Monday, May 31, 2010

The art of seduction

He says he's in love with me. Despite my weight, he has fallen in love with me. He has put me on his list of women he has fallen in love with and wants to marry. I'm on top of his list right now. But there's a possibility I will no longer be on that list tomorrow. Because someone else might take my place.
If he had fallen in love with me 30 years ago, he would have married me right away. The thing is, I would have been 8 years old then. Kinda young to get married, I told him. He said it didn't matter, since it's not going to happen after all. Because I'm no longer on his favorite-person-to-marry-list. As soon as I walk out the door, he forgets about me. To remember his crush the very next day when I come back to visit him.
I'm not the first woman he falls in love with. He asked to see pictures of my daughters, so I showed him. As soon as he saw a picture of my oldest daughter, he said: I know her! I remember falling in love with her when I was a teen!! He was so excited about that picture. If only he weren't 92 and my daughter 15..

Spending time with

Who would you like to spend time with? A celebrity? A deceased relative? A friend you haven't seen for a long time? Or maybe someone you secretly admire?

We hear about quality time and quantity time. That's a big hype in the US and the terms are making their entry in our little country. Children and parents have so little time to spend together, because they have way too many activities. What's wrong with just staying home on the weekends and spend some time together? Children don't feel the need to go to an expensive amusement park or a subtropical swimming pool if you give them the attention they deserve. They like to hang out with you, if you make them feel loved and welcome. Children are like sponges: they soak up all of your energy, but trust me: you get so much love in return..

So yes, I would like to spend some quality time with my girls. Separately. Because each one of them deserves some special mommy-daughter time. Let me think about something fun to do together.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Me and My Guitar

People always say
Tom, this has gone too far
But I'm not afraid to chase my dreams,
Just me and my guitar

And no one may ever know
The feelings inside my mind
'Cause all of the lines I ever write
Are running out of time

So maybe I should get a nine to five
But I don't want to let it go, there's so much more to life

Tell me that I've got it wrong
Tell me everything will be okay
Before I fall
Tell me they'll play my songs
Tell me they'll sing the words I say
When darkness falls
All of the stars will see
Just me and my guitar

I'm sure that I'll find my way
'Cause I'm not afraid to try
Even a world of love and hope can't guarantee that price

So maybe I should get a nine to five
But I don't want to let it go, there's so much more to life

Tell me that I've got it wrong
Tell me everything will be okay
Before I fall
Tell me they'll play my songs
Tell me they'll sing the word I say
When darkness falls
All of the stars will see

Tom Dice, the 20 yo singer from Eeklo, Belgium, did really good at the Eurovision Song Contest. The audience and the world loved him! Too bad Belgium doesn't have that many adjacent countries like Germany, otherwise Tom would have been the true winner. He may be very proud though, for having brought his country in to the finals. He was 6th but to us: Tom will always remain the best!

Bay Horse Bayard

Bayard is a magic reddish-brown horse with black mane, tail, ear edges and lower legs. In the legend, derived from the chansons de geste, Bayard was able to adjust his size to his riders.
The horse was capable of carrying Rinaldo and his three brothers (the Aymon brothers) all at the same time. Charlemagne wanted to punish the horse for its exploits and had a large stone tied to its neck before it was pushed into the river. That was beyond the power and strength of this amazing horse! It smashed the stone with its hooves to escape and live forever more in the woods.

Every decade, the story of the magic heroic horse Bayard is being remembered in Dendermonde, where the statue of Bayard is legendary. Despite the bad weather, we are going to watch the parade today. It is a unique opportunity to relive the story and go back in time. Dendermonde is going crazy. The residents are very fanatic when it comes to Bayard. Flags are hung from windows, decals are being made to let the world know how proud they are of their legendary horse. A friend of ours, who's originally from Dendermonde but lives in the US, has come to Belgium with his family to attend the parade. One of his sons even has Bayard for his middle name!

It's going to be an exciting day, despite the rain. I'd better get ready, so we'll be able to find a place to park the car and enter the city. I'll keep some lumps of sugar in my pocket for the horse, just in case..

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Green light

This Monday, some decisions need to be made. Again. But this time, I'm looking forward to it. I'll be able to close down some chapters and that feels good. It's still pretty unreal, so I hope I'll be a bit more cheerful when I come back from my meeting Monday. I'm expecting green light and that's what I'll get. My perseverance paid off after all.

Hate to wait

I'm not the most patient person on Earth. Having to wait in a waiting room or in the car, are the worst. I'm not happy if people are late, while you are waiting for them. Doctors are very good at making you wait a very long time. And so are children.. You are their driver to whatever activities they wish to attend. And then you have to wait in the parking lot, to pick them up again. You see so many people leave the building, but your child is not one of them.. ggggrrr... The clock is ticking and the minutes go by. Still no children..

And then, there they are! Finally! They have no idea how long you have been waiting for them. But I guess.. that's what parents are for?

Friday, May 28, 2010


Who loves you when you need them, that's your family.
In the mall, I saw a great doormat: Friends are welcome, family by appointment only.
I'm happy with my friends.. They mean so much to me and they give me love and energy. It's good to have people you can rely on. People that are willing to make you feel good and give you a better life. I think I could call those friends my true family. Unconditionally. No buts and no ifs. No conditions.

Independent and available

Single and alone.. Isn't that how they describe people that are not in a relationship? Society still expects us to have a steady partner. If you don't and you say you are happy anyway, they give you a very suspicious look. In the meaning of: "as if..". Maybe the singles out there shouldn't worry that much about what "the world" might think about them.

