Friday, July 31, 2009


I have discovered a new address nearby to go out for lunch or dinner. The place has been there for about 16 years, and although we pass through the town of Watervliet on our way to the beach, we had never been to Pandora before. What a shame..

Evert is a very kind and warm host (okay, he's cute too!) and he makes his customers feel at ease. He has a wide range of different meals and I can recommend the fish platters. I went with a friend first, after our shopping trip to Middelburg. I knew we were coming back to this restaurant. So the other day, I went out to dinner with Lana and she had frog legs in garlic cream while I enjoyed the tenderness of perfectly cooked scallops, sauced with an anise flavored cream sauce. A choice of French fries, mashed potatoes, rice, tagliatelli or bread on the side. A good glass of wine makes all of us happy, not? I'm a fan! I'm sure you will be too! Don't forget to make a reservation, because it can be crowded. It would be too bad if you were to be sent home. Have a seat on the terrace behind the restaurant or do you prefer to sit inside? I would like to compliment the chef as well! She does her utmost to serve fresh and hot meals. Congrats!

Something about you

There's something about you, that is absolutely intriguing. You caught my attention from the moment I laid my eyes on your add for a personal assistant. You were single, a soon-to-be-mom, living by yourself and you had Friedreich's Ataxia. Unfortunately, fate made us part. I really believe it was meant to happen that way. You are so independent and you're a fighter and you want things done your way. That's your right. It doesn't make it easier for you, but I know you'll manage, like you always have managed.
That doesn't mean you are no longer on my mind. You still keep me busy. I wonder how you are doing and if you are okay. I heard you moved. You are close to giving birth to your dream baby. You have wanted this for so long. Nobody can predict what is going to happen. I hope you will do well. I hope there will be no complications and you and your baby will be okay. My heart goes out to you and your baby and I hope you will find peace and serenity giving birth. I wonder if the baby will look like you.
So yes, I'm curious. And yes, I care... like I did in the four months I visited you. It's too bad you never realised that... I wish you all the best, honestly. Take care of yourself. Take care of the baby. Things will work out just fine.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

All you need is love

Pets give affection. They don't judge, they don't discriminate, they love you. And I love them back..

We have found a great family, that is expecting their first nest of whippets. I talked to the owner the other day, on the phone, and he sounded very cheerful and nice. I think it is important to have a good contact with the owner of the dog you're about to have. So their dog is going to have her babies around August 15 and we are on the list to pick one of the puppies! They expect 8 -11 puppies! Just imagine!!!

Unfortunately, we won't be there when she gives birth, because we're having our holiday in Morocco at the time. But believe me: we'll keep in touch!!

The mother of the puppies is Canoodle's Finnlia (they call her Floortje) and the father Delirious Eijck . They look absolutely wonderful and I love the pattern they have. They are both white and brindle and very special looking. Both have great characters. I'm so looking forward to having a whippet, with a pedigree! I can't wait for the puppy to get here!

Beautiful stranger

Hey you beautiful stranger... we haven't seen you yet. Maybe you are not even born yet, but we love you already. You will come into a warm home and you will be welcomed into our family. All of us will take care of you the best we can and we will take you for walks.

Maybe you will be that one puppy out of the newborn nest we are going to visit some day soon. How exciting!!! The girls are getting used to the idea now.

I had found two nests of whippet puppies. A friend of mine warned me about this one particular breeder though. Many of the puppies they sold, got sick very soon and died within a week... I'm disgusted to hear this!!! I can't believe nobody stops these people from keeping and selling dogs! It really upsets me! It touched me and I googled the breeder and was astound to read all the horror stories on those puppies. So not too long after that, I googled the second breeder and you will not be surprised to hear that this breeder is as unreliable as the first one!!

So do not buy a puppy from handyhoeve or bolkshof. They are not taking care of their puppies and you will end up with a sick puppy to begin with and a dead puppy in the end!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Want a tan, where is the sun?

Some more weeks, and we will be able to sit in the sun and enjoy the warmth of Morocco. We can't complain, we have had some sunny days already, but it's not exactly hot. Clouds cover the sun and play games with us sunbathers. I prefer the sun over a cloudy day. Don't you think people need the sun to remain happy and healthy? I feel depressed when there hasn't been sun in a while. So yes, I will embrace the warm sun rays in Morocco. I have already bought a new bikini and some sleeveless shirts and summer dresses.

Our eldest daughter always has a nice tan and she hardly ever gets a sunburn. Her sister on the other hand, has pale skin and she burns red like a lobster. She has freckles too (don't you love those freckles of hers??? she's so cute!) and she is not a real sun lover. Her favorite spot in the garden is under the trampoline or behind the shed. So we will have to make good choices in Morocco if we do not want to peel Eva's back and shoulders every night..

Food poisoning

Here we go again... Due to my vulnerable stomach, I spent the entire afternoon and evening feeling sick. It always starts off with a terrible pounding headache. I was shopping with the girls and I just knew I had to head home. The headache was killing me. It's that kind of headache that warns me I have eaten something wrong or overdue. Different kinds of food passed my mind and all I could think of was the lunch that I had had. It came out of the freezer. Maybe it had been in there too long? I don't know..

So we rushed home and soon after we got there, I started vomiting. I always fill a little bucket with water and soap, because I can't stand the sight nor the smell the vomit leaves behind. That's another reason why I cannot vomit in a toilet. Hanging over it...ugh.. So yes, my lunch came out and soon after, I vomited nothing but bile until my gall bladder was totally empty. In between, I tried to take a nap on the couch. I felt like crap and was not able to cook dinner for the kids. They were pretty quiet and were sitting right beside me. Whenever I had to throw up, I ran onto the terrace, so they wouldn't have to face it. Our sweet tomcat Arthur joined me every time. He sat beside me and comforted me, rubbing his head against my legs. He's such a great cat!

By 10 PM, I was empty.. totally empty. Not feeling better though. So I went to bed, put a fresh bucket of water and soap beside me and fell apart..

It's always scary as a diabetic on insulin when you throw up. You have insulin in your body, but no food left. There's a big chance your blood sugar drops to hypoglycaemia. So I checked pretty often. I also tried to check for ketones, but my ketone sticks had expired. I'll have to ask some new ones when I go to the hospital. When you have ketones, you throw up as well. But I'm pretty sure it was my lunch that did the trick.

I checked my blood sugar regularly last night and it was fine. Waking up at 5:30 AM, my tummy still feels upset and weird and I'm longing for a cup of coffee, but I'm afraid to have one. Maybe I'll have some toast and yogurt later on. I want to be better, because I have planned a visit to a friend today. Since we are going out for lunch, I do not want to get sick again. So I'm planning on having a light lunch, a salad probably.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Running on empty

I'm running on empty... I really am.. there are different reasons and different causes and I know I have to solve them. I seem to lack the energy though. I'm not feeling pretty well right now. Hopefully our trip to Morocco will brighten me up somehow.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Picking a name

We are looking into buying a whippet, a small greyhound. It's not easy to find a litter of puppies, but we're working on it (I prefer to buy a puppy in Belgium or Holland)

The girls didn't like the idea of a whippet at first, because they feel sorry for them for being so skinny. I told them about the breed and the character of the whippets and they are coming to terms. Both girls are making up a list of names for the pup we do not even have yet. I admit, I'm making up names as well. We would like to have a girl, so the name should be at least a bit feminine. My favorite names so far, are India, Priya, Indy, Indra and Lina. Don't hold back to tell me your favorite name for a whippet. And no: Rocket and Speedy are no options!

Sweaty Betty

Teens sweat. It's their hormones I guess. Once kids become teenagers, they smell different. I love the smell of babies. When does that smell leave the baby? I'm not sure, I can't recall. But whenever I smell a baby, it makes me smile. I close my eyes and I enjoy that odour.

