Archive for June, 2008

Because I had gotten up in the middle of the night, I was just a little bit tired after i took the Uberhund for his walk this morning , so I fell into a sound sleep on the sofa and woke up at 9 o’clock thinking it was Monday and that I was going to be late for my first creative therapy class. So, I hurriedly got dressed properly and put my make up on and found my keys and my bike keys and my cigarettes and was all ready to walk out the door, when something started to dawn on me. I picked up the phone and called my sister. My nephew answered and I asked him what day it was today and he said it was Sunday and that the football finals was on tonight. Then I looked at my agenda and saw an empty day in front of me where nothing had been filled in yet and I knew he was right. It really was Sunday. How ludicrous of me, to go off like that and almost jump on my bike to go and have creative therapy on a day when nobody would have been there.

Anyway, that left me with a whole day to fill in as I pleased and I have been doing just that. First I hung up the Lou Reed poster beside my bed above the nightstand. I pinned it to the wallpaper and it looks real good and very straight. Then I washed the colorful rug that I have beside the bed and when it was clean, I moved it to the living room beside the colorful chair and put a little table on it that has an artful picture on it and a wooden cat and a wooden bowl with green stones. So, that makes for a nice designer area, I just hope that it isn’t covered in dog hair and cat barf in the shortest amount of time.

Then I vacuumed the whole living room, including the sofa and the two chairs and realized I could take the covers of the armrest pillows of the sofa and I washed them and they came out brand spanking new. The minion cat likes to barf, she is a barfing cat and nothing is safe. She has a very delicate stomach and can only eat a certain kind of cat food. We try others on occasion, but always with the same result.

I had moved my two plants in green pots that like to be neglected to the top of the black dresser and I’ll be darned if they don’t do better there than they did on the coffee table. They get less light, but seem to like it. Odd plants. My fig is doing very well, except that the whole plant wants to grow toward the window and that’s where all the growth takes places and it drinks water like an elephant. The “mother with the child in her lap” plants are doing well to, they like light, but defused light and lots of water. I have no plants in the windowsill, as it gets to hot there and I think only cacti would like it there and then the poor cats would impale themselves on the spines. Windowsills are first and foremost places for cats to sit in. That’s their prerogative.

The Uberhund is very silly as he could easily get up on his hind legs and look out the window to see what is going on there, but he never takes the opportunity to do so. He must not be very curious at all. If I were him, I would be looking out there all the time.

Oh, he has been foraging a lot during our walks and at first I couldn’t figure out what he was finding to eat. It was very small, because I never saw it, but he was eating something regularly. Then it dawned on me that we were always beneath treas when he foraged and that he was probably eating seeds or seedpods. He is like a pig searching the soil and finding them in the dirt. Isn’t it a little bit early for seeds though? Something is dropping off the trees, as the ground is covered with dried up blossoms and he is eating something there. Hah, a mystery.

He is now laying beside me pretending to sleep very innocently, but I know he has his eye on the clock because he wants to go for his walk. Every time I move, he is ready to go.

I was going to clean out the kitchen cupboards, but the day isn’t over yet and I still may do that. Give them a good scrub and organize them. I haven’t looked in the spice cupboard yet to see what the Exfactor has taken with him. He does like his spices. I just hope he left some salt and pepper for me.

I try to keep up with reading the other blogs, but very often find myself only getting halfway through the list. Some days I start from the bottom and some days I start from the top. Somehow I hope it all equals out. Somtimes I want to leave a comment, but I am at a loss for words, that anything I say is inadequate or has already been said by somebody else, but better. I can only say, “Idem ditto.”

This was just a little in between everything else post to exercise the brain and the fingers. I must go and walk the Uberhund now, he is being so patient and I have to take my pills.

Have a lovely rest of the day.