Why is it so important for others to convince singles they need to be in a relationship? Because after all, isn't that a personal choice?
I mean, why could you not be happy by yourself? That doesn't mean you have no friends or a different kind of relationship. It's just that you don't fit in with the married couples. Is being single that dreadful? Or is it glamourous, like some say? I guess the truth is somewhere in between. Some singles are single by choice. Others are longing for a long term partnership but haven't found the lid on their pot yet. Either way: being in a relationship, is no guarantee for luck or happiness. Being single neither. We are all responsible for our own happiness in life. Don't let happiness stand between you and an eventual partner..

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A day off

Today I had an off day. A whole day to myself. Just me and the whippets. The phone was put on mute and I didn't have to get up early in the morning (letting the dogs out once or twice doesn't count) and I didn't have to cook lunch for anyone. I had plenty of leftovers to feed me, myself and I. Just chillin' today, cleaning up a little, work some more on my cook book, have a cup of coffee and run some errands. I like to have an off day every now and then. It's very relaxing. There's some thinking to be done and I desperately needed that alone time. My off day ended at 4 PM. But that's okay. I enjoyed it. You should try it, every once in a while. It's refreshing.

Give blood

and save a life.
I have been a blood donor for several years. I believe it's really important that there are people who are willing to give blood to save lives. Too bad the blood of a diabetic is not good enough to donate. Otherwise, I would still be a donor.

Have you considered giving blood? It's not that painful and it's so much appreciated. What if one of your family members urgently needs blood and there's not enough blood available? Wouldn't that be dreadful? Maybe one day, you will need blood! I would consider it if I were you. I know I would still be giving blood if the blood bank could use it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One of us

Against my principles, I sat down on the couch with hubby and Lana, to watch the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. It's been ages since I last saw this contest. I thought it was not worth the effort, since certain countries only vote for their neighbor countries. Mostly it's just a waste of energy and money.

This year, Belgium has sent Tom Dice to Oslo. His act is unique: just "Me and My Guitar". No background dancers, no fireworks or carnival costumes. Just Tom and his guitar. He did pretty well, I must say. He looked great and he didn't seem nervous at all. His voice was clear and he stood there, just doing what he came to do: sing and play his guitar..
He's one of us! He went to highschool where Lana is going as well. I attended that college too.

There were a couple of other contestants I liked as well: Poland and Russia presented two great singers, with deep and warm voices. And I liked the power of Greece! Even for people who don't dance (count me in), you felt like getting on the dance floor and join in.

But the most important is: Tom Dice is going to the finals!!!! They loved him! Is he going to convince the rest of Europe? Let's hope so! We'll find out this Saturday. I'll keep you posted.

A men's thing

Men love cars. They like to talk about cars, they like to discuss cars, they like to shop for cars. I'm not a caroholic, it's just that I like to drive a car that doesn't give me any troubles.

My new car is ready for its first maintenance check. We have cruised more than 2.000 km so far. Not bad, I must say. It's going to the car shop today. Time to catch up with my friends! Let's go get some coffee!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pinch me, I must be dreaming..

I finally have the idea that the doctor I have visited this time, and I are on the same level. He was very understanding and prepared to listen to what I had to say. He had read my prehistory I had mailed him and he was absolutely willing to answer my questions. He believes the emotional aspect is not to be neglected. He believes he and his team can help me, so he forwarded me to his colleague.
I'm seeing him on June 21st. Please pretty please, keep crossing your fingers for me, since I believe your support is so helpful. I'm getting there. It's taken me a long time, but I didn't give up. All of you kept me going. Let's hope things will go smoother from now on. This impatient person has been challenged way too long..

London calling

Our American friends are stranded, due to British Airways's strike.. They were forced to spend an expensive night in a London hotel, before they could continue their journey to Belgium. There are five of them and we are excited that they are going to be here soon. What a joy that they decided to spend some time overseas. It's a rare occasion, because it's not that obvious for a family of five to fly all the way to Belgium. I hope their journey will be pleasant and that the good weather may warm their hearts. Welcome home xx

Monday, May 24, 2010

Let's call it a night

Today was pretty hectic. A friend of ours had his 50th birthday party. He's over the hill now and his partner had made arrangements for a special day. My designer friend and I catered the party and we enjoyed the day. I'm tired.. my foot's sore, my lower back is just killing me and the sun burns haven't healed yet. But I'm satisfied and pleased and the fatigue is only physical. I'm going to crash on the couch now. Tomorrow is another day..

Nervous Nelly

I know there's not much I can do in advance, but I'm running around like a pig ready to be slaughtered. I'm really nervous about the upcoming meeting on Tuesday. I have had so many of those meetings in the last year, and most of them didn't have the expected outcome. That so I'm a teeny weeny reluctant to have this final meeting. Please cross your fingers for me. I'll need all the support I can get.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nana from Ghana

Middle 1980's, Rock op het Plein Festival, Wervik. I don't remember the exact date of the first time I heard the Skyblasters sing, but I do remember I liked their reggae music and the band members. One of the singers - Nana (Prince Far Out is a name that slightly crosses my mind) - in particular had drawn my attention. He had a rasta hairdo and he was real gentle and funny. He had an amazing warm voice and I loved his black accent. I don't recall how we managed to see one another, but somehow we did. He once made me a tape, full of Bob Marley songs that he had sung for me. I had kept that tape for so many years, but I must have lost it at a certain time.
Nana visited me on different occasions and I still remember his birthday and his address in Ghent. I wonder where he is now and how he's doing. He must be in his early 60's now. I still hear his laughter clatter in my ears and I can imagine the shine of his sparkling white teeth. Strange how sometimes, old memories pop up and make you go back in time.

