Monday, October 31, 2011

Alright alright!

Okay, whatever, I admit. I'm not a Dutch girl. Yes, I'm Flemish. I said it: I'm Flemish. I find the word Flemish so.. ugh.. really. It doesn't sound good. It has a very disturbing sound to it. So I prefer to say I'm Dutch. Now that two men have actually made comments on me being Dutch on this blog, I have to give in. What else can I do but surrender? But no, I won't call myself Flemish - ouch, that hurt - nor Belgian. Let me think things over and come up with some other word. To be continued.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My lucky clover

I must have been 14 or maybe 15 at the time. He had gone to Switzerland and when he came back, he gave me a handpicked lucky clover and a little white flower by the romantic name "edelweiss". There was a message to go with the little treasures: he wanted to guard over me and make sure I would be happy for the rest of my life..

I kept the clover and the edelweiss in my wallet for many, many years. It made stains on my driver's license. Every now and then, I would open my driver's license and take a look at the little flowers. I'm a pretty sober person, but still, I didn't once consider to throw out those treasures, not even when my boyfriend and I broke up. I believed they would bring me luck and keep me safe.

Many years have passed since and along the line, I lost both the clover and the edelweiss. But I still remember what they looked like and how precious the gift was. It had not cost one penny, but the thought that someone had gone through the effort to pick these out for me, was priceless. He was a special young man and I had loved him deeply. It's a good memory. It's heart warming to look back..

Saturday, October 29, 2011

You can't please everyone

There is this thing that makes us people want to please everyone. There comes a time when you have to come to the realization that it's not possible to do so. People are different and they all come with different demands and wishes. There's a lot one can do, but there are limits. At least, it's necessary to set boundaries before it ruins you.

Setting boundaries.. not easy, at least not for me. I don't know how you cope with setting limits, but I have a hard time doing so. I'm a people pleaser. There's this song: oh sir, they are so nice.. But it's not realistic. You can't be sweet and nice at all times. And that's okay. You don't have to be nice all the time to be loved..

There were times when I would have done whatever I could to make people like me. I didn't like it when people were upset. It upset me in return to see someone hurt. I have now come to the obvious conclusion that trying to please people at all times, is not the answer. In fact, it's no good at all. Life isn't about perfection. It's not about wanting things your way all the time. Sometimes people get disappointed and sometimes they wanted things differently. Too bad.. Life goes on. I feel you get more appreciation by saying no every now and then. It's okay to say no and it's okay to be less nice at times. I'm still the same person and I still deserve respect and love. If only you would understand..

Friday, October 28, 2011

On pins and needles

Have you guys arrived? Are you at your final destination? Today is going to be a day of wondering how you guys are doing and if your journey went smoothly.

There's no doubt you will spend another wonderful time in Caribe Cove, Kissimmee, Florida. After all, it's an exciting place to spend your holiday. Nearly one year ago, we went together. Our first visit to Florida as a group of friends and an instant hit. I took my family there this summer and now it's your turn again. It'll feel like home, trust me.

Do let us know you have arrived safely, okay? I hope your mom wasn't too stressed out. We know she's not that fond of flying, but in the end, she's always happy she went along.

Don't hesitate to order breakfast at First Watch in Winter Garden Village. It's worth the drive. I'm sure mom will have her favorite milkshake at Johny Rocket's and for you, my friend: Orange Duck at the Panda Express, right? Take care of each other, brothers. You are lucky to have such a wonderful family..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freckles and photos

Photo by Lana Joos

Doesn't she look great, our little freckled girl? I'm so happy with this snapshot and I love those lovely freckles.
Lana did a very good job capturing her sister's face on camera. It was the perfect picture to enter this photo contest. Lana would love you to vote for her picture if you like it as much as we do. Don't hesitate to ask your friends and family to do the same or share it on your Facebook account to let the other viewers vote as well.
It would help her finance another lens so she can improve her talent.

