Posts Tagged ‘language’

This morning I was very good and went to my ergo therapy class, even though I was half asleep and nearly nodded off during the first hour, because I had not had enough coffee. I woke up at 3 AM and could not go back to sleep, so read blogs instead, but I got so distracted by them that my caffeine consumption dropped to a very low level and as a result I was not so very perky at 8:30 AM, when I was supposed to leave.

I tried to do some damage control by drinking some coffee very quickly, but sleep was settling into my bones and I was getting mighty weary. I almost didn’t go at all, but then thought that the vigorous bike ride would wake me up. Well, not quite. It made me more like a unguided missile rushing through the traffic that luckily was light, because I wasn’t about to stop for anything, I just kept on moving until I got there and then it started to rain, hah, I got there just in time.

Very droopily I sat and listened to the other people tell their story of how their week had been and at times my head almost hit the table. Luckily, halfway through, we took a break and I had 3 espressos extra strong which gave me a kick in the pants and woke me up properly, so when it was time for me to talk, i could do so quite coherently. I made complete sense to myself and everybody else, although I do keep having this strange tendency to want to speak English as I find it easier to express what I want to say and I find myself struggling to find the right Dutch words. Everybody asks, “Irene, are you English?” And I grumpily answer, “No, I am half an American.” Nobody asks which half, but they leave me in peace and continue to let me struggle with a lot of patience.

We have something in the Netherlands like Facebook called Hyves and I had my pages there and had them quite organized, but yesterday I discovered that I had been hacked and all sorts of pictures of all sorts of strange people were on them and lots of weird messages. I had been completely infiltrated. There was nothing to do but delete them and sign up again under an assumed name with a picture of the Überhund in my profile and let the people who counted know where I was now. Actually, I am only on there for the sake of some of my relatives who like to keep in touch that way and I go along with the program and I very often forget to go and have a look to see if there are any messages. At one time, I even forgot my password and my sign in name. Then I get badgered to get on there and read the messages and look at everybody’s photographs from weddings and vacations. I try to be good, I really try…

So, I got that all organized this afternoon and I didn’t do much else, because I also downloaded music videos from Youtube for it and pictures and lord knows what else. Actually, it is a lot different than Facebook in that way.

Anyway, besides walking the Überhund and eating, I haven’t done much. Oh yes, I opened the mail, but it was not that important, except a reminder from the bank that I have no money in my account and if I am going to do something about that soon. Well, yes I am. In about 2 days, as a matter of fact. The signature was printed, so I am not going to bother to call. I don’t expect any gangsters at the door yet.

This morning we had to pick out cards form a large deck of cards that had lesser personality traits on them. We had to try to pick 5 cards, which I did. Mine were, overconfident, strict, cynical, distant and too detail oriented. We had to tell what our cards were and what we thought about these lesser traits that we had, but when it was my turn I said that I wasn’t at all unhappy with my traits and that I could very easily live with them. Well, I wasn’t supposed to like them and I am supposed to work on them! Jeez! Really, Irene.

Hey, I’ve worked hard to become the person I am today. I am not just going to give that up without a fight. I want to be cynical, actually, I want to be all those things.

Well, now it ‘s raining like crazy again. It has been on and off all day and yesterday too. One moment the sun shines and then it rains. It’s like we live in the tropics. Tropical Holland. Buy your seafront property now in the Limburger hills.

Okay, that’s enough of that. I am going to watch some TV and get some much needed head rest. That’s not a thing to rest your head on.

You all have a good day or evening or whatever you are having in whichever timezone.



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I am having a dull day and I am having it on purpose. I feel dull and dumb witted and I have decided not to exert myself at all and not do anything that requires great amounts of efforts, except for walking the Uberhund. I have lazed on the sofa, taking little cat naps, listening to my music, thinking insignificant thoughts, turning into a vegetable, an eggplant maybe, and letting the whole world pass in a parade and it feels good.

It’s so pleasant being lazy and dull and dumb witted. I haven’t even properly made up my face, though I have combed my hair and put on decent clothes. I know the queen isn’t coming by for tea today, so I don’t give a hoot. I’ve done the dishes and made the bed and cleaned up the living room, so we know a decent person lives here.

I sit here and yawn and think about the next nap and how lovely it is to drift off until the Uberhund nuzzles me with his nose to get me up. This morning I repeatedly hit the alarm clock until the snooze alarm stopped and went back to sleep until the Uberhund thought I had done enough of that and woke me up. He did have dire business to do due to that found bone.