Don't say nothing

I've been stupid again.. The first sunbeams were out yesterday and I was so in the mood to catch some warmth. So I took off my clothes, and fell asleep on the sunbed in my underwear. Ever seen a boiled lobster? Exactly.. It stings terribly. Half of my face is burnt, my upper arms , my back, my hind legs, my buttocks, calves,.. pff. I'm so stupid. Walking is painful, sitting down is painful and I can't stand the feeling of clothes on my burnt skin. Sleeping was torture for I couldn't find a good position to avoid rubbing the sore spots. I guess I'll never learn.. Will someone come and smear my body with a soothing lotion?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The evening after the night before

Last night, we had an Indian dinner at my place. Lots of fun and laughter and love from the food. Winnetou himself rang my doorbel, completely with feathered headdress. He must have thought the Native Americans were originally from India. It was hilarious! It suited him well though and it was a great idea. I thought he would have showed up in salwar kameez and red dot between his eyes. Guess that wasn't catchy enough.
My other guest stayed overnight, so trust me: we didn't go to bed early.. I love having people over and I do enjoy cooking for them. I must say, my guests did great at helping out in the kitchen. It was their job to make the chapati, from scratch. And they did absolutely fine!

We should definitely do this more often. But if we do, I will have to pay more attention to my diabetes, since last night I forgot to bolus for dinner.. meaning I ended up with skyhigh numbers. Shoot.. and saying that the evening started with a low..

Tonight, I'm having another dinner party, with my diabetic friends. We're going out, totally out of the blue. Some people need to be cheered up. So that's what we'll do right? We're going to have a bite at the local Egyptian-Greek restaurant.. Well, that is.. what one of our friends told us. Last time we were over there, he promised us a good meal in a Greek restaurant. Once we got there, it seemed to be an Egyptian restaurant. But the food was good and the staff was polite. Another friend of ours is spending 14 days in Kos, Greece. So to be closer to her, we're meeting with the others in the Egyptian-Greek restaurant. Cheers Mrs. M! There's a toast on you! We'll send you the bill!


I'm so happy the sun has been out the last couple of days. I wouldn't mind summer at all. We are done with those dark, windy and cold days. It's about time to get bikinis and tank tops out and enjoy a glass of cold wine on the deck. The weather forecast promised us a sunny weekend. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

I had a great time shopping for flowers, to brighten up the terrace. They are all pink and purple and all shades in between. Too bad the dogs love fresh dirt.. I hope the poor flowers will survive their rough housing..

Friday, May 21, 2010

You are very welcome

"You're very welcome, although I hate to say it.."
I hear this phrase every day, when I go visit Mr. A. He's a true delight. We discuss many different subjects. Some phrases keep coming back though. Another one of his favorites is: "You have a very pretty face, but what's with the fat body??" Whenever he starts saying this sentence, I stop him and I tell him we agreed not to say this anymore. He immediately apologizes, but the damage has already been done. It hurts. He's not supposed to say things like this. Not on purpose. I'm sure he would never have said these things 10 years ago. It's the age I guess and his medical condition.
He says he'll come visit me on a daily basis in the nursing home. I tell him that's not likely to happen, since I'm 38 and he's 92. But he persists - he says I'll be in a nursing home long before he decides to go to heaven.. Fair enough.

There's just one thing I need

Aloo Bombay
Chicken Tikka Masala
Tandoori Chicken
Mango Chutney
Prawn Pakora
Tarka Dal
Sweet Lassi..

These are some of the dishes I'm going to cook tonight. There's just one thing I need: Garam Masala! I bought it a while ago in Bruges and I'm sure I have put it in a convenient place, but I can't find it anywhere! Shoot.. I have plenty of Indian herbs in my kitchen cabinet, that's not the problem and I'm sure I can come up with a recipe for Garam Masala. But I don't have the time to make my own blend. So I'd better start looking for it. I will find it. Because I know it's out there somewhere.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hot dog!

She's just amazing.. She's laying in her bench right now and she's crying her eyes out. What on earth got in to her, when she decided to eat 175 gr of spicy chorizo sausage? I had just put it on the table to cut off some slices, when she grabbed the sausage and gobbled nearly all of it. I'm used to hot food and I can assure you: that sausage was more than hot. But I guess Inthe didn't have time to think it over: she just swallowed it, without chewing I guess. Someone's going to have a hard time going to the bathroom tomorrow. Bad luck!

Treading water

I feel stuck. For so many months, I have tried to find a solution for what keeps me busy all day. I have seen too many doctors and listened to as many patients. I know what I want, but it's still not happening. I need a doctor with a backbone. A doctor who understands and who can relate to my issues. A doctor who's man enough to stand up for me.

Let's hope the doctor I'm going to see next Tuesday, will be that doctor. I'm counting on him, although I don't want to keep my hopes up too high. I don't know how many more disappointments I can handle. It's time for some action.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To shave or not to shave

Summer is coming up, so the winter fur has to go.. Women feel so obliged to shave their legs, armpits, and more private parts.
I admit, I'm not a fan of hairy bodies. I just don't like the hassle of shaving or waxing. I have an electric shaver and another appliance to torture my delicate skin and of course, there are plenty of razor blades in the bathroom. Whatever treatment you pick, the nasty hairs keep coming back. The first hours are great: you feel clean and hair free and your skin is smooth and silky. That's before the rash starts. It starts to itch and your skin gets red and irritated. That's the moment when you decide never to shave again. You tell yourself you're entitled to some pubic hair. You are a woman after all and the hair is there for a reason. It's just that I still haven't figured out the use of all that unwanted hair..

