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Posts Tagged ‘God’

On a sunny saturday.

My goodness, I have a sore rear end from sitting here so many hours reading blogs and having my coffee and my cigarettes and having such a lovely silent time all by myself watching it become light outside. I tried to get up earlier during the night, but it was a great fiasco and I fell asleep in this chair only to wake up quite suddenly when I would erratically click the mouse.

It’s amazing how your instincts take over when your body falls asleep and your mind still somehow wants to blog. There is a stubborn streak in me that wants to stay awake at all cost and not go back to bed where I belong when I am drunk with sleep and not of a sound mind. It’s like being a little kid and not wanting to go to bed when it is past your bedtime.

Anyway, I have enjoyed myself immensely reading blogs and am now full of good cheer and coffee and tobacco fumes and that has gotten me all ready to write this post. I have no idea what I am going to tell you yet, but I am sure I can make things up as I go along.

First of all, I will give you this quote that I ran into from a blogger who is stopping her blog:

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

Now you know that as a rule I don’t put too much credence into God, unless I am hypo manic and I get all religious, but I do like the idea of being in the hollow of God’s hand, as it makes it sound as if God is a giant compared to me and I can easily fit in there, making him much mightier than me and somehow that is kind of comforting.

I also have to admit that these past two weeks I have had my sly and shy little conversations with a God and I do ask him for little favors and I do make small promises, so where does that leave me with my agnosticism? You see, there is doubt in my heart when push comes to shove and I turn to some sort of faith when I am in a pickle. Do you think that God minds that very much?

I am a deal maker and I make deals with God, whoever he is, that unknown authoritative figure. I make him promises that I know I will be able to keep and I certainly don’t promise him my first born. I don’t make any oaths and I don’t swear on the bible, I just make little promises.

I think people have a tendency to do that when they see the stability of their lives threatened and they see their foundations undermined. I certainly feel threatened now and see that my life is not nearly as certain and secure as I thought it was and I feel a certain amount of vigilance and alertness and I feel that I must be very much aware of outcomes that I have no influence over. Such is life, I want to say on the funny farm, but it isn’t that funny!

Anyway, to get back to that quote, it also talks about the road ahead of you and the wind in your back and that is exactly how I have been feeling until very recently; as if the road was meeting me and the wind was in my back. I suppose you always have periods in your life when things seem to run extra smoothly and you feel contend and smug in the sureness of everything.

Of course, life being what it is, these periods don’t last forever, it being a law that life doesn’t work that way and that for every up there is a down. Funnily enough, I thought it was supposed to be one smooth ride with just the occasional hiccup. Not that this is my experience, but I thought that after a long enough time it would all just work out that way. I am a little bit like Polly Anna sometimes when I forget to be the sarcastic cynic that I claim to be. It’s a fault in my wiring.

One of these days, maybe today rather than tomorrow, I will go to the Basilica and light a candle in the chapel that is dedicated to Mary and say a little prayer and then I will really not be agnostic anymore. Or I will be an agnostic with a little bit of hope. I will be a faithful cynic, if there is such a thing.

Let me interupt my train of thought here for a bit and post a photograph of the Market Square with the open air market on it. This was taken roughly from the same spot that the desolate photograph was taken off that I posted some days ago and you can see the difference:

Here is where Eduard buys our supply of cheese and fresh salmon on Fridays.

It is really strange when the person you are in conflict with, is also the person you love the most and is your best friend. You have very conflicting emotions and it is all very confusing, therefor you must find some sort of neutral ground to stand on and not be too emotionally involved. You have to inwardly withdraw for your own sake.

After I decided not to have anymore ‘throw away’ moments, that used to be called ‘fall apart’ moments, I have not had them anymore. I think I have just made a decision not to have them and that something in my mind agreed with that. I don’t anticipate them any longer and if a feeling of doom does approach, I ban it to the furthest corner of my mind leaving me unscathed.

I do still have a great need for a little nap in the afternoon, but I can postpone it and it is a pure physical need and not born out of anything emotional. I can nap on the sofa, but I prefer the bed for comfort.

I have completely worn out my boots that I have been wearing all winter and I have to buy a new pair. Hopefully they still sell them in the stores, but I think they will and I may go to town this afternoon, then again, I may not. I’ll see. It depends on a number of things and I may go by the shoemaker and see if he can repair them.

Well, that is all I have to tell you today. I think I will go and walk the dog as it is a bright and sunny day outside and the morning light beckons me.

You all have a wonderful Saturday that is filled with good things and fun chores. Be good for goodness sake!

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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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Wow, yesterday turned out to be such a good day. It was amazing. At one point I was actually rating myself with an eight and that sure hasn’t happened much lately!

After I wrote my post, I visited some other blogs, but realized that I was still very sleepy and I laid down on the sofa under the yellow blanket and went back to sleep. This was very pleasant, as Eduard walked the dog for me, so I wasn’t in any sort of rush to get dressed and out there in a hurry.

When I woke up, I felt like a seven and there was an email from my psychiatrist with an appointment for Wednesday morning. Then I called my case manager at the temp agency and made an appointment to see her that afternoon. Having done that, I very merrily cleaned up the kitchen, vacuumed the apartment and walked the dog. As I was walking the dog, my heart grew very light and the sun started to shine inside of me and I felt happy and I thanked God for helping me solve the problems. That’s when I rated myself with an eight.

When I got home, I vacuumed the sofa and Eduard came home and found a happy housewife, much to his relief. We promised each other that never again would we put that kind of pressure on me to perform at any cost.

