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Archive for May, 2007

Today I weigh 96.5 kilos, so since yesterday I have lost 3 ounces and all together I have lost almost 29 kilos. Just one ounce more and I’ll be there, Yeah! I didn’t eat that much yesterday and I wasn’t in the mood much for eating, so I ate when my stomach was really telling me to. I had some juice, a cold boiled potato, a small pear, some Melba toast, a piece of cheese, some more Melba toast and a tall glass of milk and that was it. I ate when my stomach started to growl, when I really could not ignore that. The cheese is so absolutely uninteresting to eat. It may as well be plastic with a little bit of flavor, but not much of that. It is yellow like cheese, but that is about it. I suppose that I’ll ask Eduard to get me the Maasdammer at the open air market again tomorrow. After all, if I am going to eat cheese, it may as well be the real thing and not this factory cheese. The Maasdammer is an almost white cheese, a little bit hard, with holes in it and you really have to chew on it. It makes it very satisfying to eat. It looks a bit like a Swiss cheese, but then harder.

Yesterday my faith in humanity was restored completely and whatever cynicism I felt is completely gone now. I no longer feel like zapping anybody, and I am very glad of it. My faith in God remains and I keep believing in the power of prayer with all my heart.

Yesterday morning I went to town on my bike. Yup, all by myself on my bike. First I went to see Eduard at his work, to talk to him and have a coffee with him. It is good to get your thoughts straight by talking to someone before you go off to pray. Then your prayer will be all the more coherent.

Then I walked through town to the basilica and I lit a tall candle for my daughter. It was very pretty inside the chapel. There were many candles burning there already and some people there praying very fervently. I knelt on the bench and had my earnest conversation with God and I felt it was good and that I really reached Him, so when I was done, I had a very satisfied feeling. I walked away feeling I had done what needed to be done.

Then I walked through town with a mission, because last week, I had seen an item of clothing on sale at M&S fashions and I was hoping it would still be there. I came to the store and it was still there, 50% off, so that meant that I just had to buy it. It is a sleeveless vest that you wear over a T-shirt or a shirt, the kind that would go with a three piece suit. Here it is called a gillette. I got it for 12.50 Euros and that was a steal. I also bought some earrings for 4 Euros, so I am slowly building up my collection of dangly earrings. Then I went back to Eduard’s work to discuss the morning with him and have another cup of coffee and after that it was home again to walk the dog. Riding the bike was nice and my legs didn’t bother me much at all, nor did my knees.

The dog was happy to see me and we cuddled and I petted him and then took him for a walk. The weather was nice. It was a bit warm and the sun was shining. I had to put him on the leash, because on Wednesdays, the elementary school gets out early and there are lots of children and traffic about. But then I let him off the leash on the field and he had a bit of a run there and rolled around in the grass. Then he did his walking pretty beside me trick and sitting pretty trick to get some treats, until he became tired of that and then he acted normal again.

Once we got home, I still had the kitchen to clean up and laundry to do, so I got that done and I changed clothes and earrings to look nice for when Eduard came home. He was suitably impressed when he did. I notice now, that when I walk down the street, and I am all dressed up, men are starting to look again. I don’t know what they are thinking, but they are looking anyway.

I made a pot of Irish Breakfast tea in the afternoon and that is such a nice tea to drink, except that it does make me have to run to the bathroom often, like any tea does. But maybe that is a good thing too. I think that if you have a tendency to retain water, tea definitely is good for that. I was waiting for my daughter to call me, and when I do, I concentrate on my telephone and mentally try to get it to ring. I don’t know if it works, because sooner or later it does ring, of course, whether or not I think of it. It is just magical thinking and I am good at that.

Well, I ended up talking to her a few times and all the news is good from her side and that sure makes me happy. When all is well with my child, all is well with me. It’s as simple as that! It does mean that I’ll go back to the basilica later this week for a thank you prayer, but I have to go anyway to exchange a T-shirt I bought. But the main reason is the prayer, that’s always the most important thing. I wish you could see the chapel with all the candles burning it it.

Speaking of magical thinking, which I have done all my life and is part of my thinking process, my daughter had read a book that she recommended to me. It is called, The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, and it is the story of how a woman copes with the sudden death of her husband. I ordered it at Bol.com and it got here yesterday. I started reading it last night and I hope I don’t fall asleep too quickly now at night, because it is written well and it is an interesting book and based on real life. Nick and I usually enjoy the same books and always when she recommends one, I end up liking it. It works the other way around too.

Yesterday I made a special space for the framed pictures of the people I pray for and a place by there for a candle to burn every night. I was printing the last picture, when the ink in the printer ran out, so today Eduard will have to get a new cartridge. The picture that it did print turned out like a mosaic and I have it sitting here by my computer. I can recognize the people on it, but it won’t do for the picture frame.

It is somewhat magical how I am turning to God (or my Higher Power) at this stage in my life. Mentally I feel at my top, so I am not turning to God out of desperation. I am not asking him if we can please win the lottery. I have more earthy questions and requests than that. I suppose I believe in some sort of destination that is not in my hands, but that I need guidance by and understanding of. Having one child die, has made me more open to the idea of an after life and to an all encompassing Higher Being made of whatever energy the universe is made off. One that you can appeal to and one that you can try to understand and believe in. It is a very primitive feeling and I feel like a primitive woman when I pray. I don’t think of the bible or the church or the priests when I pray. It is just me directly to God and whatever image I have of Him or Her. In my case it is a Him. I think I could pray in a cave covered with ancient rock art. As long as I could light a candle. I understand the Tibetan prayer wheels and the bits of cloth tied to the trees. When I lived with David there was a circle of trees that I fenced off with large broken off branches and I put an old chair inside it and hung up wind chimes inside to contemplate the world in. I really also contemplated God there, whom I was struggling with at the time. God is a red line in my life. My primitive version of God. Whenever I sat there, or when I walked around in the hills, I felt like I was close to a mystery that somehow I had to get closer to, but because my heart ached so much, I couldn’t, it escaped me. It tried to find solace, but I found a lot of pain instead.

Now I am finding solace, even when things turn out differently than I think they will and then I pray and they turn out the way I originally had anticipated again. It’s all a wonder to me, but I do feel that I am
part of the process and I feel intimately involved, even when I don’t yet understand it all. It’s a wonderful thing.

The dog has been out to greet me, but it is still early and he has gone back to the bedroom.

Today I am going to the clinic in the hospital to have my toe looked at. I have only been wearing sandals lately, so my toe has not been bothering me much, but I am not able to wear shoes. I hope they cut of that piece of my nail that is making my toe hurt.

Eduard and I went to bed at nine o’clock last night. Eduard was so tired, he could hardly keep his eyes open. It was nice that he had the night off. Tonight he has a late shift, but it is almost his vacation and he’ll be able to sleep late every morning.