So I guess I'd better start shaving again. Because I do like that clean and silky feeling.

Belgian endives and Brussels sprouts

I like neither.. But I do like Brussels waffles and Belgian chocolate!!

I'm working on making my own cook book. In the first place, it really is a book for me. There are too many recipes laying around and I can't trace my favorite recipes in the numerous cook books I own.
That's why I have decided to bundle all of my favorite recipes. It'll be easier to keep them in one book, than have them scattered all over the house. It took me a while to find a recipe template I liked, but it's there now and I've started rewriting all of my favorite recipes. I want all of them to have a uniform look and a picture of the result. It is a time-consuming pastime, but I'm having a ball. I have made some prints already, to check the outcome. And I like it!

So if you have a favorite recipe and you have the urge to share it with me, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Belgium versus Holland

I wouldn't mind living in Holland. It's very nearby for me. Like a 15 min drive. I like to run errands just across the border. I even go to the market in Holland. I like the Dutch, for being so upfront. Belgians are much more modest and wait-and-see. Belgians can be very friendly talking to you. But wait until they have gone! They can tell a whole different story about you to their friends. The Dutch on the other hand, will tell you exactly how they feel about you. Whether they like your outfit or not. If you say something they don't like, they'll tell you right away. Belgians would be more reluctant in telling you. They are not that upfront.

I have Dutch ladies among my friends, as well as Belgian girls. They are both very different, but that's part of the fun. We all speak Dutch, but there are so many differences in our languages, dialect and pronunciation. I guess that's what makes it even more interesting. Their food culture is so different from ours as well. They have more Asian food than we do. I do prefer our cuisine though..

Do you remember the time

when we fell in love?

I remember we fell in love in an instance. We had gone out that particular Friday and we fell in love on Saturday. That Saturday, you stayed the night and by the following day - June 12 1994 - we were a couple. Someday that following week, you moved in.
Only a fortnight later, I was pregnant with our first daughter.. Time flies by and that oldest daughter got a sister and they are 15 and 13 now. Wow..

Small detail: I was diagnosed with diabetes on June 12 2002. Exactly 8 years after we became a couple. This June 12, I will have had D for 8 years en we will relive the day we became a couple, 16 years ago.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Indian night

This Friday, I'm having some friends over. We're going to have an Indian night. It'll be a challenge! I'll be cooking Indian food. Let's hope my sister-in-law and I will remember our Indian classes when it comes to cooking. There are some ingredients I need to get, because mustard seeds and garam masala are not that common in Flemish courses. But I'm excited!
It's going to be a great night and I'm looking forward to it. I'd better get prepared!

What if...

What if..

I had chosen a different profession?
I had not gone to the US to work as an au pair?
I had not met my husband?
I had not been blessed with my beautiful daughters?
I had not been diagnosed with diabetes?
I had not met my dear friends?

Would I..

be working a different job?
ever have seen the beauty of the US?
be married to someone else?
have sons?
be eating healthy?
be seeing different people?

I'm glad the what ifs in this life are rhetorical. There's not much we can change about the past, and that goes for the future as well. The only thing we can definitely change is today.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The only men who truly understand women

Chunky Monkey, Boston Cream Pie, Chubby Hubby, Cinnamon Buns, Fossil Fuel,..
Those are only a few of the Ben & Jerry flavors available. No, you don't have to be pregnant to crave ice cream. Especially if that ice cream carries the Ben & Jerry label. O my gosh.. If you don't want to become a B & J addict, don't try it. Because if you will, you will be hooked forever.
Ben & Jerry know what women want. They must have listened to women when they created their delicious ice cream flavors. They let you indulge without feeling guilty (just pretend there's no guilt).
So grab your favorite flavor and empty that container. Now. Tonight. On the couch, all by yourself. It doesn't matter if the ice drips on your pj's. Who cares if your fingers are all sticky from licking out the bottom bits. Tonight, it's just you and B & J.

All buttoned up

Last night, we were invited to the Confirmation of my friend's oldest daughter. She's growing tall and I no longer consider her a child. She looked very pretty in her festive outfit. As well as Baptism, Confirmation is one of the Catholic Sacraments. In Belgium, people are divided whether they should have their children confirmed or not. Ours aren't, but many parents still choose Confirmation for their children. It's a choice in life and nowadays, people are allowed to make this choice. It hasn't always been like that. In our days, I didn't know of anyone who wasn't confirmed. By no means was I interested in church, and being confirmed was not of my concern. But that's the way it was back then: we didn't have a choice or a saying of our own.

