Posts Tagged ‘allergies’

Darn, I haven’t done a damn thing all day. At least not any of the things that come under the heading of ‘household chores’. Everything is exactly as it was this morning when I got up, not one speck of dirt and not one dirty dish has been moved. Not that I have that many specks of dirt and dirty dishes, living here on my own and all that. I do have dog hair, however and I could have, I say, I could have, vacuumed today, but since the day is sacred, I thought I would not noisy it up with the sound of the vacuum cleaner. How is that for a fair set of reasoning? I am not even a religious person when I am in my right mind, yet I abide by the holiness of Sunday and always will.

Well, I did walk the dog numerous times and the first time was at 4AM, because he had to go badly and you don’t say it’s too early to a dog who has to go badly. I have fed him and the cats and given him his pills and his eye drops, so I have been a responsible owner, even if it is my day off. I have to walk him once more tonight and do his eye twice more and then we call it a day.

Remember when I was being all sentimental and so convinced that I should have a second dog and that I had to be talked out of that by my sister and my daughter and some other people? Well, these past few days the thought has been growing with me that after the Überhund is gone I may not want another dog at all, but just stick with cats. It would give me a lot more freedom to come and go as i choose and to spend nights away from home and make short trips. Now I am always rushing home at certain times of the day to walk him and sometimes I want to linger somewhere when there is a good atmosphere and a good conversation going.

So, I am going to put some deep thought into that. It is a whole new idea that I have to approach with a whole new attitude.

Well, what did I do all day? I hung out behind the computer doing all sorts of things on Facebook and on my new email address and on a new web group I joined. I frankly piddled the whole day away doing piddly things that don’t justify all the time I spent on them. Oh yes, I updated my profile on Hyves too, but that is no fun for you people because it is all in Dutch. Besides, I don’t move under my real name there, I am incognito.

I’ll tel you what I did on Facebook. I looked through the pictures of all the friends of my friends and when I saw a nice looking man, I wrote him a really nice message and asked him to be my friend. I only did it three times, so I was being very picky and they all live far away, so there is no danger of anything developing. Wasn’t that smart of me? I don’t know. It probably is going to backfire on me or something…

I just ate a bowl of asparagus soup and it is making me feel very sad. Does eating asparagus make you feel sad? Why would that be? Am I associating something with asparagus? I always think that the big ones look like circumcised penises, but that can’t be it. I have that sometimes with some foods, that they make me feel sad and I never know why. It is a feeling that passes after a while and I used to think it was like an allergy, but now I think it is maybe an association deep down in my subconscious.

I tell you, so much happens in my subconscious that steers me, that I am not aware of, sometimes I wonder if I have a free will at all.

It’s only just after 6 o’clock and I am already yawning. I can’t possibly be sleepy now. The Überhund is sleeping at my feet and snoring, maybe that is sleep inducing.

I tell you what. I am going to keep this short for tonight and watch some TV. The Netherlands are managing to win a medal about every day so we’ll see how they did today. That is, if I can keep my eyes open.

Have a happy what’s left of this Sunday. I’m not complaining about mine.



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It’s fairly early in the morning and I haven’t quite had enough sleep yet, but I am up nevertheless. I am working on my second cup of coffee and I am waiting for it to do its magic, so I will truly wake up. We went to bed rather late last night and I thought I might sleep in just a bit, but no such thing. I woke up at 3 am, and that was it for me. Now I am sitting here yawning, so you may say to yourself, “Go back to bed, Irene,” but that is really not where I belong. I really do belong here behind the computer with my coffee and my cigarettes. Parts of me are awake, other parts will be shortly. All it will take is just a few more cups of coffee and just a few more cigarettes. On top of that, I’m plugged up and I don’t know why, because nothing bad has passed these lips, I have been a good girl. Three bags of tortilla chips were eaten last night and I didn’t have a single one of them! Such powers of control! Such self sacrifice! Such drooling on my part!

Being 53 is very special. I feel like I have achieved something akin to a great milestone in a woman’s life. Like I have made a major discovery, or have landed on the moon, or have discovered the cure for an incurable disease. That’s how major this birthday feels to me. There should be throngs of people outside the apartment building and photographers and news crews and people asking me, “Well Irene, how does sit feel to have achieved this major milestone in your life?” And I would answer, “Excuse me while I pin on this medal in honor of my fine achievement. I will answer all of your questions at the press conference tonight.”

All kidding aside, but just briefly, I want to say, “I can’t believe I’ve made it!” I am here all in one piece, with my mind and body intact and all of my faculties working and I’ve come out better than I thought was possible. I’m a living, breathing, functioning human being and more than that, I am alive! I have climbed out of the deepest, darkest bottomless pit and I am standing here in the sunshine again and I figure I have 30 years of living ahead of me. How’s that for a miracle? Jokingly I may add, that that is no small potatoes and quite an achievement for a girl who didn’t feel like her life was worth living on several occasions. Who added the deed to the word and tried to top herself. No Ma’am, that’s not bad at all!

So, this 53rd birthday is one that I am going to look back on with a great deal of fondness, because it is the first time in seven years that I have celebrated my birthday. And I think that this 53rd year will be a very good year.

Now I hear the sound of a violin orchestra in the background playing very gentle but uplifting music and a voice starts singing jubilantly about what a very good year it is going to be. Just like in a TV commercial, and me radiant in a field of flowers with the gentle summer wind catching my flowing skirt, smiling, glowing face in the sun, staring into the future with a look of confidence on my face and a look of hopefulness in my eyes. End with a spectacular sunset. Voice over, “Yes, you to can be like this happy, fulfilled, middle aged woman. Try all of our pharmaceutical products and you will have a good year too.”

No kidding aside now, folks, I really am glad to have made it and I really thank the pharmaceutical companies for making it possible, them and my psychiatrist for not giving up on me and Eduard for not kicking me out of the house.

Well, I think all the parts of me are awake now, all that coffee is doing its job.

Actually, yesterday was a very good day. I had that interview with the lady from the temp agency and I think I made a good impression and that they are willing to take me into their project. They will let social services know their decision and the whole ball will start rolling next week. I will be officially in the project then and they will have to find me a job/training within 4 moths time. This is to gain work experience and to learn different computer systems. In the meantime they will help me with getting a permanent job within a year’s time. They help you with such things as putting a proper resume together and writing job application letters and they help you match you up for the right jobs that they have on file there. There is a weekly get together with your case worker who keeps a close eye on you and your progress. It all sounds very promising and I can’t wait to get started, as long as they don’t place me in a care home for the elderly or something like that. I would really feel like I was wasting my time then.