It was already warm outside at 7 AM and we made a longish walk and when we got home, I realized I had forgotten to take the mail to the mailbox, so we went and did that too. We were fairly worn out after that and both took naps. In the interest of science, I am willing to find out how many naps a 53 year old woman can take on a lazy Saturday in early July, accompanied by her trusty four footer.

That bone put the Uberhund off his food for a while, but he just ate a bowl of Frolic, so I guess he is back to normal now. I wonder if he puts two and two together in his mind and associates eating the bone with not feeling so well? At least he had a terrific time yesterday gnawing on it and feeling like a ferocious ancestral being. I am still wondering if we stumbled upon the scene of a crime and it was part of a human thighbone? My imagination works overtime.

The cats are droopy like we all are. We are all just droopy. I called my sister and she was cleaning her house from top to bottom and I think there is something seriously wrong with her, because she sounded as if she was enjoying it. I had to call her about a grammatical question and since she is a trained elementary school teacher there is no better person to ask. I have forgotten so many of those Dutch rules. I always forget to ask her, because i forget she is smart and knows these things.

I have to forward the Exfactor’s mail to him now at his new address and I still have to look it up each time, but soon I will know it by heart. I can’t address it to that cute house with the climbing rose over the front door portico with the number 15 next to it and the nicely shaped bushes in the front garden.

I enjoy getting mail now, when it is addressed to me in my own name. Even bills I don’t mind and I am very organized. I have everything in binders in its own place.

My sister just came by to bring me this weekend’s paper. She thought I might enjoy reading it and I said, yes to add it to my stack of recycled paper that needs to be put to the curb. That’s on the 26th of July, I mustn’t forget that. That’s why I’ve got that no/no sticker on the mail slot, so I won’t get any of that extra paper junk in my mail box. The weekend paper is so large too!

The Uberhund was beside himself when he saw my sister and started howling at her with is head pointing at the ceiling. That was a real welcome! He is a kind dog that way. He does have his favorite people.

The Exfactor is coming on Wednesday afternoon to take all the boxes out of the workroom and hopefully he will take the bed at the same time too. If my new bed is not here, I will sleep on the sofa. It will give me a chance to clean up the bedroom really well. There must be several inches of dust under the bed that are hard to get too. Oh, I see why I need this lazy day now. It is to gather my strength for the week to come.

Yes, well, I just wanted it to be lazy. Just for the heck of it. I didn’t want it to have a purpose.

A day will come, real soon, when I least expect it, when I will be struck by the window wash genie. I can feel it coming, but it’s not quite there yet. I did buy a new bottle of Glassex the other day, maybe that is a coming sign of it. First the spit and polish and then the Glassex.

Well, now I am very droopily going to make me another mug of coffee and try to figure out a way to download some music, there must be a way to do it, bugger!

Have a very good day, droopy or not lazy or active, with or without naps.


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I woke up with a great opening sentence for today’s post, but now I have done some other things first, like react to comments on some other people’s blogs, and I have forgotten what it was. Something about seizing the moment and knowing when that was, but I am really not sure. Apparently it was the right moment just when I woke up.

A stranger came by and left a comment on one of my posts and, of course, I did what you always do, I went and visited her and she turned out to be South African and has a blog written in Afrikaans. This language is a product of 17th century Dutch, so I could read it and understand it with some amount of effort and I am planning on visiting it again in the future because it is a fun exercise to try and decipher the Afrikaans. I am not totally unfamiliar with that language, having read some shorter stories in it before, but always with the Dutch translation beside it. I think I had already told you about the double negative they use such as, must not smoke not, must not cry not.

For those of you who are confused about where my old blog is here, you must of course look in the archives and you will find all of my old posts there from the very beginning up to the moment I came over here. I didn’t actually physically take the whole blog with me, of course. Just the posts and those are what counts, and all the comments too.

As you see, I changed the header image to the blog. I do like to play with things and always try to find something better and I am awfully fond of tulips. I can’t find the photograph of the yellow tulips that I had originally, but I think these do nicely as well. What you do, is find a large enough image and then you have to crop a slice of it horizontally that you like for the header. I think this one has a bit of an antique quality to it.

I am sitting here in my fluffy warm bathrobe and I still need it at night, as it does get a bit chilly. We don’t have the heater on at all anymore. it is off now until October, but some nights it does get a little cool still. But it is wonderful to sit here wrapped up in this great big bathrobe and only have my lower legs sticking out. It is true that people should have more than just one robe and I suppose I will get one for the summer as well. I used to have a nice cotton one, but for the life of me I don’t remember what happened to it. That belongs to the memories I did not consciously store.

