Posts Tagged ‘glasses’

Night session.

It’s in the middle of the night and I shouldn’t be up yet, but I am, and I have to try and wile away the hours until it is morning or until I have reason to go to sleep again. So far, I find myself wide awake and counting the minutes and the clock ticks very slowly when you do.

It used to be, that I was always in a good mood when I woke up in the middle of the night, but this past week, I have been negative and insecure and I am trying to not let that get to me and put some bravuras on anyway and stay optimistic and write a positively tinted post. If I can’t be positive and secure, I can at least act like I am.

I have decided not to have any music on the blog at all. I think it will make for a more tranquil experience and I think most of you don’t need to hear a lot of loud rock while you read these attempts on my part at writing something coherent. It would be difficult to do both, get irritated at the music and read the post at the same time and believe me, what I had picked out is not peaceful music to read a post by. So, out the window with that brilliant idea.

I am also not going to do a slide show of my art work and I will not be posting all the awards I got on my old blog in the side bar. I am going to try and keep the site as uncluttered as possible and not put anything in that is not necessary or especially useful. It was very nice getting all those awards, but I have them stored in a folder in my images file and I can always get to them if for some reason I need to. Vanity, all is vanity.

I think that maybe I felt more secure with all that clutter around me on my old blog. At least it kept everybody occupied and it distracted from the writing itself some. With all those awards around, the proof was in the pudding, wasn’t it? There was the music to keep your mind busy and the slide show to side track you and all the good causes and the adds. Now I am out there quite naked all by myself, with the wish to cover up a bit, but the sense not to.

Let me tell you something. it is difficult to write down your thoughts as they occur to you. You have to censor yourself as you remember what is okay to discuss publicly and what isn’t. Blogging is a very intimate act and you forget all those thousands of people who also come by and have a look. It helps if you aren’t easily embarrassed and if you feel at ease contemplating many subjects, but there are times when I have to hit the brakes and stop myself from writing things down here that just are not discussable on an open platform. You thought my life was an open book, didn’t you? Well, not quite. There are things I don’t disclose.

I have just had a tall glass of nonfat strawberry yogurt and it has quite perked me up. Now what I need is a nice mug of coffee. No, I never drink tea, I like it, but I always dislike the way it is too hot to drink and having to wait for it to cool down. That’s because I don’t take any milk in it and I do in my coffee. Low fat milk, no sugar.

I had to start wearing my eye glasses again. I noticed that, in spite of my reading glasses, I was having a hard time distinguishing a bunch of letters from each other when I sat behind the computer. They all started to look alike. Yesterday I noticed that my far away sight was worse when I walked Jesker. When I got home, I found my glasses and put them on and right away things were better and they are better behind the computer too.

I hadn’t consciously noticed that my eyes had gotten worse, but now I remember them being this way for a while already. Luckily, the glasses correct the problem exactly, only Eduard isn’t sure if he likes me as much with them on. I had to comb my hair a bit differently in order for him to be happy with them. Men! Wouldn’t you just love and adore this face with or without glasses? Ahum…

Bev was worried about me deleting my old blog, because all that writing would be lost, but it isn’t going to be lost at all. I forgot that I took it all with me over here, so I can just delete that old blog when I am ready for it. I just want to make sure that everybody who wants to, has made the move with me and I am hoping to drop some unwanted baggage along the way. That’s why I don’t want to wait too long with deleting my old blog. I check on things every day.

Okay, the image above was made from a digital collage made by John Mora. Here is the original:

That about does it for me for now. I have somehow managed to get through a large portion of the night. I dawdled a bit and drowsed a bit, but now it is almost 4 AM, so that’s not bad. Why, it’s been a genuine pleasure sittin’ here typin’ these here words.

Have a good Sunday, everyone. Aren’t you glad that today is a day of rest? I am, less can go wrong.



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Goodness, I slept until 5 am this morning. Will wonders never cease? What a wonderful thing to happen.

I haven’t worn my glasses in over three weeks. I stopped wearing them out of vanity and then realized that I didn’t need them anymore. My eyes no longer hurt and water and I can see just fine. I can sit behind the computer without them and I have no problems and I can also watch TV without them.

I know why this is. It is because my thyroid medication was lowered by a quart and the dosage is now right. I was taking too much thyroid medication before and it was making my eyes go bad. This is a common problem that my GP should have figured out, but he didn’t. I had to tell him to lower the medication myself and he didn’t want to lower it that much at first at all. I had to ask for the new dosage myself. I think it is a major blunder on the part of my GP and I will tell him so the next time I see him. Well, I will try and be diplomatic about it, but still.

I am just happy that the problem is over and that I found out what caused it and what to do about it. I like myself better without the glasses and I am glad that I don’t have to wear them anymore. My sight for close up has gotten a little better also, I still need reading glasses, just not as strong as before.

