Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The excitable greeting syndrome

Whippets are not that common in our neighborhood. People give us a strange look when we walk our dogs, as if they want to say: what the heck? They probably think we don't feed them - although they are not even that slim. When we tell they are whippets, many reply: oh? Are that the Spanish dogs, that have been abused? nope... those are the Galgo breed..

If we would have to describe the breed, I think most whippet lovers would agree:
  • elegant
  • athletic
  • fast as lightening
  • thieves (they steal the meat out of the pan on the stove in an instant)
  • loving
  • great huggers
  • caring
  • best friends
  • love to live together with other whippets
  • racists (they love all sighthounds, but they despise other breeds, sorry)
  • supersweet
Playing hide and seek is a fun game. It's worth many pictures when you think of it. Rebba loves to play hide and seek. She finds the best spot on the couch, covers her eyes with her front legs or hides her head underneath a pillow and thinks she's pretty much invisible. What a doll!
Whippets all suffer from the excitable greeting syndrome. Whether you went to the bathroom for 5 minutes or you left the house for 4 hours, they are extremely excited to see you return. They lick your face, hug you, climb your back and wash your ears. The happy look in their eyes is priceless.. You can't but love them.. And that's what we do..

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wanna go for a ride?

There is this company in Eeklo, a town nearby our hometown. A young man is exploiting this place with all his heart. Making sure business goes well, he has 14 buses driving around the country, taking people to wherever they want to go. I heard so many good things about Robby Cars, that I checked out their website. To my surprise, they don't only have regular buses, but they also have a unique Oldtimer bus! To be exact, it's an original Fiat by Hool - built in 1967. It seats 28 people and it's the perfect transportation for weddings and other festivities. If you think buses drive too fast for you, why not try the authentic horse tram? Beautiful Häflinger horses pull the tram. What a wonderful idea for family gatherings. There are plenty of occasions to call Robby Cars and arrange a wonderful day out with your loved ones. Make sure to plan ahead if you want to be a guest on the horse tram or have your wedding on the oldtimer bus. Robby will be more than willing to answer all of your questions and give you a day to remember. Oh, and if you are looking for airport transportation? Give Robby a call... he won't drive you by horse tram or oldtimer bus, but you will get great service for a reasonable price. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Could it be the weather?

So many of my diabetic friends tell me that their blood glucose is way out of control. Could it be that time of the year? Falling of the leaves, the Indian summer that is getting wiped out by autumn? I don't know, but every year the same story is being told. Doctors would probably declare us plain stupid, but then again, they don't have D. They don't have to deal with it every freaking day. I'm so sick of it for the moment. It's grabbing me by the throat and I can't find the energy to fight back. I know it would be better to take a closer look at my basal pattern and see if something needs to change. Yesterday I finally managed to open the software that comes with my insulin pump. The numbers the program spitted out, didn't make me real happy though. Lowest BG 44 - highest 442. Great.. Just what I had expected it to be. Bye bye better A1c. I'm going up again and I can't do much about it. Maybe I have to accept that life can't always be a party... So for everyone out here, who's struggling with D: screw the disease! Let us get better and take over control. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Suzy Q

Sometimes you get to know someone who gives you the feeling you've been friends for all times. A mutual friend got us introduced and instantly, we started talking. Too many hobbies we share and we understand each other just like that. Although she's Canadian, she lives in Holland, married to a man who's half Dutch. Apparently, he grew up in the neighborhood I'm living in. Did I say that there are no coincidences?

We started mailing that very same day. We share the same love for baking and cooking. Just the other day, I was completing my online cookbook with a recipe for apple crostata. I got a Facebook update from Suzy Q, and guess what it said? "I'm baking an apple crostini".. I was like: what? that sounds like my apple crostata. I wonder what an apple crostini is.. To my surprise, Suzy Q had mixed up the words and she was actually making an apple crostata, not crostini.. I had never made this recipe before and neither had she. Then how come we were both making the same thing at the same time? There's a connection somehow..