Afterwards I went and had coffee with Eduard at his work and said to him, isn’t your company looking for job/training people who have to learn the ropes and who will work for free to gain work experience for 4 months? A light started burning in his eyes and he said that he would discuss it with his director and his office manager, so there is a possibility there. The office work there is very diverse and I would learn to do all sorts of things and it would look good on my resume. His office manager is out of the office right now having some surgery done, but the director said he would discuss it with her as soon as possible, so keep your fingers crossed.

In the afternoon, I cleaned house. This included washing all the wineglasses and the good cups and saucers and vacuuming the whole place and cleaning the bathroom and moving chairs around for people to sit in. I was interrupted in this by my niece and nephew who brought me a big bouquet of white flowers very artfully arranged and ready to be put in a vase without me massing with it. My niece then searched through my artwork and found a nice painting that she wanted for her room and we found a brand new frame to go with it, so she was happy. I didn’t show them any of the stuff I am doing now, because I had the computer turned of and I just couldn’t be bothered, because I had so much left to do, so I promised I would show them another day when I had the time. They also wanted to read my winning poem, so that was another promise I made them.

I still had the vacuum cleaner laying right in the middle of the living room and all the rooms still had to be mopped and I was starting to show signs of stress, quite badly as a matter of fact. Luckily Eduard was home then and he told me to take an Oxazepam and to sit and wait for that to start working, while he mopped the floors where I had already vacuumed. For a while there I thought I was going to have a bit of a nervous breakdown, but then the feeling passed and the Oxazepam worked and I was okay again. I moved the large scratching post for the cats to a completely different place in the hope that they will
find it interesting again, as they seem bored with it now. Sometimes I don’t handle a whole bunch of things happening all at once all that well, especially lately, therefor the Oxazepam, which thank goodness I have now. I can’t even handle Eduard telling me an ordinary thing, I think I will fall apart if he tells me and he has to stop talking to me and not say anything.

Anyway, the apartment got cleaned up well enough and we had ample room left before our guests arrived and when they did, all of my stress was gone and I could enjoy the evening. I got some lovely gifts, including three large bath towels for which I had asked. My sister’s article of clothing that she had ordered for me did not arrive on time, even though she had been tracking its progress via the Internet, so it will probably get here today. I can’t wait! So tonight we are having 7 more people over and that should be equally fun and we will have to get more supplies today, as the cheeses and the tortilla chips and the salsa dips have all but disappeared. We still have stuffed olives and guacamole dip and some wine. Oh, and coca cola, that would be good to have right now, as I am very thirsty!

Of course, today I don’t have all of that housecleaning to do, I’ll drag the vacuum cleaner out one more time, for the odd bits here and there and do the dishes and I promised Eduard that I would finally iron his T-shirts. Our friend Joost is arriving this afternoon, so we have to pump up the air mattress to put up in the work room. In the meantime all I have to do is take the Oxazepam and stay relaxed and enjoy myself.

Now you people, I am going to end this epistle and sit and stare into the middle distance for awhile and I may even contemplate my navel for a bit. I feel like having an empty head for just a little while. I am such a delicate creature that even the fun times will upset my tenderly wrought balance. If I don’t comment today, it is not because I don’t love you all, it is because my head is in another sphere.

Have a wonderful day, be good, be B.A.D. don’t be S.A.D. just be happy. Ciao…

P.S. After I wrote this, I laid down on the sofa and slept for four more hours. Shows you how wide awake I really was!

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With the generous help of Rima, I was able to transform my blog into something more personal. I picked the Minima template from Blogger and then added a picture of a mandala to the header. Rima explained to me how to do this. So you see how even a person as inexperienced as I can do such a thing. Once you’ve done it, you think, “Well, that wasn’t so difficult! I should have done that months ago!” Of course, months ago I didn’t know Rima. She is always the first one to come up with good suggestions and the person to help you out with something that you are trying to do. So, three cheers for Rima.

I weighed myself this morning and I weigh 92.4 kilos, in spite of the fact that I had a peanut butter sandwich, which made me feel very full and uncomfortable, but was worth every bite. Sometimes you just have to have something as finger licking good as that, when you are just drooling at the idea of it. And I know that I am not allergic to peanuts, but I do have a very weepy and itchy ear and I then have to assume that this is still the effect of the corn in the little potato salads that I eat every day. I refuse to take out the corn, because it tastes so good and there is so little of it and I don’t have the self discipline. I am very self indulgent. As a matter of fact, I wish I had one of those little potato salads now and I would eat it right away.

I got a new prescription for the Oxazepam from my psychiatrist and he has no problem with me using it for now at all, which I think is very generous of him and which also shows that he trusts me when it comes to my medications. He does know that I ask for something only when I need it, be it something extra like this or an increase in a dosage of something. He never gives me a hard time about it and it always works out well.

This in contrast to my friend Lucien who often gets nil on her requests, but there must be a good reason for that and I don’t know what that is, of course, and I have to be careful what I say about my medications to her lest she starts comparing too much. Every time she gets turned down for something, I only hear her side of the story and although I have a lot of sympathy for her, I don’t know all the reasons behind it, of course, and I do have to be careful how I react to it. I know her husband doesn’t believe in medication to cure what ails her and that is a real shame, because it means that she does not have his support in this area, when medications are so important in fighting a chemical imbalance and can do so much good. He thinks it is all junk and the less she takes, the better. It seems to me that he needs to be educated a little bit better. It’s like saying to a diabetic that he ought not to take insulin. Or to a migraine sufferer that he should not take pain pills.

The Topamax, which is the medication I take as a mood stabilizer, was originally developed as an anti epileptic and for people who suffered from extreme migraines. It works in the temporal lobes on the sides of your head. It was discovered that this medication also worked as a mood stabilizer and I can tell you that for me it has worked beautifully. When I started taking it in February, it got me out of my depression very nicely and since I have been taking it, I have felt better than I had in many years. It is sort of a miracle drug for me. I take it along with two kinds of anti depressives and an anti psychotic medication. All these drugs together make me feel ‘normal’ most of the time. Nobody can tell that I take this much medication, as I function normally just like anybody else and I am not in the least impaired, except for some of my short term memory.