Well, now I have to go and read some news. I do keep up with the news on the TV, of course, but it is more informative to read the BBC News as well.

Ciao people, have a nice day…

P.S. I have walked the dog. It isn’t cold out, but it has rained during the night and it is still cloudy now. The grass was very wet and we didn’t walk out on the field. Eduard has gone to work and Jesker has gone to sleep on his pillow. I suppose when you are a ten year old dog, you get to sleep a lot. The cats have been fed and are asleep on the bed. They won’t go out with the outside being so wet now. I am going to get the rest of the day started…

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I got up at five o’clock this morning, after about eight hours of sleep, and I wrote a post, but now I have had to delete it, because real life has caught up with me and what I had written wasn’t quite up to the point anymore. Yes, life can be that way sometimes. It is lucky that there is the old delete button. Don’t you wish you could apply that to your real life and delete bad moments or bad days? I sure wish I walked around with a remote control to zap people sometimes. Get them to rewind or hurry up or pause or eject completely. I would like to have a little bottle of truth serum to go with that, strawberry flavored, and a cup and a straw to make it go down easy. I speak in mysteries right now, but that is as expletive as I can be at the moment. All will be revealed when the time is right, I promise.

I am feeling pretty feisty and I think it is a good way to start this day. It means I will get things done. I am ready to grab the bull by the proverbial balls. Or don’t you do that in English? It might also be a good day to go to the chapel to speak to God, but I don’t know how much he will like this over assertiveness on my part. I do know that I have to light some candles today and I can also do that at home, of course. The power of my prayer should be strong enough to reach heaven twice…

Okay, I have lit a candle by my favorite picture of my son and daughter and placed them where I can look at them directly and my thoughts are there as well as I type this and I know God also speaks English, because that is the language I am using right now. Every time I stop typing, I besiege God…

Today I weigh 96.8 kilos. I had a slice of bread with peanut butter again yesterday. I shared it with the dog and I have a sore throat from it, but it was good and worth it. The dog liked it also. Still, I lost one ounce, but I would like to loose 14 ounces before June the 10th. That is when we go to Almelo to see the family and I would like to be able to say that I have lost 30 kilos. I am not going to pray about that though, that is too trivial.

Outside our most outside front door, a thick layer of sand has been cast and they are getting ready to lay the bricks for the new pavement. We really will have the new street by the end of the day, I guess. Most of the street and all of the parking lots have been done already, but right now I don’t hear any activity out there. I suppose I could go out there and urge them on. That’s the kind of mood I am in. The dog and I trampled the sand when we went out for our walk this morning. We were the first to walk in it. It was like newly fallen snow.

I threw away the metal reading glasses that gave me the hives and yesterday Eduard came home with some plastic ones and I wore them last night. They ought to do the trick. Then last night, when I went to bed, I realized that one earring was missing, and I searched all over the apartment for it, but I couldn’t find it. Finally, resigned to the loss, I undressed and when I pulled off my tunic, the earring fell to the ground, so it had been hooked to my clothes all along. The hole in my left earlobe is just a little bit larger and sometimes an earring will slip out. That is why I always need to wear a backing on it, even when they are hangers.

By the way, if you ever want to know everything there is to know about a movie you want to watch or have watched, visit this site: http://www.imdb.com/ Eduard told me about it and it is really very helpful. I found some information on it about a movie I watched yesterday called: The Ballad of Jack and Rose. A movie I had never heard of, but which was very good. Since we have the film channels again, I watch a good film at least once a day, or have I already written that?

Anyway…yesterday I cleaned house, just the boring jobs that you have to do to make the place look cared for. You know, the never ending battle with the dog and cat hair. And the toilet cleaning and all that good stuff. It seems to me that I used to enjoy this more, but I like to do it better now than I did some months ago, when I was in a near coma when it came to house cleaning. It’s amazing how quickly and well I vacuum now. Without a backache to speak of. I have to wash the windows again because of the rain and the dust from the street, but it can wait for the worst of it to be over, when the street really is done and the worst of the rain has passed.

I really think that I need to go into town today and say a prayer for my daughter. I feel a very strong urge to do that. I have pretty much made up my mind about that now, I think this candle at home alone doesn’t satisfy my sense of security. It isn’t God I doubt, it is myself I doubt.

Okay people, off I go, have a good day, this woman is going to assert herself, ciao…

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It’s in the middle of the night, but I am awake again and I’ll just have to accept it, even though Eduard was just trying to talk me into going back to bed. There is no sense in me trying, because I am wide awake. I went to bed at a decent time last night, even though I wanted to stay up and watch some TV and I didn’t feel sleepy. So, I went to bed under protest, but I knew it was the right thing to do and I did fall asleep quickly due to my knock out pill, but now I know, of course, that I have not had enough sleep yet, and I’ll have to catch up on it later today. I tell you, me and sleep, that’s something else, Often, I am not getting enough and then, sooner or later, it catches up with me and I have to catch up with it like I did this past weekend, when I sort of burned out.

My theory is, that on Wednesday, and probably some days leading up to that, I was slightly hypo-manic and it took most of Thursday and Friday to come down from that, causing me to feel so exhausted over the weekend. I have discussed this with Eduard and he is now keeping an eye on me and helping me stick to the rules that we have agreed on, such as getting to bed on time, and having enough restful days. It is just that, when I wake up in the middle of the night like this, I can’t get back to sleep, and there is no sense in me staying in bed, because I’ll just lay there wide awake thinking about getting up and wanting to have a cup of coffee.

Anyway, I went on the scales just now and I weigh 96.9 kilos, so that is nice. I am below 97. Now I have lost 28.5 kilos and I think that is pretty darn good, considering I caved in and actually had a slice of bread with peanut butter last night and it tasted ever so good, although it was very filling. But I did I share it with the dog. It’s been forever since I ate bread, because I really can’t chew it well into small enough pieces, but it sort of went down okay and I cut it into very small pieces. I think it would be easier to chew if I made toast, it being crunchier, but I didn’t feel like getting out the toaster. I got itchy ears from the peanut butter and my head itched, but it was worth it. Now I just can’t eat it for a long time or I will react to it more strongly. That’s the way it goes. At least it’s not like eating corn, which really makes me react.

Yesterday evening, I asked Eduard what kind of cheese he had, because my cheese was all gone. He said he had goat cheese and he cut me a piece and gave it to me. I very merrily started chewing on it, but after a second or so, the flavor of it really hit home and I thought, man, it really tastes like goat! So, I spit it out, much to Eduard’s surprise. He is going to buy some cumin cheese today. We both like that one. Yuck, goat cheese!