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I very stubbornly woke up at 2 AM and refused to go back to bed, even though I was shuffling through the apartment like a zombie and hardly knew what I was doing. A cat had barfed and I had enough sense to clean that up, but I hardly knew how to make myself a mug of Senseo and then I sat down behind the computer and kept nodding off, while the Ubercat kept trying to sit om my lap and we both kept tilting to the right.

I finally got up and made my second mug of coffee and had something to eat and now I feel a lot better as if I needed that extra bit of caffeine and that little bit of carbohydrates from the food. Before, my head was practically bouncing off the keyboard, I am now managing to keep it upright.

The Ubercat has settled himself on the desk right on top of all the MP3 players and I don’t see how he can be comfortable, but he wants to be close to me. He’s a strange critter and will sleep on top of the most uncomfortable objects, as long as they belong to you. It must be some sort of bonding he is doing. Other than that, he is the coolest cat in the neighborhood, well known for his bravery in staring down other mean cats.

I have gotten into the habit of falling asleep during the 8 o’clock news and not waking up until the Unberhund warns me that it is time for his walk. That can be anywhere between 9 and 10 o’clock. Suddenly he stands there with his face right in your face making urgent sounds that are not quite barks, but come close to it. He tramples and paces and makes sure you are aware of the whole little performance he is putting on. If he could put my shoes and jacket on for me, he would do it and he watches anxiously that I do.

I am now teaching him to listen when I say “To the right,” and “To the left.” I think he is catching on, because we can always make several choices on our walks, depending on the weather and the time of day and how long I want the walk to last. You can teach an old dog new tricks, as long as he is attached to a leash.

I didn’t do anything that was remotely exciting yesterday afternoon. i changed the bed and did laundry and hung the sheets out to dry, hoping it wouldn’t rain again. I fixed a belt that didn’t fit well in my jeans and now it does and I messed around with mu MP3 players, so that now the back light always stays on so I can see what is playing. I changed a light bulb in the bathroom and the Uberhund really helped me with that one, making sure I didn’t fall off the steps and didn’t break the glass from the fixture and that I didn’t electrocute myself. You could see the relief on his face when I was done with that. Of course, I talk him through the whole process, so he knows exactly what I am doing. He stays close to me with every chore I do and I think he is like my apprentice, picking up the tricks of the trade as he goes along. One day he will surprise me and do the ironing.

Speaking of which, I have so little to do of that now. Just some of my clothes and not even all of them when I am done laundering them. It would be a labor of love to iron my own clothes, I don’t mind doing that at all, having always ironed for other people. It’s fun doing things merely for yourself and a quite novel experience.

There are still things I can do in the apartment to make it more my own. Just little alterations and clean ups that have been waiting for me to put my hand to them. I’ve got a terrific Lou Reed poster that needs to go up somewhere, and other assorted picture and photographs that need a place, but less is more, so I must make sure I don’t overdo it. I don’t want an over abundance of stuff, I just want some things tastefully placed, but I sure as hell don’t want to be Martha Stewart. You know, all those tastefully arranged still lives, that look casual, but aren’t. That’s to artificial for me, because you can not remove one element without undoing the whole effect.

All the women’s magazines here are all about that too, all about perfection, perfect families in perfect settings in the latest trends. All those women make themselves crazy tying to recreate that feeling at home. It is all very deceptive, but those magazines sell like hotcakes, because they all make it sound as if they know what’s best for you and they are only trying to help you. I read them in waiting rooms and shudder.

Anyway. I’ve got to find a place for Lou Reed with his beautiful head. The Exfactor was supposed to have gotten a frame for me for it, but I suppose that is out of the question now. I’ll think of something. Where there is a will. there is a way.

Oh Goodness, today really is Sunday, isn’t it? It felt like it was never going to come around. For some reason it seemed like it was Thursday fro three days and then I thought it was Saturday for two other days. Surprisingly enough, I do know that it is June and that we are nearing the end if it. All you Americans get to have a 4th of July party, which I for one envy you because we don’t have anything like that in the summertime. although the French have Bastille Day.

