My Love Of Reading

A few days ago a fellow BookCrosser asked for children’s books. I had a few so I send her a box. There were a few books I had read as a child.

Lotje

These books were used for learning to read. Nowadays this happens in small groups I’ve been told. Groups of children that are on the same level. In my time we had to read with the whole class. It didn’t matter if you were ahead or behind on your reading skills. This is what we read and you have to do it.

Now I’ve always been an avid reader. Ever since I started to read I’ve been reading everything that I could get my hands on. My mom took me to the library when I was very little and when I was 4 I got my own library card. In these days (and it’s not that long ago) a child couldn’t get a library card if they were younger than 4. It’s quite different now, thankfully.

So these books triggered a few happy memories and quite a few bad ones as well.

“Frouk, would you read the next paragraph?” Well, I would, but I had no idea where in heaven’s name we were. Being ahead of my class in reading I silently read more than I should have and lost where the rest of the class was in the book. This, of course, got me into trouble quite a few times.

“Frouk, you can’t read that book, it’s too advanced for you.” No, it wasn’t. I had read that particular book from the library and enjoyed it so much I wanted to read it again. It was supposed to be for the class ahead of ours and me reading it got me into trouble again.
This happened a lot and after a while I didn’t want to read books from the library anymore. When my mom heard why not she went to our teacher and I got moved ahead (as the only one in my class) just for reading. I know soon after that they’ve changed the way they taught children how to read, but I’m not sure if my case had anything to do with that.

“You can’t borrow book from that section.” Our library had three children’s sections; 6-9, 9-12, 12-16. And in these days you weren’t even allowed to wander into a different section of you were choosing your own books. Now I started reading books for the ages 9-12 when I was 7. My mom and dad applauded this and always encouraged me to read whatever I wanted (within limits of course). But the library wasn’t that encouraging and it got me into trouble a few times.

“You can’t come in here 3 times a week and constantly borrowing books.” Yes, this was actually said to me by a librarian. Our library was open three afternoons a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And every single one of these days I was there, borrowing more books. By this time the limit was only 3 books and I read them all in two days. Kids books just aren’t as thick as adult books. Luckily my mom was there and told them I could come in as many times as I’d like, provided I brought back the books I’d previously borrowed.

“You can’t borrow boys books.” My favourite book series are ‘boys’ books. But apparently girls can’t read those books. I’m still not sure why. In the following years I’ve heard this many times (never by my family) and never stopped reading those books. On the contrary, my love for ‘boys’ books has grown and I’m buying them whenever I find them in charity shops.

“Your mom needs to borrow her own books.” By the time I was 14 I’d pretty much read the entire children’s section. My mom gave me permission to borrow ‘adult’ books. Of course the library did not agree with me borrowing adult books and my mom had to come with me every time I wanted to borrow books. By this time I was in high school and had homework, friends and sport, so my reading time was reduced quite a bit. The maximum amount of books was upped from 3 to 5, so this meant I was only in there about once a week. It took quite a bit of persuasion before I was actually allowed to take adult books and sometimes still got into trouble with it.

“Why are you always reading?” Again, said by a librarian. And still, I have no idea why she said this. You are in a library, what do you expect people to do? Maybe it was because I was in the check out line and many times I started reading while waiting. I don’t know.

“Why have you chosen the hardest books?” We had to read 10 books for our exams in high school. And I did not choose the thinnest, easiest books, like my classmates did. And of course this triggered a lot of abuse from them. They thought me reading thicker books would have an impact on their grade. I don’t think it had any effect. Only their own actions had an effect on their grades.

“Why would you even read such a thick book?” Said to me by a teacher. Yes, a teacher… I was reading The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough at the time. And, as you might know, this books is almost 700 pages. So why? Because I’d seen the mini series and I enjoyed them and I enjoyed reading the book as well.

Luckily, all these snarky comments have never stopped me from reading. I’m very grateful to my dad, who let me borrow his Kameleon books when I was just 7 years old, and to my mom, who always encouraged my love of reading.

old cover (1955)

What does a medication switch mean for a thyroid patient?