When reading the book about mood disorders, I do all the exercises and make copious notes. Last night I let Eduard read some of these notes and that led to a long discussion on how we can best cope with things all around and I was reminded again how I am married to the right person. Eduard is so smart and has so much understanding and so very quickly sees what we need to do in all the different situations. We really got our heads straight about a bunch of things and we are learning how to cope together with the different moods and the different situations they bring about.

I realize that I have to talk more about what happens inside me and that I have to share my inner feelings more and that it is perfectly okay to do that with Eduard as he is very perceptive. I have a tendency to keep thing inside and to try and figure things out on my own, when it isn’t at all necessary that I do this. Eduard is perfectly capable of listening to me and helping me come up with solutions. We straightened a lot of things out last night.

So, the book is turning out to be very helpful in more ways than one and it is a good thing that I got it. I am learning a lot from it and in the process of that, so is Eduard.

The weather is really turning cold now and I am wearing three layers of clothing. I wear a long sleeve top and a sweater on top of that and over that I wear the button down sweater that I got from my sister. That’s how I was dressed when I went to see my SPN yesterday.

I was able to share a lot with her. I could tell her about my insecurities and about my moods and in the process, huge sighs escaped from me and I felt like a load of weight moved off my chest. I didn’t realize how much pressure I was under all this time. We talked very intensely and it did me a lot of good. She is going to inform about creative therapy for me to do at the psychiatric hospital. In spite if her relative young age, she knows a lot.

I don’t actually have that much to share today. My mood is okay, I am about at a six. It’s not that high, but not that low that I feel that I can’t cope. It is alright. It is a familiar mood. I have felt this way often and I am not intimidated by it. It may go down more, but I am not spiraling down rapidly.

Right, this is a short post, but that is all I have to tell you today. I am not actually in the mood for a major post. Maybe it is because I got up so late and I feel that I am running out of time and I have to walk the dog soon and fee the cats and I still want to read some blogs.

Have a terrific day, ciao…

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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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This morning I weigh 92.7 kilos, even though I ate very little yesterday. I basically lived on raisin crackers and cheese and wasn’t in the mood much for eating. I forgot to eat on time and had to remind my self to grab something quickly when I did get hungry.

Yesterday morning, after I wrote my post and walked the dog, I decided to start reading my older posts, so I started to read in the month July and I completely got hooked doing that. After I finished reading July, I cleaned up the kitchen, but then I decided to read June as well. It made for fascinating reading and before I knew it, it was time to walk the dog again and after I did that, Eduard came home again to watch the Tour de France. I felt sort of guilty for having sat there all morning having done nothing much but read my blog, but he didn’t seem to notice that I really should have vacuumed. I stopped reading June and Eduard took his turn behind the computer while he waited for the Tour to get started. I made myself a cup of Senseo and watched some of the preliminaries of the Tour and the big to do about Rasmussen having been kicked of the Rabo Bank Team.

Then I had a brilliant idea and asked Eduard if he would take some more photographs of me by natural light to see if these would turn out better. So he did that and I put on my best face and tried to smile becomingly. We took pictures of me with and without glasses and maybe one of them will turn out right and be posted on this blog. We also took some pictures of Jesker and we still have to take pictures of Toby to be posted here also. I also took some pictures of Eduard with his hair and beard trimmed and if they turn out well, I will post those also. Eduard is more photogenic than I am, so chances are they will show up here.

Then I continued reading my blog while Eduard watched the Tour. I was so fascinated by what I read, that I forgot everything around me and pretty soon it was four o’clock and Eduard had to leave, because he and a volunteer of his had an interview with a local TV station because the volunteer had been picked as Volunteer of the Month.

I briefly lost my Internet connection and the telephone and the TV also stopped working, so that was a perfect time to walk the dog again and when I came back, everything was working again and I picked up reading where I had left off.

Now, you are thinking, what is so fascinating about reading your own blog? But it was truly an experience. The further back I read, the less I remembered and the more I was surprised by what I had written. I thought I had been very even tempered these last months, but I saw lots of changes in my moods and in my ways of dealing with things and I saw how I sometimes got completely off the track and started having all sorts of convictions about things that later on cleared up magically. So, I still do get fixated ideas and I thought I didn’t have those anymore.

I kept reading into the evening and when it as ten o’clock, I realized I would have to stop, because it was getting late and I still had to make some cigarettes. I was getting a bit tired, but I called Eduard to find out what time he was getting home. Well, he said he wouldn’t be home until after midnight and that was a little late for me, so I ended up going to bed at eleven, after I made myself a lovely cup of foamy decaf. I was asleep very quickly and didn’t hear Eduard come home.

The good part is, that I read the blog all day long without once putting my reading glasses on.Yes, that’s right, I read the whole thing with my regular glasses! My eyes didn’t bother me once! The little bit of TV I watched went fine too, so maybe things are getting better with my eyes. I’ll have to watch more TV to make sure before I can make any pronouncements about it for sure.

