Everything is replaced

Note: All the prices in this post have been converted to Euro. In 2002 parts of the EU switched to euro. The conversion rate was 1 euro for every 2.20 guilders.

Yesterday we’ve finally bought a new gas hob. The old one is now exactly 20 years old and has always been a pain to keep clean. The burners can’t be taken off, they’re screwed into place. The hob itself has lots of little corners and hard to reach places, even places you can’t reach at all. It’s dirty and one of the knobs has been broken for years.

But I was reluctant to replace it as it has an iron lid and I like to place pots and pans on it. The newer ones all have glass lids or no lids at all. But since we have been updating quite a few things in the kitchen, the hob has stood out like a sore thumb. So we’ve decided on a brand new one, with a wok burner.

All this has made me realise that all the white goods I bought when I moved out of my mom’s home have now been replaced. 20 years ago I bought a fridge/freezer combo, a washing machine, microwave and this gas hob for 863. I can’t really remember te individual prices, but the hob i do remember. That cost 81.

The microwave was the first thing to be replaced, as it stopped heating food.  A few years later the washing machine stopped pumping out the water, which resulted in a flooded bathroom. In 2009 we replaced the fridge, when we saw the freezer didn’t cool to -18 C anymore. That left only the hob. Which has now been replaced too.

That left me to contemplate what I still have from 20 years ago. And it boils down to our cutlery, given to me by my family. It was my uncle’s and when he died I got it. And a skillet that my dad gave me, because he didn’t use it. Up until a few weeks ago we even had the washing up bowl that was given to me when I moved out, but that started leaking.

So now everything has been replaced. The hob once, the rest of the stuff at least twice. I wonder if the new hob will be of the same economical value as the old one, but I doubt it. It would mean it has to be used 61 years…

Too old to go outdoors?

This happened years ago.

It was a busy shift and when Mr G. pressed his buzzer I was annoyed. I knew what he wanted. I knew it’d take me at least 20 minutes to get him organized and outside. But he was an outdoorsman. And he didn’t want to be in his room all day. Until fairly recently he’d been going out on his own, but his muscles had weakened significantly and his legs were unable to hold him up.

He’d been a farmer all his life. At first with his father, later in life, after many years of running the farm with his wife, his son took over the farm and he’d stayed on as a farm help. That was until he came to live with us in the nursing home. When he moved in he told us he wanted to go out daily. “I don’t mind bad weather” he said.

His daughter in law had constructed what looked like a sleeping bag out of leather and sheepskin. This ‘bag’, if you will, went up to his chest. This went over his trousers and shoes. A thick wind and watertight parka went over it. I put his gloves on his hands and placed the buzzer inside. A hat and a cap adorned his head. The last thing I put on him was a scarf in the colours of the Island Flag.

He looked ridiculous. But you’d want an old fragile man to be kept warm when it’s freezing.

So I rolled his wheelchair outside, just under the awning. It was snowing, so it wasn’t too cold. I told him I’d come and check on him every 30 minutes and if something was wrong he’d buzz me.

After the first 30 minutes I went to check on him. He was fine, he told me. I checked his temperature by placing three fingers on the back of his neck. He yelled at me, my hand was colder than he was. I offered him a cup of tea which he declined. After the second 30 minutes he was still felling warm, but took the cup of tea I offered him.

Twenty minutes later, I was taking a tea break, I heard commotion in the hallway. I went to see what was going on.

The scene was hilarious. Mr G. was  being rolled indoors by a woman I’d never seen before. Behind her was a man looking very embarrassed. Mr G was shouting, screaming and yelling. She wasn’t listening to anything he said.

When she saw me standing at the door of the staff room, she immediately began to yell at me, glaring at me. She basically told me off for putting Mr G outside in the snow. She said it was unheard of to put a man of his age outside for any amount of time. Apparently they had come by earlier and she’d seen him outside then. All the while Mr G was screaming bloody murder. I placed my hand on his shoulder and told him to stop and trust me. He stopped screaming.

When the woman finally stopped yelling, her husband ( I assume) looking more embarrassed than ever, I asked her if she had asked Mr G why he was outside. Mr G immediately started yelling again. “No, she hasn’t asked me anything. Bloody woman just rolled me inside!” The woman started saying that this was beside the point.

