Thursday, June 30, 2011

A match made in heaven

Photo by Lana Joos
The two of you are something different. Rebba turned 5 and Inthe will be 2 years old by the end of this year. Nevertheless, it's like you have always been together. You cling to one another so much and you're inseparable. Inthe knows Rebba is the leader and she has to listen to her. It's very interesting to see them communicate. How Rebba teaches her and scolds her when she's not behaving.

Inthe is still very playful. Rebba is more the observing type. But still, Rebba is the stronger one. Inthe cannot win during a race along the beach. Inthe is smart though.. I'll tell you why..

It always starts with a simple neck to neck walk.
Then, all of a sudden, they look at each other and I believe I see a little nod in their heads. That's when the race starts. Normally they race their hearts out, until Rebba signals it's time to race back. At least, that's how Rebba wants to run the race.
Inthe is not very good at losing though.. So she figured out her own plan. She races behind Rebba and right before Rebba signals to go back, Inthe silently turns around and starts to race the other way. It's so funny to watch! Once Rebba realizes little Inthe has gone back, she moves faster than lighting, leaving a crying Inthe behind. It's a neck to neck race, but on most occasions, it's still Rebba who wins. It upsets Inthe, because she wants to win every race. I'm sure Rebba wouldn't mind, but she wants to train Inthe to run faster I guess. She's smart, our Rebba. And she's a wonderful teacher. The two of them are a match made in heaven.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle

A number of years ago - it must have been on Mother's Day - hubby bought me my very own bicycle. He was thrilled by the idea of his wife riding a bike and leaving her car in front of the house..

Well.. at least that was the plan. I'm not very good at hiding my responses to what's happening. I had a very hard time putting on my happy face. Wasn't too sure whether hubby got the message, but his excitement didn't convince me. I just don't like to ride a bicycle. They're a pain in the.. butt! Literally!

But I behaved and we decided to go for a ride. The kids got their bikes, hubby was waiting on his and I took a deep sigh before I climbed my spic and span new bicycle. By the time I got the bike from the terrace all the way through the hallway and up to the front door, I was done with it.. Bikes are so not me.. I prefer 4 wheeled vehicles. I like to sit inside my vehicle, not on some hard saddle. But I wanted to give it a go. You never know what happens, right?

The kids loved the ride and so did their dad. I was not impressed though.. So what?? I don't like bikes! Period! I don't like bikers who think the roads are designed for them. I don't like groups of bikers in the pouring rain. I hate flat tires and non-working lights. Don't even think about those bright yellow vests you're supposed to wear to get noticed in traffic. Sorry hubby, bikes and your wife are not a good match.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My top 10 dishes

I often ask people what their most favorite dishes are. Just out of curiosity. I like to cook and I love to try out new recipes. Maybe I should make a cookbook that contains nothing but favorite dishes of my friends. Wouldn't that be thrilling? Some people write down their favorite recipes on little sheets of paper. Those written recipe notes get dirty and in the end they get lost. If we would make a cookbook, we would safekeep all of these recipes.

I'm ready to let you know my top 10 dishes of the moment:
  • buttermilk mash, wax beans with shallots and a home made dressing, poached egg
  • chili con carne (yep, beans again)
  • pasta all'arrabiata
  • goat cheese salad
  • quiche lorraine
  • Chinese dim sum
  • foie gras
  • orange chicken and stirfried veggies
  • Vietnamese spring rolls
  • artichokes with a mustard dressing
Let me know if you want to share one of those meals with me. I'm ready!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chat 'n Chew

Going out for dinner is always a pleasure, especially in good company. It's something we really like to do: having a chat over a well presented plate of delicious food. The clock ticks away time, but we don't keep an eye on it. Because good times are not supposed to end.

There's this show on TV, called Dinner Date. A single person tries to find his ideal date. Five candidates make their own personal 3 course meal in the hope the single person will pick them. Without having seen anything but the menus, the single person gets to choose 3 favorite dates. He then gets invited into their homes for a romantic dinner date. Some can cook, others are wonderful hosts and sometimes there's no click at all.
At the end of the week, the single person gets to pick his favorite date, based on the cooking skills, the romance and the overall impression of the night. All 3 candidates are supposed to dress up for a night out, but only one gets the chance for a second date, in a romantic restaurant. The other 2 get TV dinners delivered to their houses.