This is what I think happens. When things are going well with me, I and the people around me have a tendency to overestimate me and what I am able to do. Intellectually I can do a lot, but emotionally my load bearing capacities are not that good, setting me up for failure time after time. I am not stress proof! As a matter of fact, I do very badly under any kind of stress. This continuously leads me to situations in my life where I overwhelmingly under perform, causing me to get huge dents in my self esteem. I always end up traumatized and wounded and it is only now, when I know what is wrong with me, that I can walk away from it and not be totally damaged.

So, it was with this knowledge in mind that I went to see my case manager and was able to explain my situation to her. I told her I was manic-depressive and that I should have told everyone from the start and that I regretted not doing this. I gave a brief explanation of the above and what happens to me under stress and she didn’t get angry at me for not informing her sooner. She was really nice about the whole thing.

Now, my contract was with the city’s social services, so they had to let me go and release me of the obligation to fulfill my end of the contract. My case manager called the person responsible and he told her that they would let me go. He could have insisted on having me tested and having me fulfill my obligation some other way, but he didn’t, which was decent of him.

There is a subsidized program for people such as I, who can be tested to see how severe their disability is when it comes to their functioning in a work place and in doing any sort of work, and those people can be helped by maybe working special hours, or doing special jobs or working in social work places. I still may do that, if it is possible for me to get that sort of adaption. I would gladly work at any sort of job if it meant low stress and reasonable hours. I will look into that.

In the meantime, I feel good again. Yesterday my ratings were up and I had such a pleasant day. My friend Lucien called to say that she and her husband are leaving for a holiday in Spain today and, luckily, she is feeling well, so she should have a good time. I got a card from my daughter with the latest picture of my grandson in it, on which he is grinning very widely. So nice! He’s such a good looking kid, but I suppose all grandmas think that about their grandsons.

Today, if it is not raining, I am going to the chapel, as I feel that God has been especially kind to me these past few days, as I have prayed very hard to make things please turn out alright. I prayed for a solution and I prayed not to go crazy and I guess He was listening, so candles have to be lighted and prayers of thanks have to be said. After that, I am going to have coffee with Eduard at his work and eat many good cookies. The weatherman did say that today and tomorrow it is going to rain, I just hope it doesn’t rain until the afternoon.

So you see how something that would just be a minor irritation in someone else’s life, becomes a major point of stress in my life, to the point that I become suicidal. Yes, I was thinking along those lines and thinking how awful it was that I had a gastric band in case they were going to try and pump my stomach, so I had already decided not to swallow pills. Really, when you are in the depths of despair, you think these things! When the solution is so close by and you don’t see it! The line between sanity and insanity is very fine.

Well, anyway, not to become morbid, it is all past me now, except for my talk with my psychiatrist and I am sure that we will come to a solution too. I have my thoughts organized around that. I have rehearsed it in my head.

Eduard was fixing himself pork yesterday. While he was cooking it, he asked me if it smelled good yet. I said.”Yes, it does, but do you realize how much a pig has to suffer for that?” Eduard said, “Yes, I suppose you are right.” I answered, “I guess I could become really militant about that, 12 pigs are kept in 12 square meters. It’s an outrage!” Eduard said, “Are you going to vote for The Party of The Animals?” I answered, “Well, I just may, somebody has to!”

I am really serious about this, people. Think about the living conditions of pigs, how they are housed and how they are transported. It is a very sad thing. It says a very sad thing about human beings and their treatment of animals. Just contemplate it and wonder if you can live with that. Boycott pork!

Well, that’s all I wanted to say today. Happy tidings plus a boycott. When I feel good, I start to care about the world around me, otherwise I don’t have the mental energy for it.

Have a great day, do wonderful things, ciao…

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So, okay, today is a brand new day with a whole brand new attitude and a whole new set of unlived minutes and hours and I will give them some meaning if it is the last thing I do. I will not let yesterday’s depressed mood spill over into today’s new early morning hours. There has to be a clean break between what I felt then and what I feel now, I decided that last night before I went to sleep and it was my resolution this morning when I got up. And so I will proceed.

Luckily for me, my Oxazepam decided to work really well this morning and I can actually tell that I have taken it, which was not always the case the past 48 hours, making me doubt if it was working and if it was doing me any good. On top of that, I had some really good comments waiting for me and I received a very nice email from Frances with a collage attached to it, which I am very happy with and which is a very good way to start the day.

Then I have gone already and visited many blogs of my favorite people and was able to appreciate what they were writing about and read their comments and leave a few sensible comments myself. So, you see, when you start your day like that, there is not much that can go wrong with it.

I must assume, that my mood may fluctuate during the day, but that I must not despair and take advantage of the fluctuation and when I am up, act on it and appreciate that I am truly feeling well then. There is a lot I can do when I feel good. I find that I am especially prolific when I am in that sort of a mood and that it is easy for me to write and express my feelings, so that is what I will do when I am up. Be a prolific writer and it is a shame that it is not my profession, because like a famous woman once said, “When I am manic, I write, when I am depressed, I edit.” And so it is with me. I feel it in my bones. I can’t remember now who this famous woman was, she was an American writer, but her name has escaped my memory, like so many other bits of data. Anyway, she said it and it is true.

I think I am slightly hypo manic right now, but I am not in the least concerned about it. It is a very nice feeling, especially after feeling such despair last night when I officially declared myself depressed. I always forget about these mood changes that I get, they always happen to me as if every time is the first time. Then when I get them, I look back and think, “Oh yes, this is all so very familiar, I have had this my whole life practically.” It is called rapid cycling and not too many days ago I diagnosed my friend Lucien with it, claiming that at least my moods were always steady. What was I thinking?

Anyway, it is nice to sit here with my cup of coffee, which must have some sort of drug added to it, because it is sure making me feel good. It was a new pack of coffee and maybe there is something contraband in it. It may be a misplaced package of a drug smuggler, who knows? Let’s just pretend for a while that it is and that I am drinking magical coffee. Like Alice in Wonderland eating magical mushrooms. I am having my magical coffee and I wonder if it will have the same effect on Eduard. That would make for a real happy day then, wouldn’t it?

