Did you ever ask your mom for advice in the dating department?  I never did! When I was 12 I thought my mother was ancient and knew nothing! I wonder how our boys perceive us.

Surprise, surprise – I was flattered when our nearly 11-year old sunshine asked me in a roundabout way on how to date a girl!  At least that’s what I believe was the question…

Here is what I told him:”Most of us girls don’t want a guy who is constantly away, working to earn a lot of money. We don’t want to get expensive presents, we rather have random hugs, kisses, a flower here and there, a few sweeties and attention. Instead of a big, fat diamond ring we want to go dancing instead.”

He gave me this wonderful, confused look, head tilted to the side, eyebrows raised. Yes I know, I just gave our 10 year old son full blown marital advice!  It’s official, I am my mothers daughter, I didnt get it, missed the point completely.

Cruz is still at the beginning phase of the game. He hasn’t even talked to his girl yet and time is running out for him:two more months and the big summer break is upon us! All he wants to know is how to talk to the most popular girl in his class – alone!  (He surely knows how to make his young life more challenging!)

cruz ascartoon

If I wanted to save my credibility as advisor, I had to come up with something better, fast. My next practical advice was: “Why don’t you invite her to our house, you guys can hang out here and play some mindcraft.”

I was still missing the point and Cruz rendered me useless. He did the next best thing, he asked his dad for tips and tricks.

Here is what Dominic came up with: “Make a plan, be on it, be patient and remember, whatever happens, happens.”

What kind of advice is that? Our son needs a blueprint for success, not some kind of philosophical, universal, fits-all approach.

The sad truth is, we failed our son on his quest to touch base with Mrs. Popular. We should stay out of it and let the boy come up with his own plan of action. And he did: Cruz and his friend Conner googled How to get a girl-friend. Based on the youtube advice they decided the buddy – , or better, wing-man -system.would work best. The finer details of when or how still needs to be decided on,- but at least they have a plan. Good luck boys!


LEFT IN THE DARK – during power failure

Living on top of a hill has its advantages; we can’t get flooded, in case of an earthquake nothing can crumble on top of us and – if so inclined – you can use the terrain to get,-and stay in shape. (It took me five months of solid commitment to run or cycle up our incline. Now I can do it with a smile on my face).

The downside of living high? Our Municipality decided we don’t need streetlights or road markings. If you translate this into day to day living it means you will find yourself in a ditch if you get side tracked by deer, coyote or be(e)ar.

Furthermore, our power supplier wanted to save a few bucks and put our power lines above, instead of into the ground. Up here, this causes a problem during stormy weather.

Photo by C. Waschko

Can you see the lines? Photo by C. Waschko

We had one of these days yesterday: At 5.15pm some of the tree branches hit  a power line and just like this, time stood still!

Our boys were in shock when all of a sudden their juice was cut off during their mind craft game. When they realized it wasn’t their mother and one of her tricks to get them outside, they came up with their own, fun alternatives:


Hockey fun during black-out!

photo C.Waschko

Mindcraft guys C.Waschko

We had no idea when the power would be back on. Faced with either a one or 10 hour black-out, I wrecked my brain what to do with our half cooked dinner in the oven.



The boys refused to eat raw chicken and planned our meal instead:”Let’s have take-away.”

The plan itself was a good one until I wanted to hop into the car: my four wheeler was parked inside our garage. Obviously, our switch didn’t work. Could I have opened it manually? I don’t know. We have something dangling from the garage ceiling, but I ain’t pulling this one!

We had to wait for Dominic and his car. When I told my ever so clever husband about my cooking dilema, he only looked at me with raised eyebrows: “Why can’t you cook dinner? We have a gas stove!” I told you, he is a clever one. Instead of Dominos Pizza it was pan fried chicken with macaroni for us.

Good Gracious me! By force of habit I filled up our garborator with our left overs, like I always do. Again, Dominic watched me: “What did you do this for?. How will you turn it on?” Yukkies, don’t you just hate a smart ass? But again, he was right!

