cupcakes to take to my friend's house later in the afternoon. I don't know yet. Still trying to come to terms with myself.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Take a parachute and jump

The title may sound a little macabre, but that's what crossed my mind in the murder of Els Van Doren. Four years ago, her life ended abruptly when her last parachute jump ended in tragedy. Someone slit parts of her parachute, causing her death that may now be considered murder. Els Van Doren was married and had 2 children. She allegedly had a 5 year affair with Marcel Somers, another member of the parachute club. Every weekend, she went to Holland, where she would spend time with her lover. During the week, she was the loving mom and wife at home.

Els Van Doren had a friend. They didn't only share the same first name: Els, but they shared the same boyfriend as well. Els Van Doren didn't know about the other mistress but the latter knew her lover was involved with her best friend as well. She had a hard time dealing with that love affair. She tried to spend as much time with Somers as her friend did. He slept with one on Saturday and with the other on Sunday.

Who planned the murder on Els Van Doren and even more important: who killed her? The media have already made up their mind. In every paper, we read about the sangfroid of Els Clottemans. The jealousy of the other woman.. In fact, she's been convicted before her trial even started. But how about Marcel Somers? Didn't he have a motive? Maybe he was fed up with both women? He surely tries hard enough to badmouth Els Clottemans and point towards her as the murderer. That's probably not how he thought of her when she was in his bed?
Maybe Els Van Doren wanted to stop their affair and that was not something Marcel Somers wanted to hear? An anonymous letter reached the courthouse, stating that Marcel - in a drunk mood - confessed that Els Van Doren had to die, because she wanted to leave him. If he couldn't have her, nobody could. He would have said that the free fall would eventually take care of it. It's up to the court now, to check the whereabouts of the letter and the sincerity.

And how about the husband of the deceased? Did he really not know his wife had an affair for 5 years? How come he didn't mind her spending every weekend away from home? Did he know after all and did he plan her death?

It's a mystery and only the killer knows the answer. To be continued..

Every Day Cooking

Another favorite cook of mine is Jeroen Meus. So I was pleased to see he now has his own TV show. Every night I'm ready to watch what he has planned to cook for us. He has a gorgeous cottage style kitchen (yes, he's cooking from home) and a garden full of fresh herbs. His cooking is simple, honest and without any doubt delicious. That's why a visit to his restaurant Luzine is on top of my list. In fact, I have someone out there who is more than willing to accompany me. The restaurant is not cheap by far, but I'm convinced it will be worth the cost. So whenever my companion is in Leuven, Belgium, I hope he'll give me a call so I will have a reason to drive to Leuven and enjoy an excellent meal in great company!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


My friend forwarded this link, to order the Robomop Softbase. I was like: what the heck? But then I read the reviews on the thingamajig and watched a video on YouTube and I was like: let's give it a try! And if it's no good, I can still give it to the in-laws as a Christmas present. LOL.

I think puppy Inthe will absolutely go bananas. Maybe it'll freak her out! But it could be a good substitute for the vacuum cleaner. So yes, every other day, I'll make Mr Robomop sweep the floors and free them from dust and pet hair.

Looking forward to the postman. Again.

Spaghetti without the carbs

I'm not the only one who has made the choice to eat low carb. Some do so for health reasons, others because they are not really in to carbs. I was a true carbohydrate junkie before I was diagnosed with diabetes. Over the years, I have had real problems digesting carbs and they surely spiked my blood sugars! Especially whole wheat bread, rice, pasta,.. So I try to find substitutes to cook healthy and delicious low carb meals.
Spaghetti Spirelli Slicer
I was in the mall with a friend of mine. Only one shop really drew my attention: the cook shop. I ran into this great appliance: spaghetti spirelli slicer! Google spirelli on the website and you'll see what I'm talking about. I have tried yellow and green zucchini, carrots, cucumber. You can then stir-fry or poach the extra long strands of veggie spaghetti according to whatever you want your dish to look like. Maybe I should try parsnip or horseradish as well?

In one part of Belgium, there's this dish called "Steppegras". We're talking the thinnest French fries you've ever seen! And guess what? I can make them now, with my very own spaghetti spirelli slicer! Too bad those are not low carb.. or fat free.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Farmville is an online game where you can farm with your friends. It is an application on the social-networking website Facebook. You are given the opportunity to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing and harvesting crops and trees as well as raising your very own virtual cattle.

Some friends of mine are true Farmville fanatics. They talk about "their" farm as it were their very own real life farm. They ask for food for their livestock or wooden boards to mend the stables. I have not put one foot in Farmville and I'm not planning on doing so either. It's really not my cup of tea, sorry. So please stop sending me invitations for this virtual game?

It was funny though, to see in my blog analytics, that I have a follower on my blog from.. yes.. Farmville. Go figure!