My sister came by yesterday with a bike of which the chain had come undone and Eduard is very handy and always knows how to remedy these things. It turned out that the chain was to lose and Eduard tightened it. He asked me if I knew how to do that, and I said, goodness no, that my father always took care of such things. I barely know how to patch a tire. In the States if something happened to my bike, we always took it to the bike maker. That earns Eduard’s scorn, as he thinks people should be self sufficient and take care of their own gear. He is awfully handy to have around, but that is something that I never got interested in, while I am handy with other things such as screwdrivers and power tools. It’s just that Eduard is so much better and efficient at all these things that I don’t bother. I am spoiled having had a very handy father and now having a very handy Eduard. A woman isn’t going to bother then, is she? It’s like cooking dinner while you are married to a gourmet cook.

I finally got the ironing done again yesterday and I’ll be very honest with you, I get it done because there are some of my things in it. Eduard has so many T-shirts that I can wait forever with the ironing. but if I have my clothes in there, I am likely to do it sooner. Those of you who wonder why I iron T-shirts, I have to answer that if you dry them on a washing line, they stay wrinkled and they don’t come out unwrinkled like they do when you put them in a dryer. That’s why I need to iron more often. I don’t mind ironing really, I just think I do. Once I have started, I don’t mind it at all. The only things I don’t like to iron are dress shirts. Luckily, Eduard doesn’t wear them very often.

I thought of something while I was ironing. You should never cheat on someone who irons your shirts for you. Somehow that ought to be a rule. Ironing is such a dedicated job, that the person who does it, ought never to be cheated on. They should call it: “The Intimate Act of Ironing.” You women know what I mean, don’t you?

I am sitting here with my head phones on listening to Massive Attack. What a super invention. I wore them yesterday while I was out walking Jesker, but I could still hear the kids screeching by the elementary school, so I didn’t quite drown them out. Sometimes I walk by there when they are out playing, the little ones, and I hear one of them use terrible language and I wonder where he learned that. At home, no doubt. I always want to go over and give a lecture, but I don’t know how to lecture a 5 year old I don’t know. I doubt the teachers would appreciate it. They would probably worry about me upsetting the child’s delicate feelings. They must be aware of it.

We have such a thing called the vulgarization of society. It is happening all around us and we have to fight against it. It has to do with catering to the lowest common denominator and appealing to the masses etc. That’s why I refuse to watch commercial television, because I think they are one of the greatest harbingers of it. Eduard will sometimes make an exception for a sports program, but I say you have to stick to your guns and not give an inch. I am unrelenting in this. I refuse to watch cheap programs and programs and films that are interrupted by commercials. I had enough of that in the States. Besides. I think the quality of the programs on the commercial television channels is pretty bad, They import a lot of, what I think, are the worst shows from the States. I can’t believe that Americans accept some of this drivel as good enough to watch. I don’t think we should, but there are enough people here who have no built in censor and who do. Like I said, television for the lowest common denominator. I don’t think commercial television is an enrichment to society.

Okay, that was my little social commentary. I think I am entitled to one every post and I don’t think I take advantage of it very time. So, maybe I should have two of them now. Nooo, I don’t think so.

I am starting to figure out this MP3 player. There are folders inside that contain whole albums and with a bit of trickery you can get it to play a whole album, but the trick is the trickery. I am not quite dexterous at it yet, but I have now got it to play Bjórk’s Debut Album. Yesterday I thought I had lost the screen, because it had gone black, but it turned out that I had the contrast turned up too high and by luck I got it down again, because I couldn’t see a thing. I thought contrast had something to do with the quality of the music. Hee, hee.

Well, I am just a 53 year old woman trying to keep up with technology on her own. I am not doing half bad.

Oh yes, I was saying to my sister how I wanted an iPod, but that they cost 229 Euros and she said that everybody in her household seemed to have one of those, but that they never used them and Eduard said that she should see if one of them didn’t want to send their iPod my way. The Classic iPod has 80 GB and a battery that lasts 40 hours. I don’t think one of them will find its way here, but the thought is nice. I should be so lucky.

Today I get to do two “fun” things. This morning I am going to see my SPN and I realize again how much she has helped me already and how much I need to let her know that, so that she doesn’t think that I am leaving her because I am unhappy with her. So, I need to make a point to tell her that. I am 20 years older than she is, but I can’t tell for how much wisdom she has in her area of expertise.