What a great concept! It seems like a lovely way to meet new people. Maybe people should do this in real life too! It would be a challenge. I suppose married people don't do dinner dates?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sharing happiness

They claim it's all about the little things. An early sunbeam peaking through the curtains. The spontaneous laughter of a baby when you make those silly oochiekoochy noises. A full stomach after a with love prepared meal. That old postcard you found in the attic - it must have been ages since you kissed the boy who wrote it at the age of 14. You know.. the little things.

But what exactly is happiness? Is it constant? Does it last forever? How could you describe it? Happiness is when you start asking yourself: what's keeping me?

When people ask you: are you happy? How can you honestly answer that question? I mean, you can't be happy all the time, can you? Wouldn't it be so exhausting to be happy all the time? So predictable? I believe happiness is something you need to work on. Try to do your best without overreacting. Being happy is not something one can demand. 

I like to share happiness. It's so overwhelming to make other people happy, to reflect your happiness on them. I like happy attitudes and happy people to surround me with. Because being around happy people brightens your own life. It gives you energy and a true boost. Be happy! Start with small steps. Enjoy the little things in life..

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Joy oh joy

It's amazing how much joy you bring into my life. I always look forward to getting up in the morning, so we can have our cuddles. It's like we haven't seen one another for a year or two! All the excitement when you see me! You jump all over me and the look in your eyes is touching. So we cuddle on the couch and we kiss and embrace each other. The moment you and your friend lie down again, is another moment of joy. Because I know how happy the two of you are.. You are best friends and I fear the day we'll have to let go of one of you. The other will be devastated. You cling like Siamese twins, always on top of each other and like shadows you move around the house.

Whippets are my favorite dog breed. They are so clever and sweet and loving. We're buddies and I'm so happy Rebba and Inthe came to live with us. They picked us as their people family and we don't regret their choice. From the love they give us, I can tell they are happy too.. They are part of our family..

Friday, June 24, 2011


About 50 years ago, the first insulin pump came to life. It was huge news and a big improvement for diabetics all over the world. Of course, the device was that huge, you had to wear it on your back. But it was a start...

Over the years, insulin pumps have shrunk in size but grown larger in possibilities. It's the most accurate way to replace a pancreas that's no longer producing insulin. Every couple of minutes, the insulin pump gives our body little amounts of insulin. Insulin is a hormone we can't live without. We wouldn't live very long if we had no insulin available.

My pump is very precious to me. The first pump I got was a Deltec Cozmo, in 2006. I really loved that pump and it was pretty emotional the day the company decided to stop making insulin pumps. We had to give back our pumps to get a pump that wasn't on my wish list.. I had no choice though.. The other option was going back to syringes and that was not even an option to me.
I used that second pump - Paradigm 722 - for just one year. It was a good pump since it did what it was supposed to do: deliver insulin. But to me, it felt like I had to give in and loose the options I had with my Cozmo pump. So no, it was no improvement to me.

Wearing sensors with the Paradigm, was the only thing that excited me. It came in handy and it taught me a lot about the way my body reacts/or doesn't react to insulin. Sensors are not covered by our medical insurance, so it's not very profitable for us, since they cost around € 45 a piece. You can keep them for 3 - 5 days if you're lucky. It takes a couple of months of fulltime practice to get to know the method and how to interpret the signals the sensors give.

Last year, I changed hospitals and finally I got the insulin pump I had longed for: the Accu-Chek Combo. It's a great pump and it gives me so much freedom. It's attached to my body 24/7 but that's okay. In fact, it's become a part of my body. That's how I see it. Don't mess with my pump if you don't want to get in trouble!!! I'm very protective of my pump and I like to wear it in a special ZIPPS pocket, so it's always close to my body. Every now and then I pimp my pump and I buy new methods to keep it safe. It sure looks a whole lot better than that first insulin pump. Thank goodness..

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Photo by Lana Joos
Aren't they picture perfect? Trust me, these tarts are just delectable! Crunchy puff pastry, tangy double cream and ruby red and luscious raspberries.. My idea of a great dessert.

I read the recipe on someone's food blog and instantly, I decided I wanted to make my own. I had some puff pastry in my fridge, that was waiting for me to start on that quiche I had planned on making. What the heck.. who cares for quiche if you can have these beauties instead?