I don't enjoy the smell of sweat. It makes my stomach twirl. I have a really good smell and that sweaty smell stays in my nostrils way too long. Ugh! I remember a classmate in college. She always smelled sweaty, from the moment she entered the classroom. My friend one day asked her, if by any chance, she knew Theo Dorant.. She didn't.. I remember it was a joke that went all through college. I also remember she never understood and the smell remained.

The other day I saw a documentary on extremely sweating. I believe they called it hyperhidrosis. Not only arm pits, but hands as well as feet were smelly. The embarrassment of the people on the show, that suffered from hyperhidrosis really hit me. Maybe the girl in college had this same condition? I'm ashamed, we even made fun of her. Maybe there was nothing she could do about it. We should have supported her. But we didn't. We didn't know any better. The only thing we knew, was that she smelled and that it was irritating.

Sometimes, I call my youngest daughter Sweaty Betty. I tell her all the time, that putting on deodorant is of no use unless you washed yourself first. She's getting better. I told her the story about the college girl. I told her we kinda bullied that girl. She wasn't happy with me.. I guess mommy is not perfect after all..

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Splitting up

More and more couples decide to break up. It keeps me busy. I often ask myself why so many people split and try to find another partner. Is it the stressful society? Pressure? Financial problems? Sex? What causes this phenomenon?
I totally agree that couples should split up if they no longer get along. The first thing they should do is wonder if they still love each other enough to work on it, before they take the step to call it a quit. Especially when there are kids involved. Sometimes couples drift apart without knowing. They are so busy on different levels, that they loose track of one another. They forget to do grown up things as a couple, although they both take time for sports, going to a bar with friends, hang out with the mates or take the kids to their activities. It is tricky. Many people break up after having been together for 7 - 10 years. I hear that's a critical period in a marriage. We have passed that period I guess, because we've been together for 16 years already. If you think the preparation of getting married is a hard job, you'd better stay single. Because "being" married is a full time job. You need to work on it on a daily basis. It takes efforts and sacrifices. But if you love one another, you can conquer a lot.

And in the end, if it turns out that you are not made for each other, please shake hands and let go.. Don't wish for your ex the most horrible situations. Don't call each other bad names in front of the children. Don't bad mouth your former spouse, because he or she will always be the other parent of your offspring. And you know what? The children come first.. they really do. And all they want is to have happy parents, whether they live under the same roof or not. Why wouldn't you wish your ex-half the best? After all, you did love the other back then, when you got married. So maybe you should find the decency to treat the ex with the respect he/she deserves, no matter what they made you go through. Because after all, it takes two to be married.. Move on, get over it and try to bare with one another. For old times' sake and for your future life.. I have seen people move on and become happy again. I have seen others, that can't let go and keep playing the role of the victim, leaving them depressed and deprived of a good and happy life. It's up to you. You have a choice, even if you think you don't..


Some people have the great ability of always looking their best when their picture is taken. I believe that is fantastic! They smile, they sit up straight, loose shoulders, relaxed pose. It's great to have your picture taken if you are able to look great on it. I call it the perfect glam smile and I wish I had it. I never look comfortable when someone tries to capture me on film. I guess it's because I prefer to be the photographer. But I do remember a professional photo shoot in Turkey, where we had our family holiday. I loved that photo shoot and the photographer took his time and made me feel comfortable. I cherish those family pictures. Maybe one day, I will feel at ease to have some new pictures taken. One day..

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shoes in a box

I admit it... I'm guilty. I love shoes... I can't enter a shoe shop without buying shoes. I have way too many shoes, I know. And none of them really fit or are that comfortable that I could wear them all day. My feet tend to swell by the end of the day. I get blisters on my foot soles pretty easily. My foot soles get overheated and then it's hard to keep walking. I buy the more expensive brands, as well as the cheaper shoes, and none of them do the job. So I keep buying shoes and I keep switching shoes during the day.

On our shopping trip to Oberhausen, Germany, I bought two pairs of shoes. The first pair I bought is absolutely fabulous and unique and colorful and they have high but sturdy heels. They felt so comfortable in the shop, when I tried them on! Until we went out for dinner that night and strolled along the boulevard. feet were so sore and warm and swollen. But hey, girls in high heels can bare some pain, can't they?
I couldn't do much else than shop for another pair of "comfy" shoes and I ended up with a pair of maroon Rieker slippers. They have a little heel and they are very comfortable. For now. I'll take them to Morocco. The perfect shoe for the beach and around the pool.

My eldest daughter has the same size of shoes as I do. She loves my new fancy shoes! But she's 14! Is she supposed to wear high heels already? She doesn't have good feet either. In the house, she's barefoot and that's probably a good idea. But not for me.. I feel naked without shoes.


No, I'm not obsessed with skinny, because I like skinny dogs.. If you have ever had a whippet, you know how good their character is. They are so gentle and sweet and loveable and no, they are not ugly at all. I adore whippets! We used to have one at home. And when I was an au pair in Chelmsford, Mass, there was Brindy, the greyhound of my host family.

If I will ever own a dog again, it will be some kind of greyhound. Period.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The finer things

We've been away on a two day journey in Oberhausen, Germany. It's been fantastic, as usual. There were 8 of us and we get along just fine. It's great to have good friends. We have been going on trips for quite some years now (I guess it must be 5 years by now, if not more?) and we still enjoy each other's company. No arguing, no disagreeing, just fun, relaxation, good conversations, shopping, eating out, singing along in the car,.. what a ball we have when we are together!

My batteries are loaded again. I do need these outings. I spend quite some time with the children and I love them to pieces. They are easy going and great fun. Sometimes we need some grown up time though and then it is great to spend some special time with our adult friends.

Thank you guys, for organizing this trip! You rock! My feet are killing me, my bank account must be closed by now, I'm sure I gained 5 pounds and I didn't sleep well. But we were together and you gave me strength and friendship and love. We hugged and held hands walking along the shops in the mall. We kissed and fooled around and enjoyed each other's company. I hope it won't be too long before we have our next meeting..

A pledge to myself

I made a pledge to myself: I will take care of myself, because I deserve it..

So I made the most difficult call I ever had to make and I set a date: September 8th, 2009, 10:30 AM. The conversation I'm going to have that day, may change my life forever. Many of you will not agree with the decision I'm about to make. Others will say: go for it! and make the best of it. It's a double feeling and it's a decision I have made all by myself. I have listened to others, I heard your opinions on it. But in the end: it will be my choice.. and I know you will understand. Thanks for the support..

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A life long diet

Some of you never need to diet, because they are just meant to remain skinny. Others have to make sure not to even take a glance at food, in order not to gain any more weight. Yes, you made the right guess: I'm a member of the second group, unfortunately. Being a diabetic hasn't been very helpful this far. I need to watch my food, to give myself the correct doses of insulin. I need to watch my food, to keep my heart healthy (skip on the bad fats). I need to watch my food, to make sure I don't gain any more weight than I already have.

And that's where things go wrong... I keep gaining weight, although I have a 1200 kcal diet. It makes me really sad, because being overweight isn't very good for your self esteem and self worth. I've pretty much had it. Are you aware, that people around you are constantly eating goodies and treats and remain thin after all? Okay, some are overweight and they don't mind. But I do mind, and I mind a great deal!

I have been on practically every diet around: Atkins, South Beach, Dr. Bernstein, Weight Watchers, Sonja Bakker, personal diets prescribed by dietitians... Nothing seems to work long enough and I keep gaining weight. Mostly even more than I lost after major efforts.

I'm looking into finding another solution, so I can lose weight. I'm done with the overweight. I really am.. It wears me out and it depresses me and it makes me cross at myself and it makes me feel guilty although I know I do the best I can (most of the time). Why can't I be part of the first group???