Well, my animals are getting unruly, so I need to get busy interfering here. See what I can do to quiet the waters.

Have a lovely Sunday.


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I wanted to go to the second hand goods store yesterday afternoon and there is one in the little shopping street close to us where I had never been, so it was time to check out the place. I was full of expectation, as I usually like to browse in places like that, but this one was a big disappointment. Upon entering I was greeted by a large group of people who were all congenially sitting around a big table in the middle of the store, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. What was left over of the asisle to walk in, was taken over by a very large dog that had to be stepped over. I could see at a glance that they did not have any of the things I was looking for, because what I saw were racks and racks of clothing and one tiny shelf of dishes.

I wanted to replace some of the items that the Exfactor had boxed up to take with him, but I could see that I wasn’t going to be able to do it there. So I walked out and moved a few doors down to the houdhold goods store where I happened upon a gigantic moving sale. It was chaos in there and people were moving about with loaded up baskets, pulling at piled up items not to miss anything that was really marked down a lot. The term looting came to mind and I joined in and had a very good time. It was so much fun to see what I absolutely could not live without that was narked at 50% of 50% off.

In the end, I bought 4 senseo cups in a bright blue color, 4 drinks glasses, a new wallet with lots of space, a corkscrew, office supplies, and a bright blue basket to keep them in, all for under 5 Euros. I felt very righteous and satisfied after that, because in my mind it had added up to more, so when she said it was a total of 4.48 I was quite surprised. I love it when I get loot cheaply.

This morning I had the brilliant idea to loot the piggy bank, which actually is a doggy bank, but you put your change in it anyway. I took out all the 20 and 50 cent pieces and that added up to a grand total of 12 euros and 60 cents. I thought that was just good enough to go over to M&S Fasions and browse in their sales racks, where they practically give the stuff away.

So, on my bike I hopped, with a wallet full of coins and into the brazing westerly wind I rode on my trusty steed. I climbed the long bridge across the Meuse and didn’t swear once. I’m getting better at it all the time and that is on a bike without gears. I am developing lung capacity and muscles in my legs.

Once in town, I illegally parked my bike where everyone else does too and walked to the shop with much anticipation and once I was inside i had a god look around at the possibilities. I ended up buying three tops that had been marked down twice already, but that were still attractive and would look good on me. I could see that. So I got those and the lady at the cash register was very happy with all of my change and she meant it genuinely, because they are always short of it.

Feeling smug and satisfied, i then walked to the Hema and bought a necklace to go with the new purchases and a candy bar, because I craved one. Then I visited my sister at her work and saw her work her magic charm on the customers while she didn’t know I was there. I love taking a peek.

I keep all my necklaces in a drawer at home, but it does mean that after a while they become entangled and today I had a heck of a time disentangling them, so I had an idea. I have a kiddie coat rack next to my bedroom door in the hall with a little shelf on top. I took all the odds and ends of that coatrack and hung all my necklaces on the knobs. On the shelf, I put some little meaningful mementos and now it is a whole cute corner by itself and my necklaces are not tangled up and easy to see. Ta da! I am turning this into a female place yet. Gone are all the nuts and bolts and spare parts to obscure machinery. Things I didn’t know what to do with, but that kept laying there forever.

Once the Exfactor’s bookcase and chair are gone out of the hallway, I may even be able to park the new bike there that he has been promising me through the bike plan at his work. I hope I still qualify as an ex. It would be an expensive bike with 3 gears that I would not want to be left outside overnight, even when locked up.

I walked by a Belgian waffle place in town and the smell nearly did me in. I had visions of hot waffles with freshly whipped cream and strawberries on top. Mmm…That candy bar was the second best thing. It was a Bros, I don’t know if any of you are familiar with those. It is chocolate wit tiny air bubbles in it.