In the past months my daily ratings have gone from fives to eights. Sometimes it is clear why my ratings go down, they are clearly influenced by an outside occurrence, but it is not always clear why they go up. Sometimes I worry very much about getting to bed on time, but at other times, this does not worry me at all and I do fine regardless of when I go to bed. I nitpick about my food and make an issue of that sometimes, when at other times I just eat and loose weight. Sometimes I am just a bit neurotic. I see I went through a bit of religious mania, although that may be too big of a word for that. It had grabbed me quite a bit and I was very convinced of it for awhile. I really and truly thought God was influencing daily events involving me and my loved ones and that I could influence that by going to the chapel often and praying fervently about those things. I am much more tempered about that now. Sometimes I don’t go to the chapel when I could. I see I had some hypo manic episodes that I didn’t recognize as such back then. When things definitely had a movie like quality. I also see that I got down in the dumps several times and that I saw things very somberly every now and then. When I was too contemplative and doubtful and insecure.

Well, it was all very interesting. I realize that I am in a good space now and I have been for some weeks. I give myself sevens without having to think about it much. Sometimes I get an eight.

I talked to my friend Lucien recently and she said how she was suddenly feeling so much better and that she thought that, looking back, she had actually been depressed for the past eight weeks or so. So, very often you don’t realize how bad a shape you are in until afterwards when you feel differently. If you keep functioning to some extent, you don’t realize how much you are not really doing well until it is over and you feel better and the depressed mood slides off you like a blanket off your shoulders. It’s like living with chronic pain and suddenly having that stop. Likewise, you learn to adapt to the depression like you would to chronic pain, you calculate it into your daily routine as far as that is possible. It does color your perspective though and you think much more pessimistically about things under those circumstances. The glass really is only half empty and getting emptier fast.

Yesterday I did clean the computer and the computer desk after I washed the dishes. It needed it badly. I took all the odds and ends of the desk and saw all the hair and the dust on it. I had kept putting off cleaning it. Things dirtify quickly here. Today I must vacuum, I have no excuse not to, even when the cats are sleeping peacefully and the vacuum cleaner scares them out of their sleep. The dog is so much easier, he stays put until I move him with the nozzle. My sister vacuums her dog, but I don’t think Jesker will go along with that.

God, it is so nice to drink coffee in the morning. I just can’t get enough of it first thing. I think I will have to take a nap today, because I woke up at five and I don’t think I got quite enough sleep yet. Eduard is the sleep master. He sleeps long and hard. I haven’t really slept well for many nights in a row for years. It is like I forgot how to do that. I have the odd normal night, but mostly they are very short.

When I was in the hospital and I couldn’t sleep, I would get up and talk with with the night nurse. She would allow this for a little while and then chase me off to bed again. Patients aren’t allowed up at night. When she was done with her rounds, I would sneak into the patients’ living room with a cup of tea and my cigarettes and get through the night that way. Inevitably she discovered me and sent me to bed again, but I just kept getting up while she watched TV in the nurses’ room. The nights are hard to get through in the hospital. The day times are better, because there are all sorts of planned activities and the meals and other patients to talk to. Some of
them are even more depressed than you are, but it does create a bond. You see some people who will never get better again and that is scary, because you don’t know what your destiny is going to be. You hope that the medication starts to work and that all the therapeutic activities will help you, but there are no guarantees.

The first time I was there, I was there for five months and I went from depression to hypo mania and then to normal after my medication had been adjusted. When I say normal, I mean as in acceptable, I don’t mean as in, there is Irene as she normally is. That person was gone. Going through an experience like that certainly alters your state of mind and it takes a long time to get over it. The hospital wasn’t a bad place to be. We were well looked after and well cared for. Sometimes things seemed unreasonable and slow, but in the end, the system worked and they did the best they could. I was a difficult patient. Rebellious and unreasonable when I was hypo manic and very immobile and passive when I was depressed. There were only ten patients there to take care of and each patient had her/his own room, so it was all very luxurious. The activities were well thought out, although when you are really depressed, you don’t appreciate that and it all seems senseless. It all does start to work after some time and you slowly do get better.

I haven’t been to the hospital for more than five years now, I think I am coming up on six years. I only go when I am very depressed and I can’t manage on my own at home. So, that has been awhile. I’ll knock on wood and hope I never have to go there again, but it is the best place to be when you are in dire straights. For awhile there this winter I felt like going there, when I was drinking a lot and I was waiting for the Topamax to start working. I was scared about being on my own then and getting through the day. My psychiatrist discouraged me from going and in the end I didn’t need to, as things quickly changed.

I don’t know how things are in psychiatric hospitals around the world. I was in a psychiatric ward once in California and it was all sort of archaic and run down and not very uplifting. This hospital here is good, as far as I can tell. All new buildings have been built now and I haven’t seen where the mood disorders are housed now. There is also the psychiatric ward of the hospital that is also quite nice and well run and has a friendly staff, although their activities are less intensive and less interesting. The woman that runs the activities center is actually kind of a bitch, but the only bitch working there. The rest of the staff is fine. Some of them you end up liking better than others, but that is normal.

