Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Payday

The Mosquitoes feasted on me in the night, despite spraying myself with repellant several times.
Nasty bloody creatures.

It's a day of cleaning and sorting.
Better get things done while it's still cool in the house.

And then ice cream.
Because why not?


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mr O.D.

Son#1 ate 55 multivitamins, thinking they were sweets.

Mr OverDose/Oppositional Defiance.
The bad part is that he lied to me about it - a looking me straight in the eye, sincere voiced lie.
I burst into tears, and so did he.

Walk the straight and narrow, sweetcakes.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

In all States

So much has happened and continues to develop.
I'm in my last week of rehab.
The last 4 weeks have dropped me way low.

I have been to see the immunologist again (and again: it's some pre-phase of some systemic auto-immune disease).
The immunologist gave me Lyrica which made me high as a kite.
Buh-bye, Lyrica.

Rehab might continue after the summer.
I'm still waiting to hear.

Son#2 got his hand stuck in my treadmill, which unscrupulously ripped the skin off of 2 fingers.

Second degree burns.
My bunny.

Then the results of Sons#2 and 3's tests.
Son#3 is a wee genius, his IQ off the charts - regular schools won't offer him much for long.
Social emotional level at age 8 (he's 5).

It sounds so promising, to have an uber gifted child, but really, it's the other end of the special education spectrum.
Plus, it has so little to do with performance, but rather the need to be stimulated on an entirely different level.

Son#2 is starting to get all the problems they predicted at birth.
Considering he's missing 25% of his brain, I am proud as freaking punch.

We think he's grand.
But it felt like grieving all over again.
My nose spurted blood when the psychologist told us, high blood pressure brought on by acute stress.
What fragile beings us humans are.

Next week we are exchanging homes with a British family close to Dartmoor.
I'm looking forward so much.

Then, at the beginning of September, I'm returning to work.
We'll see how it goes - I might work in research or as student dean (which I would love).
I'm trying my best to just let it happen, without my stirring.

It's hot here in the Nether Lands.
Terrorist attacks strike closer and closer.
Trump might become president (and what a horrific day that would be).

The husband has gone off to some food festival.
Son#1 will turn 11 on Wednesday, and has slight scoliosis.


First,  holidays.
We shall overcome.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Once in a while

A lot of things have happened in the past few months.

My mother came and went again.
I am still employed by the university, but probably soon to be fired.
I am still sick with fever, pain, malaise and fatigue.
I have started a rehab program to build up stamina and endurance, and to learn to live with whatever is wrong with me.
It is tough going:  swimming, walking, lifting weights in gyms and talking - lots of talking.
I'm going back to the immunologist in July. 

 Sons#2 and #3 have been tested for intelligence and social development, all in an effort to find good schools that will suit them best.
We have been on holiday to Germany, and will go to Devon in the summer.
I have been putting my feelers out for a new job, just in case I get fired before I'm ready for it.

We discovered a mouse colony under the shed.
They've been eating my oh-so-lovingly-cultivated veggies that I was trying my damndest to grow in pots.
The mice must die.

Son#1 is still seeing his therapist, and enjoys it too.
He ran away from school again a few weeks ago, and I had to drive around the village asking scared elderly people if they had seen a boy with a Santa Claus hat on his head (which he was wearing - in early June).
One old man on a bicycle replied:  "I'm just a pensioner!" 

We didn't adopt Dennis the Cat, which, considering the mouse problem, might have been a good idea.

It is a tumultuous year.




Monday, April 18, 2016


We drove all the way down to Leuca, right to the tip of Italy's heel.
There is less rubbish by the side of the road here.

Leuca was gorgeous - quiet and sunny.
The husband and I drank coffee and wine, ice cream.for lunch (the only gluten free option).
Smoked olive oil (what a find!!) for the husband's lunch.

We followed the coastal road north towards Otranto, but were too pooped to go explore Otranto too.

