Posts Tagged ‘laundry’

I happens now that I talk to the Uberhund out loud when we make our walks through the neighborhood.

“Did I say we were going in this direction? I don’t remember saying that. I think the next time you should consult me on that first.”

The Uberhund has also not got my maiden name with the divorce, he has kept the Exfactor’s name. So know I say, “Uberhund B**ss*nk**l, I can’t believe you just did that. I s that a way for a proper dog to behave?

All of this is done out loud in the street and I have whole conversations with him, which he he accepts with a resignation that only a dog has. “Oh, grump, grump, she is scolding me again. Well, such is life.”

It makes for a pleasant walk, because I do enjoy commentating on the events as we move along and having someone to share them with. “Oh look, they’ve cleaned this entire side of the street of lose leaves. That’s a shame for you, because now you can’t shuffle through them anymore.”

Last night I slept in my new single bed for the first time. It agreed with me well and I slept until 7 AM, because I had figured out how to shut off the alarm on the alarm clock. The minion cat slept on the bed with me and the Uberhund slept beside me.

The bed was to be delivered between 1 and 3 PM yesterday afternoon and I had asked the Exfactor to be here between that time in case they had dismantled the bed and it had to be put together again. Well, they did and it had, but the Exfacotr still had some tools here and had it put together in no time. i would have wrestled with it on my own. Then I made the bed and it was so lovely standing there, I wanted to get in it right away. The cats were the most curious of all and climbed all over it.

I have the room arranged quite nicely now and the bad spots in the wallpaper don’t show up. I still have to get two frames for the posters, but that is another favor the Exfactor can do for me, as they are quite large and cumbersome to get home from he store and catch the wind as you ride home on your bike with them. You see, I am calling in all sorts of favors.

The mattress is quite firm, which is good for my back and I slept quite comfortably. It is wide enough so I don’t feel cramped.

They put in a nice brick speed bump in the street right in front of out apartment. The French call them Sleeping Gendarmes, but I don’t know what we call them in Dutch. Oh, I am sure I know, but the term escapes me completely now. More speed bumps will be put in as people have a tendency to race through the street. It was fun watching them put it in as they have their unique way to do this, working with the sand and the stones and levelers. The whole street is brick, as are most of the residential streets and it requires a special technique to work with the stones.

I’ve bought the Uberhund some special bones to chew on and he just didn’t know what overcame him. He walked around in a daze with one in his mouth for 30 minutes before he found a place to lie down and start chewing on it. It’s always a toss up to see if he will like these, but I got the right ones this time. It is funny to see him revert back to his ancestral being when he has a bone to chew on and he has to decide to take it on his walk with him or be patient and leave it home.

It was raining when we went out this morning, but I figured we could handle a little bit of rain, so the Uberhund and I had a rain conversation. “Yes, it is raining, but we can handle this, because it is not coming down in buckets and I will rub you dry with your special towel when we get home, that makes you act silly afterwards.” He very happily runs around in circles and does pirouettes when he has been dried.

It does mean, that the sheets I had drying on the washing line will be soaked and I will bring them inside and put them through the spin cycle and hang them up to dry in the bathroom. They don’t get that nice outdoor smell then, that’s too bad.

The Exfactor and his friend Hans won’t be coming to get the rest of the boxes until next week and will let me know what day that will be. I can’t wait. I want the work room cleaned up to the point that I can move around in it easily and get to my stuff without any problems. I would also like to vacuum well in there, which has damn near been impossible up to now.

Well, that’s all the news I’ve got for today. I must find a better place for the Uberhund’s pillow and I must find a way to Keep the white cat from sitting in inconvenient places where she knocks things over. It’s her way of being cozy. Being an ornament between artfully arranged items. She must have a sense of style being half Siamese, after all.

Have a wonderful day.