Thanks for helping out. It's much appreciated!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


It was definitely worth serving this dish in a fine restaurant. I was so proud of myself for having made this wonderful Asian dish. Easy, healthy, tasteful and a lot of fun to eat. Make sure to use your chop sticks and add small dots of wasabi to go with the tuna. It's a must.

what do we need:
  • 1/2 a cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced on the bias
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, in thin slices
  • rice noodles, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • chili pepper to taste
  • freshly chopped coriander
  • cashew nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • fresh tuna
  • black sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • oil
what do we do:
  • Mix the salad of cucumber, carrots, red onion, rice noodles.
  • Prepare the dressing and pour it over the salad. Mix well. Sprinkle with the cashew nuts.
  • Rub some oil in the tuna and roll it in black sesame seeds to coat all sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat your grill and sear the tuna on both sides for maximum 1 min a side.
  • Slice the tuna on the bias.
  • Dress your rectangular plates with the Asian salad. Top with slices of tuna. Sprinkle some sesame oil on top. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Does it show?

When I was expecting my first child, a weird little pimple popped up on my right upper arm. It didn't bother me and it was not really noticeable. But I have this thing with pimples and crusts: I just have to touch it, pull at it, squeeze it or whatever people tend to do with pimples.
I just couldn't keep my hands - my left hand that is - off it.
Over the years, the pimple hasn't gone away.
The daughter is almost 17 now and the pimple will have been sitting on my arm for nearly 18 years. How silly is that?? I still poke it, I still remove the little crust and scratch it whenever I feel like it. It feels familiar, it's part of me.

I have worked as a clerk in a hospital. It was a stressful period in my life. The doctor I worked for, was not the easiest one and he scared the heck out of me at times. So yes, I was nervous for every unexpected visit he would bring to our office. One day, he had given me an assignment. He had not been clear about what he truly expected me to do. I was working on the project, when one of his colleague-doctors came in. I had a good bond with her and she didn't scare me one bit. She asked me if I could help her with something and I told her that I was on a deadline with this one particular project. While talking to her, I touched the pimple and pulled off its little crust. She tapped me on the arm and told me to stop it. She asked me why I let that doctor get at me. Every time I talked about that particular doctor, I fiddled with that pimple, she said.. It had become my little tic.. Never before had I looked at it in that way. But she was right. And after all those years, I still do it. I left that bossy doctor behind a long time ago, but I still mess with that pimple in strenuous times.. Some habits don't disappear, I assume..

Monday, October 24, 2011

A whole new world

Some time ago, I started to work as a volunteer for different organizations. I have been asked to give workshops and presentations on a number of subjects. It's no problem for me to speak in public. In fact: it's something I really like to do.

Yesterday, I was invited to give a presentation on my life with diabetes. As always, it excites me to prepare these presentations and figure out what I'm going to talk about. The audience was diverse and I decided to tell them something more on counting carbs when you're diagnosed diabetic. I made a presentation to go with my text and I was pretty confident on the outcome.

For one hour, I had an interactive presentation with my audience. No less than 24 people were present to hear more about diabetes. Although you can't watch TV or read the news without hearing about diabetes, not many people know more about it than it involves insulin and sugar. This audience wasn't any different. I loved to teach them about D and make them aware of this condition, without scaring them. There's no use in scaring people. It's much more important to make them aware of a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude. Even with diabetes, there's so much people can do to make their life worth living.

The audience was truly amused and interested. They asked questions they had thought about at home, before they came to the workshop. Questions that kept them busy and wondering. We talked about the importance of carbohydrates and the effect on our blood glucose. We discussed the meaning of blood work and how to interpret numbers like 175 mg/dl. They now know what numbers they need to check:
a fasting blood glucose  > 100 mg/dl means you're prediabetic. Several fasting blood glucoses > 126 mg/dl, means you have diabetes and you need to get treatment.

I'm looking into giving more of these workshops. I would even like to make it my profession. Although I don't see it as a job - it's what I like to do and it's what I'm good at - getting paid for what you do well is always welcome.

I'm satisfied and happy with yesterday's presentation and I'm looking forward to next month's. See, diabetes isn't always a negative point. It's exactly what you want it to be. And I'm willing to make the most of it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Toi et moi

For a while, you had been talking about taking classes in making jewelry. There's this thing between you and your peers that makes you long for wearing handmade jewelry. I thought it was a good way to be creative and make something beautiful.