Fish and chips

I was wondering, why certain dishes are very popular in one country and unheard of in another? Thinking of fish and chips shops in the UK (try to pronounce it properly, without breaking your tongue over it), couscous and merguez (spicy lamb sausages) in Morocco, Vlaamse stoverij (beef or pork stew, made with dark beer, a Flemish specialty), rice dishes in Asian countries, gözleme (flat bread with a filling of spinach and feta) in Turkey, baguettes and cheese in France,.. Every country has its own specialties and that's one part I like about discovering different cultures and countries.

Flemish children are so used to eating chocolate spread on their morning sandwiches, while American kids have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The English have beans on toast quite often and Polish people just love boiled meat. Dutch people (Holland) like to have soup or pie for lunch, while Germans enjoy sauerkraut und wurst. Ever tried Swedish meatballs (try Ikea!) What a blast!

So what is specific for your country? I know I would really like to know! Please share it with me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To do lists

I like to have everything organized. That's why I keep making to do lists, as well as shopping lists, what to take on a holiday - lists, activities for the children -lists, lists of addresses and birthdays... It comforts me, to know that I have lists, so I don't have to remember everything. It also means that I forget everything, because I know I have lists that will remind me later. Most lists are kept on my notebook.. Imagine the panic when the notebook decides to crash! Total disaster, because I'm really lost without my lists.

So nowadays I also BlackBerry my lists. Not bad. Whenever I hear a great subject I can blog about, I add it to my blog - list. I have a list on the BB for great recipes I come up with on the road. Lists that state all the supplies and information on diabetes I might need, like the basal pattern for my insulin delivery. Just in case the battery of my pump dies and I lose all the necessary information to start the pump again.

I'm already making a to do list for my brother in law, who will be housesitting while we spend our vacation in Morocco next month. After all, our appliances are different than his, we have pets that need special care, he needs to know how the remote control of our TV works, how to operate the dishwasher and so on...

I think I need a list to write down what other lists I need to make.. What a relief once I get to erase the chores that have been done!

What goes up, must come down

I have told you before, that my sugar level rizes real fast, after eating carbohydrates. My blood glucose (BG) levels are pretty much okay, as long as I don't eat carbs. We do need carbs, or we have no energy to live our lives. Some people claim you can survive on 50 gr of carbs per day. Okay, I believe you can survive on it, but can you live on it as well?

If your sugar levels are too high, you have to take actions to bring them down. Being a type 1 diabetic, that means I need to test my BG, and give myself fast acting insulin to bring it to more normal levels. Once my BG is really high (meaning 500-600 mg/dl), it's pretty tough to bring them back down. The trick is: don't let them rise that high! So I check my BG a lot. If I see my BG is going bananas (did you know that bananas contain 20 gr of carbs per 100 gr?), I can react and try to bring them down immediately. I have to be conscious of my BG all the time. It's a full time job!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No particular place to go

We had no particular place to go to, but my friend and I hopped in the car and went for a ride. No children, no husbands, just the two of us. The sun was out, the top of the car was down. The music was on and we were enjoying each other's company. We ended up in Middelburg, Holland and spent a great day, roaming around the streets. We don't see each other as often as we want to, but we make up by having a day to ourselves whenever we can.

We ended up in restaurant Pandora in Watervliet, to enjoy a wonderful dinner outside, on the deck. Too bad thunder, lightning and rain drove us inside.
Call it mom's time, or lady friend's time. Call if whatever you want, but I know it cheers me up and I love to spend time with my friends. I like to hang out with my family too, but some special time with good friends is different. Don't you need some grown up time once in a while? We complain about our husbands, or nag about the children, but in the end, we all go home and we cherish the time with our family. I know I'm thankful for having my family. It's just that once in a while, I need some private time away from them..

Mi casa es su casa

Yesterday, I had this crazy idea to invite some people over. So I ran some errands, warned hubby at work that we were going to have some people over later that day, and started to make preparations for an unexpected BBQ. People started dripping in around 11 AM and by 6 PM there were 5 adults and 8 children, sitting on the terrace, enjoying the sun and a good time.

Hubby is the best BBQ cook. He knows how to cook meat. I take care of the salads, baked potatoes, skewer vegetables, prebaking the meat, serving drinks and making dessert. The kids had a blast! They played in the pool for a while and then decided to make camps. One camp for the two boys, another camp for the two seven year old girls and a third camp for the other girls. We hardly heard them, so us adults had a good conversation on the terrace, enjoying a cool glass of wine. It got a little chilly around 10 PM, so the kids cleaned up whatever they had played with (believe me, the back yard was packed with stuff), without protesting. They were nacked.

It's been a great day. I love to have people over...

Monday, July 20, 2009


Since MJ died, our children want to listen to his music. They were surprised to hear that we have a couple of his CD's. Most CD's have been put away in boxes, since we tidied up the house. Hubby went to look for the box and the girls are really happy. You should've heard the ooh's and aahh's when they went through the CD's. They had no idea who The mamas and the papas were, they did recall the Beatles, had heard of Elvis and played music by Queen. And then they found Michaels music.. they were pretty quiet listening to it. I would call it impressed. For the first time, they experienced the loss of a great man. It made them reflect a little and that wasn't bad at all.

They thought it was pretty funny that we didn't download music in our days. How stupid... but then again, they thought CD's were pretty cool too! To decorate their walls with (I don't think so, thank you!) or to take to camp (no way!). They have found a new hobby, so it seems... for as long as it will last.


Some chores need to be done, whether we like them or not. I think of ironing, dusting, vacuuming, mopping the floors, wash the windows, make the beds, sort out the laundry, clean the toilets, wash the laundry, run errands, cooking dinner.. All of these chores are fun, as long as it doesn't become a sacrifice. As long as you keep up with the chores, they're done in a tic. It just takes an effort to keep doing them on a regular basis.

Some chores are more pleasant than others - thinking of cleaning the toilets.. Maybe we should reward ourselves for the chores we do. Sometimes I reward myself before the chore is done! LOLZ.. Is it a surprise that teens hate chores? They love the rewards though. But they need to help out, especially in summer holidays. They only want to hang out, chill, relax, get a tan, read a book, call their friends, play games.. But they have chores, just like we do. Our eldest daughter is very good at vacuuming, so that's her chore. The youngest one loves to cook, so guess who's making dinner tonight? And no, she doesn't do TV-dinners. She cooks from scratch, cookbook on the table and fresh ingredients all washed and ready to be cut. Both of them are number one table cleaners and dishwasher fillers and they take turns in feeding the cat.

Hubby is responsible for the outside chores like weeding, mowing the lawn, growing vegetables. He puts the trash out, cooks BBQ meals, takes care of the chickens and the turtles, cleans the pool, makes the garden look all swell. He's the only person in the house willing to wash our cars.

I love to go grocery shopping, having my shopping list in one hand, a styrofoam cup of latte in the other. Putting away the groceries is something the girls like to do. In that manner, they know what I bought and they start munching right away. No seriously, they are pretty good at organizing the pantry.
I make the beds, wash clothes, clean the bathroom and the toilets, feed the fish, water the plants (okay, I forget the plants too often, I confess), pay the bills, write birthday cards, organize the clutter around the house, cook most meals, shop for clothes for most family members, organize outings with the children..

You see? Chores aren't that boring. As long as everybody in the household is willing to participate and do their share. And now, it's time for a cup of coffee, a good book and some sun!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Flanders sings

For the first time, I was invited to anticipate in "Flanders sings". I had no idea what to expect, since I didn't know the concept. But hey, I'm always in for good ideas and great companionship, so what would keep me from going? Hubby had to work the late shift, so the children went to spend a wonderful time with their grandparents. Off to the place to be!

Did some shopping first and I really enjoyed being on myself for a couple of hours. The weather was good and I did some real bargains. Okay, I didn't really need that new pair of shoes, but those high heels were really killing me! And 4 similar sweaters in different bright colors weren't necessary either, but we are going to Germany for a couple of days, and after all, I'm a girl! So I'm supposed to look my best, right? I know for sure we'll do some more shopping in Germany. I cleaned out my closet the other day and 2 bags full of clothes were taken to charity. So now I'm facing a nearly empty dresser and that's way too scary to be left that way!

