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Archive for June, 2007

Starting yesterday I took some steps back in everything. I wanted to go back in time a bit to when I felt better and when I felt that I had a bit more control over things and I was less in a negative mood. That meant doing things the way I had been doing them some time ago and that includes writing about my weight and about my food, getting dressed properly and getting made up and decorated, going to town and going to chapel to light a candle and generally being in a more upbeat sort of mood. So I started off yesterday with taking good care of myself and making sure that, above else, I looked good. I wore something completely different too. A combination of clothes that I hadn’t worn before, but looked good on me. I haven’t been to the chapel yet, but I will go there this afternoon.

This morning I went on the scales and I weigh 94.1 kilos, so there is a tiny bit of weight loss. And this is what I ate yesterday: some Melba toast, a piece of cumin cheese, two pieces of Maasdammer cheese, a salmon steak (a smaller one this time), some more Melba toast and a tall glass of cold milk. I was perfectly full after all of that food and felt very satisfied and happy. Now I am waiting for the scales to show me going below 94 kilos, which I hope will happen soon.

Now, as to going to the chapel. I will go and light a candle and sit and contemplate things and if the mood strikes me, I will say a prayer. But I will go to the chapel every time I am in town. Why am I doing this after I claimed to have fallen off my faith? I want to make sure that indeed I have and that it was not some sort of a trick that my own mind was playing on me, like it wants to play on me with some other things too. I want to make sure that I wasn’t rationalizing my decision to not go to the chapel anymore. I want to give myself a chance to really think about that decision and to allow myself a chance to let the little bit of magic stay in my life where it was doing absolutely no harm, after all. I will have to readjust some of my thinking about the Higher Being and not be so uptight about it. I can be sure that whatever conclusion I come to will not be influenced by any residual effects of any medication I have taken. I will be cold sober.

I think I was too harsh and hasty before in making so sudden a decision to not go and pray anymore. I was doing some amount of black and white thinking too, one moment praying very fervently and the next moment turning my back on it completely. As you will remember, I was uncomfortable with the image of the Higher Being I was praying to, I had not formed one too solidly in my mind. I will let that be for now and just let whatever image enters my head be the one I pray to eventually. As always is the case with anything I undertake, I was going about it too earnestly, too intensely, and I wasn’t allowing any room for doubts and wobbles. I think faith is all about doubt anyway and about not knowing and hoping that the path you take is the right one and having faith in that. I don´t need to have it all figured out today, I will just go and light a candle and say a standard prayer and see what my general mood is after that. Maybe it will help me get some things clear in my head.

So, this afternoon Eduard and I are going into town to go to the chapel and have some coffee and pie at Café Monopole and to walk around a bit downtown and to maybe go to M&S Fashions and see what is on sale today. That will be a clear mission to the day. Hopefully, there will be something interesting going on downtown and if not, we just hope for the weather to be good and for there not to be too many tourists, but there just may be, because school vacations in the south of the country have started this weekend.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I went to bed again in the morning to sleep just a little bit more and then got up at 10:30 am. Then my sister called me to find out when we were going to walk the dogs and I said for her to just hang in there a minute or two while I got myself all ready and dressed. I quickly showered and washed my hair and then did all the other things to make myself presentable and walked to her house where we had an espresso and talked for a long time about a bunch of things that my sister really needed to talk about. It is amazing what comes out in these conversations and I appreciate her taken me into her confidence like that. She trusts me well enough to open her heart to me.

Then we walked the dogs to the pond where they had their usual amount of fun romping around and we had our usual conversation about anything and everything under the sun. It was a bit cold, but I didn´t wear a jacket and managed okay without. At least it didn´t rain, although the sky looked very threatening. We really take our time walking around the pond and the whole walk takes us about 45 minutes. We walk leisurely and are in no hurry. It is fun to watch the dogs having fun. At one point, Quinto was so absorbed in marking all the bushes and clumps of grass, that he peed on Jesker´s head and that was kind of comical.

Then I went home, because I thought Eduard would be there, but he wasn´t and I had some tea, because I was very thirsty. Eduard showed up shortly after that, but he had to go back to work, because he had a problem with the sound in one of the films and he had come home to see if he had a little replacement part for one of the parts for that projector, which he did. Such dedication! Anyway, he fixed the problem and was home again shortly. Initially, I asked him to go downtown on Sunday, because it is Shopping Sunday coming up and all the stores are open, but he has to watch the Formula 1 race, so that is why we are going this afternoon.

I had planned to do some major house cleaning, but I thought better of it and decided to leave that for today. If I have to get started on things in the afternoon, I never feel like doing them as much as when I get started in the morning. It´s like I can´t vacuum in the afternoon. Or clean the toilet then. I always have to get those things started in the morning, otherwise I don´t get my momentum going.

I fixed the salmon with a dill weed sauce for dinner and that was very good. The trick is to put enough dill weed in the sauce, you can´t skimp on it. As a base, I used a vegetarian bouillon and that made it very tasty. It was a bit salty, but the overall flavor was good. Eduard bought smaller salmon steaks, it got to be a little too much to eat the bigger pieces, although the animals appreciated that. My head is itching a bit and so are my hands, but it isn´t too bad and nothing I can´t handle. I just realized that I went to bed last night without my eye drops and without Eduard having rubbed the lotion on my head. Oh well…we´ll have to do that this morning.

Much to our surprise, we got a film guide for the film channels in the mail yesterday, so now we can see what movies are coming up in July. Eduard said that there are a lot of movies that they showed in the film house, so that should be good. I am glad we have a guide, because it was impossible to figure out what was going to be shown when.

Now I am going to walk the dog and get the day started properly
. I really do have to vacuum as there is dog hair floating around. As you walk around the living room it picks up and floats around in the air. My sister has the same problem with her dog, but she vacuums every day. She is very dedicated.

Have a terrific day, people. Wish for lots of sunshine, enough of all this rain already. Ciao…

P.S. When I walked Jesker this morning, it was cold outside. The sky was threatening looking as if there was much rain coming and there was a strong cold wind.

We saw my neighbor with the gastric band and her dog, Rex, but she never really wants to stop and have a chat. I feel as though she doesn´t want to get closer than just having a very superficial sort of interface and I suppose I shouldn´t worry about that. It is a shame, because we do have the gastric band in common and we could exchange a lot of information.

There was also a woman there walking a small dog, I think it was a Maltese lion, but Jesker has been weary of small dogs ever since he got attacked by that small Jack Russell. He just looks at them and then walks in the opposite direction. We walked the long way home and ran into a man with a Scottish Terrier and Jesker thought that was an interesting dog and spent some time sniffing him, before he decided that was enough of that and turned around and headed home.

I hope the weather improves a bit, as I have no really good jacket to wear and I realize that I need a new jacket, preferably a black one to go with most of my clothes, or a new jeans jacket to go with everything. I am not sure I can talk Eduard into that. They may be just a bit expensive. Much as I like to shop, there is always the budget to consider.