25 years ago I got the diagnosis Graves’ disease. I’d been having problems with weight loss (22KG in 2 weeks), terrible headaches, palpitations, fatigue and psychological problems. After the initial diagnosis I’ve been taking Thyrax. The pharmacy tried to switch me to different antithyroid drugs twice. Twice it nearly got me into hospital.

So, now Aspen Pharmaceutical has stopped all production of Thyrax for a so-called “move”. They basically said they won’t be producing any Thyrax for the next 6 to 9 months. What does this mean for me?

It means fluctuating thyroid levels. This will make me very ill. It’ll mean psychological problems, it’ll means heart problems, it’ll mean bowel problems, it’ll mean eye problems, it’ll mean pain, it’ll mean fatigue, it’ll mean regular blood work to be done, it’ll mean weight loss, it’ll mean weight gain, it’ll mean skin problems, it’ll mean hyperventilation, it’ll mean headaches.

Is there anyone who cares? Basically, no. The GP says he can’t do anything, the pharmacy say they can’t do anything, the government say they can’t do anything. It certainly looks like they are trying to kill off the first group of chronically ill people…

 

Do you donate to your local food bank?

Last year all the provincial broadcasters got together to coordinate a giant food donation drive for the food banks in the Netherlands.

This year they are doing this food drive again.

voedselbankactie

Last year I donated lots of food. This year I intent to do it again. But what is best to donate? Mum in the Madhouse made a lovely list, that I could borrow for this post!

  1. Tuna – It’s packed full of protein and can be cooked as part of a meal or eaten straight from the can
  2. Things with ring pulls – Yep, This is probably one of the biggest tips I can give you! Homeless people often don’t carry tin openers due to the amount of stuff they have to carry around so if the tin of food you give doesn’t have a ring pull on it then they might not be able to eat it. Such a little thing that can make a difference!
  3. Baby formula. As anyone who has formula fed a baby knows, formula is a big drain on your finances. This is a great way that you can support familieson a low income with young kids.
  4. Nappies. Yep, same thing. No one should be worrying about how often they can afford to change their child’s nappy or if buying a new pack means less food that week.
  5. Chopped pork or corned beef. These both used to be cheap sources of protein but the price of them has really risen. They’re super versatile as like tuna, they can be used as part of a meal or can be eaten cold.
  6. Baked beans. And yes, apparently the value ones are more than ok to give!
  7. Tinned curry. A great way to help people have a nice meal with some flavour in it. They also often contain some vegetables in them which is helpful.
  8. Irish Stew. This is also something that gets requested a lot.
  9. Kids snacks. As all parents know, kids can eat a lot and need topping up with food regularly!
  10. Pot noodles. A good source of protein and carbohydrates.
  11. Big Soups. Tinned hearty soups need to be better nutritionally than others.
  12. Rice Pudding. Stodgy, filling and very popular.
  13. Coffee and tea.
  14. UHT Milk for people who don’t have access to a fridge.
  15. Financial aid rather than sleeping bags. If you want to give a sleeping bag for a homeless person then it’s very much appreciated, but food banks and homeless centres don’t always have a lot of additional room for storage though and can also often get deals when buying sleeping bags in bulk, meaning that your money can go further.
  16. Help throughout the year. Your help and support at Harvest and Christmas is really, truly appreciated, however please don’t forget food banks throughout the rest of winter. January, February and even March can be exceptionally cold and people living on the street or in poverty need your help just as much then.
  17. Feminine hygiene products. You really don’t want to choose between buying food or tampons. And, lets face it, tampons are expensive enough when you do have money.
  18. Animal food. Animals can’t help their owner have hit a rough patch in life. They need help too.
  19. Laundry detergent.
  20. Sugar.

