Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You look radiant!

What can I say? Every time we celebrate your birthday, we realize how gorgeous you still are. Still up and going, still dressed to the nines and bright and alert. We are lucky that your sons asked us to join you on this trip, so we could give you your birthday kisses around breakfast. It's good to hang out with you and enjoy your presence.

Have a very happy birthday my friend. You look radiant!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A match made in heaven

Photo by Lana Joos
Happy Birthday, little Inthe!

You turned 2 today, my rascal. And we're not home to celebrate your birthday with you.. I'm sure the girls will give you plenty of treats and they will spoil you rotten. We're so lucky to have you and Rebba couldn't live without you. The two of you go so well together, like salt and pepper.

We'll bring you a new toy from Holland, scoobydoo. We know how you love your squeaky  toys and you ruin them all. It's hilarious to see how excited you get over unwrapping a new toy. Looking forward to seeing your face over this one.

Have fun with Rebba, okay? Daddy will take you for a long walk when we return. xx

Monday, November 28, 2011

Curvaceous girls and V-shaped boys

There's a preference in the ratio between waistline and hips. Men prefer females with small waists and wider hips, in a ratio of 0.7. These ladies would represent fertility and good health. What men really want, is a healthy ratio. It doesn't matter if you're large, tall, small or skinny. It's all about the right ratio between body parts. The most attractive part of a female's body, is a sexy smile. Men like positive women. They find a spontaneous smile truly appealing. I'm sure though, their eyes don't stay focussed on the face for that long. We all know how fast their eyes try to discover other body parts. But at least, they start with the face.. Are men so different from women? I don't know.. It makes me wonder about what I find attractive in men. The first impression is important. Without having spoken to the man in person, the only thing you can comment on, is their appearance. Yes, the smile is important, and so are the eyes. I like bright, radiant eyes with a flirty sparkle.
I like an honest, broad smile. A smile that represents humor and a fun personality.

We all hear that the inside of a person is so much more important than what that person looks like. I'm getting to know more and more people on the Internet. Internet is different in that way, that you don't have an idea what people really look like. You might see a small picture, but you can never be sure it's actually that person you're "talking" to. You get to know that person by sharing experiences, discussing different subjects, getting to know their emotional side. Those experiences can be very appealing and I think they are a good way of getting to know someone. Before you actually meet, you know a whole lot about this one particular person and it changes the way you feel about their appearance. Sometimes you imagine what that person would look like in real life. On other occasions, by no means can you imagine a real person behind the characteristics. These meetings are not about curvaceous female bodies or V-shaped male chests. These meetings are deeper, because they value the true beauty of your encounter..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Taking it to a higher level

This is it! You finally found a place of your own. That is, a place for the three of you plus your beautiful cat. It is a nice house in a suburban area and not too far from where we live. I could even be tempted to go look for my bike to come see you. Duh!! How about that??

You invited the whole family for coffee and cake this afternoon. There will be a whole bunch of us and the place will be packed, but it'll be fun. You've had some pretty busy weeks lately, since you started your new job and evening classes. I'm sure you're worn out for the moment, but still you find the energy to invite all of us. Respect, really.

It's good to have you in the family. In a short time, you have become a great sister-in-law and we all love you. Thank you for making our brother-in-law happy. You are doing a very good job!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cooking and high heels

Probably not the best combination, but nevertheless worth trying.

I wonder if I will ever dislike cooking. On the contrary I guess. The older I get - no need to remind me I'm 40 - the more pleasure I find in cooking. I'm not a chef, I know that, but cooking is just so relaxing, so interesting, so fulfilling. It's a way of life. The creative part of mine finds so much joy in reading recipes, buying the right produce, tasting foreign herbs and spices. Coming up with different combinations, I dig up a fresh apron, sharpen my best knives and wash my hands. Ready for a couple of hours of pure entertainment. No, I don't really cook in high heels. It would kill me I guess. Sometimes I just spend time by the stove, wearing pj's and warm socks. Comfort food and home wear.. the perfect combo. I'll keep the high heels for the dinner table. The moment where the guests enter the house and when the candles are lit. I'm ready for a house full of guests. Just need some time to invite them.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Make love your goal

Love is so powerful. Love is so pure. It's there to warm your heart and feed your desires. Love is so versatile. It's not only about having a partner. It's about family, friends, pets, good vibrations. Love is o so important. Why don't you make love your goal?