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I ate so much food yesterday, that I am going to write it down today just to get it off my chest, because I feel so guilty for having eaten it all. I started of the day with four very plump strawberries, they were luscious and sweet and mouth watering. Some time later I had a piece of Maasdammer cheese. After that I had an apple, it was a Lady Pink by the way, and I was very full after I ate that. Then later I had four more strawberries and then all the strawberries were gone, luckily. Later I had four crackers with cheese of which the dog only had one bite. Then I had two pieces of Maasdammer cheese and now all the cheese is gone. For dinner I had a three egg omelet and that was very good and I ate that all by myself and I didn’t share it with the animals. Then, when I went to bed, I had some Melba toast and a tall glass of cold milk. Now, this was about twice the amount of food that I normally eat, but I had such cravings. I didn’t eat so much that I made myself sick, it wasn’t that bad, but I sure ate my fill. Still, when I went on the scales this morning, I weighed 94.2 kilos, so that’s not bad at all. I thought it would be much more. It does mean that over the last two weeks or so, I have lost only one kilo and that is not very much at all. I have been stuck at this weight for a while now and I don’t know how to get below it. Yes, eat less, obviously. Hopefully, I will have a more normal eating day today.

Yesterday morning, after I walked the dog and took my medicines, I decided to go back to bed for awhile and I slept for another hour and a half. It was very pleasant and I woke up at 9:30 am, more ready and able to start the day. At least, that’s what I thought, but in reality, I didn’t get all that much done and I spent a large portion of the day on the sofa watching movies on the film channel, feeling utterly unmotivated to vacuum or do anything else. To say it bluntly, I didn’t get the show on the road.

I cleaned the kitchen and filled the dog and cat dishes with fresh dried food, but then I forgot to give them fresh water, which is very stupid and something I remember to do every morning. So they had to drink day old water all day long, which is not very pleasant, because the dog does slobber in his. This morning I saw that the water in both dishes was very cloudy and I changed it. Also, I forgot to feed the cats last night and some of them were in the kitchen begging for food when I made the first pot of coffee this morning, so I quickly gave them some.

I just could not get going yesterday. I would lay there on the sofa and think of things I needed to do and picture myself doing them, but then I never did get up and actually do them. I didn’t even wash my face and I just sort of combed my hair and just put on the same clothes that were laying there in the chair by my side of the bed. I tried to think, am I feeling down? I wasn’t sure what the answer was to that. I was just not motivated and maybe it would have helped if someone had come along and given me a good kick in the pants.

I’ll have to give myself that kick in the pants today if I want to get things going here. There are some things that I must accomplish today. I need to take a shower and I need to wash my hair and my face and and put on some make up. I must put on some nice clothes and I must put on some jewelry. Those are absolute musts. Those are just some basic things that I need to do to keep myself going in the right direction. I think if I just start with myself, then the rest will maybe follow. And I can’t be squeamish about showering when I am alone in the apartment. I’ll just have to get over that and do it anyway. I think that, once I have pulled myself together, I will be more able to deal with the other things, but pulling myself together is the most important thing. There is too much danger in letting myself go.

So, I watched all these movies yesterday and one of them was Howard’s End, which I have watched three or four times before, and which book I have read, but it is always good to see the movie again. It is so well done and the actors in it are so good. I love Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins and how well they play together. How believable they are and how true to the story as I understand it. I love the interior shots of the houses and the costumes and the hairdos of the women. I try to imagine living in that time and how tough it must have been if you didn’t belong to the upper middle classes. I wouldn’t mind going back in time to have a look, but I am glad I live now. You can’t get too romantic about the past. But I do love the general allure of it and the fields of flowers around Howard’s End.

I watched a bunch of movies, one of them played in Mexico and was a thriller, but I can’t remember the name of it. It was a Spanish language movie and very good. I have no place to look up the titles of the movies that play on the film channels, as there is no guide for them. That is rather frustrating as I never know which movies are going to be on when, unless they are specifically announced ahead of time.

Oh yes, now that Morse has died, the BBC has started a new series with his sidekick Lewis and the first of the episodes is going to be on on Sunday evening on one of the Dutch channels, so I mustn’t forget to watch that. I like Lewis and he gets a new sidekick, so that should be good to watch. They say that they gave the new sidekick some of Morse’s old qualities to offset him against Lewis, so that will make it interesting. I do love British detective series. They are always so well done. They do have the magic formula.

Eduard was home early yesterday afternoon, because he had to go to work again in the evening and he thought he had the late shift. I don’t know if he did, because I was asleep when he got home last night. We had wanted to replace the lamp in the dark corner of the living room with one that would take the new light bulbs that save energy, and we had looked on the Ikea website and found one that would allow us to do that. So, yesterday, Eduard got on his motorcycle and went to Ikea and bought that lamp. Luckily, it was a lamp that you had to put together, so the package wasn’t too big and easily fit on the back of the motorcycle. It’s a lamp that has two spotlights, one shines up to the ceiling and one you can direct to the book you are reading. Once we put it together, we realized it wasn’t such a good looking lamp, but is is ecologically sound and that was the reason for buying it, so it will have to do. There is quite a bit of difference in the amount of energy it uses compared to the old lamp, because of the kind of light bulbs it takes, and we should see the difference in the electric bill, because that lamp on that spot is on a lot. So this time it is economy and ecology before beauty. Now, all of the light bulbs in our apartment are ecologically sound or they are halogen bulbs that are ecologically sound. We are motivated by the energy bill and are trying to set record lows.

Eduard and I have our ritual now before he goes to work in the evenings. He massages the lotion onto my head, and as it is a clear liquid, it dries quickly and doesn’t mess my hair up. Then he puts in my eye drops and I think those are really working, because my eyes are hardly bothering me now. Actually, the drops are sort of a gel, a little bit thick, but it comes out of the little tube as drops. We have to apply them twice a day and one morning, Eduard and I forgot to put them in and I had to do it myself and that was quite a chore if you aren’t used to it. When Eduard puts the drops in, Jesker always thinks he is molesting me and starts to bark at him. But it is nice to have a kind husband who takes such care of your medical needs.

Havi
ng wasted the day on doing so very little, I decided to go to bed early. I saw no need in staying up longer to hang out in front of the TV. I had done that all day and I was getting awfully bored with it. Besides, I was looking forward to going to bed and going to sleep underneath the warm duvet. Three cats were laying on the bed waiting for me to share it with them and they left a little bit of space for me to get in there also. Needless to say, I was out cold in no time and that is partly the result of the book I am reading, because it is a bit boring. This is the book by Paul Theroux about Britain and the coastal towns and it becomes repetitive after a while, because he doesn’t do much, but get on and off trains and walk through little towns that he never gets to know well. I just pick it up and start reading were I left off without really remembering what I read the night before. That’s how much of an impression it is making on me. I may not finish it at all and start on his book about Oceania where he travels by kayak. That may be more interesting.