There's always double cream in the fridge as well and lemons are just a necessity around the kitchen. The other day I had a day out with a friend and we strolled around the farmer's market. That's where we got those plump raspberries. They were a true bargain. Only 4 euros for 1 kg of delicious red diamonds!!

I think the tarts turned out real well. Too bad Lana's stomach wasn't feeling well (her gastritis is still bugging her), so she only took the picture and didn't have any.
I promised her I would make them again one day. Because they're so easy to make and the result is just superb!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A personal touch

Spending time at the hairdresser is not exactly my idea of a fun afternoon. But that opinion changed when I met my new hairdresser a couple of months ago. He's not just some hairdresser. He's a personal hairdresser, meaning, you're his only client at the time. He's all yours and completely there for you. Pampering your hair, having a chit chat outside on his deck in the sun, while your hair is gradually changing into the different color he put on earlier. He knows what you drink and is so thoughtful to walk you to the car under an umbrella if it's pouring out there. I like that personal touch. I like to be pampered. I like to hang out with my hairdresser. We laugh and we don't stress. It makes the time at the hairdresser a whole lot more fun.. That's why my visits to the salon have become more relaxing and something to look forward to.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Things ain't never as bad as they may seem

Last night, I was asked to speak about My life with diabetes. I love to give these lectures. It's not stressful at all and I can do what I like to do: share my experience and inform others on the subject.

It was a diverse group of 30 people. When I asked if there were other diabetics in the room, 7 people raised their hand. That was impressive. They were all type 2 diabetics, but that's okay. I gave them the chance to tell their experience too and that was a good idea. People do have the urge to share their own story and to have the feeling that someone is actually listening to them. Diabetes is so much more than injecting insulin or paying attention to our food intake. Once again, my lecture taught me so much about life and diabetes and how to deal with both. It was good to let the public know about diabetes but at the same time show them that diabetes is not the end of the world. They could tell I take good care of myself and after 9 years of diabetes I still haven't got any complications. It was hopeful to them. Some people came to me after the lecture and told me they were going to have their bloodwork done, for diabetes runs in the family. That's a mission accomplished for me. Of course I keep my fingers crossed for these people, that the outcome of the bloodwork will be good. But if they do happen to have diabetes, I wish them all the best and I hope they will find the courage to deal with it in the best way possible.

If you're interested in a lecture on diabetes for your organization, do feel free to contact me. We'll work something out.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What a mess...

I'm sure you already know how I like to spend time in my kitchen. I'm a very, very messy cook though. I do not clean up in between dishes, leaving the countertop as a total disaster. I wish it were different and I would love to find a way to leave the kitchen a bit tidier. The rule in this house is that whoever cooks, doesn't do the dishes. So I feel sorry for the people who have to tidy up after my cooking. It doesn't sound right.

Sometimes I fill the sink with soapy, hot water so I can put some utensils and pots in there and leave them to soak. That helps, but I forget to do so too often. It's a problem I need to work on. Most of the time, my stove has 6 pots sitting on it to prepare different dishes. The oven works many hours and then there are the side dishes that don't need cooking. I love to prepare several kinds of vegetables at the same time as well as start on meals for the upcoming days. That's probably one of the reasons why at times, the kitchen is a very hectic place.

I'll work on it. I will.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by..
If you smile
With your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll find that life is still worthwhile if you'll just..

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you'll just..

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by..
If you smile
Through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
you'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you'll just smile..

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you'll just smile..

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Are we looking in the same direction?

Photo by Lana Joos
It's so important for children that their parents are looking in the same direction. They know from a distance if mom and dad say different things. Raising children is not easy. It takes a lot of love and communication and involvement. Maybe that involvement is the biggest part. If you have no idea what your children's life looks like, then how can you ever bond?

I like to know what my children do and who their friends are. Because it's important to me. Because they matter. They are growing up so fast and their childhood will be over before we realize it. It's always good to know their friends. It says a lot about your children. We can learn from their friendships.

It must be really difficult if the parents have major issues about educating their offspring. If one nose looks in one direction and the other nose faces just the other way, that's where things go wrong. Children need stability and clarity. Structure is important, as is love and being nurtured. If both mom and dad can give their child all the love they deserve - without putting their child on a pedestal - , they will grow up to be responsible young people. Dare to be vulnerable, dare to love your children and don't be afraid to tell them they're being loved..

