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Posts Tagged ‘chapel’





Well, I have decided to mostly eat cup of soups and Melba toast and that I want to lose 5 kilos by the time my daughter gets here in December. I think I should be able to manage this, as I know that I can lose one kilo a week. It means no more raisin bread and no more potato salad and no more Maasdammer cheese. But, I will manage just fine without those things and I started out not eating them anyway when I first had my gastric band and I was losing a kilo a week. As it is now, I am maintaining my weight and not losing any, so I need to do something.

So, that’s an executive decision I made. Don’t you love the way I make them? Now watch me stick to it!

Yesterday turned into an alright day. At noon, I suddenly felt like going into town and, luckily, it didn’t take much persuasion to talk Eduard into going. We hopped on our bikes and rode them downtown where it was very busy because of All Souls and there were a lot of tourists in town. We stopped by the tourist information place first to say hi to my sister and she was very busy explaining things to people in various languages, which I find very admirable.

Then we walked to M&S Fashions and discovered that they had their winter coats on sale. Now, I have a winter coat that is made of leather and has a furry liner and it is very thick and perfect for when it is freezing, but mostly it is too warm to wear. I needed a coat that I could wear when the weather wasn’t that cold. After trying on some coats, I found the perfect one. It is dark blue and has a zipper and buttons and a hood and it is knee length. It is actually kind of classy and I look skinny in it. So, the decision was quickly made and Eduard bought the coat for me. I wore it out of the store and the jeans jacket I was wearing is going straight into the recycle bag and will never be worn by me again. Aren’t I lucky?

After that we went to Café Monopole to sit on their terrace to have a cup of coffee. It was very busy there, but we managed to find a table. The weather was decent enough to still sit outside and they also had electric heaters going under the big parasols, so it was very comfortable. The parasols are enormous and together form a complete cover over all the tables and chairs, so you are completely protected from all the elements. We ordered coffee and they came, as usual, with cookies and chocolates, so that was nice and satisfying. People where eating their lunches there and I was amazed at the huge amounts of food on their plates and couldn’t believe they would eat it all. Entire African villages could have been fed.

After having our coffee, we walked to the film house, where Eduard had to look something up and it was strange to be inside without anyone else being there. No films are shown on Saturday afternoons and it was very quiet in the building. Then we walked to the Hema, where I picked out a moisturizer and then we went to V&D where we critiqued their handbags and decided that I already had the best ones and that none of them there were as good. Which is kind of a relief, because now I don’t have to think about a handbag I don’t have, but secretly want.

Then it was home again and I said to Eduard, “No matter what anyone does, let’s not get mad at them.” So, whatever tourist wandered onto our path, we didn’t yell at them. We just went around them. Although it is very difficult not to yell, especially when they are being so obviously dumb and dangerous.

At five o’clock, I walked the dog and stopped by my sister’s house to show my niece my new coat and boots and all met with her approval, which is nice, because she does have good taste for fashion.

Then my sister came home and started moaning and groaning and complaining and scolding before she even had her jacket off and it was just not very nice to see and hear. Apparently she believes that nobody does anything right while she is gone to work and she acts like sort of a martyr because of it and I think her attitude is terrible and it really bothers me and I don’t know if I should say anything to her about it. My niece bore the brunt of it, when she alone was not responsible. I think if my sister can’t handle her household and her job, she should quit her job or else stop scolding and complaining. It’s not as if she needs the money and apparently she doesn’t have the time to go out and work and run her household properly at the same time.

Well, I have to think about what I am going to do about it. If I can do anything about it. It upsets me. Any input from you guys will be appreciated.

Anyway, I just took a few minutes to gather my thoughts and take a deep sigh. My sister doesn’t take any sort of criticism well from me at all, no matter how carefully I put it, so it is a real problem.

But all in all, you could say that yesterday my rating was up to a seven if not an eight. The only thing I didn’t do, was go to the chapel and I had thought about it, but then decided against it, because it was so very busy in town and I thought it must be in the chapel also, so I will go there some other time when it is a bit more quiet. In the meantime, I light candles at home by the pictures of the children.

That’s all my news for now. I get to walk the dog in my new boots and my new coat all the time now, which makes that kind of fun.

Have a great day. Today is Sunday, the day of rest! Don’t do too many unpleasant things, such as chores around the house. Ciao…

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I am working on my first cup of Senseo. I think I am awake, but don’t take my word for it. Oh, I think that first cup was decaf, well, no wonder! I’ve gone and made myself a regular now. It ought to start working any time now. They should mark the little pads too, so you know that you’ve put in the wrong one! I guess they don’t count on sleepy headed people grabbing pads out off the wrong bag early in the morning.

What a way to start the morning! All is well as long as I can have my coffee and cigarettes. I am so easy to please. I would make a model prisoner, as long as I got my coffee and cigarettes, but a bad hostage if I didn’t.

I had such a lovely day yesterday. It is so easy to have a good day when you fit well into your skin, as the saying goes here. After I finished writing my blog, I slept on the sofa for a while, under the yellow blanket, and that was very pleasant. Luckily, Jesker was in no hurry to be walked, as Eduard had let him out real late the night before. When I woke up, I was most definitely an eight and that was a very welcome rating. So, I got myself all ready and walked Jesker in the fog and then I hopped on my bike and rode it downtown to go to the chapel.

When I got to the chapel, it was very quiet there. There was only one other person inside and he left when I walked in. There were candles burning there, but not that many that there was not a good place to put the three I wanted to place there. It was very pretty inside. You don’t get to appreciate that when the place is brimming with tourists. The light of all those candles is beautiful and the statue of Mary with the little Jesus all dressed up is impressive. If you just sit there for a while and take it all in, you do get into the proper mood to pray. The walls and the floor are so old and the benches are so worn, yet everything is solid and permanent and you know that it will be there for centuries yet to come.