I do worry about having such nonproductive day as I did yesterday. I wouldn’t if the days before that had been active days, but they haven’t. I have been on a low simmer for the past week or so, not much is happening from my end of things. I do okay if I have an appointment, but other than that I am not performing. I am not looking for reasons to go to town. Of course, I don’t go to the chapel anymore, so that reason is gone and the weather has been bad and I have not had the money. But I think those are all just excuses not to do anything. Today is market day, but I won’t go there, because Eduard is back to work and he will go to the market to get salmon and cheese on his break, because the film house is right there. It will take him all of ten minutes. I have no reason to go into town. Eduard is coming home early this afternoon and this evening he doesn’t have to work.

I don’t really want to be in such a low simmering mode. I would like just a bit more energy and action. A little bit more activity in my head also. None of this dull wittedness. Having said that, I just turned on the Energy Lamp, maybe that will do the job. I don’t think of myself as lazy when I am not performing, but I do not want to slip into some sort of mood that I am going to regret falling into somewhere down the line. It always starts with little things and before you know it, they’ve all added up and become a big thing that is weighing you down. Part of this mood that I am in now, feels awfully familiar to me, too familiar and I know it is making me think of depressions and how they come about. I don’t want that to happen.

Yesterday I was thinking about this blog and I had almost convinced myself that it was not worth writing, so today I am writing down everything to prove the opposite. When I start to get depressed, and I start to not want to do things, I always try to justify it in my mind by saying that those things aren’t worth doing anymore, and that they are silly and that they never should have mattered at all. That is a big warning sign to me. I don’t know how my religious feelings fit into this, because I did suddenly decide that they didn’t matter anymore and that they were maybe silly and that they never should have mattered. But I can’t turn back the clock on that. I can equally convince myself that this blog is just a load of bullshit and that it is a lot of self indulgent silliness and that I ought to quit it right now, but I won’t do that, and instead, I will keep writing as devotedly as I can. Even if nobody were to read me out there, I would still keep plugging away at it and write everything down as well as I can.

I can say, it is not important to wear nice clothes every day and to try and look pretty, that is all just a lot of vanity. And who do you think you are, putting on your make up and jewelry? Who are you trying to impress anyway? Do you really think that you are such a hot commodity? See, I can really take myself down this way and talk myself out of needing to do these things, but I have to fight against that and chase away that voice in my head. I don’t know whose voice it is. I have to keep the momentum of looking good going and I have to keep believing in it and not give in to the part of me that wants to say, Oh, never mind, it is really not important, you silly woman. I have to stop all opposition in my head. Sure, it would be nice if I could wash my face and put on some jeans and a tank top and look good in the fresh scrubbed all American way, but I don’t. I need a little bit of work to look good, I am almost 53 years old after all and I am not skinny yet.

Well, today I will try really hard to fight these negative thoughts a bit. If I can just waylay some of them that will be a battle won. And, at all costs, I need to keep this blog going, come hell or high water, as they say. Come rain or shine.

Tonight we are eating salmon for dinner. I am looking forward to it already. I am thinking of making a dill weed sauce to go with it, but I don’t know if Eduard is interested in that. I will also find out if my allergies kick in harder after I have had the salmon. If I start itching more in different places. Last week I did for several days, I still have the peeling spots of it on my hands. It may all have been a coincidence of course, we’ll see. I’ll call the GP’s office this afternoon to see if they have the results of the allergy tests and then I will make an appointment for Monday afternoon. I am very curious about what he is going to say about my eyes. Why I had an inflammation in both eyes and if it was allergy related.

Okay people, I have expressed my feelings well enough now, I think. I shared with you some of the deepest ones. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I am hoping for a productive day. My sister and I will walk the dogs by the pond at noontime. Hopefully the rain will stay away long enough to allow us to do that. Ciao…

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It’s four o’clock in the morning, so I am up at my usual early time of the day. Which is good, because I went to bed on time last night. I’m having my first cup of coffee and it sure does taste good. Mmm, do I look forward to that every morning! I went on the scales with the usual result, so no time will be wasted on that. I hear Eduard snoring in the bedroom and our cat Pieke is running around being silly. The rest of the animals are asleep, or else they are outside doing mysterious things that only cats do at night. I know that Jesker is sound asleep on his pillow in the bedroom.

I may have been wrong about my GP and him prescribing antibiotic eye drops. That may have just been the right thing, as I think my eyes are getting a bit better, so maybe I did have an inflammation in them after all. If I did, I have been walking around with it for a few months, because that’s how long they have been bothering me. It was just these past couple of weeks that they got so bad that I couldn’t ignore it any longer. All this time I thought it was because of my allergies, but maybe I was wrong. Or maybe it started because of my allergies, but it turned into something else. I’ll have to discuss this with him next week when I am sure that he has the results of the allergy tests. I know the lotion for my head is working. It is itching a lot less and Eduard has been applying it once a day, really rubbing it in well with cotton balls. We’ll see what happens when I eat the salmon again tomorrow. If I start itching again badly after that and if my eyes get worse then. It all seemed to get worse last weekend, but that may have been a coincidence, of course. The proof will be in the pudding, as they say. In my case, the proof will be in the salmon.

Yesterday, Eduard came home with a basket of strawberries. They are big and ripe, so we can’t waste much time in eating them. I had some last night and they are delicious. I dipped them in sugar, but they hardly needed it. They were very good. He also brought home apples instead of pears. The pears that we had lately had all started to spoil in the fruit bowl before I could eat them and we ended up having to throw most of them away. This happened a few times, so now we have switched to the apples again. They look great, but I don’t think I’ll be able to eat a whole one in one fell swoop. They aren’t Golden Delicious or the regular brand of apples, but I can’t remember what Eduard said their name was. They look like the kind of apples that should be in a bowl of fruit that an artist would paint a still life of.

Yesterday afternoon we surprised my sister with a bouquet of flowers, because it was her last day teaching at the elementary school. We bought them for her for having lasted the course, in spite of some very difficult kids in her class room with equally difficult parents who really had given her a hard time. As you’ll remember, she was a substitute teacher and this particular job had given her some sleepless nights. As it is, she got a completely new job working for the tourist information point downtown and she will be starting that job next week. So that is probably for the best. She speaks her foreign languages, so that will come in real handy. She was happy with the flowers and we sat and had an espresso and some chocolates with her, while the dogs tried to get equal attention from us and both wanted to be petted at once. Luckily, people do have two hands.