She's a very brave woman. Having survived a previous marriage and breast cancer, she hangs in and doesn't give up. I love her attitude towards life. Too bad she lives in Holland. I bet we would visit a lot and cook together if we had the means. But for now, I enjoy her scribbles on Facebook and the recipes she shares. You are a wonderful woman, Suzy Q! I'm sending you some good vibes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The never ending fatigue

I'm at the end of my rope.. really.. I'm so damn tired that my eyes sting and I want to do nothing else but sleep. I shouldn't be tired after a night rest of 8 hours, but I am. I don't wake up to go to the bathroom at night, so that can't be the problem. During the day, I would really love to take a nap. Sometimes my eye lids are so heavy, I want to lay down my head and sleep. But I don't give in. No naps during the day, unless my BG are so out of range that there is no other option. The thing is, being that tired is not very helpful in getting things done. I don't seem to get anywhere. There's so much work around the house and I can do so little. I work no more than 10 hours a week but nevertheless, our house needs to be cleaned and I'm not getting there. I feel so much pressure, so many chores that await me, that I'm losing it. I'm having a hard time focusing and I no longer feel like a woman (aren't women supposed to be able to do a zillion things at the same time? well, I can't...). My muscles and joints hurt. My back aches and my knee tells me to slow down. The shoulders could do with a massage and my neck screams for a therma care blanket. If only my blood glucose would work with me instead of against me. That would be helpful too... 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reach out

Depression     Guns     Imperfection     Suicide     Self-mutilation    Anorexia    Perfection     Destruction

I try to reach out. If only you could grab my hand and touch. The negative spiral you have landed in, is dragging you down. Don't let it happen. Please reach for the light and climb up. The sun is out there. I know you have people supporting you in staying down there, in the dark. Let us in to your world so we can learn about it. I can teach you about a different world, where words as

Happiness    Luck     Love   Contentment     Friendship     Family     Values     Sun     Positivity    

take control... Did you know there is a scale of negative and positive thoughts? Why not choose the other side? When did things go so wrong, that you chose to step on the scale of negativity? How can we help you? Can you see that things are not going well? We love you so much, that it's devastating to see you drift into a world so destructive. My heart is crying and hurting so bad for we cannot find a way to reach out to you. Please help us in helping you get better..

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I had a curfew as a teen. It was midnight sharp. I had a curfew when I was in the US, working as an au pair. The curfew said, I had to write down on a piece of paper where I was and what time I expected to be home. I could leave the note in my room on my desk, just in case my host family needed to contact me for some reason.

I'm married now. I no longer have to stick to a curfew. I know me.. when I'm having a good time, I don't pay attention to the clock. I forget to contact my family to let them know when I'll be home. I'm getting better though. I try to stick more to the hour I had in mind.

Our girls have curfews when they go out. They have different curfews, since they are not the same age. We have a third daughter for 3 months. She loves to go out. Setting a curfew for her is not easy. In Italy, she's used to going out every night. Over here, things are a little different. There's not much to do around here. You need to drive a while to find a good place to dance and have a good time. Kids don't go out at 8:00 PM. They don't leave the house before 11:00 PM or midnight. Then it's hard to tell them to be home by 1:00 AM, isn't it? We need to find a way for our exchange student to be able to go out and have a good time, without leaving us worrying about her safety. We don't want her to get into a car of someone who's been drinking. After all, she's like a daughter to us and we are responsible for her. Don't want to imagine what could happen to her while being out... Just be careful, okay?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What will tomorrow bring?

In life, you never know what the next day will bring you. Enjoying the time we have and making the most of every day, is all we can do. We should live our life to the fullest, so we don't regret things we missed out on.

