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Posts Tagged ‘neighbors’

This morning I made a mad dash into town to the lawyer, because I finally, after 3 months, got that marriage certificate I have been waiting for and which could hold up all the divorce proceedings if I did not have it. My daughter took care of me getting it in the end, but it was like pulling teeth, very painful and very slow. We should celebrate the fact that we’ve got it now, although I am waiting for the phone to ring and have the lawyer tell me that it is the wrong kind of certificate and that the Dutch courts will not accept it. Heaven forbid. I must not call disaster upon myself.

Social Services has moved to a whole new location and as a result, I do not have my monthly payment yet or the paperwork to tell me what it will be and why. The bank account is dwindling again, so they better get their act together quickly, or I will be robbing Peter again. Nor have I heard anything yet about the housing and medical care subsidies, so I will call them on Monday. Life is a bitch…

I am waiting for the Exfactor to come over as he said he would come for a visit. He has a new cast on his arm and he does not need surgery. He takes the short train ride from where he lives into town and gets around as well as he can. I guess he hobbles.

I would hate to be bothered with an arm in a cast and I have never broken anything, except for some fingers when I was doing some plumbing, by putting to much force on the wrench and having the thing slip on me. Ouch.

Yes, I am a real do it your selfer when called for. The only thing I don’t do well is drill holes into these very hard walls that we have here. In America you just punch a whole in the wall wherever, with whatever nail you’ve got. No such luck here. You need a hard stone drill bit and a very strong drill and muscle power.

I guess the Exfactor won’t be helping me hang up any movie poster any time soon. Oh well, I still can go and buy the frames and get them ready to hang. Maybe if I look at my upstairs neighbor kindly. The top upstairs neighbor who is an artist, supposedly, is really an alcoholic. I’ve met him in the stairwell and been met by fumes of alcohol and I have seen his unfocused drunken little eyes. So, he is no great asset to the building. They always put at least one loser in these apartments. He is quiet, though, and I think he has several lady friends who keep him and his apartment looking presentable. He comes and goes on a scooter and it does look a little banged up. As if he uses unmovable objects to stop against.

Now I need to take a nap…

Well, instead of taking a nap, I washed the dishes and did some laundry, which are also useful ways to squander your time, although I would have preferred the nap. It is that sort of day. It has been steadily raining all afternoon and it doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon. I think it may be time to build the Ark of Noah and start sorting out those animals and fertile men and women.

The Exfactor was here with a very sore knee with a huge scab on it and a fluorescent yellow cast on his arm. It looked mighty impressive. he also had other assorted bruises and scabs on other parts of his arms and legs. He looked like he took a real slider.

The Überhund acted like his normal self, meaning that he nearly choked on his own little puppy sounds that he made out of happiness at seeing the Exfactor. He really makes a big deal out of it and gets himself so worked up that I have to tell him to quit. He could have an epileptic fit. The Exfactor has that effect on him always and makes him behave in crazy ways and the Überhund loses all his dignity. Luckily, the cats are cooler and only come to greet him when they are good and ready in their own sweet time, when they feel like it. Cats are so cool that way, which makes me think I have more of a cat personality than a dog one. I’d never jump up and down for joy for anybody like the Überhund does.

Anyway, we had a nice visit and I sent him off with an umbrella, although this does infringe upon his manly ego somewhat, to be seen with an umbrella, so I gave him the most masculine looking one and the one I least use myself. The Exfactor does come with an instruction booklet and I am glad that I am not the one who has to read it anymore. The Paramount can partake in that joyful activity now.

I can’t believe it is Friday again and that we will be enjoying another weekend tomorrow. It seems when you get older, time flies by quickly. It is like my life consists of very short weeks with very many weekends. I am not complaining about the weekends, but the time flying by sort of intimidates me, as it means I’m getting older faster and I am all in favor of slowing down that process. I have even started using a day cream every day to ward off wrinkles, which I will curse if they appear on my face and smear bat’s poop and toad’s slime on if it works. I’ll become a good witch and ward off evil blemishes to my face.

I’ve still got a list of rock and roll bands that I need to get the CD’s of from the library, but I don’t own a library card and I think they are 70 Euro’s, which is a little steep for my pocketbook right now. I suppose that for now I will live without this music and keep it on my wish list for the near future. I so very brightly and spritely want to stay on top of modern music and keep some sort of beat going in my body that is never allowed to die out. I need to stay on top of things all the time. I think it may be time for a little trip to Deezer and find out what the latest offerings are.

Right then, you all have yourself a really good day and a musical one if you must and keep it dry.

The trick is to not do so many rain dances, somebody ought to stop doing those.

Ciao…

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I was greedy and ate 3 slices of breakfast cake and now I positively feel sick to my stomach and I am sitting here feeling awfully bad. Breakfast cake is very dense and filling and it is customary to put butter on it, so I’ve had quite a meal. I feel it slowly making its way past my gastric band and in a short amount of time I should be feeling better. Sometimes I do the thing that is absolutely the worst for me, when my eyes are literally bigger than my stomach. Foolish woman, Irene.