Luckily, I stopped myself in time before I loaded up our dishwasher with dirty, greasy plates- Who needs a machine if you can do it yourself?

The German housewife C.Waschko

The German housewife

“Quickly boys, finish your homework before it gets too dark. Grab your candles on the way up.”  Last night, we could have been Mormones for all I know.

Candles for us!  C.Waschko

Candles for us! C.Waschko

Instead of our usual evening noises (freezer, TV, music, fridge) we heard laughter and animated chatter. Honestly, I forgot how much our Korean son can talk. I wonder what he will tell me when he discovers I used his chopsticks to light the candles….

All in all, the evening progressed smoothly. The only downside of not being powered up? I missed special agent Jack Bauer. Yes, believe it or not, after months of watching “24” we are still on it.

Instead of dwelling on our missed evening entertainment I checked on the state of our ice cream in the freezer!  Why let a good thing melt away if I can eat it instead?  Sadly, vanilla ice cream is no real substitute for a man (aka, Jack Bauer) but for today it had to do the trick.

With my wonderful banana split in my bowl I starred into our pitch black, quiet neighbourhood – Oh Jack, I miss you so – and scooped myself a second helping!

10.05pm: When was the last time I went to bed this early? I have no idea when the power came back on; It was on when we woke up. But there is one thing I know for sure: magic happened during the black out:

Dominic decided to visit the Fountain of Youth during the night. In the morning he metamorphosed into a cute, soft skinned, blond haired, 10 year old school boy!


SCENES FROM OUR HOME – on a lazy afternoon

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. The sun is out and the kids are off school.

Cherry blossom, photo by C. Waschko

photo by C.Waschko

.Today is a lazy day; life offers you time, health and way too many possibilities to keep yourself busy with. And right here is the problem: if and when I face too many choices, I find it hard to get started with one thing only. This isn’t the first time I’m  facing this dilema – but fortunately, over the years, I found the perfect remedy: If in doubt, clean the bathroom! Currently we have five of them. That will keep me busy for a while and will give me enough time to decide on my plan of action for the rest of the day!

On my way up, cleaning supplies in hand, I ran into our youngest son Cruz. Cheerfully he greeted me with : “What can I ding-dong- diddledee-dooh for you?”

This one always cracks me up. He is such a witty one (our son that is) -unfortunately, in this instance he ‘stole’ the quote from The Simpsons.

When I asked him where his Korean brother is (our exchange student) he answered:

“You mean the new species in our house, whose natural habitat is the computer?”

photo by C. Waschko

Joey loves the computer, by C. Waschko

Does that even make sense? Where did he get that one from? Still, I am his mother, I think it’s cute!.

He may quote characters from tv or borrow sentences from “Animal Kingdom”, but if you put him in front of a blank piece of paper, pencil in hand, he can be original. Check these new Pokemon cards out, I am pretty sure they will become the next big thing in our neighbourhood:.

Attack Pokemon photo, C.Waschko2013-04-26 12.16.36

Don’t you just love random chitter-chatter by your children?  Their creativity? Their innocence? Their ability to be glued in front of a computer? Just kidding, this drives me bonkers. But to be fair, our junior can still get lost in real play time for hours on end!



I look at my son (on the right) and my heart fills with joy and pride. Not so long ago he was a baby, and in a few more years he will be off, just like his two older brothers are at this moment.

He reminds me of the fact that our time together is only short and borrowed. At the end, all we are left with are wonderful memories of our lazy days together.

Or at the times when he reprimanded me ‘Not to buy those pants anymore, because they are so 2 seconds ago.”


It has only been a year since our children started their school education here in Canada! The system of being politically correct has rubbed off on them. Our 10 year old junior made it clear, crystal clear that I am a racist if I use certain words. There is no more freedom of speech for me in my own home – from now onwards I need to watch what I am saying when I am around the little man (our son).


I already hold the title of Worse mother ever. This honour is bestoved to me whenever I tell our son to get off the xbox- i.e. I hear this daily. Does that bother me? No, not really. Being called names comes with the job description and territory as soon as you enter motherhood.