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I am desperately drooling over a 2,5 seater leather sofa at Ikea and I am trying to put all sorts of wily schemes together to get my hands on one. It isn’t very expensive and oh so practical with the animals, because now I am constantly vacuuming cat and dog hair off the sofa and wiping off cat barf. I need 400 Euros and somehow there has to be away that I can manage to get this money together, said the eternal optimist. It is a big wish and I will make it come true, come hell or high water. You’ll see.

Today the Exfactor is coming by at 1 PM to give me the papers that I need on Tuesday. Maybe he will stay for a cup of coffee, which I won’t mind at all. I have been able to handle small amounts of him as long as it is under my conditions. And since I rule here…you get the picture.

Sleeping is still going extremely well. I do get up in the middle of the night thinking I am awake and need to do things, but it is all a delusion and within the shortest amount of time I am asleep again. The Unberhund is sleeping later also, so we are in tune with each other. We go for our morning walk when we are good and ready and that may take some time, as I do need my mugs of coffee to become fully functioning. The Uberhund very patiently waits by me feet where I can scratch his ears. He makes sure he is not getting the short end of the stick anytime. He allows no cat to come near me, not even his favorite one and if one comes close by, he hunkers up against me as close as he can, not leaving any room for a cat to get in.

The Netherlands lost to the Russians 1-3. What a blamage. I only watched some of the game, because I kept falling asleep on the sofa, but I woke up with each over excited noise when another goal was made. The whole neighborhood was roaring with grief. I guess that Dutch coach really taught the Russians how to play football. I don’t know what this means for our overall standings, I will try to find out today. I went to bed directly after the game and didn’t stay up to listen to the analysis. Oh, well…

The weather is very odd. It is overcast, but warm and I am not sure if it is going to rain, because i missed watching the news yesterday. I am so out of date as to what is going on in the world. I only know what is happening right here right now. It keeps me occupied enough.

Will somebody ask Kacey to get in touch with me, because I can’t get onto her blog. Blogger has assigned me a different email address. The same goes for Frances, but I know how to get in touch with her.

I very merrily washed my tiny amount of dishes this morning. I was done in a few minutes. I have to look for laundry to fill up the washing machine, as I don’t want to run it half full, but sometimes I have to out of necessity. That old washing machine is still hanging in there. If it ever gives up, I’ll go to the recycle store and buy a new second hand one. Luckily, the refrigerator is fairly new, so it ought to last a while and so is the TV, which I watch so rarely. The computer is the thing that needs to keep hanging in there. The new Internet banking account comes with a savings account and I will seriously try to make use of it and save some money every month.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to report for today. Don’t you just love these short little posts? They’re so uncomplicated. Since it is Sunday, not a heck of a lot is happening, but that is fine with me. A quiet dull roar is just fine every now end then.

Have a darn good day, even though it’s the last day of the weekend. Oh, remember the stress i used to have? Not anymore, thank you ma’am.


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You won’t believe this, but I slept 6,5 hours all at once this past night. I just woke up and looked at the clock and couldn’t believe it.

It’s been a while since I have done that. It must be because of the really good talk Eduard and I had yesterday evening in which we got so much clarified and because of which I feel so much better. I think it has relaxed me to the point that I can even relax enough to sleep well. It was a talk in which was made clear that I made all sorts of assumptions that I shouldn’t make and Eduard decided to be completely honest with me like he should have been all along. It cleared the air really well. Extremely well, I should say.

For those of you who are worried at the disappearance of my old blog and the destruction of all my old posts, I must tell you not to worry, because I brought all of my old blog with me over here, so everything is safe and well. Nothing has been destroyed. I just thought, for various reasons, that it was time to delete the old blog. It had to do with timing mostly and leaving behind some unwanted baggage like I talked about.

I have started to listen to my MP3 players with the headphones on and what an experience that is! It’s like the music is in the middle of your head and it is a wonderful way to listen to it. The only problem is that you are pretty much oblivious of what happens around you, because you can’t hear the phone or the doorbell or what other people say or the volume of your own voice. Of course, when I first had the headphones on, I had the sound up quite loud. I have turned it down a notch or two since then. It is just such a pleasant experience to have the music in the middle of your head, that I am reluctant to turn it down too much.

