Archive for October, 2007

This is the second night in a row that I have woken real early because I have forgotten to take my sleeping pills. I put them on my night stand and then forget to take them. Silly me. It’s not falling asleep that is the problem, it is staying asleep. I would love to sleep eight hours one night.

I had a real productive visit with my SPN yesterday morning. I have come to realize that I walk around with a backpack of old hurt and sadness that I need to unload and I think I am more than ready to do that now.

It feels good to talk about what still hurts and what I am still sad about and to sit and cry about that and to feel the relief afterwards of having been honest and having aired all of it. And it doesn’t stop there. It carries on when I am home and I talk to Eduard about my life and I feel the same catharsis and cry and feel the relief afterwards. Suddenly is is easy to be very honest about everything. I don’t have to keep up appearances anymore and make it all look better than it was. Brutal honesty is good.

The twenty two years of my life in the States play such an important part in my memories. They were my formative years. When I became who I am for a large part. From my 17th until my 39th. Ideas and attitudes I developed then were misshapen and dysfunctional and I knew it, because I spent the last two years there trying to discard some of them. I am getting rid of the rest of them now.

I used to have a an image in my head there about myself and that was the image of a woman shackled in a low and dusty attic, on her stomach, face down, in the dark with just one air vent in front of her to survive by. That’s how I felt. Trapped.

I didn’t have the kind of friends I could share this feeling with. I only had friends to share the middle class American dream with. That we were all happy living in the suburbs with our nice houses and our nice cars and our well earning husbands and our smart children and our good volunteer work. For me it was a lie.

During the last years of my first marriage I developed illnesses that were all due to stress. Psychosomatic illnesses. Looking back, I can see that now. All the extreme mental stress translated itself into physical disability. I couldn’t fall apart mentally, so I fell apart physically.

During my last year in the States, I was taking medicine for my heart, because of an arrhythmia and it helped, it really did, but why did I have the arrhythmia?

Oh, the sadness of it all and to think that I am still walking around with it now and that I still need to get over it now. But I will. I am determined to put it all behind me once and for all and to go on living without this heavily weighing load.

I have to write about something else now. The above has worn me out. I just read it and feel how heavy it is.

Yesterday, Eduard got me an alarm clock with two alarm times. He has set one for noon and one for 5 pm. I remember to take my medication in the morning and at night, but those are the two times I sometimes forget, so it is handy to be reminded. It has a radio controlled clock, so once an hour it automatically adjusts itself to the right time. Don’t ask me how that works.

I watched this incredibly good film the other day. It was called In the Land Of the Blind and it was about a country where a stupid but cruel dictator ruled, who was finally overthrown by the opposition and murdered and what the opposition did once they were in office, which turned out to be nearly as bad as what the dictator had done while he was in office. One man, who was to some degree innocent, although you could argue about that, became the victim of both systems and spent the rest of his life in jail being tortured there. When I told Eduard about the film, he said it sounded like Nicaragua. So, that is your point of reference.

Now I will go and read some other blogs and hopefully leave some comments there. Like the Rotten Correspondent says, you can always drop by and just say hi, I was here.

Have a terrific day, everyone. I will do the same here. Ciao…


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I have visited all of your blogs, I really have. I have read every one of them, I really have. Then I didn’t leave a single comment on any of them, I really didn’t.

Why not?

I just couldn’t think of one sensible thing to write. I thought, “Everything I write will be silly or dull or so obvious or dimwitted, I may as well not write it down at all,” so I didn’t.

That doesn’t sound very optimistic, does it? But then again, it doesn’t mean I’m pessimistic either. It just means that I felt I could do no honor to your blog by leaving a comment to it.

I can hardly bring myself to write this post and almost was not going to, but I feel that I have to, as it is my habit to every day and I will feel silly sitting here so early in the morning looking at a bright computer screen and not typing on the keyboard.

There is something wrong with me when I am not interested in blogging and when I sit here and try to figure out why I enjoyed it so much in the past and had so much to write about and why it is so difficult now and I can’t seem to find the interest that it takes.

