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Archive for April, 2007

This morning I weighed 101.7 kilos, so I don’t have that far to go until I hit 100 kilos. Yesterday I ate a pear, some yogurt, some couscous, a piece of cheese and a glass of milk, and I didn’t go hungry once. I can’t eat the whole pear, but they do taste good and I enjoy them more than the apples, so I think I will be eating them for a while. Besides having the gastric band, I think my stomach itself must have also shrunk a bit, because I rarely feel hungry and I am quickly satisfied. Oh yes, I also had a small glass of juice when I took my vitamins.

At noontime I went to walk the dog and see my niece at the same time. I wore my new tunic and my new shoes, so I looked spiffy. When I got there, only my niece was home and she really liked the tunic and the shoes and I know she is always honest about those things, so that really made me feel good. Then I finished walking the dog around the field and when I got home, I was just about crippled. My toe hurt so much and it was red around the place where it hurt. I have some antibiotic creme and I applied that on the area where the nail meets the skin and I hope that will help it some. But now I will be wearing my sandals for a while. When I went to walk the dog at 5 pm, I ran smack into my sister, who was walking her dog and when she saw me, she was full of praise. She said: Oh, how nice, you look so good, you should always wear clothes like that! Go figure, she doesn’t have a clue. So we chatted for a bit and then I went to walk the dog around the field and she went to talk to some other people she knows who were out there with their dog. I suppose we will just carry on again from this point forward as if nothing happened, because in her eyes, nothing happened. Erica can be so complicated!

Eduard had to work last night and I started to watch a Dutch movie at 8:30 pm and I got so engrossed in it, that when it was 9 pm I couldn’t stop watching it. So I stayed up until 10 pm when it was over. Still, I was asleep in no time and I still didn’t hear Eduard come home and I don’t think that one hour made that much of a difference for a change. I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but I went back to bed and went straight to sleep. So that was an exception to prove the rule.

Queen’s day. It is a national holiday and originally it was the birthday of our old queen, Juliana. When Beatrix became queen, she kept that day as Queen’s day in honor of her mother. On this day she visits different Dutch cities and towns with her extended family and the cities and towns put on quite a spectacle for her. There are games and dances and folklore and music and everywhere she goes there are people to greet her and sing to her. Today, she is visiting ‘s Hertogenbosch or Den Bosch, as it is commonly known. It is the city of Jeroen Bosch, the painter. Everything is televised, of course, and the whole of the Netherlands watches. In other cities and towns there are also special happenings to celebrate the day. The whole country sort of parties. As soon as Eduard gets up, he will hang out the flag, because you just have to flag on a day like that. It makes everything look so festive! Yes, we are socialists and yes, we flag for the queen. In the Netherlands, you can do that. On the first of May, we will hang out our Socialist Party flag. On the fourth of May, the Dutch flag goes half mast, and on the fifth of May we flag again. On the first of May, the local Social Democrats are coming to the Film Theater to watch a movie and Eduard is going to wear his Socialist Party T-shirt to make a point.

In order to rule along with the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats have made a concession and have promised not to push their enquiry into the political support that the government gave the Americans and the British in the war in Iraq. Their is a big stink about this right now, as the opposition wants the enquiry to continue, but the ruling parties will not cooperate. And, of course, they have the majority, so it is an endless debate that has no chance of success. There is a great injustice in this. People are disappointed with the Social Democrats and they lost a lot a votes in the last elections as a result of this. It was hoped that they would get a majority of the votes, but this did not happen and instead we saw a surge of votes for the Socialist Party. It is also interesting to see what will happen in France at the upcoming elections. They have a choice between a socialist candidate and a center right one and people there are very unsure of who to chose. I think the elections there are on May the sixth, so we will be keeping an eye on that.

Eduard, in the meantime, has been out to hang up the flag, but has gone back to bed with a cup of coffee. Jesker is asleep on his pillow in the living room. I guess he doesn’t need to go out yet. There are some cats waiting to be fed and I will do that in a while. It depends on how persistent they will be.

I think one of my knees is just worn out. Whenever I have it in a bent position, it hurts and it hurts extra when I straighten it out or when I have to bent it again. I don’t know if I should bother to go and see my GP for this. I don’t know if it is something in the bones or in the muscles. I feel like there ought to be a tight bandage around it for support, but I don’t know if that will help. I know there is a thing that is like a sort of a cuff that is elastic and that you can slide around your knee. Maybe I will get something like that, and see if it helps any. My father had problems with his knees also at about this age.

Of all his three children, I look most like my father and I not only have his facial features, but also his body build (when I am skinny). He used to call me his favorite horse in the stable, and always had a picture of me as a little girl above his work bench in his work shop. I think he took it very hard when I moved to the States. I didn’t appreciate at the time how hard it was for him, with me being a teenager and unfamiliar with parental feelings and all that. After having lived such a hard and eventful life, I now see things much more intensely and with a great deal more understanding. I have fond memories of my father as a little girl, skating, sledding, riding bikes, walking in the forest, swimming. My sisters don’t have that, or claim not to have that, so I am alone in that and I can’t share that with them. I talk about it with Eduard sometimes and he understands. Even though my father killed my mother, I don’t have feelings of hatred towards him, I do have feelings of sorrow and pity. And a lot of clarity about my childhood. I was very upset when he died just before I was to see him again, and just after I had written him my first letter. What a life it has been…can you imagine how I want simplicity and predictability now?

If I were to write a book about my life, and really add every detail, nobody would believe it, and maybe it would be full of black humor. It definitely would be tragic, although there are bright points of light, like my children and Eduard and my life now. I think the children were especially important, they helped me so much in becoming the adult I turned out to be and children teach you about love and patience. But I was very young when I had them and there was much I didn’t know yet. Other bright lights were the friends I made early in my first married life. They were very important and are my friends still, be it from a distance. I still feel strongly attached to them and I trust them without hesitation. I hope they know that. Now that my son is gone, I cherish my daughter even more, but I want her to have lots of room to live her own life. But she is a precious thing, like a diamond that shines like the bright sun. And my grandson is someone I want to
huddle over and protect from all of life’s dangers. I see how vulnerable a child is, as I am reminded of how I felt when I was little.

Thank goodness that we all grow up and wise at some point and that we do really reach a point where we take our destinies into our own hands. True, it does take some of us longer to grow up than others. It is good to feel as if life is not something that is just one great lottery in which everything just happens by chance and is at the whims of some creator with a bad sense of humor. It is good to know that we can keep ourselves safe from harm, and that, when something sad does happen, we live through it and come out at the other end again. We go on in spite of it.