So I asked Dr Google and he came up with a class in the hood. Fair enough! There was one issue though: classes were on Friday night and you had just agreed on taking care of two young boys on Friday nights on a weekly basis. But you talked to their mom and you were allowed to skip one Friday night.

I was surprised when you asked me to join you to the jewelry class. I liked the idea of doing something fun with you, so I was happy to join you. We had a great time in our first class. You didn't have a hard time deciding what you wanted to make. In no time, you had made a wonderful earth tone necklace. You picked beautiful beads in matching colors. You had doubts about who you wanted to make the necklace for. Grandma would have loved your necklace, but you wanted to keep your first creation. Now you know how to create beautiful jewelry, I'm sure we'll see more of it.

I made a necklace too. My piece of art has fall colors and tiny Swarovski beads. I think it looks amazing and it's very delicate and light.

You're too fast for me. You made a pair of earrings too! I'm sure you thought about the design beforehand, because you knew exactly what to look for in the shop. Once again, your creativity startled me. Congrats sweetie! You did real well! And thank you for asking me to join you. I enjoyed the mommy-daughter time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A reality check

Children get diabetes too.. No matter how young or old you are: anyone out there could become a diabetic..

She's 16. Still in her teens, but so mature. Diabetes stole the innocence of her youth. Diabetes made her grow up fast. It's not easy to have a chronic disease as a teen. No teen wants to be different from its peers, especially not by having some kind of disease that forces you to inject yourself with insulin.
It's not cool to poke your fingers 8 times a day. Counting carbs is not something youngsters should have to do. Going to bed early because the high blood sugars make you sick, is not on your to do list...
No parent should have to worry about a child with diabetes.. No child deserves this condition.

This girl is so courageous. She's a fighter. She falls but stands up. She's willing to beat diabetes and she refuses to let diabetes take over. That's why she designed this shirt.. Give her your vote. Because she's worth it. Because she makes diabetes look good!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Two birds with one stone

Things have been going pretty hectic lately. Well, in the last months I may say. I sometimes try to schedule two or three appointments in one day, because otherwise I run short of time. It is a sport to combine appointments that are situated in the same area, so I don't have to cross the whole country multiple times a week. I love these outings and meetings. Even a bit too much, I'm afraid..

I remember saying that October wouldn't be as hectic as September, but I must have broken that promise as soon as I had said it. It's just not working.. I try to set priorities, I really do. The thing is: I find 99% of my appointments important and well worth the effort. All in a different meaning maybe, but important nevertheless.

So here I go again: I'll really really try to make November less hectic than October or September. Honestly! I'm not saying it will be easy or I will succeed, but I'll give it my best shot.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

'Cause this is the end..

Lately, I have been wondering about death and dying. People are so good at organizing their life and celebrating that life, but they forget about death. Although death is part of life, there's still a major taboo and people don't like to discuss their end in this life.

I heard about this couple, that has prepared their funeral in advance. They do not wish to bother their children with arranging a funeral in a moment of despair and grief. It's very confrontational, for both parents and children, but at the same time, it's a guarantee and a reassurance that their last wishes will be respected. Not a bad idea at all, I would say.

My family knows I'm not a catholic anymore. It's pretty obvious that I wouldn't want a Christian funeral either.
I would like to be cremated in a serene scenery, surrounded by friends and close family. No outsiders, no snoops. Just the people that have meant a lot to me. Just like I would have invited them over for a cuppa or for a dinner party. I have already thought about the music too. One song I would really like to hear on my funeral, is Aimer - from the Roméo et Juliette musical. It is such a meaningful song and it's so full of life and love, that I find it very appropriate to be played on my last journey.

Life is fleeting. There's no use trying to desperately hold on to this life. Maybe you find me too sober on this subject, but that's just the way I feel. I'm not scared of death, since I truly believe it's part of life. That doesn't mean I'm looking forward to leaving this world though. I'm having a pretty good time here and there's so much left to do before I make the transition to another world. But being prepared is not a bad thing. We never know what life has in store for us..