Eduard had gone to the library and had gotten some more CD’s for me and I have downloaded those to my latest MP3 player, the one with the most modern music on it, and I am enjoying that one very much. It isn’t filled up yet, so I have a ways to go yet. I think I am three quarters of the way there. I can’t wait to get more CD’s from the library and download those. I already told you that I am like a kid in the candy store, didn’t I?

Anyway, this music I’ve got is quite cheerful, even the “sadder” songs about love and broken hearts. The tunes are quite snappy, if you don’t listen to all the words, and even if you listen to all the words, they are somewhat hopeful. They are not so down and out that they depress you. You know, so that you get all heartbroken about them yourself. The women are quite emancipated and don’t sit and cry and not take action. They get out and sing about what they’ll do to those cheating men. It gives you courage.

I think I am from a generation and a class of women who very loudly proclaimed how they were equal to men, and how they didn’t need them to survive in this world, and who then proceeded to very much pursue them and make sure they had one. Having a husband was very important. So was having 2.4 children and a house in the suburbs and a dog and a cat and two cars and all the advantages that come with that life. We were probably never more domesticated and “blessed.” It’s all very well promulgating emancipation when in reality you’re not. That particular condition is left to only a few of us of our generation, voluntarily or not.

I can feel myself getting bogged down in a huge political and social discussion about lifestyles and points of view and limited views on life, so I better not go that route at all.

Jesker has come out of the bedroom and very cozily decided to come and lie down beside me. I have been walking him very early in the morning, sometimes as early as 6 AM. He loves it and it is nice to be out so early. It had become the habit that Eduard walked Jesker more often than I did since I had been depressed this past winter, but we have decided that I should be doing that again and it really is very uplifting to get out early in the morning when the day is just starting. I had forgotten how pleasant that is. I have probably forgotten how pleasant a lot of things are since I have stopped doing them.

I have washed my bathrobe finally for the first time in 5 months. It was about time I did, but because I wear it all the time, it was hard to do. I finally forced myself to do it after I kept pulling it out of the laundry basket. I let it dry outside and I am now wearing a super clean bathrobe that smells delicious. I had yogurt stains on it and god only knows what else. It all looked very suspicious. Eduard says I should have two bathrobes, but I think we have spent the money for that twice over already.

What’s even better than a clean bathrobe are clean sheets on the bed that have been dried outside and we are very lucky when the weather has been good and they have been. We put some clean ones on yesterday and we couldn’t wait to get into bed. That’s so lovely! It’s like they feel different too when they have been dried outside. It would be best not to wear anything at all when you get between the sheets then, but that is giving away the family secrets.

Oh yes, before I forget. The image above is made from a picture of a box that was decorated by the Artful Eye and here is the beautiful box:

I am going to get dressed and take my medicines and walk Jesker so I will get a good start to this day.

I know it is Monday and maybe a tough day for those of you who have to go to a job, so make the best of it and don’t get to down hearted on your way to work.


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Sweet Beverley of Eleanor’s Blog saw it fit to reward me with the Intellectually Stimulating Blog Award of which I am very proud and for which I am very thankful. This proves my point that you can be a teacher for anyone out there and that everybody has a message to share. I have added the award to my other awards on the side of my blog and it is becoming quite a collection. Now I have to think off who to pass the award to myself, but I will have to mull that one over in my mind for a bit, although some people do come to mind right away. Although I think they may have already gotten it, so I have to come up with someone new. That’s why I need to think about this for a bit. Thank you, Beverley!

Some time last night I fell asleep on the sofa while Eduard was still at work. I vaguely heard him come home and the next thing I knew it was 1 am and I was still laying on the sofa but this time under the yellow blanket that Eduard had placed over me. I got up to take my medicines and to make myself a cup of decaf Senseo and smoke a cigarette. Then I laid back down, pulled the yellow blanket over me and slept until 7 am this morning. Wasn’t that nice? Maybe I am caught up on my sleep now and maybe I am back on a normal schedule now. At least, what counts as normal for me.