I should be at my creative therapy now, but I didn’t sleep enough last night and at 8AM I went back to bed for some more sleep. I was sitting on the sofa, waiting for it to be time to leave, and I was nodding off, so I called and left a message to say that I would not be there. I like going to creative therapy too, so I hate to miss the class, but sometimes you just have to.

Cute little Gandhi just jumped on my lap for some loving and that means I cease all activity and push the keyboard under the desk, because she’ll walk on it and cause strange things to happen. So we cuddle and she purrs until it has been enough and she leaves again. I just have to be patient and wait for her to get done rubbing her head against my chin and hands. She’s such an affectionate little cat, you just can’t ignore her or push her away, at least I can’t.

The Überhund was his normal affectionate self this morning. He just could not get close enough to me and was in danger constantly of being run over by the desk chair. He waits for me by the bathroom door while I get ready and no cat is allowed to enter while I am in there. He growls at them if they try, which is very antisocial of him, but he just thinks we belong together and that no other animal may interfere at that point. He sneezes when I apply hairspray and then he follows me to the bedroom and sneezes again when I apply perfume. That’s true dedication for you.

I hope this is not going to be another lazy day, because I’ve had enough of those now. Judging by the look of the weather outside, it is not going to be a hot day, so I think some vigorous house cleaning will be able to get done. In other words, it doesn’t look like holiday weather.

It’s almost impossible not to upset the cat population when I pull out the vacuum cleaner. Some of them pretend to be brave, but eventually they all go into hiding and I need to pull it out so often, especially now with the fleas that I am combating. Fleas don’t like me and if I scratch my head, it’s from my eczema and not from a flea bite.

I see people drive down our street and the ‘sleeping gendarme’ does slow them down a bit, but I think they didn’t make it high enough. It should have been a wee bit higher so people would have some serious damage to their cars if they really didn’t slow down enough. As it is, it is still too dangerous to let your kids play out there. When we were kids, we played all over the place and that included the street, that was our playground.

We lived in a tiny little house in a street with tiny little houses that were about 80 years old when I was born there. This was post war Holland and there was a terrible shortage of housing and people were cramped in everywhere. We had a shower and a toilet built on to the kitchen in the back of the house. Some families had numerous children and they all lived in those tiny houses, but it was a wonderful street to grow up in, because there were all these kids to play with and we were all very tight and loyal and we never had fights with each other, just terrible disloyalty and fights with the kids on the next street over. So, we didn’t enter each other’s streets.

My 85 year old neighbor just came by with two English language letters claiming he had won a tremendous amount of money if he would just send in the details of his credit card and pay 29.95 Euros. So, I explained to him what it said in the letters and looked the companies up on line and very quickly found out that they were both scams and I also found out that he had been playing along with them for a while already. I told him, if you get anymore of this kind of mail, come to me and I will read it for you to find out what it is all about. Poor old guy, thought maybe he had won a lot of money.

Well, sorry people, I’ve got to stop now and get going. I am running behind schedule and I feel terribly rushed.

Have a great day and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… What?

Ciao…

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First things first. I have been reading two new blogs for a while and have added them under my favorite blogs today. They are A life of Triggers and Lost in the Bible Belt. You may want to go see for yourself if they are anything you are interested in reading. I’ve tried them on for size and am enjoying them, so maybe you will too.

Today Eduard is making his Grand Tour on his motorcycle. He is going to travel to France by way of Belgium and Luxembourg and then back again to the Netherlands through Germany and Belgium. I think he is going to travel about 500 km. Maybe something like 550 km. The motorcycle is all ready to go and he has his sandwiches made. I have his itinerary in case something were to happen on the way. I am just the least bit worried that something will, but he has his heart sat on it and he has to go. You can’t stop a man who has the distant horizon in his eyes and in his mind. He is bringing a set of tools and a set of spark plugs. I’ll light a candle for him while he is gone and all should go well.

We have noticed that every day, somewhere around 3 pm, my mood goes down the tube and I start to question everything about myself and then some. It happens quite suddenly. One moment I am fine and the next moment I am questioning my past parental skills and Eduard’s love for me and becoming very down and out. We have also noticed, that if I take an oxazepam then, the worst of it can be avoided and if I keep in mind that it is a mood that is striking me, I can also stop some of it’s action from overtaking me.

We haven’t figured out yet what happens at that time to trigger the change of mood, if it has something to do with anything at all. It must, but we don’t know what it is. I can go from a seven to a four or a three quite quickly. It would probably also help if I slept then, but I am usually not sleepy, so I can’t take a nap. So, it is a mystery we need to solve.