Friday, June 17, 2011

I gave you my heart

I must have lost track of time, since I don't remember how long ago we met. Because time flies by when we're together. There's so much to talk about and I love to discuss with you. You're a wise man and you know a lot about everything. Life experience and a deep joy in life is what's so appealing about you. There's a true friendship between us and I gave you my heart, my friend. I truly value our friendship and I accuse you of doing the same. There's not much we can't talk about and I know how important friendship is to you.

Today is your birthday. Remembering last year's birthday in London, it brings me back in time to indulge those memories. Think about the Indian cabs you rented and our journey through London. That was freaking awesome!

Tonight we will all be together at someone else's party. I'm glad we'll see you, so I can give you your birthday kisses. It will be a wonderful year, since you're working on an extra future for you and you're doing absolutely great. Looking forward to many more outings...!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I don't know what to think of it.. It worries me. It's not that I don't trust you, but I don't know the other person. It just doesn't feel right. Tonight is not going to be a night I'm looking forward to. Voices from the past have come back.. I'm too stressed out. My blood glucosemeter is telling the exact same turmoil: numbers in the 300 - 400 range are far from normal. But that's how the last week has been..
It hurts. A lot.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You're too much

I always look forward to your private messages. You should see the broad smile on my face when I read them. You're too funny! To the point where I think: this is too much. It's so hilarious to read those conversations. We don't need much to understand one another. There are too many interests we share and we are somewhere on the same level, although you are sooooooooooo young compared to me!

You have a wonderful family of your own and you're a very good husband to your wife and a devoted daddy to the three little piglets. Although you don't sleep much, you help out wherever you can in the household and with the kids. Working a fulltime job, you still find the time to entertain your friends on and you have become a well respected member in no time.

I'm glad I got the chance to meet you twice so far. I really like your humor and the way you stroll through life. Our bond is something different. Thanks for your friendship!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Run for your life!

It must have been around 8:30 AM when I heard the two of you bark like crazy! Immediately I jumped out of bed (it was a lazy Sunday morning) and opened the doors before I headed to the kitchen to let you out of your kennels. At the speed you raced outside, I thought you had to pee very urgently! But that was not the case. In a flash, both of you were near the shed, where a black cat was hiding. You chased him around the backyard, making a whole lot of noise. I tried to calm you down, but the barking and the meowing was horrendous. Our own tomcat Arthur jumped in the fight as well, trying to defend the other cat - which he hates on other occasions - by jumping on the whippets and making his tail as fat as a squirrel's tail.
The poor black cat ran for his life. His little heart must have been pounding in his body and he's probably licking his wounds now, hiding in the shrubs.

I don't know how you knew this cat was hiding in the shed? Are you psychic or what?

Monday, June 13, 2011

The way I see it

It must have been around my diabetes diagnosis - I had my 9th diaversary yesterday - that I started to wear glasses. I can't remember the actual date, but I remember it was related to diabetes. I've had 3 pairs of glasses by now and I didn't really mind wearing them. But lately they've started to bother me. So I consulted Dr Google and I bought my first contact lenses.

What a pain to put those little soft pieces of rubberlike material into your eyes. Shoot! I had no idea it was going to be so much hassle. I can't say it was painful, but it's no big joke either. The lens kept sticking to my finger, my eyes were all wet and itchy and I'm not the most patient person in the world. Hubby and Lana tried to help out, but that didn't work either. I decided I had to do it myself!

On the Internet, I found a video on how to put in soft lenses. I watched it several times before I gave it another go. What a nuisance! The reviews on the Net also said that it can take over an hour the first time.. great.. But hey! About 18 minutes later, my lenses had reached their exact destination and I came back to the world of the sighted! Awesome! Let's hope things will go a bit smoother the upcoming days.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I owe it all to you

I wouldn't be living the life I'm living, if it wasn't for you.. You respect me for who I am. Not one time have you put pressure on me to get a job. Your income makes it possible for me to stay at home and take care of the children and the house. But you wouldn't keep me from working either. It's not like I haven't worked in the past. At a certain time, I had a fulltime and a parttime job. In between jobs, I came home to prepare supper, before I rushed to the other job. That was okay with you too. Whatever I prefer, is good for you.