The festival was superb! It was crowded, but we had good seats on the terrace of a pub. Great company! Lyrics were distributed and the party could start. A cold glass of white wine, some cubes of cheese and good friends in a crazy mood. What else can we long for?

So we sang along. I knew most songs, but forgot most of the lyrics. So it was good to refresh them and see young and old, men and women, children and elderly people sit side by side and sing together. We had a great time and I'm glad I got the invitation :-)


We did it. We booked. We are going on a summer holiday in Agadir, Morocco. I have been to several other countries before. I do not like to go back to the same country twice, unless we talk about the States, of course. Because every state is different after all.
I have been to Egypt twice, because cruising the Nile and visiting Sharm el Sheikh are two completely different vacations. Our eldest daughter was ready for another visit to Egypt, but that would've been the third year in a row for us. I preferred to go elsewhere, and so did the rest of the family.
I believe Northern Africa has many beautiful countries. So we picked Morocco this time. I'm sure we will have a wonderful time. We chose a very nice hotel, the beach just across the main boulevard. I'm sure the girls will love it too!
In Egypt, they learned some Arab words. I'm not sure if they still remember them. I know Lana remembers some and I know I remember quite some phrases! I love the sound of the Arab language, the writing, the culture, the colors of Egypt. No doubt this holiday will be as satisfying as our other vacations.

I'm feeling very fortunate to have the opportunity to take our children to many countries, so they can sniff some culture and learn about different cultures. They are not the children's animation type of kids. They prefer roaming around, discovering things and visiting nice towns. They will love the soukhs, I just know they will! Picking out earrings, scarves, slippers,.. They have a sweet tooth for Arabian treats and desserts. And they just love the flat bread and pomegranate.

We'll be gone for 10 days. I hope someone will come over to take care of our pets and keep an eye on the house. It's a good opportunity for someone who likes to spend some time on the country side, enjoy the garden and the pool. The freezer is stuffed with food and the pantry has all the basics you need to cook your favorite meal. So what's keeping you from coming over and do some house sitting?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Knifty Knitter

Someone showed me how to knit without needles. All you need is a knifty knitter to make wonderful wool crafts. She made a couple of flowers for my girls and they were really thrilled! They wanted to learn how to make flowers themselves. So I ordered some knifty knitters. They are not for sale in Belgium yet, but apparently pretty hot in the States. I do believe I was born in the wrong country. Too bad the flights are that expensive, because I would surely go more!

I'm excited and looking forward for the parcel to arrive. I'd better go buy some wool before the knitters get here. Then we can make our own flowers. They would look great on a hairpin, or as a corsage, or as gifts for a baby shower. Our eldest daughter would like to make some flowers to sew on a pillow. Sounds like a plan! And it's another way to keep them busy in summer holidays.

The tone of your voice

Children listen to peoples voices. Not the words are important. It's the tone of your voice that attracts their attention.

Ever watched a baby, turning its head to listen to mommy mumble or daddy hum a song? They recognize your voice out of many other voices. They don't understand the words yet, but they can tell a friendly voice from a harsh one. Quite often, I hear moms say, their children don't listen. Is it because the children are obnoxious or naughty? I don't think so. Children - especially young children - really want to please their parents and they are more than willing to do whatever you ask them to do. Sometimes, children are occupied in their game and they don't hear you right away. That's when we tend to raise our voice and repeat our question in a higher and louder tone. It might scare the child, hearing the loud voice, but not paying attention to the words in it. Could it be a better option, to sit down with your child, play along for a while, and then get their attention by looking them in the eye and ask them what you want from then, using a quiet and calm voice? There's a good possibility they will give you the answer you want to hear.

Compare it to being at work. Would you jump up if your boss yelled at you? Yes, maybe you would, because he's scary and you fear to loose the job. But really, would it appeal to you to help him out if you're yelled at? I don't think so.. It's not sane to be afraid of others and do whatever they order you to, just because their voice is louder than yours. If we do the same with our children, we teach them to be scared and to respond whenever someone yells at them. I hope your children are assertive enough to ignore loud voices. They deserve to be treated with respect, just like we deserve to be treated in a fine manner. It is our job to teach them to stand up for themselves and to be respected.

I have been a kindergarten teacher for 4 months only. Teaching 2.5 year olds isn't easy. Classes of 25 children of that age can be sheer horror to many. But you know what? We had an agreement. If I wanted the kids to tidy up, I played the flute and I played this one particular song that they all loved. Immediately, they told one another it was time to put the toys or whatever they were playing with, away. No fighting, no yelling, no disobeying. Just happy kids, doing their best to tidy up their classroom. I remember my principal coming in one day, tip toeing. She asked me what was wrong in my class? All the other classes were very noisy, mine was quiet and calm. She asked if the children were punished. I laughed and I said: Punished? Why? They are enjoying themselves, cleaning up. She didn't understand.. She was very good at yelling though. She yelled at me at multiple occasions, about my agenda, about my method of teaching. She complained about me playing the flute in class (this was kindergarten, she said, not music class!), taking the children for walks in the wonderful garden the school was in (did I prefer walks or teaching? she asked), teaching the toddlers English nursery rhymes (didn't I know that Dutch was their mother tongue?).. Does it surprise you, that I no longer wanted to be a teacher.. I guess I didn't like the tone of her voice..

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bugs Bunny

It was that time of year. In the beginning of the summer holidays, the mailman brings us a post card from our dentist. It's time for our annual check up. How thoughtful of her.. She lives just around the corner and I tend to like her. Probably because I have good teeth. I only have 23 instead of 32, but they are good teeth. The only thing that needs to be done, is removing the scale on my teeth. She does so twice a year and it always feels good afterwards. Nice and smooth teeth! I like it!

The youngest daughter came along and her teeth are in perfect condition. She will need braces too, but not yet. She was a little disappointed because wearing a brace is just so hot! I wanted to write that down, so in a year or two, she can read it and she'll probably say: what was I thinking..??? In fact, she's so clever and creative she has made her own braces! Folding open a paper clip and bending it across her teeth... Go figure!

So I have a broad smile on my face, showing off my freshly cleaned teeth!

Give me my flowers before I die

A very long time ago - I must have been 18 back then - I went to see a performance of the group Up With People. It's a multicultural group. They sing and dance and entertain, all over the world. I loved those shows. One song I remember in particular, was sung by this beautiful black woman. It was called: Give me my flowers before I die.. The title doesn't recall any further explanation I assume?

I would love to have that song on CD, but I can't find it anywhere. Does any on you happen to have the CD? I'd be very willing to copy it from you. It would mean a lot to me..

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Calm as a cucumber

Some time ago, we took the children, a nephew and an aunt to the movies in Holland. We were driving two cars, since we didn't fit in one. On the way back, I had to make a stop in Zelzate, Belgium. We were at the cross road, standing next to each other. I had to make a left turn, my husband had to go straight forward. We were waving at each other, when the lights turned green. I was taking a left turn, when I saw this woman on her bicycle, ignoring the red light. I was gob-smacked and thinking to myself: what the heck is she doing???? and then I heard this horrible bang. She hit my husband's car!! In a flash, I saw the surprised look on his face, not knowing what had happened or what had hit his car! I opened the door, rushed out and heard someone behind me yell: that man ran over a woman!!! I couldn't believe my ears! he didn't run over anyone! She ignored a red light!

My worst fear was, that she were dead.. But she wasn't. In fact, she had no injuries at all. She turned over, looked me in the eye and calm as a cucumber, she said: "don't call the police! I'm drunk!" Like hell I wouldn't call the police? What the f**k! She could have killed herself!