The last four are added by me, as I know these things will often get overseen and most people on a very low income don’t have the money to buy these more expensive things. If you have to choose between food and tampons pr laundry detergent, I know what I’d choose…

 

thank you, mum in the madhouse, for letting me use your post! Make sure you check out her blog!

Quick Gift Box

Hello, long time no see. So much has happened over the last year. Much of which I don’t feel comfortable sharing just yet.

But to kickstart my blog again I thought I’d make a quick tutorial on a gift box I made.

What you need:

  • Thick Scrapbook Paper
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Protractor Triangle
  • Scotch Tape or Glue

scrapbook paper

I used this paper. It’s 21X15 CM.

How to fold

Measure out how big you want your box to be. This depends on the paper. My measurements were 8X2X8X2X1 CM.

Cut the paper lightly with the knife, just to make folding easier. After you did this, turn the paper and measure 2 CM for the overlap on the top and bottom. If you made the sides of your box bigger, make sure you’ll measure out the top and bottom accordingly.
Cut the sides on the top and bottom like the picture above shows.

Glue the 1CM overlap and the bottom or, if the glue won’t hold (like on my boxes) use scotch tape to put them together.

Gift Box

And that’s it, really. Quick and easy.

What’s in a name

Yesterday there was a guy called Moose on Pointless. Which is a strange name for a person, especially since he said his brother is called Ben.
It got even worse when his wife told Alexander and Richard that their son has Danger as his middle name…

But I can understand Moose’s dicision to name his son Danger. After all, if your father called you Moose, good have to get revenge somewhere…

Daily Prompt: A Plot of Earth

Yesterday’s daily prompt asked:

You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

This has always been a dream of mine. But the answer depends on how big the plot of land is, really.
For good measure, let’s go with a large plot.

green roof

First of all, my husband and I would build our dream house. A modest house, with ample space for our hobbies (library for me:) ), a nice big bedroom, a couple of studies, a nice big kitchen and a cosy living room. It would be a green house. I would like green covering on the roof, solar panels, a heat pump and a reed bed to filter waste water. It would have a large underground tank to store rain water to use for the toilets, the sink in the utility room and the garden.

home library

The garden would be a wild flower meadow, and walled kitchen garden with plenty of space for my veggies and fruits. It also would have an orchard for fruit trees and berry bushes. And a field for our alpacas!
It would also have an underground garage for our Kate.

All of this sounds great. Let me research our family tree to see if we have an uncle with lots of money…

Photo’s from Focx and LoveMaegan.

Thank you Dirt Devil!

So, after my last post, in which I wasn’t very nice about Dirt Devil, things started happening.
As they promised, they got in contact with me. Well, I say me, but in fact I was at work and Jay answered the phone. He knew about the problems I had with my steam mop and knew that the new water filter didn’t change anything.
But he didn’t know that they promised to get in touch. To be honest, I didn’t expect them to actually get in touch. The people behind the Twitter account promised it multiple times and it did not happen, so this time I thought it would just be the same. That’s why I hadn’t said anything to Jay.

But they did get in touch. And the outcome is very satisfying to me.

At first they promised to send two (more) water filters. Jay told them the one we ordered had arrived the day before, but that didn’t solve the problem. They then told him we could send it in for service in their service center. Jay was happy with that arrangement (I would have been too).
But, 5 minutes after they ended that phone call we got an email. They offered me a new Dirt Devil steam mop instead of servicing the old one. And I have to say I jumped with excitement when I read that!

Why? Because, as I said on Twitter, I still stand by my review. It’s a great mop. Until it stopped working :)

So, only 2 days later I came home to a great big box that had been delivered to our elderly neighbour. I had a meeting, so I didn’t open the box til a couple of hours later. And what I found inside really made me happy.

Inside was not only the steam mop, but the two water filters that were promised in the first place. And on top of that was this!

Dirt Devil

My very own Dirt Devil! And I love it.

So all in all I’m really happy with how Dirt Devil handled the situation after my last post. Thank you Dirt Devil!