We had such a nice day yesterday. I went back to bed with Eduard after I walked the dog and we hung out there together surrounded by the animals. Like I said, we have very little privacy, but we’re used to that by now. Whenever Eduard and I get intimate, the dog sits beside the bed and sort of softly moans, as if he wants to say, you guys are having all the fun and I’m not having any. We try to distract him with a denta stick and that works and he really is a good dog. When we finally got up, Eduard made breakfast and boiled an egg for me, soft boiled, just the way I like it, with the yellow not quite runny anymore. After that, we changed the bed and I did a load of laundry while we waited for the rain to stop, because we wanted to go into town.

It finally stopped raining and we hopped onto our bikes. I must say that this was a lot less painful to me than it was the very first time I got on my bike again. And I feel more sure of myself in the traffic. I had to get used to that a bit again too. It wasn’t that busy on the roads, probably because the weather was not all that great. We parked our bikes by the old bridge and walked to the basilica. There were quite a few tourists in town, even though the shops were closed. Of course, all the restaurants and cafés were open and they were doing good business, especially on the covered terraces. I lit three tall candles in the Mary chapel and proceeded to pray, but I was very distracted by people coming and going, mostly tourists for whom it was a novelty to come and burn a candle, and I found it difficult to concentrate on my prayer. Anyway, I did my best and then joined Eduard again who was waiting outside.

We leisurely walked through town and window shopped a bit and just generally admired the architecture of the buildings and the squares and the little streets of which we never get tired. We finally made it to our café. This is only the second time that we have been there, but we have decided that this is our café, since it is halfway on our trip through town. It is the café by the Dominican church that has been turned into a bookstore. We sat outside and watched the world go by. We ordered coffee and one piece of cake with strawberry and lemon bavarois and I had three bites of that and Eduard had the rest. It was very delicious and those three bites were just perfect. I also ate the cookie that came with the coffee. I have decided that I am always allowed to eat the cookie that comes with the coffee at a café. It is found food after all. Gefundenes Fressen, as the Germans say. We heard a lot of German and American spoken in town yesterday. Usually you can pick out the Americans by the way they are dressed, but not always. They tend to wear sport shoes, which Europeans don’t as a rule. If you want to know more about that, you can ask me.

While we were sitting there, having our coffee, I said to Eduard, I have to go to the other church on the big square because I have to pray again. I said, the first prayer wasn’t a good one, because of all the tourists, I couldn’t concentrate. Eduard was understanding about this and we walked to the church on the big square, and this time I didn’t go in the not so atmospheric side chapel, but into the church itself, which is very beautiful and awe inspiring. In the gallery, there are several places were you can light candles and kneel and pray and I did and this time it was good. I lit two candles for two more people, so that covers everybody I love, but I have to tell you, I prayed in pain, because my knees really hurt when I knelt, so the prayer was an effort and I wonder if I get extra points for that. Never mind, I felt like I connected with my Higher Power and that was the most important thing.

There was an Art Manifestation downtown. That meant that private owners, businesses and other organizations had allowed one or more artists to set up exhibitions in their buildings that the public could visit for free. All you needed was a map to guide you along the tour of them. Eduard and I didn’t have the time to do the tour, but we saw some of the exhibits. One of them was interesting. It was a private house, a very small old house, that had been completely restored, where three artists were exhibited. The house itself was fascin
ating as it was completely restored as it had been many years ago, with a tiny kitchen with a sink made of stone slabs and wooden counter tops. In the basement there was a well that dated back to the dark ages and had belonged to a cloister. The rooms were small and the stairs were narrow and steep. All the art had to do with hand printed objects and hand bound books and handmade prints. They were fascinating and small and there were magnifying glasses to help you see them. Small objects in a small house.

Then we walked back through the town and checked out another church on the market square, which also had a little side chapel, but it wasn’t nearly as nice as the other Mary chapel in the basilica, but I suppose it would do in an emergency. The church itself was locked up and there was a sign on the door saying that it was protected by a security firm, so I guess they have had a problem with vandalism and theft. But it is good to know where all the places of prayer are. There is one more church downtown I want to go into. It is right smack next to the church on the big square, but of a later date, but I really should go into it and see what is there. It is a Gothic style church, so it dates back to the Middle Ages. Oh wait, I think that may be a protestant church, so I may not be able to burn candles there. Mmm, I’ll just have to go over and see. Anyway, it is built of red stone, so I will call it the red church on the square as opposed to the sandstone church on the square.

Eduard said to me, I don’t know what you believe, but if you feel that this works for you, I am all for it and I will give you all the support in it that I can. I said to him, I know that God is everywhere, but in a church I feel that I am closer to him and I can concentrate better and be in the right frame of mind for a prayer. Lighting the candles also helps as a deed of symbolism. It lights up the prayer and symbolizes the people I pray for.

We walked through the new shopping area that has been built where the old city hall used to be. There are nice shops there already and the new city hall is there above the shops. It is a large area facing the river. It will be nice there in the summertime. Nice and cool when downtown is hot. We walked across the bridge and stopped and watched the water move by beneath us. There were different kinds of birds in the water, for which I don’t have a translation in English. Well, there were the obvious kinds of ducks, of course. Eduard knows his water birds better than I do.

Oh yes, by the bridge, there is a little tourist shop and Eduard and I bought two little teaspoons there. One with the weapon of Maastricht on it and one with the basilica on it. They are for us to use when we drink tea, so we will be able to tell which tea glass belongs to whom. Pretty smart, eh?

The dog was so happy when we got home! We had left him alone for about three hours, to him that was a long time! My knee hurt, so Eduard took him for a walk and I made a fresh pot of decaf. When we were in the small house upstairs, going down the stairs again, I couldn’t bend my knee without it hurting and I sort of hobbled down the stairs. Then I still had to ride the bike home, so that was a bit of a pain.

We really enjoyed the afternoon, even though we had not done anything really special. It was just nice walking around and having a coffee, watching the people. The small house was very interesting. Next weekend I would like to go to the photography exhibit at the new library and then there is always the museum to go to, we haven’t been there for a while. And we can go to see a film for free, of course. The activities have to take place during the day, because I can’t do anything at night with my bedtime being so early and Eduard gone so much in the evening. And when the weather is nice, we can always go for a bike ride. We had planned on going to a junk market this weekend in Belgium, but with the weather being the way it was, we didn’t want to take a chance. We did hear that there was good stuff there. We stopped at the film house in the afternoon and someone there had been to the junk market. I guess it is similar to a flea market or a swap meat. Whatever you want to call it.

It is starting to get light out now and the birds are singing. I have taken my time writing this and it has made the night pass quickly. I’ll have to try and take a nap later this morning on the sofa, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to. As it is, I have had about 5 hours of sleep. That’s not too bad, I have had worse in the past. It’s a good thing that there is a spellcheck on this thing, because I do make typing mistakes. Some words that I use, it doesn’t recognize, such as café. Or bavarois. That’s a sort of thick creme made with eggs.