Yesterday was such an odd day, I felt half asleep for most of the day and I felt like I wasn’t really in the proper frame of mind to do anything of importance. Looking back, I can hardly remember how I got through the day. I had a feeling of jet lag mostly, which isn’t so strange when you consider I had been up two nights in a row. Or most of those nights anyway.

The good thing about getting a near normal night’s sleep is that I dream a lot too and I have to tell you that I dream about my son constantly. Whatever dream I am having, Brion is in it in some capacity. He either has the starring role or is just present in it. He is always there in the peripheries, if not in the middle of things. It makes my dreams extra special, even when they are very confusing and frustrating and sometimes even scary. Sometimes my dreams are just great big adventures and Brion tags along, watching what I do.

Last night we were on some Southern Pacific Islands, staying with people who lived very primitively and they caught their fish by diving off their canoes. There were two tribes whose only difference was in the way they worshiped the God who lived in the clams that grew on the side of the boats. Their interpretation was different, but they could tell each other apart from miles away. When they met each other, they all dove into the water to check each other’s clams.

They never had warfare, they just avoided each other as much as possible and they avoided contact with all strangers, yet we managed to communicate with them somehow. There was a witch doctor who could make people’s bones move inside their bodies and for good luck he wore dice in his ears that were very primitively carved. The children dove in the water as if they had always lived in it and they swam quickly and easily and the water was very clear. They pulled themselves up out off the water and into the boats quite easily.

Now, what can the significance of this dream be? Brion and I were there as observers and we were not considered any sort of a threat to these people. They acted as if we belonged there, or as if Brion belonged there and I was his much esteemed visitor. Brion has been dead for three years and if he is reincarnated as a villager in the South Pacific, he is too young to be diving off boats. Isn’t he? I will never know. The only clues I will ever have about Brion’s whereabouts are my dreams about him. And I hope that I will have many, many more. I do know one thing, they often seem to have to do with primitive people, as if Brion is gone from today’s modern world, and knowing Brion’s nature, that is not such a strange thing.

I got a rather upsetting phone call yesterday. A gentleman called from the bank where we thought we were getting our personal loan and told me that the loan had been disapproved. I was stunned, because we had signed all the paperwork and I thought the deal was done, but he said that they decided not to go through with it for reasons that I now can’t remember, because I was so upset when he told me it wasn’t going through. So, we are now back to square one. We are now going to make an appointment with Eduard’s personal bank and see if we can arrange something with them. This other bank specializes in giving short term loans and was not our regular bank, but we thought it would be easier to get a loan there. It sort of ruined the afternoon for me, when I thought the solution was already at hand and I don’t understand the reason why we were turned down. They sure gave us a lot of false hope.

Eduard is going to contact his bank today and make an appointment and we will see what happens. They must see for themselves how advantageous a personal loan is to us and to them. We cut our costs and they get our business. Let’s all hope for a good outcome, or let’s all hope for me to get a decently paid job quickly. It was rather upsetting and I was very uncomfortable for the rest of the day and I realized how much something like that could bother me and upset me and how dependent I am on things turning out okay and that I don’t handle adverse events very well at all. I am too fragile when it comes to things like this. At the same time, the next day I am ready to do battle again and I will try and win the cause all over again. So, I do have some rebound, if not immediately.

My daughter called yesterday to tell me that she will be coming to Europe with her boyfriend for the winter holidays. I have been keeping silent about the boyfriend, because I don’t want to jinx things, but he sounds like a keeper and so far, so good. They have known each other for 5 months now and that seems like a long enough time to get to know each other really well. They had a lot of chance to spend quality time together this summer when my grandson was staying in Germany with his paternal grandparents and that really cemented the relationship. I don’t want to say too much about it yet, because it is all so new and in its developing stages and I don’t want to put any pressure on anybody to get really serious. 5 Months sounds like a long time, but in terms of relationships it isn’t, of course, it is just a beginning. But I must say, that I am looking forward to the holidays now very much and I hope, sure as heck, that I am not in one of my famous dips then as I have been known to be at t
hat time of the year. I must be cheerful, I must be able to be smiling and be upbeat. See, I’m not putting any pressure on myself at all!