Love can clean your soul, it's an energy rushing inside of you.  Love is danger, love is pleasure, love is an everyday necessity. Feel blessed if you're able to give love or be loved. Love can open many doors...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Size matters

It really does. I never thought I would say this, but size does matter. It makes a huge difference, if you wear a size 0 or a size 8. Oh you dirty minds! Did you really think I was going to discuss whatever you had in mind?? DUH!

No, seriously. In our society, size really matters. People look at you in a different way if you have a bigger size than what is seen as "normal". And trust me: any size bigger than a size 2 is being considered  a bigger size, unfortunately. It makes people feel insecure and it's not good for our selfesteem to be looked at as abnormal because of our size. Your size doesn't make you a better or a worse person, but people do treat you differently. I know, because I've been there. My selfworth was non existing when I had a larger size. It came back as my weight shrank, up to the point where I felt real confident. Until I heard that I was getting too skinny. That I needn't loose any more weight. Not by one person, but several people have told me to stop loosing weight. It's very confrontational. If you're bigger, you keep hearing that you absolutely need to loose weight (like you don't know that?). You do whatever you can to keep yourself from growing even bigger and people don't keep their comments to themselves. You know they give you that sad look when you pass them in the street. You know how they talk about you when they see you eat a treat. It hurts when the lady in the fitting room tells you they don't have that shirt in your size.. And then you start to loose weight. It finally comes off and you instantly feel better. You straighten your shoulders and the way you swing your hips is more appealing and even sexy. You hear compliments, but you can't accept them yet. Taking a look at your naked body in the mirror is still not your favorite pastime, but it's less hurtful when some pounds have gone.

What if your clothes size has dropped 5 sizes? Is that something to be proud of? I guess so. Yes, I can say I'm proud of me. But at the same time, I'm afraid to say so, because I know how hurtful it is to someone who is still in the bigger size section. I wouldn't want to offend them. I know what it feels like, after all, to be stared at and to be condemned. I don't want to be part of that society that judges people who are bigger or slimmer than the "normal" size. I love my bigger and slimmer friends for who they are and not for the size they have or don't have. There's more to life than weight issues, but I won't pretend those issues are not important..

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The social mask

Photo by Lana Joos
People don't always appreciate you being honest and frank. Being assertive is good, even though not always appreciated. Sometimes it's good to wear a social mask and tell people what they want to hear. If that's what makes your heart tick..

Good friends don't need to wear a social mask. They can be whoever they are in your presence. They don't have to pretend to be someone they are not. They don't have to live up to the ideal you have of them. It doesn't matter to you if they are different from what you had in mind. Because you accept them for who they are.

Good friends are not afraid to tell you about your less appealing characteristics. They don't have to flatter you by saying that dress looks gorgeous if it looks horrible on you. Best friends have a task. They can make you look your best. Discovering the best in you, they make you a better person.

Embrace those friends. Accept their criticism. Because they mean well. Because they truly care..

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holding back the years

I'm mad at your doctor. I'm mad at the way he has treated you for nearly 17 years. I'm upset with the way he put your life at stake.. At the same time, I'm proud of you. You got type 1 diabetes at the early age of 2 years old. Your parents tried to locate the best doctor around and when your family moved, you found a new doctor in Brussels. He did what he had to do: give you a diabetes treatment. Did he offer you the best help around? I'm afraid not. Are you or your parents to blame? Absolutely not.. In fact, it is really sad how that doctor is still working. It's like he never left the 80's. Maybe they were his best years and he couldn't cope moving on? I had never heard of young people with T1 diabetes on 2 injections of insulin a day. How difficult it must have been for you, to maintain good control and cope with a very tight meal schedule. You were told to eat small amounts of carbs every 2 hours. You had no access to mealtime insulin to cover the carbs around lunchtime. Nevertheless, you hung on. Okay, your A1c is higher than it's supposed to be, but 9 % is not that bad, considering the method you had to follow.