I seem to suffer from S.A.D. in other words, I get depressed in the winter time, about half of the year as a matter of fact. When the light changes toward the fall, I change too, although there were years when my depressions never really lifted and I stayed chronically depressed throughout the year. Not since I am on the Topamax however. It lifted me out of it completely. Now I notice a sort of gloominess settling over me. I am not depressed, but I feel less motivated and excited to do things and I want to hibernate. I also noticed that I was getting a bit short tempered, and I don’t want to be, as it is projecting my own feelings onto other people and that is not fair to them. I have to always keep track of my moods, so things don’t suddenly take me by surprise when they have been brewing for days and weeks already. Sometimes you don’t notice the subtle changes, but they all start to add up to something bigger and before you know it, you have a problem on your hands.

Luckily, I live with a very even tempered man, he is very predictable and basically always in the same mood, which is mostly cheerful. You always know ahead of time what Eduard will be like when he gets up in the morning and what he will be like when he comes home from work. There is no moping and moodiness. He is emotionally very healthy, while at the same time having all of his little quirks that make him so endearing to me. His reactions to my shifts in moods are always very rational and we discuss them in a very rational manner. We don’t let them turn into emotional dramas. We take them as facts of life and deal with them accordingly. We discuss how we will handle them and what the best course of action will be. Firstly we always look at what can be done with the medication, then we look at how we can arrange our lives to accommodate the mood. It means that Eduard lowers his expectations of me temporarily and gives me a little bit of space to be less functioning in. He takes over some of the things that I find harder to do and doesn’t plan any emotionally strenuous activities. Most importantly, he lets me be me, imperfect as that is.

We had to learn all of these things, of course. We did a lot of reading and thinking about it and we talked a lot about how we understood the problem to be. There were a couple of books that really helped us, the most important one being Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer. That was a very helpful and insightful book into how a depression works in your mind and what it does and doesn’t do. I think it helps to be intelligent and to be willing to learn as much as you can about the affliction. Sticking your head in the sand never helps, especially not for the people who are the fellow sufferers. Ignorance is a very dangerous thing. It perpetuates myths.

Well, sometimes I have to discuss these things for the obvious reason that I need to reach out and touch as many people as I can, because I know there are many people out there who one way or the other come in touch with depression, either because they have it themselves, or because a loved one has it or a friend of the family. I recommend reading the right books as a source of information and going to support groups, although they can be a bit off putting with everyo
ne sitting around looking very gloomy if there is not the proper person running the group. Educating yourself is the best thing you can do and being very proactive and assertive about getting the best care and the best medications. Don’t be a passive patient.

Yesterday was such a lazy day. All morning I sat behind the computer. When Eduard left in the morning, I was sitting behind the computer and when he came home at noon time, I was still sitting there. He just grinned at me for being so addicted. I got up quickly and cleaned up the kitchen and then made cigarettes, but the little machine wouldn’t work right and Eduard had to go out and get a new one at the tobacco store. Then my friend Lucien called and we had a conversation about moods and frustrating husbands and uncooperative psychiatrists and I tried to be very understanding and I feel her frustration. I would hate to be in her position and feel that my back was against the wall in what I was trying to attain.

The afternoon went by very pleasantly with Eduard and me taking turns behind the computer and me saying that maybe we need to get wireless and an extra lap top. We would never be able to get a divorce, because we would fight about the computer. It belongs to us equally, although I act very proprietary towards it. I always act like it belongs more to me than to him. Eduard has his own computer at work, but of course he doesn’t get to do all sorts of fun things on it.

After dinner, when Eduard had gone to work again, I fell asleep on the sofa and slept for two hours and when I woke up, I turned the computer on again, even though I was so sleepy and I could hardly keep my eyes open. I checked for emails and comments and there were some, but I was actually not in any shape to react to them coherently. So, I did the smart thing and took my medications and went to bed. I took Melba toast and a tall glass of cold milk with me and had a little party while I was almost falling asleep. I am reading Mythology for Dummies and it really is for dummies, which includes me when I go to bed at night and my brain has just about stopped functioning. For someone who is a voracious reader, I am certainly not reading a lot right now. The computer takes up so much of my time and when I do read during the day, I fall asleep over my book. I have to start the Unicorn by Iris Murdoch and see if it will really grab my attention like her books usually do. I can’t become an illiterate at this stage of my life.

When I am in the GP’s office, I read the women’s magazines that he has there and I think they are so bad, because they make it out as if everything in life is just all wonderful and cozy and compartmentalized into happy little blocks of life in which everybody lives happily ever after if they just decorate their table right and wear the right kind of summery clothing. They are full of feel good stories and uplifting articles and good looking families. Mostly blond and blue eyed. They very rarely discuss anything gritty or disagreeable and if they do, it is in a very saccharine way, with always a happy ending for all.

Okay, That’s enough of my rambling now. I must make some more coffee and have another cup of Senseo. There are no animals around yet, everybody is still asleep. Sometimes I hear Eduard snore and make funny noises in his sleep. He must be dreaming.

Have a wonderful day, even when you are B.A.D. or S.A.D. Ciao…

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Well, here I am sitting with my nose plugged up again. For someone who is not supposed to have any allergies any more, it sure happens on a regular basis, which makes me doubt the allergy test. Or maybe I had something to eat that I am allergic to, because yesterday my head was itching quite a bit too. Oh yes, I know, there was corn in the little containers of potato salad and I did not pick it out of it. I just ate it. I like to live dangerously!

Yesterday turned out to be a very lazy day, because Eduard was gone all day. In the morning he had a work meeting with his volunteer operators and the rest of the day he spent with his friend Lieve and they rode their motorcycles together and visited a motorcycle parts swap meet in Belgium. They have decided to be buddies and maybe I should worry about this, but I am not, because I have to trust Eduard and I trust Lieve and I think they’ll both behave like the responsible adults they are. Besides that, Lieve is such a cool woman, she wears her tough looking motorcycle gear, yet she is gracious and feminine underneath it all. She is almost single handily restoring the roof on her 17th century barn. The roof is quite steep and it is no easy job, but she just makes up her mind and does it. I like those kinds of women and I think she is good for Eduard to hang out with. She is a real tough, yet gentle broad.