Being a bad mother is one thing,  but being a racist?  Not so flatering!


It all started with the big Oscar presentation last Sunday. We were talking about Seth MacFarlane, the talented creator of Family Guy. Did you know that Seth does the voice overs for Peter, Brian and Stewie? Good for you, I didn’t! The next question to ask the boys was : Who does the voice over for the black guy, what’s his name again?”

BEEP “Mom, you are a racist! You need to call him an African American.”

When I tell our boys I had dinner with their Korean brother, I am called a racist. If I refer to him as an Asian boy, I am a racist too! If I call him Joey, nobody knows whom I talking about. To call him our exchange student makes sense, but then nobody knows where he is from – and to call him a ‘brother from a different mother and father’ is too much of a mouthful. So, what do I call him? Can you see my dilema here?

Whenever I refer to the hyper boy in the class  I am say “The boy with an issue.”

If I point out the correct term for a child with Down Syndrome I am corrected with “He is different, he has an issue too.”

And while  I am scribbling about being politically correct, here is another good one:

Our junior has been asked to go on a playdate. Junior doesn’t want to go but doesn’t want to say no. His mom needs to deliver the message. My good old German self spills it out, the way it is: “Sorry, Cruz doesn’t want to play with you today.” This sentence is plain, simple and to the point! This reply was BEEPED!

I needed to say: “Sorry, Cruz doesn’t feel like playing with you today! Perhaps another time? Tomorrow?”

Man, this is exhausting! The saying rings true You are never too old to learn – or keep your mouth shut! With this, I need to get myself a drink…

2013-02-24 18.16.48



Any excuse will do to have a party! Our latest excuse was the official launch of my book VERY BERRY EXTRA-ORDINARY, We opened our house to our new friends and acquaintances to celebrate the ‘birth’ of my new baby.

2013-02-05 14.48.37

As you may all know, there is a big difference between talking about a project you really want to do and actually doing it! One of the best feelings ever – to me that is – is to present your finished project to the world. Nearly 16 years ago we celebrated our first baby shower for our first ‘bundle of boy’.


This time around my ‘bundle of joy’ was presented in the shape of an easy to carry, non crying, beautiful looking rectangular book! One of the less pleasant side effects from 16 years ago were my lactating boobs; this time around, my front stayed try!

Here we go again, like the previous three times with our children, I am facing the huge responsibility to make sure this baby can stand on his own two legs one day! I want to make sure the book can bring joy, happiness and inspiration into other people’s life.

Let’s face it, if your health permits, everybody can have a baby. Conceiving a child is not the problem; to çreate’ responsible, loving, caring, independent individuals out of these babies is the challenge!


My fourth baby was my coffee lounge in The Netherlands. The same concept I just wrote about applies to running a business: Lots of people can and will open up their own enterprise. This is not the challenge – the challenge is to create an ongoing, profit making, much loved and much talked about business out of your original idea!


Just like my children, my book is out there – in the wide, open, scary, whacky and exciting world. My kids are exposed to the real life adventures here in B.C. whereas my book is floating around in the big wide cyber world of online book retailers.This is  exciting and scary at the same time! Why? From now onwards I am exposed!  I put myself, willingly, at the mercy of every ready who is willing to give this book a shot! From this moment onwards I am an open target to every comment ranging from ‘loved it’ to ‘forget about it.’

Writing this book wasn’t the hardest part – today is the day the real work and challenge begins! I need to get out into the world to connect, communicate and inspire every living soul who is willing to lend me an ear.

This reminds me of the saying “If it’s easy, everybody would do it.” Oh so right, everybody can write a book- but how many of us have the stamina, determination and character wit to see this thing through till the end? Until (in my case) it hits the no. 1 spot in one of my categories on

Oh well, ce la vie! Here we go again. I am ready to take the plunge. I also know I need to do this on my own- but, is there a chance you can help me?

Do you have any advice, tips, strategies, stories or wisdom to share when it comes to book promotion? Please, let me hear from you! Share your pearls of wisdom with me! I really appreciate your help! Thank you! Thank you!