This week, you transfered to another hospital. Modern endocrinologists, modern diabetes nurses and more modern ways of treating type 1 diabetes. Right away, your new doctor told you an insulin pump was no issue. We helped you make the decision. It wasn't easy, since you were interested in using CGM but you also wanted the advantages of a remote control. The remote control won over the CGM.

I'm looking forward to visiting you this afternoon. I'm bringing someone who's been looking forward to seeing you again too. We'll have lunch first and then we'll come see you. You'll be a professional pumper by the end of the week. Your life will be so different from now on. I'm pretty sure there's a grin on your face from ear to ear. And not only the insulin pump made its entry in your life: you have some new friends as well..

Monday, November 21, 2011

We all begin as strangers

Three ladies. Three different backgrounds. Coming from around the country. I remember our first meeting. It felt good to meet the both of you. There have been other meetings since.

Three ladies in a restaurant. A place we have been to before. This restaurant always reminds me of our meetings. It was good to be there. It was difficult too. Things have happened in the last year. You were sad. For several reasons. Your partner is having health issues. He's no longer the man he used to be. But he has you to hold his hand. He has you to take care of him. And you do well, since he doesn't want you to get out of his sight. Not only your partner needs your care. Your son needs his mom more than ever. It must rip your heart out to see your beloved ones suffer. Both your partner and your son are lucky to have you around. Your own health is improving. It's so good to hear you're doing well, considering the grim circumstances. It felt good to hug you and let you know we care..

Three ladies in a restaurant. Just like last year.. but a little different. You're married now, to a wonderful husband. He's your best friend, your soulmate, your eternal love. I can see how deeply in love you are. It's a pleasure to know. I'm looking forward to the expansion of your family. My thumbs are pointing upwards. I try to imagine a small version of the two of you. It will be a wonderful baby.. Can't wait to see you pregnant. Let's keep our fingers crossed that 2012 will be the year of your first child..

Three ladies in a restaurant. I'm happy. Happy to be there with the both of you. Happy with the life I'm leading. Happy with the friends I have. Happy with my family and the people around me. I'm fortunate and I'm grateful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New encounters

Isn't it strange, how one can meet someone and feel like you've known each other for years? I still find that amazingly amazing. I love to meet new people. It makes life interesting and even new people teach you about yourself. You hear different opinions on life, you see different places and you talk about ...  well... different things. We live in a small world full of lovely people. It's just a matter of finding them. Life is beautiful.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Always looking out for new items to treat low blood sugars with.. Lately, I have been eating so many bananas that I start to act like a monkey.. I know some of you will now say things haven't changed, so thanks in advance.. you didn't tell me anything new.

I know fast acting sugars like dextrose or regular coke are the best way to treat lows, but the thing is: I'm fed up with coke and dextrose. Really, just thinking of dextrose makes my stomach twirl. The awful aftertaste it leaves in your mouth and the sweetness is just overwhelming for me. I have never liked regular coke and having hypos didn't change that. So I keep looking for products that can please me.

A friend once advised me to have some juice. That's okay, I guess, if only I would have juice around the house.
I normally don't buy juice. The boxes are too big to solve one low so I end up with half empty boxes of juice. They go bad before the next hypo introduces itself.

There's hypofit of course. It's some kind of glucose gel and it contains the exact amount of fast acting carbs, that is 15 grams of carbohydrate. I keep them in my purse, my car, my bedroom and that's where they stay, since I rarely use them. They are so sweet, I instantly get cavities in my teeth just from having it in my purse. But they're a good emergency carb, since there is no risk non-diabetics would eat them just for fun. The cookies or candy I keep in my car as emergency food for lows, often get eaten by hubby or the girls.

So I stick with my favorite biscuits: 4 Maria cookies to be exact. I carry them around in my special Tupperware twin box, so I can keep them fresh and crunchy. I hate soggy cookies! I'm off to the supermarket. I would like to have some extra rolls..