They came and had dinner here in the evening and watched that movie called The world’s fastest Indian, which is about motorcycles, of course and we drank Rooibos tea, because, of course, she had to ride her motorcycle home still. We showed her our pictures of California and our early courting days and Eduard showed her his book of photographs of all the motorcycles he has owned. Our cat Nouri likes her a lot and went to sit on her lap, which she doesn’t do very quickly with strangers. So, we had a nice relaxing evening and as a result, we went to bed rather late and I was out cold in no time at all once I was under the covers. I love feeling so exhausted when I go to bed. You know, when you are bone weary and you hardly feel like getting undressed, but just want to lie down and close your eyes.

I spent the day taking a nap on the sofa, which was very nice and I needed it and I did some laundry, which I hung to dry in the bathroom, because I didn’t know what the weather was going to do. It looked like rain, but then it never did. I hung out behind the computer quite a bit, because I have so many blogs to read now and so many comments to leave behind and then to go back and see if anyone had reacted on the comments yet. Very compulsive, and I have what Neda calls, B.A.D. Blogging Addicted Disorder. For the symptoms look here. I understand there is no cure for it and it is a life long affliction. I also do a lot of blurfing, which is surfing for blogs and which is Rima’s term.

I also did my share of Paint Shopping and made some new mandalas, which I am mildly happy with and some of them I may post here today. Some turn out better than others, it just depends on your subject and the colors of it and the happy circumstances of the combination of effects, which sometimes you have control over and sometimes not. But I did say that I would also post the lesser turned out ones and so I will. A few mandalas a day keep the doctor away. That would be doctor Freud, as doctor Jung broke with him early on in the relationship and a good thing that he did too. I see that it is very important to use the lamps and the sunlight as effects while making the mandalas, as they give them depth and shadows.

I am sitting here yawning, which is kind of unusual as I am usually quite perky in the morning. Every time I yawn, I am afraid that my jaw is going to get stuck open, as this happened to me one day and I had to go to the emergency room and have it put back together again. I had dislocated my jaw yawning. Sometimes it feels like that is going to happen again and I very quickly close my mouth. There is a way to yawn properly to prevent it from slipping out, but sometimes I forget and I just yawn spontaneously. I think that a lot of people at that time thought that I had really been hit by my ex, because they couldn’t believe that someone could dislocate their jaw by yawning. Not that my ex went around hitting me!

Eduard is up now, having his breakfast and Jesker is waiting patiently for his little piece of it. Eduard is used to going to bed later and manages to be perkier this morning than I am. He is already engrossed in a novel and can read with his whole mind present and accounted for. I am sitting here having one cup of coffee after another trying to wake up properly. I wonder if I accidentally made decaf instead of regular coffee. I will have to make a new pot to make sure. And then have another cup of Senseo, extra strong dark roast, that ought to do the trick!

I have been taking the Oxazepam three times a day and I find that it helps me get through the day quite nicely without feeling the stress that I had been feeling lately. When it works, I feel so relaxed and everything is so much easier to do. I really do feel that a weight drops of my shoulders. I had only just realized that I was carrying a weight there and I am sure that it is the weight of the coming fall and winter that is laying there. The weight of finding everything just a bit harder to do. The weight of postponing things and of not being motivated and of wanting to sit and not do anything substantial. The Oxazepam makes me feel lighter and makes it easier to do things. I take one first thing in the morning and it takes about half an hour for it to start working and I really notice the difference when it does. I usually end up taking Oxazepam in the wintertime and then go off it again in the springtime when my mood lifts again. I never have any problems stopping it, I don’t seem to get addicted to it like some people do.

Eduard left to go to work, but then came back in again to get his rain gear, because it is raining outside. We still had the shades down so hadn’t noticed that it was raining. Now the dog will have to wait for his walk a bit. Luckily he has a very strong bladder and he doesn’t like to go out in the rain. If it takes too long, though, I’ll have to take him with an umbrella and he’ll just have to get wet and get that good stinky dog smell until he dries again. He does like to be rubbed with a big towel and we both enjoy doing that and getting him as dry as possible.

So, the Oxazepam is working properly now and so is the coffee. I am perky and awake now. It took awhile but I got there in the end. I had the strangest dreams last night. I dreamed about the queen and that I was visiting her and that we were good friends and I helped her arrange her tea service for some guests that she was expecting. Then suddenly I discovered that I was a lesbian and it turned out I had a girlfriend who took me to a western American town that had a saloon where gay couples hung out and drank whisky while their children played in the dusty street. Homosexuals went to a clinic on the top of a hill and learned how to have safe sex. There were doctors there who assisted in the whole process and it was very graphic. Well, I do have an imagination, don’t I? I would have liked to have stayed with
the queen a bit longer, but I dream about the queen regularly and she is always a good friend of mine. I wonder if the queen ever dreams about her loyal subjects? I am always joking that I will clean the apartment really well in case the queen comes by to drink tea with us. It sort of motivates me when I don’t feel like doing anything. She’ll have to bring her own tea cakes, because we don’t have any of those at all.

Those are two high ranking people I dream about regularly, the queen and the pope. Both symbolically important people with just the right amount of authority. I suppose I secretly would wish to stand in their shoes, as they say here. Or be their confidant and whisper radical suggestions in their ears, which they would then take very seriously and follow up on. Maybe I have Machiavellian tendencies. Or maybe I would be like Rasputin at the Russian court. I never considered forming my own political party as I have never been quite sure what I would exactly stand for, that knowledge has become more clear to me as I have become older and more European again. But I think I would love to be an influential person somewhere at the top. A person who would get consulted on important issues and who would then say,”Well, let me sleep on that one night and I will give you my decision.” This would force me to read many newspapers as I still believe in the power of the press and the independence of Dutch newspapers.

Dream on, Irene. Voting is the closest I will ever come to that dream and that is not half bad after not having been able to for twenty two years. I do take it very seriously and stay up on election night and watch the results come in. With electronic voting that is done quickly and the results are known before midnight. It is very exciting to watch your political party gain seats in the government. It is as good as watching an exciting football match. I cheer too.

The queen is an enigma. She can never speak her mind and has to keep away from anything political, when you would like so very much to hear where she stands on issues. She has to remain silent and be an impartial player. She helps form the government, but we will never know her personal preferences. I would love it if she would one day make a speech and just clearly state what is on her mind when it comes to the state of the country. She supposedly does this in the State of the Union address, but it is written for her by the prime minister, although she can refuse to say things if she disagrees. We just don’t know.