Okay, now I am going to read the news. I am sufficiently awake and alert enough to do that.

Oh, by the way, not that I forgot, but I heard from Nick and she had a wonderful weekend in Oregon with Mark and they are definitely a couple with a future together and we are all very happy about that. It’s a very wonderful thing for that to happen and now, of course, we can’t wait to meet him. Although I have heard so much about him, that I feel that I know him already.

Ciao people, have a wonderful day…

P.S. I just went to the website of the red church and it is definitely a protestant church, so no open doors and no candles. They do have an evening prayer in English on the last Sunday of the month, however. That might be interesting, although I can’t quite figure out what form of Protestantism this is. Lutheran or Dutch reformed or whatever? It’s a shame that the Protestant churches are less open to the public than the Catholic churches are. And they have less ritual, while people nowadays have such a longing for that.

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This morning I went on the scales and much to my relief, I weigh 97.1 kilos. So, now I have lost 28.3 kilos, but why I have after yesterday, I really don’t know. I ate my fill, and at one point I even wanted to eat a slice of bread with peanut butter, that’s how much I was craving that, but I stopped myself and just had a glass of milk instead. I did eat two pears and three pieces of cheese, even though I had said that I would stop eating the cheese for now. Well, now all the cheese is gone, because I ate it all, so there is no temptation left there. I also had Melba toast twice and drink yogurt and I felt like I had a lot to eat, but it had a lot to do with me feeling so tired and trying to get some energy out of the food I ate.

I slept on the sofa in the morning and in the afternoon and they weren’t little naps, they were genuine sleeps. It was as if I had a lot of sleeping to catch up on. Then I went to bed at 9 pm and I slept until 7 am this morning, so that is about 10 hours of sleep, and now I am starting to feel like that has been enough and I am caught up. Every time I woke up, I wanted something to eat and not a little bit, but a lot, well, what is a lot for me anyway.

Now I am sitting here with my first cup of coffee, yawning and still waking up, although that coffee ought to start working soon now. I think I must have had such a busy and exciting week that my body had to catch up with my brain, and it finally did yesterday (or maybe my brain was tired too). I did wake up each time to walk the dog, so I did get some fresh air and some exercise. My oh my, then last night I dreamt about my ex in laws and that was an interesting dream filled with rejection and misunderstandings, pretty much how it was in real life. Very frustrating!

Imagine being seventeen years old and moving from the Netherlands to the States and marrying into a large right wing family where all the men order all the women about and all the women listen to the name Honey. Honey, get me a beer, will ya. The men all watch football on TV and the women are in the kitchen cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. That was so alien to my experience. I thought these people had never heard of women’s emancipation. None of the men had ever vacuumed or washed the windows or done anything domestic in their life. And the women acted very helpless when it came to anything that took place in the men’s domain. Such preconceived ideas, about the races too. About black people and illegal immigrants. Oh, horror!

I have to say though, that my ideas and concepts did rub off on my ex and he became more liberal about some things as a result of that and he still is. There was one uncle in the family who was very much to the left and he was a union organizer who lived in Boston. He was my favorite person in the family and how he turned out the way he did, I have no idea. It was very refreshing to talk to him when he was in town. He managed to get himself jailed every once in a while at protests and when the kids were younger, he got them Solidarnosc T-shirts, which they wore with pride.

When my daughter went to high school, her first ever boyfriend was a tall black basketball player and her grandfather especially had a hard time with that, but Nick really stood up to him and talked like a lawyer to get her point of view across. That relationship lasted until the boy went away to university. I think they are still in touch with each other now. Of course, we made damn sure that we made no issue of it, even though I knew that deep in his heart my ex worried about it. But he censored himself and let it be and accepted the relationship. The ones that didn’t accept it, were the black girls at the high school, they really gave Nick a hard time about it, which we didn’t find out about until later. She didn’t tell us about it at the time.

We now live in a mixed neighborhood. There are real white middle class families, but also Moroccan and Turkish people and black people and immigrants and mixed working class families. I hope it stays that way, as it is a more normal reflection of our society. It has to do with there being different kinds of housing in a relatively small amount of space. I think a mixed neighborhood is good, as long as there are no bad elements in it like there were when the bad neighborhood was still across from us. That was a white trash neighborhood and that added absolutely no value to the neighborhood as a whole. They trashed their own houses and the space around them and had no idea what it was like to be responsible citizens. And no matter how you turn it, it does come down to that in the end. You have to take the responsibility for your own space and behavior and for the space around you…

…I have fed the cats and they really like the brand of cat food that we have now. They eat most of it right away, leaving little leftovers for the dog. That’s okay, he doesn’t really need it. He just thinks he does. The dog is wandering around, but he doesn’t act as though he needs to go out yet. Eduard walked him late last night, so I suppose he is okay for now…

When I first came to the States, my mother and my little sister came with me. My sister was ten years old at the time. We came six weeks ahead of the wedding and I think my mother had decided on this time to check out the family, and my ex, to see what kind of people they were. I think even during this time she was having her doubts, but she saw my determination and let it all go ahead. We really didn’t have a clue as to how it would really be once I was there, married and on my own. The thing is, that I always had this very grown up air about me, as if I always knew exactly what I was doing, when in reality I was very naive and I really didn’t have a clue. I think I functioned fine in my own familiar surroundings, with my own family and friends around me, but I sure functioned badly on my own in the States. My ex worked all day long and had to go to university at night. We lived in the suburbs and I had no driver’s license or car, nor did I have the comfort of family or friends. It was all a bad scene and soon enough I had my first genuine depression, although I didn’t recognise it as such at the time. It is strange, I was so very unhappy, but I stayed. I didn’t go home, even though I should have. I did talk about it and asked my ex if he would come with me, but I knew he would not and I could not go back on my own, for fear of the embarrassment.

That was the first of very many instances when I stayed in the marriage, when I should have gotten out. Many more followed. When I finally got out for good, there was no going back, it was impossible. But I don’t get any points for getting out gracefully, on the contrary. I left my kids along with the marriage, even though I convinced myself that they were old enough to leave with their father. I knew that it wasn’t okay, but I could find no way to stay, I was dying. Mentally I was dying. Later on, when I came to my senses a bit, I realized that I couldn’t live without the children, but I knew no way for me to fix that, and I punished myself for that unmercifully, more than God could have punished me for that.

Somehow I had to forgive myself for that, but it was a long hard road to get there. I owe my daughter a lot in that process. Now I am here in this life that is so very different, so very much more healthy than my life had been before, so very much not dysfunctional. I am very grateful for that. And I have love, let’s not forget that, it’s an important ingredient. Is it true that, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger? I don’t know. I gladly would have gone without some of these lessons of life. To go back to the
first decision and change that.