I said my most fervent prayer and just as I got done, someone else walked in, so it was not a disturbance. The tourists are always very noisy, but the regular people who come are quiet and respectful of the place. I know they pray to Mary directly and there is a prayer on the wall that you can recite to her. I always talk to God, as I haven’t learned to talk to Mary. I see her as sort of a representative of the Mother Goddess, or the female part of God, but I talk to God directly as I imagine Him to be somewhere in my head in an indescribable way. An entity that I can’t give a shape or a face to. Something large and powerful and all encompassing.

When I was done, I rode my bike to the film house and had an espresso with Eduard. I always take the large cup and saucer and have a double espresso with two cookies. That’s a real treat. Eduard picks out the best cookies for me, as they are wrapped in foil and you can’t see what’s inside. Through experience, Eduard knows which ones are the best.

Then I had to go home again to clean the apartment and do the dishes from the night before. The funny part was that, although the weatherman had predicted rain, there was none all day long yesterday. I was just a real autumn day, with fog in the morning and a tiny little bit of sunshine in the afternoon. That was fine with me, of course. The leaves are really falling of the trees and when I walk Jesker, he drags his long ears through them and he always comes home with bits of leaves stuck to them.

Eduard came home soon after me, because he had to work last night and he went and took a nap, because he had not slept well the night before. He had stayed up way too late, doing things a man his age ought not to be going that late at night. When he woke up, my eight rating suddenly dropped down to a four, it happened very quickly and it was pretty awful. I had a talk with Eduard and it very quickly became apparent why my rating had slipped so badly. I ended up feeling a lot of stress and taking an oxazepam, but in the evening my rating went up to a seven again and stayed there until this morning where it still is now. Eduard’s episode of nearly three weeks ago is not played out yet and there are some aftershocks and some debris to be taken care of. Three weeks is not that much time, after all.

When I was home alone last night, peace returned and I was able to have a simple evening surrounded by the animals. I watched a few dumb programs on TV and didn’t get too excited about any of them. I ate some of Eduard’s hutspot, which is mashed potatoes and carrots with milk and butter, and that was nice. I totally resisted his gravy, which was made of pork and, I thought, too sad for words. Eduard agrees that we should boycott pork, but he realizes that that means having to give up most of his luncheon meats, as they almost all have pork in them. It is easy for me, as I don’t eat meat at all. I think it is harder when you have to pick and choose.

I like the taste of meat, but I just think of the animals that went into making the meat and what they had to suffer for it. I wouldn’t mind so much if I knew they had had happy lives and were butchered in a humane manner. If that is possible. I would mind less then, I guess. I love bacon and ham and pork chops, I just won’t allow myself to eat it, because when I do, I think of where it comes from. It is easier for me to do without, than for a pig to have that sort of life.

Well, anyway, as has been pointed out, I have enough other things to worry about, but I really don’t when my head is clear and I am not ultra rapid cycling. If I can keep my life simple, I will rapid cycle less, that much is clear. I can’t avoid all the road blocks, but I can try and keep as many of them out of my way as possible. The problem is, that you can’t control other people. You think you can, but you really can’t when it comes down to it. Life is fraught with danger, really. I can’t prevent Eduard from falling in love with someone else, no matter how good of a wife I try to be. I can walk on my toes for the rest of my life and it still won’t make any difference.

So, I have to make sure that I wear enough protective armor. And you do that by becoming emotionally strong and resilient. I need a lot of practice there, as if I haven’t had enough. When it comes to love, I am not well equipped. Can anybody be?

Well, that is enough for today. For some reason, I am not getting around to reading the many blogs I want to read and leave comments on them. I find myself shutting off the computer and contemplating my navel in complete silence instead, which is nice too. I enjoy the quiet moments, because then it is quiet i
n my head too. Still, I am going to try and read some blogs now.

Have a terrific day you all. Ciao…

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Here I am very early in the morning again. I have had my cup of Senseo and now I am drinking regular coffee, which is fine too. Anything to get those braincells activated. I imagine the caffeine entering my system and my braincells going : Hallelujah, here we go!

I didn’t weigh myself this morning, because I thought that might be just a bit discouraging after I ate too much yesterday. I snacked throughout the day, but I think I may have snacked too much as I was trying to replenish the shortage of energy that I felt because of the shortage of sleep. So I had extra raisin crackers and an extra piece of Maasdammer cheese. Every time I woke up from having fallen asleep on the sofa, I was hungry and grabbed a bite to eat. I fell asleep on the sofa four times, so go figure.

I was trying to go to bed early last night, but every time I had installed myself in bed with my book and my glass of milk, the phone rang. First it was my friend Joost, whom I had not talked to for some time and who invited himself to come and stay with us for the weekend of the 18th. So, that will be nice and we will be able to get caught up with each other’s lives completely. Joost is so shy over the telephone, but in real life he is less so and we do manage to have long talks about things, including mental health, because he suffers from things himself, albeit that he too successfully takes medication.

The second phone call was from my friend Lucien who insists that we talk on the phone at least once a week, even when there is nothing new to talk about and who was a little peeved that I had not called her earlier in the week. Oops, I guess that makes me not such a good friend, because it had completely slipped my mind. I had not given it one thought, actually. I don’t remember to call people unless there is something special I want to talk with them about and there wasn’t anything special I wanted to talk about with Lucien. I forget that sometimes people just want to have a chat about nothing at all.

It is hard to have a good conversation with people when you are already in the going to bed mode and I kept my phone calls kind of short. Then I realized that I had forgotten to take my medicines, which was probably good, because my sleeping pills would have started to work while I was on the phone and I would not have been coherent.