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm perfectly content with..

a good book and a tasteful mug of Latte Macchiato. I like to take care of my family and serve them home cooked meals on a daily basis. Shopping for groceries is not a chore for me and making sure the pets are taken well care off and fed is also part of what I do (apart from walking them, that is). I like to meet up with friends and speaking about diabetes in public is something I would like to continue to do. To me, this job is as important as a job on the payroll.

Some days ago, one of the girls had to fill out a schoolform. School needed to know what professions the parents have. She wasn't too sure what to write down. She hesitated for a while and then wrote down: housewife. Twenty years ago, that would not have caused any negative feelings. Nowadays, it's like being a housewife is something to be ashamed of. And why? Because women feel forced to go out and work fulltime? Because society tells them being a housewife is not good enough and certainly not fulfilling? Could be to some, but to me, nothing's wrong with being a housewife. I'm proud of the fact that we could give our children the chance to come home after school instead of going to daycare. It's nice for them to come home and have a slice of home baked apple cake for tea. There's someone there to hear their school adventures and to discuss school subjects. Having a blooming career is not my priority.

I'm lucky to have a husband who gives me the choice. He won't force me to stay at home neither will he force me to go to work. He's the man in the household and he makes sure we can lead a good financial life. It is my job to make sure everything is scheduled at home, so life is comfortable.

As a housewife, you don't get rewarded in the same way as working colleagues. You don't get paid for the work you do, you have no paid vacation or sick leave. There are no colleagues to talk to and no meetings to attend. There are no financial bonuses or promotions. But on the other hand: you can plan your work, you can take a break whenever you feel like it, your hours are more flexible and there's no need for aggravation while stuck in traffic.

I'm perfectly content with my role. I hope my children will share that opinion..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


You all know I have a problem with drinking. No, I'm not an alcoholic. It's no such thing. I don't drink enough. Water, that is. I'm just never thirsty and I forget to drink. Another reason why I hardly ever drink water, is that I find it over the top to buy bottles of water. I can't spend money on plain water.

To my surprise, I bought myself this water bottle in Holland. I definitely need to drink more water and I had this idea the Dopper bottle could help me do so. The Dopper bottle is a plastic bottle that has been designed to hold almost 0.5 liters of water. It can be filled with tap water whenever you feel this quench coming up. Take it to school, to work, on outings, in the car,.. Dopper bottles are leak proof and you can clean them in the dishwasher. Just as simple as that!

The bottles come in pink or blue. They don't only look awesome, it's exactly what they are! Ever since I got myself this Dopper bottle, I have drunk 1.5 liters of water a day. This is how I do it: in the morning, I get my Dopper out of the dishwasher. I put some slices of lemon in the bottle before I fill it up with fresh and cold tap water. You close the bottle with the cup and cap. Take it along wherever you go. It fits in my purse or in the cup holder of my car. But most of the time, I keep it in my hand, since the cap makes it an easy job. The Dopper is empty before you know it. Just fill it up again: there are more taps in your area than you are aware of. Nothing wrong with tap water, on the contrary: it gets checked all the time. No more store bought water bottles in my house. I fill my Dopper whenever I need to. I even take it to bed at night. 

I would recommend the Dopper bottle to all of you, for it's a very fine product. It's not expensive at all and you'll be hooked to your bottle before you realize it. Make sure to personalize it, because you wouldn't want anyone to steal yours! Have fun! Dopper!

Monday, October 17, 2011

But really!

Drawing by Eva Joos
What a surprise!! The day you showed me a sketch of what would finally be this drawing, I didn't really know what to say to you, besides: that's wonderful!
Every now and then, you get your pencils and paper out. That's when you let your inspiration loose in a drawing.
I must admit: you are very creative. Painting, drawing, crafting, making jewelry.. there's so much you like to do. For quite some time, you have been drawing top models. You couldn't stop and the inspiration was immense. It's a good way to express yourself and show your creativity.