Friday, November 18, 2011

Walk of shame pants

I started digging in my dressing because I was looking for my special Trinny & Susannah shapewear dress. I lost it some time ago and since it was pretty expensive, I really wanted to retrieve it.
Going through my things, I found a pair of walk of shame pants. I have no idea when or why I bought those. All I could say was: what was I thinking? Honestly... those pants were just so not done. I can't even imagine I even wore those. Maybe as sleepwear, but still..

I have big plastic bin bags sitting in a drawer. They store clothes that definitely need to go. The walk of shame pants might get a second life somewhere else. I can't bring them to the second hand shop, that is just too embarrassing. Maybe I should just rip them apart and use them as rags to wax the car with. If only I would wax my car..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Did you know..

that I'm taking the day off?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Envy is a waste of time

How hard can it be to grant other people some luck? People can be so full of jealousy they have a hard time being happy for the people around them.. The jealousy can be of different origin, but most of the time, it's all about money, lack of money or an abundance of money.

I'm convinced that enviousness doesn't bring you any happiness. It's a sheer waste of time. Being happy for someone else's luck is so much more fulfilling than not granting your beloved ones any luck. Envy is not a good virtue and it's nothing to be proud of. The more you envy other people, the unhappier you become. You don't have to believe me, but you could also give it a chance. Be happy for the people around you. You will benefit from it too. Happiness is so much more than jealousy..

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lost in Venice

The two hour train ride from Trieste to Venezia, was not that bad. We had a lot of fun conversations and the view was immense. I missed my personal photographer..
She would have made the most beautiful snapshots. I was fortunate though, that our youngest daughter let me use her camera in Italy. At least we could make some souvenir pictures.

Venice was fantastic! So colorful, so crowded, so full of tourists.
I have never seen such a huge collection of masks. This one particular friend of mine would have loved the phantom masks and the unique costumes. We really have to go see a musical or opera in Venice!

We walked and walked and walked up until the point where we got lost. That didn't bother us, because there were so many interesting places. We kept going, enjoying the scenery and the Italian atmosphere.
How special it was to have a drink on the San Marco Square, surrounded by tourists from all over the world. The humans were outnumbered by pigeons though and they scared us, but still, they belonged there. It was a joy to see toddlers chase them. Those birds are not easily scared. They are so used to human beings, that they don't fear to hop onto your table and steal your biscotti.

At a certain point I realised how lucky I was to be there.. Who could have imagined the three of us in Venezia? Really. That was so surreal. I'm glad my husband gave me the chance to do this city trip and let me have a good time amongst friends. I will bring my family one day. Promised!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's get it over with

By now, you will be fast asleep. Not in your own bed, not even at home. You're in the hospital. Just one week ago, we went to see a periodontologist. He was real gentle with you, but the breaking news was, that he needed to help you out with an issue in your mouth. One of your teeth is not in the right place. It's sunken away in your gums and it doesn't come down where it's supposed to be. So he needs to open up your gums and pull the tooth downwards. He gave you the choice for local anesthesia or the full option. You wanted to be sedated completely and I don't blame you. Three shots in your pallet and gums are not something to look forward to..
I hope the operation will be over soon. I'll be waiting for you sweetie. Of course you will be sore. Not right away, because of the pain killers. But in the late afternoon, you will need some extra cuddles and attention. No pain, no gain, right? But I wish it were different kiddo.. xx

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The perfect pitch

I'm not a good singer, but when I think of it: not one day goes by without singing a song. In the car, in the shower, cooking meals in the kitchen.. The radio is on and I sing along. Modern music, oldies, Arabic songs.. doesn't matter, as long as I can sing along. My singing is not pitch perfect, at least that's what my audience says when I sing in the car. I like to crank up the volume, tap the wheel with my hands and throw it all out. What a fantastic feeling that is! Singing cheers me up. It releases stress and it makes time fly by faster if you're waiting in line. It doesn't matter if other drivers look at you like you're out of your mind. I could care less. My windows are closed and they can't hear me. They can see me shake my head or mimic the words, but further than that? No, they are not bothered. I try not to sing when there are passengers in my car, but sometimes I get caught up in the moment and sing along anyway.. O well.. it brings me pleasure and I won't stop singing..