It had been our neighbor’s birthday in the end of September, but with all the excitement here, we had not had a chance to go over and give her our congratulations. So, yesterday I went over with a nice bouquet of flowers that Eduard had bought at the flower shop. She was pleasantly surprised and I explained my tardiness by saying that I had been suffering from mood disorders and explained to her briefly about manic depression and rapid cycling, which was a subject that she was quite interested in, having had a father with psychiatric problems and she was quite easy and open minded with the whole thing and so was her husband. We had a nice talk over a good cup of coffee and we all decided that we are happy that we are each other’s neighbors, because it is so easy for us to get along. Aren’t I lucky to have such people living next door to me? She knows about depression, having recently suffered from one herself, so she was not unfamiliar with the subject of moods.

I feel that I am really coming out of the closet with this manic depression. In the literature that I received from the association for manic depressive people, there was also a small size poster with the text: Manic Depressive? It’s Not That Crazy! It took me nineteen hours to find the courage to hang that up in our front window. I thought, “You silly fool, what are you embarrassed about? If you had cancer or heart disease you would hang it up!” The front window is right beside the sidewalk, so anyone walking by can see it.

I have decided to call it manic depression instead of bipolar disorder mostly. It describes what happens to you better and I follow the lead of Kay Redfield Jamison, who says that it is not that clear if mania and depression are two opposite poles. They may be two gradations of the same thing. It is popular to call it bipolar disorder, as this seems to take some of the stigma off the disease and make people sound less crazy, but I like the term manic depression better. It grabs the bull by the horns more.

Eduard has gone out and bought himself the eau de toilette that he had the sample of and that made me take a bite out of this neck. It came with the shower gel and last night he smelled good all over. Neither one of us has ever smelled anything as good as this one. It is called l’instant de guerlain from Armani. I highly recommend it for many romantic nights. Don’t have your husband wear it if you are very sleepy! That would be a waste of a very good eau de toilette.

That brings me to the end of my words. Lately, my posts have been shorter, but, hopefully, more to the point. I do not go on and on about things like I have in the past. I do have a tendency to keep chatting and I know that sometimes I can’t seem to find the finish line.

Today I will be all by myself and we will see how I like that. I don’t know what time Eduard is planning on being home, but I suppose I will not see him before dinner time. I really don’t know if I can last that long without him!

Have a terrific day, everyone, ciao…

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This is the opening sentence for today:

“They did a lot of Internet dating.”

Again, there is no dream sequence to go with it and I have no idea where this came from. I must have a whole secret life at night that takes place without me actively being aware of it and I just hope that I stay in bed while I am being this active in my head and that I don’t go wandering around the apartment acting anything out, such as visiting dating websites or putting on wide brimmed hats.

I have never gone to a dating website obviously, being very married to Eduard, but I do hear about it from other people and I know it is a jungle out there. Apparently there is a group of men on any website, who continually contact all the new girls in town, to check out if they are potentially any good and if they could possibly be prospective dates, but aren’t seriously looking for a partner. They just like the dates and only act like they could be more than that. So I am glad that I am not in that rat race.

It’s dry out, people! It may actually be a half way decent day today. It is supposed to be in the twenties and maybe the sun will shine. That would be a nice change for the better. I don’t know why August can’t be just an ordinary summer month in the Netherlands, unless this is an ordinary summer month and all the other Augusts weren’t. In my not so reliable memory it was never this wet and gloomy. It is making everything in nature very green, but I know the farmers are having a harder time with their wheat harvest, for instance, because of everything being so wet. It will be interesting to see how the fruit harvest will be this year, as I don’t know if we have had enough hours of sunshine for the fruit to ripen properly.

Yesterday I watched Death Becomes Her with Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn. I had seen it a long time ago, but decided to watch it again, having written about Meryl Streep so recently and wanting to see how she did comedy. Well, she did comedy just fine and the movie was interesting, as it had Bruce Willis in a very untypical Bruce Willis role. I had forgotten about that. Meryl Streep does comedy with a dead pan face, as she should, and Goldie Hawn was clever as ever.

It’s neat how they made the women seem really super young after they drank the potion and I wonder how they did that, what sort of magic tricks they had to do for that. I suppose it is similar to photo shopping and I wish it could be done in real life, because I have some areas of concern that could require some attention. I would love to photo shop my mouth and my hands and my arms. I have these little pucker lines in my upper lip that definitely have to go and maybe we should shoot some botox or something in it as well. It would be nice to fool mother nature just a bit.

Speaking of mother nature, or should I write that with capital letters as in Mother Nature? It makes me think of my Higher Being and I wonder if I should be addressing myself to someone like Gea instead as is made clear in this bit of information:

Gea was the great goddess of the early Greeks.
She represented the Earth and was worshipped as the Universal Mother. The Greeks believe she created the universe and gave birth to the first race of Titans (gods) and the first humans.
Greeks believe that Chaos was first to come, which was made of Void, Mass, and Darkness then came Earth in the form of Gaea. From Mother Earth came the sky god Uranus and the starry heavens. Mountains, plains, seas, and rivers also came from Gaea.