Keep doing what you're doing sweetie. You're good at it. Thanks for sharing your work with us.

I'm looking forward to our jewelry class. It'll be fun to be creative together. And I already know I'll learn a lot from you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


A pigeon is hopping up and down on one leg on a Délifrance coffee table. The other leg is missing, but it doesn't seem to bother her. I'm mesmerized, although pigeons are definitely on my not-a-fan-of list. I wonder how it lost its leg..

They are sitting beside me on a stone bench. Dressed up to the nines - I see very fine stockings under that  plaid skirt - they discuss the shop in front of them. Forever 21, it's called and it's brand new - in Belgium, that is. One lady has been there before. She says the store is just amazing, but the clothes are no more than rags. "Exactly what the youth wants to wear..", I hear her say.

The pleasant sound of a violin is coming through from behind me. I hear the hollow sound of coins falling on the floor. They're meant to be dropped into the empty ice cream box, but the person donating was in a hurry I guess. I'm sure the violin player will pick it up asap.

He's kissing his infant. It's probably not older than 3 weeks. He's crazy about her. I can see the sparkle in his eyes. He holds her like she's the most precious girl he's ever seen.. She doesn't open her eyes once. She looks content and she feels safe and loved in his arms. Sweat has curled the shiny black hair in her chubby little neck. She has a nice tan, just like her daddy. Brazilian, I would say.

I see them leave Forever 21. Both ladies are holding on to their yellow plastic bags. I wonder what they have purchased? Maybe they needed rags to polish their antique dining tables? They make me smile without a sound.

He's in a wheelchair. Just like the pigeon, a leg is missing. Well, part of his leg is. She's having an ice cream. With a white plastic spoon, she scoops little dollops of vanilla ice cream from her cone. It spoils her bright lipstick. He wipes her mouth with his thumb. They look very much in love. It looks like they've been married for 50 years. Would he be a diabetic? That's a question I always ask myself when I spot missing limbs.

In a very girly voice, he asks his colleagues where they want to have lunch. He gives them several options, waving his hands from side to side, palms up. I like his scarf. I don't like the squeaking of his voice though. His colleagues don't seem to mind. They follow him around like fluffy yellow chicks.

The smell of hot Belgian sugar waffles tickles my nostrils. I'm sure Lana will ask for one. Maybe Eva will prefer a smoothie? They're taking their time. I gave up a while ago. It's better to let them explore the shops by themselves. They won't go crazy. They know their limits.
I hope..

The sun warms my face, while I'm enjoying the impressions of a Friday afternoon on the Meir in Antwerp. I was pretty content to sit there and observe the world. Shopping is exhausting. I prefer to spot people..

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Safe and sound

Today you're leaving for Florida, US. You and your family, that is. I'm so excited for the 5 of you! I just know you will have a fantastic vacation abroad, full of laughter and joy. The sun is even out there, ready to warm your bodies and hearts.

I know your schedule will be busy and packed, so I'm not expecting any extended mails or so. Have fun! Say hi to the alligators and don't forget to water the palm trees in front of the apartment at Caribe Cove. I'll  miss you but I most definitely give you the pleasure you deserve. Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Like peas and carrots

We really get along well. Our numerous trips abroad can confirm that. These last three days weren't any different. Joy, laughter, fine dining, shopping, friendship and a wonderful musical. This time, we were guests in the musical Zorro. Who doesn't know Zorro? It's a series we liked to watch as kids. Zorro was handsome and adventurous and sexy. I assume we didn't see the sexiness at such a young age, but we knew he was goodlooking to say the least. In those days, I liked to go horseback riding. My riding was nothing compared to Zorro's skills on a horse, but we shared the same love for horses. The musical was full of Gipsy King songs, another favorite of my youth. I had several tapes (no cd's back then) and I liked the guitars and the southern feeling the music brought me.