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's close to midnight

Trieste, Italy
It's close to midnight when I'm writing this blog. I closed the door of my hotel room, turned on the night light and sunk down on the bed. My feet hurt like hell but my heart is filled with joy.. What a great idea to come to Trieste, Italy and spend a couple of days in the company of two wonderful ladies.

It's my first visit to Italy. I am convinced my family would love to be here too.. There's no reason why we couldn't do this again, just the four of us. The girls would love this town and hubby would enjoy the weather and the Italian food. I wouldn't mind coming back here..

Once again, I feel how important it is to be able to make yourself understood. I don't speak any Italian at all. In only one day time, I learned some small words like prego or grazie. "Excusa" is not a name, but we had a good laugh over it.

Coming home from wandering around town, we soothed our tired bodies by sinking in a foambath and took some time to relax. Our friend wanted to cook diner for us, so we said goodbye for a while. She had some errands to run and some cooking to do. I sneaked out of my room to pay a visit to the local supermarket. I'm always looking for foreign specialties and I must say: I regret my suitcase was nearly full on my way to Trieste. Because there were so many different kinds of pasta I wanted to bring home.. The packages would add too much weight to my suitcase, so I only picked two.

Tomorrow morning in the early hours we'll take the train to Venice. It'll be a 2 hour ride but I'm sure it will be worth it. Let's hope the wind won't follow us all the way to Venice, because it nearly froze my nose off today. I forgot to take pictures today. I'll make up for that tomorrow..

Friday, November 11, 2011

I live on the second floor

You're just too funny. I knew whippets like to lay on top of one another, but you're just too much.. If you were a human being, you would probably prefer an apartment over a house. You would definitely live on the second floor.. Rebba has no choice but to bear you laying on top of her. Not just with one leg, but with her full body, Inthe lays on top of Rebba. That must be pretty heavy for Rebba, but she manages. That's how both of you like to sleep and spend your day on the couch: warm, cosy and loved..

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A puuurrrrrfect moment

By now, we're almost in Trieste, Italy. That is, my friend and undersigned. This is the perfect moment to go visit our lovely friend, who is staying in Trieste for 6 months. We have missed her and her amazing stories and adventures. We hear her pretty often on the Internet and Skype is a good solution too, but it's not to be compared to seeing each other live, is it?

She has no idea we will show up at her doorstep today. She'll be thrilled and over the moon! I know she will jump up and down and so will we! We'll have a great time in Italy, trust me. Four days are short, but we'll make the most of it. It's my first visit to Italy and I don't speak any Italian, but that's part of the fun.

Babe, here we come! Be prepared for some hectic and awesome days!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


1985, I was 14. There was this one particular song I just loved to hear. On MTV we would watch the clip. It was always an emotional moment.. On YouTube I tracked the song and let my oldest daughter enjoy it. It brought me back in time, but it no longer made me emotional. Times have changed. Techniques have advanced too and the clip is a bit outdated now. My daughter loved it though. She thought it was a bit creepy to see all those different faces.

I still like the song as well as the lyrics. I never heard from Godley & Creme again, but the sound of this one specific song never left me. I like to look back and songs are a good way to bring back memories..

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Brave people

Some people have an enormous strength in them. They are more brave than others will ever be. Is there a certain experience in life that gave them the strength to be courageous or is it just the way they came into this life?

I know some very brave people. They have been through a couple of extreme ordeals. Every time they went through hell, they crawled back up, cried in despair, fought back and struggled on. Up to the point where they found a way to heal. I have a deep respect for these people. They are an example for many, a role model to look up to. Life wasn't easy for them and they have been damaged in their early childhood, in times when they needed to be loved and nurtured.