I have heard that psychiatric care in England is not so good and I have met English psychiatric patients who were quite militant about their efforts to get good care. A lot of them sounded bitter about the system and I guess things aren’t that bad here then when you compare it.

Regional health services are a bit swamped and some of the psychiatrists don’t have enough time to spend with their patients, or clients as they prefer to call them. I am very lucky with my psychiatrist as he spent a lot of time with me when I needed it. I don’t know how he managed that. My first psychiatrist didn’t have the time and only wrote prescriptions basically, there was no real therapy. I don’t know if I need any therapy now. Sometimes I think I need to talk about my feelings about my mother, but I think there is no real rush or urgency. And I don’t think I necessarily need to talk to my psychiatrist, any other therapist will do. Someone with a good listening ear. I solve a lot of things just by writing this blog and talking to Eduard.

Well, speak of the devil…

Eduard is up now and I have to start my day. The second pot of coffee has been made. The dog has been walked in the meantime and the cats have been fed. I have been multi tasking again while you all thought I was just sitting here writing this post.

Have a wonderful day everybody, ciao…

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Today I weigh 92.4 kilos, so I am back to having lost 33 kilos exactly. Yesterday I lived on a piece of cheese and raisin crackers. I find that those are filling and satisfy my craving for something sweet, so this will be my latest thing that I eat for a while now. There is always some food I get hooked on for a while after I have discovered it. When I first had my gastric band, it was Cup a Soup, then it was crackers with cheese, after that Melba toast was popular for a long time, and now it is raisin crackers. I have to remember to tell Eduard to get a supply of them at the store. Once I know I like something, and it works in the weight loss department, I will keep eating it and I don’t want to run out.

Yesterday I had my appointment about my potential job training and that was a kind of interesting experience. Firstly, I had to get there and as you will recall, I had decided to go there by bike. Luckily, the weather was on my side and it stayed dry the whole time. The wind was blowing something fierce, though, and it came from the west, the direction I had to go when I headed into town. That made for an extra challenging bike ride, to say the least, but I am becoming quite good at it and I peddled as hard as I could and I even made it through the bicycle tunnel and then up the old bridge, which I couldn’t do a month ago and which has quite a steep slant. I was so proud of myself that I made the whole trip without getting off my bike, except for waiting for the red lights.

I got to the CWI just in time for my appointment and met the man from the city who, it turns out, actually works for the social services. Anyway, he had my paperwork in front of him and he started a very optimistic discussion with me about my chances of re entry into the job market. I though: Great, I must really have made a good impression on him on paper. So, on and on this discussion went until he said: I see you have a lot of work experience. Well, then I knew something was wrong and I told him that no, I did not have a lot of work experience. He looked very confused and checked the paperwork and then asked me some questions about my past employment, which I all had to answer in the negative.

Well, it turned out that he had the wrong pages three and four attached to the pages one and two, and pages three and four weren’t about me at all, but about someone else altogether. He searched for and found the correct pages and after he read them, his eyes started to glaze over and he completely lost his train of thought. Everything he had said about me and my chances suddenly didn’t apply anymore. So, he had to backtrack quite a bit. I wasn’t such a good candidate anymore and my chances of re entry had suddenly shrunk down to almost zero. Still, he was willing to give me a try if I would be willing to take one more test, a so called profile test. I know that this is really a test to see if I am not a complete hopeless fool on whom they should not waste any money or time. It’s how the system works. Never mind all the other tests I have done so far and that speak for themselves.

The deal is, that I will take this test and then I will have one more appointment with this man to discuss the test. Then, if all is well, I will be sent to one of two temp agencies that they have employed to give the re entry people a job training and in the end a job. The temp agency has to find me a job training place within four months time and a job within a year’s time, otherwise the social services doesn’t pay them their fee. The man put great emphasis on the fact, however, that there are no guarantees and that, if I can find a job on my own, then that is all the better and to please go ahead and do that. I really think they don’t see me as a promising candidate, in spite of my good test results. I think a lot of it is jumping through hoops to do all the right things, with which nothing much is done then.

I am going to search for a job on my own and I think I will have a better chance that way than if I go their way. I don’t have a lot of faith in the whole project, as they seem to have little faith in me. I think that someone like me should have lots of opportunities to have lots of job training experiences and I know I can be trained easily to do a number of things. But it all comes to nought in their eyes. They have people who have diplomas and work experience who also need jobs and who will get them before me. I will go to the CWI once a week and see what jobs are available and try and go for as many as I can, regardless of the fact that I have little experience. I think the whole project is turning out to be a popcorn fart.

Never mind, I must stay optimistic and so I will. I do believe in my own abilities and my own potential. I am an intelligent person and I know that if I can have a conversation with someone I will make a good impression. I just need to get my foot in the door somewhere.