Thank you for the organization, the company and the good time. Looking forward to next month's musical!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fertilizing bad behavior

I believe in positive reinforcement. I have had this belief for ages. In my very short career as a kindergarten teacher, but also as a mom and friend. There's not much difference in saying motivating words over negative phrases, but the feeling the receiver gets from those words, may make a whole world of difference. It doesn't take that much an effort to compliment someone. It's not that hard to tap someone on the shoulder and tell him how great a job he did. Even though those actions are not difficult, it's a whole lot easier to let someone know how they suck.. how poorly they behave and how useless they are.

Fertilizing bad behavior is not very rewarding. What if someone would keep telling you how bad you are or how you suck at what you do? How would that make you feel? Pretty insecure, I guess. It sure wouldn't give you a good feeling about yourself. If people keep pointing out the negative characteristics of one person, they loose sight of the good points. All the other person will hear, are not very pleasant remarks. It will do nothing but feed the negative behavior instead of encouraging the other person to work on the good skills he has.

Both children and grown ups like to get compliments. Not all the time! The compliments need to be sincere and well considered. Hollow words won't bring you anywhere. Believing in what you say will help the other in accepting the compliment. The world can be such a nice place. Make living worthwhile. It won't cost you anything to make someone else's life easier and brighter through positive reinforcement.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The attack of the tiger!

Arthur, Arthur.. you're a piece of work you know. We adopted you when friends of ours moved to a different place and they couldn't bring you. Ever since, we have taken care of you and we got used to your own little habits. Drinking from the tap in the tub, is your specialty but also necessary to make sure you don't get bladder infections. There's also the fish bowl to drink out of, but you still prefer the tap in the bathroom.

All of a sudden, you had to share the household attention with a whippet. You had no idea what to think of her, but you had no reason to dislike her either. Well, at least, that's how we see it. Only 6 months later, a second whippet came to live with us and you stuck to your opinion: they weren't welcome.. They don't bother you, but you love to tease them. Waiting around the hedge in the backyard, ready to attack them when they come outside to play. Your nails are sharp as razor blades and whippet skin is so thin it's like the skin of a baby mouse. I can see the grin on your face when you catch them by surprise. You are so proud of yourself and you sit up straight to make yourself taller. That's when you lick your fur and indulge yourself in victory.. You're very lucky these whippets hold no grudge against you! They have not made one single attempt to get back at you, on the contrary. Inthe is the first one in line to make sure we let you in the house, whenever you're sitting on the window sill. Too bad you can't see that.. Both whippets are so patient with you and they really care for you. Don't you remember, when you weren't feeling so well, they came to visit you with every sneeze they heard? Just try to love them back, Arthur, they mean no harm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Little monkey

You cheeky little boy! I was so happy you came to play with us last Thursday. Where's the little baby gone?? You're one now and you have made so much progress. Crawling around the house, making funny  noises and "asking" questions.. well, that is: uh? uh? while you're pointing at almost everything. There's not one thing you're not interested in. Playing with wooden spoons and colanders, I observed you. We even made an instrument for you: an empty bottle of soda filled with dry rice did the trick. You couldn't stop shaking the bottle and danced to the rhythm. What a funny guy!

The girls were so glad you were still here when school was out. The grins on their faces were charming. And so was yours! You like to have people around you. Even the cat, sitting outside on the window sill, fascinated you. Shouting at him and banging against the window, you tried to pull his attention.

So young, so naive, so playful.. and most of all: so happy. It's pretty obvious your mommy and daddy love you a lot and do whatever they can to give you the best in life. So many cuddles, so many nice words result in a happy little boy. Life is beautiful..

Monday, October 10, 2011

I admit. J'avoue. Ik beken..

Addictions are horrible. Addictions are so difficult to confess. It's not something to be proud of. It's not something you would tell people about on a first date: "Hi! I'm an addict. How are you?"
No matter what the addiction is: drugs, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, food, gambling.. addictions are not something one would long to have.
Addictions demand so much attention and they suck up all of your energy. Life is focussed around the addiction and it's always present. It's there when you get up in the morning. It keeps you busy through the daytime and it keeps you from sleeping. It's sheer horror.