I am reading a badly written Dutch book after I finished the one that I had discussed here earlier. The one I am reading now is supposed to be a thriller, but it is done kind of amateurishly. It doesn’t thrill me much. I am trying to decide if I want to finish it. I suppose it is okay to fall sleep with, but at the same time it seems to be such a waste of time and I could be reading a good book. I may just want to read Bergdorf Blondes, which is in English and should be more fun. I have to get my reading lists organized again and see what it is that I have not read yet, so Eduard can pick those books up from the library for me. I’ll just have him get me two books instead of four because I am reading so slowly.

I have to remember that the books that my sister gives me very often disappoint me and that the books that my daughter recommends to me always satisfy me. It’s a simple as that. You can’t account for people’s taste in books. What thrills one person, leaves another person totally bored. I know that books that I am very excited about, don’t move my sister at all. Whereas my daughter and I very much like the same things. Sometimes we each independently read the same books and we both have a catalogue of books at Library Thing so we can check what each of us has been reading. By the way, my fourteen year old niece is reading the new Harry Potter book in English and I think that is pretty good. Shows you how good her English is already.

As a result of my tiredness yesterday, we didn’t do anything special. We didn’t go anywhere on the motorcycle and we didn’t even go for a bike ride into town, although that is normally fun to do. I do like to sit on the café terrace on the square and watch the people go by. Not even the thought of a good cup of coffee and a piece of pie could tempt me to go.

As a result, I have not been to the chapel in some time, but the chapel seems to have lost some of its magic and I am much less preoccupied with the possible existence of a Higher Being and being in touch with it. I look back now on the days that I was more preoccupied with it all and wonder where the fervor came from. Apparently my spiritual need was greater at that time, or my believe in something magical was more alive. I think that whole period of time I was a much more emotional person than I am now. I feel that I am more pragmatic at this point, which is fine too, but I do miss some of the high points I felt then. I felt a bit of a fire burning inside of me that has been tempered now and I miss that.

Now, every day I have is a seven and I don’t even have to think about that before I give myself that rating. It just automatically is a seven. Never an eight or a nine, which I would really like to have again. I miss the slight hypo mania, the movie like quality of things, the techno colored quality of life. Things seem slightly dull now and so ordinary and everyday. There is definitely no symphony orchestra playing in the background now. It is impossible to artificially recreate this feeling. I can’t make it happen by myself. If I could, I would do it instantly. Turning on the Bright Light Energy Lamp doesn’t work, I’ve tried that. I do without it nowadays. I am saving it for when I really need it in the wintertime.

I am hoping to be slightly hypo manic again in the fall, but maybe you think that’s a strange thing to long for. If you had ever had the feeling, you would understand that longing. It’s the same sort of feeling you have when you first fall in love and everything is so happy and new and full of excitement. It’s a little bit like being on a safe drug, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand and turn into a true mania, but I have never had that. I wonder how many religious experiences in the past have been manifestations of mental illness? Euphoria of mania. We do all seem to have a built in religious longing. To want to believe in something bigger and more magical than ourselves. To be uplifted and become one with that.

Oh well, time will tell. There is no need to run ahead of myself. Keeping the depression at bay will be the real task. If I get through one year without one, then that will be the real success story. Then I’ll be glad to be rating myself with sevens automatically.

Right now I just need to get the sleeping part right again and to not wake up in the middle of the night, even though it is nice to sit here by myself and type this blog slowly while I drink my coffee and smoke my cigarettes. I can think about what I want to write about and really take my time. I would miss being able to do that. The dog wanders in to drink some water from his bowl and the cats wander about a bit before they curl up some place and go to sleep again. It is all very peaceful.

I think I have to tell Eduard to stop buying me the raisin crackers. I think I may be liking them too much, because they are a real treat that I find myself indulging in. It is the sweetness and the starchiness I like. I look forward to eating them too much and I don’t want there to be a food that I l
ook that much forward to, because inevitably I overdo it. Right, I’ve made that decision then. It will be back to boring old Melba toast.

When you make announcements like that inside your blog, you know that you will keep your promises because of your own honesty. It is hard to lie to yourself and your readers in your own blog. You could actually make up all sorts of stories, but you know you won’t, because the truth is already more than interesting enough. You don’t make any false promises. There is an unwritten code of honor, I suppose. Maybe there are pathological liars out there who spin a tale, but I have a tendency to believe everything I have read so far. They all seem to be normal, everyday people who talk about their normal, everyday lives. Some of them with a lot of humor.

Well, I am very much awake now, so I will go and read the news and become a good informed citizen of my democratic country. Have any of you ever read the Moscow Times? It is a real treat, especially the opinion page!

Must go, have a great day everyone. Ciao…

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When I make a pot of coffee in the morning, I make a cup of Senseo while I wait for it to get done. The Senseo gets done very quickly and it tastes delicious. I would wish for all my cups of coffee to be Senseo, but that would be too expensive, so I limit them to three or four cups a day. Just as special treats. I now have the regular and decaf pads for the machine, but I know they have some other special coffees for it, like Kenyan coffee, so I will try those also. This way I am going to become a bit of a coffee connoisseur. It can be a whole new hobby! I can try all the different cafés in town and see where the best cup of coffee is to be had, although usually they all have very decent coffee. Still it may be a fun thing to do.

Yesterday morning it rained, but in the afternoon things cleared up. Eduard and I had already decided not to go to the Carrefour, because of the traffic, so when Eduard sat behind the computer and I was being a bit bored, I said: Lets go into town! Eduard agreed and two minutes later we were unlocking our bikes. The ride into town is so easy for me now. I do it without giving it a thought. I go through the bicycle tunnel and up the old bridge as if I have always done it without any problems. My knees don’t protest too much.

It was busy in town with all the usual tourist walking mindlessly into the traffic. I yell at them when they do really stupid things. I told Eduard that I am just going to be a very verbal lady when I am on my bike. It’s unbelievable how dumb people can be!