A long time ago, I was at a get together that was organized by the PTA and at this get together there was a woman whose son and husband had died in a plane crash. I remember looking at her in wonder and trying to figure out how she could be standing there, talking and sometimes even smiling and being, to all appearances, a normal ordinary woman in spite of her tragedy. I didn’t think that was possible. Now, of course, I know better. I know the worst can happen, and that, for all appearances, you can look to the world like just an ordinary human being who acts and talks just like any other ordinary human being. But you have all of that life experience inside of you and that makes you different, but that doesn’t necessarily show from the outside. But you can stand there and talk and smile and live, yes you can. It is an amazing thing. After my mother died, I wished for some sign that I could wear on my clothing to show that I was in the deepest mourning possible, because I had no way to express it. It was the same after my son died. A sign that would make it unnecessary for me to speak the words. A terrible tell all sign. Like a Jewish person wearing a yellow star. But there was no such thing and over the years, you stop needing that. You become like everybody else again, except for your memories. And those aren’t visible.

Well, now I am mostly just an ordinary human being, in spite of my depressions and my gastric band. That is what I strive to be. Anything extra special will be the icing on the cake, I hope. I certainly don’t want to be playing the starring role in my own personal drama.

Now I am going to do the ordinary everyday things like walk the dog, feed the cats, take my medicines, take a shower, get dressed properly and watch the queen on TV. Just like thousands of other Dutch people. That sounds nice…

P.S. I went out without my jacket, but there is a wind blowing from the east and it is kind of cold, but the flags are waving in it and so were the dog’s ears!

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This morning I weighed 101.9 kilos and I think that is pretty good. That means I have lost 23.5 kilos now. I had a feeling before I went on the scales, that I had lost weight, and I was relieved to see that I was right. I had been careful again about what I ate yesterday and had no snack before I went to bed except for a glass of milk. Eduard has bought me some pears at the Turkish vegetable man and they are really good for a change from the apples. For lunch I ate all the cashew nuts out of a baggy of mixed nuts and raisins and that was very satisfying. Now there are a lot of walnuts left in there, but I am not sure that I want to eat those, as they make your mouth really dry and I have enough of a dry mouth already. I do love cashew nuts the best and it is a shame that they are all gone now, although the raisins are good too. We’ll see what I have for lunch today. There is still some lovely yogurt left too, with a mango flavor.

The tank tops arrived, but much to my disappointment they were just a bit tight on me. I could wear them, but I won’t yet, so I was really disappointed about that. The thing is, that this is a different brand than what I normally order, and it seems that their sizes run differently from those of Great Looks. Of course, I didn’t know that. I’ll save the ones that are too tight now, because I will grow into them, but I ordered a bigger size that will get here on Wednesday as I looked through all my T-shirts and tank tops and I really can’t find much that fits me now. I need to lose a couple of kilos around the stomach region, that is where a lot of the extra weight is. I look pregnant there, and I think I can’t get away with that, because I am obviously too old for that. I just need to be patient and keep my hopes up and keep losing weight at a steady rate. I saw my niece outside briefly yesterday when I walked the dog, and I told her that I wouldn’t be able to show her the new tank top, but she insisted that I come and show her my new shoes.

Yesterday it was 27 degrees, although it felt much hotter and today it is supposed to be 25. Tomorrow is Queens day, a national holiday and we will be flying the flag. Eduard has the day off, but will be working at night then, but the hours that he works count double, so he is taking next Friday off as compensation. He worked until midnight last night and I didn’t hear him come home, but when I woke up just now, I did make sure that he was laying in the bed next to me. I think I saw a dark shape and it must have been him!

Speaking of national holidays, there are a couple of them coming up. First there is May the 4th, when we remember all those who died in the wars, but especially those who died in WW II. Wreaths are laid at the national monument on the Dam in Amsterdam by the queen and lots of other people and two minutes of silence are observed at 8 pm. And then the next day, May the 5th, is Liberation Day, the end of WW II. That holiday is celebrated here with a lot of exuberance and the whole country parties. For people of Eduard’s and my generation, WW II is a very real thing, because our parents lived through it and we both grew up with many stories about it. Sometimes it felt as if we lived through it ourselves. My mother’s family had to go underground, because my grandfather was a police officer and wouldn’t cooperate with the Nazis and their deportation of the Jews. My father was held at a camp inside the Netherlands, because the Nazis were after him for having stolen food during the hunger winter of 44-45. Luckily, this was at the end of the war, so he was not sent into Germany or worse. His grandfather was imprisoned for awhile when they couldn’t find my father.

Anyway, you grow up with these stories and you think a lot about what you would have done during the war. How brave you would have been yourself. Would you have hidden Jews at the peril of your own life? I always thought I would have, even without having read Anne Frank’s diary. My mother told us what it was like to go hungry and to go without the basic necessities like a piece of soap to wash yourself with, without heat in the wintertime, without papers to identify yourself. I think a lot of people were as brave as they could be then.

Anyway…aren’t we lucky to live in this free, democratic society that we live in now, with all of its freedoms and securities? That’s why we need those holidays to remind us of that. In case we start complaining too much. But also to keep us from becoming complacent, of course, and to always fight for the true cause.

I didn’t do too much yesterday. I made sure the house was cleaned up, but I see now that I may have to vacuum again despite of it. Cat hair and dog hair! We’ll see. I was watching the European Gymnastics Championships on TV in the afternoon and fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke up, it was still going on. That was a nice nap and it didn’t prevent me from falling asleep promptly at 9:30 pm. Eduard keeps asking me if I need new books from the library yet and the answer keeps being no, not yet. I have to go and pick out a new book list, as the one I have now is just about done and it wasn’t such a good one anyway. I also have book lists with Dutch language books on them, but I really want to do the English language ones first. At all costs, I want to keep up with my English. As it is now, I only really speak it when I talk to my daughter. I do notice that British words and usages are sneaking in. That’s from watching the BBC so often. And I have to tell you right here also, any program with Richard Attenborough in it, I love from the start. I just can’t help myself. I love to watch the man’s body language when he speaks.

Jesker has just been out here to say hello, he was very cute and sleepy headed. There are only two cats here now, but I am happy to report that they are eating the beef and poultry now. The sun has come up while I have been typing this. And all the birds are singing, of course.