Once you're ready to confess you're an addict, there's an opening to heal. As long as you keep it a secret, there's not much that can be done. Help is out there. You don't have to go through this on your own. There are people around you that love you and that are ready to catch you when you fall, as they have done in the past. If only you would admit you need help. Don't think you can do this by yourself. It's just too hard. I understand that you want to do this on your own and you gave it a shot - how ironic is that - but it didn't work out. That's okay, that's not a problem. We're not judging you. Maybe you weren't ready yet. It takes insight and therapy, courage and perseverance to leave the addiction behind. Listen to the people that surround you and who want nothing but the best for you. They see things from a different angle. They have experience and they know where to get help. Don't be so pigheaded.. there's no need to be ashamed. Be brave, be ready. I hope you will make that phonecall soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The thing

You call it "the thing", he calls it Bruno. It's not supposed to be called anything, since it doesn't belong there. Just the thought of this thing, makes you sick to your stomach. It's affecting you and your family in a way you had never expected. A young man, this active and so in to sports, leading a good life with his girlfriend. He didn't ask for Bruno to come interrupt his life. Bruno decided he needed a place to live..
We ask "the thing" to shrink and disappear. It's just too spooky. It doesn't belong with your son. It doesn't belong with anyone. It needs to go away now, so your son can get better and move on with his life. Preferably as the man he was before Bruno came to live with him. We keep our fingers crossed for him. So many people out there that he's not even aware off, thinking of him and wishing him all the best. He's surrounded by people that love him, by a wonderful, caring family. That is your responsibility. You keep the family together and you send your family strong, loving vibes. He will be okay.. he will be okay. Have faith.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


For a brief moment, we discussed soulmates. We both knew what the other meant. A soulmate, you know, that one special person in your life you can share anything with. That one person who can read you without subtitles. That special person you can talk to without speech. Soulmates are unique ; soulmates are to be nurtured. Soulmates can tell you so much about yourself. They are a mirror to the soul, if you want.

What if you lost your soulmate and you miss him like hell? What if you never find another soulmate like the one you used to have? Most likely, you will never find a similar soulmate.. But maybe you will encounter someone with an 8/10. Not perfect, not like your first soulmate, but real close. Your first soulmate will always be in your heart. There were too many shared moments and those moments will always remain special. Cherish that thought and be thankful for the times you had together. You can still talk to him. He hears you. Because you were soulmates and you didn't need to hear each other to understand one another..

Friday, October 7, 2011

Put your best foot forward

I'm a little nervous... Today the 4th symposium of the BVVDE (Beroepsvereniging Vlaamse Verpleegkundigen Diabetes-Educatoren) is taking place in Orsmaal. It's a huge event and I have been invited as a speaker. In the afternoon, I will tell my diabetes life story for a room full of professionals. It's not that I have not spoken in public before, but this is somehow a little different. I'm used to gathering with the diabetes experts I call my friends, but for the first time I'm going to tell my story to professional diabetes educators. I understand it's a unique chance to let the professionals know how important they are in our diabetes treatment.

I feel honored. My diabetes nurse has asked me to step forward and do this testimonial. It means she has faith in me. I'm so lucky to have her as my professional nurse. She has become a good friend in a very short time. She's so much more than my nurse. I do understand that not all diabetes nurses can become friends with their patients, but it's always an advantage if they get to know the person behind the diabetes. We're so much more than a chronic disease. And that's exactly what I would like to talk about today.

Cross your fingers for me, okay? Let's hope I won't have a low blood sugar during my speech...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's easier said than done

We all have our own specific characters. Not one person is perfect or even close to perfect. It's our job to evaluate ourselves and see what we can do to improve our ways. It can be pretty confrontational, I admit and maybe at first, you will ignore the signals. But then you think things over and you realize there is room for improvement.

It is now time to consider what things you would like to alter and what features can stay the same. Maybe you can ask a true friend's opinion? If they are honest, they can help you. What we don't like in our friends, are often characteristics we dislike in ourselves.. so friends can be a mirror to the soul.