Well, I am going to change the sheets on my bed and go with the floral scene this time, something romantic and reminiscent of the olden days when all ladies sept between floral sheets. Actually, I need the sheets to fill up the washing machine and I do like clean sheets on the bed.

It’s been nice chatting at you. I think I will mostly be lazy today and do odds and ends as they occur to me. Can’t spend any more money! Will have to think of some other decorative ideas to brighten the places up and me. I am sure I’ll think of something.

Have a great day,


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I tried to import a clock on this website, both an analog and a digital, but wordpress would have none of it and just ignored the code I put in the appropriate widget. Oh well, you win some and you lose some, that’s just the way it goes, I will not be defeated and keep on trying, because now I must, darn it. Stubborn like a terrier.

I woke up one minute before the alarm went off and I cal that perfect timing. It gives me a chance to locate the alarm clock which may be anywhere in the apartment, because I do carry it around with me in order to shut it up in the morning when it keeps repeating itself and leave it wherever it stops. If I don’t shut it off right away, because i can’t find it, it gets feistier and feistier and noisier by the second like a child having a fit. The little bugger. I’m sure it’s made in Japan.

Anyway, once it’s had its numerous fits, we have peace and quiet and I drink my coffee in solitude with the dog by my side and contemplate the serenity of the morning and the peacefulness of it. The Uberhund just wants his various parts scratched and tries to lay in a variety of ways so I will get to all of them, I may or may not cooperate. It depends on my friendliness and willingness to exert myself.

At 7 AM we become vigorous and take our pills and go for a brazing walk where the Uberhund poops and I scoop with a baggy, a fresh warm turd is always a pleasure to pick up, especially if it is a solid one that can be scooped al at once. I deposit it in the doggy poop receptacle and we march on until I think the Uberhund has had enough vigorous walking and it is time to turn homeward. Sometimes, his poor little back legs quiver, but he loves it.

This morning I was at the grocery store at 8 and I was out of there in no time. I filled both bags on the back of the bike and had one bag hanging on the handlebars. Luckily, it is only a five minute ride. The Uberhund and the minion cat wait by the front door full of curiosity as to what I bring home and hope for many good treats. I seldom let them down. I have been a wise woman and bought the Uberhund his favorite dog food again and he is very grateful for it. if he could fold his paws and say a prayer of thanks, he would. The cats have their favorite Felix fish flavor again and all is right with the world and I will never stray again.

The Exfactor came and picked up his mail and we had a cup of coffee together. We exchanged some pleasantries and some necessary information and that was that. That’s all we had to tell each other. That was quick and easy, wasn’t it? We each made sure that the other one was alright and we both assured each other that we were. We see each other again next Tuesday when we have an appointment with the divorce mediator. I hope we get mediated very quickly. As it is, it takes 3 months to get a divorce in the Netherlands, but in the meantime, i can use my own name already.

I sent a very nice email to the service and maintainance department of the housing corporation asking them nicely for a nameplate with my own name on it for on the mailbox. We’ll see how long that takes them. I switched the name with the energy supplier from the Exfactor’s to mine and had to read the meters. Their letters welcoming me came in the mail today. I had to split our funeral policy so I get my fees due sent separately. There is so much to think about!

Oh yes, here is the link to the leather sofa i want:http://www.ikea.com/nl/nl/catalog/products/20119461

Now I’ve got to stop. I have to watch the eight o’clock news. I’ll get there just in time.

Have a good day.


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What’s wrong with me? Don’t I have anything better to do than to sit here and write silly little posts for this silly little blog? I don’t know, you sit at the dining table, just minding your own business, watching the traffic go by and suddenly the urge strikes you to go post a little something. You don’t have any earth shattering news to announce, but it just is that compulsion again to write down your thoughts, insignificant as they are.