Right, I am going to finish reading the news and wait for Jesker to come out again for his walk…

Nouri followed us to the field and back again. She kept running after Jesker, but he just ignored her, because he was busy sniffing everywhere and peeing against trees. The whole time that she followed us, she cried in this heart rendering way as if she wanted to break our hearts, but that is because her mother was a Siamese and they are famous for that. When I walked by my sister’s house, I heard her opening the metal shutters of the bedrooms upstairs, but I didn’t bother to look up and wave, I just wasn’t in the mood. I could tell it was her opening them by the briskness with which it happened. No, I don’t carry a grudge at all!

I rated yesterday with a six. It wasn’t much of an exciting day and it didn’t really become a good day until the evening when I knew I would be going to bed soon. So the last three hours were nice. I am not unwilling to have a six now and then and I realize I have to do something to make an eight or a seven happen, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Oh, I think the cats want to eat now, Gandhi is sticking her paw into the empty can that is sitting on the kitchen counter from last night. Okay, cheerio and all that…

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Well, I am happy to report that I have lost the extra weight plus an extra 100 grams and now I only have 2,2 kilos left to lose until I hit 100 kilos. And that is before the tea has started to do its job. I was extra careful about what I ate yesterday, without going hungry, of course. I didn’t have any crackers and cheese before I went to sleep. Just a glass of milk. Eduard had Tjap Tjoi from the Chinese for dinner last night and I had a 3 egg omelet. Eduard said: Can you really eat all of that? I said: Sure, it’s mostly air. The dog had the last few bites, when I was getting full, so he got lucky.

I went and had coffee with my sister yesterday afternoon. I took the dog and only stayed for an hour, because she was actually very busy with all sorts of things. My niece showed me her latest purchases in the clothing department and I promised to come by on Sunday and show her one of my new tank tops and my new shoes. My toe is slowly getting better and I hope I will be able to wear my new shoes by Sunday. If not, I’ll still go and wear them over there and hope I don’t cripple myself for life! I do so enjoy my niece, as I can talk to her as if she is a grown up and we especially do this when my sister is not around. Erica wasn’t home when I first got there and Anna is so relaxed when it is just me and her. She is so mature!

Eduard was home last night and at nine o’clock the dog let us know that he absolutely had to go for his walk right now. Eduard was watching a quiz show, so I took Jesker for his walk and got home at 9:30. By that time I was ready to go to bed, of course, and so was Eduard, so we both made an early night of it again. I had had such a long day, that I was asleep in no time at all. At this rate it is going to take me weeks to get through that Paul Theroux book. For a change, I went to sleep on my side and it was warm, so I hardly had the duvet pulled over me, and I think I read a page before I was asleep.

On the news last night, there was an item about the radicalisation of especially Moroccan youth in the Netherlands. It seems that ultra conservative elements are infiltrating the mosques and are influencing the people with very heated and anti-western speeches. This ultra conservative wing of the Islam has a name, which I now can’t remember, but it causes some amount of concern, as it opposes the freedoms and ideas that we stand for here in the Netherlands. It is a genuine clash of cultures. As there are one million Muslims in the Netherlands, this concerns me too, but we have to remember that the radicalisation is only taking place under a relatively small amount of people. It’s a shame that these Moroccan youth are drawn to this especially and that they don’t feel integrated enough in our society to feel part of it. They reject us and what we stand for and I don’t know what the answer is to that. It makes me sad that they live in our society, but don’t feel part of it.

On another note, not to become too morbid, the weather is supposed to cool down just a little, but for the next week, no rain is in the forecast. The April weather has broken all sorts of records. When I go outside, I usually get a bit out of breath, but only sometimes it is bad enough that I need to use my inhaler, so, so far, so good. The dog makes many pit stops, so I don’t have to walk too fast usually. If he gets too far ahead of me, he waits for me at some corner, if not, I tell him to wait and that works, because he gets a treat. Eduard says that Jesker seems to listen better to me than he does to him, but I think that is because I always have treats with me, and I treat him like an absentminded toddler with whom you have to be very patient. He does want to listen, but he daydreams and his mind is not always on the job.

On the 11th of May, my daughter is graduating from law school. I am not going to be able to be there, but her father will be and so will her aunt, her father’s twin sister. If any of you want to send her a graduation card, you can email me for the address. I am so proud of her, because she did manage it in spite of her divorce and being a single mom and the death of her brother. Those were all difficult things to get through. She was especially attached to Brion and I know it was a hard blow for her, as it was to all of us, of course, but I think it was hardest on her. I know she lives her life now always keeping his last words to her in mind, and he still is very much a presence in her life now.

Jesker has been out here to greet me, but has gone back to the bedroom. No cats are lining up yet. Gandhi is in Eduard’s work room, sitting in front of the window, watching the birds go by that land in the Golden Rain.

Since today is Saturday, I will make sure the apartment is cleaned up really well, so that tomorrow I can get away with not doing anything. Our fluffy cat, Lotje, is losing a lot of hair. Everywhere I look, there are little bunches of it. She likes to sleep under the conifers that are in the end of the garden of our neighbors in the back, and when she gets home, she always has bits of conifer in her fur. That is her summertime spot to hang out at.

I thought that I would have fallen asleep on the sofa yesterday at some point, because I had gotten up in the middle of the night, but I did no such thing. That worried me for a bit, because I thought I might be too hyper to fall asleep at all, but I needn’t have worried. I think the night time rituals of going to bed sooth my brain and get me in the right mood to go to sleep. I always do really well when I have to travel from here to the States or from the States back again. I never really have a jet lag and I am always able to stay up and pick up the routine at whichever place I am at. I usually get just a bit drowsy in the plane and take little cat naps, but not much and mostly I think flying is just very boring, unless you get upgraded to business class. When I win the lottery, I am always going to fly business class, it is such a luxury compared to economy where you are squeezed in like sardines. I seem to remember economy class being much more comfortable some 25 years ago, but that can be my imagination. I now think they have made the seats smaller and have squeezed them closer together. Or is it just me?

The first time I flew, was with my mother and my little sister, when I came out to California for the first time. That is 35 years ago. My mother still smoked, (everyone did back then) and the ashtray was in the back of the seat ahead of her. When she extinguished one of her cigarettes, she managed to put the seat on fire and it started to smolder and noxious fumes came out. The co-pilot had to come with a fire extinguisher to put it out, much to my mother’s embarrassment. We were so excited to be going out to California to meet the man of my dreams, although I am sure that there a was a lot of hesitation at my mother’s part also. My little sister saw nothing but mountains and deserts below us at one point, and thought out loud that she really didn’t want to go there. That chapter of my life should be titled: How I Met My American Family. Or: Girl, You Should Have Stayed Home Where You Belonged. Once you are someplace, it is hard to leave again without feeling a certain amount of embarrassment about it. How I Thought I Was Going Crazy, But Didn’t Know That I Really Was. Ha ha!