Today is your birthday. You have experienced a situation that made you realize how important it is to enjoy every moment we have on this planet. It has made you even stronger than you already were. I admire you for your strength, your positive attitude, your courage. Although you are tiny and fragile, you are stronger than many others. You never gave up, you kept going and you kept believing in a good outcome. I'm proud to call you my sister-in-law. Have a very happy birthday!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweet encounters

I never hesitate to answer these phone calls. When I hear that special ringtone, it cheers me up instantly. She's a great motivator and a wonderful listener. We meet up every now and then, to have a chit chat over lunch. We always talk about diabetes. She teaches me new things and I ask her for advice, tips and tricks. We talk about life and issues, worries and joy. You know, the usual stuff women talk about when they meet up (sorry guys, it's just different with girls, although some men are really good at having these conversations too). She's an expert in her field and I love to talk with her. She's been such a good friend to me and she has this way of cheering me up when things are not going that smoothly. We sure laugh a lot and I always feel relieved after one of our dates. We shouldn't wait that long for the next encounter...

Thursday, October 11, 2012


There's a really great group on Facebook, called Dog-Shaming. It's a group where dog owners can post pictures of their dogs misbehaving. It's hilarious at times - although we would probably not laugh if it were our dogs... I think I could post some pictures of our dogs as well.. They have ruined the couch, eaten my glasses and laptop charger, one stole my grilled tuna steak off the stove, and guess what? They look soooo innocent when you see them. But when you come home after they have been into trouble, they know! They try to hide and give me their best look ever, but immediately I smell their mischief. The problem is that you can never catch them by surprise. They behave when you are around, but if they are all by themselves? ttsss....

Today I would like to post a picture of our Rebba, for keeping us awake at night with her barking sessions. There are no medical problems and having sleepovers at other people's houses give no problems: in fact, they are like angels in someone else's house?! We could do with some rest at night.

So this is the Shame Board for Inthe: I dug a hole in the couch, so I can rest my head when I want to take a nap.

The Shame hat for Rebba to wear: I love to call my peeps in the middle of the night. I make sure they pity me. It's great to see them downstairs whenever I bark.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yo no hablo espanol

In the old days, when I was still a teenager, I took Spanish classes for a while. Not that I remember much of it, but I do remember I liked the sound of the language. "Donde esta el mercado" is one of the lines I recall. Of course there are some words we all know. Think of "cerveza" or "agua". But I don't drink beer so there's not much use in knowing that word, is there?

Madrid was wonderful. People were right when they warned us that most Spanish people don't speak other languages. It's damn hard to make yourself understood if you don't speak Spanish. You can try to explain in English or French but that doesn't help one bit. Saying: Hablo un poquito de espanol, does not encourage the other to speak slower or use simple sentences. I hate it when I can't express myself in the language of the country we're visiting. But hey! We survived, didn't we? I got myself a pair of new boots and we managed to get food in our bodies, so our Spanish isn't that bad after all.

For three days, we had the chance to discover this vibrant city. Full of tourists, it's hard to find the locals. But they are there! They just don't look like the stereotype Spanish person I had in mind. How could I be so stupid to think that all Spanish people are short, have black hair and dark eyes? Because they don't. I saw tall blonde girls, that didn't look Spanish at all, but by the sound of their fluently spoken Spanish, they must have been natives.

I'm no fan of the Spanish cuisine though. Can't understand why so many are fond of tapas. They don't look appealing to me at all. We were happy to have found a fine Italian ristorante, behind the wonderful Opera building. I will try to make my own Spanish tortilla though..

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mucha Marcha in Madrid

A city full of life and entertainment. Who wouldn't want to go? Exactly.. Our bags are packed and our hands are holding the tickets . I'm really looking forward to this city trip. Although hubby has to work on Monday, we will have two days to spend together in this vibrant city. While the rest of the family is staying at home, we will be enjoying the weather (27°C!), the scenery and the company. I packed comfortable shoes for I heard there's a lot of walking to be done. It's kinda weird to put skirts, tank tops and shorts in that suitcase, since fall in Belgium is in full swing. It will do us good though, to feel the sunbeams on our faces and have some quiet time. Our girls have their own plans for the weekend and the dogs will spend their vacation with their canine friends in Holland.

Hasta la vista!