Yesterday, I was thinking about the difference between the sadness that you can feel in just every day ordinary life, which can be bad enough already, of course, and the sadness that you feel while you are badly depressed and it seemed to me that there was such a difference in it. I have felt both, and the sadness that you feel in a depression can be so devastating. Of course, there are degrees of sadness and I think in any circumstances, you can feel more or less of it, but in a depression, you always feel the worst of it, no matter what happens or has happened. I felt a lot of sadness and grief when my son died, but after some time, I thought I had dealt with that and I assumed that my mourning period was over. But then I found out that I was depressed and that I was still mourning when I should have been past that stage already, although nobody can tell you when that stage should be over, right? But there does come a time when you have to stop mourning and the time to let go and to pick up the pieces of your life again and to get on with living and I wasn’t doing any of those things. I did keep thinking that, if I were to die, it wouldn’t be a bad thing, because I would see my son again. I was focused on death, I wasn’t focused on living. I was stuck in a dull witted, slow moving, nonreactive frame of mind. I kept asserting that I was fine, but I was not. I was in permanent sadness. Sadness was my point of view, it was my personality. It was the place from which I functioned. It colored my view of life. That wasn’t ordinary sadness. That was pathological sadness.

That wasn’t even the worst depression out of the many depressions that I had ever felt and I won’t describe those here. Those were devastating and the sadness I felt then is not to be described here. The point is that there is a difference between the sadness that you feel as life happens to you and the sadness that becomes permanent as you become (permanently) depressed. When you are a parent, anything happening to your children is the worst thing that can happen to you, even when there are other horrifying events in your life. As there had been in mine. I truly think, that anything involving your children is always more devastating anyway.

When you are depressed, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is no relief in sight to help you carry the weight of your sadness. It becomes unbearable. There are no moments in the day that give you hope. All is bleak and black and hopeless. Your sadness is complete. That is all you are.

I think that when my son died, I was what is called, chronically depressed. That means that I was at some level functioning while I was depressed at the same time. Functioning is a big word, because it makes it sound like I was doing something, while I was doing very little. I breathed, I ate, I talked, I slept and that was about it. I was on automatic pilot and that was sort of accepted by the people around me. I wasn’t suicidal, so that was good. When Brion died, that sadness deepened the depression of course, but everybody, including myself, expected that, that was normal, right? But I never came out of that again. I never made it back to the lower surface.

The point I am making is, that you can mistake a depression for sadness and you can mistake a chronically depressed mood for real life. It is possible that you accept these things as a given and that you won’t do anything about it until your depression deepens to a much worse one in which you give up the will to live. When sadness becomes all out grief that is overwhelming and out of control. When the grief becomes your enemy. There is nothing healing about sadness like that, it only strips you of all that is healthy about you.

So, think about sadness and about what is appropriate, about what is enough and about what it does to you. A very sad event doesn’t have to leave you permanently very sad. All of that has a beginning and an end. You think you will never have a happy thought again when something awful happens in your life, but when you are a healthy human being, you will.

Have I preached enough now? Sometimes I do feel that I want to make my point so badly that I overdo it. As I write these things down, I am my own best student, of course. It is like talking to myself.

I am sitting here all toasty and warm in my big bathrobe. I am shrinking and the bathrobe is getting bigger. Only my feet are cold. All the windows are open on a c
rack and it must be just a bit cold outside because I feel a draft. Cats are starting to show up out of nowhere, they just suddenly appear. They are still being patient, but any time now they will start asking for their food. Jesker was out here, checking things out, but he has gone back to the bedroom.

Well, now I have to go and read the news. I can’t become ignorant at this stage of my life. I figure I have 30 years of news reading left to do. How many computers will that be until that time?

Have a great day, all of you. Hope the sun shines where you are. Ciao…

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I think I am not going to comment on my weight for a while, unless I am really losing some. I am not losing any now and haven’t for some time, so it is getting kind of boring. I weigh 94.3 kilos this morning, so you see what I mean. So, I’ll just skip the whole story about how many ounces I have lost or gained, and what I have had to eat, until I am really losing weight again. It was a nice habit, but it isn’t much fun when nothing is happening.

Yesterday was an alright day. In the morning I didn’t do too much. Just the usual housecleaning and TV watching when I sat down. There is a movie on the Film Channel that I am watching in stages. It is called The Truman Show and last week I watched part of it. I’ll call that part the second quarter. Yesterday I watched it again, but fell asleep on the sofa, so I only saw the first and last quarters of it. So now I have seen three quarters of the movie and I only have the third quarter left to watch. I don’t know if I’ll ever watch that part, I’ll have to wait and see if it is on again and if I want to sit through the parts that I have already seen.

In the afternoon, I had my appointment at the CWI and, luckily, it was dry when I had to go there, so I went on my bike. I would have taken the bus if the weather had been really bad. Riding my bike is becoming easier every time, but I do notice that I am more sure of myself when Eduard is not with me, as he is always anticipating what I am going to do and this is making me feel insecure and wobbly. I do a much better job when I am on my own.

Anyway, at the CWI the nice woman named Solveig spend an hour with me going over my test results and I have to say that those were very good. Most of the results were above average and some of them were way above average. One of the tests was a personality test and I was very interested in how I had done on that. It turned out that I had a very sunny, optimistic personality and that I was a very positive person. This is especially interesting to me, of course, because I had not taken such a test for quite some time. I think the last time was when I was very sick and the outcome was much different. So I did feel redeemed.

The rest of the test were about work attitude and work choice and work culture and all sorts of other things. It turns out that I am a very adaptable person and I will be good at a number of things and I have a lot of potential in me. There are some lines of work that I am more drawn to than others, but working independently with a lot of autonomy seems to suit me well. Working with clear goals in mind inside a definite structure also suits me. Accountancy and manager assistant were some of the jobs that popped up. Also working in health care.

A letter about me with a synopses of the results of the tests is going to be sent to the responsible people at the city offices, who will invite me for an appointment to see which training, if any, they will be willing to offer me. It could be in accounting or it could be in Microsoft Word or other computer programs. It could be something completely different. They may offer me an on the job training deal, working and going to school at the same time. Oh yes, today I am doing one more test. It is a specific job choice test and I will get the results right away and so will the woman at the CWI. It is a little bit more precise than the other tests. I have copies of all the test results and it makes for interesting reading and there are things in there that I can mention in any letter when I apply for a job.

When I was done, I walked outside and saw that it had rained and that it was about to rain some more, so I hopped on my bike end went home as quickly as I could, totally forgetting about going to the chapel. It was very far from my mind. All I thought off were the test results and the threatening sky. Half way home, it really started to pour and I peddled as fast as I could to make it home as quickly as I could. I did get very wet, but Eduard was home and hung my wet jacket to dry in the bathroom and I took off my wet sandals and dried the rest of me as good as possible. Then I made some fresh coffee, which I had been craving, and let Eduard read the test results. He agreed with most of them, but we both were sort of surprised with the result that said I would do well under hectic circumstances. We both disagreed with that. So the test results aren’t a 100% right, but mostly they are.