My husband was afraid to open his car door, because he couldn't see her. We were all in shock, but she calmly stood up, had a cigarette and said: "no biggie, don't worry about it, I'm fine."

But I called the police and they came over. "No, we don't need an ambulance, thank you. We only want the police to write down what had happened." We were lucky to have some witnesses that saw the whole thing happen. The police checked the car and there were no dents or scratches.

You know what really startled me? This lady was riding her bike, DRUNK AS A SKUNK, she ignored a red light! and she rode into my husband's car!! And you know what? The police thought it was pretty funny. She didn't get a ticket! She should have gotten at least three!
We were all shaken up and confused about the whole thing. The police put the bike in their van and drove the "lady" home.

A couple of hours later, I saw her.. buying another six pack of beer in a local shop. Truly amazing..

Fresh fruit

I just picked some fresh raspberries in the back yard. They are ruby red, firm but mature, delicate and pure and they taste so sweet and delicious! I just love to pick fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden. My husband does real well, growing all sorts of vegetables and fruit. This year, he has chosen to grow some string beans, spinach, brussels sprouts, purslane, sorrel, cherry tomatoes, onions, spring onions, all different kinds of lettuce, fresh herbs like thyme, bay leaf, mint, basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, chives,.. We have raspberries, currants, gooseberries, blueberries and a very old rhubarb plant that still grows very well.
It's a delight to have chickens too. We have four. We used to have a rooster too. He was pretty aggressive towards the chickens though so I'm not sad he's gone. The chickens deliver eggs, and in return they get grain and corn and kitchen leftovers.
When we bought this house in 1997, we had no idea what to do with the garden. It was full of weeds and rubbish and it had been neglected for many years. My husband has done a great job, making it into a cosy and peaceful place, where we can relax, play, enjoy the sun and grow our own vegetables and fruit...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Friends you can choose, family comes at birth

Some people believe nothing can come between them and their family. I know better. You can't choose your family, although they chose to have you. They say once you have children, you have them for life. Being a parent is a full time job and a job of a life time. Taken that you keep in touch. Some families do well, others don't. Some parents cling to their children, others let go but still care. There are so many different kinds of families.

I'm lucky to have many friends. Some I have chosen, others have chosen me to be their friend. Having friends is very important. Some friends are more important than other. Some friends mean so much to me, that I would stop whatever I'm doing to help them. I have best friends, good friends, friends,.. I have realtime friends and internet friends and some internet friends have become realtime friends as well.

I have some great relatives and I have great in-laws. I don't like everyone in the family, but that's okay. Nobody can make me like anyone. It's my choice after all. You cannot force someone to like you. Neither can I order them to like me. I wouldn't feel comfortable if people would hang out with me, just because we are related. I rather have friends by choice..

Together we're strong

Many diabetics united on July 14th, testing their blood glucose at the same time! I was happy to see that quite some Belgian diabetic friends joined us, doing the same thing. I'm very proud to present their results. It's so important to test your BG often enough, and it will lead you to a better diabetes treatment!

Cathy 220 - T1
Lies 203 - T1
Loco 119 - T2
Marina 94 - T1
Nancy1966 82 - T1
Elke_Franco 118 - T1
Ons_anneke 443 - T1
An_° 177 - T1
Dolfijnneke 249 - T1
Johan Degraeve 110 - T1
Jirina 61 - T1
Upje 52 - T1
@ngelo 143 - T1
Yves 102 - T1
Annabelle 129 - T2
Leo 107 - T2

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fairly odd parents

When our girls were younger, many kids came over to play. They liked to be here and we were pretty good at entertaining them. My husband used to fool around and ask them things like: do you want a slice of chocolate spread on your sandwich? or: I'm going to eat a slice of nothing! and then take a good bite in the air. The kids loved that and they were all ears. They must have thought we were fairly odd parents. We could tell that they were not used to parents joking around like we did.
I would ask those children to give the goldfish a drink of water. So they would fill a container with water and pour it into the fish bowl. Afterwards, they always wondered how the fish could tell the difference between the drinking water and the swim water.. lolz..
The girls are growing up. So are their friends. They don't come over to play anymore. Playing is for children... They are young ladies, not children. Beware of calling them children! They no longer play, they have sleep-overs. There's a difference! At least, that's what they say..

Diabetics: I'm calling out for you!

Dear Diabetic friends:

this evening, July 14th 2009, 8 PM GMT time zone: please prick your finger and let us know what your blood glucose was. We try to reach as many people as we can to do the same. Don't disappoint us!!! For my Belgian friends: we are in a different time zone. We need to test at 10 pm (= 22u). Don't forget! Make people aware of the importance of testing.

A great initiative by TuDiabetes, a community for people with a heart for diabetes. Thank you all for committing yourselves to prick your finger and share your BG!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Turkey, Italy, US, Greece, French Riviera,...

We still haven't decided on our holiday destination. The years go by, the girls grow older and each year it gets harder to make the right choice. Every family member has his own opinion on the perfect vacation. So trying to find the perfect match is quite an ordeal. So now there's a new destination in sight: Mexico! Since nobody wants to take the risk of getting the Mexican flu, it might be the perfect time to go there. There are 111 cases of Mexican flu in our country! So I think there's a health danger in staying here lolz! Remember we went to the States, the month after 9/11 and it had never been safer to travel.

I don't know what we are going to pick this time. We've been to Turkey before and The Titanic Resort was absolutely the best place we have ever been to. Hubby has gone to Italy several times and he loved it. It won't surprise you that the US still is my favorite place to go. We had a great time in Corfu, Greece as well, but how about the French Riviera? None of us have been there before. Or should we go to Mexico after all? Sounds very appealing to me! Caramba! Fiesta!

How low can you go

In the middle of the night, at 03:34 to be exact, I woke up, feeling really weird. A cold wind raced through my body and I felt shivery. I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and it was like seeing a ghost. My face was all greyish. I stumbled back into our bedroom, grabbed my glucose meter (it's always in bed, in between us) and checked my levels. LO it said.. great.. I had 4 dextrose tablets but that didn't seem to do the trick. So I got out of bed again and holding on to the walls, I found the stairs to go to the pantry and get some cookies (why couldn't I check my night stand for cookies - they are always there!). I had a very hard time going back upstairs, not really knowing which foot to put first. Ran into hubby on my way back to the bedroom. I don't think he was aware that I was that low.. I hardly had any clue of what I was doing, I felt really strange. This is where I miss my former insulin pump, my Cozmo. After a low, it would automatically alarm me to test again in 20 min. This pump doesn't. You have to set an alarm each time if you want it to remember you. But when you are experiencing a low, you are not really conscious enough to do so.
So I fell asleep again, waking up with a 318. My mouth feels like the morning after going to a party and having too much to drink... thick tongue, awful taste in my mouth from the excess sugar and carbs. I hate lows..

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You're a wonderful man

My favorite uncle had his birthday today. I was in the neighborhood, but didn't find the time to pay him a visit. Age hasn't changed him much, he's still the uncle I remember from my childhood: caring, loving, sensible, smart, handy. I like him a lot, and so does my family. Eva in particular, is very fond of him. She calls him "daddy". Not in the same meaning as she calls her father "papa", but she loves him very much. They always joke around when we visit. When she was younger, he used to drive her around the backyard in a wheelbarrow. They share a special, secret handshake. I remember this "secret" handshake from my own childhood.
He still has tapes of me, singing and reading out loud my new year's wishes. It always startles me that he has kept those tapes. I can honestly say he's really fond of us as well..

One moment in time

Today, a friend and I are going to visit another friend. He's had cancer for a while now, and he's not doing too well. We try to visit him as often as we can, but sometimes we are afraid to wear him out by our visits. He needs rest and peace, but most of all: he needs love and friendship. Our visits always cheer him up. I try to visit him when he's in the hospital for chemotherapy. It makes time go by faster for him. And it gives him the chance to tell about his life and what keeps him busy. He's a very special man. He knows he's running out of time. He knows he won't be around much longer. He makes the best of it. How does one do that..