Oh, and then we have my cigarettes, which of course can have an illegal substance in them too and I may be feeling especially good from smoking them. Maybe little elfs have come by during the night and spiked the tobacco with some Neder weed. Which is supposed to be good stuff. Well, for as long as it lasts, I am flying high for whatever reason and I hope the sun doesn’t melt the glue with which my wings are attached or I will be like Alfonso and plummet to the ground.

I decided to sleep in my bed again last night, instead of falling asleep on the sofa, comfortable as that is. I went to bed at 9 pm, while Eduard was listening to some music from the sixties and smoking his pipe and being a total intellectual in the rattan chair, where he has to sit when he smokes his pipe, for fear of burn holes in his leather armchair. So, he was being a retro intellectual and I thought how interesting that was and how cute to see him revert so to his teenage years, but still that could not keep me awake and I took all of my pills and went to bed. I very briefly read my book about mythology and listened to The Very Best Of The Byrds, or something like that.

I fell asleep while Eduard was having his solo retro evening and I don’t know when he went to bed and I don’t know how much his music influenced my dreams, because they were very weird indeed. I won’t go and tell you the details of any of them, because they were crazy and lunatic and scary and you would all have me committed if I told you what I dreamed about. It involved all the unpleasant aspects of human nature. Let me not get side tracked by that however.

Eduard doesn’t smoke his pipes very often anymore. He would if I let him smoke them in his armchair, but he does spill the hot ashes and I do worry about holes being burnt in the leather. He has several pipes and several kinds of tobacco. I personally like Davidoff very much, but it is a little bit expensive. I also like the cans it comes in. As Eduard smokes less cigarettes, he will smoke more pipes as a way to compensate. I don’t mind too much, as long as he doesn’t ruin his clothes with burning bits of tobacco. If the tobacco is good, I like the smell of it, but it does make everything very brown, although cigarette smoke does too, so we could argue about that endlessly.

Eduard has a beard, so the combination of the beard and the pipe, and his very keen eyes, makes him look very intelligent. Luckily, he is this in real life also, so it is not a facade he has to keep up. Although he would argue with me about that and claim that he is not an intellectual when I say he is. The man does know so much and does have so many opinions that are well founded and well argued and he has always been this way, for as long as I have known him.

When I was fourteen and he was seventeen, I would sit and listen to him have discussions with his friends about subjects that I knew very little about and really be in awe of him. He was never a delitant, though, he didn’t show of his smart mind. He just took it for granted. Even now I know that there are many discussions he does not have, because he lets the other person believe that they are right, when I know he holds a very different opinion on the subject and he could really come out of his shell and let go verbally.

I sure appreciate being married to s
omeone who is smarter than I am, although Eduard would argue about that too and say it isn’t true. I know that I have my own bits of wisdom when it comes to emotional knowledge, but I like the fact that Eduard is such an omnivore when it comes to bits of general information and when it comes to remembering important things like when political upheavals happened and who was involved and when important social changes took place and which factions took part in those. My mind is like a sieve when it comes to stuff like that and I can never have the discussion with Eduard that I would like to have about these things. Generally, it ends up with Eduard telling me a lot of information and me trying to remember it all, knowing that I will forget it and that I will ask him again at a later date.

I am good when it comes to talking about things like emotions and interpersonal relationships and the more female aspects of discussions. I like to talk about things that I have thought about very quietly all by myself in my own mind and about which I have drawn my conclusions and then, one day, that subject will come up in a discussion and I can say something sensible about it.
As I formulate my words and sentences, I realize that I have already formulated my opinion too, when I was really not that consciously aware of it. There is actually much more that I make decisions about on my own than I give myself credit for. I always think that I need to hear all sorts of points of view, but when it comes down to it, I have my own point of view ready and waiting. All I have to do is formulate it.

Well, I must say that feeling this good certainly is quite an improvement on how I felt yesterday evening when I was ready to call my psychiatrist and ask him for a mega pill of something, which I know doesn’t exist. My poor psychiatrist is always getting phone calls from desperate clients who need that one pill that is going to take the pain away. I know, because I am one of them. At any rate, with this kind of coffee and these kinds of cigarettes I don’t need any sort of other pill, I do just fine, although I did just take another Oxazepam, but that is more for keeping me calm and collected so I don’t fly too high. I sure do appreciate the pharmaceutical industry, but I don’t want to know how they develop their medications, because there are probably all sorts of practices that can’t see the light of day, as they say.

I want to say one thing, that in response to my very negative post of last night, I have received many very supportive comments and I sure do appreciate that. They really, really help. You are all a great bunch of wonderful people and don’t you ever forget it. You all deserve an award for being very decent human beings. So, consider this award symbolically given, as I don’t have a real one.

I am very excited about starting the day. It is possible that Eduard and I will meet in town later and go to the bookstore, because Eduard has found a gift certificate for books that he had gotten for his birthday and had not spent yet. So, that gives us 65 Euros worth of books to pick out and that is not bad at all. When he suggested this to me last night, I was less than enthused, but this morning I can see how this would be a fun thing to do, as long as it doesn’t rain. I want to get a book on dream interpretation by Jung, if they have such a thing. I do think that I dream very symbolically, so I would like to learn to interpret them better. Some of the things I dream are so disturbing, that I would like to know their meaning also, not because I think that I am a disturbed person, but because I think there is a message in them.

Eduard is up now and so are the cats and the dog. Eduard is making his breakfast and the dog is looking at him longingly. The cats will want to eat too. I must tell Eduard about the very good coffee, or shall I let him find it out for himself? To celebrate the new day, I am now going to make myself a cup of Senseo, because I have only had one of those this morning and that is not enough yet. I hope the Senseo is spiked also, I sort of count on it.

