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…

 

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.

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!

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.

Strange ways to do household chores

A few weeks ago I was talking to a coworker about the washing that had been left to dry in the sun. I was proclaiming that this wasn’t how they should leave it. That they should leave it in the shade to prevent discoloring when my coworkers started looking at me in a funny way.
At first I didn’t understand why they were looking at me like that, but as it turns out everyone else hangs their washing to dry in the full sun.

This made me realise that I am the only person in a rather large group that not only hangs the washing in the shade, I also cover it with a tea towel to make sure sunlight doesn’t hit my clothes.
I’m also the only one that never uses pegs on t-shirts, sweaters and blouses. And when I use pegs on trousers I use two on each leg, making sure to only use them on the bottom rim, so there won’t be any marks visible.

pegs

But this made me wonder about other things as well.
Am I the only one who turns the mattress every time I change the bedding? Am I the only one who has marked all four sides of said mattress to make sure I turn them evenly?
And how about washing pillows?

I see a lot of people who hang their duvet out the bedroom window. That is something I’d never do. It’s hanging from a spider invested window sill, rubbing against a dirty brick wall, or worse, dirty roof tiles. I only get it outside when it’s great weather and hang it out on a few chairs and washing lines. To keep it off the ground.

How about you? Do you have strange ways to do household chores?

Photo via AuntieP

Things I did in May

Books I’ve read:

Robbert Jan en het geheim van Berg en Dal (Barney, The Rockingdown Mystery)
De vier speurneuzen – de geheimzinnige bewaker
De 4 Speurneuzen, de vreemde dokter
Rebuilding Coventry

Books I’m currently reading:

P Is for Peril (A Kinsey Millhone Mystery)
Robbert Jan en het geheim aan de kust  (Barney, The Rilloby Fair Mystery)

I’ve released 47 books, which brings the total amount of released books so far this year up to 185. This means I’ve crossed the half way point!
Also, I’m on 29 places with the 52/52 challenge.

Elderly neighbour complained to her friend two weeks ago, while I was lounging outside (she knew that), that we ruined her garden and her garden path. And that she should never have given us permission to go around her house with garden supplies. She also told her friend we crossed her garden at least a hundred times. Mind you, we did no such thing. We clipped back the bushes around the part where we went through her garden to avoid damaging them. We only went through her garden 4 times the first time, now 2 years ago. Earlier this year she gave our other neighbour permission to go through her garden again. This time it was about 10 times and again we clipped back the bushes to avoid damaging them. I’m now done with her. We’ve always been kind to her and this is how she pays us back. Well, she’ll find out what she’s lost!

Water garden

this happened to the garden earlier this week. I did a blog post about it in the morning. But it kept raining and raining. By the end of the afternoon this is how the garden looked…
We had more than 60 MM in 60 hours, which the garden simply couldn’t get rid of. Part of the problem is that both our neighbours have had their garden paved completely. This means all excess water comes right into our garden. Normally this isn’t much of a problem, but with these amounts of water it was a problem. Luckily everything dried up nicely and it looks like almost everything survived. Haven’t seen the pumpkins I’ve sowed, but I’m not sure if that’s due to the water or not…

Both our cats are doing fine. Candy seems to react good to her new medication, so I’m very happy with that. Due to the warm weather both of them haven’t been eating as much as they usually do, but who can blame them for that? We’re not eating as much as usual too.

Finders, Keepers!

While walking on the beach you stumble on a valuable object buried in the sand — say, a piece of jewelry or an envelope full of cash. What do you do with it? Under what circumstances would you keep it? 

This is what The Daily Post wants to know.

I’d do anything in my power to find the owner. I’d use the internet to see if I can find anything.

I once had this whilst walking in a seaside town. I saw a bewildered looking guy with three kids standing near an ATM machine. A few minutes later I saw 500 euro sticking out of the machine. The guy with the kids was nowhere to be seen. I grabbed the money from the machine and immediately walked indoors to give the money to the bank employee. I then went on and looked everywhere for the guy I saw standing by the ATM earlier.

I never found the guy, but a few days later I was back in that same town and went to the bank. I asked if the money had been picked up and it had been. The owner left a note with his phone number and a gift card. I never called him, as I didn’t feel the need. I didn’t even feel the gift card was needed, but it sure was a nice touch.

I’m not a person to keep things that don’t belong to me. I’ve lost a bracelet that my grandmother gave a few weeks before her death. I tried everything to get it back, but it’s never been found. She went out and bought it for me, even though she had so many health problems. The bracelet looked a lot like this one. And even after so many years, I still miss that bracelet.

So no, I’m not going to keep something that isn’t mine!