In the afternoon I get to go to the physiotherapist for a good back massage and I am looking forward to that. As long as she does not fall asleep while doing so, like she did the other day. I had to wake her up by coughing very loudly. It jerked her awake. She is an older woman and I think she possibly needs a nap in the afternoon. It is quite embarrassing. I don’t understand why these things always happen to me. I once had a psychotherapist who fell asleep in the afternoons, so I had to stop seeing her. I can’t believe or accept that I was so boring that she fell asleep.

Anyway, the image above, and I don’t know if it is any good, is made with a collage by Lisa Sarsfield and here is the original:

Right, that’s all I’ve got for now. Have a terrific Tuesday and slay many dragons. I haven’t asked you to do that for awhile. There aren’t that many dragons around right now, maybe there are in your parts.

Ciao…or cheerio, whatever…

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Eduard and I have been up all night. Eduard keeps getting up to make himself cups of decaf Senseo and then, with a look of bravery, goes back to bed, only to reappear some time later for another cup of Senseo.

Actually, we went to bed at about 9 pm last night, as Eduard wanted to call it an early night. I fell asleep almost instantly, but then woke up at 1 am, because I had to go to the toilet urgently. Then I was wide awake and found out that Eduard was wide awake also and that he had not been asleep yet at all. We’re completely discombobulated. I have not gone back to bed, as I am truly wide awake and there is no sense in me trying, so I have been reading every body’s blogs and leaving comments and poor Eduard has been trying to get back to sleep. He figures that if he just keeps going back to bed, he’ll fall asleep eventually, because he does have to get up in the morning to go to work. I think he is an optimist and he should just get up and sit in his comfortable chair and read a book. There is nothing worse than laying awake for hours on end in bed with your eyes wide open. I avoid that at all cost. But, to each his own method.

I don’t mind having sleepless nights, unless I am sitting here being really tired and yawning and unable to sleep for some reason, but not when I am wide awake and perky. Maybe if we had two computers, Eduard would sit behind one now and be visiting all of his forums, leaving technically interesting messages for the fellow geeks at the modeling airplane places and the motorcycle places.

Yesterday was a nice day. I actually got some work done around here. Not enough for the queen to come over and have tea with us, but I did get some things done. Mostly laundry, which I hung outside to dry and then forgot to bring in at night, so it is still hanging there now as we speak. Luckily, the weather is nice and it isn’t getting rained on. It will be something for the neighbors to discuss, how I left the laundry out all night! Such a shameful housewife! It will smell good in the morning when I bring it in.

Eduard and I organized a bunch of paperwork as we are trying to consolidate some outstanding debts into one cheaper loan and we have an appointment for that today, so we had to rustle up a lot of statements of various accounts. We are paying some hefty interest charges on some bills and we are trying to get a cheaper loan to lower our monthly payments. All it took was for me to fill out one form over the Internet and we got a phone call the next day. Lenders are eager to lend money for personal loans, even if you have no collateral. As long as you have a good credit record, they are willing to talk to you and hopefully offer you the loan you need. So, keep your fingers crossed on that one. We’re still waiting for that long, lost, rich relative to kick the bucket.

In the afternoon we went to my sister’s house for my nephew’s birthday. We were met by a house full of boys who were busy eating cake and playing computer games. They were well behaved boys and didn’t need to be entertained by any of us, so that was good. We grown ups moved outside on the patio and had some wonderful vlaai there, that was so delicious that I could have eaten it until I had passed out. It’s just heaped with fruit and whipped cream and a crust that is so delicious. Yum! We had espressos to go with that and then Eduard had to leave to go to his work’s drinks party.

So, the dog and I stayed and my sister brought out French cheeses and some salads and they were great. There was a cheese called Port Salut, which I had never had before, but which is a very soft cheese and very good on wheat crackers. She also had a Roquefort that was nicely blue veined and pungent. I notice lately, that I am starting to like all sorts of cheeses more and more. I never thought I cared for a Brie, but we had one at one of my birthday parties and it was at room temperature and I thought it was delicious and really ate my fill. My sister had a mustard chicken salad and a curried seafood salad that we also ate on crackers and none of us could stop eating it. When everything was almost gone, Eduard reappeared and had the leftovers. He had stayed at the drinks party only long enough to be polite and then excused himself saying that he had a birthday party to go to, so that was nice.

My sister’s in laws were there, so we had lots of interesting conversations, but I noticed that when I talked about my blog, everybody’s eyes sort of glazed over, as if I was talking about something far away from their experience. I may as well have been talking about Eskimos in Greenland. My sister is apparently not even curious enough to try to find out what my blog is called, which is good, because I would not tell her anyway. It is strictly something I want to keep separate from her and her family. I would not want my oldest sister or my oldest niece to be reading it either. As a matter of fact, the only family members who read my blog are Eduard and my daughter. All other family members (relatives) either don’t know about it, or aren’t privy to the blog’s name. And that’s the way I plan to keep it.