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Both our girls are going to need braces, if they want to have a perfect glam smile. And do they want that alright! The eldest is starting next week. She needs upper and lower braces, for 2 years. She's so looking forward to looking "cool" in those braces, that she keeps forgetting what a nuisance it will be. She still thinks it's kinda fun, but I do believe she'll forget she ever said that.

The youngest daughter has not changed all her primary teeth yet, so she has to be patient. Her teeth keep falling out and they are not always replaced by other. I had the same problem with my teeth, leaving some gaps in between teeth. The eldest had the same problem as well, but the dentist is going to solve that problem, by shifting her teeth forwards, to fill up the gaps. Ouch..

It's an expensive treatment, but I'm sure it's a good investment. Both the girls will have a lovely mouth of straight and healthy teeth. Who wouldn't want that?

The little things

The kids are home from school for two months. I'm happy to have them around. I love to spend time with them and enjoy their laughter. They didn't always get along that well - although they didn't fight either - but the gap between their ages is getting smaller. It's like the little one is now allowed in the big girls club. Her sister is starting to appreciate her much more and that makes me happy. It's great to have a sister around to do things with. It brings me joy when I see them get along and have a great time in the pool or on the trampoline. Or how we all sit on the couch to watch a movie over and over again. It's about the little things in life. A cuddle, a little girl snuggling up against you on the sofa, a small note once in a while. I'm very happy with my family.

Friday, July 10, 2009


My sweet and eldest daughter surprised me with home made fritters. She's not that fond of cooking, but when she's hungry and the food in the house isn't satisfying enough, she tends to go through the cook book and make something from scratch.

So she decided she wanted to have fritters. It was a little disappointing to her, that the dough needed to rise for half an hour, before she could actually start frying the goodies. But she was patient and she followed the recipe as written. And I must say: they came out perfectly well and they were delicious! I know, I shouldn't have eaten any, but I did.. I skipped my afternoon snack and this evening I'm going to have less carbs for dinner. That's the sacrifice for one delicious home made fritter! Let's hope my blood sugar won't be too messed up later on..

Not feeling well

I thought I had an allergy, but it seems like I'm sick after all. Can't stop sneezing, my throat is sore and raw and I have this terrible headache. I feel like crap.. Aching muscles and a head full of cotton balls. I haven't been sick for years! It must be my healthy diet! lolz

Our youngest daughter is getting better, the fever has gone down, but she's not eating much yet. So I guess we'll spend another day on the couch, watching movies and doze off...

Seven pounds

If you feel like watching a good movie: try Seven Pounds, featuring Will Smith..

Seven names
Seven strangers
One secret

The story:

Haunted by a secret, Ben Thomas looks for redemption by radically transforming the lives of seven people he doesn't know. Once his plan is set, nothing will be able to stop him. At least that's what he thinks. But Ben hadn't planned on falling in love with one of these people and she's the one who will end up transforming him.


A friend of mine, who is also a diabetic, was in the hospital last week. Being on insulin, her body grew bigger, especially around her tummy. It made her feel bad and she didn't recognize her own body. The tummy didn't feel like hers and she hated it. It's not like she was indulging or eating the fattiest food around. Not at all. On the contrary, she's really careful when it comes to food, making the right choices. She has other conditions that prevent her from really working out, but she walks a lot and on a regular basis. Nothing seems to help though. Her BMI is too high and she needed help, to prevent her from getting other complications like heart disease.

So her doctor suggested to have a gastric bypass. Meaning they would make her stomach smaller and remove a part of her small intestine. In that manner, the calories you eat, don't stay in your body that long, preventing them from turning into fat. It's like setting out a detour, making the food take a shorter route throughout your body.

She's home now. She had a lot of pain in the first days, but she coped. She knew why she had the surgery done. She's happy. She's hoping for quite some weight loss. I'm hoping the same for her. She's on my mind..

Thursday, July 9, 2009


My little girl is not feeling too well. Last night, when I got home, everybody was in bed. On my pillow, there was a note from my youngest daughter, saying "good night mommy". She does that, once in a while. Mostly it's because there's something she needs to tell me. Sometimes it's because I wasn't home at night so she couldn't kiss me good night. I always cherish those notes.

This morning, when I came downstairs, there was this feverish young lady, laying down on the couch. She looked all sweaty, swollen eyes, tummy ache included. Poor thing.. So we cuddled up, I gave her a pain reliever and she rolled up against me. It's been ages since she's been sick. I hope she'll feel better soon.

Wild horses

Yesterday, I had the chance to see two beautiful girls riding their horses. They are fabulous! So natural, so pure, so serene. I used to go horseback riding myself, but it's been ages. Although I still remember "my horse" very well. His name was Torro and he was the only horse I rode in my teens. When Torro retired and died, I quit riding and I never went back. I still have his picture and on the back, I taped a hair out of his tail. He was so loveable and my best friend. I have cleaned many stables and got free riding lessons in return.

So I finally had the chance to see these two sisters ride two wonderful horses. And they did real well, even though they are still pretty young. I'm proud of them!

The smell of the horses brought me back down memory lane.. It's like I could smell Torro.. nostalgia to the top.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I want to veg out

I'm tired. I don't stay up that late anymore and my glucose levels are pretty normal. There's no actual reason why I would be tired. But I am. I eat my vitamins and I have a good rest at night. I don't get up that early in the morning. It can't be age either, because I'm not even 38 yet. But like I said: I'm tired.. I want to veg out, be left alone, get some rest..

Dirty laundry

This is not about gossip. Is your house also cluttered with dirty laundry most of the time? I can no longer keep up washing towels, undies, jeans, shirts,.. As soon as the laundry has been washed, a new pile is waiting in the laundry basket. It's like putting lipstick on a pig, it never lasts long..

Thinking of our grandmothers and the way they had to wash their laundry, I believe we can't complain. And don't forget the number of children they had! But then again, the kids back then didn't change clothes every day. They had to wear their clothes for a whole week before they got a fresh outfit. Our children can't imagine having to wear the same clothes day after day. Imagine the smell of sweat and the stains and the dirt.

So I guess I'm going to put in another load of laundry. Another one.. too bad laundry needs to be ironed as well..

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You cannot judge a book from its cover

Don't we all judge people from their outer appearance? Don't tell me you don't do it. Whenever we meet someone - whether that's someone you run into on the streets or a personal encounter - we see their appearance before we can see the person's personality. Nothing's wrong with that. As long as we take our time to really get to know someone.

I must admit, I have judged people by their appearance before. Sometimes, my instinct was right, but on other occasions, I had to make serious reconsideration. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and if they open up to me, I'm very willing to get to know them. It becomes difficult though, if people are very introvert and don't let you break open the cocoon they are hiding in.

Some people are very beautiful on the outside, and once you get to know them, you learn about their not so pretty inside. Nobody tells you to keep seeing those people though. You have the choice. Sometimes you don't get to know people until many years later. That's what makes it painful to stop a relationship. But I have learned that it's better to follow your gut feeling. And if that feeling says that person is not the person you thought it were, and you find it hard to keep the relationship going, take your time to make up your mind. Maybe it only needs a good conversation to solve the problem. On the other hand, it might also mean the end of the bond. There's no use crying over it. It's not per definition a negative experience. It might teach you good lessons in life..

If I could turn back time

I wouldn't. I wouldn't turn back time. What's the use? Why would you be sorry and try to live your life differently? Life can't be perfect. The past makes us the person we are now. And I like the person I am. So no, I wouldn't change a thing..

Monday, July 6, 2009

Them kids

A couple of nieces/nephews are staying over at our house. They're great kids! Their sister left for summer camp this week and the other siblings are here for a sleep over.