She became the oldest god of early Greeks and supreme goddess of gods and humans. Gaea was the one who presided over marriages and oaths. Gaea was honored as a prophets.

That may be something for me, what do you think? Maybe I have been approaching the wrong Higher Being, or the wrong interpretation of the Higher Being. I am very attracted to this idea of the female deity, but I would have to figure out a whole new way of approach. I don’t know if I could enter a Catholic chapel and worship a Greek Goddess there. But then again, isn’t there the female Goddess hidden inside Mary, the mother of God? I’ll have to read the book The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell again and see what he says on the subject. It is going to require a bit of intellectualizing on my part and I hope my brain can handle that. I always wish to instinctively figure things out and that is not always possible. Sometimes you have to do a bit of research and let your higher functions do some of the work.

Anyway, I can see that this would require a closer connection to all things earthly, meaning a closer contact with what is in nature, but then I do have my three little trees to care for and look at. It would be nice to have one of those primitive fat female figures that date from the new stone age and that they found in the painted caves, if I am not mistaken. I wonder where those can be had?

Which leads me to my name, Irene:

The Greek personified goddess of peace and wealth. Irene was portrayed
as a young woman with a cornucopia, scepter, and torch or
rhyton.
She is one of the Horae. Famous is the marble statue of
Cephisodotus
(ca. 380
BCE), which shows Irene with Plutus on her arm.


Just a bit of information I am throwing in. I was always very much aware of the origin of my name when I was a kid and I always thought that I had to honor my name and be very peaceable. I have no such delusions now, life has straightened me out on that one.

Speaking of my little trees, the neighbors have asked me, with much suspicion in their voices, what sort of trees they are. They are probably thinking that I have planted trees that are going to grow to be huge and overshadow everything. When I told them that they were mountain ash berry trees, they didn’t really react and I think maybe they don’t know what those are, but I can already feel the storm brewing and I know that next summer, when the trees are bigger, they will complain about them. I am not going to cut them down, as they are a gift from nature and I am so happy with them. The neighbor will have to find another spot to grow his tomato plant, which he said he was already going to do anyway. Grumpy old people!

Well, the cats are starting to show up, it is almost that time of day again. The dog has been out here once and I know he is waiting for me to get done here so we can go for a walk. Eduard is snoring, so he is really gone from this world.

I just realized that it is Saturday today and that Eduard will be home all day, except for tonight when he has to work again because of his colleague still being on vacation. It will be nice to have him home, because I have the feeling that I have seen very little of him lat
ely. I don’t know if we will do anything special. A lot depends on the weather and the health of the budget. I would love to go and have some coffee and pie, but I don’t really need it. My stomach is still sticking out enough without it and I still have nine days to go until my gastric band is filled.

Right, time to go and get the day started. Have a terrific one, people. Ciao…

P.S. Here is a bit of text that goes with the photograph I found of the statue I was talking about. It turns out it was not found in the painted caves like I thought, but you can’t win them all.

Venus or Goddess of Willendorf is one of the most famous early images of a woman, made more than 25,000 years ago at a time when, scholars say, women were revered for their ability to give life. She was found in 1908 by archaeologist Josef Szombathy near the town of Willendorf in Austria, and is the oldest religious image in the Western World. The Venus of Willendorf is a Mother-Goddess. She symbolizes the nurturing and support that womanhood creates. Her exaggerated breasts and hips represent her abundant Life Energy. To many, she is the symbol of life itself, and the creative side of womanhood.

I would almost say that it is what I used to look like, but I would be exaggerating just a little bit. I don’t quite look that way anymore now. I suppose I will have to go to Willendorf and get me one of those statues. I am sure they have copies of it, or maybe I can find out which museum it is in. I suppose that I would still be worshipped back then now, as I am still of ample size if no longer fertile, but who is to know?

Anyway, I would like something like this on my little altar, where I burn my candles and have secret prayers and thoughts. It is a little like a Buddha statue too, isn’t it? It’s great, how fat people used to be worshipped. It was a sign that the community had more than enough food and that all was well. I suppose fat women were great bearers of children, having so much to spare with their great hips and their ample bosoms.

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I’m so proud of myself! I actually managed to sleep from 8 pm last night until six o’clock this morning without waking up once! How I managed this is a mystery to me, but I am very happy about it and I figure that staying awake all day yesterday may have had something to do with it. So, for now I have broken the cycle of very short nights. Yippee!

When I was going to bed so early last night, I kept praying that the phone wouldn’t ring and that it wouldn’t ring after I had fallen asleep and luckily it didn’t, so I was saved from that disaster. There is nothing worse than being incoherent and having to answer the phone. It is impossible to have a normal conversation then. You can only mumble some unintelligible guttural sounds that reflect the very early attempts at language by the very early ape man. Your mind works about at the speed of very slow moving traffic, as a matter of fact, it is almost at a standstill. “Huh, what do you mean? You want to talk to Irene? Irene who?”