This morning I bought a booklet of stamps out of a machine, because the little post office in the supermarket was still closed. It didn’t make any difference, because in the Netherlands you can’t buy single stamps anymore, you always have to buy them in a booklet. It’s called economics. There is too much labor involved in selling a single stamp. Actually, it is kind of handy to have the extra stamps in the house, because I subsequently wrote two more necessary letters. The queen’s picture is on them and I don’t have to lick the back of her, because they are self sticking. If only all of life were that easy.

Actualy, I was sitting at the dining table thinking that life is pretty good and that for the first time in a long time I feel safe. Imagine that. All by myself in my own company, I feel safe. I have a genuine deep down secure feeling and I am not afraid of the world and all the people in it and I am not afraid of what will happen to me in that world, because I am taking care of that. I never did feel that safe with all of my partners, I always felt a tremendous amount of insecurity that manifested itself as stress that would slowly build up and up until it hit the boiling point.

I sure don’t have that now. I feel pretty safe with this person named Irene. Yes, I am coming out of the closet people. I don’t have to be Nora anymore. I have come to trust this person named Irene S**ders very much and I am mighty proud of her, so i am going to let her stand in the limelight and send Nora back to the dressing room to work as an understudy for the odd day when I have the measles or some other childhood disease that I am not likely to catch. From this point on the charade is over and I give Nora the boot, while thanking her very kindly for having helped me pull out of the dull drums I was in and the terrible crisis of love and identity. She can now go back to Ibsen and tell him a tale about the 21st century and tell him we are all still silly people and that we never learn the lessons about love and relationships.

So, from this point forward, if it is not to confusing to you, and I thank you for your patience ahead of time, please call me by my true name, which is Irene, and not Sweet Irene, because i was never that, that was just made up, so don’t call me that, although I was Irene Sweet once, but that was in a totally different life that I have almost forgotten about and it seems like a dream to me now. The only true evidence of it being my very real daughter.

Irene S**ders has some living to do, boy. She hasn’t been out much. We saw her last when she was 17 and very naive and gullible and here she is now all grown up and old enough to know about all sorts of things and thank goodness for that. What timing. She easily has another 30 years left in her to be this person, so make room for her. There is another Power Ranger heading into the world. Quiet but deadly. That’s my style.

Well, I’m just kidding and a little full of myself, but it does feel good to set myself free. I can’t wait to have my nameplate on my mailbox. My father didn’t have any sons, so I am adding the name back into use also. I don’t know what my sister is going to do. She isn’t too fond of her maiden name, but she is also not fond of her husband, so it’s a toss up.

Well, that’s enough news for one night, don’t you think? I am hungry, so I am going to eat something. Something small and easily chewable.

Have a good evening or day, if you are still having one of those. Gosh, it’s still only Thursday.


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Even though I wrote a post last night, before I went to bed so sleepily after i walked the Uberhund, i feel compelled to put some words on paper again. Well, what am I saying? There is no paper involved, is there? It gives the illusion though, but anyway, I need to write a little bit more. Not that I have to share any big thoughts. It’s just the time of the morning to sit here and write while I have my big mug of coffee and smoke my numerous cigarettes.

I woke up with one minion cat comfortably laying on my stomach and she certainly didn’t feel like moving. It took some effort on my part to get her to shift so i could get up. She has been sleeping there lately and it must be the best place in the apartment. The Uberhund woke up and thought something exciting was going to happen and he followed me out to the kitchen, but then he realized I was only going to make coffee and sit behind the computer, so he was soon back to the bedroom to sleep on his pillow some more. Yes, sometimes I am just a dull human being who does very predictable dull things.

Then I forget that there are no other human beings here and that i can turn on my music, but as soon as i remember, i do and i get cheered up immediately. I don’t have to be quiet and circumspect for anyone, I can be noisy and bang things around and whistle while I work. If I wanted to, I could run around naked and do a war dance with a tomahawk swinging over my head and smoke a peace pipe afterwards. With some good stuff in it. Or have a brownie. The possibilities are endless and because they are, i don’t have to do any of them, it’s just that I can that makes me feel the freedom. I can even fart very loud and not apologize for it.