We had dinner together at my friend's house and we had a great time. Her daughter is very good at playing keyboard and she did very well entertaining the guests. She's an intelligent girl, getting ready for High School. I like to hang out with her.
We are always welcome at my friend's house. There's always food and drinks awaiting us. This time wasn't any different. Thanks for having us. We enjoyed the invitation.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A happy chap

A good friend of mine is a superb interior designer. He's a great guy and his ideas are so unique and creative. I introduced him to another friend of mine. She and her partner have bought a large house and they didn't know where to start. She desperately wanted a different kitchen, there was painting to be done, she wanted more light inside the house. So my friend dug into this project and last night, we were invited to go see the result. Wow.. I'm so proud of "my" designer. He did such a great job! I have seen the house prior to the make-over and I must say: it is so stylish, warm and so maison du monde. She has a spic and span country style kitchen, a new wooden kitchen floor, great blinds and curtains, amazing lightening, .. It's so different and the colors are rich and welcoming. Everything matches: the stoneware dishes and aubergine wine glasses match the walls, the curly willow in the huge vase brings nature in the house. And top of the bill: my friend's partner is a great musician. He's so talented and his music is a true gift. His major dream in life was to have a pianoforte. And it's there! All black and shiny. So we were sat down to be immersed in a bath of classic piano music, while my friend was making us a delicious three course meal.

No need to tell you how happy my Alacarte designer friend was with all the praise and compliments. He's getting ready for his next project: a make over of a complete house. Looking forward to seeing the result!


Our oldest daughter has a best friend whom she loves very much. He's a great kid and I'm so happy for her she has such a dear friend. They like to hang out together. She talks about him all the time. At one time, I even asked her whether she was dating the right guy? Because she would talk more about this friend than her own boyfriend.
And then I met him. He came over to our house and immediately I closed him in my heart. What a great guy! Polite, gentle, charming, funny, loving, caring.. My gaydar said: this boy isn't straight.. He loves guys, not gals. All of a sudden, it all made sense. Why my daughter has been friends with him for 3 years. Why she loves to go shopping with him. Why they go out to take pictures together. She doesn't believe he's gay. Maybe the boy himself doesn't know yet. But that's okay. It doesn't matter what preference he has. He's very welcome and I hope the two of them will remain friends for a very long time. I'm very happy for her. And him.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A food log

When I was first diagnosed with D, I was asked to keep a food diary and a diabetes diary. I have done both for a little while, but I found the BG numbers too confronting, so I stopped doing so.
Every now and then, I make a food log, just for me. To see how I'm doing.

I have been advised to cut down on carbohydrates. It could be the only way for me to loose weight. Previously I was given the advise to have a daily intake of 220 grams of carbohydrates. That's a whole lot, compared to what I'm having now. For quite a few years, I have ignored the 220 number. I tried to figure out what my body needed or wanted, and 100 grams of carb a day, sounded reasonable. Weight doesn't come off at 100 gr though. So now I'm trying to eat between 40-80 gr a day. And I cut out bread/potatoes/pasta/rice/pastry/cookies.. Because those are the products that make my BG swing terribly. The first result of one week low(er) carb is minus 3 kg. I'm happy!

This is an example of my food diary:

breakfast: cottage cheese and red fruit (15 gr carbs), a vegetable/fruit smoothie (10 gr carbs)

lunch: a lot of vegetables and some fish - yogurt and some fruit (15 gr carbs)

snack: cheese or some other carbfree product

dinner: a lot of vegetables and some meat or fish - 3 crackers (15 gr carbs)

snack: fresh cheese or yogurt (15 gr carbs)

Some days I have more carbs, especially if I had low blood sugars. That's when I must have extra carbs to get better numbers. Those are the carbs I don't want to eat..

A challenge

Just the other day, I got an offer I can't refuse. At least, that was the message behind it. I'm not sure though, whether to grab this chance or not. On one hand, it would make me real proud of myself and it is what I have wanted to do for quite a while. On the other hand, I don't want anyone to take advantage of me. Not anymore. Been there, done that and don't like it anymore..

There are pro's and contra's I need to consider. It's a lot of work and it needs creativity and energy to make the best of it. I know I'm ready to do it. It is business though, and this time, I'm not prepared to let my emotions interfere. I have to think straight and like a business woman. Because after all, I have been asked, not the other way around. I know what I'm worth and I know I'll do great. So does the other.. Meaning I want to be financially compensated in a decent way.
I don't think that is too much to ask, is it?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Call me

You said you wanted to have the opportunity to act in a movie or a TV-commercial. Not as a real actress, but just a person passing by on the scene. So you subscribed on this website and right away you were invited to go to Bokrijk. In October, there will be a new children's series on TV, called The Fifth Bow.
The moviemakers needed some extra people to play some minor roles. You were totally excited, so today we drove all the way to Bokrijk. I must admit, it was pretty exciting to be on a real filmset. They picked you out right away. You, a woman (she had to pretend to be your mom) and a little boy (your brother in the movie) were sat down at a table. You had to talk to each other and as soon as the producer said you had to look the other way, that's what you did. They liked it!
So you moved on to the second scene. They had to do that one over about 5 times, before they got it right. You had to run out of a house with a frightened look on your face. You did great!
And urgh.. they asked me to pass by the house.. That was not planned.. but I did it.
The producer liked you, Eva. They said they would call you, whenever they needed someone. To be continued..

Born in the USA

Some days ago, I heard "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen on the radio. I immediately flashbacked to when I was around 14 years old. There wasn't much pocket money, but I managed to buy my first Bruce Springsteen tape. I knew all his songs by heart. He was hot! in his tight jeans and white shirt. He was a real man. His songs are still special to me. So whenever I hear a song from this album, I'm 14 again.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nose miners

I'm sure there's at least one person in your surroundings, you can call a nose miner. Some are pretty good at hiding it. At least, that's what they think. Just watch them. Look around when you are waiting to cross a road. Nose miners are very active, waiting for the red light to turn green. What an icky situation..