I don't have a job right now, but that doesn't mean I'm not busy. My schedule is full of activities and charity. I like to help out where I can. It is as important to me to be there for the girls as it is to earn a salary.  Life is short. We have to make the most of it. We have to do what we do best. I'm pretty happy with the life I'm leading. And I know I owe it all to you..

Happy Father's Day! The girls are lucky to have you as their daddy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It really startles me how most dietitians still haven't got an update on diabetes treatment. The numerous times I hear that diabetics can't have more than 3 meals a day, are not allowed to eat tropical fruit or can't have sugar... It is sad, really. It's like they enjoy restricting our meal plans..  Bananas for example. Never ever eat a banana if you're a diabetic! It will skyrocket your blood glucose, as will grapes, mango, passion fruit or pineapple. Hello???? Get a life! We are allowed to have any kind of fruit. We can have snacks in between meals, just like non-diabetics. And yes.. we can have sugar! Not only if we are going through a hypoglycemic episode, but just because it tastes a whole lot better than the sugarless copy.

A dietitian announced a cooking class for diabetics. What did you think? Of course I took the classes! Just out of curiosity, because I really wanted to know what the guidelines would be. It was really sad, to hear that things still had not changed. The teacher was not a fan of counting carbohydrates but she was thrilled to let us know how lethal mangoes were to diabetics. Shoot... I told her I planned on eating a mango salad the following day. Maybe it was a good idea to eat it in front of my diabetes nurse, in the hospital? Just in case I might collapse and die? Come on, get real. I know perfectly well how to cover those sugars. Medication is no longer what it used to be and diabetics are not stupid. We know how to deal with our life and we know sugar is not the forbidden fruit. It's all about carbohydrates and learning how to adapt your meds to the foods you eat.

I feel like having some fresh pineapple now. Topped with banana and mango. Although I'm not an ice cream lover, I might even consider to have a scoop of home made vanilla ice cream to go with that. And I won't forget the colorful sprinkles! You bet, I'll enjoy that dessert and my blood glucose will not go way out of line. If you feel like it, come join me. That is if you don't fear this massacre...

Friday, June 10, 2011


Around the age of 15, I first heard about the word "pigeonhole" and for some kind of reason, it struck me. It was a word I wanted to remember because it says so much.

A pigeon is a type of bird and a pigeon hole is a very small hole made in a piece of wood for pigeons to stay in. This hole is only slightly bigger than the pigeon, so the pigeon has little room to move.
If you pigeonhole someone, it means that you make too many generalizations about that person based on a stereotype. It's not really nice to pigeonhole someone. It means you are oblivious to that person and you base your opinion on the overall belief. For example: it's a stereotype that computer experts are nerds and they don't socialize in real life. There's no need to have these prejudices. It would be nicer to get to know the person behind the computer expert and let that person be whoever he is.

Another type of people that is being pigeonholed: singles.. Why do people assume that single people are lonely without exception? Do you need a partner to be happy in life? Why do people assume that singles can't be happy on their own? Why do families always have to be mom, dad and the children? There are so many other ways of life and why should one form be better than the other.. There are quite a few singles out there. Not all of them are single by choice. There are so many reasons why people are single. As many as why people get married or have roommates. What is it to you, to know why someone is single? It's not really helpful to comment on someone else's lifestyle, whether that lifestyle is a choice or just a fact.

I know people can be harsh and they don't always have good intentions. Does it make them feel better about themselves when they pigeonhole others? I don't know. I think they may be shortsighted, but I won't make that a statement, since I don't want to pigeonhole them..

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A little bird told me...

After having spent 2 years in Bruges, you're coming home again. Of course you were home every week-end, but still, you weren't here during the week. We did miss you, sweety pie! It took us some time to adjust after you left for boarding school the first year. But we managed. We did talk to each other on the phone every night and it was good to hear your voice. It made sure we still knew what was going on in your life and you knew what we did at home.

A little bird told me it's time to adjust again. At the end of June, you will graduate from your boarding school. It'll be emotional for you, to say goodbye to your teachers and friends and I'm sure you will be missed. But at the same time, you will be looking forward to going to a different school and get to know different people.