Anyway, I ate more cheese and salad than was good for me, probably, but I didn’t make myself sick eating it. My gastric band didn’t suddenly start to reject all the food, which it should have, but that is another matter. It is very strange, the other day I ate an omelet and I had to go hang over the toilet for a bit, but yesterday I ate quite a bit of food and I was fine. I suppose it has to do with how well I chew things and how slowly I eat them.

My brother in law is an odd fellow. While we sit at the patio table having drinks and food, he goes off by himself and settles into a deck chair with his sunglasses on and his iPod stuck in his ears, totally cut off from any conversation with us. He always goes his own way and does his own things, whatever he feels like doing at a certain moment. He never feels that he has to be polite and make conversation if he doesn’t feel like it. I would be embarrassed if Eduard did such a thing, but I guess my sister is used to it. She thinks he lives in higher spheres than us mere mortals and that he has different needs. I am so glad that I am not married to him! When my brother in law is bored with the company, he just goes and does something else. Except that you are painfully aware of that. He
doesn’t play the role of the host.

My other brother in law is a bigot. He is someone who’s company I only tolerate because he is married to my sister. He holds terrible points of view on minorities and votes extreme right. And he is always convinced that he is right and that he has an awful lot of insight into the human character and that he knows exactly what makes people tick. He doesn’t have any manners, even though he has the money to own two Mercedes sedans. The problem is that through her marriage to him, my oldest sister has become influenced in some of her points of view also and she believes certain things to be true now, when I know that if she had been married to somebody else, she would not believe these things. So, I always have very mixed feelings about visiting them. There is the resistance I feel towards my brother in law and the compassion I feel for my sister, whom I can still reach when we are alone together. I can’t just dismiss her.

You sure don’t pick your family, do you? At the same time, you feel some sort of loyalty towards them. Sometimes you want to remove them out of your life forever, but you know you can’t. There is always that tie that binds you, no matter how suffocating it can be at times. No matter how odd you think they are at times. My two sisters are 12 years apart in age and they don’t have a lot of things in common, while I am stuck between the two of them and feel connected to both. I always feel that I have to be loyal to both of them, even though that is hard sometimes.

The three of us are very different, but I think the things we find irritating about each other, are the things that we have in common and are the traits that we are the least happy with. We remind each other of the worst in ourselves and we are all afraid to be like our mother, who had some of the worst traits. That is the worst insult you can give us, that one of us reminds you of our mother.

I think it is possible that Eduard has actually gone to sleep now. I kept hearing him turn his bedside lamp on and off, but all is quiet now. He is going to be a broken man in a few hours when he has to get up again. I don’t know what I am going to be after this long night. I still feel fine. Maybe sometimes you just don’t need a whole night’s sleep. Maybe it is okay to skip a night once in a while. I certainly don’t get bored sitting here. I still have to replace all the patterns in the series of images that I have made. Well, I have done a lot already, but I am not quite done yet, so I will finish that in a while. It’s so nice to finally get the series of images together that I want. It was a bit of trial and error, but I got there in the end.

My niece says that she really likes to learn Latin, but that she is going to drop French in her fourth year. She is in her third year now. How do you like that? I thought Latin was going to be harder for her. And my nephew has started with German this year and is having a bit of a hard time with the pronunciation, no doubt he has not heard enough German being spoken. His best languages are English and French. My sister is taking a refresher course French on line, because she needs it for her work, getting many French speaking tourists that ask for information and directions.

My French and German are elementary, I get by, barely. If I could go though life just speaking English and Dutch I would have it made. If I could only get a job in which that was a requirement. I should say, American English, because there is a difference, isn’t there?

Okay, now I have to go and make some cigarettes, because we are all out. If there is anything else I can think off to ramble on about, I will do it in a P.S.

In the meantime, I wish you all a happy day, with lots of Monday morning happiness and good cheer. Go team! Ciao…

P.S. It’s almost 9 am now and Eduard has just left for work. He was actually quite chipper and walked the dog for me. I, on the other hand, am quite wiped out and I am going to lay down on the sofa and see if I can get some sleep. The night passed by quickly, but it has caught up with me and now I feel like I have jet lag. Everything will have to be put on hold until I am caught up on some sleep again.