Friday, October 5, 2012

In the blink of an eye

You were ecstatic when you told us, your boyfriend had a puppy. It was something nobody had expected, since he didn't really have a heart for dogs. He was even a bit afraid of canine pets. He got to meet our two whippets and along the line, he fell in love with the dogs and he started to long for a dog of his own. You were so proud when he told you they had got a puppy! His siblings gave him the name Bruno (after they decided Snow White was not an appropriate name for a black dog...) and they did real well at teaching him tricks.

Since your boyfriend went to University, you didn't have much chance to visit him or see little Bruno. This week you told me that you missed both and you wanted to go over to his house for a visit. We planned for you to go this weekend. You really looked forward to seeing them!

Your boyfriend texted you late that evening. It was a horrible text message. Little Bruno had died.. He was run over by a car.. You were devestated and in tears. Oooh sweetie... I could feel your pain. I even felt hurt and I had not even met little Bruno. We couldn't do much more than hold you and comfort you. It won't take the pain away, I know. I wish it were different. One day we were talking about Bruno and then, in the blink of an eye..

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Is it contagious?

I didn't sleep well last night. Talking to several people about your peeing problem, I got more and more convinced that you had diabetes. You drink a lot and you have to go pee way too many times, day and night. As soon as your bowl of food is empty, you give me that look as if you haven't had anything to eat. The alarm bell started to ring. What if she had.. ??? The symptoms sounded too familiar. She didn't loose any weight though (well, 300 grams since last time, but that's because both whippets are on a diet). I felt real sorry for her.

This morning I drove the 40 min ride to the animal clinic in Holland. The vets were going to take a closer look at you and have your bloodwork checked. Inthe came along for moral support.. The vet said you looked fab and you appeared to be in great condition. Nevertheless, he said the peeing issue needed to be solved, no discussion about that. He shaved a part of your front leg while his assistant was comforting you. You were very brave and quiet and Inthe was so interested in seeing what the vet was doing that she looked as if frozen.

Now we need to wait.. The results won't come in until tomorrow. If the blood results are negative, you will have to do another exam: a urine test. If that comes out negative as well, the problem will be psychological he assumes. Eeeuuuggghhhh... meaning??? Indeed, if the problem is psychological, Rebba will need to see a behavioral therapist. The vet believes Rebba is faking her problem. That it's a way of seeking attention. Is she a rebellious teenager now? I can't believe I'm hearing this..

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just you and me

We need those special mother and daughter moments. They are valuable and they are moments to cherish. Both of you were asked to look for an activity we could do together. I had overheard you talk about getting a massage numerous times. So it wasn't too hard to plan that activity. You've had some strenuous days and your muscles deserved some rest. Two staff members treated us at the same time in the beauty salon. It felt great to spend some special time with you and our bodies are all smooth and relaxed now. We can only benefit from it. Thank you for being you. You are the best you can be.


your mom

Monday, October 1, 2012

I don't like Mondays

Don't we all remember the song by the Boomtown Rats? The story behind the lyrics was pretty scary and the message was clear.
Let's say I do like Mondays, I really do. The kids go back to school, hubby goes to work. There's just me, the pets and groceries to run. I like to sit on the couch in the morning, my Latte Macchiato just the right temperature and the perfect colored layers. I make my grocery list, thinking about the menu for the upcoming week. No time to hop in that shower yet because I need to do this in pajamas. That's just part of the fun. The radio is playing its music in the background and besides the ticking of the glass rocks in the fishtank, there's no other sound than the tapping on the keyboard of my laptop. Arthur is having a sun bath in the window sill and the dogs are cuddling up in their beds. I love the beginning of the month. It's always a fresh start financially, meaning I can be a little less creative than in the previous week. I have several stores to visit today. Finally need to buy that heater for Eva's room, need to fill up that freezer with meat and consorts, have to run to the post office to get that paperwork where it needs to go. Would like to walk the dogs this afternoon, since the sun is really wonderful and they need their space to run. I'm sure I will enjoy this day. Can't wait to put away the groceries and start to cook...