Anyway, back at the ranch…my pretty beaded necklace has given me a bad rash in my neck, so I am not going to be able to wear it for some time, if ever. I will try it again when the rash is completely gone. I had worn the necklace a few days in a row and that probably wasn’t a smart thing to do. It probably isn’t nickle free. My left ear lobe is also bothering me, because I wore the same pair of earrings often. I now have stopped wearing them and I have put in my little gold studded earrings and I hope that my ear gets better soon. I am applying some ointment to it a few times a day. The pair of earrings that I wore often are my favorite pair. I do have other ones that I can wear instead. Eduard is going to go to a crafts store to see if he can find me some nickle free earring hangers that we can put on all of my earrings. It’s always something when you have allergies.

The dermatitis on my ear and my head hasn’t been too bad. I am assuming that the Loratadine pills are working, because I am itching a lot less. Whenever I say something like that, I feel a terrible urge to scratch, shows you how suggestive that can be. My toe is healing very well. It has stopped hurting and a scab has formed over the wound. I can now wear any kind of shoe, so that is nice. Yesterday I wore my pointy black boots for the first time in a long time.

For the past two days, my eyes have been bothering me less. I can sit behind the computer without my reading glasses on and without my eyes watering or hurting. I suppose my eyes are getting used to the glasses. I can’t do without them anymore now, as things aren’t nearly as sharp without them. The first thing I do in the morning now, is put my glasses on.

The picture at the top of the post is of Nouri and Toby and the new book case. Toby is inside the book case, you can just see his head. I will try and take a better picture of him, because he is a good looking cat with character. I will also take a picture of the dog, as I don’t think that I have shown him properly yet. He is a black and white cocker spaniel with just a bit of a brown spot by one of his eyes. The pictures of Monschau and me with my glasses weren’t done yesterday, so I still owe you those. I may be able to post those tomorrow.

Today we are actually goi
ng to have a nice day of weather. It isn’t supposed to rain or storm, that isn’t happening again until tomorrow. Right now the sky is bright blue, we haven’t seen that for a while. At least, what I see of it through the kitchen window is blue. I don’t mind the rain that much, except for when I have to go out in it. We have not had any flooding like they have had in England. There has been some storm damage, mostly of trees having been blown over.

My sister and I send each other text messages every day, so I know they are having a good time and good weather on their vacation. We even got a postcard from them already, which is amazing, because usually postcards that people send on their vacations get here after people have already returned themselves.

This year, I am getting my birthday present very early. It is a Philps Senseo Coffee Maker and I ordered it myself. It will get here today and Eduard already bought the coffee pads to go with it. I got it on sale, 20 Euros off. It was that or a bottle of very expensive perfume and I went for the coffee maker. I have that kind of coffee several times and I like it very much. It is much better than regular coffee, but I will only make it for special occasions, like that first cup in the morning or that last cup in the evening or when we have company. I have been told to put the milk in the cup before I add the coffee for better flavor and consistency. I can’t wait to try it.

The cats have been behaving superbly. Toby has established the order of things and everybody knows their place. Gandhi has accepted that he is boss and Nouri still adores him. I have called the animal shelter and canceled the appointment to take Nouri there. No matter what happens, I will not take her there. Eduard now has two possible people that she may go to, but we will see. I may not let her go, even though things have not been settled with the neighbors yet and may never be. I think Eduard really wants to try and find Nouri a new home and just have the two cats. I think I should let him try and not be stubborn about this. There is a woman who used to own a white cat with one brown and one blue eye that got killed in an accident, and she may want to take Nouri, her mother said. The woman herself is on vacation, so we will have to wait for her to come back. It’s okay, as long as Nouri doesn’t become traumatized and beat up by other cats. I do get sentimental about Nouri.

Eduard is sleeping late this morning. He has to work this afternoon and this evening. That has to do with a shipment of films coming in and the timing of that. Films come in on five or so separate reels and they have to be put together on one big reel in the right order for showing. All new films come on the same day. I know that Eduard enjoys sleeping in, especially if he has worked late the night before.

Now it is time to feed the cats and walk the dog. I enjoy feeding the cats, as we have some really good food for them now, that all three of them enjoy eating very much. And the dog is always more than happy to go for his walk, so I make a lot of animals happy in the morning. Sometimes life is that easy.

Have a wonderful day, hope you all keep your feet dry, ciao…

P.S. Lest I forget, I am very happy about the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor finally having been set free by Libya. The family of the Palestinian doctor lives in the Netherlands and they were shown on the news yesterday in all their joy and tears of happiness. Truly a great day!

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Today, due to circumstances beyond my control, I weigh 93.2 kilos and this is what I had yesterday: one small glass of juice, one piece of Maasdammer cheese, half a can of pine apple chunks, two pieces of leek pie, another piece of cheese, some Melba toast and a tall glass of milk.