Well, before you all get bored with this post, I better end it now. I could go and ramble on for a long time yet now that I am so clearly awake. I will write more in another post when I post some of the mandalas of the blue flower I made.

Have a great day, everybody. I know my family tree very well and I absolutely have no blue blood anywhere. Ciao…

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Well, guess what? It turns out that I don’t have any allergies to the dog or the cats or to dust mites at all. None whatsoever! Whatever showed up positive in the test twenty years ago, didn’t show up this time at all, all came back negative. I am relieved about this, of course, because now I don’t have to feel bad about having the cats and the dog and about vacuuming and inhaling dust mites, but I was hoping it would explain my eczema and my sore throat and my plugged up nose etc, but now it doesn’t, of course. It does turn out that I am having an upper airway infection and that should take care of itself eventually. In the Netherlands they don’t prescribe antibiotics for that unless you are on your deathbed and I am obviously not.

So a conversation like this followed:

The GP looked at me very seriously and with a stern voice said: “I’m afraid that the only thing you’re allergic to is tobacco smoke.”

And I said, “You’re kidding, right?”

He said, with a straight face, “No Ma’am, I’m not, you’ll have to quit smoking.”

I said, with an equally straight face, “Well, since I’m a psychiatric patient and I need my cigarettes like I need my medicines, I think the chances of me quiting smoking are pretty slim.”

Well, it was a conversation similar to that and we didn’t talk with a Texan accent. He was not my regular GP by the way. My regular GP was sick and this was a replacement GP who didn’t know me and who was young and eager. He was definitely going to save my soul, uhm, I mean my body. He was a bit like a missionary and a bit zealous. He looked at me very disappointed when I left his office, as if I had let him down personally and committed a great sin.

Luckily, our own GP is going to be back next week, so thank goodness for that. He has seen me go through all my shit and he won’t bother me about quiting smoking. That will be the furthest thing from his mind. He’s just glad that I am walking and talking and breathing and living a normal life.

The asthma that I do get is exercise induced asthma, like I used to get when I was a kid and I ran track, but I wonder if I sometimes get it due to stress. That it is psychosomatic. I have to keep this possibility in mind when it happens next and not immediately grab the inhaler, unless I have been exercising and it is obvious why it is happening. I am just so relieved that I know now that it isn’t allergies, because that was making me feel very unsure and insecure. I thought there was no way I could fight that and now I don’t have to.

Well, you learn something new every day. If it isn’t about Carl Jung and the functioning of your mind, then it is about the functioning of your body. It is all a great mystery after all, isn’t it? Why things go wrong and how we try and find the most logical explanations and how sometimes there is none. Sometimes shit just happens. Like me sitting here having to stop typing every sentence, because I am itching so badly on my head and on my hands.

I think this isn’t going to be a long post. I have an early appointment with social services and at lunchtime I am meeting my friend Lucien downtown to do some shopping. Well, she will do the shopping, I will do the accompanying. Lucien likes to shop! I think she is like me and always wants to buy something when she is in town, otherwise it doesn’t feel like it has been a real outing. I gladly go along with her and critique the clothes that she tries on to find the best outfit. She has gained some weight and we now both shop in the same sizes and we have similar tastes, although I do have to save her from buying some real ugly things sometimes. I think she gets confused and addled and can’t see the forest for the trees when she has tried on too many clothes. That’s why you go shopping with your friends.

I am still reading The Power of Myth. The book is actually the result of a TV series on PBS and many interviews that Bill Moyers had with Joseph Campbell. It is very interesting, but sometimes Bill Moyers asks questions that I would not have asked and continues his line of questioning in a direction that I would not have gone in, so sometimes it is frustrating to read it as well. Bill Moyers keeps coming back very much to the Christian God theme, and although I think this is appropriate, I think that sometimes he asks the wrong questions about it. Although I do have to give him credit for having done his homework and knowing a lot about the subject and having read Joseph Campbell’s books, which I haven’t done yet.

I suppose it is always that way with interviews. The interviewer never asks the questions that you would have asked, and sometimes Joseph Campbell’s ideas are very abstract and I have a hard time following his line of thinking. Sometimes he just loses me for a while, then he is too much a philosopher. I hope I am able to read the book that Eduard got for me from the library easily, it may turn out to be too difficult for me to read. I don’t mind a difficult book, I usually hang in there, but when it gets too abstract, I have to quit it.

I keep looking at the clock to see how much time I have left to sit here and type this. I do hate to be on some sort of time schedule. I am so used to taking it easy in the morning and just going about it in my own time and on my own schedule. Usually I can take hours to actually finish writing this, while I have my coffee and my cigarettes and pet the dog and contemplate what I am going to write about. I stop and think and stare into the middle distance and consider all the things I have done the day before. Sometimes my mind is a complete blank and it seems I can’t remember the day before at all. But not today. I distinctly remember the lure of Paint Shop Pro and not being able to walk away from the computer for any amount of time and constantly fiddling with the Old Pisa Door.

I am only on day 5 of my 60 day trial with Paint Shop Pro and that will give me ample time to try an find out how everything works. Although I know that it takes years to become really good at it. I never appreciated digital art as much as I do now. I see what is involved in creating it and I do hold people in higher esteem who create it. You need to be smart about using the program, but you need to be artistic as well. You do have to have an eye for what works and what looks absolutely awful.

Well, dearest people. I am sorry, but I have to go now. I still have to walk the dog and feed the cats and get myself ready. Maybe there will be more of me today. I’ll see if I have time.

Have a great day, ciao…

P.S. Well, there is more of me today, because I have cancelled my appointment with Lucien. I hate to let her down, but after riding my bike all that way to Social Services up hill and nearly having a heart attack doing it, I decided I didn’t want to ride my bike into town a second time. I had never been to social services. It was a different place than where I took the test earlier this week. This place was at the other end of town and like I said, up hill and it was quite a climb. If Eduard had not gone with me and pulled me some, I would not have made it. Of course, I am so plugged up that it makes it hard to breathe and that isn’t helping either.

It turned out that I had not done too badly on the profile test. I got an A1 rating, which is the highest one you can get, this in spite of the fact that I did badly on the analytical part of the test. You’ll remember the sequences and my trouble with them. I did really well on the language part, which I am happy about, because sometimes I don’t know how good my Dutch really is. Sometimes, I’m just faking it and I am just loosely translating from the English.