The animals have been taken care off and I have taken my medicines. Maybe if I turn on a movie, I will fall asleep watching it. That normally does the trick. There is only so much you can do when your body tells you it wants to sleep and your mind is not far behind. I know I want to sit here and play with Paintshop, but I can’t. I am not capable of it.

So off I go now, off to sleep, ciao…

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Old Pisa Door 2

If on a summer evening late

You say that beauty is perishable

And the pregnant moon contradicts your words

Do not let yourself be dazzled by the planets

Which also have the eternal life.

And if in the night of the full moonlight

The stars glow as light publicity of god

Sleep not as a fallen angel

Forgotten by god and lost to me

And call me by my name in the glimmer of the morning.*


So, I have started to read Mythology for Dummies, which Eduard got for me from the library and which is just perfect reading for me when I go to bed at night and fall asleep after only reading a few pages. It talks about Greek mythology mostly, but also handles the lesser known mythologies of other cultures toward the end of the book. Of course, I haven’t gotten there yet. If it turns out to be too tedious, I may just read it during the day to get through it quickly so I can start on the novel from Iris Murdoch, which Eduard also got me from the library, which is called The Unicorn. I haven’t read anything by Iris Murdoch for awhile, the last novel was The Sea, The Sea, and I thought that was really good, so I have high hopes for this one.

Yesterday I spent some time playing with Paint Shop and at the instigation of the people who know, I didn’t open the manual, but started messing around with it on my own to see what sort of results that would give me. Luckily, this worked and I got some good results and I have posted some of those already and there will be more to come. The one above is originally of the old Pisa door, manipulated with the magic wand and the paint bucket with different colors and then I added special effects in different intensities to it. I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Yesterday turned out to be an alright sort of day. After I wrote my post and walked the dog and fed the cats, I took my medicines and an Oxazepam and went back to bed to sleep some more. I had gotten up so early and the thought of crawling back under the duvet was more than I could resist. I woke up at 10:45 am and felt very refreshed and caught up on my sleep. I had some wonderful cups of Senseo and didn’t feel the least bit rushed to get the day started, so first I wrote a poem for Fawzan. I wrote it in Dutch first and then went to Babelfish for the translation into English, which turned out mostly right, but needed a little fixing on my part. It did come out a little bit gobbled at first, but it is always fun to see what Babelfish comes up with. It is a great invention on the Internet!

I walked the dog again, but we couldn’t go on the field as it was being cut by big noisy mowers. We steer well clear of them, so we just circled the field and Jesker got a special treat when we got home. He likes the Denta Sticks from Pedigree which are good for his teeth and he loves to chew on them. He very happily takes them to his pillow where he chews on them to his heart’s contend. You never saw such a happy dog. The cats decided that they were very hungry again as they followed me into the bathroom making pleading feed us sounds, so I opened up another little container of food and fed them. They ate with much vigor.

Then I really had to clean the apartment and I started with the kitchen, which is a non ending battle of dishes to be washed and dried and cat and dog bowls to be cleaned. I think we should start eating off paper plates and eat with disposable fork and knifes. O horror, what will the environmental police say about that! Luckily, Eduard has mostly stopped eating meat also, so there are none of the greasy pans to clean up and no grease spatters on the stove. It’s a definite benefit of eating vegetarian.

While cleaning the apartment, I really wanted to sit behind the computer some more and work with Paint Shop Pro 8, having been bitten by the bug, but I also turned on the film channel and watched the movie As it is in Heaven, which I had been waiting to see and which turned out to be a wonderful movie with much Swedish magic in it. It’s about a very famous conductor who for health reasons returns home to the place of his childhood and anonymously starts a choir there very successfully. Unluckily he dies, after he has fallen in love with a beautiful Swedish woman, while listening to the choir sing over the intercom at a festival in Innsbrück. A very bitter sweet ending. Leave it to the Swedes to not have a simple happily ever after story.

I took another Oxazepam in the afternoon, after having contacted my psychiatrist telling him that I was doing this now for the time being as long as I needed it. He knows that I will not abuse this privilege and that I will only use them when necessary and I have his blessing. It is such a wonderful way to relax, but to still keep functioning. It makes me feel mellow without making me feel stoned. I still have all of my faculties, but it just takes the sharp edges off. I took another one this morning and it is helping me write this post so calmly, yet coherently. The other alternative is turning to the booze, like I did in January and I think that is a bad alternative, so I won’t even go down that road.