Waking up in Vegas

For many weeks, you girls have asked what country we are going to visit these summer holidays. As usual, we haven't set a destination yet. We mostly pick out our vacation last minute, like a month in advance. The children like to discuss different countries and options. But in the end, it's us, parents, who decide where we will go. We have seen quite some countries by now, but there are so many left to visit.

Lana is considering a vacation with friends next year. She was talking about going to Bulgaria with a classmate. For a month. One month!! Hello??? She said: it's only 1900 euro! Hello??? Feeling good? I like the idea of her spending some time with a friend abroad, but more in the meaning of staying with a host family as an au pair. That's not what Lana has planned though..
That's not what I had in mind at all. I would like her to do a summerjob next year. She'll be 16 then. Time to make some money of her own. We'll see how she feels about 1900 euro then..

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do I drive or am I driven?

I have had my new car for approximately 1 week and a half, and I have already driven around 1300 km. It's not that I like to drive that much, it just happens I guess. There are so many interesting places to go to and I drive to Bruges back and forth a couple of times a week. But still, I was amazed to see my odometer tell me this information. Gasoline is not cheap. This week, I'm driving my youngest daughter to Bokrijk. She has subscribed as a figurant for a new kids show on the Dutch TV. So that's what we do huh.
I'm glad I have a car of my own. Imagine me using public transportation to bring me wherever I need to go. Don't make me even think of it..

A mommy meltdown

I saw a show on TV that really grabbed me by the throat.
The subject was: a mommy meltdown.. Loving mothers turn in to raging and furious abusers. Cuddles disappear, to be replaced by slaps and curses. The happy faces fade away and stern, scary faces are the new look.
It was devastating to watch. What drives these moms to let things get so out of hand, that they can no longer control themselves? What makes them hit their children? What went wrong in their lives that they feel the need to have this destroying power over their children? What is a child supposed to do, when it's being verbally and physically abused by its parents?

My heart goes out to all children that live in abusive homes. They deserve love. They are entitled to get affection. Saying words like: you were never meant to be born! or I hate you for looking after your father! are unforgivable.. It's so damaging. No matter what the child did or how it aggravated you, never ever is there a reason to let your frustrations take over and damage your child permanently.

It was scary to see, that many of the moms kept saying it was the fault of the child. They kept believing the child was the problem. Until they watched their own behavior on tape. That's the first time these moms realised that not the child was the monster, but it was them.. They are lucky children are so forgiving. They even apologized to their parents, for being such a disillusion to them. Even when the parent admitted it had nothing to do with the child, the child kept believing it was evil and not worth living..

Home is supposed to be a safe haven. A place where you are accepted and loved for who you are.

Monday, May 10, 2010

C'est la vie

People come and people go. That's life I guess. With some people you get along so well, you couldn't imagine a life without them. In other encounters, you know immediately the relationship will not last forever. Nothing's wrong with that. I embrace all the relationships I ever had, whether they were romantic or just friendly. Because I have this feeling that people come in to our lives for a reason. I don't see it as a negative thing, if some relationships fade away until it comes to the point that you no longer see a particular person. But then again, it's not negative. That person had something to teach you. Maybe you've learned the lesson, maybe you haven't.
If you haven't, some other person will come in to your life, to give you a second chance. People will come and go until you have learned the lessons that were foreseen for you. Welcome new encounters and listen very carefully. It might be a lesson worthwhile.

All night long

I'm cold, so cold! My hands are numb and my fingers are stiff.
How can it be so cold in May? I have a hard time warming myself. I had a night full of hypoglycaemia. I measured my blood sugar levels at least 4 times and every time showed a low number, like 27 mg/dl, 42 mg/dl... I want to sleep under a dozen of warm blankets. Please let me sleep.. I'll drive Eva to school and go back to bed when I return. In the meantime, the dogs are trying to make me feel better, snuggling in under some blankets on the couch. Hot cocoa anyone?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wouldn't it be good

I made a very special chocolate cake for my mother-in-law. She's a true chocoholic and she adores cake. So yesterday, I had all afternoon to prepare a delicious cake for Mother's Day. It was a sponge cake, with two fillings: chocolate buttercream and hazelnut mousse. I covered the cake in chocolate fudge and poured satiny chocolate glaze on top to finish it off. The flowers were made out of colored Royal Icing. I had a blast making the pie and it tasted wonderful. I was not supposed to have any, since this cake is just so anti-diabetes! Wouldn't it be good, to have a diabetes-free day, every once in a while?

Mother's Day Cake

That I know for sure

I love you both very deeply, girls of mine. Being your mom makes me proud and brings me happiness. What more can a mother ask for? It's a joy to guide you on your way to adulthood. Every day, I'm grateful for having you both in my life.

Today is Mother's Day. Maybe there should be a Daughter's Day as well. Because I would like to celebrate my children, for being who they are. They are so different, but then again, so much alike. I see parts of me in them. I see parts of their father as well. And then there is their own contribution, which makes them so special and unique. I hope we will have many more years to enjoy each other's company..

Thanks for being who you are, my dear children. That's the biggest gift you could give your mommy. The best present a father can give his children, is to love their mother..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Benidorm Bastards

If there's one show you should really watch, it's Benidorm Bastards. It's a Belgian production. Seven elderly roam around the streets - some in wheelchairs - , looking for trouble. They make fun of youngsters and try to fool them. A candid camera follows every move they make. It's hilarious to see the reaction of the youth. They are startled and are shocked to see the elderly make out on the street.