Anyway, we parked our bikes by the bridge and walked into the downtown area. We went to M&S Fashions first to check their sales. Luckily, some things were marked down very much and we bought a wrap around dress with long sleeves to be worn in cold weather for seven Euros. You can wear this over a pair of leggings, which they were sold out of, so we walked to the Hema to see if they had any, but they didn’t. The woman at M&S Fashions had said they would get more leggings at a later date, so I will wait for them to get those.

While at the Hema, I bought some very good shower gel and a new tube of face wash. The shower gel is supposed to be good for people with sensitive skin and I know the face wash leaves my face feeling very soft, because I am already using it. I don’t spend huge amounts of money on stuff like this. I don’t think it is necessary to spend 25 Euros on a jar of moisturizer, for instance. I just find the stuff that works for me and the Hema usually has good products that they develop themselves and sell under their own name and that is good enough for me. I had a shower gel with sea minerals, but they were sold out of that one, so now I am trying this one that has a rice emulsion in it, and we will see if it leaves my skin soft. I have a tendency to have dry skin, so that is my main concern.

Then we wanted to have coffee and pie at our regular café, but because of all the tourists, there was not an empty table to be found and we walked down the sidewalk until we found an empty table at an other café. This one was called La Différence, which is funny, because all the cafés look alike at that point. We ordered coffee and their last two pieces of pie and watched the people walk by on the sidewalk.

It’s really interesting to sit and watch the tourists. A lot of them come from the west of the country and come to Limburg because Limburg is like a foreign country to them. We listen to them talk in their Western accents with their Western attitudes which are all over the place. They’re kind of like New Yorkers, very present. They’re mostly older couples who want to have a foreign experience, but not be too far away from home. The women all have big hairdos and the men drink their beers stoically. I should be an anthropologist, I love observing people.

We had very good coffee and very good pie. There were separate little glasses with whipped cream and an almond extract in it to put in the coffee which was good. At one point the sky became very dark and ominous looking and the wind kicked up and threatened to blow away everything that wasn’t attached. It looked like it was going to rain, but this passed after some time and the sun came out again.

When we were done, we walked to the chapel where it was very busy and where I just found one place to place a candle after pulling out one candle stub. I prayed the Our Father, but I am not very inspired lately. I don’t feel very much in touch with my Higher Being. This may be a temporary situation. I don’t know, I want to keep going to the chapel and keep the communication channels open and see what happens. I don’t feel that the Higher Being is doing much in my life right now, but maybe I am overlooking the obvious and missing some things that are good. That’s going to require some thought on my part. I must pay attention to the things that are going right and concentrate on them and not worry too much on the things that turn out differently than I had hoped. I mean in the lives of my loved ones.

When we rode our bikes home, we nearly had an accident because two women decided to cross the road just in front of us. It was very strange. They looked right at us and then stepped right off the sidewalk. I was so surprised, that I could only yell at them in English. I couldn’t think of the Dutch word for pedestrian crossing. People must think that you are just going to hit the brakes and wait for them while they go their merry mindless way.

When we got home, the dog was being his usual cuddly self and I had to pet him for quite awhile. I don’t mind doing this bonding with him, as I think it is a good thing to do for him as well as for me. It is very relaxing and makes us both feel good. It is like coming home and having your child be happy that you are there again. It makes you feel loved.

It was too hot to try on my new purchase, so I just hung that in the closet for another day. I did change my clothes, as it had become hot and muggy again. Nowadays, it is hard to figure out what to put on in the morning. Usually, I have to change my clothes half way through the day.

This morning it is raining and it is supposed to rain all day. Well, it is good for the garden. I should say, it is good for the trees, because there isn’t much in the garden yet.

I’ve got an appointment to do the profile test on the 13th of August. I am curious about what kind of a test this really is. What kind of competencies it is going to measure. I suppose some of it will be like an I.Q. test. Maybe a bit of an aptitude test. I am not worried, as I think I will do fine. I do believe in my own competencies well enough. I just think that it is a shame that they don’t look at the tests that I have al
ready done and draw their conclusions from those. I guess that is bureaucracy for you. I have looked at the address where I have to go for the test and I think it is somewhere in the industrial park, so I have to make sure to look up the directions before I go, otherwise I will get hopelessly lost.

That’s how I got my first job ever. I was looking for the place that had placed an advertisement for an administrative assistant. It was in the industrial park and I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, instead, I went to Honeywell which was a big company even then in our town, and where my cousin had recently found a job. I just walked in and said that I was looking for a job and they sent me to the head of Personnel who interviewed me right away for a job that had just come up, but had not been advertised yet. I made such a good impression that I was hired almost immediately and I started working there a few days later. My mother was beside herself with pride and practically stopped people on the road to tell them about it.

It was nice to be earning my own money. I saved some of it, spent some of it and gave some of it to my parents for room and board. That was quite usual in those days. I don’t know how things are now, but then it was normal that you paid your own way. I was very frugal and really made my money last. I bought a new article of clothing once a month and saved up my money to buy stereo equipment. I did love listening to music, classical mostly. My father decorated my room very nicely and my mother had a hot meal on the table every night. I didn’t go out much, as I did most of my socializing at work and that was good enough for me. I had my friends and visited with them. They all had jobs and we were all saving our money. Once in a while I went out on a date, but there was never anything serious. Eduard had gone to university and I didn’t see much of him anymore. Our relationship sort of petered out.

I really enjoyed my job. It was a pleasant place to work and my colleagues were nice people. There was a lot of laughter there. We only really got uptight when the president of the company came to the department to have a talk with somebody. Luckily, that didn’t happen too often, but he did intimidate me quite a bit. He was that kind of man. Of course, I was awfully young and easily intimidated by a man of power. Everybody else in the company was my friend. I was naive enough not to realize when somebody developed a crush on me. I didn’t find out about that until much later. I thought everybody was just really friendly. I would love to find that kind of a job again.