This is what happened with the leek pie. Eduard came home and asked me to make the leek pie, because he had promised his colleague some. I said: Oh, okay, I will make some, and then I thought: Jeez, I am not at all in the mood to make leek pie! But now I had promised that I would, and Eduard had promised his colleague some, so I off I went to the kitchen to make it and once I got started on it, I remembered how much fun it was to make, and I proceeded with much gusto. It is such a ritual to make leek pie and such an easy job, really, that it was done in no time at all. Instead of the regular grated cheese, I used grated Maasdammer and that must have made a lot of difference, because it was the best leek pie I ever made. Once it was golden brown and I took it out of the oven, neither one of us could wait to try it, because it looked so good, and I thought: Oh, I will just have a little bit and then I will be full, but no such thing happened and I ate my share. It was delicious! I always eyeball how much of the ingredients I put in and I must have gotten everything just right this time. I do remember almost exactly how much I did put in, so I ‘ll know what to do next time. I do think that the cheese made a lot of difference, though.

Other than that, it was a quiet day. I observed the three cats and they are definitely behaving differently. They are together and inside much more often and they seem to be more mellow. Gandhi even came to sleep on my lap, which is unusual, because she is really Eduard’s cat. Toby is more affectionate too and asks to be petted. Nouri seems much more relaxed, so it is an improvement all around. It will be much more so once Nouri is gone, even though it is going to be hard now to let Nouri go, but it has to be done, because she is causing the most problems with the neighbors. She is going to a good home, if it all works out.

In the morning, after Eduard went to work, I turned on the TV and took a long nap on the sofa. That was completely planned, as I could tell that I needed some more sleep. I could have gone back to bed, but then thought it was cozier to sleep on the sofa with the dog on his pillow next to me. When I woke up, I felt much better and I cleaned up the kitchen and then took the dog for his walk. The weather was strange. It looked like it was going to rain any minute, but it never really did, except for some splatters, and it was kind of balmy outside.

I am still trying to get used to my super short hair. It is not bad looking, but I look like Sinnead O’Connor and I don’t know if I am attractive anymore. Eduard thinks it is too short and he thinks I look kind of manly. But then he said: Don’t worry, it will grow longer soon. Now that is true, my hair does grow fast, so the worst of it will be over in a few weeks. I keep going to the bathroom mirror and readjusting a few stray hairs in order to look better. I think I really shouldn’t worry though. My eyes are still big and beautiful, even with the glasses, and they are my best feature. Eduard took some close ups of me yesterday and if they turn out at all, I will post one or two on this blog so you all can see me from up close.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I vacuumed and then Eduard came home with the leeks and the ground beef and the request to make leek pie. He was home later than usual, because they had had their monthly working lunch, which is always a nice happening with a very good home made lunch that gets fixed by one of the colleagues. She does a good job fixing sandwiches and salads I have been told. It is always good for Eduard to have a big lunch, what with his hypoglycemia, but he still manages to eat a big dinner and never gain an ounce. The man has a very fast metabolism.

After dinner, we went and took the dog for a walk and went to my sister’s house to feed my nephew’s fish and to water the potted plants out on the patio. It is strange to be in her house without anyone being there. It is so quiet and lonely. Jesker walks around looking for Quinto and insists on drinking some water from Quinto’s bowl, like he always does. I have already received several text messages from my sister and I know they are having a good time in Italy and beautiful weather too.

Jesker is always very happy when Eduard and I both take him out for a walk and he ran around like a puppy out on the field. All of his old dog dignity was gone. He crouches down with his butt in the air as if he wants to challenge us to a race and then goes running off. We get all tender hearted when we watch him and say: Isn’t he cute?

I tried putting a chair close to the TV to see if my eyes would bother me less, but in the end, it didn’t make a difference. I think that when they get tired, they just start to bother me and there is nothing that can be done about it. It does help to wear the reading glasses behind the computer, though. I think I am going to get a pair of +3 glasses for in the living room too, as the +2 glasses don’t always work for the small print. I can keep them by the computer and use the +3 glasses for when I have to read things like the TV guide and the film guide and the news paper. Our GP said that he had tried bifocals for six weeks and had nothing but trouble with them and finally gave up on them completely. So I definitely won’t be getting those.

I wonder how much the Topamax is effecting my eyes. When you Google it, you do eventually get to a site that warns about eye problems with it, but it talks about myopia and that is not my problem. The optometrist mentioned that epileptic medication can cause eye problems and maybe when I see the opthamologist, he will say the same thing. That would still not cause me to quit the medication, as it has been such a help to me. I would only quit it if my eyes got progressively worse and that should be easy to see by doing regular eye checks. I still think that I should be under the care of an opthamologist and I would feel a lot better if my GP would just give me the referral letter. I will say so to him when he gets back from his vacation, unless, by some miracle, my eyes have stopped bothering me.