Jesker was happy to see me and while I drank my coffee, he sat beside me and I had to pet him. He needs to be all reassured when I come home. Like, she loves me very, very much. See how she pets me. I do enjoy coming home after an outing even as brief as that one. Especially if Eduard is already home.

I’ll have to go to the chapel another time. I think it wasn’t such a big priority or otherwise I wouldn’t have forgotten it. See how I changed from being so devoted to be so nonchalant about it. No, I don’t think nonchalant is the right word, because I do care about giving it a right ending. I’ll have to do it when I can give it my proper attention.

Yesterday Lucien called me. She was home again after her vacation and we made an appointment to meet in town next week. I had to make it next week, because I have no money to spend now. I don’t want to meet and not be able to even pay for a round of coffee. Thursday is payday and then we’ll be fine again. There is always too much month left over at the end of the paycheck. It is easier for Lucien, getting her compensation check. I am sure we’ll have a wonderful time in town and lots of fun will be had by both. She was talking about the Bright Light Energy Lamp and how she had heard that you can get manic from it, and I said, if that were the case, I would turn it on right away and sit in front of it until I did. Boy, if things were that easy!

In the evening, Eduard had to work and I was by myself, watching my regular, sometimes boring, TV programs. They’re just a way to pass the time and sometimes, I don’t pay all that much attention. I sit and think about other things too. Road Abusers was on and I love to hear people come up with reasons for why it is okay for them to drive too fast or to ignore red lights or to not wear their safety belts. Everybody thinks they are the exception to the rule.

Anyway, I was looking forward to going to bed and have been for these past few days. I really don’t feel like staying up late. I look at the clock and can’t wait for it to be 9 o’clock. I take my medicines and get my cold glass of milk and off I go. Even while I drink my milk, I am sleepy already, thanks to the Temazepam, so I am never laying in bed having to think that I will not fall sleep and how awful that is. I absolutely avoid that at all costs and I appreciate my psychiatrist knowing this and keeping this in mind when he prescribes my medication. The worst thing that can happen is laying awake at night while trying to go to sleep and being overwhelmed by all those thoughts and images. I really appreciate not having to go through that and knowing that I gently nod off into a deep sleep. If I can’t go to sleep, I have whole movie scenes play in my head and they aren’t pleasant.

I am glimpsing some blue sky through the kitchen window. It is possible that today will not be such a bad day, after all. We may get some showers, but not that many. If you read Eleanor’s Blog (see the link on the left side of this post), you will see that in England, they have lots of pro
blems because of the bad weather. As they had in Switzerland and some other places.

Well, that’s all for today. There have been no words of wisdom or profound thoughts. I guess I am not too inspired today. I am looking forward to the day, although nothing special is on the schedule. I’ll just let the day unfold as it comes. By the way, my toe is healing well. It still hurts a bit and I still have to keep a band aid on it, but it is starting to look a lot better.

Have a great day everybody, ciao…

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I’m stuck at 94.2 kilos and I suppose that is not such a bad thing, but I would like to move on to some other weight now. I mean, I would like to move down to some other weight now. Listen to me, you minor God of the kilos and ounces, I may have fallen of my faith, but just for now, lets pretend I still sort of believe in you and lets get the show on the road already. Okay, okay, I’ll be more careful about what I eat, I promise. Let’s just stop this fooling around and really drop the weight now.

This is what I had yesterday, a small glass of juice, a piece of cumin cheese, some Melba toast, 2 pieces of Maasdammer cheese, a three egg omelet and a tall glass of milk. The second piece of Maasdammer cheese was sheer indulgence and completely unnecessary. I had it because it was there and for no other reason at all.

Yesterday, was allergy day. My poor eyes have been burning and tearing for some time now and yesterday was especially bad, so I called the GP’s office and had them fax a prescription for eye drops to the pharmacy. Then I did some surfing on the Internet and finally found a pill that you only need to take once every 24 hours and that should help with the burning eyes and the dermatitis, so when I am next at the GP’s office, I will discuss this medication with him. It is called Loratadine and maybe it will help me. Apparently, it doesn’t make you drowsy and it is safe to take with my other medications. I printed the information sheet about it and I will show my GP that when I see him, which should be next week on Monday or Tuesday to hear about the results of my allergy tests. Thank goodness for the Internet, there is so much you can find out yourself. Loratadine is sold over the counter as Allerfre in the Netherlands, but the active ingredient is Loratadine and I can get a prescription for that and my insurance company will pay for it. I found that out by calling the pharmacy about it.

Yesterday was the day of tranquility. I was home by myself until the early afternoon and I didn’t mind it at all. I did some house work and I watched some boring TV programs and generally amused myself in my own company. The dog and the cats slept mostly. The boring TV programs were on the BBC and yes, even on the BBC they do have bad programs on during the day, such as Homes Under The Hammer and Cash In The Attic and To buy Or Not To Buy. These are completely brainless programs and it is almost as good as watching no TV at all. Anyway, I sit and watch them, while I get up every now and then and do something completely different like clean the toilet or scrub the wash basin.

I didn’t vacuum yesterday. The floors looked very clean and I wasn’t sure about turning on the vacuumcleaner and in turn having the dust whirl around the air. Today I will vacuum again and also mop the floors. I should wash the dog’s bedding, but then it will take forever to dry, so I may want to do that in stages. He has three pillows now and they probably all need washing. It would be nice to have a big washing machine and a big dryer to put them in. I talked to Eduard about putting up some washing lines on the patio to dry the laundry on, because it dries so much more quickly in the outside air. When it isn’t raining, at least. The laundry also smells good when it has been drying outside.

When Eduard came home in the afternoon, my first question to him was, how it was for him to be back at work after a 3 week holiday, but it seems to have agreed with him alright and he didn’t seem extra tired yet or discouraged. Of course, he still had to go back to work that evening and I don’t know if he had the very late shift, because I went to bed at 9 pm and I didn’t hear him come home. Usually, he likes to work in the evenings, because he enjoys spending time with the volunteers and teaching them new tricks about projection. Working until midnight can be a bit rough and they take turns doing that. One person stays and the other people leave after the last batch of films has been started at 10 pm.

Yesterday, I was in Eduard’s workroom and stubbed my sore toe against the oscilloscope. Now, his brother had given him this scope when we were in Almelo and I had seen Eduard playing with it a few times, but I had not paid too much attention to it. After stubbing my sore toe against it though, I got curious about what it really was and had Eduard explain it to me. The oscilloscope make electrical waves visible. It really also makes sound visible. So whatever electrical wave, or tremor, comes out of an electrical system, the scope makes it visible. The visible waves have different lengths and heights and frequencies. They also can have three different shapes, depending on the source. So the electrical wave from a computer has a block shape, for instance. Other things have a triangular shape or a sinus shape. You can measure the length of the wave in seconds or in microseconds. You can measure the sound of music or the sound of a voice, but also the sound of an electrical pulse coming out of a computer. It gets too complicated after this for me. This is as far as I understand it, but that is more than I knew before, so when next he is playing with it, I will pay attention. And yes, my toe is fine, there was no bleeding or anything.