I am waiting for it to stop raining so I can take the dog for his walk. He has been out here already to be petted, but has gone back to the bedroom to sleep some more. Eduard is sleeping late, because he worked the late shift last night. He won’t be up for another hour at least.

Last night, I talked to my daughter and even though she is having a heck of a time finding a job, she does keep her spirits up. Having a law degree doesn’t guarantee anything. She has been contacted by a head hunter, so maybe something will happen there. Her ex wants to move to Northern California and wants Nick to go with him to keep their son close by and she may go. It is where she comes from, after all, and if she can find a good job there, it may just work out. We’ll see. Personally, I would like it if she lived in California, but that is just selfishly thinking. It is my old stomping ground and I feel very much at home in Northern California. I would love to see San Francisco again and Sonoma County. So, I guess I am not the right person to ask if she should do this, because I would say yes right away.

Well, I think I will read the news until the weather clears. Feed the cats if they are around. They shouldn’t be too far away with this kind of rain.

Have a great day everyone. Ciao…

P.S. No, I didn’t go on the scales this morning and I won’t for a while because I expect the worst. First I need to go back to eating little amounts of food and then I will weigh myself again.

I had claimed that the tortilla chips hadn’t caused me to have an allergic reaction, but since the last time I ate them,which was yesterday and the day before, my left ear is in bad shape. Fluid is leaking from it and it is itching quite badly inside and out. Big patches of skin are peeling from my ear and it is getting all kind of raw looking, so I think I will not eat the tortilla chips anymore. It was an experiment that proved the point. My head is also itching quite a lot, so today it is back to the lotion and the ointment. That can’t be a coincidence, can it?

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This morning I weigh 93.5 kilos. That’s more like it! I can say I have lost 32 kilos now, more or less. Yesterday I ate one cookie, one chocolate and the rest of the day I snacked on Melba toast and cheese. Finding out I can eat more certainly has made me want to eat more. I eat the extra bit of cheese now, because I know I can. I really have to watch it.

This morning I didn’t wake up until 6:30. I enjoy sleeping late. When I wake up, I really feel like I have had enough sleep, like I did yesterday. But I still managed to fall asleep on the sofa anyway.

In the morning I walked the dog and fed the cats and cleaned up the kitchen. I always clean up the kitchen in the morning, because I am too lazy to do it the evening before. I only wash the dishes once a day. But it is a nice routine in the morning, a good way to start the day and I clean the cat and dog dishes at the same time.

After I had gotten properly dressed and made up, Eduard asked me if I wanted to go to the library with him and I said yes, because I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to also go to the chapel and to go have a coffee. Eduard misunderstood me at first and thought I wanted to have coffee at the café in the library, but that would have been too boring to me. I meant Café Monopole downtown, of course. So, after we got that straightened out, off we went to the library. There is a little sitting area on the floor where the novels are and you can sit and listen to a spoken novel with headphones, so I sat and did that while Eduard searched for books. Soon enough, he was done and we checked out his books, which you can also do yourself at the ‘do it yourself counter’, so that makes everything very easy. Then we rode our bikes across Square ’92 to the elevator of the pedestrian/bike bridge. The square is named after the year of the Maastricht treaty.

When we got to the Our Dear Lady Basilica, it was very busy there. There were a lot of tourists there as usual and let me tell you here, the most dangerous people in traffic are pedestrians, especially tourists. Without any regard, they walk into the road, regardless of traffic. It is like they have suicidal tendencies. They don’t look left or right or up or down, they just walk straight ahead with no worries or cares about any other traffic at all. I always end up shouting at them: Sure, go ahead, lay down under my bicycle, no problem!

In the chapel I prayed the Our Father, and after that I said, Hi God, it is me, Irene, are you taking good care of my daughter and my grandson? Just checking, really, if he is paying attention. I haven’t addressed my Higher Being directly for a while now and I thought I would give it a try. I guess I feel secure enough to be able to do that now. You can feel it in your bones if the timing is right.

After that, Eduard and I rode our bikes to Café Monopole, all the while avoiding those dangerous pedestrians. We managed to find an empty table on the terrace and ordered coffee and a piece of strawberry pie. The coffee came with a cookie and a chocolate this time and that is one reason why I like to go there, because they aren’t skimpy with their sweets. I had four bites of the pie and it was delicious. The strawberries were freshly glazed, so they tasted very good.

Eduard was very sweet and went to M&S Fashions with me and we looked at the sales rack. M&S Fashions constantly has items on sale. As soon as they have a new collection in, they put the old stuff on sale. This time I found a wrap around tunic at 70% off, so that was a real steal. It has long sleeves, so I will be able to wear it for a while yet, and I bought a little tank top to go with it with little beads along the top of it. Very cute! You must all realize by now that I am clothes crazy, especially when I can get stuff marked down so much. I cleaned out my closet to make room for all of my new clothes and all of the old clothes, that are to big on me now, can go to the recycle store. I’ve got all of my stuff on hangers, so they are easy to find.

I walked Jesker in my new clothes and, because the weather was so beautiful, we hung out on the field for a while. The grass was dry, so I could sit down, and Jesker especially likes this, because, after a while, he lies down beside me and together we watch the people and other dogs go by. The clouds were beautiful, huge, white, cottony looking heaps of whipped cream in the sky. That’s the best about the end of the rainy time, the clouds are great. Whenever Jesker sees a dog, he waits for that dog to be gone and then goes to sniff all the places that dog has been. I guess he finds out a lot about that dog that way.

In the afternoon I sort of watched a movie. The Interpreter with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. I fell asleep halfway through and didn’t wake up until the end of it. Still, I saw enough of it to get what it was all about. Then I was supposed to watch The March of the Penguins, but I realized too late that I was on the wrong film channel and that I had missed most of it, so I’ll have to watch that the next time it is on. It’s supposed to be a very good documentary about penguins and Eduard showed it at the film house with a lot of success.