It’s kind of a shame that I can’t wear those really cool sun glasses anymore. They looked so good on me, but they aren’t prescription glasses. When I have the money, I will go and get the sunglasses too. Although it may be a bit of a bother to keep switching glasses. Mmm, I’ll have to think about that, maybe it is not such a bad idea to get the glasses that change color as you go out into the light. Although I always thought that those were seriously uncool back in the eighties.

We went to bed at the seriously uncool hour of 9:30 last night. I was asleep so quickly. I love not having any falling asleep problems. Good old Temazepam. I am almost done with my Anne Frank book. D-day has happened and you
read how all of the inhabitants of the secret annexe are full of hope about the end of the war. It is so sad because you know they aren’t going to make it, except for Anne’s father. I wonder if the neighbors of the Anne Frank house ever see the ghost of Anne Frank in the attic window at night, because she spent a lot of her time there looking out at the sky, being unable to go out into the world and longing for it. I would hate to be alone in that house at night, it must be haunted. See how I am? So full of imagination! I really would worry about that. For the same reason I can’t believe that there are actually people living in my parents’ house.

Anyway, I notice that I have to do some serious cleaning around the computer here. There are dust and cat hairs and ashes all over the place. Mmm, I wonder who lives here? I’ll have to get out a bucket of suds today. Maybe if I promise to do so here, I will actually get around to it. It is one of my least favorite jobs. The other least favorite job is cleaning the toilet. Yuck, what a dirty job that is! Luckily, I have many cleaning towels bought especially for that job. They are a bit bigger than dish rags, about the size of hand towels and they come out clean in the laundry.

I think doing laundry is my favorite job, especially when something is very dirty and I have managed to get it completely clean. Like my white pants the other day with the motorcycle grease. Or didn’t I tell that story? Eduard tried to get it out with thinner and it didn’t work, but I got it out in the laundry at 60 degrees Celsius. What a relief that was! They were my Miss Etam pants and a bit expensive. Anyway, doing laundry is a measure of my mental health, but I think I already mentioned that. So when I start moaning about the laundry, you know something is wrong.

I think I want to go and walk the dog now. It is still bright and early and it will be nice to go out in the fresh air and be out there all alone. There are no cats visible yet, so they can be fed later. The small crowd of them.

Have a great day, people, Ciao…

P.S. Toby and Gandhi and Nouri don’t know how to ask for food. They always relied on Lotje and Pieke to do that for them. Now they just kind of sit around hoping something will just happen. I will have to take the intitiative myself, but I could easily forget about them completely, because they don’t say a thing and just go to sleep on the spot.

P.P.S. The leek pie on the picture is not my own, but it looks similar to the one I make.

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Today I weigh 92.5 kilos, so I have lost a little bit of weight since yesterday. This is what I had yesterday: one piece of cheese, some corn chips with hot salsa, half a can of pine apple chunks, another piece of cheese and a tall glass of milk. I loved eating the corn chips. I should really call them tortilla chips, I guess. They are the hot peppery kind. That’s what Eduard bought. Eating them along with the hot salsa is a real treat and a real challenge for my taste buds. You can certainly adore a food that you haven’t eaten in a long time. They are ever so much better than eating regular potato chips.

Yesterday morning I called the hairdresser and got an appointment for 10:30. I wanted to make sure that they had time for me to get my hair cut, so I thought I would make an appointment instead of just walking in.

When I got there, my regular hairdresser wasn’t there, but the owner cut my hair, which was fine as I knew him too, and he is a young guy with lots of talent. He washed my hair first and gave me a head massage at the same time. He said that I had an awful lot of tension in my head and he massaged it all away. I said that that really surprised me, because I thought I was really a relaxed person, but he said that maybe it was all old stress that remained there in my head. Well, anything is possible, of course. When I sat in front of the mirror he pointed to the thin spot of hair and said: You know why you have that? That is all from tension, there is no reason why women should have thinning hair. He said that whenever I washed my hair, I should massage my head, or have my husband massage my head in the evening to get the blood circulating properly through my scalp.

He then asked me how I wanted my hair cut and I told him short on the sides and the back and a little longer on the top and then he proceeded to give me a really short hair cut. It is a lot shorter than I anticipated, but it does look good. He says he cut it that way to get some of the weight of my hair and to give it some fullness. To hide the thinning spot too. He then applied wax and I felt like a real modern woman ready to go out and tackle the world.

While I had my hair cut, I looked in the mirror at myself and I wasn’t disgusted with what I saw. Normally I would be, but this time I wasn’t. You are not your most flattering self when you are getting your hair cut, right? But allowing for that, I looked okay. I saw that my make up was applied well and that my wrinkles weren’t too bad yet. The over all picture was good. What a relief, phew!

When I got home, I made sure that Lotje and Pieke where inside and I closed the cat door so they wouldn’t escape. I got the cat baskets from the garden shed and cleaned those up as they had spider rag all over them. The cats were laying on the bed in all innocence with no idea of which adventure they were about to have. I worried about getting them into the baskets, as I know that in the past this had been a bit of a problem.