Eduard has a very technical mind and he understands electrical systems very quickly. He knows why things work the way they do and why they stop working. That is very handy to know in his kind of work. He knows a lot about the projectors and how to keep them all up and running. He also understands computers to some extent and how to get them to do the things you want them to do, which is handy with the digital projection that they have nowadays. His brain works very quickly and he sees the connections very quickly. I rely on him a lot to figure things out, and no, I am not dumb myself. It is just that Eduard is smarter. He should have studied to be an engineer instead of becoming a librarian.

In the afternoon, just before Eduard came home, I fell asleep on the sofa. It can’t be helped, I need my little cat naps. At least they aren’t the deep sleeps that they were a few days ago. Eduard kissed me awake, sort of. I became coherent after a while, it was so nice to be drowsy. I am rating my days with sevens, even when I take my naps. Nothing spectacular is happening, my days just get to be sevens.

I am relieved that I don’t have to go to the chapel this afternoon, after I have gone to the CWI. It is like a load off my shoulders. I realize that the last time I was there, it had started to feel like an obligation and not like a joy. I prayed because I felt that I had to, not because I felt that I wanted to. And I was unsure about who I was praying to. I couldn’t get an image formed of my Higher Being. I will spend some times thinking about this. Who this Higher Being is and what that means to me and how to approach that. It is not a discussion that I will avoid or a theme I will not engage in. Mostly I feel very sober minded and I feel more attracted to the rational point of view, although I realize the the ratio does not explain everything either. Maybe some things will remain a mystery. Even to scientists the universe is a wonder.

I think I want to be in charge of my life myself and not have it be dependent on a Higher Being who’s favor I am trying to gain. Because that is how it felt. Maybe that was the wrong point of view. I want to make the big decisions myself and be responsible myself for the outcomes. I don’t want them to be unexplainable or God inspired. I want there to be a cause and
effect. I make this decision, do that deed, and, most likely, this will be the outcome of that. I think my lack of clear definition of a Higher Being and my approach were also lacking quite a bit of inspiration and if ever I am confronted with this situation again, I will have to try harder to make something of it.

Today it is supposed to rain some more, but it should clear up a bit in the afternoon, which is good, because I have to go to the CWI to get the results of the tests that I had taken and I have an appointment for that. I am very curious what will come out of them and if they will offer me a training. The possibilities are endless I am sure. There are probably things I have not even thought of that I can do.

I just reread the posts from the past week and I see that I mentioned that I would go to the chapel today to light one last candle to say goodbye, so I suppose I will do that. That is actually not such a bad idea. I will do that and sit and contemplate the whole scene for a bit and let the impressions roll over me. I’ll have a good look at the statue of Mary holding the baby Jesus and try to figure out what the allure is. It is set up as a pieta and it will be good to have a closer look at it, which I have never taken the time to do, as I was always kneeling and praying and ignoring Mary. I thought of her more as the Mother Goddess and didn’t want to be too influenced by the Catholic idea of her.

Well, now I have to go and walk the dog and feed the cats. It’s been nice sitting here ruminating, but the show must be got on the road. Have a terrific day everyone. Ciao…

Eduard has put the eye drops in my eyes again this morning, but I don’t think they are going to work, as they are an antibiotic and I don’t see how that is going to work for allergically burning and tearing eyes. There must have been some misunderstanding at the GP’s office. I will use these drops in the meantime, but when I see my GP, I will tell him of the uselessness of them and ask for something else. I think he sometimes doesn’t have his mind on the job properly. It’s up to me to keep the ball rolling, unless he knows something that I don’t know and I don’t think he does.

It was cold outside when I walked the dog. I wore a sweater, but could have used a jacket too. It’s only supposed to get up to 15 degrees Celsius today. The wind is blowing hard and the sky is very grey. It is real Dutch weather like it gets in the springtime and fall. It’s just not supposed to get this way in the summertime.

Okay, I am going to get going now.

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Today I weigh 94.2 kilos again, so that is encouraging. Got rid of those 2 extra ounces. I ate funny too yesterday. I had one small glass of juice, two pieces of fruit pie with whipped cream, one piece of cheese, some Melba toast and one tall glass of milk. I thought I really blew it with eating those two pieces of pie, but maybe that wasn’t too bad after all. It was fresh fruit, glazed just a little bit and oh, so delicious.

So, yesterday morning we celebrated my brother in law’s birthday, and I was wrong, the kids weren’t there. My nephew was at football camp for the weekend and my niece was at a dance rehearsal, so it was just us grown ups. And my brother in law turned 44, not 46 like I thought. Shows you how well informed I am. Anyway, he liked the socks and is taking them to Italy with him next week, when he will be riding into the mountains with a large group of friends.

So we talked and talked and enjoyed the pie, of which I only had one piece then, and then my sister and I went to pick up my niece at her dance rehearsal. This was at a village some miles from town in a pretty river valley. We got there a little early and watched my niece dance and saw what natural talent she has and how uninhibited she is when she dances. She is actually good enough to go to the Academy of Dance in Antwerp, but she does not want to become a professional dancer.

Anyway, we drove home the scenic route and enjoyed all the pretty countryside. Everything was so lush and green with all the rain we had been having. When we got back to my sister’s house, Eduard and the dog had left to go home already, after Eduard had installed a new outside electric box, so I went home also. Once home, I vacuumed the whole apartment and then Eduard mopped everything and we can’t get it much cleaner than that, but I am still itching this morning, although not as badly as yesterday.

Then my sister called to say that all the electricity had gone off in the living room, so Eduard went to check what the problem was, if it was the new electric box, and came home with the extra piece of pie and let me eat that, because it looked so good and I couldn’t withstand the temptation. Eduard shares easily. Well, in this case he didn’t share, he gave away. Sometimes I have to be really bad, or as bad as my gastric band allows me to be. The pie is very light and airy and I think that if it were anything else, I wouldn’t be able to eat it all at once.

I didn’t fall asleep on the sofa once yesterday. I managed to stay awake the whole day, even when we were watching a boring program like the motorcycle GP in England. But when it was 9 pm, I was more then ready to go to bed and I conked out in no time at all. Still, I am only sleeping about six hours every night and that really isn’t much at all and I wonder if I will last the day today.