White walls

Imagine you could start your life over. A blank canvas is always the best way to start. What would you write on your canvas? Would you make the same choices? Would you change certain things or are you happy with the way you were living your life? Think about it. Maybe it's realistic to do things over. Life is in your hands. Rewrite your own script book. Live your life the way you want to live it. Life's too short to let other people or circumstances direct it. Live your life to the fullest. You are entitled to new canvases as often as you want. It's okay to make mistakes and it's okay to start over. You are okay.. and so is your white and colored wall.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Going to the pub

LOL. Most of you that know me, will say: she's going to the pub??? Get out of here!!! And they are right! I'm not the typical pub person. I don't drink (one glass of whine a month is not worth mentioning) and I don't frequent bars or pubs. But this pub is different. Every month, one evening is reserved for people with diabetes. They have a get together in this particular pub in Ghent. They can talk about whatever keeps them busy in their diabetes treatment. Every time a professional is invited to come and speak about D. This evening we're going to discuss DIET... The word so many diabetics fear. The reason why so many diabetics don't like to go see their doctor. Because every time their doctor points out they're overweight and they should do something about it.

Yes, many people with diabetes are overweight. There are also a whole lot of overweight people who don't have this chronic disease. The world is full of temptations and food is available more than ever, 24/7. We see commercials on TV and in magazines and we bump into fast food joints all the time. Can you never ever have a hamburger and fries if you're a diabetic? Of course we can! As long as we eat healthy as often as we can.. That goes for all of us. And this time, US is not us, diabetics, but all the people out there! Healthy food and a healthy lifestyle is important. Don't mess with your body. Know what you feed your body and know what's good for you.

See you in the diabetes pub tonight!

Service unavailable

This morning I had no access to my blog space. That's why there was nothing to read. But things have gone back to normal apparently, so I'm catching up.

I went to see my surgeon, or should I say "his assistant"? Still haven't met the person who removed my gallbladder. Not before the surgery, not after the surgery and not even today, when he was supposed to see me for my check up. A lovely assistant helped me out. There were 4 wounds from the surgery and two of them looked kinda weird, since a piece of thread was crawling out of the scars. She asked me to unbutton my shirt and lay down, so she could use her razor blade to cut of the little knots of the threads used to sew me up. It was a funny feeling, because she had to pull the thread quite hard to get her razor blade underneath the knot. It was not messy, but it stung somewhat.

I hope I'm done now. No more surgeries, no more check-ups. Except for the diabetes, since that wonderful chronic disease is still chronic and for life..

Monday, October 4, 2010

Things you must do to make me happy

How will they know what you need unless you demand it?

Leave notes for your loved ones, telling them exactly what they must do to ensure your happiness on a daily basis. Should they buy you something, prepare you a chocolate pie or just stop whining? Let them know. Your requests/demands can be as simple as "put your stuff away" or as challenging as "pretend to like my friends, okay?" and everything in between.

Find just what you need to make you happy. Indicate when the action should be taken. Maybe you already wanted your wish to be fulfilled the other day? Or maybe immediately or from now on? Write it down for your loved ones, so they can look into it. You could add little but important words like Please, Pretty Please or the less nice Or else.. Leave it out for all to see. 


You know the type: straightened and bleached hair, catlike eyes, high cheekbones, fat lips (that's the only fatty part on their body), glamsmile, bronzed tan, big boops, small waistline, tiny bum, legs that never seem to end, manicured (toe) nails. Shortly: bombshells..
I don't know the percentage of fake body parts, but bombshells are pretty excited about Botox and plastic surgery (gone wrong or not). Looking at the fat lips, gives me that crazy idea that someone must have hit them in the face with a baseball bat. Sorry! but that's just the way it looks okay? I can't grasp why those women think their deformed lips would seem attractive?? Come on! Really! Do they honestly believe that's a pretty sight? or is it because I'm female and not attracted to women? I don't know..

One of Tom Jones's favorites was Sexbomb. I think bombshell is a little more subtle, although it's all the same in the end, right? Because, really, why would women transform themselves into bombshells? Exactly..

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A void filled

Today many companies opened their doors to the public. Everyone was welcome to go visit several companies and see how they operate. My choice was to go visit our local chocolate company. We girls all love chocolate and guess what? Cavalier makes the most delicious chocolate with no sugar added! How about that? I guess their products have filled a void in the market. So many people out there trying to eat healthy, sugarfree, low calory or low carb. But hey, aren't they entitled to make good choices in life and still enjoy good produce? Cavalier must have heard that cry for help. Trust me, their chocolate is GOOD! I can honestly say it's the best no sugar added chocolate I have ever tasted. And for those who have never tasted chocolate spread on their sandwich: the hazelnut spread is nearly carb free as you may deduct polyols from the total carb content, leaving you with no more than 10 grams of carbs per 100 grams of chocolate spread. Don't compromise on taste: try Cavalier. Freedom of chocolate!