One thing that did surprise me was that I got a low score on verbal communication and, although I know that I am not tha
t much of a talker, I didn’t think I would score low in it. That this would show up in a test. I did good on written communication, which isn’t surprising, of course. You can’t write a web log and be bad at that.

The next step is for me to have an appointment with the people of the temp agency who are going to decide if it is worth it to give me a training. If there is a future in me. Because of my age and lack of working experience, that may be a problem, but I’ll just have to dazzle them during the appointment. I’ll blow them away with my interesting personality, ahum.

We have good cheese in the refrigerator again! The cheese man on the market had been gone on vacation and we had to do without his very good cheese, but now he is back and Eduard picked up some cheese this morning. I stopped by his work on the way home from social services and had a cup of coffee with him and picked up the cheese. Any minute now, I am going to get up from the chair and cut me a big piece. That’s how much I have missed eating that! My mouth is watering in anticipation. Lord, the things you can look forward to! First I have to finish my very good cup of Senseo and this post.

Right that minute I don’t know what else I can tell you here. I have to clean the apartment, but what else is new, right? The same old dog hair is drifting around, but now I know that I am not allergic to it, or to the dander. Has anybody ever heard of people being cured of their allergies? I still am not eating corn, though. I have no doubts about that one. It would be too much of a coincidence if that were not a problem. But I may still get tested for it some day to make sure.

Alright, now I’ve got to get the show on the road. Oh no, I’ve got to visit my fellow bloggers first. Gosh, life is tough in these here parts. There are always these postponements of the really lesser fun jobs.

Have a great one, people, ciao again.

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Man, digital art sure is addicting, although I hesitate to call it art in my case and I’ll call it digital manipulation or something like that. Man digitally messing around with photographs sure is addicting! I try to get some house work done around here, but all day long I wanted to sit down behind the computer and try things out with Paint Shop Pro. I forced myself to do some other things as well, because I did not want this digitally messing around to be an addiction, but I did end up spending more than a normal amount of time behind the computer and loving every minute of it.

I am beginning to figure out Paint Shop Pro and yesterday I even learned how to cut and paste from one photograph to another. Now I have to learn to do this free hand and I am sure there is some sort of a grid to get the pieces the right size, so I will have to figure that out today. I will post whatever efforts I have made here, even if I think they are not yet what I would like them to be. That way you can all be part of the process of me figuring things out and I am not going to be embarrassed about the not so good stuff. I am just going to honestly place a piece here every day. Whatever I think is best for that particular day.


Jung said: “Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of high courage…”

It is said that Jung wrote with logic and common sense and with passion and compassion and after having read the Primer, I have a tendency to agree with that. I finished it yesterday afternoon after a long sit at the dining table. I decided to sit and read there, so there really would be no danger of me falling asleep and I could take notes while I read the book. I find that taking notes helps me understand what I read better and it works better than highlighting it with a pen. Besides, I have learned all about highlighting in another life and that wasn’t very successful, was it? Better stick to note taking, that makes my mind work twice, once in reading and once in writing. Double imprinting, sort of. I think I literally have gray matter in my head, you know, squishy and wet and soft, it is like a sponge, and you can wring it out but it has almost stopped absorbing, ha ha.

I read about dreams and how they are the clearest expression of the unconscious mind, so it is important to pay attention to your dreams and to try to decipher them as much as possible. Apparently we dream in symbols and symbols are an outward manifestation of the archetypes. Jung found that the same archetypes were expressed in myths of primitive races all over the world and also in religion and art, both modern and primitive. A symbol is an attempt to represent an archetype, but the result is always imperfect and man’s history is a record of his search for better symbols.

So, I dream in symbols and this symbolic language I need to interpret, but it will not be the obvious explanation, because the symbolism comes from the unconscious and that requires a little bit of digging. I ordered another book on Jung on line and it should get here in a few days, so maybe that will give me some clarification on this.

I also read about his psychological types and how we more or less fit into one of the eight combinations of attitudes and functions. In other words, someone can be an extroverted thinker or an introverted feeling person. Every personality has these attitudes and functions, but they are there in different proportions and at different levels of consciousness and unconsciousness.

So, I may be an extroverted thinker consciously, but be an introverted feeling person
unconsciously. I will be these things in different degrees, one will be more developed that the other, because the unconscious is always underdeveloped.

I haven’t quite decided which type of person I am. I think a lot of it depends on how well things are going with me. When things are going well, I am extroverted, when I am depressed, I am introverted. Maybe I am an extroverted thinker consciously and an introverted feeling person unconsciously. Maybe I am some of both, but more one than the other at different times. I think I am mostly extroverted, but I am not sure, because I do like my “alone time” and I don’t need that many people around me to be happy. Maybe I am an introverted thinker, I’ll have to check and see what Jung said about them. It isn’t in my notes. Then unconsciously I am an extroverted feeling person, I think. How is that for a combination? How would you like your sandwich Ma’am, would you like that extroverted with mayo and feeling?

Jung also said: “The best marriages are achieved between fully individuated persons in which all the attitudes and functions of both their personalities are developed.”

I don’t know how Eduard and I made our marriage work at the beginning when I so very clearly was not individuated. As a matter of fact, I was a mess. He must have seen something in me, some possibility of what I could be like when I was not in a mess. I think there must have been enough “sane” moments then for him to figure that out. Well, I was a normal person at times. It wasn’t as if I was completely around the bend, It wasn’t as bad as that! Still, to be individuated is quite a chore. You really have to know what you are doing or you have to have had some great guidance along the way in the years of your formation. I think some people come by it earlier than others. Some people are late bloomers, maybe that is what is meant by that.

Well, Jung is making a difference in my life. He certainly got me thinking along some new lines. It is very refreshing to apply his thoughts and theories to my life and it is not too difficult at this stage, all it requires is some diligent reading and note taking and committing some of it to memory. That may be a little tough in my case, I have been known to forget crucial bits of information. I am sure that when I get into it deeper, I will find out that maybe it is not all that simple, but I am going to keep it as bare boned as I can. I don’t want to complicate it too much with all sorts of new theories and explanations. Better stick as close to the original source as I can.