It's a little edgy, but a lot of fun. Try to watch it if you can. Several other countries have bought the format. I'm looking forward to seeing the program in another language.

Oops.. I did it again

Inthe, you little rascal! I thought we could trust you by now. For so many weeks, you have behaved during our absence. But this time, you lost your senses. You had a ball tearing the foam out of the couch, spreading it all over the place. By the time we got home - about 2 hours later - you knew you were in trouble. Rebba passed us and ran straight to the kitchen, as if she wanted to make a statement: IT WASN'T ME! We know it wasn't Rebba. Maybe she helped you, but she surely didn't start. I don't know how to make you understand this is totally unacceptable behaviour. So I'm afraid I'll have to put you into your bench again. That'll be the only solution I'm afraid.. You were put in time-out on the terrace. You gave me that sad puppy look, but it didn't help this time. You were kind of funny though.. sitting out there like a kangaroo. You don't sit on your bum. You sit on your hind legs and tail and your bum is lifted from the floor. I guess you don't like cold tiles. I didn't give in this time Inthe and I ignored your crying. Too bad.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I have never heard of a lazier breed than whippets. They sleep all day. In between naps, their ears are trained for possible food signals, like opening the cabinet where we keep the canister with dry dog food. It's hilarious to see those two whippet faces next to each other looking up, whenever they think they might get a treat.

I started feeding you rice and veggies, mixed with dry food. You go bananas when you get this meal! It fills you up better, because especially you Inthe, would eat all day. Although you look rather anorectic, you eat like a horse. I keep ordering dog food and snacks. You love bread too. You thought you would like my strawberry breakfast, but that was really not your cup of tea. So this time, my breakfast is safe. Keeping an eye on you is necessary, cute face. The other day, you finished my Asian chicken dish. And I can tell you: that was spicy!! Don't blame me. Stick to your own bowl, will you?

Ten things you could do without

Do you ever realize what a luxurious country we live in? There are so many things we never have to worry about, and still we are used to complaining so much. Happiness is not about how rich you are or how many TV's you have. There's more to life than materialism..

It's difficult for our children to understand how we could survive without a cell phone or a computer. But we did. Things were different back then. People didn't expect you to be available all the time. There were libraries to attend, friends to visit and the word Facebook had not been invented yet.

We all tend to say, we would be happy if for once, just one day, we wouldn't have to drag our mobile phone along. But is that true? Would you cope without it? Or would you go frantic?
Just out of curiosity: can you name 10 things you could do without? Let's say, for 2 weeks. What could you put away in a trunk or a cardboard box for two weeks?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sweet child o'mine

Yesterday, you surprised us for our anniversary. You made delicious, moist cupcakes and you glazed them with a pink and shiny topping. Sprinkles of chocolate as a bonus. A nice handwritten card on the table finished it off. That was so sweet, so considerate, so unexpected. You are very sweet.. just like your cupcakes..


Hey you girls! You are supposed to stay in the trunk of the car. Who told you, you could jump over the back seats? I surely didn't! You are not invited, sweeties. I got you a nice blanket to sit on. The leather seats are not for the two of you. You have a spacious trunk to nest in.
I have ordered a dog guard to install in my car. That'll be safer for the two of you and I will no longer have to worry about the two of you jumping on the back seat. Let's hope it will be the right size, so I can install it and take you for a ride! After all, Inthe has already ruined the couch in the house, there's no need to ruin the seats in the new car.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spring cleaning

Spring is in the country. The sun is out, the birds are humming their love songs and the blossoms of the Japanese Cherry have covered the lawns in the neighborhood with a pink blanket.
The sunbeams enlighten cobwebs from one corner of the ceiling to the chandelier. Dust twirls in the air when I pat the cushions on the couch. A little voice inside my head tells me it's time to start Spring cleaning. Every now and then, I clear out my cupboards to clean the shelves and rearrange the contents of the cabinets.
Some things have to go, other items stay put. I discover objects I haven't seen in a while. I run in to old photo books. The chamois leather is gathering dust and will leave a wet mark on the counter, while I sit down to look at the old pics. Memories.. stories.. overseas trips. I wander off. The soapy water is getting cold and the contents of my cabinet is scattered over the floor. Time flies by, while I'm enjoying the smiles on the faces of our girls in their toddler period. I wink away a tear, holding a picture of my favorite grandparents. The photos may be dusty, but the remembrance is still vivid.

My nose is itching and running and I don't like the feeling of dust on my fingers. The smell of a clean house though, is very appealing and satisfying.
I would like to open all of the windows to let in a breeze. The dogs give me a dirty look, for taking away the comfy temperature they are used to. I have to keep going, to get all the work done, before Spring hands over the chores to Summer.

Wowi Kazowi

5 - 5 - 1995 and 5 - 5 - 2010

We have been married for 15 years. How could we ever forget how many years we have been married? In that same year, our oldest daughter was born.
So we only need to remember how old she is.

It was a sunny day back then. We went to the City Hall to get married. It was no big deal, just filling out the formalities. I remember us going to the City Hall to set a date to get married. The clerk asked us what date we had in mind. We didn't have a date in mind. What date did she have available? She said May 5th. That was about 3 weeks later.. But we agreed that would be our wedding date. Only years later, we would notice what a great date that was: 5 - 5 - 95.

After signing the book, we went out for lunch.
There we were..
Mr and Mrs J. .. and their little baby girl..
I like to look back at that day. I remember what we looked like.
I was 24, hubby 28 and Lana was just 1.5 months old.
She can say she attended our wedding, although she doesn't remember it.