I realize that I write this blog with an audience in mind and that makes it hard sometimes, as my audience is so diverse and I keep picturing different people when I write it. So now I have decided to write this as a diary for myself, keeping the audience out of mind mostly and maybe that will make it a bit easier to write. If I just write it for myself, as a reminder of my days, maybe that will loosen up my thoughts a bit and make it less artificial. I will just write as I think of stuff, as it comes to me.

Yesterday I did two loads of laundry and dried them both outside on the new washing lines. The laundry dries in no time at all and it smells so good! I love hanging the laundry up to dry and taking it in again. It makes it much more fun to do laundry. I have another load to do today and I look forward to doing it. Silly me for having such fun doing that. It is a good sign however. When I enjoy doing laundry, things are going well with me.

Last night was a perfectly lazy night. I went to bed at 9:30 after spending some time watching silly programs on TV. There wasn’t that much on worth watching. Saturday night never is a good night for watching TV, they figure most people are out that night doing more interesting things. They don’t think about us old fogeys, staying at home, being boring. I suppose I would be more fun if Eduard and I were real drinkers and we enjoyed going to a pub regularly. There are people who have their special pub to go to, but we have never gotten into that habit. Let’s face it, it is better if I stay off alcohol completely, the stuff doesn’t do me much good. I am a lousy drinker and get sentimental too soon and too down. The last screwdriver I had made me realize that. That’s when out neighbors were here and I felt compelled to tell the story of my parents. Bad move!

I think about my parents every day. Not constantly, but they pop into my thoughts regularly. I am always reminding myself how I feel about them and how that affects the way I think about a lot of things now. I know that there is behavior in me that comes straight from my mother and some of the least likable things I have to keep an eye on and make sure they don’t pop up too much. I also know that I recognize some of my father’s most likable trades in Eduard. That, for instance,
is the very caring and kind side of him. Also the very comical part of him. So you do subconsciously choose the parts of your parent in your partner. I have my mother’s intelligence, but that can be a drawback too, in thinking that I know everything, when in fact I don’t. My mother always thought she had great psychological insight, when in fact she didn’t. So I have to make sure that I don’t make the same mistake. I think I have my kindness from my father. I can be a bit of a pushover, though. But I definitely see things of my father in Eduard and I am happy about that, because they are lovable things and I am glad to be reminded of these things of my father. There are many grey areas when it comes to my parents, it isn’t very simple all in black and white. There are no good guys and bad guys. There is responsibility and lack thereof. There is weakness of character and lack of understanding and lack of guidance. Everybody s a victim.

Now the cats are starting to become very noisy. They want to be fed, but Jesker is still asleep in the bedroom. He was out here once, but has gone back to sleep some more. He saw that I wasn’t ready yet. It is so late already! That is one drawback of sleeping late, you get started later with everything too. Well, it doesn’t really matter. I am a master of my own time, after all.

I want to say, well, dear diary, that was it for today, but I’ll say, well, dear audience, have a terrific day. Ciao…

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Today I weigh the same as yesterday, 93.8 kilos, so that is fine, especially after I ate my fill of good things. I had a small glass of juice, a piece of cheese, a piece of fresh glazed fruit pie, another piece of cheese, a three egg omelet, another piece of cheese, some Melba toast and a tall glass of milk. What a boring thing it is to recite the list of foods that I eat every day! I do it to remind myself what I have eaten and how bad or good it has been and how this relates to how much weight I have lost if any. It is strictly administrative and doesn’t make for very exciting reading, I realize that. So most of you can just skip this part and move on to the more exciting parts of my thrilling daily life as I describe it here!

In the morning, while I was sitting behind the computer reading the news and postponing the other things I had to do, Lucien called and asked if I could meet her in town that morning after all instead of Friday. I said, sure I could, and then proceeded to get ready for that. After I got all dolled up and looked smashing, I walked to the bus stop, all the while thinking that I really wasn’t in the mood for going to town and why hadn’t I said so? I know I had agreed to go, because I was hoping that going to town would actually cheer me up some, but I knew it wouldn’t, because once I have a dip there isn’t much that is going to cheer me up. I decided to make the best of it and to act cheerful and attentive even though I didn’t feel it.

Anyway, I caught an early bus and when I got to town, I had time left to go see Eduard at his work, so I went there to have a cup of coffee with him. I got some nice compliments about how I looked from his co workers and that was well received, of course. Eduard took the time to have a cup of coffee with me and we talked a little bit to one of the women who is a secretary there. She is a real funny person and we made an appointment to visit with her at her place next week.

Then it was time for me to go meet Lucien and I walked to the SNS bank where she was waiting for me and we walked around a bit on the open air market, but then decided that there wasn’t that much to be had there and headed into the downtown area instead. We shopped at several stores and Lucien found a pair of jeans that fit and a top to go with it. In the meantime I kept talking cheerfully, even though I did notice that she wasn’t at her peak either. We had coffee and pie at the restaurant at V&D and that was very nice as the pie was delicious and it gave us a chance to sit down and talk. I still didn’t mention that I was in a dip, even though I easily could have, so we talked about cows and calves instead, as they say in the Netherlands. That means we chatted about this and that.

We then decided to go to one more store, where I found a pair of 3/4 length white cotton pants on sale and a top to go with it on sale also. The store was Miss Etam and they have a section for the larger sizes. Luckily they had a lot of things on sale, because they are a bit more expensive than M&S Fashions. But their stuff is nice and what I bought is very good looking. It is a green and white striped tunic with a tie on the side and a v-neck with short sleeves. It makes me look skinnier.