I think of all of you and your lively blogs and that’s what keeps me going. Never give up, right? I have decided that, if I don’t have that much to write about, the least I can do is acknowledge the fact that I still read all of you and that I enjoy doing that.

Woe is me. It seems I have hit a blogging snag and I certainly hope it is cleared up soon.

My mood is alright. I am at a steady six, so that is not too bad. It’s not as if I am sitting here in a major depression or as if I am having the blues. Well, maybe I am having mini blues, but the right kind. The kind that make you melancholy and poetic.

Now you expect poetry, I suppose? Well, I was thinking more of reading poetry and not writing it.

I used to have a book of haiku’s a long, long time ago and now I can’t remember the formula for them. If anyone would be willing to remind me, I sure would appreciate it.

I suppose that instead of writing long blogs, I will be reading the BBC news again like I used to in the mornings. It will raise my level of global social and political awareness and keep me busy while I wait for the sun to rise and Eduard and the animals to wake up.

Lately, all of my moods have been temporary, so we will see where this one takes me. Never say never, right? Or never say for a long time.

Have a great day. Ciao…

P.S. I am not even going to add any images. I think the post is too short and uninteresting for that.

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Blue Flower Images number 1

Because we had to turn back the clock one hour, yesterday seemed like it took forever. The day just lasted and lasted. Every time I looked at the clock, it was earlier than I thought it was going to be, causing me to feel very exasperated. When it was finally time to go to bed, I was more than ready and I went gladly and went to sleep quickly. I didn’t even really read my book. When I laid down with it, I closed my eyes and was gone in no time.

Yesterday was an extremely boring day as a result off all the clock watching. I watched a bunch of movies. I watched Forrest Gump for the fourth time and enjoyed it thoroughly. I also watched Con Air with Nicolas Cage and Fatal Attraction for the third time. That was a real scary movie and I thought, “There but for the grace of God go we.” Well, that is exaggerating things a bit, but it does make you stop and think about what can happen.

The problem was, that it did make everything very real to me again and made me feel disgusted with the whole situation all over again and I don’t think that that was necessary. Nevertheless, these were my feelings and I knew that only sleep would erase them from my active state of mind. This morning I feel kind of silly for having felt them so strongly, although I know I shouldn’t feel silly and that these feelings have a legitimate place in the scheme of things.

Sometimes I don’t know what to do with these feelings, as I feel it is unreasonable to get angry with Eduard all over again, although I do feel like it. I am angry at him for making me feel the way I do, for having the thoughts that I do, although it could be argued that I am responsible for my own thoughts and feelings, but I am not, am I? They are obviously triggered by other people and events that I have no control over.

I suppose the road to healing is forgiveness. Am I ready to do that? I don’t know, I would have to be very honest and take a long hard look in my heart to see if I am. I am not a good Christian who can turn the other cheek. I suppose I feel that I have to be on my guard still and that is not very conducive to forgiveness.

Enough said about that. I wonder why I like the movie Forrest Gump so much? I guess it has something to do with the eternal optimism it radiates and with the fact that nobody else but Tom Hanks could have played Forrest Gump so well. I don’t know anything about Tom Hanks personally and I would like to keep it that way, as I don’t really want to know anything about a movie star too much, unless they are at the end of their career or dead, as I think too much knowledge gets in the way of enjoying them. I get interested in movie stars when they are in the past, such as Katherine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman. I have books about them.

Which reminds me of the books on my bookcase and the fact that I still want to arrange them by color. I used to have them arranged by color, but when we moved, they became disarranged. I recognize a book by its color, so it’s a good system and attractive too. I especially like green books, green being one of my favorite colors. You think I am silly, don’t you? It’s not more silly than arranging them by alphabet or subject. And it looks good!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. Thank you all the people who commented yesterday with your wise words. I still have to write that email.