I am not writing this down out of a depressed sadness. On the contrary. I am writing this as a journalist commenting on a life and I now have the dimension of objectivity on my side. It really feels as if I am talking about a whole other life in a whole other time. The link is the children, and one of them is dead. Remains my daughter who has made her own journey and who is her own journalist commenting on her own life with the same objectivity. That’s how far she has come. Together we can reminisce and recall how things were from each point of view. And we have so many years ahead of us still, years in which to get it right, in which to make good decisions.

I like my new in laws a lot, although they all have their own eccentricities. I really miss my one sister in law who used to live in France and who died four years ago. She was a good woman with a kind heart and was very intelligent. I felt close to her and very safe. You felt that you could trust her with anything. It’s a shame that my other sisters in law are spread around the world and that we so very seldom see them, because they are good women also and I enjoy spending time with them. The women in Eduard’s family are definitely emancipated and stand their ground. I really appreciate that, especially since the men in the family are strong characters who require and demand a lot of space. The women know how to deal with that. No nonsense, boys!

I have to go walk the dog now, it is getting late and before you know it, it is too late…

Anyway, yesterday, and the day before that, were real low energy days, both physically and mentally. It worried me and I was hoping it wasn’t a sign of bad things to come. When Lucien came and got my Bright Light Energy Lamp, I was worried about needing it myself. I just felt like things weren’t going well with me. I kept trying to feel up, while I really felt down. Now, I think after all that sleep I have had, I really do feel better and it just may have done the trick. Going to bed on time last night was also a good idea, after I even considered staying up for Eduard to come home. I thought I wouldn’t fall asleep after I had slept pretty much all day. Wrong, I did! You know things aren’t going well when you are trying to artificially make yourself feel better than you are. When you don’t want to get dressed and put your make up on and your jewelry and when you don’t want to clean house and you only want to lie down on the sofa or on the bed. And you keep saying to yourself: I’m okay, I’m okay, when you are not.

Now I really am. There is some joy back in my spirit and that is good. I think I may want to go for a bike ride today and stop by the chapel to burn a candle. That might be something to do this afternoon. Now I have to stop writing, because my husband is calling me. He has today off, tonight also. Yippee! Ciao…

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Today I weigh 97.7 kilos, a bit less than yesterday, a bit more than the day before that. That’s okay, it will go down again. I feel just a bit bloated in my belly, so that’s part of the problem too, and that’s quickly solved. Yesterday I had a glass of juice, Melba toast twice, two pears and a tall glass of milk and that was it. I still feel pretty full, but I think that is from feeling bloated and that is a whole other problem! I decided not to eat any cheese for awhile, because I like it too much and I eat too big a piece of it when I do eat it. I am hoping that the pears will help with the bloated feeling and then there is always the natural laxative tea.

Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day. After I slept all morning, I didn’t feel like doing much the rest of the day. I walked the dog and cleaned up the kitchen, but then I decided to ignore the rest of the things that needed to get done, because I thought, tomorrow is another day. Lucien called in the afternoon and we talked for a bit about what a good time we had had when we had gone to town. It is definitely worth repeating the experience. She asked me if she could borrow my Bright Light Energy Lamp to try out before she went out to buy her own. Since she has stopped with her antidepressants she has been getting down a bit and she wants to give the lamp a try. Now I know that you think that it is only used in the wintertime, but if you feel down in the summertime, and the weather is gloomy, you can use it too, and it will work. If it is going to work for her, she should know within a day or three.

Eduard came home at about 3:30 pm. He didn’t have to stay at work all afternoon, as there were enough volunteers to do the job. He just had to make sure that all the equipment was set up properly. That was a good thing, because he had to go back to work in the evening at 6 pm. I started to watch the movie Flight Plan with Jodie Foster and after about 10 minutes, I knew it was going to be a very good movie and that I wouldn’t be able to miss it to walk the dog, so Eduard was kind enough to do that for me. Wow, what a movie. Jodie Foster is such a great actress anyway, she is so believable. The movie was full of suspense and at no time did you really know how the ending was going to turn out. Not until the last minutes anyway. I am so glad we have the film channels now. I think I see a good film every day. We also have the DVD The Da Vinci Code from the library, and I was trying to watch that last night, but I couldn’t get the DVD player to work now that the digital box is also connected to the TV. Eduard will have to show me how to do that.

Lucien came by to pick up the lamp after the film was just over. She and her husband were on their way to their cabin in Belgium for a long weekend along with their cat and dog, so she couldn’t stay to visit. We will do that when she returns the lamp. At first I was thinking of staying up for Eduard who was supposed to get home at 10:30 pm, but then I thought better of it, because I didn’t want to have a repeat situation of that morning, so I ended up going to bed at 9:30, which was still a bit late, but I still had to make cigarettes and feed the cats before I went to bed. Eduard has bought some completely different cat food and the cats absolutely love it, so I think we need to keep buying this stuff for awhile until they grow tired of it. It’s so good to really see the cats literally attack their food dishes!

Eduard had brought home some reading glasses last week that someone had lost at the film house some months ago and had never returned for. They were a bit strong, so he thought I might be able to wear them. I used them a couple of times at night, when I was reading in bed. Then I started getting itching hives on my face and at first didn’t figure out why. Not until yesterday morning did I put two and two together and figure out it was from the reading glasses. I am allergic to the metal that touches my face, so now I can’t wear those any more. It’s always something. Now I really am reminded that I have to be careful with any jewelry I buy, especially with any necklaces. If the metal rubs my skin, I will get hives, and that will be a shame. I saw some pretty necklaces at M&S Fashions the other day, but I really have to make sure about the metal before I buy anything. My mother once bought me a traditional silver necklace that used to be worn with the traditional Dutch costume. It was very pretty, but it was made of silver, so if I wore it for any length of time, I broke out in hives, although I never told her this. I still have it, but I will never be able to wear it. Maybe I can give it to my daughter some time. I don’t know if she would wear it though. So far, the dangly earrings aren’t bothering me, so they must be made of a metal that doesn’t cause my allergies to act up. I am happy about that. I do so like wearing them.

I have been thinking about Nick and Mark and how their weekend is going. I am very curious about that, of course. It is the first weekend that they are spending together and I wonder how it will be for them. I am sending lots of positive thoughts their way. It’s kind of a shame that I didn’t have to go to town on Friday after all. I could have gone to the Mary chapel and said an extra prayer and lit some extra candles. I hope God can pick up on my thoughts too and see that they are full of longing for a good outcome…I’ve just lighted a little candle here beside the computer and while it burns I am thinking good thoughts, that will have to do for now.