Eduard has been out to get his coffee, but claims he needs to sleep another hour, because he has to work until midnight tonight. I think he wants to stay in bed now, because it is no fun to be up yet and we have no cookies and the stores are still closed. I thought I was going to mind not having any cookies at all, but it isn’t too bad at all. When
I want something sweet now, I eat an apple, so that works too. I am really cutting down on the cheese consumption now, because without the crackers and cheese, I just eat the small chunk of cheese for a snack, and that isn’t very much. But I do drink about a quart of milk a day, so that is good. I am thinking of my bones, of course. Still, with the extra vitamins I am taking, I seem to lose less hair. The Obesitas Nurse Specialist said, that if I take 3 Davitamon vitamin pills every day, I don’t have to take the extra vitamins AD and B, but it is working so well with taking those and taking just two Davitamons, that I don’t really want to change the formula. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? If any of you have any input on this, I would like to hear about it. I have good skin and good hair now and I want to keep it that way.

Toby is eating dog food, Pedigree for older dogs. He always does this, but so far it doesn’t seem to hurt him. Toby doesn’t really like canned food, not even when it is the best, he just doesn’t care. Toby is one of my favorite cats, because he is so cool. He acts like he owns the word wisdom and walks around the world with a certain amount of bravado. Yesterday, he let some of the girl cats know he was boss, by chasing them around a bit, while the dog tried to stop him from doing it. Toby doesn’t care. When he is done, he lies down in the middle of the room with a look on his face that says: Well, I’ve made my point! Even his best girlfriend, Nouri, gets worried.

Well, now I have to go and walk the dog, it is past his time and no doubt he has urgent business…

In my relationship with my sister, who is seven years younger than I am, I try to be kind and thoughtful and, lately especially, cheerful. But every once in awhile she comes at me with a snide remark or a very critical comment, that comes at me out of the blue, and that takes me completely by surprise, as I don’t see it coming at all. As a result, at that moment, I am not always ready with a rebuttal, I am usually just gobsmacked. Then when I get home, I realize how much of what she has said bothers me, because I keep thinking about it and I try to figure out what motivated her to say such things. It takes me the rest of the day to get over it. I discuss it with Eduard and he says that my sister has her own neuroses and to not take it personal, but of course, she never says such things to Eduard. I try to figure it out, and the only thing I can think is, that sometimes I get too close to her for her own comfort and she literally emotionally shoves me away from her good and hard. She did this again yesterday and now that I think about it this morning, I realize that I will give her a good bit of space until she is feeling normal again, because I sure don’t enjoy her in the present mood. Well, you can’t pick your relatives, right?

I can’t wait for my tank tops to be delivered. I am so curious to see if they will fit! Well, now I have to get going, so ciao for now…

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It’s the middle of the night and I woke up with a terrible pain in my foot. I must have slept with it twisted or something, because it is only slowly starting to feel better. I think I had it stuck between my mattress and that of Eduard’s. As a result of that, I am wide awake, because it really hurts. Now I have made some coffee and I am waiting for the pain to subside. I remember doing that as a kid once; sleeping wrong on my arm and waking up in the middle of the night with a terrible pain in my arm. Anyway…

Eduard was home for a change last night. He had to exchange his Thursday night for a Saturday night with his colleague and when I got ready to go to bed, Eduard went to bed as well, so that was cozy. The dog just didn’t know what to make of it, but I thought it was a good idea for Eduard to get caught up on a little bit of sleep. We both passed out in no time at all. We’re really showing our middle age here.

Eduard came home yesterday afternoon with a sample package of very expensive cat food that he got from a colleague, who had gotten it from her vet. Gandhi and Nouri happened to be home, so I divided it up between the two of them, and boy, did they wolf that down! They loved it! So now I will have to go out and get a part time job so we can buy the cats gourmet food. Although, their dishes are empty again after I gave them beef and poultry last night. But I do really wish that I could give them expensive food like that every day.

Yesterday was definitely an eight. Jesker and I hung out on the field at noon time and, even though it was hot and sunny, there was a bit of a breeze and that made it very pleasant. A sharpei came by with his owner on his leash. Right, he had his owner on the leash! Anyway, Jesker decided to protect me and his territory and started to bark and do fake attacks. When he chased the sharpei and his owner away, he came to me, wagging his stumpy tail, as if to say: aren’t I brave for protecting you? I didn’t praise him, because I really didn’t want him to do that, and I had a man to man talk with him about it.

Eduard weeded the rest of the flower beds and the dirt there is really hard, so if we want to plant anything there, it needs to be dug up and turned over and have some potting soil added to it. I think we are going to plant ivy there as a ground cover, since neither one of us is much in the mood for gardening. Mostly we just want it to look decent and keep the weeds from growing. I have a big pot that I can plant something colorful in, if I can just remember to water it. The chairs that we have out there, didn’t survive the winter very well and we are going to take them to the dump. My sister had two other chairs for us, but she just let me know that those also are falling apart, so one of these days we will have to get something completely new.

One of the things that I wrote about yesterday in my lost post, was the fact that the crown prince and his wife recently had their third child in 3 years and 4 months time. So, yes, if you are married to the crown prince, it is your duty to have as many healthy children in as short amount of time as possible. Anyway, it is a girl again and her name is Ariane. Her sisters are named Amalia and Alexia. Amalia is going to be our queen some day, as it is the first born who inherits the throne, whether or not it is a boy or a girl. So if they were to have a son down the line, he would not become king. Beatrix is our queen right now and she has always made it clear that she would not give up the throne until Alexander had started his family and had a chance to enjoy himself with his children and his wife. Therefore the quick succession of children, no doubt. The crown prince married for love and he and his wife are very popular. We think he will make a popular king and he will be our first king since king Willem III in the 19th century. It has been all queens since then. And by the way, the kids are really cute, blond haired and chubby cheeked and they are being raised as normal as is possible.