I actually do feel better than I have for the past few days. I was feeling a bit stressed and uneasy for no obvious discernible reason that I knew of. Sometimes a mood just decides to settle in, whether I like it or not and I can’t always figure out where it comes from. Possibly they are very subtle things that bring it about, maybe it is like Beverley said: if a butterfly beats it’s wings in China…Maybe if I think there is something not quite right about the day and I can’t put my finger on it and then subsequently all things go slightly off after that, until they all feel wrong and it is like a snowball that tumbles down a hill getting larger and larger and I am unable to stop it, getting anxious and panicky along the way.

I have to remember yesterday’s lesson about angst and not
let it have a life of its own, independent of me. Angst can’t become a separate entity that lives in me. It has to stay as part of all of my feelings and not become a full blown thing of its own that dictates my mood and my subsequent actions. The Oxazepam removes the angst and lets me feel disregard for any imaginary anxieties that I have. Because many of my anxieties are imaginary, they are hardly ever about real things. They are just a lot of mind f***ing. I have a tendency to that and was very happy when I was taught this term many years ago by a therapist I was seeing. Angst causes you to do a lot of it.

My first therapist was very much into psycho analyses and had me read books like “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” and “Games People Play.” Although I was very depressed at the time, he did not give me that diagnosis and I wonder why he did not, or if he thought I was just a neurotic housewife from the suburbs. I stopped seeing him after eight months when suddenly one afternoon my depression lifted quite suddenly and I came into the opposite mood of cheerfulness and happiness. He said it was like black magic. I know now it was the bipolar disorder doing its thing.

To tel you the truth, I think there may be quite a few well intentioned but incompetent therapists out there who are not qualified to recognize it when people are dealing with chemical imbalances and should be put on medications. That was my experience anyway in the eighties and early nineties. Who think they can teach you coping skills and marriage skills and communication skills, but who don’t see that you are a mess of a depression sitting there. But then again, America is the land of therapists and it seems that anyone can be a therapist and claim to cure what ails you through all sorts of tried and untried methods.

Anyway, today I will have to vacuum and do the ironing as I see that Eduard is running low on T-shirts and we can’t have that. Will I be able to turn off the computer and take care of those things? I will have to force myself. It is funny how things slowly start to pile up when suddenly your interest gets caught by a new hobby that then becomes a compulsive activity. I think I have said earlier that I have to have the self discipline to actually turn the computer off after I have written a post and to not turn it on again until after I have done my chores. This is keeping in mind the electricity bill as well as me getting things done around here.

Well, it has been most amusing to sit here and ramble on like this, but I suppose that I will now end my words with this observation. When you have a dog and he very lovingly looks at you while he lays at your feet, don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to do all sorts of kind things for him. It is all a ruse to get another Denta Stick out of you and he can only have one a day. So, don’t do it!

Have a great day, everybody, ciao…

* Fawzan is having a poetry competition here. Join in the fun, it is open to all.

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You guys, I have added another male blogger to ‘my favorite posts’. His name is Fawzan Barrage and he can be found under artEzan, where he shows his wonderful water colors. It wasn’t until I read his older posts that I realized he was Rima’s husband. I knew there was some connection, I just didn’t realize it was such a close one. I think I now have three male bloggers under my favorites, so things are starting to even out a little bit. I am not excluding them on purpose, it is just working out that way. So far, the blogs I have found by male bloggers have been about technical things, which I am not interested in, of course. I will gladly add male bloggers to my list, providing they write about the more sensitive issues, such as love, life, family, relationships, art and fill in the rest. If it’s done with humor, than that is a bonus. If it’s is done with passion, than so much the better.

Listen to me, I sound like I know it all! Jeez, such an expert already on blogs!

I am sitting here having my second cup of coffee and I think I am properly awake now. Eduard had to get regular cigarettes at the BP last night, because we ran out of tobacco and they don’t taste nearly as good as home made ones. They’re skinny and they have a long filter on them, so you don’t actually get that much of a smoke. They’re Marlboros, in case you’re wondering. The kind we make also have filters on them. We have a little gadget to make the cigarettes with. It is my job and I make them every evening while I watch the news. Sometimes the gadget doesn’t work right and I swear a lot in Dutch and English. Then it is good to be bilingual. Don’t imagine anything too extreme here. It is mostly mild mannered swearing, the kind you can get away with in a semi public gathering.

I have sent out emails to invite people to my second birthday party, but so far I have received no replies, which leaves me thinking that nobody is going to show up and that we will sit there with lots of good food to eat and no people to eat it. Well no, that’s silly. I know of two people that are coming. I already know which wonderful pie I am going to have. It is going to be the one with the freshly glazed fruit and the freshly whipped cream. They only make that kind in this part of the Netherlands as far as I know, at least it originated here.

