Saturday, July 5, 2014

Amazing Astrid Asks the Questions

It's FRIDAY!  It's Ask Away Friday which is an excellent opportunity to connect and interview your fellow bloggers. Bloggers swap questions and answer them on their own blog.  We would love to have you join us.

Today I am swapping questions with Astrid.   Astrid is an amazing woman as she has had many challenges in her life that would devastate the average person.  She was born in the Netherlands, three months premature which resulted in health issues.  She is legally blind.  She also is autistic and has other neuro developmental conditions.  Yet, she maintains a phenomenal positive attitude and welcomes challenges, especially helping others who suffer from similar issues.

@BatteredHope  Asking Astrid from the Netherlands
I am so pleased to have met her.  Here are the questions she asked me today:

1.  When I saw the title of your blog, I expected a very different blog from what I found.  How did you become such a humorous writer?

My life has proven to have more challenging than the average person and if I was going to be able to survive, I knew I had to have a good attitude.  To do that, I always look for humor in any situation.  My husband suffered brain injury from a car accident over twenty years ago.  Humor has been the catalyst that has held our marriage together for over forty years.

2.  You love dogs.  What breed do you love the most?

DOBERMANS.  Hands down.  I wrote 26 blog posts in April for the A - Z Challenge.  These posts were all dog stories about the various dogs we have had the pleasure of parenting over the years.  They will make you laugh and sometimes cry.  Many of these stories are about dogs we have rescued.  Dobermans are big loyal lap dogs.  They are so intelligent and gentle.  Here are some of my favorite stories:

Rusty and Rex - Saved them from being euthanized 
Read their touching stories here
@BatteredHope  Rex was beaten but I rescued him 
Rex - Abused but SAVED

@BatteredHope  How could anyone abandon this beautiful dog
Rusty - Abandoned but SAVED

Here is his story - Z is for Zack - Rescue Dog  

And definitely one of our favorites was Babe -- we had to DYE her hair to save her life.  Here is her story:   B is for Babe
@BatteredHope #rescue Doberman - in order to save her life we dyedher hair
 Sinker was another abused and abandoned Doberman who chased me down the highway for miles until I allowed her to come home with me  S is for Sinker - One Funny Dog

@BatteredHope  Sinker chased me down the highway begging me to rescue her

3.  You have been through a lot - what single life experience has shaped you the most?  

That is almost impossible to answer.  There are twelve chapters in my memoir, Battered Hope.  Each chapter is a different type of trauma as each one shaped me differently -- losing a child, cancer, rape, marital abuse, huge financial losses and......  The one that has probably affected me the longest has been surviving cancer and spending the rest of my life helping other people build their immune systems as a health coach.

4.  You write that you decided, at one point, you didn't want to live anymore.  Obviously, you're still alive and kicking.  What advice would you give other people who feel suicidal?

Someone close to me once said "When you buy the thought, you buy the lie."  I have never forgotten that and it was a turning point for me.  If I dwell on negative thoughts like "Don't kid yourself, nothing will ever get better" then I have 'bought' that lie.  So, you have to choose to discard those thoughts and concentrate on what you know to be true.  There is always hope in tomorrow.

5.  You say you are a great cook.  What's your number one cooking tip?

Learn to read.  If you can read a recipe, you can cook.

6.  What is your biggest cooking or baking fail?

The first turkey I made was for a Thanksgiving dinner with friends.  I don't remember what I had done wrong, but when I took the turkey out of the oven, it exploded and ended up on the ceiling and walls.  Much laughter and tears ensued.  I learned how to read, after that!

7.  If you could go back to college, what would you major in and why?

It would be in the area of health, nutrition and natural healing.

8.  I sent this question to another @AskAwayFriday partner who is a home schooler, but I am going to ask you the same:  what has been the biggest challenge and the greatest reward about homeschooling?

I believe the greatest challenge is getting your kids to understand that home school needs to be taken seriously.  In the young years, they often feel like it is not like 'real school.'  The greatest reward?  Being able to share your values, morals and beliefs to your children.  Often we have to 'unteach' them what they have learned in school that can be directly opposite to our own belief system, especially morally and spiritually.

9.  If you could travel in time and go back to a moment in your past, would you?  And if so, where would you go?

This is easy -- I would probably relive each of the 12 chapters in my book.  Each so very different, each traumatic, but hindsight is 20/20.  None of us are given the chance to push the reset button and do things differently.  We can only learn from our mistakes and hopefully, not do them again.

10.  You defeated the doctor's prophecy that you would have two years to live, forty years ago.  What would you tell him now if you could go meet him?    

I did go back to that doctor - FOURTEEN years later and rubbed his diagnosis in his face.  The whole story is both inspiring and funny - and intertwined into several chapters of Battered Hope.

Thank you, Astrid, for your great questions and I am looking forward to seeing the answer to my questions on your blog.

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Amber from Bold Fit Mom

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