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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Asparagus season

The asparagus season has begun. I really look forward to this time of year, as I'm very fond of asparagus. Nowadays you can buy them anytime, but when I was young you had to wait for the farmers to harvest them. Always around end of March, early April and lasting until the end of May.

Grandma already used to prepare asparagus as soon as the season started, not caring how much they cost. We don't either, as we want to eat them as many times as possible.

There are various ways to eat them. In it, preparing asparagus is dead simple: peel them and cook them for about 10 minutes. But then you can eat them just boiled or with a sause. Most popular here is asparagus 'Flemish style' with a sause in which egg figures. We had them today with smoked salmon, country potatoes and mousseline sause. Delicious!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Verdict: diabetes

I had a rather nasty shock yesterday. On Wednesday morning I went to my GP to have my blood tested, like I do at least twice a year. In June 2016 everything was still fine, but in December there was a raised level of blood sugar. The doctor said to pay extra attention (which I did) and come for another test in March.

I had really hoped this time the blood sugar would be better - but instead it was yet higher! Both the doc and I realize I can't do anything more (I don't smoke, I move enough, I try to avoid sugars and eat well-balanced). The problem is with my pancreas. It doesn't work properly anymore.

Our dad had the same disease and in a way both my sister and I realize we got a fair chance of getting diabetes as well.

Still, it's a light shock when you first hear it. I've been to see my GP to discuss what to do next. He's given me more pills to take (4 in the morning, 2 at night) which may help. We'll see the result in about 5 weeks' time. When the pills don't work enough, it will be insuline. Luckily, we don't have to pay a lot for all these medicines. That's one of the advantages of paying 50% taxes and social security. We also don't need to pay a lot for operations, especially when you pay (a little bit) extra for a hospitalisation plan.

So people, wish me luck and let's keep fingers crossed those pills will do their work!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sheik's Rule

Today, author Ryshia Kennie is doing a virtual book blast tour for Sheik's Rule - romantic suspense available from Harlequin Publishing.

Ryshia will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use this link to place your comment:


His sister's life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family's security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he's sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers' desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman.

But K.J. is unlike any woman he's ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir's admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all.


Just looking at that hand confirmed every doubt he had.  It wasn’t just about customs, she was female and because of that and so many other things, she was the wrong person for the job.

“I’ll help you find your sister.  You just need to trust me.”

“No!”  The word came out with the pent-up fury that had built since the fateful call from Tara’s kidnappers and now the full impact of it sparked in his eyes as his temple pounded and his fists clenched.

“No,” he said with less edge but with no room for negotiation.  He was wasting time, had wasted time, first waiting and now in a senseless airport run.  “I don’t care what you specialized in. 
You’re a woman and because of that you’re going home,” he said bluntly.  “I’ve wasted enough time.  I’ll speak to the pilot and we’ll get you out of here.”

“You’re not being fair.”

“I’m not being fair,” he repeated, emphasizing each word.  If she’d been a man he would have had her by the collar up against the wall, his face in hers.  But she wasn’t and that was the problem.  “You’re useless to me.  I’d have to watch out for both you and me.  That’s a distraction.  Look at you – you couldn’t swing a punch or…”

One minute he was seething, glaring at her, and the next he was flat on his back.

“You bloody flipped me,” he snarled, leaping to his feet.

Author bio and links

In the author's own words

The Canadian prairies are my home and while the prairie landscape is blessed with beautiful blue skies, it also has four seasons that come on full throttle – especially winter and because of that I like to travel.  Often on those trips, stories are born.  
In 2011 I won my city's writing award, and was the first romance writer to do so since its inception.  In 2013 my romantic suspense was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards.  Published in historic romance and paranormal romance as well as romantic suspense, in February 2016, my first novel was published by Harlequin Intrigue.
There’s no lack of places to set a story as my imagination and the too long prairie winters may find me seeking adventure.  The memories of those worlds both near and far, the words of a stranger, the furtive look one man gives another, often become the catalyst for a suspenseful story with a deadly villain and an intrepid hero and heroine who must battle for their right to love or even their right to live. 
When not dreaming of other stories, I can be found scouting out a garage sale or two, dusting off my roller blades or just thinking about the next adventure that may be miles away or in my own backyard.  

My website:
My blog:

Buy Links:;jsessionid=E03199EFF735F999123C1D7EA4C22E51?cid=225&iid=70048

March 22nd - one year later

Exactly one year ago, we woke up to the sound of terror. When we switched on our radio (always the first thing I do when coming down for breakfast) we heard the terrible news about the terrorists bombs at Zaventem (our national airport) and the metro station of Maalbeek.