I talked to my daughter in the afternoon and, because she doesn’t call me every day now, she said that she doesn’t want me to feel neglected. I think that is very sweet of her, and no, I don’t feel neglected. I think that, as long as I know that every thing is okay at her end, I certainly don’t have to talk to her every day. It isn’t necessary and I think even an email every now and then saying, hi, everything is fine, would be just fine. I think we are both grown up enough to go and each live our separate lives without checking in with each other all the time. Although I am always available as a listening ear day and night, of course. But that is normal. I don’t want her to feel the burden of having to call me all the time. I want her to call me when it is necessary for her to talk to me, when I can help her with something. Other then that, she can call me once in a week and tell me about all the good things in her life and I will do the same.

As I type this, the rain is literally pouring out of the sky by the buckets full. There seems to be no end to the amount of rain that we are getting. More is coming our way this week and it isn’t supposed to ease up until the end of it. I just hope it is dry when Eduard has to go to work this morning. He had his mobile phone on for five minutes last night and promptly got called by one of the volunteers who was having a problem with one of the projectors. Eduard shut his phone off again after that.

I am so sober minded this morning and so little inspired to write things down. I am sitting here thinking of stuff to write about, but my mind is coming up empty. Yesterday wasn’t such an exciting day, nothing spectacular happened, and nothing is weighing heavily on my mind. All that comes to mind are song texts like, You Are Always On My Mind, and Running on Empty. That won’t do at all, Irene. Think!

Oh yes, I was wrong about my nephew taking Latin and Greek, it is my niece who takes Latin and Greek, not my nephew. He will just take four foreign languages, English, German, French and Spanish. My niece takes three foreign languages and Latin and Greek. She doesn’t take Spanish. It’s so hard to keep track of it all. The Gymnasium and the Atheneum are equally difficult high schools, just some of the subjects that are taught there are different, like the Latin and Greek. They are all in one college. The subjects that they have in common are all taught at the same level, like mathematics, for instance. The grades are from one to ten, with five being a failing grade and an eight being a very good grade. You would have to be very good to get a nine. That’s all I know about that.

I just went to a regular high school for kids who were smart enough, but not quite smart enough to go straight to university. I wish it had been different. I could have gone on to another kind of college and prepared for university, but I think we were all relieved when I got my diploma and found a good job. I was secretary of the purchasing department of a large American company in my hometown. That’s how I met my ex. Yes, those fateful days. Little did I know then what my eventful life would look like. I could not have imagined it.

My job was a lot of fun. I worked for some great people and I always enjoyed going to work. I was always full of stories when I came home at the end of the day. A lot of fun was had by all in my office that I shared with another girl. Everybody who had to be in the purchasing department, came by our office first to have a chat and a laugh. Sometimes it was pure slapstick in there. I don’t know how we got any work done sometimes, but we did. Sometimes it was dead serious and we really felt the time pressure. My immediate boss was a great human being and we are still in touch now and always have been. I will see him and his wife when I go up north in the fall. I was fond of all the people in my department and had good working relationships with them. For some of them, I also baby sat, so I got to know them really well. I worked there for two years before I left to go to the States. So, I left behind my family, my friends, my job and my colleagues. And I did it so lightly, as only someone my age could have done it. Boy, what were we thinking!

When I came to the States, I saw palm trees outside the airport terminal and I thought a hill was a mountain, coming from a flat country, and I thought my mother in law was like Lucille Ball. My ex had had rented an apartment and furnished it with second hand furniture, which was fine, as we were just beginning, but the lamps were very American. It was all a lot to take in and I think it was a bit overwhelming at first. My ex came from a large family and we had a hard time remembering who everybody and their partners were at first. They were a noisy family and we had to get used to that a bit. Everybody drank a lot, but we thought, and saw, that this was an American custom. I think in the seventies, everybody drank a lot. It was like everybody was an alcoholic, although the term wasn’t used then. Everybody arrived with a six pack under their arm. What
did we know! We really were so naive!

I think a lot of times in my life I was too young to be doing the things I was doing and I was taking on too much responsibility for the age I was. I wish my parents had slowed me down and kept me younger for a longer time. Had kept me in school longer and had kept me from growing up so fast. I just wasn’t ready for a lot of it. It has taken me a while to really become a grown up, I am a bit of a late bloomer. I didn’t realize that myself until it was too late. When I was twenty and had two kids and an alcoholic husband and a depression. Boy…

On to happier times and those are now. I have never felt as much in charge of my life as I do now. I am not always in charge of my moods, having a mood disorder, but I know what happens to me and what to do about it when it happens. I have read so many books about it in the past six months that I am well informed now. And I have a very good partner who is also my best friend. I see this as the second half of my life and I am going to get this right. As they say in the Netherlands, with a lot of falling and standing up again. Actually, I don’t think there will be that much falling, at least not from any great heights. I am happy when I wake up in the morning, that is important. I remember the days when I got up and turned around and went back to bed again, utterly defeated. It won’t ever get that bad again, I hope. I won’t be doing any magical thinking about this. I have to be sober minded and practical. That’s the way to tackle that.

Oh yes, by the way, I called a movie that I watched the other day, The Inside Man. That was the wrong title. It was called The Island, about the clones that were bred for replacement parts. Duh…

Well, now the cats are really being persistent about being fed. I will walk the dog shortly, because it has stopped raining and I have to take the chance.

Have a wonderful day you all, lost of sunshine I hope. Ciao…

P.S. It is very quiet in the apartment with Eduard gone and the cats and Jesker asleep. I don’t mind the quietness, it is kind of nice. There is a tranquility to it that is pleasant. I am going to clean the bathroom and hang up some laundry to dry. Eduard’s clothes and rags that got very dirty from having worked on the motorcycle. It was a challenge to try and get those clean. I have to make another pot of coffee and I am trying to decide if I should switch to all decaf yet. My eyes are constantly stingy, I assume that is from the allergies. Ciao…

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Today I would like to be weightless, instead of that I weigh 94.4 kilos, so that is 2 ounces more than yesterday, but is it is still a total weight loss of 31 kilos. Therefore, I shall not complain too much. I’ll grumble just a little bit…

This is what I had yesterday, one small glass of juice, one piece of cumin cheese, one pear, one piece of Maasdammer cheese, some Melba toast, another piece of Maasdammer cheese and a tall glass of milk. Oh yes, and a small piece of bread that I shared with the dog. Eduard had gotten a fresh loaf a bread from the store and it was so tempting, so I had a piece of that. Luckily, the dog was there to share it with. That way I didn’t have to eat it all by myself. Somehow that makes it less bad…

Yesterday was another sleepy day. After getting up so early in the morning and doing some housework like the dishes and the laundry and the ironing, I went back to bed for an hour and a half and slept really well. I thought I got it out of my system then, but later in the afternoon, I fell asleep again on the sofa for a few hours. Then, after dinner, I fell asleep again for another hour. I guess it wasn’t the Oxazepam that was making me sleepy, but lack of sleep during the night. I’ll have to refigure things all over again.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going back to the Oxazepam, I see no need to. I fall asleep fine with the Temazepam and I seem to get the same amount of sleep. I also like not being under the influence of anything during the day, that is important to me. If my religious feelings were a manifestation of the Oxazepam, I am certainly not going back to it. I want any experience like that to come out of a sober mind, as I want to experience all things sober minded. I even want to wash the dishes sober minded. And I am sure that the Oxazepam, which is a tranquilizer after all, influenced me in my daily life, because I notice that while watching TV, for instance. I am much less patient with watching dumb programs. I was probably experiencing things more through rose colored glasses.