Have a great day, everyone, ciao…

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I woke up at 5 am, but it was only 4 am, because we were supposed to have set back the clocks one hour last night to wintertime. The computer has the right time, smart computer. I suppose I will try and adjust as quickly as possible to the new time now with my medication and take it an hour later. I only worry about the Topamax, since it seems to be so important when I take it. Oh well, it should be okay. I am probably worrying for nought and everything will be just fine.

Eduard had to work twice yesterday. Once in the afternoon, when he barely had time to come home to eat dinner and he was of again to work until 10 pm. It wasn’t actually that bad to have him gone, not as bad as I had anticipated. I mostly just did my own thing and that didn’t involve much more than watch some films on the film channel and contemplate my navel. I saw Enemy of the State with Will Smith, which was an exciting movie, and a movie about England in the future, when women could no longer have babies all over the world, and it was the only halfway civilized place left on earth, which wasn’t saying much. Nevertheless, thousands of refugees flocked to its shores and were locked up in prison camps and all the people in the country suffered under the regime. The movie painted a pretty bleak picture of the future and you hope nothing like it comes true. It showed what people do to each other when the circumstances become dire and it isn’t pretty.

An old friend of mine has contacted me. She was my best friend all through high school and afterwards until I went to the States. She is very enthused about having found me and is really keeping the contact going. Yesterday, I got an email from her describing her job and asking me what sort of work I do. Now I have a dilemma, do I just say that I don’t work or do I say that I am manic depressive and that that is the reason why I don’t work? Sooner or later it has got to come out. Why not rather sooner than later? It will be a true test of friendship if she can accept this and keep the contact going if I tell her. What do you think?

I have nothing to write about. My mind is such a blank. I can’t come up with anything. It must be because I am that dull six again and not that exciting eight. But I like being that dull six, it is so nice and uneventful.

I think that book I am reading right now is very uneventful too. Nothing really happens in it. It is just a description of some people who adopt Korean babies and nothing more than that. There is no action in it. It reads like a commentary to a documentary. It would make a cute family drama, but that is about it.

I think there are books written that are ‘safe’ to read. They don’t upset you or anything, they don’t challenge you. They don’t throw social or political drama at you. They don’t confront you with dilemmas. They leave you unchallenged and uncharged and unattached. It doesn’t matter if you read them, nothing changes because of them. I suppose those kind of books are good to read if you are feeling particularly challenged by life already. I suppose they are a good escape then. But lots of times, you want more. You want something substantial that you can really sink your teeth into. Something that will test and try you intellectually and emotionally.

Well, enough said about that. I don’t know if I have the wherewithal to be a good critic. I am sure my likes and dislikes change over time and I may feel differently about this next year. I just don’t want things to be so easy. I want it to be a bit complicated and difficult, that is why I have a brain.

A cat is being very silly and playful in the bathroom and the dog can’t stop himself from being curious and having to go and have a look. I think Gandhi is playing with the cord of the light switch and Jesker is trying to stop her from doing it. Toby walked in a while ago with a whole chicken leg that he was planning to eat in a corner of the living room under the curious and watchful eye of Nouri. Luckily, he let me take it away from him. It’s amazing what sort of food people throw away and I can always tell by what the cats find in the trash and bring home.

Okay, now I am all done, so I wish you a wonderful day or a wonderful night, whichever comes first. Ciao…

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I went to sleep at 9:30 pm last night and slept until 5 am this morning. How is that for a change? I think it is all that activity I had before I went to sleep that did it, so I must repeat it often.

Now I am sitting here trying to wake up properly, but I am hoping this cup of coffee will do it. It is great to have that first cup of Senseo in the morning, it just is gone too quickly and then I have to get up and make another one. Listen to me complain about that, when I should be happy to have such good coffee. Imagine running out of Senseo pads and having to drink regular coffee. Oh horror!