Thank you for nothing Dirt Devil…

In May 2013 I wrote THIS review about the Dirt Devil M318 steam mop.
For just over 2 years I was very happy with that steam mop. But then I started noticing things. My floors would get as clean as they used to. The mop started spilling water and it wasn’t steaming as much as it did before.

In December 2014 it almost entirely stopped steaming. There was only a little bit of steam coming out and the floors were left dirty. After a bit of trouble shooting and reading through the manual hubby and I concluded it must be a the water filter cartridge that’s been worn out. So on Dec 22 we ordered a new one at the price of almost 14 Euro. Without shipping that is. There was almost 10 Euro of shipping that we had to pay too…
Within minutes I got an email saying that my order would be shipped out asap.

But then, 24 hours late(r), I got another email saying the part was not in stock and they would ship my order when the part arrived.

I tweeted about the steam mop not steaming anymore and Dirt Devil swiftly got in touch. I replied to their questions and it took them 7 days to get back to me. Granted, Christmas was within those 7 days, so I wasn’t too worried about the delay. They asked me to send them my contact details so they could get the offices in my area to get in touch with me. I replied with a DM some 24 hours later.

5 days later I @ them in a tweet and they got back to me asking me what was wrong. I told them I’d sent my details as per requested and they got back saying the office in my area would be in touch soon. 3 days after that tweet I sent the following tweets:

 

I did not hear anything back. So 4 days later I sent this tweet:

Really annoyed with @DirtDevil right now. On Dec 23 I ordered a new water filter. Got an email saying it was out of stock. On Dec 30 @DirtDevil asked me to send my contact details, which I did. On Jan 6 they (finally) got back to me saying the sent my details to the regional offices. On Jan 9 I asked them how long I should wait for any info. It’s now Jan 13 and I haven’t heard anything…

Again… Nothing… Until Jan 13, when they asked me if the local office had been in touch with me. I replied, saying that they did not get in touch with me. And again, silence…

On Jan 23 I got an email saying the water filter cartridge was in stock and would be shipped out asap. Today I finally got the cartridge I’ve been waiting for for over a month.

So, naturally I wanted to use my steam mop right away. I installed the filter cartridge and plugged the mop in. To my surprise nothing happened. The ruddy thing still leaks water and isn’t steaming properly… Great,just great…

I’ve spent over 20 euro on a bloody useless cartridge and I can scrap a steam mop that’s just over 2 and half years old.
Now I know we didn’t pay a lot of money for it, but this is ridiculous in my opinion. Such a thing shouldn’t break within a couple of years.

I’m going to look for a new steam mop, one made by a different company. Because Dirt Devil has left a bitter taste in my mouth!

Things I did in August and September

Small post which I was going to do much earlier, but didn’t get around to do.

In a nut shell, I’ve done loads, just nothing that would really interest you. I’ve worked very hard through the summer, had a break in september. Played lots of Sims 4 and got back to work again.

Right now, lots is going on, but I can’t share it just yet as nothing is yet certain. So for the time being have a bunch of flowers!

Tulips2

Dread…

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

Right now, the thought of autumn fills me with dread. Why? Because last week, I got tagged into a Facebook group, which consists of almost every living being I despised at school. Yes, it’s yet another “Let’s have a reunion” group for our class.
About 5 years ago they tried the same thing on a dutch site and I quickly left and never got back. Now they did it again on Facebook…
I can’t help it. There are only 6 out of about 28 that I’d like to meet again. One of which I have regular contact with. The rest can fuck off.

Needless to say, I haven’t had a great time at school. I’ve been bullied quite a lot. But somehow most of the people who were bullying me seemed to have forgotten what they did. And now they want to be “friends”. They want me to read their timeline, which I’m sure, I don’t want to read. And, I think more importantly, they want to read mine.

asshole

Now I know my timeline is filled with sarcastic ecards, but even then I don’t want them there. I’m not that naive… No seriously, I’m wishing them a great time, but I won’t join them. Despite my wish to see those 6 again.

This post was written for the postaday.