So I slept like a rock in a meadow. Very deep and very silently. I think I barely moved from the position I fell asleep in. I think an earthquake would not have moved me, nor would a small fire have. One that easily could have been put out by Eduard with the little fire extinguisher that’s so handy to have around. I don’t remember dreaming about anything. I just entered a realm of non being where everything was dark and silent and non moving. A poetic state of limbo.

I sure feel good now that I am awake again. I am functioning at full speed and I feel the coffee surging through my veins and my brain cells firing away. I imagine my thoughts surfing on the coffee doing wild stunts and giant loops while they all tumble over each other.

Yesterday morning we had our regular Sunday morning ritual and then I got up and did three loads of laundry and dried those on the washing lines outside. It was a hot day out and the laundry dried quickly. That is one of the benefits of the dry hot weather. The other one being that the dog also stays dry when I walk him. Eduard helped me change the sheets on the bed, which makes me look forward to going to sleep in the evening and maybe is the reason why I slept so good, now that I think about it. Mmmhhh, does that mean that I have to change the sheets more often? Like, it will wear off after a couple of days and I will have to put new sheets on until the goodness stops rubbing off on me?

Anyway, I love doing the laundry and emphasized again to Eduard that, as long as I am doing the laundry so cheerfully and so industriously, all is well with me. I had to stop doing laundry because I ran out of detergent, otherwise I would have torn the clothes off Eduard’s back and washed those too. I really search the apartment for things to wash. We have very clean dish towels always. Which reminds me that we need new bath towels and that is something else I can ask for on my birthday. The ones we have are fourteen years old and are starting to show it.

So, after I had done all of the laundry, I was ready to go see Lotje whose new owner we had called to tell him that we were coming by that afternoon, but it turned out that there was a Formula 1 race that Eduard had to watch first. Bugger, that meant sitting inside watching cars go endlessly around the same boring track for ever and ever. In the preliminaries of the race, one expert was asked what sort of a race it would be and he said: Well, it will be a boring race, and I thought: Oh, great, a boring race on top of it too. As if it isn’t boring enough already.

So I watched it for awhile, trying to figure out why Eduard liked Formula 1 so much, because he isn’t into cars all that much and this is all about cars, after all. I was slightly peeved and let him know that too. When I was done being peeved, I turned on the computer and read Mimi Smartypants’ blog and she is really funny and makes you forget about stupid Formula 1 and silly husbands who watch it. I read a lot of her older posts and that made the time go by quickly and before I knew it, the race was finished and Eduard was normal again.

We got onto our bikes and rode to the village where Lotje’s new owner lives, which is about a twenty minute ride from here. It was very hot and maybe not the best day to go for a bike ride, but we did make it, even when we had to cross the freeway via a bridge. I made it up with a little help from Eduard, who is very strong and doesn’t mind pulling me along for a bit, as long as I keep peddling also.

Lotje is doing great. She has gotten used to her new owner and is very affectionate with him. She is still a little shy around the other cats that live there, but mostly she is doing well and has made the top floor her territory. We climbed the stairs and called her and she came running with her tail in the air and started purring right away when she recognized us. I saw how the new owner interacted with her and he is fine with her and she is fine with him. There is no sign of Pieke, who has disappeared of the face of the earth. Lost cat signs were put up around the village, but there were no reactions. I think she will show up here one of these days. There have been instances of cats showing up at their owner’s house after making a long journey and Pieke may just surprise us. Lord only knows what we would do with her then, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

We visited for awhile and I think both Eduard and I were very relieved that we didn’t have to take Lotje home with us because of malfunctioning relationships. All is well there and the new owner says that he is already very attached to her.

So we rode our bikes home, but when we were a third of the way home, I got asthma. My chest started to hurt and I couldn’t get enough air, but I was a real trooper and just kept on peddling. I figured there was no sense in me stopping, because I didn’t have my inhaler with me and I did need to get home. I had thought about bringing the inhaler when we left, but then for some reason had decided not to. Wrong! It was a perfect asthma day. Hot and dry and here I was on my bike inhaling God knows what. When we got home, I used the inhaler and in no time at all I was fine. I just was short of breath for a while afterwards, but I think that was because my nose was plugged up and I was trying to eat salmon at the same time, because that’s what we had for dinner. I don’t mean that the salmon made me short of breath, I just mean that…oh, well.

Eduard went to work and I started to fall asleep on the sofa, but would scare myself awake, because I thought I had a cigarette in my fingers. Don’t be sleepy and smoke at the same time! Your furniture will look very damaged afterwards! When Eduard smoked pipe, he would doze off with the pipe in his mouth and I watched him like a hawk for fear of big holes in the furniture. As it was, he burned holes in his sweaters, which was bad enough. Luckily, he has given up pipe smoking, because he has a brand new chair and I won’t allow pipes to be smoked in it. Sometimes you have to put your foot down and make executive decisions. One decision is not to smoke and be sleepy at the same time.