The laundry I had drying outside, got soaked wet from the rain that we had overnight. I hung it all up to dry in the bathroom and I have another load waiting in the washing machine. Then I will be ironing again. And I must still vacuum. The vacuum cleaner is now making desperate noises from its place in the closet, it wants to be let out badly, but I am finding it very difficult to let it out. Well, it is not letting it out that is hard, it is turning it on and moving it around the apartment that is the hard part. Its the noise that is going to bother me, that and the fact that I am always bumping it into the furniture and that I scare the cats with it and that they all go into hiding. I find it all very frustrating and I don’t do frustrating very well right now at all. I think I need to double up on my Oxazepam and then vacuum, maybe that would work. If only there were a frustration pill one could take. Well, I suppose that is what Oxazepam really is, an anti anxiety pill.

That’s one of my warning signs that things aren’t going so well with me; the level of my anxiety changes. Normally I am a very mellow laid back person. What you would call a typical Californian, dude. But then that time of year comes and my anxiety levels go up and I tend to freak out over little things that would not have bothered me before. I feel many frustrations then also. I become an anxious, frustrated woman. I become short tempered and short fused and less kind than I really am. I can’t blame the circumstances, the change lies completely with me. It is my own reaction to things that changes. The world stays the same, I change. I try not to take that out on poor Eduard, that’s why the Oxazepam is so important. I might otherwise turn into a real bitch and become unbearable to live with. I would often be unkind and short tempered and blame him for whatever wasn’t going right and that just isn’t right at all. You can’t do that to another person. So, it is better for me and the world around me if I take the pills and mellow out. All of our nerves are helped by it.

Eduard has been taking Sarotex for several moths now. They are the anti depressants that are supposed to help him stop smoking. He hasn’t stopped yet, but he has cut way back and I think that he is just about ready to quit completely. It has been interesting to see a non depressive person take anti depressants. At first I didn’t notice any changes in him, but lately I notice that he is a lot more mellow. Don’t get me wrong, he is always a cheerful character, but he did have the tendency to have a short fuse when it came to watching the news and listening to dumb politicians and reading the paper without becoming very upset. He seems to do a lot less of that now. He is a lot calmer and much more even tempered, so I jokingly said to him that he should stay on the medication, even if he did not stop smoking. I was only half joking. I asked him if he noticed any differences and he did say that things at work seemed a lot easier to deal with. That he felt very much less frustrated with other people and was able to walk away from a frustrating situation more easily. So, maybe…

Well, in the meantime it is well past the time to walk the very patient dog. So, I must go and do that now. I am amazed by his bladder control in the morning and then when I take him out, he very sparingly pees on each bush, so it isn’t as if he goes with a great deal of relief. The cats are impatient for their food, however, and let me know that by staring at me intently.

So, have a great day, everybody, Here’s to me having a normal day after a normal night’s sleep and here’s to all of you having a normal day also. Ciao…

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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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I am sitting here at the ungodly hour of 2:45 am after I have tried to go back to bed unsuccessfully. You see, I fell asleep on the sofa last night after dinner and didn’t wake up until 11:30 pm. Then I decided to stay up and wait for Eduard to get home, while I played with Paint Shop and created some new images. Eduard came home a little before 1 am, and we sat and talked for a little while. Firstly, he wished me a happy birthday and gave me his second birthday present, which turned out to be a framed picture of Brion. It was taken of a slide that Eduard had taken of him when Brion was eighteen years old and I was especially fond of. In it, Brion sits in a gazebo with a fat orange cat on his lap and a very endearing look on his face and is petting the cat gently. Brion was such a cat lover and it really shows in this photograph and it shows the gentleness in him. I had asked in the past of Eduard to make a photograph of the slide, and so he did. It is nicely framed with a pas par tout in a pretty frame and now I have it sitting on the coffee table where I can look at it every day.