Yesterday we heard in the news that 9 million Dutch people live in the 2/3 of the country that would be below water if it weren’t for the sea and river dikes. Now it turns out that 25% of the dikes are not up to par when you consider that they have to stand up to rising water levels. So some major investing in strengthening the dikes is going to have to happen, but so far nobody knows where the money is going to come from. We are all serious about the climate change. We take it as a given and for a low lying country like the Netherlands, it can be a disaster. Of course, here in Limburg we are safe, because we are way above sea level. Still, houses and industrial complexes are being built in the low lying polders, and it is amazing that they are. American companies that build over here refuse to build in the polders and can’t believe anybody else would. Lots of people believe that in another twenty years most of Holland will be below water; that is the general public. My aunt lives in the province Zeeland (Sealand) and when you walk in her town, Vlissingen (Flushing), you see the dike with the water on the other side higher than the street level. That always sort of spooks me. In 1953, in a huge storm, some of the dikes broke and much of Zeeland was flooded. I would move if I lived there.

Yesterday, I checked what T-shirts and tank tops I had and decided there was not much there that I could wear in the short run, so I ordered two tank tops on line. One black one and one leopard print one. They’ll get here tomorrow and I haven’t told Eduard yet. I guess he’ll find out tomorrow. The elastic waist pants that I tightened, fit really well now and there is no way they are going to slide down. They are really comfortable to wear in the warmer weather and I can wear the tank tops with them. There is such a desire to look good, it just can’t be helped. I am compelled to look like a pretty woman.

Oh yes! I finally got a phone call yesterday from my friend Lucien. I didn’t know all this time what I should do. If I should have called her while she was having a hard time, or if I should wait for her to call me like she said she would. It was a dilemma, because I didn’t want to come across as being nosy and bothering her while she was not doing well. But I thought about her a lot. So yesterday afternoon she called and it was really good to hear her voice, and I am happy to say that she is doing well, which is really a relief. She had completely cut down on her antidepressants and as a result of that, had gone through a really bad time, but in the end had come out of that, and now she is doing well and having no depressions. Of course, I don’t know if depressions were her major problem, so it is hard to say if she will always be able to do without, but right now she is. She still takes other medications which go with the bipolar disorder, but she sound
s like she is doing really well. Anyway, she is going on vacation with her husband, and we made a date to meet up with each other after that, downtown, next month. I can’t wait. It will be good to see her.

I haven’t lost any weight for the past two or three days, as a matter of fact, I have gained some and I am really disgusted about it. I am being so careful about what I eat. No cookie has touched my lips, but the Obesitas Nurse Specialist did warn me that this could happen sometimes. I feel just the littlest bit bloated too. Maybe it is time to make myself a large mug of herbal laxative tea. When I step on the scales, it is such a disappointment and I want to mentally make myself lighter and defy gravity, but have found no way to do it! I think that, from now on, I am only going to eat one cracker with cheese in the evenings. As it is, Eduard has had to cut down on the amount of cheese that he buys at the open air market, because I am eating much less of it. Yesterday, I didn’t chew my apple carefully enough and had a piece stuck under my esophagus for a while, but it finally made its way down after I kept ignoring it. Sometimes I can do that.

It hasn’t rained since March the 22nd and it is the warmest April since record keeping started in 1716. The normal temperature at this time is 15 degrees Celsius. Today it is going to be 27. Next week is going to be a bit cooler, but there is still no rain in the forecast. It would be wonderful if it rained good and hard and soaked the ground really well. All the dust and pollen would get washed out of the air as well. The forests are also very dry now and there is going to be danger of fire. You people in the western USA are probably thinking: well, it is like this here all the time!

It is still pretty early and for some reason the cats are starting to line up already. I guess they’ve decided that they like beef and poultry after all. Lotje has already sat on the mouse pad. Jesker is asleep by my feet. The birds have started to sing outside, but it is still dark. It means it will be dawn soon. Eduard was up briefly to get a cup of coffee and some cookies, but has gone back to sleep. These are the last of the cookies, we’re not going to buy any more after this. They are too many tempting calories. Better to eat an apple or some yogurt or a piece of cheese.

Right, Lotje is making herself very clear now, I will have to feed the cats. Maybe more later…

Well, I walked the dog early. The sun was barely up and the field was still in the shade, so it was a bit chilly out, but I didn’t mind that. I made the mistake of wearing my sandals, so I couldn’t walk out onto the field, because it was very dewy. The dog made a half hearted attempt, but when he saw that I wasn’t following him, he turned around and came back as if to say: well, you’re no fun this morning! We saw Sasha, the German shepherd and she is always very well behaved, so the two dogs just walk past each other without much interest. They’re old acquaintances. Jesker doesn’t get too excited about all the familiar dogs, except for the little Maltese Lion, who is a castrated male, by the way. Jesker doesn’t have a clue, he’s just in love with that dog.

Eduard is up and I am going to get properly dressed and all that stuff. It’s going to be a long day. My foot finally stopped hurting…

P.S. I made myself a big mug of laxative tea with three spoons of sugar in it, otherwise it is not drinkable. Now I feel very full and I will postpone the apple that I normally have for breakfast until later. I’ve washed my hair with Head and Shoulders after Eduard had put the lotion on it last night. I suppose this is going to be a chronic problem for which there is no real relief. The lotion helps against the itching, but it doesn’t make it disappear. I am not going to get rid of the animals!

I have cleaned up the kitchen and I am on my way to clean up the bathroom now. I have CNN on for background noise. All those American voices! I am now used to listening to British voices on the BBC. Sometimes I watch German TV for fun, to see if my German is still up there. Mostly I can follow what is being said, or figure it out through the context.

Well, now I am off to the bathroom…

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I had written a long post this morning, and when I was finally done, I spellchecked it and pushed the publish button. Then I went to view the blog and started to read what I had written, to check for any grammar mistakes and realized that the post had been published all scrambled. So, I went to edit post and tried to recover the original post, but it would only recover a quarter of the post, no matter what I tried, so I thought, the heck with that, I am not going to rewrite that whole thing now! So I deleted that little bit and shut of the computer in disgust and went to clean up the kitchen. Now, I really should be vacuuming, but I thought I would give it one more shot to see if I could recover anything, but no. So, now I have to try and tell you a little bit of what I told you in that lost post.

I went to see my GP yesterday about my sore toe and when he saw me he said: Irene, you look wonderful! That put a smile on my face, so we had a discussion about the gastric band and the weight loss and the non leaking bladder and the bladder medication that I had been on, and I also told him about the Topamax and he was duly impressed and entered it all into the computer into my file. So that was great, and he does need to know everything, because he is my main care person and is always kept up to date on what happens to me. Then he looked at my toe and decided it was an ingrown toe nail and he said that normally that is remedied surgically, but that he missed that lesson in medical school and that he is not very good at it. So I said: Then I guess you don’t get to work on my toe, and he said: No, just soak it in warm water and baking soda. So, I started that yesterday.