Behind me I heard my boss. Her office was close to the hallway and instinctively I knew she was standing behind the door. There for me should I need it.

I told the woman my question was not beside the point. That if a patient wanted to go outside they were allowed to. That he was better suited for the cold than she was. And that he’d spent his life working outdoors. It’d be cruel to lock him inside, saying it was too cold in winter, too hot in summer and too wet on everything in between.

Her husband quietly told her she’d made a mistake, but she was still having none of it. “I’m going to go to the police. I’m going to complain about this.” I told her fine. Even gave the name of a police officer that would be more than happy to talk to her. It was the name of Mr G’s son-in-law.

Mr G laughed. The woman and her husband went to the police station.

I heard later that the son-in-law and his coworkers had a good laugh about it.

Holiday

We’ve been to Zeeland on holiday many times as a family when I was young. I loved it there. The sea, the beach, the landscape.

A few years ago we went back.  Again I loved it. I’m sure we’ll be back again in the years to come. Not sure when, but we’ll go back.

This post has been written for The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge

Textures

A few weeks ago we had the chance to look around a building site nearby. I took a lot of photos and promptly forgot about them. But when I saw the weekly photo challenge I remembered them again.

Making Jam

Our blackberry bush is loaded with fruit. Now I love blackberries, but it looked like I had to eat nothing but blackberries for weeks. So I decided to make jam. I had no idea it was this easy. And the smell is amazing. The whole house smells like jam. There’s a ton of fruit still on the bush, so I think I’ll make more jam later this week.

My blackberries are really sweet, so I didn’t use a lot of sugar. About half of the weight of the fruit. When I tasted it it was delicious. I can’t wait til we can try it!

And I started again…

It’s been months since I last played my Sims 4 game. A lot of other games have been played in between the last time I started my Sims game and now. But today, after hearing some music that vaguely reminded me of The Sims I booted the game up again. After a lot of patching and downloading updated hacks (really, who can play without them?) I began playing. And I love it again. I wonder how long it’ll take before it’ll sit dormant on my pc again…

I’m probably going to hell for this…

I’m sure I’ll have to cross the gates of hell for this…

This week I was in town. On my way home I saw an older woman walking on a bridge. She was yawning so bad her false teeth dropped out of her mouth. The teeth fell onto the road surface of the bridge, jumped up a little and then flew through the gap under the railing, into the mucky waters of the canal below…

I laughed…

This post has been written for Today’s Daily Prompt.

Long time no see

It’s been a while since I last updated here. So I thought it’d be time for a new theme and, hopefully, some new posts.

At the end of last year our gorgeous girls, Candy and Dipsy both died within weeks from each other. It’s been hard without them. Dipsy had heart failure and Candy had been ill for years. She had kidney failure. They were born, to different mothers, nine weeks apart and died nine weeks apart.

I didn’t see it coming with Dipsy. And I’m still feeling guilty about it. She was a lovely big girl, kind and a bit of a loner. She loved being with us, but she didn’t want to lie on my lap or anything. She just wanted to be in the same room as us. When she showed signs of being ill we took her to the vet immediately, but it was too late. Her heart couldn’t cope with the buildup of fluid in her lungs anymore. She died at home, with us being there, but not holding her. I really wanted to hold her, but I knew she wouldn’t have wanted that.

Nine weeks later we had to call the vet for Candy. She had been clinging onto life for months, but that faithful day she knew she couldn’t hold on longer. She passed away in my arms.

After a while we really couldn’t get over the emptiness and the loneliness  at home, so we went searching for a breed that would suit us. When picking up Candy’s ashes the vet told us about Birmans. And we quickly fell in love with the breed. So we searched for a breeder relatively close to where we live. We found one about 45 minutes away.

We were lucky one of her cats was pregnant and she allowed us on her waiting list. On March 14 we got a phone call saying her cat had had four kittens and we could have two of them. We really wanted two girls again, but it wasn’t yet certain we could get two girls as, at first, the breeder had said she might want to keep one. But after six weeks we were told we’re in luck and we would get the two girls from the litter. So I’m presenting to you; Pinky and Dexter!

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)