Yesterday morning I really thought I was getting depressed, when all it was was tiredness. I have to pay better attention to things like that. I was getting worried for nothing. It shows you how important it is to get enough sleep. Even when you think you are done sleeping. Because you are being stubborn and you are up and awake.

My parents usually fought at night. Or I should say, that is when my mother decided to fight with my father. We would be in bed and wake up from their dramatic fighting. A lot of yelling and swearing and of course, the neighbors could hear everything too. I remember laying in bed waiting for them to be done. Sometimes I would get up and sit at the top of the stairs, listening for it to get really bad, so that I could get down quickly and prevent something bad from happening. If things got out of hand, my father would punch holes in doors and break furniture. Or he would threaten to kill my mother with a knife. Sometimes everything would become silent for awhile, and then I thought, okay, they’re done now, but then it would start all over again. Finally, some time late at night, they would be done yelling and fighting and each would go to their own room to go to sleep. I would go to my own bed, but I would try to stay awake to prevent my father from killing my mother during the night. I kept a broom beside my bed to hit him with if he tried.

One time, during the day, my mother had to shove us over the fence to the neighbors, because my father was threatening to kill us all with a knife. I think that that was one of the instances when he was taken to the psychiatric hospital. And you know, I didn’t hate my father. I must have known that there was something wrong with him, because I didn’t hate him and I blamed my mother just as much. Never were there two people who were so mismatched. I remember being a little girl and playing outside, and seeing my father walk into our street on his way home from the hospital, and me feeling such joy at seeing him. How is that possible? I hadn’t seen him for a long t
ime and he was so handsome in his trench coat. I’ll never forget that moment and me yelling, Papa!

Well, in the end it all ended as badly as I had feared then. I wonder if that is why I need my mega dose Oxazepam at night to sleep well. I need to be oblivious of everything. I find safety in sleep, but a big relief in waking up again and getting up and starting the day. When I’m depressed I find my bed the best place to be, but I avoid it when I feel well. I go to bed because I know that it is the good and sensible thing to do, that I need my strict schedule and that it is imperative that I get enough sleep, but when I am depressed, I can lay in bed all day long and find it the safest place to be. When I lived by myself, I very much disliked sleeping on my own and I was very happy when Eduard came to California and slept beside me. I felt very safe then. I have always felt safe with Eduard. I trust him more than anyone. When my father died ten years ago, we went to his cremation and we both stood by his open coffin, and I cried very hard and Eduard cried along with me out of sympathy. That is love for you.

The candle is burning quickly, sending my thoughts with it. Every time I look at it, I think good thoughts. I think how good relationships can be and how wonderful it is to meet the right person and how that can change your life. Faith, loyalty, trust and friendship, besides a healthy dose of love. Those are the things you need.

Well, after all those revelations, I think I may go and walk the dog now. Think good thoughts, people. Love one another and have peace in your hearts. I know, I am a sentimental fool, but there has to be room for a fool in this world also. Ciao…

P.S. I walked Jesker and it was raining a bit, but it wasn’t cold outside. We even saw a jogger in his shorts and T-shirt. Such dedication to the cause! He probably thinks I am dedicated taking the dog for a walk in the rain. Eduard is still asleep and it is tempting to go back to bed, but I just made some tea, so I have to drink that first. The cats have eaten everything in their dishes again, leaving nothing for poor Jesker. He had a denta stick instead. Ciao again…

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Today I weigh 97,8 lilos and I knew ahead of time that it would be too much, because last night I ate too much and I was uncomfortably full. I started off the day well with a small glass of juice and some Melba toast. Then I had a piece of cheese and later a pear. Then I had a piece of salmon for dinner with some boiled potato, but then sometime later, I had a big piece of cheese for dessert and I shouldn’t have had it, because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I really felt overly full and not at all happy and I knew that I had eaten too much and I could have kicked myself. Well, you live and learn, and I certainly did. I have too stop eating on time and not keep eating because it tastes good and because I am craving some food. I seem to have had this problem with the cheese before, that I like it too much, and maybe it is better not to have any in the house at all if I have so little self discipline. I hope I have enough sense today not to do that again and to just be sensible and stick to the small and healthy amounts of food. Enough said about that.

Yesterday was an alright day. I rated it a 7.5. I did some chores around the place and watched a film in the morning, but having gotten up so early, I fell asleep at the end, so now I don’t know how it ended and I really was interested in it. Hopefully it will be repeated again, because it was an interesting film called, Before You Go. Then my sister and I took the dogs for a walk around the pond, which was really nice, because the wild grass and the wild flowers were even higher than before and the dogs had a great time. We saw some tiny bright buttercups and some lilies down by the water. We met nobody else there, so that was doubly nice. Jesker enjoys himself so much there, I know he wishes that walk was longer and we should go twice around the pond, I will suggest that to my sister the next time.

Then we stopped by my sister’s house where she wanted me to try on two pairs of shoes that did not fit her right. They were both from Esprit and they both fit me, although one pair is a little big on me, but that can be remedied with some gel cushions that they sell at the shoe store Ecco in town. They are both high heeled shoes and one pair is really sexy, they are not much more than four straps of leather and some high heels, so they look very sexy when I wear them and they are surprisingly comfortable. So I will be wearing those whenever there is an occasion. I should really have my nails painted red when I wear them and look like a hussy, but then again…

The man from the CWI called back with a number for me to call for an intake appointment and aptitude test and I got that done and set for June the 4th. It is nice when people are so helpful over the telephone and actually call back with useful information. I sure do appreciate that. There is nothing more pleasant than people who call back when they say they will and who give you the right information and get things done and you can then follow up on it and it works.

In the afternoon, Eduard and I rode our bikes to the household goods store to buy some glass jars to store the different teas in, because the packages that the teas came in weren’t practical and had started to tear. We found the jars and also some other things that we had been needing for some time. We bought a round oven dish that will also go in the microwave, a small red plastic bin to soak your feet in, four juice glasses, six new dessert forks and a pair of reading glasses, 3+, that they also sold there. So that was an afternoon well spent. It was fun to walk around the store and look at all the different items that were for sale. You could spend a small fortune there. We were going to buy vacuum cleaner bags, but then didn’t know which size we needed, so we will have to bring the empty box with us the next time. They had so many to choose from that we became confused.

We drank two pots of Rooibos tea in the afternoon and we do this especially after reading the BBC news article that tea is so healthy for you, but mostly because we like the taste of it. We still have to get a tea cozy and forgot to look for it yesterday. Now the tea cools down before we can drink it all, nevertheless we do drink it as quickly as we can, even when it is just warm.