So, on my walk to and from the doctor’s office, there was all sorts of pollen in the air and other sorts of stuff, so when I got home, I had to use my inhaler and had a coughing fit. Then my left ear started to itch and my head, so it is time to get the medication out again, because my ear is getting scaly and itchy again and so is my head. With this dry weather, it is no wonder that people’s allergies start acting up, even Eduard has been walking around with a stuffed up nose.

Then, in my original post, I told you all sorts of interesting stories about the flowerbeds and the crown prince and the queen, and the dog, and about clothes and losing weight, but I just can’t go and repeat all of that all over again, so I am not going to do it. Maybe I will be inspired to do so tomorrow morning. Now, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking, I need to clean house, so I am not that relaxed sitting here. Maybe if I pour myself a cup of coffee that will help.

So far, it is the driest April ever and the farmers are having to irrigate their fields. There is no rain in the forecast. It is hot and dry out. Jesker thinks it is too warm to do much walking around on the field, he just wants to go home and sleep on his pillow where it is nice and cool.

The cats are being stubborn about their food, but I am equally stubborn and I don’t give them any new food, unless they eat what is in their dishes or unless it is too dried up to eat. This morning they didn’t ask for food, because they had eaten during the night. I think they get more finicky when the weather is warm, they definitely eat better in the wintertime, but they are always picky eaters. I think they only want expensive gourmet food.

I have a terrible desire to go out and buy pretty new clothes, but I know that I have to wait until I really have lost all the weight. As it is, I will have to buy some interim clothes as I lose the weight. I think I have enough T-shirts in different sizes, so I won’t have to get any of those. Mostly, I will have to get pants. I know I need to buy some 3/4 length pants for this summer, but I’ll wait till the end of May to get those. We’ll see what happens to the weather first. I am longing for a slender body and I dream about it at night. I dream about pretty clothes. I have found a way of applying my make up that I really like, and it looks as if I am wearing hardly any at all. Mostly I just can’t wait to look good. Our closet door has a full sized mirror and I pass it whenever I enter and leave the bedroom, so I can look in it often. I avoided that until recently, but lately I have started looking. And I don’t look in disgust anymore. I look with hope now.

I keep grading my days with sevens. I think a seven is a pretty decent grade, I worry when it goes down to a six. I don’t like sixes, even though I know there must be days like that also. By keeping a tight grip on everything, I try to avoid that, but that sounds a bit neurotic, doesn’t it? Well, I stick to my schedule as much as possible, doing everything at the right time, in the right order, and that seems to work very well. Predictability is definitely a good thing. I absolutely go to bed at nine, even if I am watching something interesting, unless I know there are only 5 or 10 minutes to go. I fall asleep very quickly in my stately funeral position and I wake up in that position too, I guess I don’t move around much at night. The only thing that is different, is that my book has slid off my stomach.

I would like more of my days to be eights, but I do have moments that feel like an eight, so that’s not bad. I suppose I would like to be just a tiny bit hypo-manic, but now with the Topamax I suppose I won’t be. That’s the price you pay for sanity, oh well. I know that I am secretly hoping for a bit of excitement in my life, I just don’t want me to be the instigator. I want the stimulation to come from the outside. If it weren’t so hot, I would go into town, but when it is this hot, it is even hotter downtown, and it will be very crowded. Besides, I have no money left to spend. When the weather is a bit cooler, I will go downtown and surprise Eduard at work and have coffee with him.

Okay people, keep your fingers crossed. If this thing is scrambled again, you will just have to read it out of order. I have to go to work, the vacuum cleaner is calling me…

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Well, that was nice. I went on the scales first thing this morning and I had lost the 200 grams that I had gained yesterday and lost an extra 100 grams, so I am happy now. Now I have 2,3 kilos left to lose until I hit 100 kilos. Hooray! So all together I have lost 23 kilos and 100 grams. Pretty darn good. I really watched what I ate yesterday, and I didn’t give in to any cravings I had for sweet things like cookies. If I felt that, I ate a piece of cheese, and I had my normal small portion of dinner and two crackers with cheese for my night time snack. That does make going to bed a bit of a festive experience. It’s the small things like that, that make the difference.

The tunic I ordered arrived and it fits me, but it is a little tight, so I am going to save it for when I have lost some more weight. Other than that, I am happy with it, as it it cut quite low in the front and looks kind of sexy, and I am all for that. One of my necklaces matches it perfectly also. The jeans problem is solved, because I found a belt in my underwear drawer that fits and that keeps my jeans on tight, so I will be able to wear them that way for another month or so. I have also tightened the waists in the two elastic waist pants, so I will be able to wear them for a while to come. I do love all the clothing issues, such nice dilemmas I am confronted with!

When I turned on the computer this morning, my daughter was waiting for me again to chat with her, after we had already talked on the phone last night, so that is nice. I do always feel that I am closely involved in her life, even from a distance. She shares her life easily with me, and I think that is a real blessing and she reads my blog, so she is up to date on my life as well. My grandson is doing well in school and is getting good grades, he is nine now and a smart little kid. He scores real high in some subjects, like reading and reading comprehension. He also speaks and reads German fluently. My daughter had just ordered some new shoes online and she sent me the pictures of them and they are real knock out shoes, so world, watch out!

I had been planning to pull the rest of the weeds out of the flowerbeds, but ended up not doing it because of my knees. They really hurt when I bend down for any length of time, and I think my joints there have been just a bit damaged by my overweight. Maybe it will get better when I lose some more weight. I may be able to talk Eduard into doing the rest of it, there is not that much left to do. I think I will sweep the patio today, that shouldn’t be too hard to do. It is just a small patio, there is just room for a table and some chairs and that is about it. Some day I would like to get a nice patio set, the kind that you can leave out in the winter too, so I guess that means something rod iron. We now have wooden chairs, but they are becoming quite beat up. We inherited them from my sister, when she bought the new set. We don’t have room to store anything during the winter, so they’ll have to stay out.