So that was an excellent present and the first present was, of course, the Senseo coffee maker, which I have been enjoying already all this time. With all of that excitement, I was wide awake and decided to call my daughter who had her first day of work, but she was at the hairdressers and couldn’t talk, so we will have to talk later today. I told her that I was going to bed and I was really planning to and took my medicines, including my sleeping pills, but found myself wide awake and unable to sleep. It must be the thrill of turning 53. That doesn’t happen to me every day! I actually think that 53 sounds like a nice number and I am planning for it to be a good year.

So, now I am sitting here with my coffee and my cigarettes, slowly typing, making many typing mistakes, because I am a little woozy. It feels like I have had one drink too many, so I am going to drink many cups of strong Senseo. I could be sensible and go to bed, but for some reason, that is the last place I want to be right now. When I really feel like I am not going to make it any more, I will lay down on the sofa and look at Brion’s photograph. Now I am eating a piece of cheese to get my energy levels back up and I hope that will help.

Yesterday was another fairly non productive day, if you count it in household chores done, but I know that I will have to catch up with all of them today, so I don’t feel too bad about it. I have been having a very nonproductive week, but somehow I am not bothered very much, I am not down in the dumps about it, because I know that there will be a day that I will be productive and catch up again. That would be today, then. The apartment has to look good for when the guests come and that is a good motivator. The whole bathroom needs to be cleaned well and all the floors need to be mopped and everything needs to be vacuumed really well. And I have to hand wash all the matching cups and saucers and pie plates for the coffee and pie. I also need to check the wine glasses and make sure they are all clean and sparkling.

I do know how to be a proper housewife and in the good times I do a good job of it, but in the hibernation time things become less urgent and I end up putting things off until they really can’t be put off any longer. Unless I am depressed and then they just don’t get done. But I am not there yet and if the Oxazepam keeps working the way it is, I may not be. When I took a shower this evening, I immediately also put in a load of laundry, so I will hang that up to dry this morning. There are always so many of Eduard’s socks! He wears them by the dozens. They take up a lot of room on the drying rack and it has been raining, so I don’t know if I can hang the laundry out to dry on the washing lines. Such dilemmas!

There has been a discussion in my group, by amongst others Alfonso, if the person who writes the blog is another person than the person he or she is in real life. Are you in this second life differently then you are in your first life? Are you in your virtual life different than you are in your authentic life? Is the person who writes the blog a persona, a fabrication, or is the person in the blog as authentic as the person in the bona fide life?

In my case I can say that the person who writes this blog is probably more authentic than the person who lives my bona fide live. I do know that I am authentic to myself and that this blog writer is not a persona I pull on when I write the blog. I do not step into a role when I become the blog writer. I do leave behind a lot of inhibitions that I would probably have in my authentic life, because I don’t feel any censorship here directly. I don’t feel that there is anyone looking over my shoulder as I write the things I do, although I know this will be read by a number of people and they will react to what I write out of their own set of judgments. But I don’t feel judged. I do not feel that I have to censor myself that much. I am Irene stating these things that are my opinions and my thoughts and my insecurities and my experiences. I don’t make them sound better than they are and I don’t dress them up to make them look nicer than they are. I don’t think I try to make myself look better than what I am, which is a woman with many failings and deficiencies, along with the better qualities that I also acknowledge.

So who is writing the blog? Is it the authentic person or is it the all new and improved version of the writer? I think in the process of writing, you become the whole new and improved version of yourself, because such are the lessons of what you write. In the process of writing you become you own teacher and pupil, you are a college of one and a lecturer speaking to yourself. Truth starts to dawn and you have to be pretty thickheaded not to learn those lessons. So I bring my authentic person here into this virtual world and bring her back even more authentically into my bona fide world. In the end it is all about honesty to yourself and to your readers, don’t paint a picture of yourself that doesn’t exist, paint a self portrait and you will become a better painter.