Yesterday my new tunic was delivered in the proper size and I tried it on right away and it fit and I was happy. It’s a shame that there is a discrepancy between my top and bottom sizes, but it can’t be helped. I just need to lose some more weight until that is remedied. This morning I weigh 91.3 kilos, so the weight is going down again and firstly, I just need to get down to 90 kilos. It will be really nice to get below that and that is my first real goal. 85 Kilos should not be too hard to achieve. When I weigh 85 kilos, I will have lost 40 kilos or 88 lbs. That will be a real achievement. I will try for 5 more kilos after that and get down to 80 kilos. Who knows, the sky’s the limit.

Right now I live on little containers of potato salad, of which I have one a day, cheese and raisin bread. I take my vitamin pills everyday. I can barely eat one piece of raisin bread, it really fills me up. When my gastric band is filled on the 9th of November, I hope to eat only half of what I am eating now at one sitting. I will have to spread the portions out over more time. When I eat too much, I get pain in my esophagus and under my ribs and I burp something awful. Sometimes I need to hang over the toilet for a bit, but I am learning not to eat too much. Sometimes, however, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I insist on eating too much. I learn the hard way.

Yesterday, I put new buttons on my suede winter coat. It was quite a job, as the material was thick and it was hard to get the needle through, but after much pushing it was done. Now my coat stays closed no matter what I do. I put on rectangular wooden buttons that you close with a loop, so I had to make loops out of thick laces. It took quite a bit of sewing to get the laces to stay on and not ravel, but I think I did a good job. I don’t know if ravel is the right word, but I hope you know what I mean. My Dutch is getting in the way now.

Eduard had not realized I was that handy and looked at me with admiration. Suddenly he saw that I could do all sorts of sewing jobs and it may have been better if I had kept this talent under wraps. You know, I always do a good job sewing his various badges on his sleeveless jeans jacket, so he should have known I could sew.

Anyway, yesterday was a pretty mellow day other than that and I wish for all of my days to be like that. I had a bit of a scare when Eduard came home one hour later then he said he would be and my imagination took a run with me. It just did, when it shouldn’t have. I started having a bit of obsessive thoughts and imagined all sorts of things. It was the time of day when before I would have rapid cycled, so maybe it was a mini one, I don’t know. I suppose I will have times like that when I will suddenly grow very insecure.

Well, that’s all I have to tell you for today. My posts are so short lately, but it can’t be helped. I am not inspired to write more. Maybe it is because I am a six and not at all feeling very literary, as opposed to feeling an eight and having lots to tell.

Have a great day, have yourself an eight rating, or if you prefer, a nice mellow six, ciao…

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Today, I weigh 91.9 kilos and that is 1.6 kilos too many. Actually, it is 6.9 kilos too many, but who is counting? Well, I am obviously. I can tell it is almost wintertime, because I am eating more than is good for me. I am eating more often. I get the urge to eat something more often. Yesterday I ate too many grapes and I had to hang over the toilet for a bit. I am having a terrible craving for sweets and carbohydrates. I always get that in the wintertime. I feel like eating all the wrong foods and I have to have a good long talk with myself and get over it.

Well, enough said about that. I just have to do it and not whine about it.

Yesterday afternoon, Eduard and I had our silly thirty minutes and we sang opera to the dog. We sang in very loud and deep voices, “Oh Jesker, sing a song for me only.” Of course, I can’t sing or carry a tune, so I sounded very bad, but nevertheless, I carried on singing in a loud voice.

The dog thought it was awful and ran back and forth between the two of us and barked at us, so it was real pandemonium and to make matters worse, I started to elaborate on the song and sang, “Oh Jesker, bite Eduard in his butt and kick him in the shins,” because my opera always has to turn violent. Eduard caught on right away and started singing equally violent things, so between the two of us we sounded like a regular pair of nuts. The poor dog just didn’t know what to make of it and went nuts also.

Eduard and I always joke about the fact that we are both crazy, but that I can prove it and he can’t. I am certifiable and he isn’t.