Right, I have to go and walk the dog, I’ll be back shortly…

I asked out neighbors yesterday if our cats were bothering them anymore and they assured me that, no, they weren’t. I pointed out to them that we had gotten rid off two of our cats and that I kept our flowerbed raked so that the cats would use it as their toilet and they nodded and smiled as if that was all very wonderful. They are old people and I don’t know if what I said actually penetrated completely and I asked Eduard to have a talk with them also, just to make sure that there
are no misunderstandings.

The neighbor did take the opportunity to say that our Golden Rain was a little bit large and was preventing his tomatoes from getting enough sun, which I think is nonsense because the sun was shining in his face very brightly as he was telling me this. As a matter of fact, his wife was complaining that there was too much sun and that this prevented her from sitting outside. I think they are old and confused and that I should keep this in mind always. They have too much time on their hands and want to treat their little garden as if it is a large allotment, where they can grow all their own vegetables and flowers as well. They used to have a caravan at a camping, but they have given it up, because there were too many young people making noise. Apparently they had a bit of ground there where they grew some of their own vegetables.

I must remember not to get grumpy when I grow old. I wonder if it is something that sneaks in as your brain cells die off. Some residue paste like substance that causes your synapses to misfire and makes you unreasonable. I hope I have somebody around to remind me of reason then. Knowing Eduard, we will grow grumpy at the same time with equal speed and become like our neighbors and make pests of ourselves in the neighborhood. Except that we will be socialist pests and demand equally unreasonable measures for everyone. If I can’t have sunshine, then nobody else can either! It will rain equally hard on your garden as it rains on mine!

Well, for now we will just try to calm the waters and be as reasonable as we can be. Hopefully Nouri will behave herself and be a model cat. She certainly is home a lot now and sleeps on the bed mostly with the other two cats. I don’t think she will try to break into the neighbor’s apartment again in effort to get away from Lotje and Pieke. I think Lotje was such a dominant cat and that Nouri was intimidated by her. Nouri is very shy and reserved, although things are looking up for her now and she is becoming more assertive.

My sister is giving us an almost brand new bookcase which we will put in the hallway for Eduard to put all of his airplane books on. We have a wall there that is empty and Eduard has very little room in his work room. He has so many model airplanes and boxes with model airplanes that he is always running out of room to put things and the bookcase will be very handy for him. I think we are never going to move out of this apartment, so we may as well settle in completely and spread out all over the place.

We have lived downstairs for seven years now and the rent is reasonable. We’re a little short on space and this is especially noticeable when you try and recycle everything and you need a place to stack old paper and keep bottles and cans etc. We’re also always at a loss of where to put overnight visitors. Right now they sleep on the sofa, but we are thinking of getting a camping cot and having them sleep on that in the work room. That way we have a bit more privacy in the living room, especially when I get up in the middle of the night to sit behind the computer. I won’t be waking up the guests with the sound of me tapping on the keyboard.

Well, folks, it’s time to get going, much as I like to sit here and chat away. Have a terrific day, ciao…

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Well, Nouri is home again. The people she was with brought her home yesterday morning at ten o’clock. Apparently she had been just terrified while she was there and had tried to escape through a second story window. When she first got there, their cat attacked her right away and Nouri hid under the sofa and didn’t move from there basically the whole time she was there. She didn’t eat or drink anything. The people put their other cat in the bedroom, but that didn’t help any. Nouri was so scared that she didn’t come out at all. So they called us at nine o’clock in the morning and told us that they were bringing her home.

When they got here, and we opened the cat basket, Nouri ran into the bedroom, but thirty seconds later she can walking into the living room, meowing as if to tell us that she was happy to be home again. I talked to her and she talked back to me. I walked to the kitchen and she followed me, talking all the time. I had some special cat food for her and opened that up and let her smell that. She followed me to the dining table where her dish was and when I filled it, she started eating as if she was starved. After that she just kept purring and talking and wanting to be petted, because she was so happy to be home again.

Now, this was so heart breaking to me that I have decided that I don’t want to get rid of her at all, even though she is the one that started all the trouble by wrecking the neighbor’s screen door and going to sleep on their bed. And it isn’t the first screen door that she has wrecked. I feel that we should talk to the neighbors and explain the situation and offer to get them a stronger screen door. One with a metal screen instead of a plastic one. The screen door they had last was a real flimsy one. The cat that always pooped in their little garden is gone, that was Pieke as far as I know. Since we have changed cat food, Gandhi has stopped barfing, so that problem is solved. And we could offer to come and clean up whatever mess the cats make once a week or more often as needs be.