This one particular friend is going to be a wonderful mom. I keep my fingers crossed for her, that she may soon see the first ultrasound of a child of their own. It is her deepest wish and she will get there. Because courageous people don't give up. They do what they need to do, they hang on, they set new limits and they keep going. Because that's what the past taught them: they have to rely on themselves to get a better life.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I don't like to make phone calls. Not professionally and not privately. I don't know why, but I only make phone calls if there's no other way to contact someone. I like some privacy if I make phone calls. Imagine how happy I was to find out you could email people instead of calling them. There's no need to disturb someone if you send an email. They can read your message whenever they feel like it. There are no office hours to send mails. It's just the perfect solution, at least for me... Don't hate me for not picking up my phone. I like to turn it off at night. Cell phones are a very good invention, but they can be a plague as well. People expect you to be available at all times. I don't always have the time or energy to have long conversations on the phone. If I have no time to answer my phone, I'd rather skip the call. I like to have a one on one conversation without interruptions. Email... that's the answer.. email.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay. Isn't that sad? And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me... That is too bad. 
In my dreams I have a plan: If I get me a wealthy man,
I wouldn't have to work at all.
I'd fool around and have a ball..

Working three jobs, I could've been wealthy. The circumstances decided otherwise. I barely had any money to live. I had no money to eat a healthy diet or bring my clothes to the dry cleaner. There was no budget to have dinner with friends, go to the movies or relax at the hair dresser's. There was nothing but bills, debts and poverty, moneywise.

My main job was teaching. I worked full time as a kindergarten teacher. Apparently, there were some issues with my contract, so I didn't get paid for 7 months. That money was not lost, but just not available to hand me my pay cheque. Living by myself, I needed to make sure I had money to pay the rent and live my life. So I decided to find a second job. It didn't take me long. Looking after 5 kids at night, every night of the week. Helping them with homework, making sure they took their bath and they got fed. It paid peanuts, although the family was more than wealthy. I needed the money, so I took care of the kids, keeping in mind that I might need a third job to pay all the bills.

In the newspaper I saw an add to work as a waitress in a nearby restaurant. Having no proper transportation at the time, the owner of the restaurant decided he would come pick me up and take me home after the service. And that's exactly what he did, because I was good at doing my job. It meant no more baby sitting on weekends and some extra money - not a lot, because you don't make a fortune working as a waitress on weekends.. At least, the cook offered me decent, hot meals.. something I had lacked too often in the previous months.

Working three jobs and living all by myself was my choice. I don't regret doing what I did. It was a pain and yes, I was exhausted. But it also meant freedom. It meant I had the chance to grow (up) and take care of myself.
It didn't matter that I ate box loads of honey pops instead of home cooked meals. I could care less that one day I was dressed in jeans and T-shirts and the next day in a party dress. I was proud that I managed to live my dream and live all by myself. I didn't feel deprived of anything, since it gave me the chance to be independent. It would have been a whole lot nicer and easier if I would've had some money to my name, but it wasn't the case and what's the use of crying over spilled milk? I was young, healthy and motivated to get myself a decent future.

Is this the independence I would recommend to my children? Not exactly.. I hope they'll have a better start in life. I hope they will have a decent place to live and a proper job with a respectable pay check. They won't have to work 3 jobs to survive. Life doesn't have to be that hard on them. No matter what their choices in life will be, we'll be there to support them. They will have the chance to grow and make their own mistakes. We'll be there to catch them when they fall. They'll crawl up, move on and learn their lessons. But it doesn't have to be that hard.. they deserve better. I deserved better.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stirrups and reins

I have never liked sports. It's so not me... I don't like to compete and I never got the logic behind sports games.
I don't care who wins or loses. I just can't be bothered.
I don't like the yelling that comes with sports like soccer or the comments given on cycling on TV. The only sports that got my attention, was horse back riding. I didn't see it as sports, maybe that's why I liked it that much.

My favorite horse was Torro. He was huge! I know I was a kid back then and all horses were huge in our eyes, but really, Torro was immense. It was the sweetest and kindest horse I had ever met. I used to ride Wilstar before Torro came to stay in the riding school. There was something about Torro that was so appealing to me.
I could barely get on his back - the teacher used to help me - but once I found a good seat, the fun began. Torro was real gentle with me.
I loved the rhythm of the trotting, before we came one in a flowing gallop. For 5 years, Torro was my soulmate.
I went to the riding school twice a week. Cleaning stables to finance my riding lessons, I spent quite some time with Torro. So many occasions to caress the soft spot on his nose, to clean his eyes and brush his fur. He was all shiny after brushing him.