We went our separate ways after that, Lucien went to catch her bus and I went to the chapel. In the meantime it was pouring rain, but I did have my umbrella with me. in the chapel it was very busy, so I lighted a candle and stood and prayed, but I got soaked walking to the bus stop. When I got there, it stopped raining and when I had waited for a while, Eduard came by on his bike and I hitched a ride with him. The poor guy really had to peddle then! He made it up the bridge with me on the back and through the bike tunnel also. He must have very strong legs and have an enormous amount of lung power.

Once I got home, I said to Eduard, You know what is really wrong here? I am in a dip and I have not been willing to admit it and that is the worst thing I can do. The best thing you can do when you are in a dip is own up to it and stop forcing yourself as if nothing is wrong and you keep on trying to be cheerful as if nothing is wrong with you. I realized that I had woken up in a dip in the morning and that it had only gotten worse as the day progressed and that I had not been feeling well at all during my outing with Lucien downtown. I was trying to be cheerful and attentive and interesting, but I was really forcing myself and it was just not the right way to go about it. I was letting myself down and Lucien at the same time.

So, once I realized that, I called Lucien and explained the situation to her and she said that she had been about to call me to tell me the same thing about herself, and that she had felt that she had been bad company that morning. So we talked for a while about being honest with each other and always being able to do that and not worrying about being rejected for it. I could tell that morning that Lucien was not feeling all that great, and she must have felt it about me too. It would have been easier if we had both just come out and said so from the start.

So, the rest of the day, I allowed myself to be in a dip and I tried not to worry about it after that. If I am not performing up to par, I am not going to lie awake worrying about it. I am just going to accept it and let it be. There is very little I can do about it anyway. If I fight it and pretend it isn’t there, it only makes it worse. The thing to do is, accept it and roll with the punches. I’ll lie low for a few days and see where the ship runs ashore.

This also explains my less than inspired post for today. I feel like I am just uninspiredly reciting a bunch of things and that I was doing the same thing yesterday and that is why I am going to stop writing now. Enough said already!

Have a good day, people. Don’t let the rain get you down, if you are having that too. Ciao…

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This morning I weigh 93.8 kilos, just one ounce more than yesterday. I won’t worry about that, but I will be careful about what I eat today. This is what I had yesterday: one small glass of juice, one piece of Maasdammer cheese, one pastry, some Melba toast, a big helping of pasta, some more Melba toast and one tall glass of cold milk. I think I overdid it just a wee bit, just about an ounce too much.

There is not much to report about yesterday. Eduard and I had our usual lazy Sunday morning. After I walked the dog and took my medicines, I went back to bed with a cup of coffee and woke Eduard out of his deep slumber. He had been awake once before and had already put on his special cologne, so he smelled very nice already. I do love the smell of Hugo Boss on a man. I push my face into his beard and have a good sniff! Sunday morning has become such a ritual, that the cats have all resigned themselves to sharing the bed with us. They either stay put or go find some other place to take their morning nap. Jesker just sighs very deeply and goes to sleep on his pillow beside the bed. It is nice that we don’t have any children running around the place and that we can take our time. Spending quality time together is a big thing at our age!

When we do finally get up, it is almost noontime and we still have to eat breakfast. Eduard always boils eggs on Sunday mornings and sometimes I have one too, but mostly I don’t, because I eat so many eggs during the week. I don’t know if I still have to watch my cholesterol, but just to be on the safe side…

At noontime I walked the dog and stopped by my sister’s. She had a friend over with her three kids and I had not seen this friend for some time and, of course, she was impressed with the way I looked. I guess it really does make a difference with how I used to look some time ago. I am getting used to how I look now, all dressed up and decorated, but I am sure there is quite a difference. All of my sister’s friends are skinny and well dressed, as is my sister. I always felt like a blimp around them and I sure don’t feel that way anymore now. I did have an enormous inferiority complex about my body that I tried not to let bother me, but it can’t be helped. When you’re fat, that’s just the way it is.

After my sister’s friend left, we sat outside on the patio for some time with an espresso and my niece was there too, counting herself among the grown ups now and participating in the conversation. So we discussed vacations and countries to go to amongst other things. They are going to Italy in July, first to Tuscany and then to the Garda lake where they will be sailing and canoeing.

My sister and the kids took sailing lessons on their vacation last year, so they are going to put this into practice now. I have only been sailing once in a tiny little sailboat and I managed to capsize in it and that was quite hilarious, so I suppose I better take some lessons first too. I was picked up by a passing boat and the tiny little sailboat was pulled upright without any problems, but that is as far as my experience has gone. I would like to go sailing in a bigger boat one day and really go fast in the wind.

When I got home, Eduard was watching the Formula 1 race and, because there was nothing else to do, I started watching it too. It can’t be helped, it is sort of hypnotizing watching the cars circle around the track. Luckily I was saved from this after a while by a phone call from Lucien, who had to move up the date that we are meeting downtown by two days. She said that she had been a bit hypo manic the past week and I said, Great, did you have a good time? But she said that she didn’t really and that is mostly had just worried her, which is really a shame, because when you are hypo manic it is supposed to be fun in the first place. I know that I enjoyed it very much the last time I was and I see no point in being it unless you have some good times. It really can’t be helped, can it? So I wonder if she was truly hypo manic or if she was maybe just very anxious for a while. I guess not being her psychiatrist, I’ll never know. I know that when I am hypo manic the overall feeling is one of happiness and I don’t feel very worried about that.

Anyway, we made a date to meet on Friday when there is the open air market and Lucien wants to buy a new pair of jeans and a new purse and I suppose I will look some more for a jacket. Maybe I’ll find one at the market, they do sell all sorts of things there. Sometimes you can find some great stuff there, although you have to be careful because they do cater to a certain kind of public. Some of the things can be a bit tacky. But a jeans jacket is the same no matter where you buy it, so I hope I find one.