Happy 15th Anniversary Hubby.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A definite maybe

I have been looking forward to this day. For so many times, you have promised us to quit smoking. I know it's hard to give up cigarettes if you have been smoking for nearly 30 years. But we know you can do it. Just think of the consequences if you don't. You hate being sick. Getting the diagnose lung cancer would be more than you could handle. You would die just hearing that diagnose. So don't tempt it, okay? Health is so important. We are nowhere without. Money can't buy everything. Health is partially genes, partially good luck, but a big part of it lays in our hands. It's our job to take care of ourselves. It's our job to nourish our temple and keep it safe.

The intention is there. The payment for the quit-smoking-guidance has been done. The dates have been set and you have had the time to prepare yourself. We're ready to catch you. Are you ready to go through with it? Is it a definite maybe? You're not a quitter. This time though, you have to quit! Quit smoking I mean. Keep up!

Ouch.. that hurt

In front of our house, there's a lane full of chestnut trees. They bring shade to our cars and houses, thus they are very welcome.
I had to put several things in the trunk of my car, before I left for Antwerp, to meet up with my friends. When I arrived at the house of Miss K, I noticed something on top of the car. I was shocked to see a baby bird.. dead.. murdered.. His head was inside the trunk, the rest of its body on the outside. The poor thing must have fallen out of a tree, while I was loading the trunk. It's a very heavy trunk door. I really need to slam it, to close it. That's possibly how the little bird got smashed.. I'm sorry Birdy.. I guess you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Walk this way

I'm still not walking well. My foot is not feeling better at all. I believe it feels more sore than when I just sprained it. Now it hurts in different places. Shoot..

I went to my GP to hear his advice. He could tell my foot was really swollen (even I could see that) and sore. His advice was to.. rest... rest... and keep my foot high while laying on the couch. Right..

In sync

I think about you and in no time, I get a text message or an email. Does that mean we are in sync? I do feel connected somehow and I hope we'll never unplug.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Laugh as much as you breathe

That's exactly what we do, when the three of us meet up. We had a great lunch today. Two wonderful and beautiful ladies joined me. There was so much to talk about. We have one mutual factor: diabetes. So conversations about D cannot be avoided. Talking about diets is not appropriate when you get together for lunch, but it's inevitable.. We're women after all, and we all want to be slim and attractive.

I love the humor of Mrs A. She's so wise and articulate. You can't do anything but listen to her stories. She's full of joy and she's so vivid! And then Miss K. She's so young, but she can rely on quite some life experience. She's pure and honest and I tend to follow her guide lines. This time, we met in Antwerp. And I can tell you: we had a great time.. It's so good to have friends you can enjoy. And I needed to laugh. It sure made me feel a whole lot better!


Friends you can choose. Family comes. You can take it or leave it. Some friends are the people you really care for. They give you a good feeling. They are there whenever you need them. They comfort you when you are sad and they laugh their hearts out whenever you meet up.

I have some very good friends. They mean more to me than some relatives. We don't reject one another when things aren't going smoothly. Together we can fix anything and any subject or problem can be discussed without having the fear it will ruin the relationship. A real friend is someone you can tell anything and who will still be your friend afterwards.

The best thing I can offer my friend, is my friendship. And love.. a whole lot of love..

Saturday, May 1, 2010


A couple of years ago, we had a wonderful vacation in Antalya, Turkey. Staying at the Titanic Resort was a true pleasure. It was the best holiday location ever, according to our kids. There were plenty of pools to swim in and food/drinks were available all day.

Everyday, this lady made gözleme. Gözleme is a hearty traditional Turkish dish. It's mainly made by women and completely handmade. The fresh pastry is rolled out, filled and sealed and then cooked over a griddle.

Lana doesn't like spinach and she's not fond of feta either. But she would pay you for making her a good portion of spinach and feta gözleme. So maybe I'll surprise her this weekend with one of her favorite dishes.

What do you need?

  • 1 sachet of dried yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 100 gr spinach leaves
  • 200 gr feta, crumbled

How do we make gözleme?

  • Combine the warm water with the yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl. Stir with a fork. Cover with foil and let it sit in a warm place, until foam appears on the yeast.
  • Sift the flour. Add the yeast and 2 tablespoons of oil. Make a soft dough. Knead it real well until you have an elastic dough. Cut the dough in 4 equal pieces, place them on a greased baking tray and cover with a damp cloth. Let it sit for 20 min.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle.
  • Top one half of the dough with spinach and feta and season with salt and pepper. Fold over the dough and press to seal.
  • Brush one side of the gözleme with oil. Bake that side in a dry, hot pan. Flip it over, after you have oiled the other side. Cook until golden and crisp. Cut into quarters. Serve hot.

Periods, pimples and boobs

It's that time in their puberty. Bras need to be bought, sea salt scrubs sit on the rim of the bath tub, waiting to be rubbed on to slim legs. Shaving foam and razor blades are top priority on this week's grocery list. Do I spot a zit on your chin?? Both you girls are lucky, because you are nearly zit-free. You do take good care of your skin and you try to eat as healthy as possible. Maybe we should all drink more mineral water instead of diet coke and I know I should set the example. That's a hard one for me though. I'm trying, I'm trying.

It's great to have teens in the house. I'm getting used to it. It's good to have their friends over and hear what those youngsters talk about and what keeps them going. I don't recall having friends over in our home. My husband, on the contrary, is used to having a house full of kids and friends. Anybody was and is welcome at his parent's house. What a joy..