The girls are so annoyed by their portable computer.. It's old (nearly 3 years) and not working properly any more. Hubby tries to fix it all the time and he keeps working on it, but still, it's broken and it can no longer be mended. It's been in the computer shop several times and all they could tell us during the warranty time was: there's no problem with this laptop! As if! It's terrible not to have a computer that is reliable, the children scream in despair...!!

Maybe we should open a trust fund to help them out, saving for a new laptop. They do need it for school and to keep in touch with their friends after school hours. Both girls take many pictures that they keep in files on their laptop. Daddy tried to fix the problem, but instead he got an empty computer as a result.. So all of their pictures, music, documents have been wasted.. No need to tell you about the pantomime here..

So if you happen to have a laptop you no longer use, or you can tell us the best brand (no, they cannot have a Mac) to buy, please let us know. We have had Packard HELL before, so that brand is off the list for bad custom service and for letting us down, despite the price of 1600 euros!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dig in!

Last night, we had dinner in Antwerp before we crossed the road to go see Dance of the Vampires. I'm glad I don't have those long fangs as vampires appear to have. It would make it much more difficult and messy to enjoy dinner!

As usual the costumes and the decor were extraordinary. Wow. The theatre was crowded, but nevertheless we had great seats! Right in the middle and not too many tall people sitting in front of us.
Sara, Albert and the Count did a terrific job. They have great voices and they acted real well in this funny but scary tale. But my favorite actor/singer was the professor though! I don't have a clue but his breath seems endless! The lines he can sing in one breath.. it's just.. breathtaking, right. There was one song where his voice reminded me of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.
The son of the Count was warmly welcomed by the public as well. Hahaha! if someone would tell me he were the brother of Barbie, I would have believed so. The crowd adored him!

The dancers were very good. Stepping out of their coffins on the grave yard, I had this déjà vu that they would dance Michael Jackson's Thriller! This one particular male vampire was really scary. The way he moved his body was almost snake like!
The music was good, so I bought the CD as well as the show book. Another memory for my musical box. I'm so glad our friends introduced us into the musical world. It's a pleasure to go out and spend a great evening in the theatre. Maybe I should get myself a set of vampire teeth and act out in the dark..

I'm fine..

really means: I need a hug and someone to talk to..

It's strange how people automatically ask you how you are doing, without wanting a real answer. They expect you to say: I'm fine. They don't want to hear you're not okay. Then why do they ask in the first place? Is it not okay to say you're not coping well? Are you supposed to lie and deny the way you truly feel? People are strange sometimes. They are pretty occupied with themselves, without thinking about the other. It's like they pretend to care, but they don't. That's kinda sad..

Good friends know if you're doing well or not. They don't need to ask. They can sense it. Call it the 6th sense if you want. That's why friends are so important. No need to pretend you feel great when you really don't. FYI, I feel fine.. thanks for asking..

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bloody Love

We have Golden Seat tickets for the tonight show of Dance of the Vampires in Antwerp. I have been so looking forward to this musical! On TV, they have shown several parts of the show and it has made me real curious. The actors/singers appear to be really good. When I heard the professor sing, I was like: oh my gosh! He's amazing! I feel privileged to be able to go. This time Hubby is not coming along. He's working the late shift. So I'll have to buy the CD I guess (like I always do), to let him enjoy the music as well.

Buddies, let's go and grab a bite, before we head of for this fantastic event! See you soon!

Nighttime hypos

Experiencing hypoglycaemia is never something you long for. It's a nuisance and it makes you feel very uncomfortable. During the daytime, you are alert enough most of the time, to see it come. There's plenty of time to get some glucose tablets or regular coke. In a jiffy you feel better.

It's a little different when it comes to nighttime hypos. Sometimes the low blood glucose wakes you up, sometimes it doesn't. In my beginning years of D, hypos really freaked me out. Especially nighttime hypos. I didn't recognize them at night and I was often afraid to go to bed. Afraid I would sleep through it and never wake up again. I know better now.. Your liver stocks a certain amount of sugar (16 lumps of sugar, to be correct), at all times. This sugar gets released when you are experiencing hypoglycaemia and you are not responding. Often it leaves you with a high morning reading, a terrible headache and an exhausted feeling. That's when you realize you had a hypo during the night and you slept through it. Isn't it awesome to know how clever our body works? I'm amazed to hear that our own system tries to help us out when we are not capable of responding. It's better to treat your hypos yourself, since every time you experience a very low, there's a chance your brain might get affected.

Our youngest whippet - Inthe - is a pretty smart dog and on several occasions she woke me up while being in Hypo land. I don't know how she does it, but she starts to lick my face, right until I'm ready to wake up and test my blood glucose. Most times, she's right. Maybe I make strange sounds then or maybe my body shakes, I don't know. I have never seen me having a hypo!