Last night, I didn’t pay attention to the time and before I knew it, it was 9 o’clock and I still had to make some cigarettes. I did that and then watched a little bit of TV with Eduard, who was watching Top Gear, and then ended up going to bed at 10:30 and Eduard quickly followed. I rolled over on my side and I think I didn’t even read then, but straight away fell asleep. Eduard was just up and said that it rained like crazy during the night. That’s good. Everything will be lush and bright green again. More rain is supposed to come and the temperatures are going to drop again. So, no tank top and no short pants, but it is fun to wear the other clothes also. I already know what I am going to wear today.

This weekend my daughter and her special person are in Oregon. They are spending some quality time together with friends there. I hope they have a lovely time and I think about them a lot. Oregon is a lovely place to spend some time in. I have been on holiday there in the past and it was very enjoyable. What I remember most is the beautiful coast, so rough and fierce with all the fog. I can still taste the sea air if I really concentrate and remember the stillness of the early mornings, with just the breaking of the waves. And the wild flowers by the side of the road. Little did we know that one of those happy children was not going to have a long life. It’s a good thing that you can’t know the future. We were as happy then as a family could be. Or as we could be as a family.

I’d give a lot to go back in time and repeat that vacation and enjoy that all over again. I have memories of Brion laying in a big inner tube floating on the river with a happy look on his face. My ex has all those pictures of those vacations in storage and some day I will have to ask him about them and we will divide them up, because I always had double prints made. I think I am ready now to look at them without it reducing me to a sobbing heap of a human being.

I loved the children so much and, of course, I love my daughter so much still. I don’t know if I did enough to show that love, or if I did the right things. I think I may have fallen short sometimes and I think in the end it looked like I didn’t love them enough. Especially in Brion’s case. But the children never will know how my love for them practically was also my downfall and how not being able to act on it was the worst thing that could happen to me. It felt as if I had died for them, as if I had stopped existing, for all practical purposes I had. But in my heart I was torn to bits, I was broken up. My psychiatrist said, not too long ago, the best thing you can do for your daughter is to do your best and to live well. Well, right now I am living well, but I am also living with my memories and they are many and sometimes heavy. It is a good thing that happiness is starting to take up so much room in my mind now. It leaves less room for sadness and pain.

I was trying to tell my daughter this very fact. That once your happiness starts to grow, it will
take up more room and space in your head and it will leave less room and space for the unhappy memories and you will start to act and think out of the happy place in your mind. Things take on a whole different color then.

For some reason, the text doesn’t want to be saved and I run the risk of losing this whole post. I says for me to keep trying again, but I am having no luck. Shoot! I would hate to have to rewrite this and I hope I wont have to. I will have to take a chance and push the publish button and see it it shows up and if not push the recover button…. Well, I fixed that. I cut and pasted to a new page and it would save that, so all is well. Sometimes I am almost as smart as I think I am!

Anyway, people, need I remind you what the precious things in life are? No, I don’t think so, we all know what those things are. Remember when all is well with them, a lot is well with the world. Do you understand now why I pray? I have to believe that there is a God who will help me keep some things precious safe and happy forever. I need to feel that I can influence that by some sort of process, some sort of a ritual. I wish that I could have a sign of God in my house, but beside the obvious cross, I don’t know what it should be. I have thought about having a menorah to burn the candles in at a specific time, but they may be hard to come by. I’ll have to look if I can find something like that. And framed pictures of the important people I pray for. And a little place to put all of those things. Like a little altar. Incense to carry the prayer up high.

Imagine I am a primitive human being trying to communicate with the Gods. How would I go about it? Or someone at the beginning of the more modern religions. How do I find my rituals? You adopt those that already exist. Worshipping trees and water and light and holy spots. But candles, especially candles. So I need incense and candles. And belief and faith.

I hope I have that faith when the days grow short and dark. What did my ancestors do when the days turned cold and dark and everything died? They worshipped the tree that stayed green, the evergreen. And they kept hoping and praying and appeasing the Gods for spring time to return. So I will be if my depression returns. I hope I will pray and appease my God through ritual and not loose faith. If you can have faith when the darkness sets in, then you have a strong faith and maybe mine will be tested. Actually, I hope not. I so very much want to keep feeling the way I do now. I know that is not up to God. I know that is a process that takes place in my brain. I know it is chemicals and brain function and light and darkness. I know it can even happen in the summertime. But still I wish it won’t.

This is all a bit heavy now. I need to lighten up a bit. I am not sad. Don’t let me give the wrong impression. Just a bit contemplative. Everybody here is asleep. The cats, the dog and Eduard. Oh, I see Gandhi sitting in front of the window of Eduard’s work room. She is watching the birds go by, wishing she could catch one, no doubt. Good for the birds that she won’t. She has a collar on, but it doesn’t have a little bell to warn the birds.

Yesterday, I was at the doctor’s office to pick up a referral letter for the surgery clinic for my toe and I took Jesker with me. The doctor’s secretary also has two Cocker Spaniels and one of them is also ten years old, so we exchanged stories. Her Cocker Spaniel steals food if nobody is watching and at least Jesker doesn’t do that. If there is some food laying on the table he will not touch it. Even if it is just inches away from his nose. He will only eat it if you give it to him or if it drops on the floor. The secretary’s dog had eaten a whole box of painkillers once and that had caused him major stomach problems. I am glad we don’t have that problem with Jesker! She said that sometimes her dog also had problems with his joints and that it is just old age and that the vet just gives him anti-inflammatory pills, while we give Jesker pain pills that seem to do the job also. In Jesker’s case the problems disappear in a day or two. The secretary’s dog takes his pills for ten days and I think that is a little bit long. I wouldn’t want for Jesker to be taking medication for that long of a time. Maybe it is a different problem.

Well, now everybody is awake, the day is properly starting. I have just started the second pot of coffee and will feed the cats and take my medicine. I am also going to walk the dog, so I will say ciao for now…

P.S. I came back from walking the dog under a dreary sky and turned the Bright Light Energy Lamp on. It is that kind of a day. I am hoping that it will lift my spirits a bit. I would like to just move my head against the lamp and absorb every little bit of light that comes out of it. I have no reason for feeling this way, but I am trying to find something to blame it on.

Eduard has gone to do some shopping. He has to work this afternoon and this evening too, because his colleague has taken the weekend off. The Bum! Tomorrow afternoon and evening Eduard has to work also. Luckily, the weather isn’t going to be that great, so that is a small consolation.