Like I stated before: it's easier said than done.. It's a work in progress. Or WIP for that matter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The lady is a tramp

Not an obvious combination, but very well worth the effort. Lady Gaga I knew, but Tony Bennett was new to me. The magic between the two works real well. I became instantly happy listening to this song and watching the interaction between these wonderful singers. I needed a booster after a troublesome week and this video did the trick. My appetite for more has awakened.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back in time

Photo by Lana Joos
You got a third lens for your camera. It was a good investment, to buy that camera from our friend. So far you have made so many beautiful shots. People are startled that you make these pictures without any schooling at the young age of 16. The results are absolutely stunning. Photographers need this special eye and you have got it.

Photo by Lana Joos

The places you pick out to make photographs, are unique too. This time, you, your sister and her friend found an abandoned house. Full of cobwebs, but the ideal background for the theme you had in mind. Your sister and her friend were more than willing to be your models of the day. Your sister is learning a lot from you and she looks up to you for what you achieve. You give her tips and you take her along on your photography routes.

When you chose economics as your main subject in school, we had no idea what could be your later job in life. You had no specific career in mind at the time. It may be a little early to speculate, but there are some subjects you really like to do. Maybe journalism could be your future? You would love to see the world, explore, see things, write about it, take pictures. Sounds interesting, doesn't it? It may be something to keep in the back of our head, for future decisions. In the mean time, keep doing what you do well: making wonderful snapshots.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't you see?

It's just hilarious to observe the two of you. Each one of you has its own character, but still you look so much alike. Sometimes I compare you to meerkats, you know, those wonderful small creatures that stand up on their hind legs and move their tiny heads from left to right and back in a very short time.
Having my lunch at the kitchen table, I observed you hopping up and down on the deck. You were jumping on your hind legs and your front legs were tapping on the window sill. You're too funny and I can't but laugh out loud when I see you do that.
You don't like to go outside all by yourself. Too afraid you might miss something important or interesting in the house. So you try to pull my attention by jumping up and down and throwing yourself against the window. Sometimes we only see Inthes head pass by, like she were a character of the Muppet Show. It's just too funny. But mainly it's you, Rebba, who paces along the window, praying for someone to open the door and let you in. You simply can't believe nobody sees you and you do whatever it takes to make yourself noticed. Let me be clear: we do see you Rebba. Just try to be a bit more patient.. Rome wasn't built in one day. It won't kill you to stay outside for 5 more minutes..

Photo by Lana Joos

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I shouldn't be alive

Do you ever think you were never meant to be born?
I mean, really, not all children enter this world voluntarily or wanted. What if you were never meant to be born? What if the pregnancy was never meant to happen in the first place? Isn't that a horrible thought? As a child, would you feel not loved or would your parents hold a grudge against you for being born? It would be hard to find out I guess..

There's this series on TV, called: I shouldn't be alive. It's not about unwanted pregnancies, but about friends or families in life threatening situations. How they try their utmost to help the other survive a battle they are doomed to loose. I record this series and watch it at night. Every single time, it amazes me how friends and family help each other without calling themselves heroes. They are there and all that matters at the time, is to make sure the others are okay. With every vessel in their body, they give their best shot helping the others survive. Plane crashes, attacks by grizzly bears, sunken ships in black deep oceans.. Any scenario imaginable, but all so real and scary. People do survive horrible situations and it will definitely strengthen their mutual bond. In some episodes, life wasn't good between some of the family members. The dramatic situation they are in, changes everything. All of a sudden, they have to rely on each other in order to survive. There's no room for fights or feelings of guilt. Nothing but the strong will to survive. It's a wonderful series. You should watch it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm impressed

That is what I would like to say to you, the day I will come over and hear you play the piano or listen to you sing. I'm so curious about this talent and at the same time I already know you are good. I know what your speaking voice sounds like and I would love to hear you sing. I can't imagine your singing voice, but it's probably very clear and pleasant to listen to.

When you tell me about the times you go to your father's place, to sing with one of your sisters, that gives me a very special feeling. A feeling of belonging together, a feeling of family spirit and alliance. Is it possible to focus on nothing else but the music and the voices that go with it? Is it a way to set yourself free and let go?

Please let me know when you are ready to let me hear you. I would be very honored to be your audience.