Regardless of having slept so much yesterday, I still rated the day a seven, because I did feel good. That is in spite of the fact that I didn’t wear any make up and no jewelry. I just scrubbed my face with face wash and that was it. My nose was shiny and bright all day. Just like Rudolf’s. A seven rating is always very welcome, I like rating myself with a seven even when I am out west on the sofa. Being out west means being sound asleep or unconscious.

I looked up allergic dermatitis on the Internet and found out that you can get that from airborne allergens too. I already thought so, but I wasn’t sure. It is also called atopic dermatitis. Today I also have it on my hands, it started off with a small patch some days ago and now it has spread to both my hands between my thumbs and forefingers. It’s very irritating, because I want to type and scratch at the same time. I’ll have to use the ointment on that also then. We used the new lotion on my head. Eduard applies it with cotton balls, and it really burns when he puts it on. That’s the alcohol in it. I don’t think it will get rid of it, but maybe we can stop it from spreading. My head is itching as I type this, and I realize that I scratch it a lot without really thinking about it. I remember having eczema behind my ear as a kid and my mother putting ointment on it. Nobody thought of allergies back then.

This morning we are going to my sister’s to celebrate my brother in law’s birthday. He is turning 46, I think. We bought him two pairs of socks to wear especially for when he is on his racing bike. He is real serious about that and goes with his friends to the mountains in foreign countries and climbs them like they do in the Tour de France and the Giro. The socks are very special and expensive, so we hope he is happy with them. It will be a nice visit, as Pa and Ma will be there still and the kids will be there also. My nephew has gotten his report card and my sister said that it was very good and next year he is going to Atheneum Plus, which is a very high form of high school. He’ll be taking four foreign languages plus Latin and Greek. The kid is just a whiz and so is his sister, who is going to Gymnasium 3, which is another high form of high school. They are both very much like my daughter, who was always also very good about making her homework and whom we never had to push when it came to anything school related. We are very lucky that way. My ex always says that my daughter got her brains from me, but I never performed as well in school. My daughter was much more tenacious.

Lest I forget, it is officially summertime now, but you can’t tell by the weather. It has been cool and very rainy. The 21st of June was the longest day and the sun didn’t go down until well after 10 pm. The long term forecast isn’t very good. It doesn’t look like there is any warm weather coming our way for a while. Well, I have clothes for both kinds of weather, so that is okay. It is so nice to open the closet door and to just reach in there and pull out something that fits and looks good. On Friday, Ma saw me come walking down the street with the dog, and she said that she recognized the dog, but she didn’t recognize me. Apparently, I am also walking differently, besides being skinnier. There is more bounce to my step. She saw me last when I had lost 20 kilos and it seems that those extra 11 extra kilos really made a difference.

Eduard has been up to get his glass of juice and his first cup of coffee. He watched Young Orange play Young Serbia last night and Young Orange won 4-1. Eduard said it was a very good game. These are all under 21 and they were playing for the European Championship. I remember falling asleep while Eduard was cheering them on. Shows you how deeply I sleep, because I didn’t hear him after that and I am sure he made a lot of noise with every goal. Eduard doesn’t watch football a lot, but he does watch all the important games and then he is very enthusiastic. I also get excited when Holland plays for the European Cup or for the World Cup, I sure yell a lot then. I am also among the first to critique them when they play badly. Dutch people are very good at critiquing their own teams. That’s to prevent us from getting an attitude. We’re very Jewish that way.

I didn’t have the regular cat food for the cats this morning and gave them some that they had stopped liking some time ago, but now they are eating it with gusto. Except for Toby, he doesn’t like it at all, but then he eats a lot of dried food, so that is okay. The cats will never cease to surprise me when it comes to their food. I think all the cat food smells bad, so I’m always surprised that they eat it anyway.

If the weather were better, I would like to go to Aachen this afternoon and see the cathedral there. It is in Germany and Charlemagne is buried there. I had visions of going places on the motorcycle with Eduard, but the weather has really not been cooperative. Then, of course, there were those four days last week when Eduard was working on the motorcycle. It has been out of commission longer than that. Then there was I with my toe, not being able to walk, or not being able to walk long distances. Eduard’s three weeks of vacation have passed by very quickly and tomorrow he has to go back to work, but he says he is going to take some weeks off later in the fall. He has quite a few hours of overtime left that he can take as vacation time. We had many plans, but real life caught up with us, as is usual. I was lucky that Eduard was home wh
en I had my toe operated on.

Aachen isn’t too far away from here. It would only take us a half hour to get there. It is a pretty town with a nice downtown area. In the restaurants they serve wonderful coffee with very nice Torte. The cathedral is beautiful, even when you have fallen of your faith, it is historically interesting. My daughter is related to Charlemagne through her father, so that makes that more interesting. She is related to a lot of royalty through one woman marrying into the family in the 17th century, if I remember correctly. I have it all written down somewhere. The family even has its own coat of arms stemming out of England. My family also has a coat of arms stemming out of Germany. My German ancestor came to the Netherlands in 1648 at the end of the 80 Year War. He fought in it on the Dutch side. I don’t know exactly when my French ancestor came to the Netherlands. He was here in 1724, but he was probably a French Huguenot, escaping prosecution in France, or a descendant of. A lot of Huguenots escaped to The Netherlands and also to the Channel Islands. On Jersey you find people with French surnames. In the Netherlands too. Some Huguenots went to the New World and settled in places like New Amsterdam, which later became New York. Because their surnames were pronounced differently in English, the spelling changed too and you don’t always recognize their surnames as being French. La Maitre became LeMeter, for instance.

Oh, everything about me is itching, my ears, my head, my hands. It is driving me crazy! I probably need to vacuum more often and why do I have to have five cats and a dog? I must not have been thinking straight. I am definitely vacuuming later today, even though it is Sunday, it can’t be helped. Ma was saying that nowadays, they think it is better to have carpet when you have allergies, because it holds the allergens better and doesn’t allow them to blow around all over the place like they do when you have a smooth surface like we do. Well, you live and learn and that may just be true. Still, I don’t see us going out and buying carpet for the apartment. It would cost a small fortune and we do have to think about any fleas that the cats bring home with them and that then would jump on the dog. Nothing is perfect.

Well, it is time to walk the dog and get a bit of fresh air. Hopefully my immune system will like that. Some fresh rain cleaned air.

Have a wonderful day, people. When are any of you starting your own weblog? Ciao…

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