We stopped singing, much to the dog’s relief, and had an awful conversation in Saxon dialect about what we would say to Eduard’s boss if we were to call him anonymously. It’s a good thing that there are no hidden cameras and microphones here, or we would be picked up for making grievous verbal threats. The Saxon dialect made it funny, although you can seriously doubt our state of mind when we say these things.

But, that is what silly thirty minutes are for. You get to be completely nuts for a while and you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody. My mother used to call it the crazy half an hour. Do you have that in other cultures also? This built in time to be crazy for a while? I think it is a very healthy thing to do.

Yesterday I finished A Short History Of Tractors In The Ukraine. What a wonderful novel that was. I recommend reading it and I am not going to give the plot away here. Just take my word for it. It is set in England and involves a Ukrainian immigrant and his two adult daughters and and a Ukrainian woman who wants an easy way to stay in England and what she is willing to do for that.

I have now started reading Coming Home by Anne Tyler, and although I am sure it is going to be a wonderful novel, her style of writing is so different that it takes me a while to get used to. I normally like Anne Tyler, but I had not realized that she had such a specifically American way of writing that belongs to her generation of writers and it is really noticeable now after reading the other novel. It is bothering me just a little bit, as it seems to be too much of a formula. I hope I get past that point and can just read the book and not notice that anymore. I am reading these books in Dutch and maybe because the translations are so good, I may be picking up such nuances in the style more.

Yesterday afternoon, at 5 pm, I forgot to take my Topamax. I was sitting on the sofa at 6:30 pm and said to Eduard, “Oh, I forgot to take my Topamax,” then I imagined that I went to take it, but at 7:30 pm my mood became lesser and lesser and I realized that I had not taken it at all and that this is why I was going downhill. So you see what a difference that makes. It is so important that I remember to take it on time during the day. I was starting to have all sorts of negative thoughts and becoming uncomfortable in my own head. About half an hour after I took it, I was okay again. I don’t have this problem in the morning, as my mood is fine then and I take all of my medication at 7 am.

Your mind and body have some sort of daily rhythm and I am finding out through trial and error what mine is. I know that taking the Topamax on time is very important during the day. I really have to watch the clock and normally that is okay, because I take it at times when Jesker needs to be walked, but if I deviate from that schedule, I can get into trouble and forget.

I had ordered a new pair of jeans and a tunic on line and they arrived yesterday. The jeans fit perfectly. They are a size 44 and five sizes smaller than what I used to wear. The tunic was too small and they are picking it up today and delivering one in a size bigger. On top I am four sizes smaller than I used to wear. The problem is my waist, it didn’t shrink as much yet as the rest of me. All of my extra weight is in my stomach area now, that is where I need to lose it. I don’t have the money to join a health club, otherwise I would. I could really use some exercises on some exercise machines to get that stomach down. I don’t think I can talk my health insurance company into paying for a membership, although they really should and keep their members healthy.

Well, that’s all the news I have for today. I keep being at a steady six, except that I was probable at a seven during the silly thirty minutes yesterday. I like being at a six, it is a very comfortable place to be.

Have a great day, everybody/ Ciao…

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One morning you sleep until 5 am, the next morning you are up at 2:30 am and that is all the sleep you are going to get. Well, never mind, as long as I am not sitting here yawning and as long as I get to have very good coffee, things are okay and I won’t complain about it too much.

People our age aren’t supposed to comment on our sexuality, but I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with that of Eduard’s and mine and that we enjoy ourselves thoroughly in this area of our lives and that all is well and that all was well again last night. Which makes going to bed in the evening something to look forward to especially and not just because you are tired and you want to go to sleep, or because you have an especially good book that you want to read.

I do have an especially good book that I am reading, but at this rate I am going to be stuck halfway in it forever, because I fall asleep after two pages. It is time to start reading it during the day again, which I didn’t do yesterday. Yesterday I did exercises in the book about mood disorders and I am almost done with it. Or as done as I can be for now, because as my moods change, I will go back to the book and do more of the work as it applies.