I have a bamboo box that keeps memories safe. I found several youth pictures in that box. One of those pictures was an old picture of me, sitting on Torro and stroking his neck. On the back of the photo, a piece of tape is holding 3 hairs. My fingers touched the picture and just for one moment, I could smell Torro. Whoever went horse back riding, knows what the specific scent of horses smells like. I closed my eyes and let my mind go back in time. It felt good and warm.

Torro got older and trotting wasn't easy for him in the end. So the stable owner decided Torro was ready to retire. They sold him and I never went back to the riding school.. I just couldn't ride a different horse..

Friday, November 4, 2011


Pioneer Square, Portland, Oregon.
Two young women are sitting on the steps, sipping their Starbuck's Frappucino and enjoying a moist chocolate chip muffin. The sun is out and the place is getting more crowded. Pigeons are picking at a leftover brownie. Both women are chitchatting. Most bystanders have no clue what they are talking about, since they are babbling in some other language.
A man with an umbrella is watching over them. He's very quiet and every time those women are on Pioneer Square, he's there.
Discussing the contents of their goody bags from Nordstrom, both women keep their eyes on the other guests on the square. Interesting people, colorful crowd. Every now and then, they spot Europeans. They are not hard to find..
Sitting on the steps cools down their bottoms, but they don't seem to notice. They are having a good time on this lazy Saturday morning. This outing has become a weekly habit. It's great to watch people and comment whoever passes by.
We were very aware other people-watchers were doing the same thing. I miss Marloes. I miss her Dutch character and her bright laughter. We had a wonderful time together. She's doing well. Every now and then we get in touch. My time in Portland, Oregon would not have been the same without her or Pioneer Square..

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Not today, not just yet..

Photo by Lana Joos
As soon as Dad gets dressed, you point your ears, hop off the couch and follow him around like a shadow. It's like you make the link between Dad getting dressed and going for a walk. He sometimes tries to fool you, by walking around the dining table in circles. You follow him, your nose close to his leg. He starts to go a little faster and you speed up too. Even running around the table doesn't make you give up. But when Dad turns around and runs in the opposite direction, you fool him! You didn't turn around. You just stayed put and waited for him to approach you..

Photo by Lana Joos
He had to let you down though. Too much rain. Not a pleasant day to go for a walk. At least not for humans. To you, rain is party time! You love to race around the fields on rainy days. You are probably not a real whippet though.. Most whippets prefer to stay inside when it's pouring out there. They prefer a duvet day over a brisk walk in the rain. But not you! So you cry and give Dad your saddest puppy look.. until he gives in. You are as happy as a hound can be and you warn Rebba, who is still not prepared to move one bit. She hides under her blanket and pretends not to be there. Until Dad is ready to go. Rebba does not want to be left behind, so she races to the hallway, lets us put on her leash and defies the bad weather.. I guess Inthe won the bet: Dad gave in..

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Together we're strong

Photo by Lana Joos

Friends are important. Friends are crucial. Friends are there when you feel down or when you want to share happiness. Friends come and go and some friends will stay for life. They come along in your life to teach you lessons and it's your job to make the most of it.

Nurture the friendship and don't take it for granted. Once friendship becomes a one way direction, people tend to give up. It takes effort and commitment, love and sympathy to feed a friendship, so it can grow and become even more intense. Together we're strong, together we can conquer the world.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Careless Whisper

Having teens in the house, makes you relive your own puberty. I love to look back and the memories often make me smile and my eyes shine. Just like our youngest daughter, I was 14 and in highschool. I had this boyfriend that I was not allowed to have. He was a bad boy: too old for me, too experienced, too out of school. But I looked up to him and he showed me a world I had not entered before.

He would wait for me after school and take me for a drink in a nearby club. It was dark in there and I was not allowed as a minor. I don't remember how he got me in, but he managed every single time. We would have a drink (I didn't drink any alcohol though) and we would dance and make out.

Last week, I heard George Michael's Careless Whisper on the radio. I instantly smiled, because it brought me back to the club. I don't even recall the name of the place, but I remember the songs they used to play... and the memories that came with it..