When Eduard came home at one o’clock I could see that he had a lot of stress about taking the cats to their new home and I decided right away to go with him when he did. It would be better to share the burden of doing that. I caught the cats and together we put them in the baskets and that went painlessly really. They didn’t like being in them and Lotje tried to dig her way out of hers right away. Twenty minutes later our neighbor and his son’s girlfriend came to take us to the new owner who lived some ten minutes away from us.

When we got there, the man turned out to be a very nice and kind man, a very mellow person and we liked him right away. We let the cats out of the baskets and they each found a place to hide. Pieke went upstairs and Lotje hid under a table downstairs. We had brought a litter box and a bag of litter and some of their favorite food and their eating dishes. We sat and visited for a while and got a real good feeling about everything and I could see that Eduard was feeling much more relaxed about things.

When we left and drove back in the car, Eduard said that now he didn’t feel bad about having given the cats up and that he knew they had gone to a good home and that he had a good feeling about it. He had been especially worried about finding a home for Pieke, as she is an older cat and he was worried about anyone wanting her. When we got home, he kept saying how relieved he was that everything had turned out okay and I know exactly what he means, I had the same feeling about it. I knew that they were in the right place and that they would be fine. I am glad that I went along to see where they ended up. It is good to know.

Our white cat, Nouri, is going to her new home Saturday evening. She is going to a young couple who already have one cat. They live in a second floor apartment and Nouri will have to be an indoor cat for awhile. The couple is buying a house and is going to move in the near future. Nouri is going there on a trial basis to see if she gets along with the other cat, but we think it will be okay as Nouri is sort of a shy cat and not at all dominant. They have until next week Friday to find out if it works out, otherwise Nouri is going to the animal shelter to be adopted from there. We are going to give her her favorite blanket to sleep on and some of her favorite food to take with her.

The other cats were very mellow yesterday evening. They did notice that there were some cats missing and they all clumped together, which they normally don’t do. Lotje wasn’t there to say it was eating time, so the dog had to do it eventually and that worked too. It is going to be real quite around hear with just two cats, that’s for sure. But I think it will all be for the best.

We went to see our GP in the afternoon too. Eduard went to get a new prescription for his stop smoking pills and I went to see him about my eyes. Eduard can’t stop smoking until his dosage is up to 75 mg and he is at 25 mg now. It gets increased every two weeks, so starting Friday he will be on 50 mg. The doctor said that the problem with my eyes is probably that my eyes are still adjusting to my glasses and he is not going to take any action on them now. He is going to wait until he gets back from his vacation and if they are still bothering me then, he will do something. Well, that is clear language, isn’t it? I do notice that it is better if I wear my reading glasses behind the computer. I don’t have any problems then, even though I can read the letters with the other glasses, I think my eyes have to focus to much and it is causing me eye strain. So, I think it is a case of eye strain, really. That’s what is probably causing me problems when I watch TV also. Reading the subtitles when watching foreign movies, no doubt. Grasping at straws!

In the evening, I fell asleep after dinner and I slept deep and hard. I didn’t hear Eduard leave and I didn’t wake up until nine o’clock. When I woke up, I felt so rested and I woke up just in time to watch Inspector Frost. That’s always a good one to watch and before it was finished, Eduard was home again. Lest I forget to mention this ever, I always get a very intense kiss from Eduard when he leaves and when he arrives. A real long smacker right on the lips. I always think,
if we never see each other again, at least we will have said goodbye properly!

So Eduard sat behind the computer and I dawdled for a while and we didn’t go to bed until quite late. I think it was almost twelve o’clock. I fell asleep so fast!

Oh yes, I got back the results from the mammogram and everything is fine. I kind of knew it would be, because breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, but you never know. I think it is a good initiative to test women over fifty every two years, even if it is a bother. Well, I thought it was a bother.

Cancer doesn’t run in my family on either side, but then my son died of cancer so who’s to say anything about it? My son’s cancer was a fluke, it was not a genetic cancer and we will never know why he got it. His was also a rare cancer, desmoplastic small round cell tumors that had spread all over his body. He had all the best and latest treatments, but in the end they couldn’t save him. I am not worried about my daughter getting something like this, she inherited good genes and I think she is safe. But then I forget something. My maternal grandfather died of a malignant brain tumor at the age of thirty four. Yes, goodness, that’s right. I have gotten so used to my step grandfather being my grandfather, that I almost forgot about that. I don’t know if these things run in families.

Anyway, now it is time to start the day with three cats instead of five and we’ll see how that goes. I will look in the mirror on a regular basis to look at my hair cut and Eduard doesn’t have to work this evening. Other than that, nothing is planned for today, which is fine as I do have to vacuum again.

Have a wonderful day, everybody. Ciao…

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