32 people died in the attacks, and many more were severely wounded. Even as of today, some of them are not quite their old self. But people are resilient. Most of us don't give in to the bad and share hope that one day the world will be a better place.

One of the most catching images of this day, was that of the Indian air hostess Nidhi Chapekar (Jet Airways). She was one of the victims, and was seen sitting outside on a bench, severely wounded.

Thanks to the good care of the doctors, this is how Nidhi looks today:

She is still not completely recovered, but she has good hope she'll be able to fly once more. She had an audience with our king and queen.

All through the day, remembrance services are taking place and all radio and TV programs are about the terrorist attacks and their aftermath.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Human Element

Today, meet author Donna Galanti. Donna and Goddess Fish Promotions are doing a virtual book tour for A Human Element - paranormal suspense available now from Imajin Books. The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Donna will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link to post your comment:


Evil comes in many forms…

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him. 


The man could hear the child's bellowing cries coming from underneath the blanket covering it. She pushed the child into his arms as if eager to be rid of it. He took the bundle and handed the nurse his packages. The nurse began to close the door when he heard another far away cry. 

The man wedged his foot in the door. "What was that?" 

"N-Nothing." The nurse looked up. 

The man risked looking her in the eye. 

"The girl is in pain and won't keep quiet." She clutched the envelope and folded her arms across her sagging bosom. 

"It sounded like another baby," he said. 

"It's just the whimpering slut. Now she's paid double for what she's done." The nurse took a step back as if aware she had said too much already. She glared at him. "Now go on. You have what you wanted. And so do I." She shut the door in his face. 

The man in black stood there for a long moment, considering the woman's choice of words. What if another child had been delivered and the frigid woman and country doctor kept it secret? 


He decided to keep this information to himself. He would find the opportune time to use it. He was a patient man. But first, he had to see for himself. He peeled back the child's bunting and looked for the first time into its yellow eyes. For that moment, the baby fell silent. 

"Welcome to Earth X-10." 

The baby resumed its wailing. 

The man turned with his noisy package and melted into the darkness satisfied, as the doctor had been, that the night's events had provided him with more than he had asked for.

Author bio and links

Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books -  and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books - Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill ( - magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem ( Galanti) . She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools.

Visit her at and
Connect with Donna:

Purchase books 1 and 2 in the Element Trilogy:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Change of plans

Yesterday and most of today, we've been discussing the trips we're going to make in 2018. Yes, we always like to plan ahead - it pays of most of the time. You get better airfares and often you can have your hotels at a discount.

Originally we liked to make a trip to Oman next spring. But as we looked at hotels in Muscat and inland trips, we came to the conclusion that it is very expensive there. You pay a lot for a hotel room in Muscat, even when the hotels are slightly better than average (you can hardly say a hotel has 5 stars, when it's next to an open suer, or a busy highway, or next to an oil refinery). And the trips... A two night-three days trip with Hud Hud Travels would cost about 4000 €.

For that price we can stay 10 nights in great hotels in the UAE (Dubai and Ras Al Khaima), even staying in suites. And the airfare to Dubai is cheaper also.

So we are going to Dubai first and then head to RAS next spring. You can also see the desert there, ride a camel or an Arabian horse, do boat trip on a dhow, ...

We'll make the final reservations when we come back from Argentina. And next we must see what else we can do. Definitely a trip to London, like every year, and perhaps one to Milan. And for the rest: Helsinki? Dubrovnik? The Baltic states?

Friday, March 17, 2017

At last - one job done!

Almost a year ago, I placed an order with a company to do some repairs on my roof and drains. Because my next door neighbors had a new roof, the water coming down from my roof couldn't get into the suer anymore.

Better than complaining (the rainpipe was between the two houses, to provide for both of us) and risking another quarrel with my Polish neighbor (when they came to live here they were not very friendly) I opted to have my own drainpipe provided and going into the suer.

I called a local company and they drew up an estimate (we also needed a reparation on a chimney) and I agreed  & signed it. That was in May last year. I hoped the job couuld be done before winter, because when it rains hard, the water drips of the front. But no, nothing happened.

The reason? Well, the Flemish government gives grants to those who isolate their roofs (but only until this year). So all companies were isolating roofs and they didn't have time for ordinary repairs...

At last, I got a call yesterday, and the guy said he'd come by today. They arrived around 8 a.m. and instantly began the job. They were done by 11 a.m.  Now I need to contact town hall to order a connection to the suer system (will costs me around 600 €). But nowadays you have to make sure all you do to your house is made official.