I think I am going to turn my chair and sit facing the lamp directly and do nothing else but that…

P.P.S. I realized what was wrong with me. I needed to sleep some more and I went back to bed and slept another three hours. When I woke up I drank some coffee and I feel ever so much better now. I am ready to have a normal day now. Luckily, that problem was easily solved! I dreamed about Nick and Mark and I dreamed about Brion and that we all met and it was very pleasant and good and, in my dream, I ended up smiling, as we all were. Now I have to go and walk the dog again. Fortunately, it isn’t raining…

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Today I weigh the phenomenal amount of 97,4 kilos. That means that since yesterday I have lost 5 ounces and I don’t know how I did it. I had a perfectly ordinary day with a perfectly ordinary amount of food, so what gives? Who cares, now I have lost 28 kilos exactly, but just for the record, this is what I had: some juice, some Melba toast, a piece of Maasdammer cheese, a pear, another piece of cheese, some more Melba toast and a tall glass of milk. So it doesn’t seem to matter so much what I eat, I can eat the same on any given day and loose just one ounce or five ounces. It’s a very arbitrary process, but I am happy! Let the good times role!

Yesterday was house cleaning day and taking it easy day. I just had to have some calmness after the busy day in town. I vacuumed the whole apartment and cleaned and did two days worth of dishes. Periodically, I sat down with a cup of coffee and a cigarette on the sofa and just sort of meditated while I petted the dog. When I was done cleaning I turned on the TV and thought, today we will have the film channels, and I was right, we did have the film channels, so I watched a French film called Lemmings and it was really good. Eduard came home while I was watching it and said that they had shown that movie at the film theater, so it must have been good.

Then I made a pot of Irish Breakfast tea and we drank that, while Eduard was in and out doing some shopping and taking the empty cans and bottles to the recycle bins. I had just read an article in the BBC news that drinking tea is good for you, because it doesn’t dehydrate and also has anti oxidants, and that 3 or 4 cups a day are healthy. We drink 3 cups a day each. So we are on the right track there.

In the evening I talked to my daughter twice for a long time and we had such happy talks. It is amazing, the things we come up with and how similar we really are. She told me about a book she was reading called The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and I ordered that at Bol.com. I usually enjoy the books that she reads. Anyway, Nick and I talked and talked and we have such a good time doing it. I think our minds work alike and we come to the same conclusions. We definitely have the same attitude when it comes to the important issues and we see eye to eye on what we want out of life and how to achieve that. At one point she said that I sounded like my old self again and that it was so nice to have me back again, and that sure does make me feel good. I do feel like myself a long time ago, ages and ages ago. I haven’t been this way for forever.

I do notice the jubilant person in me growing bigger as I interact with people and I become more animated and talkative. I am like a little child at a birthday party. I have to keep an eye on that and not become overexcited, but so far, so good. It certainly is good to hear myself being funny and involved. Nick and I sort of made plans for the rest of her life and we have it all figured out, now she just has to put them into action. Many optimistic words, many big deeds! I know she can do it! I am sending lots of positive thoughts her way and also lots of prayers to God.

I decided to wait up for Eduard to come home, because when I got off the phone with Nick, I wasn’t nearly ready to go to bed. While waiting, I started to watch another movie called Asylum, which was also very good, so when Eduard came home, I quickly told him the plot and then we finished watching it. It didn’t finish until midnight, so I really stayed up late. When we were in bed, we talked and talked about Nick for another half an hour at least, and I thought I would not be able to go to sleep, but luckily the Oxazepam started to work and I went out like a blown out candle.

Because of talking to Nick, I completely forgot about watching the soap in dialect, so we will have to watch that tonight and hopefully we didn’t miss too much. Usually, with a soap you don’t. We did keep speaking dialect yesterday, but we weren’t as good as we were the night before. We kept saying, you have to say it the way you pronounce it, because that is what one of the characters in the soap said in dialect and it sounded really funny.

Yesterday, Eduard got his vacation money and if we subtract the money for the computer, there is a little bit left to do some other things with, so thank goodness for that. We will need it for gas when we make trips with the car, since it costs 60 Euros to fill up the tank. It’s a shame that I can’t go on the back of the motorcycle yet, but then again, we have Jesker too, and he always comes with us when we go someplace. He is a member of our little family. The only place we can’t really take him is Flushing to see my aunt and uncle. They live upstairs on some narrow stairs and Jesker has a fear of stairs. They also have a nice allotment with a cabin on it and dogs are not allowed off the leash there, so it is generally a pain to take him there. We did it once and we won’t do it again, because it is just no fun for him. So, then I would leave him home and ask my sister to walk him a couple of times while we are gone. He is fine by himself and he has the cats to keep him company. When we go to Almelo on the 10th of June, he can come and he always behaves very well and really enjoys himself.

I keep thinking about my daughter and how things are going for her right now. God seems to be smiling on her, or call it lady luck or whatever. Call it a Higher Power, yes, I think that would be right. She certainly is in the right frame of mind for something really good to be happening to her right now. She is blossoming like a flower and opening like one too. I don’t know exactly in what sort of Deity or Higher Power she believes, but the fact that I believe in God strengthens my resolve and believe that her story will have a happy ending and I will do whatever I can to help her get there. I very much believe in the course of her story so far. I have very positive feelings about it.

Eduard just got up and said that Gandhi had opened the refrigerator door during the night and had eaten the left over goat cheese, but then had barfed it all up again. Eduard had gotten up during the night and discovered it. She is the only cat who can open the door, so it must have been her. I can’t believe she did it. Oh, she also ate the tilapia fillet, she probably had help with that from some other cats. They must have had a regular party. Toby came home with a chicken leg last night. He must have stolen it from some body’s trash bag. At least he let me take it away from him. The other cats were watching him carefully and wanted some too, but imagine them choking on the bones, or the dog choking on them!

Well, now I have to go and walk the dog and feed the cats. Eduard bought some other kind of cat food and they really like it. This time it was veal and chicken and they ate everything! You never know ahead of time if something will be a hit or not.

Ciao people, have a good one…

We saw that sheepdog again, the one that Jesker dislikes that much and I put Jesker on the leash immediately. Jesker pulled at the leash and was barking at that dog fiercely. Then my sister came out with her dog and said that her dog doesn’t like that dog either, so it must be something about that dog. Strange…I have never seen Jesker behave that way. I wonder if that sheepdog has the same effect on all other dogs also. I kind of feel sorry for his owner.

I just called the Center for Work and Income to find out if I have to come in today after having signed myself up via the Internet on Wednesday. I got that very nice gentleman on the line, who helped me before, and he is going to call me back and let me know if I need to come i
n now or if it can wait until I have my aptitude test. So, that is nice. I really don’t want to go into town today, because I will have to go by bike, as I have no bus ticket left. Also, my sister wants me to go with her and her dog to the pond at noon time and that will be a nice walk, so I would rather do that. That will be a peaceful activity, unless there are a lot of other dogs and then it will be stressful, because my sister’s dog challenges every other dog. Either way, if I go into town, I will go to the basilica, it is right by the CWI.

Now I am really going to stop writing and I am going to clean up the kitchen to start with…ciao…

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