For dinner I made a vegetarian pasta sauce from scratch. I was trying to sort of duplicate the sauce that my sister had fixed, but I didn’t have the recipe. I do know that Eduard likes lots of garlic and onions, so I started with those and then added tomatoes and zucchini and basil and oregano and let that simmer for a while. It turned out very well and Eduard enjoyed it. He likes pasta or rice with any sort of sauce. I think those are his favorite kinds of food to eat. I’ll fix any kind of food, as long as it doesn’t have meat in it and without meat, you quickly end up making some sort of sauce with all sorts of vegetables in it.

I really hope that I turn out not to be allergic to fish, because we could eat that more often. Not just the salmon on Friday’s, but all sorts of fish during the week. It is so easy to fix, after all. I like cod and mackerel, for instance. Or trout. Although mackerel has a lot of bones in it. On the market they mostly sell sea fish and some fish is hard to come by nowadays because of overfishing. There are the talapia filet’s that are very popular now, but I don’t care much for those. They taste kind of fishy and sandy. Or maybe I had a bad batch of them. When I was a kid, we ate a lot of plaice, that was a fish that was good for deep frying.

Anyway, in the evening, Eduard had to go to work. Which left me with the TV under my complete control, which was a dubious pleasure, because at first there was not that much interesting on. There was a program on about Dutch rappers and I really tried watching it with an open mind, but I suppose I am of the wrong generation and of the wrong language, because I just don’t like it. I appreciate the deeper message, but find it hard to understand it under all the obscenities which rap generally is filled with. I suppose within a certain kind of group of people this is acceptable language and the message is understood, but I think for the larger public it defeats the purpose. I guess I won’t be listening to any Dutch rap, regardless of what it tries to tell me.

Then the first episode of the news series ‘Lewis’ came on and that was more my kind of thing. I thought it was very well done and I thought the Lewis character had substance and presence. He can carry the show and his sergeant was the right choice also. Just a little bit more scholarly than Lewis and good for all sorts of more obscure information that turned out to be helpful. I think the Lewis character is very sympathetic and you just have very positive feelings watching him in action. You want him to do well without Morse and you want him to shine without Morse. And he does. Leave it to the BBC to produce a good show, they never fail.

That left me going to bed at ten o’clock and ready I was too. I barely drank my glass of milk before I was asleep. That Temazepam is wonderful stuff, but I think even without it, I would have been ready to go to sleep immediately. Going to sleep at ten o’clock is late for me, after all.

A number of times a day, I recite, in my head, the Our father, or the Lord’s Prayer as it is also known. I do it to keep remembering the words, so I don’t forget them, but I suppose I am like a person with a rosary who keeps repeating the same prayer at every bead. I find some amount of satisfaction every time I recite it without making a mistake. I don’t know exactly why this is so and why I don’t learn to say it in Dutch, except that for God it probably doesn’t matter in which language I recite it. It is a bit like saying a magic formula. If you keep getting it right, something good will happen. Or nothing bad will happen. See, my magical thinking again. I have to stop that.

I am reciting the version of the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer. That is the one I learned a long time ago and that is the one that stuck in my head. I don’t remember why and how I learned it. It may be something I just picked up from watching TV. I do find some amount of comfort in it, because it is a formula and because I do have to recite it and not sit there and make up my own way and wishes to address God. I feel like I am not specifically demanding anything and that I am not having to struggle with the image of God. When I recite that prayer, I just concentrate on the words and what they mean and getting them right. There are no other thoughts in my head at that time. I think it is a very helpful thing to start this relationship with my Higher Being off with from the beginning again. I suppose it would be the same with reciting any bit of sacred religious text. That you would find some amount of satisfaction in getting the words right and stating the precision of the formula. There must be a reason, after all, why specific bits of text like this exist to comfort and ease the way to God.

I am glad that I am going to the chapel again, but I am also glad that I am not sitting there desperately asking for good things to come my way. I felt it was too humbling an attitude on my part and I don’t think it was the right way to go about it. I don’t think God wants me to be all humbled and unequal if I am created in his image. And no, I don’t think He created the world and the universe in seven days. I do believe in the theory of evolution. Somehow I do think that all can fit together somehow. It’s just a mystery that I haven’t figured out and never will. And yes, under other circumstances I could be a Buddhist or an animist or whatever. Whatever circumstances I was born under. Like I said before, I borrow from the religion that is the closest at hand and that I know the best and incorporate it into the one that I try to create for myself. It is just starting to look like a more traditional religion now. That’s because I am going back to the basics and I am borrowing the basics. Hopefully I will be able to elaborate on it later on. Let me stick to the beginning for a while first. No hasty moves!

Today I am seeing my GP about the results of the allergy tests and to ask him about allergy drops for my eyes and allergy pills to take every day. I think whatever inflammation I had in my eyes is gone, but they still burn a bit, especially when it is a windy dry day like it was yesterday. You should have seen the clouds in the blue sky. They looked like they came straight of a 17th century landscape painting, they were so beautiful. They were stacked up in the sky like mountains, all round and rolling and white and huge. And it was warm too, I hung the laundry outside to dry and it took only a few hours.

Well, now I have run out of words again. I have just poured myself another cup of coffee and I think I will read the news for a bit. Jesker is still asleep and there are no cats yet. They will all show up now for having written that.

Have a great day you all, ciao…

P.S. The pastry came from my sister and was called a Bossche Bol. It is a chocolate covered pastry that is filled with fresh whipped cream. She gave it to me to take home to Eduard, but he didn’t want it, so I ate it instead. It was very messy to eat and my cheeks and fingers were covered with chocolate. It was very good, but it was so airy that it was gone in a few bites. I do so love chocolate. I could eat a whole box of it. Oh no, I can’t, that’s right, I forgot!

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