Eduard had to work again last night, and after getting off the phone with my daughter, I did my little evening ritual and was off to bed. I fluff up my pillows and lie there and read my book until I get sleepy and then I put my book down on my stomach and close my eyes with my reading glasses still on. It is almost like a state funeral. I am posed like that perfectly. As usual, I didn’t hear Eduard come home, or the dog making his happy sounds because of it. Eduard had had the habit of staying up late after he worked evenings, and sitting behind the computer to unwind, but then he usually went to bed way too late, so he is trying to not do that anymore and get to bed a bit sooner. It does make all the difference getting up in the morning. It is so tempting to stay behind the computer and do all sorts of things that absolutely can’t wait until the next day. But he ends up with a shortage of sleep as a result, and that’s no good.

Well, like I predicted, the cats don’t like beef and poultry anymore and yesterday morning they didn’t eat any of it, so I ended up throwing all of that away. Last night I gave them something else altogether and they ate that, so we’ll have to go to the store to stock up on some paté from Albert Heijn. There is a reason why cats are called finicky after all.

The dog is much less picky, he likes lots of things, except raw vegetables and fruit. He does love cooked carrots and green beans. We could easily make him a vegetarian, but I don’t think that would be wise. I do want him to be healthy. There was a program on TV the other night about the treatment of cows and calf’s at the hands of cattle dealers, and sometimes I had to look the other way, because I just couldn’t stomach it, and now I am glad that I don’t eat meat anymore. This is an issue I could go on and on about, but I wont, because I will get too emotional about it. I had been planning on becoming a vegetarian, even though I like the taste of meat, but now I am glad that, due to circumstances, the decision has been kind of forced on me. Anyway, the Party for the Animals has gotten one or two seats in the government and they should be able to do something about present rules and regulations concerning the treatment of cattle and poultry.

I’ve just started the second pot of coffee and Eduard has gotten up and is making his breakfast and he just told me he went to bed early last night and I can tell the difference, because he is a little bit more awake this morning. Luckily, the newspaper is here already also, so now he can read that and grumble about that, leaving me with time to sit here and write this. Yes, we all have our little habits that we develop around each other’s other little habits, and it all works somehow. Jesker is laying very patiently at Eduard’s feet hoping to get a bit of bread crust, which he will in the end, of course.

I tried on my new shoes yesterday, to see if they hurt any less yet, but no, my toe still hurts and this afternoon I am off to see the GP. I don’t know what he can actually do about an ingrown toenail, if that is what it is. I have been wearing my sandals, so that has been a good solution while the weather is this good. Today it is supposed to be 27 degrees Celsius. So, another hot day for April. It hasn’t rained all month and the farmers aren’t too happy about that.

Well, I am going to walk the dog and feed the ungrateful cats, see you soon…

Well, I had especially good treats today, so the dog was good even when he really didn’t have to be. Like going of to explore a corner of the field and then coming back to me and sitting, so I rewarded him for his efforts anyway. It’s a true democracy, according to the dog. I gave the cats duck and poultry and they don’t like it, so now we are stuck with about a dozen cans of food that they don’t like. I wonder if we can trade them in? Or trade in the cats for less finicky ones? I should say to them: there are cats in Africa going hungry…

I saw my sister walking her dog, but we were to far away from each other to have a conversation, so we just waved. She was wearing an especially cute pair of pants that I had admired the other day. Something I would wish to wear when I have lost more weight. They are a three quarter pair of pants from Esprit. Now I know they don’t have big sizes! Their XL is tiny! I don’t know who they had in mind when they thought up that size. Such optimism!

I order clothes from a company called Wehkamp and they carry a line of clothing called Great Looks that are for the bigger sizes and I can usually find something there. They should call it Great Sizes. There are two stores in town that also cater to the bigger sizes along with carrying the regular sizes, so it makes it easy to make the transition. One is called Hennis and Maurits an
d the other is Miss Etam. I should go and look there when I’ve lost more weight and see what sort of things they have for the pleasantly plump. I don’t mean I’m pleasantly plump yet, but I’m getting there. Right now, I’m still overly plump, except for my extremities, they are just about right. It’s the middle part that I’m working on. Sort of like an apple shape.

Look, I can be full of humor about my shape now, because I know it’s disappearing and I won’t be looking like this much longer. One day I will look back on this and hope that there are not too many pictures in existence that are witness to my overweight times. If any of you have those, please destroy them. That’s the best thing you can do with those. I promise you all new pictures with the new and improved Irene on them. Eduard is a photographer, maybe he can take some good shots of me. There have been times, when people, against better judgement, have taken pictures of me, and I think that was all very misguided. As a matter of fact, my extended family has never seen me this fat, they all live with the memory of me being skinny and hopefully, I can keep it that way. By extended family, I mean some of my aunts and cousins up north and in the US.

I remember weighing 85 kilos and thinking that was a lot and after that, my memory is a blank. During this blank period, I gained the rest of the weight. I do have vague memories of me eating chocolate and lots of carbohydrates and getting up in the middle of the night to get food, which I found, half eaten, in my bed in the morning. In my case, my depressions are associated with an increased craving for sugar and carbohydrates. When I am hypo-manic, I hardly eat at all and I lose weight. That’s been a while. The only other time I was heavy in my life, was when my thyroid was working too slow, and I didn’t know it, and I was up to a size 14 and I thought that was bad.

The good thing about losing the weight and the style of eating that I have now, is that I am not diabetic anymore. I check my blood sugars every once in a while, but they are always okay. I am sure that, if I ate a candy bar, they would not be, but of course, I don’t do that. I am also cured of a forever leaking bladder, and let me tell you, that is a wonderful thing, you can imagine that.

Well, now it is time to get going again. The inevitable day needs to get started, so until tomorrow, when we will meet again…

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Well, what a bummer. I went on the scales this morning and I had actually gained 200 grams! This just won’t do. I am trying to figure out what I did wrong yesterday, but nothing comes to mind right away, so it must just be one of those unexplainable things that will remedy itself again over the next few days. I sure wasn’t expecting that! But, this has happened before, and it always takes care of itself again in a day or so, so I won’t worry about it too much. Still, I don’t like it.

Yesterday was another lovely day. It was warm outside and in the afternoon Jesker and I hung out on the field a bit. Jesker was so happy in the sunshine that he rolled around on the grass for the sheer joy of it. Sometimes he still acts like a puppy and he is so cute when he does. The apartment is still nice and cool, even though we have all the windows cracked open, but that does cause a nice draft.