Back to Lecce.
Wild figs everywhere!

Tonight - our last night in Italy - we'll return to last night's steak restaurant for dinner.
Food is good here, and for a gluten-infused country like Italy, they are very aware of the celiac's diseasers who cannot indulge.

We miss our boys terribly.
They go with us all the time.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Brindisi to Gallipoli

Breakfast in Brindisi.
We strolled the boulevard, drank double fortifying cappucinos.

We stopped at Porto Selvaggio, where I waited in the car while the husband walked down to the coastline.

I'm having a pathetic pain day, and I have a good book.

Then on, to Gallipoli.

It is a wonderful place, for its simplicity and beauty, on a ledge of the Ionian Sea.
Just Go.

We had a long drive, nearly gave up on Gallipoli after we stopped for lunch at Santa Maria di Bagno.

Italy has an outward-culture: it screams 'Look at me!'
Gallipoli was different.

We drank Limoncello.
We accidentally crashed a funeral where black-clad gents rested against a building outside the church.
(We only noticed on exiting the church)

We are sleeping in Lecce for 2 nights.
We have a nice apartment with a well-stocked bar and terrace where we can sit outside watching the swallows dipping high.

Tomorrow: Otranto and Leuca.


Saturday, April 16, 2016


The plane.
Beautiful views of the Alps and the Croatian coastline.

Run-down but building it all back up.
I love the chaos and the potential.
Will it keep its character?
Or sell out to the almighty god of Tourism?

An Electric Ave Maria at the Piaza Duomo.
The Catholic Church is trying to keep up with whatever is hip & happening, and in this case it is a Neon Halo.

The husband and I ate too much.
A mountain of gluten-free Risotto.
There must be some genetic tolerance for carbohydrates built into the Italian DNA.

The youth all look the same.
Stove-piped jeans, rolled up, will be the new rage.
We saw the exchanging of pills of ill-repute on the street.
Boys have big hair, girls have short skirts with black tights and dark lipstick.
It's like Rick Astley-meets-The Adams Family.

Tomorrow Lecce, Otranto and Gallipoli.


Friday, April 15, 2016

The very worst part

It has to be leaving my boys behind while the husband and I prance around in Italy.
So I let Son#3 fall asleep in my bed, while Son#2 is sleeping at grandma's in the guest flat and Son#1 is watching tv with the husband.

The anxiety of 'will I see them again'.
I'll only get to kiss their cheeky cheeks again on Tuesday night!


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hard day's night

I am pain-suffused this morning.
There are grey hairs (!!) to colour away.
Laundry and groceries, a life to organize for loved ones in the Nether Lands while the husband and I are in Brindisi this weekend.
It sounds like fun but I'm not looking forward to the travel-bit.
But plonk me down on a chair with Limoncello in hand and I'll be a-okay.

In a while, I'll try to put the eye patch on Son#2 again.
I expect ranting and raving.

One keeps doing things, regardless of pain because one wouldn't have any kind of life otherwise.
Pain is a snake, and I slither along with it on its back.

There are flowers on the pear tree and sunny, blue skies all around.
Today will be o.k.

Then I got a letter from the university where I teach, stating that they expect improvement only in the looooong term.
A stubborn part of my disordered personality shouts
'I'll be the judge of that!'
But they're probably correct, and that miffs me no end.
Flyyyy, fly awaaaaay.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fisticuffs and repetition

A loooooong day.
Son#2 (with whom I had a godawful clash) started skateboard lessons.
Within an hour he was staying upright and going down ramps.

We ate tortillas for dinner, which made life feel summery and nice.

Tomorrow, attempt #2 to see Son#2's eye specialist.
The hospital cancelled our appointment WITHOUT LETTING US KNOW.
I should charge them for the time and petrol it cost me, never mind the pure grief and suffering trying to get that dreaded eye patch on Son#2.
And tomorrow we have to do it again...