So, I say, let the day start and let’s see how we attack the bugger. There is lots of new hope in the new morning and lots of potential happiness in the new hours of the day. All is not lost yet, there is much to be found. I must read many blogs yet and be inspired. Did you all see the wonderful mandala that Sue O’Kieffe made? It is a true beauty and very inspiring. It looks like God’s own heart and I think that she should have called it that. Oh yes, God, who works in mysterious ways, let’s not forget about him, let’s not forget about the chapel and the candles and the thankfulness. No, let’s not.

Okay people, have a terrific day, I am working on it already, so I hope you will be too. I hope that lots of good things will come your way today. Ciao…

P.S. The American writer I was referring to is Kay Redfield Jamison who wrote a book length consideration of mood and creativity called Touched with Fire, concluding that manic depression is the artistic temperament. She claims that flights of fancy, mercurial moodiness, tempestuous brilliance, visionary imagination, brooding, morbidity, despair, sensuality, mutability all are aspects of bipolarity, i.o.w. manic depression. I quote from the book Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer, “Because it includes vigor and confidence, hypomania, which can persist for long intervals in manic depressive patients, seems helpful in a number of careers.” And, “If manic depression confers a benefit, it may be through increased productivity in general.” And, “In literature on creativity, a good deal of attention is paid to hypomania, an agitated state – it can occur also as a personality trait – that sits just shy of mania. Hypomanics are expansive, energetic, and pleased with themselves. Bipolar affective disorder, the full-blown disease, may have ties to literary production as well…”

As someone who suffers from a Bipolar disorder, this is very interesting and I see how the fluctuation in my moods affects my productivity and my ability to think creatively. When I am hypomanic, I feel invincible and always that my words are magic and hold a certain truth and conviction that they may lack otherwise. I am very sure of myself and will opine ideas as if they are God’s only truth. I am not creative when I am depressed, but I am like a God when I am hypomanic, I am touched by heavenly hands. I suppose it is similar to being high on a drug and thinking that you do your best work then, when maybe it is only mediocre and only gives you the impression that it is off enormous significance. I am now, at this point, convinced of the significance of what I write. I have a lot to say and rue the fact that this post has run out of room to say it in. Which leads me to believe that I will write more later, as a matter of fact, I am pretty sure of it.

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Today I weigh 92.2 kilos and I like how my weight is going down now every day. It is so nice to get on the scales and see the numbers drop. Yesterday I had a small container of potato salad and raisin crackers and I didn’t go hungry at all. As a matter of fact, after one round of crackers, I felt very full and I thought I might have overdone it, but I see now that I need not have worried. Maybe tomorrow I will reach 92 kilos. That would be great. I am really going to aim for that today. It will be a really great day when I drop below 90 kilos, so let me make that my goal in these next few weeks and see how quickly I can reach that. It should take me about two weeks, if all goes well. All I have to do is not overeat, she said with a look of determination on her face.

Yesterday I decided to really take a day off. I felt like doing absolutely nothing. So, I washed my face and didn’t apply any make up and I didn’t decorate myself with any jewelry. I just pulled on some clothes and didn’t worry about what I looked like. I did clean up the kitchen and walk the dog, but other than that I did nothing worth mentioning at all. I just decided to take the day off and be irresponsible for once.

It was nice and I don’t feel bad for having done it. I sat behind the computer and didn’t do any Paint Shop, but instead read all my posts for August and July to get an impression of how I had been doing over the past two months. Well, I did just fine, so I have no need to worry about the state of my mind. It seems that I am in a constant mood nowadays and that I am not fluctuating much from one mood to another. I have my little dips, but they are very minor and hardly show up on the radar. I think the lowest rating I gave myself was a five, which is not bad considering I mostly give myself sevens. I even had an eight in there somewhere. So my moods are just fine and I think that now that my thyroid medication has been lowered, they have been especially fine and steady.

I sure as heck have stopped worrying about what time I go to bed. I now go to bed whenever the mood strikes me and I am not on such a tight schedule anymore. I am not very carefully watching the clock and counting the minutes until I can go. I have become much more relaxed about that.

Another thing I have become much more tranquil about is my ‘religious’ feelings. I was so preoccupied with them before and I see now that they take up very little of my time, making me come to the conclusion that these feelings are partly the result of feeling a bit neurotic at times and that they are not always as rational and well thought out as I would like to believe them to be. It seems to me that when I am emotionally more unstable, I am inclined to have more religious feelings than when I am very resolute and rational. Always when my life is upset, for whatever reason, I become more religiously inclined.

After I had my complete hysterectomy and before I was on the proper amount of hormones, I had very strong religious feelings and I got over most of them when the hormones were properly balanced. I kept feeling like going to church and praying fervently to an Old Testament God, but I got over that very quickly once my body was restored to health. I wonder if this time my religious feelings had to do with the proper amount of thyroid hormones. It would be very ironic if the importance of the place of God in my life was merely a result of hormonal imbalances.

When I am depressed, I believe in a very wrathful God who is punishing me through my tortuous mind. When I am hypo manic, I believe in a wondrous God who is making the world look like it was filmed in techno colored images, bigger than life, more breathtaking and extraordinary then it is in every day life.

So, it seems to me, that in my case, my feelings for God and about God are a result of chemical imbalances in my body and brain. Of course, while I am having these feelings, I don’t think that at all and I am convinced of their validity. The rest of the time I do think about God and his nature and I do question His existence and wonder about Him. He is never far from my mind, but I am not preoccupied with Him like I am during the chemical imbalances.