I am still rating myself at a six and I don’t mind that much at all, as it is a familiar mood and very low key and I don’t feel at all uncomfortable. I am just a bit more subdued and a bit more introspective. I am not that much more worried or anxious. There is actually not that much wrong with this mood and I can stand it just fine. When I keep rating myself at an eight, I do get tired of myself sometimes and I wear myself out a bit. I feel like I get too jubilant sometimes and I feel like telling myself to chill it. This way I am a bit more contemplative, but in a pleasant and productive way.

I think the reason that I am doing so well is because I have added another dose of Topamax to my regime of medicines. I kept accidentally taking a fourth dose of it in the evening when I take the rest of my medication and after a while I decided to just keep taking it, because I felt like I was feeling better. I have not discussed this with my psychiatrist as he is out of the country, but I assume that it’s okay, because he asked me the last time I saw him if I needed another extra dose. I said no at the time, but obviously I have changed my mind about that.

I have no changes in my mood whatsoever now. I am constantly one mood all day long. Oh sure, I have little moments of anxiety or worry, but they are only moments, they aren’t moods.

I think winter is coming early this year. It has been cold here already and we have had to turn the heater on during the day. We do wear warm sweaters, but still we get cold. It freezes a little bit at night sometimes and the grass on the field is white in the morning.

I just keep remembering how much winter makes you appreciate the springtime and then it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s something to be got through and maybe we will get some snow this winter and some ice and that will be pretty. It has been a long time since we have had a real layer of snow and even longer since the pond has been frozen over well enough so it could be skated on.

I wonder how my friends in Southern California are doing? I don’t know if they are anywhere near the fires, as it is kind of hard to get an idea of where all the fires are exactly. One of my friends lives in the mountains where it gets very dry and dangerous, so I worry about her. It is amazing how many people are on the run from the fires. We hear it is 500,000 people, but it could be more. Are those numbers exaggerated?

When I sit here by the computer in the morning, and it is so quiet and dark here and the only sound I hear is the hum of the computer, I always feel like I am sitting in an airplane way up high in the sky on a long journey to the States. The difference is that I do get to drink very good coffee and smoke my cigarettes. The last time I smoked a cigarette on an airplane was when we went to South Africa in the 90’s. There was still a smoker’s section in the plane. There was also a sign that said: “moe nie rook nie.” I thought that was really cute and I never forgot that as I blinked on during take off and landing. For those of you who don’t speak South African it means, “must not smoke not.” There is always a double negative in South African.

When we were in South Africa, it was strange to be a minority in the streets. It was so obvious that that country belonged to the black people firstly and to the white people secondly, although it didn’t in reality. My brother in law and his wife had black personnel in their house to help them with everything and a black gardener and we noticed how differently we approached them compared to how my brother in law and his wife approached them. To us they were just ordinary people, but they were something else to my brother in law and his wife. It is not that they were unkind, they were just different to them. They were not equal people.

I like to read novels that take place in South Africa and I really try to understand what has happened there. I try to understand it from both points of view, but always come away with a sense of disbelieve. I try to understand the mentality of the Boers, who were 17th Century Dutch people after all to begin with and I try to see how that community and their way of thinking came about and I can only think that their lives were lived too isolated and to removed from the influences of the world at large and the democratic ideas from the world at large.

Maybe that is looking at it too simple and I have no idea what sort of attitudes people had 50 years ago. I was raised by an enlightened mother and I never felt prejudiced when I was growing up, but then again I was not exposed to a large amount of people from other races and other cultures. It was easy for us not to be prejudiced. I didn’t encounter prejudice until I moved to the States and met my first black person in the company of my ex husband.

Anyway, how did I get on this subject? Oh yes, “moe nie rook nie.” Well, I wish I was on an airplane going to see my daughter for about a week or so, so we could hang out and drink some good coffee together. She is going to be here for the holidays, so I will see her soon enough.

Well, that is all I wrote for today. I will sit here and read some other blogs and leave comments.

Have yourself a good day, or a good night, whichever comes first, ciao…

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