Limburg is well known for its culinary delights, there is lots of haute cuisine here. Evidence of this is the very good fish market that is held every Friday and where there is an abundance of fresh fish and lobster and other crustaceans. It’s a delight to walk around and see what is on offer, but the only thing I cook well is salmon. All other fish cooking is a mystery to me. There are lots of good restaurants and especially north African restaurants that do really well. Those are Eduard’s favorite places to eat. What I miss is a really good Indonesian restaurant, because once you’ve eaten the real thing, you’ll never settle for anything less. I think for really good ethnic food you have to be in the west of the country, where there are many more people of different cultures.

When I still lived in California, there was a restaurant in San Francisco that we used to go to that was run by a couple from Eritrea. They made the authentic food from their country and man, it was good. They were in the Haight and Ashburry district, but I don’t remember the name of the place. It was just an unassuming little restaurant with the best food and the friendliest people. Then there was an Indonesian restaurant in San Raphael that had authentic Indonesian food that was out of this world. Sometimes we drove all that way and found it closed and it was always a huge disappointment. I suppose I really like ethnic food for the blending of all the flavors and the colors of it. I also like meeting people from other cultures and having a chat with them and finding out how they are doing in their new place of living. Having been a foreigner myself, I was always curious about that. The thing is, that nobody could tell I was a foreigner, but still I experienced it as such and I felt some sort of connection with all other foreigners.

When you don’t speak a language fluently yet, people have the tendency to talk to you in a loud voice in very simple sentences as if you are an old deaf person. You make it a point to become fluent in that language as quickly as possible, as a matter of fact, you try and become better at it than the average speaker. You learn to speak it so well, that people have no idea where you originally came from and it is all a mystery to them. They hear something different, but they can’t put their finger on it. I was thought to come from England or from Australia, but never from Holland. As a result, I didn’t teach my children to speak Dutch, which I thought later on to be a mistake and it is really a shame now that my daughter only understands some of it, but doesn’t speak it. I didn’t want the children to have a handicap in their language and I didn’t realize at the time that children do just find growing up bilingual.

Children in this part of the country learn to speak the local dialect from their parents and learn to speak proper Dutch at school and the two are very different. So, they grow up bilingual. The dialect is very difficult and although Eduard and I can now understand most of it, we can’t speak it, it is too difficult and we would sound silly trying.

Speaking of children, last Thursday it was exactly three years since my son had died and no, I didn’t feel especially sad on that day, although I was very much aware of it and I did talk to my daughter on that day. I think I didn’t feel especially sad, because to me Brion is still so very much alive. I have such a clear picture of him in my head and I can recall exactly what his voice sounded like and recall all of his body language. I take it for granted that he is always around me somewhere. I just assume that he is, I never feel disconnected from him. So the remembrance day of his death wasn’t an extra out of the ordinary day. Of course, I have no grave to go to and put flowers on, maybe that would have made it different, but then I would always be putting flowers on his grave.

You have to take my word for it when I say that Brion was a very special human being. He was very unique, but I guess every mother thinks that about her child. He is still unique in his continuous presence and I like to believe that he guards over us. His instructions to us were to embrace life and to do the things that our hearts told us to do. Sometimes I forget that and I get caught up in every day life, but there are times when I am reminded of that and I truly live one day at a time. I guess we all have those moments of panic when we think everything is going wrong and we have to man the battle ships, but mostly I try to live my life like Brion wished me to. When you face death, you get your priorities straight very quickly and solidly.

Well, that brings me at the end of my words for this morning. Yesterday I didn’t do anything with Paint Shop. I think I want to do more, but I am a little frustrated i
n that I don’t know enough yet and I want to find out how to do more. I will fiddle around with it today and see if I can find any tutorials on line.

Have a wonderful day everybody, surprise us with your words and with your art. With your Words and with your Art, with capital letters. Ciao…

P.S. This is an idea from Debi, here is a link to a personality type test you can take, It is free and you don’t have to register. It is done in a few minutes and I am a ISTJ. Which means I have:

a very expressed introvert personality
a moderately expressed sensing personality
a distinctly expressed thinking personality
a very expressed judging personality

And here is an explanation of the sixteen personality types. It is all very interesting and, as far as I am concerned, very accurate. So let me know what you are. I am very curious if there is anyone out there like me. Especially a certain family member!

Here is a description of my personality type:


Serious and quiet, interested in security and peaceful living. Extremely thorough, responsible, and dependable. Well-developed powers of concentration. Usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. Well-organized and hard working, they work steadily towards identified goals. They can usually accomplish any task once they have set their mind to it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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