I happen to adore this second life and I li
ke how I can exist in it and let the life that I live here authentically become part of that which I live virtually. I like that there are people who know so much about me and the people I love and about my happiness and my sadness and my craziness and my fears and foibles. I like being a human being here, virtually. Because I am virtually as real as I can be authentically. The difference is, that now I meet people whom I would not meet in my ‘real’ world so quickly. I would have to travel far and wide to find you all and now I meet you in the blink of an eye. I may lose you as quickly too, but while I know you, the interaction is intense and productive and constructive. And very interesting, lets not forget that.

Well, that’s my contribution to that discussion. I would be interested in hearing what other people have to say on the subject. Maybe I am very naive in thinking that we all bring our authentic selves to the virtual world. Or an authentic part of us. A part that has the right to live also and to have the chance for expression. A part that none of us can dismiss and should not dismiss. Let’s all be all embracing and accept all of that, every little bit of it.

Which reminds me again to ask my friends who are reading me, but who do not yet have their own weblog, to seriously consider starting one, as I can assure you that it is a very satisfying thing to do and you can find great comfort in it, even when you think you are a very private person and you think you have nothing to share. There are so many topics to write about. Imagine yourself being Virginia Woolf and writing many mini essays. Remember, a brilliant mind is a terrible thing to waste!

Well, you won’t believe this, but I am very much awake now. The sleeping pills have completely worn off, which they should have, because they are the kind that only help you fall asleep and get out of your system rather quickly. So, I suppose I won’t be laying down on the sofa at all this morning. The coffee tastes very excellent too. Boy, I do have my bit of fun in the wee hours of the morning. You do see how I can’t believe in ghosts, because I never encounter any in the middle of the night. I probably have guardian angels all over the place, though. No, I am guarded by the photographs of the children and my grandson and the photograph of the dog, even though he is really present in the bedroom also. Which reminds me to burn a candle there now.

I have to remember to buy some sticks of incense, because, although we always have the windows open, it does smell like tobacco smoke in here and when you get company, that is not such a great smell, unless they themselves smoke also. Then it is a bit of a relief to them. You see that they are glad that there are ashtrays sitting around. Three people who will visit us tonight smoke, plus Eduard and I do. We will outnumber the non smokers.

Pretty soon, smoking is going to be banned in cafés and restaurants and I don’t know what I am going to do then. I will miss the pleasure of lighting up a cigarette with a good cup of coffee after a nice piece of pie. And no, it will not induce me too quit smoking. It will just make me avoid places where I can’t. Not even the deadly messages on the cigarette packs make me quit smoking. I think if I got emphysema and I was hooked up to an oxygen tank, then maybe I would quit smoking. Maybe. Did you know that 80% of the patients in psychiatric hospitals smoke? Try to enforce a smoking ban there! Severe mental disturbances would erupt or all the patients would stage a walk out.

Jesker has come to keep me company in the living room. He is now sound asleep on his pillow there. I see no cats yet, they are probably all laying on the bed. It is still a little bit early, but I am ready to get the show on the road. I just took an Oxazepam and I am waiting for it to start working. I don’t wait until I really need them, I just take them at a certain time of the day as a preventive measure. The minute I feel any part of my body start to tense up. I take a half of a pill and then I take one every five hours. I do like the feeling when they start working very much, but I’ve already told you that. I am just so happy that there is medication that takes the pain out of living. That says, “Hey, you don’t need to suffer, there is no point to it.”

Okay, with those words I leave you. I have gone from night to morning writing this, but I have taken my time. I have had my coffee and smoked my cigarettes and stared at the walls and thought about what I wanted to write and took my sweet time doing it. Such a luxury!

Have a terrific day people, I will, because it is my birthday and it is bound to be a good day. Ciao…

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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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