I keep thinking that today is Friday and that the weekend is almost here, but I am running a little ahead of myself. Yesterday i registered the dog under my own name and applied for health care and rent subsidies. Those will help my pocketbook quite a bit. It makes the difference between being able to have housing and health care or not. Luckily, I still live in a country where is is difficult to be out on the street unless you really blow it. People see hard times, but there is usually a solution. Families don’t get put out on the street.

The trajectory I am on, expects me to be able to have some sort of part time job down the line, if only for 20 hours a week. They don’t expect you to always sit and do nothing, unless it can’t be helped because of your mental health. They try to get people back to work and provide all sorts of assistance with that. I would be happy if I could work 20 hours a week. If I could be well enough to handle that. That would be a very positive development.

The Uberhund decided he couldn’t wait for his walk and had a good piddle in the flowerbed out back. Luckily, there are no flowers there, but you should see the trees grow. It’s truly miraculous. I have my own little wonders of nature out back. Even the littlest tree is getting big. Just when I needed three trees, they showed up by themselves as if called for. I need to rake the dirt there really well, it has become compacted by all the showers we have had. That will be a fun job for the weekend.

Well, it’s been very enjoyable sitting here starting my day with you this way. It is always the most pleasant way to get it going. It’s like having a talk with your neighbor over a cup of coffee early in the morning or having a chat across the hedge.

I hope you all have a terrific Friday with lots of delicious Friday moments in it.


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You can tell that I am suffering from it when I fell asleep behind the computer this afternoon writing an email to the Exfactor. I was nodding of and writing it at the same time and then somehow pushed the send button without properly finishing it and somehow made it to the sofa to fall into a comatose nap, from which the Uberhund awakened me at six o’clock to go for his walk. He is a smart dog. Later I read the email that I sent and it was a bunch of gobbly gook, which I had to rectify with a proper email, because the Exfactor would have been puzzled about what I had been trying to communicate to him. He would have thought I had been drunk or on drugs.

I goes to show you the somewhat delicate nature of my psyche in that I do deliver the product when I have to, but I need days to recuperate afterwards, as if i have been on a dangerous and reckless mission. Simple intensive effort exhausts me and I walk on my knuckles afterwards and drag myself emotionally through the ensuing days. I don’t quite know when I will recover from this completely, because I am still dealing with things like getting the utilities and phone etc put in my name, as if I have not been a user of these products all along for all these years. I have been anonymous tot them, these companies. To them I have not existed and I am a whole new entity.

I am taking the opportunity and changing the Internet, TV and telephone provider to a good old well known Dutch one, but I just hope this doesn’t bring its own whole new set of problems. I may end up with a new telephone number and certainly with a new email address. I will let you all know when the time comes. I will not be making a lot of phone calls, because I have unlimited calls in the country only in the weekends. We wont even speak about calling outside of the country. It is my wish to keep my phone bill at the total limited price, so my sister in Emmen will have to call me instead of me aways calling her, because I am such a good sport. Call me Frugal Momma. It is the survival of the keenest that counts.

Ergo -therapy went fine until we ran into an assignment that I found absolutely impossible to do, while the others threw themselves at it with great enthusiasm, I just froze up and was unable to do the the work to the point that I became distraught and started crying. I was assigned a totally different safe thing instead and my problem will be worked on. The thing is, that you had to take a good sized box and make the inside like yourself the way you are inside and the outside the way you are outside yourself. This seemed like an impossible task to me and very overwhelming and I could not see how it could be done and I froze up with fear. I was afraid of the chaos and the choices and the mess it would create and not knowing how to represent myself and the box was good and perfect the way it was. Even thinking about it now, I feel the resistance.

I am falling a sleep again and I have to walk the dog still, so I better say goodbye now. Have fun slaying dragons.


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