I found a book by Joseph Campbell in the library and Eduard is getting it for me today. It is called The Hero With a Thousand Faces and I think it is a book that made him famous. I will finish The Power Of Myth before I start this one, but it is slow going because I fall asleep so quickly at night. I don’t even drink my milk. I think I will read The Power Of Myth by the dining table today. That straight hard chair keeps me awake and gives me a sore butt. I should find a little cushion, but I can’t make it too comfortable! No nodding off!


I find that by reading and doing digital art and cleaning house and taking care of the anim
als, there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do, and I don’t even have a job yet. Yesterday I had to vacuum and I reluctantly did that, although I knew it was very necessary and it looked good when I was done. The poor dog does need to go for his walks, I can’t neglect him and I do need to keep some semblance of structure in my life. Things do have to happen at a certain time or I am in trouble. I need to eat on time and go to bed at a reasonable hour and spend time talking with Eduard when he is home, although I neglected him a bit yesterday too. He came home, but I was barely aware of it and kissed him absentmindedly.
I wonder what he thinks when he sees me so preoccupied with something so completely new and how I barely have time to speak to him and have my eyes glazed over when I do? He doesn’t complain on the first day and I don’t think he will even complain on the second and third day, so I will have to be my own disciplinarian and make sure my eyes aren’t glazed over too often. He very enthusiastically tells me things and I say, “Yes, really?”, and then ask him to repeat himself because I didn’t hear a word he said.

Eduard is always very tolerant of me. He never gets the least bit irritated when I have discovered something new and it takes up all of my time. When we first had the computer, and I was still depressed, I spent hours Googling things and Eduard didn’t complain about that at all. I discovered all these really neat animation sites and sat and watched animated films all day long one summer and Eduard didn’t seem to mind one bit. He is like an indulgent father with his impatient child sometimes. I have to make sure that I am not the impatient child too often. I have a tendency to self indulge and become obsessed about things and I always have to watch myself and make sure I don’t overdo things and make enough time to stay in my normal mode also. That means walking away from things even when I want to keep going.

Anyway, we have this very simple digital camera that takes very simple digital photographs and we tried to install it yesterday, but it didn’t work. The computer says that it can’t find the camera after we have installed it and we tried it twice. I think that maybe we should get another simple little digital camera until we can afford to buy a really good one like this one here, which is very costly, but it takes wonderful photographs, which you can find out for yourself when you go to Debi’s blog here. Of course, we don’t need such an expensive camera, but I am being a real modern consumer here in that I only want the very best. Yes, and we need to win the lottery very quickly and make all of our wishes come true in the shortest amount of time. Actually, that is why I need a job very badly, to save some money and do things like this.

I have an appointment tomorrow morning with social services to talk about the results of the profile test that I recently took and I am real curious about the outcome of that. A lot rests on this, because they may not offer me a free training, but suggest I go and do volunteer work instead and that just won’t do at all. If I am going to put in all of the effort, I do want to get paid for it, I am not in it for the charity. Not at this point anyway. We need the charity ourselves now. They can’t force me to do anything, luckily, because I don’t get any unemployment benefits, so the choice lies with me. If you do get benefits, they can make you take on anything, so I am glad that I am not in that position.

Today I am seeing my GP about the results of my allergy test and I am also curious about what that will say, as I have been especially allergic lately. I walk around with a plugged up nose and a sore throat constantly and my head and ear have been itching quite a bit. Then he has to give me a form to go and have my thyroid tested at the hospital lab. It has been a month now since I have been on my new dose of thyroid medication and the new levels should be able to be measured now. I really feel good, so I think all is well with that. I think maybe this dose of medication is better for me, because I feel a lot more mellow and calm than I did before and as I said before, your thyroid functioning does play a large role in your mental health. When my thyroid was very hyperactive, and I needed the surgery badly, I was a very neurotic person and I thought I was losing my mind. I lost a lot of weight and had a constant tremor and my resting heartbeat was 120 per minute. Boy, that can really screw you up.

I also need to talk to him about my eyes. I do really well now behind the computer with my regular glasses on, I don’t need my reading glasses at all anymore, but I still have my eyes bother me sometimes when I watch TV. They start to hurt and water and I can’t figure out why sometimes they do quickly and why sometimes they don’t until much later. Sometimes I think, that when I think about it, they start to water, but then I think that is all in my imagination too and I need to stop thinking about it. See how your mind gets screwed around that?

Eduard is sitting here eating his breakfast and Jesker is protecting it from the cats. He knows that he will get the last little bit of it. That dog knows exactly which side his bread is buttered on, ha ha. In this case there is cheese on it also.

I need to get the show on the road, so I will stop here and continue in a little while, see you then…

Well, it had stopped raining when I took Jesker for his walk, so that was good, and then I thought what I would take pictures off if I had a camera like Eleanor’s Mum does when she walks around the neighborhood. We live in a very modern neighborhood and there aren’t any cute little cottages with cute gardens to take pictures off. There are lots of very modern looking houses which I like architecturally, but may not make for very interesting pictures. I would really have to go into town and take pictures there. The downtown area is pretty and there are lots of interesting buildings. That may be especially fun for you American readers. A bit of history and all that.

I really need to be able to justify buying a good digital camera and I am trying to think of stuff I would take good photographs off. It would have to be the town and the countryside. Eduard and I would have to make lots of long walks around here and get on the motorcycle again and make trips to interesting places. We haven’t done that for awhile because of the weather and pretty soon it is going to be too cold to do that. I bet none of you have ever been on the back of a motorcycle when it was freezing and snowing out. I don’t recommend it to anyone. You need to be pretty foolhardy to do it and wear lots of layers of clothing.

Eduard said last night that he is getting me something for my birthday which I am not expecting and now I am really curious, because I thought I had already gotten my birthday present and that was the Senseo Coffee Machine. So, I am completely in the dark as to what it can be, but I am all for surprises, so I can’t wait.

Well, darn it, now I am all done writing, I have nothing left to write about. I have to save some for another day, after all. I can’t send you in rapture all at once, I have to do it in little bits and pieces. I am going to visit my fellow bloggers, then I am going to clean up the kitchen and then I am going to play with Picnik and Paint Shop again. Oh, I can’t wait, I am going to cut and paste, oh how wondrous an
d miraculous!

Have a great day, people. Ciao…

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Yesterday morning, I watched an incredible movie called Sometimes in April. It is a long time ago since I have been that moved by a film and I was absolutely spellbound. It was about the genocide of the Hutus on the Tutsis in April of 1994. I don’t know what to say about it, except that I can’t get it out of my mind and that it was such a well done movie and so very well acted. For more information on it go here.