We'll have to work out a new schedule, to get everybody up and going in the morning. Your sister is used to being all by herself before she heads off to school. She's not much of a morning person and she rather spends some quiet alone time when she wakes up.
You have been used to sleeping with a friend in the same room. You don't mind some chatter in the morning and you need some time to get ready. We'll manage sweety pie. We'll work something out.

We'll do some more hugging again. I really missed that while you were away. There's plenty of time to make up. I'm very proud of you, for having done so well in boarding school. After all, you had to grow up a bit faster and take good care of yourself without mom or dad nagging you. Do you remember you told us about the advantages of boarding school when you asked our permission to attend this school? Do you? Responsibility, independence, great school results, bonding with peers, scheduled study time. And it's been all of that and a whole lot more. You got to know yourself better. You're two years older and wiser now. I envy you, for having had the chance to attend a wonderful boarding school. You sure didn't let us down.

Welcome home, sweety pie. Let's have some mommy-daughter time!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Everything and more

I love my days out with friends.. Yesterday was great! We had planned a special day in Holland, full of friendship, chit chat, lunch, shopping, sun. Man, how I enjoy those outings. It's a great way to load up your batteries and return home full of fresh energy. But that's not what I did. I had a second date in the evening, with my D-friends. Some new people planned on coming over to the Diabetescafé and that was awesome. It's good to see the group grow and meet new people. The group is so diverse, but that's okay! It makes it so much more interesting. We sure had a good laugh and a great time..

I came home late and I was exhausted but fulfilled. I feel blessed for the friends that I have and the good feeling they bring me. My feet were sore and my throat felt dry, but a good's night rest and a warm heart made it all better.

PS I'm so happy with my new shoes and outfits!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hunting for hare

At top speed, you raced down the meadow, leaped over barbed wire and jumped over two ditches. My whistling didn't make you come back. Rebba was beside me and I put on her leash as soon as possible, to prevent her from following you. Darn you, little Inthe! You were not supposed to run off and chase that hare! It was too tempting not to do it, so you ran like you had never run before. I could barely follow you and I lost sight of you rapidly. Clouds of dust and dirt told me where you were. I was afraid to call you back. What if you would race back towards me and wouldn't notice the barbed wire? I feared the barbed wire would tear open your chest. What was I supposed to do? The hare ran for its life and you kept going. I called your name, I whistled several times, but you paid no attention to me whatsoever. My heart was pounding in my chest. I really thought you wouldn't come back before you could show me the prey you were chasing.

I turned on my heels and left the meadow in the other direction. That's when you spotted me. You were distracted and you let the hare go out of your sight, racing back towards me. I yelled at you, to make you slow down, so you would not get hurt once you approached the barbed wire. You jumped over the ditch and the wire and jumped all over me. I put on your leash right away and that's when I calmed down. Inthe, you scared the heck out of me! I hope the hare didn't get a heart attack.. because I nearly did.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The search for ingredients

Strolling around different food stores and specialty shops always brings me joy. The other week I overheard my friend say: there's nothing you don't already have in your kitchen! But you know, there's always this one cookie cutter I fancy or a spicy rub that would go well with the chicken breasts in the fridge. A new whisk, a funny egg separator or some foreign product I haven't tasted yet. It's a way of discovering new things and broaden my culinary horizon. I get all excited in those shops and the way home always seems too long. I can hardly wait to unpack my groceries and sort it all out in the cabinets. There's this special foreign cuisine shelf where I like to keep my Asian, Moroccan, Italian and Indian ingredients. Man, I can't wait to discover another specialty shop.
I would love to go to London and do nothing else than explore those little food stores. Preferably by myself, so I don't feel rushed and I don't keep up the others. Because there's no fun for people who don't share that same passion. It excites and relaxes me at the same time. Life's good!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


We (okay, hubby most of the time) walk our dogs on the soccer court in our town. There's plenty of grass for the whippets to run their hearts out and they have the time of their life playing around.

The other day, I walked them at night, instead of in the morning. Two little girls were playing in the adjacent playground. They were watching the dogs and I could tell they were very interested. One of the girls came to me and she asked me - in a very polite way - if she and her friend could play with the dogs. They were only 8 years old. One little girl had its origin in Poland, while her friend came from the Philippines. They introduced themselves and talked openly about their home and their family. They came to live in the neighborhood about 2 years ago. The dogs enjoyed their two new friends and it was great to see them race around the soccer field, trying to catch ball with the girls.