Eduard wants to give this other person a try. He is a friend of his and he may take Nouri, but I worry about her having the same hard time with it. She just gets too traumatized. I know that I am not going to take her to the animal shelter. That would really be traumatizing to her. So, we will just have to try and get on the good side of our neighbors and hope for the best.

In the meantime, the saga of Lotje and Pieke continues. It is possible that Pieke has escaped as the new owner has turned the whole house upside down and can’t find a trace of her. He thinks that Lotje is still around and comes to eat during the night. So, it is all a bit of a mystery. Eduard is going over there today to see if the cats will respond to the sound of his voice and come out of hiding. I am not worried about Lotje, because she is a tough little cat and she is a survivor, but Pieke is a whole other story and I don’t know what to think of it. If she has escaped, she will become a wild cat, as she will not easily adopt another family even when she is hungry. The new owner feels kind of bad for them having escaped, but it can’t be helped. It’s hard to keep a cat in if she wants to go out. We will see what happens today when Eduard goes over there.

I really want to keep Nouri. Life has been a lot easier since we just have the three cats and all of them have been a lot happier. Nouri is so affectionate since yesterday and like I said, she is still such a kitten. What is worse, an angry neighbor or a traumatized cat? Maybe we can soothe the neighbor. They do always need Eduard when their computer stops doing what they want it to do, after all. And Nouri is the cat that Eduard had a dream about before we had her. Nouri de Confiture.

Anyway, yesterday was not such a lazy day. As you can see, our normal Sunday morning ritual was interrupted and we had to postpone that for a bit. So, after Nouri came home, I cleaned house. I cleaned up the kitchen and vacuumed everywhere, including the sofa and then did three loads of laundry. Eduard was kind enough to change the bed for me. I dried the laundry outside and luckily, the weather was on my side, as we only had some minor little showers that didn’t amount to anything. By the time I had another load of laundry done, the washing outside was as good as dry again. Now I have some ironing to do. I will do that today.

After lunch time, I fell asleep on the sofa and I slept for two hours. It was wonderful. When I woke up, Eduard was watching the Formula 1 race in Germany. This meant not watching the Tour de France, except during commercial breaks when he would switch channels real fast. Luckily, the Formula 1 race finished before the Tour de France was over, so we got to see the last bit of that, which was exciting. I so much more prefer the Tour de France. In the Formula 1 race you don’t have any of the beautiful scenery, they just drive the same laps over and over again. And I do like the commentators of the Tour the France, who are never at a loss for things to talk about. Imagine finding something interesting to talk about for four hours.

The sport news is more interesting too since the public channel lost its license to broadcast the football matches. Now we get to see all sorts of other sports like baseball and volleyball and foreign football matches. We are discovering sports that we didn’t even know existed! No, really, since one of the commercial channels broadcasts the football matches a whole new sport world has opened up. We see a lot of tennis and a lot of the Tour de France, of course. I like watching tennis, but I still don’t know how the score is kept. I suppose that if I cared enough, I could find out, but so far I haven’t. By oldest niece’s daughter plays tennis, so I really should know more about it anyway. One time we did get a book about all the football rules from the library and that helped a lot while watching the matches. We could do the same for tennis.

One Olympic sport we like to watch is curling. It is more exciting than watching bowling. They’ve even started to show the European championships now and the world championships. It must have become a popular sport. I especially like watching the women play and imagine doing it myself. Confession, I once played on a bowling league, albeit a small one. We mostly played for the fun of it, but I did win trophies two years in a row and I wish I had those trophies here now, because they would make for good conversation pieces. Guess what Irene did when she lived in America! My ex has them somewhere in a box in storage. I’ll ask him to send them to me some day when he is done with his stint in China. I’ll put them on top of the book case.

When I was a child, I was quite an athlete. I was a sprinter and a long jumper, although I did some other things too like longer distances and sometimes the high jump. But I was the best at sprinting and long jumping. I actually won medals and trophies. My daughter inherited this talent and became a very good athlete herself, specializing in sprints and the long jump. She has boxes of trophies and medals. Her son is also a good athlete and he plays on a football team and has since he was very little. His dream is to become a professional football player. When I say football, I always mean soccer, unless I say American football. Anyway, my grandson is very fast and I believe he would make a good sprinter and long jumper, bu
t he hasn’t tried those sports yet seriously. I think my daughter wants him to be a good team player first. Maybe he can do track and field when he gets to high school. I secretly hope he will and that he will be a winner.

I got my athletic abilities from my father, who was a terrifically built man with broad shoulders, strong arms and powerful legs. He always dazzled us with feats of strength when we were little. When we walked in the forests, he would swing from the trees like Tarzan and make that sound too. We loved that. He was a good swimmer too and would go swimming in the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal when I was little, which is a quite big and choppy place. He would go swimming with me sitting on his back as if he was a crocodile. He was a very strong man. I was told that he could lift his mother and grandmother with one arm and my mother and sister with the other. Oh, I could go on and on with my memories of my father, but it would become a long post. I will just tell you odd bits now and then. The point is that sporty genes run in the family and my grandson inherited the body type. Which is a good thing. My son had my father’s body also and he was also a very handsome man. Both my children got those beautiful blue eyes with the long eyelashes that everybody calls bedroom eyes!