Yesterday evening I watched a movie called Crash and that was equally impressive. A very different movie, of course, but very riveting and also the kind of movie that had your complete attention as you watched it. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend hiring the DVD very much. For more information on this movie go here.

As you can see, the film channel is more than worth the price we pay for it every month, which I think is eighteen Euros and for that we get three film channels and many films worth watching.

I had my allergies kick in again yesterday and I can only think that it must have been something in the strawberry jam that did it. There is glucose syrup in it and I googled it and came to a food site that explained what all the different ingredients were in foods and what they were made of. Glucose syrup is usually made of corn and it is used as a sweetener in lots of store bought foods, so from now on we have to read the labels carefully. I had not eaten jam in a long time and I think that I am extra sensitive now after my bout with the tortilla chips. I threw away the jam and will now only eat the home made plum jam that we still have, which should only have plain sugar in it. A pretty complete corn product list is here.

I weigh 93.3 kilos this morning and that is not too bad at all. I was afraid that it was going to be more, but still, it is a kilo more that I would like to weigh, so I’ll be careful with the amount of food I eat for the next couple of days.

This week is turning out to be an absolutely non eventful week, but I think I don’t mind it too much, actually. I have no appointments, although I keep glancing at my calender to assure myself that I am not missing something crucial. But no, all the little squares are empty. Although this morning, I am meeting some English people. They are my sister’s sister in law and her husband and their kids. She is Dutch and he is English, but they live in England and are in the Netherlands for a holiday. For the sake of him, we will be speaking English and that won’t be a problem at all, of course.

It will be nice to speak English and I always notice how that changes the way I chose my subject matters also, as if in English I can talk about completely different things than I do in Dutch. I think I change into an American when I speak English and you know how Americans aren’t the least bit bashful and talk about anything at all. So it is with me and I feel free to broach any subject. I would do this less in Dutch, in which I am much more reserved and polite. Dutch people know more about the art of silence than Americans do. Sometimes it is very nice to be an American and to just put your foot in it. Other people think this is a disarming sort of charm and let you get away with it. In my case, Dutch people forgive me because they think I am being an American and Americans forgive me because they think I am being very Dutch. I get to be extra disarming and put my foot in it all the time.

That was the one added advantage about being a Dutch person in America. I could open my mouth and say what I thought, because people thought it was my Dutch charm speaking. I was not a downtrodden minority. As a matter of fact, Dutch people had quite a good reputation and we were and are well thought off. Of course, there were all the preconceived ideas about the Netherlands, such as tulips fields and wooden shoes and the red light district and socialism. We do have those things, after all, but mostly we were thought of as hardworking honest folks who were worthy of every body’s trust. A lot of people were proud to tell you that they had a Dutch ancestor.

What they didn’t understand was my attitude toward minorities and other religions and sex and other political systems and women’s emancipation. I really felt like I was taking huge steps backwards when I entered my ex husband’s family. Attitudes that I took for granted were things I had to defend when I came to the States. To me it was very normal to treat a black person as an equal, I had never learned to be prejudiced, but it hit me like a ton of bricks there, and because of my free attitude toward sex, everybody thought I must therefor be a very promiscuous person. People shuddered when they heard the word socialist and I was interrogated on this quite a bit by my ex husband’s grandparents, as if I was bringing dangerous ideas into the family. You must remember that I was only seventeen at the time and that I had not even been old enough to vote in my own country. I stood my ground, though, and never gave an inch.

But I did use the fact that I was a an outspoken foreigner, who was fluent in the language, and who could get away with making some statements about issues that I thought were worth my while and be forgiven for them. I had my Dutch charm to help me, which some people mistook for Scandinavian charm, because all of those countries are all so close together and all those people are blond and blue eyed. I was uncomfortable with the excessive playing of the national anthem and the excessive recitation of the pledge of allegiance and the adoration of the flag. One nation under God…that was a little overdone to me and I was uncomfortable with my kids having to say this every day.

There are fights you can pick though, and this wasn’t one of them. I never picked a fight in which my children were involved. I was so much aware of the fact that I should not single them out in a classroom full of ‘regular’ children. At home I taught them my ideas about how I thought the world was put together and I hoped that this would be good enough to arm them against any unreasonable noises they would hear from the outside. I think my daughter will testify to the fact that this worked.

I couldn’t vote, because I was not a citizen, so I tried to influence the people around me insidiously. I proclaimed my beliefs and insisted on my inalienable rights to do so. I would have taking this for granted had I lived anywhere else, but somehow this had to be pointed out in the States, where people would say: If you don’t like it here, just leave!

Looking back though, I see how a certain way of life, and how a certain way of thinking, seeps into you, without you realizing that it does and I lived a very average middle class sort of life, in which I was supposed to have all of those middle class values. It was very tough, because it was like fitting a square peg into a round hole. I didn’t quite fit. Now that I live here, I am much clear and more comfortable about exactly what I believe in and what I stand for and I am not so very much an unusual person in my thoughts and opinions. Being a socialist is no longer a swear word.

Ideas and concepts that I thought I had to defend tooth and nail in the States, are just run of the mill ideas and concepts now and nothing out of the ordinary. I would like for that to stay that way and I hope that our present government keeps that in mind, while it is being so very Christian and protecting us through it’s view of what our morals and values should be. It’s a shame that they ignored the voter’s voice and have not formed a coalition with the SP, which got a lot of votes in the last election and should be in the government having it’s voice heard and my morals and values represented. Any Dutc
h readers can go here.

Well, I could go on and on, but I am afraid of becoming too political and driving away my readers. Nevertheless, this blog is about everything and everything I will discuss. It is not just about losing weight and mood disorders. Do you wonder if my rant is a symptom of the mood disorder? Sure, a little manic shouting? Well, let me shout, for goodness sake. I have so much left to say.

It is getting to be that time of day again when I have to feed the cats and walk the dog. I can postpone it a little bit longer, because the dog has not come out of the bedroom yet. And of course, the minute I write that, all the cats and the dog show up. Almost makes you want to start believing in telepathy.

Okay, I’ve got to go. Have a great day people, ciao…

P.S. You see how I’ve learned to link to other web pages. It’s something I’ll be doing a lot from now on. There is always a lot to share, after all, and I didn’t know how to do it before.

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