But you know what startled me? At first, the older sister of the Polish girl, was in the playground too. She went home without taking the little ones with her. I stayed on the soccer field for like half an hour and they didn't go home until I left. I asked them several times if their mommy wouldn't be upset if they stayed late? They nodded their heads and they kept racing with the dogs.

I found it troublesome.. What if I had had bad intentions? What if I were some malicious man, interested in little girls? These two girls were so naive and unsuspecting. They came to talk to me, they walked with me and they told me their names. They were easy targets.. What a shame I have to think like this. Would I have thought the same 30 years ago? Probably not. But these days, kidnappers and child molesters are everywhere. It's a scary thought, that someone might take these two precious little girls. They had no sense of what could happen to them if they ran into a predator.. I hope they came home safely..

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The point of no return

It's there! The point of no return! There's not much I can do about it. For so many years, I was happy it didn't happen to me. My peers and my younger friends had faced the issue already, but it was still new to me. I always told myself I wouldn't mind it entering my life. But since I faced the truth? I don't know. It kinda changed everything.. even though it's not that big a deal. But still.. you know? Pride.. call it vanity, if you wish. I'm sure nobody else was aware of the issue, but it was pretty obvious to me! Really..

I called my hairdresser right away. The only thing I had to say to him, was: it's there.. it has happened. Right away he scheduled an appointment for me. He reassured me that he knew what to do. I'm confident he will solve it. Then why do I keep running back to the mirror, to check those grey (did I actually call it by its name???) hairs?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chop chop!

Hurry up! Move it! Jallah jallah!

I'm sure you recognize some of these lines to say the least. How often have we heard these sentences while growing up?
Kids can no longer be kids these days. Always in a hurry. Always stressing out. They leave their house as babies in their pajamas to be dropped off at daycare. Their teeny baby friends are awaiting them to spend the day together, while mom and dad race off to give their best shot at work. Later that day, towards the evening hours, the same movie is being played but in the opposite direction. Babies need to be picked up to hurry home, where their bottle is ready to be heated. A nice warm but quick bath helps the child relax before it is being put down to sleep. The parents are getting ready to do their household chores, while the little one holds its blanky and pacifier, its eye lids getting heavier and heavier, until baby is ready to doze off. Mom and dad fall down in their chairs, using their last energy to discuss their day and organize the agenda of the upcoming week.

Nowadays parents have a tough life. Although they no longer raise a household of 10 children, there's so much more pressure. Both parents need to work fulltime if they want to keep up with the Joneses. They need to make so many sacrifices if they want to keep those two cars, a yearly vacation abroad, dinner parties with friends, membership cards to the gym, .. I hear my friends complain about burn-outs, bore-outs, difficult children, terrible bosses and envious colleagues. They are not happy with the situation. They feel like they don't perform their best at work, because their heart is with their offspring. But is the solution to keep moms home with the kids again? Probably not.. It has been such a struggle for women to get education and decent jobs. They have every right to have a good job and feel the fulfillment and appreciation you feel as an employee. Not all women are fitted to live their lives as stay at home moms. They are of no use to their children if they are unhappy without an outdoor job and a salary that makes life more convenient.

Why is there no option for women to raise their children as a paid, fulltime job? Daycare centers keep waiting lists - you need to make reservations on that list by the time you get pregnant, to make sure your child-to-be will be in good hands once you go back to work. How stressful is that? Would women prefer to raise their kids themselves if they were paid to stay home? Or would they miss the grown-up contact?
What do you think? What would you do?

What's best for the child? I don't know. All children are different. Some children need more attention and affection than other children. Some parents prefer to spend quality time with their kids over quantity time. Happy parents make happy children. So whatever will be your choice, make sure it's a choice well considered and not an obligation. And remember: you always have the chance to think things over. Even parents are allowed to make mistakes..

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Have no fear

This one's for you, my friend. Face your fears. Cross the bridge when you reach it. You'll be just fine, don't worry. You're stronger than you think. Don't let others bring you down. It doesn't matter what they think or say. You remain you and they will always be who they are. Don't forget nobody can bring you down if you don't allow that to happen. So keep your head up high, straighten those shoulders and face the world. I'm proud of you.