I do think that it all takes me some place valid and that I take big steps when I have these experiences. They are not invalid because of their mainspring. Some of the conclusions I draw are pertinent to my actual thoughts about my God. I do actually evolve my image of my Higher Being every time I have these experiences. I get a little bit closer to what my Higher Being is like every time. It is just that in between these experiences, my thoughts about Him are very analytical and deliberate and not so much based on emotions and sentiments.

Actually, I don’t mind the religious ‘highs’. They are kind of extraordinary experiences. I think back on them with a lot of fondness. Especially that day when I rated myself with a nine and everything was so staggeringly beautiful and I loved the world and everything in it. It was an outstanding week in my life and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Going to the chapel was a magical experience then. I always felt very uplifted and high, as if nothing could beat me down. I hope to have an experience like that again soon. Maybe when the leaves fall off the trees and Autumn is in the land again.

So anyway, I read my posts for August and July and saw that all was well. It is good to take inventory like that. I saw that sometimes I made deliberate attempts at humor, but that I am funnier when I don’t try so hard. I guess mostly I am a serious person. I sure ponder life and my role in it. I truly am an introverted thinker who gets to express that in her blog. If I didn’t write it down, nobody would know about it. I would not sit down and have conversations like this with anyone about these subjects. Well, I might with Eduard if he had the time, but I would not get around to nearly half of it. There is nobody else that I would have conversations like this with, which is really kind of a shame, because everybody ought to have someone like that to have discussions with. Well, my mother always used to say, “Still waters have deep grounds,” and I guess that still applies to me.

The dog is up being very playful and cute. He is rolling around on the ground, pawing at his nose, making silly sounds. Now he wants me to pet him and I am typing with one hand. Well, I had to stop typing and pet him properly. He has gone back to the bedroom now. He knows it isn’t time to go for a walk yet, it is still too early. I did just hear the paper woman deliver the paper. She is out and about early. I would hate to have her job in the wintertime when it is so cold and dark and you are exposed to the elements. The same goes for the mailman. Delivery people like that get paid very badly and there ought to be a law about that. I think it is a disgrace that a mailman can’t earn enough money to support his family, but that upper management is paying itself high salaries and bonuses, even when the company is doing badly and the employees have to suffer the consequences. Especially then.

Don’t get me on my high horse. Frances knows I am an old socialist at heart. I see people at the top enriching themselves at the cost of the people at the bottom and it just isn’t right. That is not the kind of society I want to live in and that is not the kind of political system I voted for. Full stop!

Anyway, as a result of that, I made myself a cup of Senseo, because when things get tough you have to pamper yourself and if it wasn’t so darn early, I would have the paper woman in for a cup also. Eduard is still asleep and I am sure he would not appreciate the noise.

It is strange how we seem to go back to times before socialism when workers didn’t receive enough salary and didn’t get the proper benefits that they deserved for the work they put in. We seem to go back to a time when workers were undervalued a
nd hard labor was a thing that was not appreciated, but socially frowned upon. As if by being a laborer you were less of a human being and deserved less respect and less financial reward and security. It seems to me that people who put in long hours and who put in a lot of physical effort should be justly compensated and should be able to feel financially secure and know that they can afford to support their families and can afford to see a doctor or a dentist. There should be a basic level of financial security for everybody. Now we are going in the direction of disparity again and we are saying that a laborer who does back breaking work doesn’t deserve to be properly rewarded for this. Never mind that he is using up his body at an alarming rate and probably needs to retire earlier than someone with a desk job.

I see the bricklayers who pave the streets and I see how they are bent over on their knees all day long, laying bricks, cutting bricks, never stopping, laying bricks. I think a man like that should be fairly compensated for the job he does. He shouldn’t have to worry about how he is going to pay his bills. And people in the building trade who do the back breaking jobs like carrying the cement bags and the bricks and the pipes and the cables. There are people who are well into their fifties doing this kind of work and they have to do it until they retire. Don’t tell me you can send them home with a minimum wage.

Well, you see how I feel about these things. I do respect people who do the lowest jobs in society. Jobs I wouldn’t want to do, like trash man or street cleaner. Or cleaning toilets at the train station. And then we make disparaging noises about the groups of people who are willing to do this kind of work. It’s an unequal society we live in and I want to equalize it a little bit. Make it a bit more fair for everybody and make a noise about inequality by voting for my political party.

Now I am all done talking about this. I have had my little rant and I got to say what I wanted to say and I got it all off my chest. I am so glad that I get to vote, having been unable to all those years I lived in the States. Not that my vote would have mattered there much anyway. I probably would have voted for a political party that didn’t stand a chance. Or for an unpopular candidate. One that was too far to the left.

People, these have been my words for today. I am now going to make some more coffee and see if the cats want to eat yet. I think it is a little too early to take the dog for a walk, so I will visit my fellow bloggers and see what they are up to. That is always an uplifting exercise.

Have a terrific day, everybody. Ciao…

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Here is the Old Pisa Door again. I did it in Paint Shop Pro, but I was just playing with it and didn’t write down the process. I will the next time. It is fun and I want to do something on Picnik next.

I had such a strange dream. I was in an Eastern European country in an old beaten up shop by an old motel. The place was filled with rats, everywhere you looked there were rats, but everybody had gotten used to them being there and nobody did anything about them. An old man lived in the shop who was an alcoholic and the owner didn’t want him to be there anymore, but the old man kept figuring out ways to stay. He lived in a little shed that was attached to the shop and he slept on some old rags and there were rats there as well. Some Dutch people came to buy the shop and figure out a way to get rid of the rats and make the shop more profitable. They kept coming up with more crazy schemes to make it work and get rid of the old man and the old man kept being more stubborn in his refusal to leave. I think that in the end they were considering killing him.