I cleaned the shelves and the tiled wall in the kitchen and was glad that I did, because it really needed a good scrubbing. Then I started painting the shelves, but I really need a different kind of paint, so I will have to get that first before I continue. The paint I have now is too thin and not water based and too hard to paint with. But the part I’ve done looks good. I also started pulling the weeds in the flowerbeds, but had to stop halfway, because my poor knees started to hurt, so I am planning on doing some more of that today. I figure I will do some every day until it is done. The patio needs to be swept well to, as dirt from the neighbors garden has been washed onto it by the rain this winter. Their flowerbeds are just a bit higher than our patio.

When I walked Jesker in the evening, I stopped by my sister’s to return some Tupperware. The kids had gotten their report cards and very nice they were too. Lots of good grades on them. We almost take it for granted that they do well in school, but it sure is a blessing. Starting tomorrow they have their spring vacation. The elementary school already has, and it sure makes it quiet around here without the noise of playing children during the lunch breaks.

I have been sticking to my schedule of going to bed at 9 pm and so far, so good. I am waking up a bit early in the morning, but then I take just a short nap on the sofa during the day. Just half an hour or so and that is enough. I have been feeling well and most days I grade with a 7. Every once in a while, I still get a fixated idea, an idea that won’t leave my head and that is really illogical, but I keep reminding myself that that is what it is, and not to take it too seriously, and that it has its own beginning and end, and that I don’t have to act on it. Mostly I keep it to myself, I don’t share it with anybody, although I suppose I could with Eduard, but he has been gone so much the last couple of days. I keep reminding myself what my psychiatrist told me. That it is the narrowing of the consciousness, kind of like a horse with blinders on, and that it doesn’t quite reflect reality as it is. It is an obsessive thought that is out of proportion to the rest of my thoughts.

I very much like to be physically active, and I am happy that, now with the weight loss, I am able to do so many physical things without it bothering me too much. But physical activity is a sure cure against nagging thoughts or other unpleasant preoccupations. I take breaks after each chore, and sometimes I don’t know what I am going to do next, but then suddenly the mood strikes me and I am off doing something else that I suddenly thought off. Like starting to paint the shelves. I did that, because there was a wine stain that I couldn’t get rid off. It was in the wood and I couldn’t scrub it out. I see now how well it will look when the whole thing is painted, so now I can’t wait to get that done.

So far I have filled two trash bags with clothes for the recycle store and one trash bag with clothes that can just be thrown away, and I think I will be adding to that again shortly. I haven’t tried on all the T-shirts that are stacked up in the closet, maybe some of them will be too big now, but I’ll find out soon enough. There are a some clothes that I am wearing now that fit, so for now I am sticking with them. I ordered a tunic online in a size 46. It may be to small, but I will grow into it soon, or should I say, shrink into it. A tunic is like a very short dress that you were over a pair of pants. I have been wearing a white jeans jacket in a size 48, and it is possible for me too button it, although it is a little tight, but I don’t need to button it, because the weather is so nice. That gives me a little variation in how I look when I go outside. I always hope that the people in the neighborhood notice that I am getting slimmer as they see me walk by with the dog. I remember realizing that my neighbor a couple of houses down was suddenly looking slimmer and that is how I found out about her gastric band, and that inspired me to go to my GP to ask for a referral for the surgeon.

On Wednesday I am going to see my GP about my toe. I looked and looked at it and the only thing I can figure is, that it is an ingrown toenail at the side, because that is where it hurts the most. I stubbed that toe a couple of years ago and since then it has always been a little sensitive. It’s rotten how something as small as a toe can cause you to not be able to wear your new shoes. One thing I do take good care of is my feet. I soak them in hot soapy water and scrub them with a scrub sponge to get the calluses off, because I always have many of them. But it is nice to sit and soak your feet. I don’t have anything like corns or bunions like my mother had, but then again I do wear shoes that fit well. My mother always wore fashionable shoes at the cost of her toes. My daughter loves pretty shoes and has a nice collection of them. Mostly I need comfortable shoes, because I have to walk the dog so often. Inside, I wear orthopedic slip ons that are very comfortable and good for your feet.

I am sitting here in my old grey bathrobe and I realize that one thing I want to get, when I lose the weight, is a nice new bathrobe. A bit more colorful than this one. Actually, it is going to cost a bit of money to get all the new clothes I will be needing. Like they say, time to get a paper route. I have been unable to go to work because of my mental state and that is why it is so important to see how this next year is going to go. I would like for it to be a stable year, without depressions or numerous ups and downs, but mostly without depressions. I may decide, six months down the line, that I know enough, and that I find that I am stable enough to try and get a part time job somewhere. So far, my psychiatrist had not recommended me going to work, but I think that if I stay in the present mood, I will be able to. I do have some computer skills and should be able to find something, although there is age discrimination in this country and once you are past 45 it is hard to get employment. We’ll see, if I’m lucky, something will come my way.

Jesker is wide awake and ready to go, so I will go and walk him now and feed the cats, so, be back soon…

Jesker does, what Eduard calls, relay pooping. That means he poops in one place, wanders off about ten feet, and then poops again. You always need at least two baggies. What a subject! It is a bit cloudy out there, but it is supposed to be 24 degrees Celsius today. We didn’t meet any other dogs and had the field all to ourselves. But Jesker wasn’t much in the mood for taking advantage of that. He just wanted to get home so he could have his denta stick. He did stop at the curb twice though.

We have a nice rattan
chair that our cats have been molesting. This in spite of the fact that we have three scratching posts. Luckily, it wasn’t a very expensive chair, but I am trying to decide if I am going to replace it with another chair like it, or get one that matches the sofa and is more expensive and is going to need to be vacuumed every day like the sofa. I think I want the matching chair, but I haven’t discussed the expense of that yet with Eduard and we do need other things. You can only spend your money once, after all. Some time ago, I broke one of the dining table chairs. I sat there and leaned over, trying to pick something up from the ground and the whole thing caved in. Well, it wasn’t an expensive chair. We had gotten it at Ikea and found one to replace it that looks almost like it. Like my mother would have said, if you run fast, you don’t notice it. But you definitely should not have a rattan chair when you have five cats, it just isn’t very smart. The cats win every time.

Eduard got home very late last night, so he is sleeping still. Jesker has gone to lay on his pillow beside the bed. The cats hardly ate any of their food. What else is new? Today I am going to tighten the waists on those elastic waist pants so that they stop sliding down. I could borrow my sister’s sewing machine, but I think I will just do it by hand. It is not such a big job. I washed two pairs of jeans in hot water and I hope they shrunk a little. From now on, I am only ordering size 46 or maybe even size 44, we’ll see.

Well kids, that’s it for now, I’ll get the proverbial show on the road again. See what sort of mischief I can get into today…

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