So far, they have baked sugar cookies, made some wonderful drawings to send to their sister and another nephew that left for summer camp. They have taken a swim in the swimming pool in the back yard and they have tried out the playstation.

Tonight they are going to prepare a buffet: cold cuts, potato salad, all sorts of vegetables, fresh fruitsalad, ...

We still haven't decided whose bedroom they are going to share. They are not sure yet. We'll see. It's always great to have the kids over. They are fun!

Shooting up

Out of curiosity, this morning I injected the amount of insulin I use on a daily basis, on a teaspoon. I wanted to see the exact amount of medication that keeps me going. And you know what? I think it's pretty ridiculous to see how little it is, although I use quite some insulin. Just imagine, that this little puddle of drugs is responsible for keeping me alive. Isn't that kinda weird? When I think of some friends of mine, that need like 1/4 of my dosage, how little would that be? How about people that inject insulin and only use about 4 units per shot? How can you be sure the full amount needed is absorbed by your body? What if you spill a drop?

I'm so happy we have the possibility to pump insulin and to even just be able to use insulin! Not all diabetics are that fortunate. Think of the poor countries, think of young, poor children that do not have the money to buy medication. Think of their parents.. It's devastating.. This small puddle of insulin keeps me alive. Every diabetic should have access to the medication they need.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A problem shared is a problem halved

My diabetes forum friends mean a lot to me. We share our feelings and experiences and we understand one another. Today we had a wonderful meeting. It's so good to see each other once in a while. We're all going through a roller-coaster glucose period at the moment, because of the sunny weather and the hot temperatures. Our glucose drops more often, leading to hypos and binge eating. Believe me, you do not want to go there. I'm so glad that I had the chance to talk to my friends about it. They experience the exact same thing!
Most doctors don't like forums on diabetes. Does it scare them, that diabetics exchange experiences? That they hear about different treatments, different methods, different everything? But they should know, not one diabetic is alike. We are all so different and so is the way we deal with diabetes. It is nice to know though, that there are so many people out there, sharing that same condition. You don't always want to talk to your doctor and some things are only discussed with our forum friends. Some physicians still don't get it: theory and practice are two different things. We need the theory, we absolutely do. We wouldn't be anywhere without it. But the experience of others teaches us even more. I know the forum has taught me a great deal in diabetes treatment and we help each other out as well as possible. We don't give medical advice though. We are no doctors after all. A pat on the shoulder, a thumb pointing upwards, a visit when someone is in the hospital,... it's all part of the game.
Thank you friends, for a wonderful time! And I'm glad some new faces joined in today!

We are family

Today is a fun day! A part of our diabetes family is having a meeting in the region of Antwerp. We are going to have our pictures taken. We are normal people, just like the rest of you, and there's no doubt that any of you could be a diabetic as well. Whether you are male or female, short or tall, thin or bigger, Dutch or French, young or old.. diabetes doesn't care. It comes when you least expect it. The pictures want to show you, that diabetes is not only for older or bigger people. It can affect anyone. There's no use sticking your head in the sand. It's there and it's not going any where.

The photo shoot will be for type 1 diabetics only. Most people know at least one person who has diabetes type 2. The thing they remember about type 2 diabetes, is that you get it from eating too many sweets (NOT!), from being overweight (sometimes), from eating more than your body can handle (sometimes). 90% of the diabetics have type 2.

The other 10% are the type 1 diabetics. It is more rare, although I have acquainted more type 1 diabetics than type 2 by now. Type 1 diabetes may be genetic, but the doctors aren't sure about that yet. It can happen at any age (not only in your teens, as many people think). You may be 14 months old, you may be 65, but either can be diagnosed type 1. In some families, there are several type 1 diabetics. Sometimes it's just you, and nobody else. Some families have type 1 and type 2 diabetics, like my family.

You have type 1 diabetes if your pancreas has promptly given up on making insulin. That's why we need to give ourselves injections or use an insulin pump. A type 1 diabetic cannot survive on tablets. We need to give ourselves insulin for the rest of our lives. Because there's no cure.. not yet.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetics are family. They are related, because both of the groups have diabetes. The disease is the same, the treatment can be different. The complications may be the same and so may the symptoms be. Type 2 diabetics may have had the disease for 10 years before they start realising it. Type 1 diabetics would not survive without being diagnosed..
So there are differences. You cannot recover from diabetes, you will always have it. Sometimes, you might get off medication for a while, if you are a type 2. But you will still have diabetes.

If you think having type 1 diabetes and being dependant on an insulin pump is worse than having type 2 diabetes and treating the condition with diet and tablets, you're wrong. There is no better or worse diabetes. Either you have it, or you don't. Compare it to being pregnant: you are pregnant or you aren't. Although treatment may be different, type 1's and type 2's still have the same disease..

So next time you meet someone with diabetes, don't judge them. Don't say it's their own fault. Don't preach and don't tell them what they should or shouldn't eat. You know why? Because we are not ignorant. We are informed and we know our bodies, because it's our life. We deal with it 24/7. So if we wouldn't know what diabetes is about, who will?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pimp my pump!

With pain in my heart... I traded my blue Cozmo insulin pump for a purple Paradigm 722. It was kinda weird though to switch pumps. I feel like I have to mourn now and then move on. Because Cozmo is not coming's history.

I know for sure that the Paradigm is also a good pump. It is different though. Some features my Cozmo had, are not available on the Paradigm. There is no software either, to personalize it. I liked the idea of giving it a personal touch, because after all, my pump is on my body 24/7. Does it surprise you, that I wanted it to look nice and colorful? The sales representative promised me some nice stickers for my pump, to cheer it up a little more.

Both my daughters joined me at the clinic, for moral support (and also because they were promised an outing to the mall afterwards). They are wonderful and they sure help me through this pumping episode.

The actual switch didn't go that well. High glucose in the afternoon, a 22 mg/dl at night and a 458 mg/dl near the morning. The last number is the result of the excessive binge party caused by the hypo earlier. Shoot... I was glad that I could call my friend, who also traded her Cozmo for the Paradigm and she helped me out. So did the sales rep! It's good to have someone out there, who wants to take the time and effort to help you solve the problem.

I'm trying to figure the pump out today, seeing what it can and cannot do. I'm glad it's not bigger than my Cozmo, because I liked that size. It fits in most cell phone cases. After all, I'm a girl right? And girls want to look good, even if they carry an insulin pump!

Forbidden fruits

Diabetics are supposed to eat healthy, like any other non-diabetic person. The thing is, many non-diabetics tell us how to live our lives and more specific: what we can and preferably what we cannot eat. Although the diet of either a non-diabetic or a diabetic is the same: healthy food, in moderation.

As I have told you before: diabetics have to consider the amount of carbohydrates in the food they eat. Many products contain carbs and so does fruit. We cannot eat fruit without thinking how many carbs we are having and how much insulin we need to cover the portion. I'm glad my favorite fruits are red fruit. Because red fruit has the least carbs of all fruits. There aren't any forbidden fruits, but you need to keep in mind that some fruits contain much more carbs than others. I'll give you an example:

100 gram of .. contains .. gr of carbs

strawberries 5
grapes 14
blue berries 6
cherries 13
banana 20
apple 11
peach 9
kiwi fruit 12
pear 9
pineapple 12
mango 14
orange 8.5
passion fruit 8
rhubarb 2

So I don't eat grapes or banana that often, because they contain a lot of sugar. I do like mango though, so that's my special treat if I long for sweets. We grow rhubarb in our back yard and it's a great fruit for diabetics, since it only has 2 gr carbs in 100 gr!

I limit my portions of fruit to two pieces a day and I think that's a fair deal. I hear most people don't even eat two portions of fruit on a daily basis. Nor do they eat 5 portions of vegetables per day. So why do non-diabetics keep telling us what WE should eat in order to stay healthy??