The motel was very strange. When people came there, they came straight from the airport and when they got to the motel, they had to go into some completely darkened rooms and stay there for three days in the absolute pitch dark. It was some sort of test. When they got out, they had to give away items of clothing to poor people. One woman got it wrong and boasted about the fact that she had given away a good dress to a pregnant gypsy woman and she got some sort of punishment. She had to leave the country or something. The gypsy woman kept saying: “Who does she think she is, offering me a used dress like that?”

Then I woke up and anybody who can explain the symbolism of that dream to me gets the award for the day. Being in the pitch dark for three days makes you think of the Resurrection, and giving away articles of clothing is something you do after someone has died. I’ll have to give it some thought and try to figure out who the people in my dream represented. I’m sure I will come up with something.

——————–

Some people left comments on my last post about God and I want to address them here and answer at least on of those questions, being why do we have the need to believe in a Higher Being? I can only speak for myself, of course, and say why I have that need.

Firstly, I want there to be more, because I want to understand how the world and everything on it was created. When I see the diversity of nature, I can’t believe that it all came about by chance and I think there must have been someone with a plan having had a hand in it. I understand evolution, but then I think it can’t explain everything and it must have had some help to get started and some help along the way.

Secondly, I want to know if my soul, I’ll call it that for now, will carry on without my body when my body has stopped functioning. Will that which makes me Irene specifically, the energy of me, go on after my earthly body has died? Am I more than just all the functions of my body? Is there such a thing as a soul or am I just the product of the workings of my brain and do I stop existing when my brain stops working?

Thirdly, I think that life, and I mean all of life, is a miracle. When I look at anything in nature and I am aware of the fact that I can behold its beauty, I want to know why that is possible. Why can I be in awe of what I see around me? Why can I behold beauty? Why do I think something is a miracle and can I stand in wonder at its existence?

Fourthly, I want there to be a Higher Being who in the end understands the things that are in my heart. Who understands me with all of my wants and fears and needs. Who will look kindly upon me when I burn a candle and wish for all the best to happen. Even when I know in my heart that this is wishful thinking and that, if there is a Higher Being, he or she will not personally intervene in my life like this. I need to think that there is Someone who has the magic that I don’t have myself, and that I, through doing certain rituals, can ward off bad things from happening. That my alliance with something that powerful will make life safer for me and the people I love.

——————–

Debi was talking in her comments about Carl Jung and that reminded me of the fact that I had a book about him on my book case and that I’ve had it for a long time without ever having really read it. It is called A Primer Of Jungian Psychology. I’ve had it for about sixteen years and I don’t even remember how I came to have it, except that it may have been my friend David’s, who used to be a psychiatrist in another life. It is possible that I took the book with me when we stopped living together and I moved out on my own. I am sure I had the best of intentions, but I never got around to reading it. It traveled with me to the Netherlands and has been sitting on my book case all this time, waiting for me to take an interest in it.

So, yesterday I decided to start reading it and I am glad that I did, because it opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me. If I look at myself through the systems of Jung, I suddenly understand myself, and what motivates me, a lot better. I can see what stage of my life I have reached now and I can see the stages that I have gone through in order to get here. I can see what happened in my psyche when things went so drastically wrong, and I can see what still goes wrong occasionally.

I like how he concluded that the psyche is not a closed system and that there is always energy entering it and that things are always out of balance to some extent. That your psyche is always in the process of trying to be balanced. I also like the role that Self plays and how we develop Self and I am very much looking forward to further developing my Self and letting that part of me play a big role in my life.

I am very interested in all the Archetypes and I would like to do some more reading about them. You can see how you can’t neglect any of them and that they all need to be fed and cared for and given their proper amount of attention and freedom to grow. But all must be in balance constantly, although there is no way to be balanced perfectly and that would not be good either, as you would become stagnant and have no personality whatsoever.

I like what he says about energy, that there is a finite amount of energy in your psyche and that it can not lose any of it, it can only go from one system to another and how sometimes one system can take up more than its share and leave the other systems dry and that’s when you get into trouble. Of course, sometimes it is good when one system takes up a lot of energy, such as when Self does, as this is the coordinating part of all the Archetypes and plays a very important role in your well being, but no other areas can be neglected and that is good.

When I first started reading about the Shadow, I thought it bode no good, but now I understand that even Shadow plays an important part in the overall picture and a Shadowless life is spiritless and that when Ego and Shadow are in harmony a a person can be very fulfilled.

I haven’t finished reading the book yet. I will do that today, but I find it very interesting. I talked with my daughter about it and found out that she had done some reading in this direction already and that she was familiar with the subject. Well, I am never too old to learn, am I? My daughter is just always several steps ahead of me in her development, so I asked her to send me suggestions for further reading.

——————–

My sister and I took the dogs for a walk by the pond yesterday. The weather was beautiful and it was going to be the last day of it. The dogs had a wonderful time, but there were a lot of other dogs there as well and Quinto doesn’t like for other dogs to be there in his park and wants to scare them away by being very ferocious. The hair in his neck stands up and he barks fiercely. Jesker is his normal mellow self and just stands there observing it all. He doesn’t get what all the noise is about. We are very lucky that Jesker is such a mellow dog.

——————–

When I got home, I should have vacuumed the apartment, but then started reading the Jungian Primer instead and I thought about what my priorities in life were. I decided that vacuuming was not a priority when you compared it to self enrichment or self development and that vacuuming is something I can always do when the mood strikes me, but that I have to grab the intellectual moment when I can. I am sure that Eduard can forgive me for that.

When I was very unsure of myself, in an earlier stage of my life, I tried to find all of my answers in self help books and I think I must have read them all. I would sit there with a high lighter and high light everything that I thought was important. Pretty soon the whole book would be high lighted. I had pink and yellow and blue high lighters and used them for whatever mood I was in and for whatever importance I gave a certain passage. I learned some things, but never learned the important thing, which was that I was suffering from depressions and needed professional help. I thought my dark moods were a result of dire circumstances.

Well, my circumstances were dire. I was in a very unhappy marriage, but when I left the marriage, it turned out that I suddenly didn’t improve and become a happily ever after person. I seemed to have opened Pandora’s box and all sorts of unexpected catastrophes came out. I turned out to be a very complex person, something that had been hidden away inside the bounds of the marriage and family life. On top of that, I went into a relationship with a very complex person, who definitely was not my prince charming, although I kept refusing to see this, and I was bound for hell in a hand basket, as they say.

I tried so many self help books then. I was desperately trying to understand myself and my situation, but now I know that I was looking for enlightenment in all the wrong places. You can’t cure a chronic depression with a self help book. You can’t cure a hypo mania with a self help book either. And you can’t fix a severely dysfunctional relationship with a self help book. No matter how hard you try.

I think self help books work when you are past needing the worst of the help, when you need only a little bit of help. At least, that’s how it has been for me. Self help books only prevented me from getting the help I really needed, so did self help groups. I see now that you have your Persona, and that nobody can see the desperately struggling person inside who is in fear of losing her sanity. You don’t show that at a self help group. You don’t show how bad it really is.

Well, I do get side tracked. This Primer of Jungian Psychology is not really a self help book. I think you need to be evolved quite a bit to really understand a lot of it. You can’t just jump in there cold turkey without any knowledge of the mind. Or I should say that you need to be in the proper frame of mind to be able to understand it and to be able to apply it to yourself. Even then it would be better if you got help with it. I have had years of therapy and I think I am just now evolving to the kind of person who can take in this kind of information and apply it consistently and correctly. If I were depressed now, it would all be for nought.

——————–

The dog is waiting very patiently for me to take him out and the cats are waiting for their food. I think I need to go and do that now. It is nice to sit here and keep on chatting, but sometimes duty calls me away from the keyboard. After I’ve vacuumed this morning (yes, I will), I will fool around with Paint Shop Pro and Picnik some more and see what masterpieces I can come up with. I will keep using the Old Pisa Door, I think.

Have a wonderful day, everybody, it is raining here, so hurray! Ciao…

P.S. Eduard has found some food that Jesker really likes. After having tried Pedigree and Bonzo, he has bought Frolic and Jesker loves it, and yes, the name is great, because can you see Jesker frolicking across the field with his ears fluttering up and down in the wind? When I fed him this morning, he had a look of amazement on his face like: “Are you really going to give me a whole bowl full of this wonderful stuff?” The cats used to eat his Pedigree and his Bonzo, but now Jesker growls at them if they get anywhere near his dish while he is eating. I have to measure out exactly 300 grams or otherwise he will become to chubby, because he likes it very much.

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Today’s opening sentence is:

“It was quite impressive when God intervened in his life.”

I thought this in Dutch, so I had to translate this, but apparently I was dreaming in Dutch, which surprises me, having been so busy writing and reading in English these past days. I don’t remember the dream, I never do when I remember the sentence. I wish I could remember the dream and the sentence, it would make it so much more interesting. It was definitely about a man, but not somebody I knew, I know that much. I am dreaming about apparent strangers and I don’t know what they are doing in my dreams. Very frustrating!

I like it so much when new people leave comments on my posts. It is like getting to know a whole new set of interesting friends, especially after I had visited their blogs already and saw and read what they had done. Some of these women are very talented and make me want to be very creative in my writing as well as the digital art. But I have a long way to go and I see that I really need a good digital camera or easier access to Eduard’s camera. I wonder if he would mind me using his on a regular basis? His camera does take good photographs if you know how to use it well. I have a bit of a problem with the focus part of it since I wear glasses, but maybe that is something that can be overcome easily. I am used to my smart camera that had an auto focus and never took a bad picture.

I have found a good way to read during the day without the danger of falling asleep with my book on my stomach on the sofa. I lay the book down on the coffee table and sit on the edge of the sofa. Then I bend forwards over the book and rest my elbows on my knees. I rest my head in one of my hands, leaving the other hand free to turn the pages or drink my coffee or smoke my cigarette or pet the dog. You see how I am multi tasking again. This way I don’t fall asleep and I can actually read rather quickly and assimilate a lot of information. This is how I sat and read the Power of Myth yesterday afternoon.

I have come to realize that my picture of God is actually quite limited. In mythology God plays an important role. He is sort of the star of the story and I see how I still think of God sometimes as this bearded man sitting on a throne surrounded by a host of angels up in a cloud somewhere. Now, my intellect knows that this picture isn’t right, but the child in me still believes this a little bit and it interferes with my idea of what God is all about. My God picture is still very much that off the Old Testament God, a wrathful God who can punish you if you get the instructions wrong and who can withdraw his love if this pleases him.

In reality, God is not an old man sitting on a throne. God is not even able to be caught in an image. God is not a person in a place. You can’t point somewhere and say there is God and this is what he looks like. That is way to limiting. God is not a He or a She. God is undefinable and indescribable. God is everywhere and nowhere. God is in all things, in a rock and in a blade of grass and in a mosquito. He is also in every human being, be they good or bad. That is, if you wish to believe in a God at all.

There is the question of course of there being such a thing as God. There seems to be a need for people to believe in a Higher Being, that’s what a lot of mythology is all about. Religious mythology is anyway. I seem to have a need to believe in a Higher Being, but I also see that my knowledge of what this Being would be like is very limited. I need to do a lot more reading on the subject before I can even come close to forming any sort of picture of It and then I will probably find out that no picture can be formed of It. It is suggested to look at nature and see God in it, but as we get closer to unraveling the mysteries of it, we are less in awe of it and less in awe of God. Yet, again we are in awe of God when we travel into the universe and look back on the earth and see the wonder of it and feel a need to describe that wonder. We keep feeling the need for a Higher Being who had a hand in shaping the universe or at least our little part of it.