Friday, July 3, 2009

I watch you when you are sleeping

We don't always go to bed at the same time. Because you work shifts, some days you need to go to bed early. It used to be the other way around. When we just met, you could stay up all night, and I needed my rest, going to bed by the latest around 10 PM. But nowadays, I usually stay up until 1 AM.

I like to watch you when you are sleeping. Sometimes you pretend to be asleep and then you act real funny, trying to convince me that you really are sleeping. It makes me smile. Most of the time, you sleep on your belly, your head under your pillow. You don't like to sleep when we face each other. Because then you can sense me watching you. It creeps you out. So as soon as you feel that I'm watching you, you turn around.

I love you..

Busy gal on the go

We needed to get up early this morning. We have so many things to do. I need to go to the post office first, to ship some bolero drinks to my customers. Then the girls and I are heading towards the hospital in Antwerp. I have to return my insulin pump.. with pain in my heart, really. It'll be weird to give it back. I have used the Cozmo pump for nearly 3 years and it has become a part of me. It's like having a limb amputated! It's pretty emotional and I hate to see it go. But there's no other option. The pumps are owned by the clinic and they ordered me to trade it for the Paradigm Real Time. I'm so not looking forward to it. It is better though, than going back on syringes!! Don't even want to go back there.

While we're at the hospital, I would like to visit a friend/diabetic who's there to have surgery. I hope she will be out of the recovery by the time we would like to visit her. I'm looking forward to seeing her. She's a young widow, with 3 kids and she's done a great job raising them. Her children are too young to live without her, so let's keep our fingers crossed that she will be just fine and things will go smoothly.

Sales are not over yet, so neither is the shopping. I can't believe we will do some more shopping.. The girls are so looking forward to it. Hubby is happy he doesn't have to join us. He'll spend some quiet time at home, enjoying the day of yesterday, because it was his birthday.. We took him and the in-laws out for dinner. The mussel season started and we love mussels! So mussels it were and I must say: they were delicious!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A thin line

The line between eating healthy and dieting can be very thin. Eating disorders lay just around the corner. Didn't you hear the news, that the average age for people with eating disorders nowadays, is 13? Jeez... 13?! How come? Is it because us parents show our kids how important it is to eat healthy, to make sure you don't over eat? Is it the media or do the kids have skinny roll models they worship? I don't know, but it does scare me. We have two beautiful daughters and it would be devastating if they would have some sort of eating disorder. I have seen what it does to a person. Some of my friends have eating disorders and it's awful. There's nothing glamourous about it. It sucks, it really does. It takes over your life. For a long period of time, you may think you are in control, but forget it, it is the other way around. The disorder controls you and you become a slave of food, eating, not eating, throwing up, hiding food, lying about food. The scale is your best friend, but at the same time your worst enemy. It is sad, you know.. it really is..

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, a great part in good control is: food. You need to know what it does to your body and how it affects you. You must eat healthy, because diabetics are more vulnerable to heart disease than healthy people. So cut out the fat, cut out the sugars, eat your greens, exercise...

Does it surprise you that many diabetics develop some sort of eating disorder? Ever heard of diabulimia? It's the combination of diabetes and bulemia. People on insulin know that insulin is not very nice to maintain a healthy weight. It is a hormone after all. The more insulin you need, the more your weight may go up. So some diabetics use less or almost no insulin, in order to loose weight. It's absolutely wrong and very dangerous, but many people do it. If you use less insulin than your body requires, you have high blood glucose and your body starts to starve. It gets dehydrated and you may end up getting into a coma. But you're right, you will loose weight, that's for sure. That's what makes it so tricky. That's what makes it so hard to give yourself the insulin it deserves and still maintain a healthy weight. I compare it to Russian roulette. Your life is at stake if you play this game. Find help. You're not the only one out there..


Drowning people cannot help others. Pretty obvious. Unless they are so strong that they have some energy left to help you after all.

I have so many things to do and so little time. I don't even work at the moment but still, I can't seem to get organised. I look at my full time working friends and I wonder: when do they do the things they enjoy? When do they cook? Do they have time to clean their house, do the laundry, check their children's homework?

I feel my diabetes is a full time job already. At the end of August, I have my annual check up and I want it to be perfect. I would like my HbA1c (the average glucose level of the last 6 weeks) to be better than last time. It wasn't that bad (7.7%) and one of the lowest I ever had, but I want it to be lower again. It's better for our health if the HbA1c is below 7. So I check more (up to 15 times a day instead of the 5 times I'm supposed to check). And it's paying off! At least something is getting done over here...

Wonderful couscous

I love foreign meals and couscous is one of them. Easy to cook a fast meal. It's healthy, low-fat and yummie! For the first time, I made couscous with cod and I must say: there was nothing left. Okay okay, I know you would like to taste it. Why don't you check it out yourself?

1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
1 squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 red pepper, 1/2 yellow pepper, 1/2 orange pepper
1/2 egg plant
3/4 cup couscous
4 tomatoes
2 fillets of cod
1 tablespoon of oil
lime wedges

Preheat the oven on 400° (225°C). Pour the stock and lemon juice in an oven dish.
Dice the peppers and the egg plant. Mix the veggies with the juice and the couscous and use pepper to season the dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 min.
Remove the foil. Chop the tomatoes and cover the couscous with the tomatoes.
Cut the fish fillets in chunks and skewer them. Put them on top of the dish. Drizzle with the oil.
Bake for another 15 min, uncovered.

Serve with lime wedges and enjoy this great worldly dish!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shop until you drop

Sales started today. Well, in some shops they started a couple of days ago, but they weren't supposed to. We do live in Belgium after all, and Belgians are extremely good at making their own rules.

So I took the girls shopping today. Both needed a fresh hair cut first and dressed to the nines, we went out for lunch. Because you can't shop on an empty stomach, can you? lolz

The girls had a great time, I have blisters and swollen feet. It wasn't that crowded in the mall, and sales were pretty good. A couple of bags in each hand, sweaty faces and a couple of hours later, we were ready to head home. Man, how hot were the seats in the car!!! Shoot! I should've parked the car in the shade...

The girls are showing off their new outfits and twirl around the house in fancy underwear. When did they get to grow so tall?

And they lived happily ever after

Amongst the friends I have, there aren't many couples. Mostly it's a female or a male friendship. There is one couple though, I may consider friends. Both of them are very precious to me. I met them a couple of years ago and in the mean time, they have become friends.

I see her more than I see him, but our minds cross once in a while. Maybe I should visit them more often, but his evening shifts complicate those visits. If I want to catch both of them, I would have to visit them on Wednesdays, when he's not working. But that is also their one private day together so I won't disturb them then.

The friendship she and I share is pretty intense. We understand each other without words and we can call one another whenever we feel the need. There are things we tell each other, nobody else knows about. Is it because she's a professional and she's used to keeping things to herself? Or is it because I just trust her? I guess it's both.

Her husband has a lot of wisdom. I love to listen to his stories and especially the moral gets my attention. In his culture, people treat people in a different way than we do over here. They tend to help one another much more than we do, without asking any questions like: when will you pay me back or why did you stop calling me? They remain friends and they would travel 10 hours to come help you out whenever you would be in trouble, as a matter of speaking.

He and she make a perfect match. She needs him and he needs her. He brings peace and relaxation into the relationship, she is bubbly and very energetic and keeps the family business going. I can't wait for them to have a baby. It will definitely grow up in a loving environment and with excellent values. He is so fond of children and has a very special way of talking with kids. They listen to him and they value him and for him they would do anything. I can tell, because both our daughters adore him..

Fate made us meet. I had many colleagues at that time, but she and I got along right away. She's 10 years younger and sometimes I see her as my little sister. We do fight once in a while, but we always make up, because we know we wouldn't hurt each other on purpose.

Today is her birthday. Happy birthday my friend! You're special..