I think the closer we come to explaining everything with science, the more miraculous everything seems to me. Science doesn’t take away the wonder of things for me, it only makes it more fascinating. But I definitely think that my picture of the probable maker should change quite a bit and I wonder if I can believe in something as simple as a Creator. I believe in the Big Bang theory, but then I am very curious how that came about, what caused the Big Bang?

People are so limited in what they can imagine about what a God should look like, because we have no idea what something as unworldly as that could look like. It probably doesn’t look like anything, it probably just Is! It is a state of mind maybe. I don’t know, like I said, I need to do a lot of reading about this still, but I think the Power of Myth takes me on the right road. It is a good starting point. If any of you have suggestions, please make them. I need all the help I can get.

Yesterday was such a mellow day. I didn’t do much in the morning but ride my bike to the place where I had to take my profile test. It was way out in the industrial complex and it took me twenty five minutes to get there, which isn’t too bad, I guess. The place itself was kind of a dump. Typical of something that was old and underfunded. It is run by social services and the people who were also waiting to take the test, looked like the kind of people who were reliant on the social services for their income. I definitely felt out of place there and wondered why I had to take the test when they clearly had such good test results available to them already. But I suppose I am just a little cog in the big machine of bureaucracy and I have to go through the system to reach my end destination.

The tests themselves weren’t too bad, except for one that was a timed test and that consisted of groups of objects of which one didn’t belong in the group and you had to be very analytical and figure out which one didn’t belong. I am sure that I failed that test. The first few ones were easy, but they became increasingly difficult and these sort of things have never been my strong point. It was about sequences and sometimes I just didn’t see the sequence, no matter how hard I tried. There was also a test with word interpretation which I think I did well on, but there were some words that I had never really used and that I had to guess at. I am sure that if this had been done in English, I would have done a lot better. I understood the Latin based words better than some of the plain Dutch words.

I was done quickly and rode my bike straight home and then thought how amazing it was that I was riding my bike so easily, into the wind too, when just a few months ago this would still have been a problem. I have gone from not riding my bike at all, to riding my bike easily. Even without any gears on it.

When I got home, Jesker was very cute and lovable and he leaned into me while I petted him. I like having a him there behind the front door when I get home. he always makes you feel so welcome. That dog is this woman’s best friend! The cats come in at a close second only.

Eduard was home early, because he had to work the late shift at night, so we hung out together and discussed my inability to do sequential tests and my concern that this showed a lack of intelligence on my part. Eduard was not convinced of this and tried to reassure me, but I think for someone who is supposed to be smart, I can be real stupid sometimes and I wish there was another way that my smartness could be measured.

When Eduard and I watch tough quiz shows on TV together, he always knows many more of the answers than I do, while I know that I should know them also, because I have read about those subjects myself. I just seem to have a really difficult time recalling bits of
information. It is not old age, I have had this problem my whole life and it is so frustrating! Things get lost in the maze of my head and I can’t retrieve them. I wonder if there is a way to train your brain to remember bits of information better? In school they always said: “She can perform better than she shows here.” That’s the story of my life. Under performance!

I remembered to hang up the laundry that was still sitting in the washing machine from the day before. I have been known to forget about that completely and have it partially dry in the machine, causing it to be very wrinkled, requiring lots of ironing on my part. The weatherman keeps predicting rain, so I don’t hang the laundry outside to dry, but then the weather turns out to be nice, so the weatherman isn’t getting any kudos from me.

I watched inane programs on TV last night and sort of fell into a slumber watching them. It is no wonder when I get up so early in the morning. I think Nederland 1 can be at the top for offering silly programming. At least it is completely harmless TV and when I fall asleep, I don’t miss anything. There is always a medical program on at 7:30 and I watch that and there is always someone who didn’t survive their operation and at the end of the show they announce: “Sadly, Mrs So and So died shortly after this was filmed.” And I think, how awful to announce that and for her family and friends who are watching the program and for the other patients watching the show, what sort of a message is it giving them? Oops, the operation went well, but the patient got up and died anyway? Despite our optimistic reporting, she is no longer with us?

I watch the news and never cease to be amazed at man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. The problem with the news is, that it shows you horrendous conditions from all over the world, without you actually being able to do anything about it. That is the frustrating part. Sometimes it makes you feel so helpless and you wonder if watching the news is good for your mental health. You almost have to become cynical in today’s world. It seems that if you are an idealist, there is not that much room to hang on to your ideals for fear of other people treading all over them. I keep believing in the basic decency of human beings, but sometimes I wonder if this is too naive.

We live in a global village now and Joseph Campbell said that we need a new global kind of mythology that we can all believe in and live by. We need to have common heroes and common Gods and common ethics. Local mythology and communal mythology are no longer sufficient in a world that is aware of itself globally. The first millennium Christian God needs to be brought into this modern world. We need to have an idea of a global God that we can all believe in.

I understand that there are some other books by Joseph Campbell that are worth reading and I will have to check the library to see if they have any of them. Otherwise it is to Bol.com to order them on line.

Well, it is that time of the morning again. I have to go and get on with my ritual of the cats and the dog and getting the day started properly, not to forget the medication and the make up and the decorating part.

Have a great day, everyone, ciao…

P.S. Some of my favorite blogs are from women who do amazing things with digital art. I am blown away by their talent and technique. I hope to be able to do a little of what they are able to do, so I am practicing as much as I can. There are some places where you can go for free digital art help and one of them is Picnik, just type that into Google and it will lead you to the right place. It is not a download but an on line program that allows you to manipulate your photographs quite extensively. You just need to register and that is quite painless. You can download the pictures from your own computer and save them there also.

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