Anyway, I am going to miss the Tour de France when it is done and I can’t wait for the Olympics to start.

Now it’s time to read some news and then it will be time to walk the dog and feed the cats. I think the dog is already wanting to go now. He is sitting here looking at me.

Have a great day, people. Keep your fingers crossed about Nouri, maybe it will all work out. Ciao…

P.S. One photograph is of Gandhi and Nouri sitting in the “cat apartment”. The other photograph is of a lijsterbes, or a mountain ash berry.

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Today, for some strange reason, I weigh 93.2 kilos, which I don’t understand, unless I weighed that yesterday too and just looked at it wrong then and wrote down the wrong weight. Well, yesterday was cheese day. I had a small glass of juice, one piece of Maasdammer cheese, one piece of cumin cheese, another piece of Maasdammer cheese and a tall glass of milk. When I say piece, I don’t mean a little piece, I mean a big piece. One that qualifies as a small meal by itself. When the gastric band is filled some more, I hope to cut down on that some. I could cut down on that some now, I realize that.

In the morning I went to have my allergy test done. It is funny with the buses. Not all of them are announced at the bus stop and when they are, it doesn’t say where they take you. So I was waiting for bus nr. 10 to show up, when bus nr. 4 came and I saw that it also went to the hospital. So I took that one. It’s always a frustration having to ask the driver if he stops at a certain bus stop and watching the driver frown very deeply while he thinks about it and then have him tell you whether he does or not. Sometimes it is announced as a destination on the front of the bus, so that helps. Sometimes it is just a stop along the way to the final bus stop. Everybody has the same problem, everybody gets frustrated. The bus company needs to get their act together.

Anyway, I donated some blood and for a change it wasn’t all that busy and I was home again within an hour. Once home, I started calling all the places that had to do with animal protection, or were animal shelters, to try and find a place for the cats. In the meantime Eduard had sent many emails out to many people about the cats. It must have been about 50 of them. We had only one reaction so far. I also tried to contact the cat refuge place where we had gotten our oldest cat nine years ago, but I found out that they had gone out of business. That was a real shame, because it said in the contract that if you ever have to give up the cat, to contact them first. After much calling, I found a place for one cat at an animal shelter not too far from here and I was relieved about that, until some hours later when I felt that maybe it was not such a good idea and would she really get adopted then, even though she is such a cuddly and nice looking cat.

Anyway, I knew it couldn’t be helped if there were no takers for the cats. I found a possible place for another cat somewhere else, but I would have to call back in two weeks to make sure of it. So I was very discouraged and when Eduard came home, I didn’t feel all that great. I felt slightly criminal, as if I was trying to get rid of my children. Especially our old cat Pieke, it would be hard for us to find a place for her as they told us it would be hard for her to get adopted.

After that discouraging round of calls, I decided to vacuum, although I was not looking forward to this because of the badly watering eyes I had gotten the last time. But I need not have worried, because apparently changing the filter solved that problem and everything went fine. Eduard didn’t exchange the filter with a regular filter. He put in a triple layer of something that we normally put in the system that goes over the stove and it really seems to have done the job. Again, this could all have been purely psychological, but we will have to wait and see what the allergy test says.

After I vacuumed the kitchen and the living room and the hallway, I swept the bedroom really well with the broom, not wanting to scare any cats who were asleep on the bed there. A lot of dust and dog hair was gathered. The bedroom is where the door to the patio is and where the cat door is, so a lot of sand and leaves and other bits of nature are always dragged in by the cats. It’s the room that I clean the least often, because it is the darkest room and very often I don’t see how badly things have gotten there. I should tackle it more often, because we do sleep there and inhale all sorts of stuff at night. It is also the place that gets the most spider rag.

So, when Eduard came home, I was a bit discouraged about the cats and I told him so, but there wasn’t much he could do about that. Luckily, when Eduard had gone to work again after dinner, our neighbor to the left of us came by and told me that his son’s girlfriend’s step father was interested in taking two of our cats and I can’t tell you what a relief I felt when he told me that. It was like a gift from heaven, now these cats don’t have to go to an animal shelter! He gave me the phone number of this person and I called him and we made arrangements to bring the cats there Wednesday afternoon. So it will be Lotje and Pieke who go there and they get along well and it is good that they are staying together. So, that leaves us with our white cat Nouri, for whom we have maybe found someone already and if not, she will go to the animal shelter on the 27th. That’s the best we can do. She will be easily adopted as she is a pretty white cat with blue eyes, which is kind of unusual.

I think our neighbors to the right of us will be very happy when we tell them that we have given up three of our cats and we will tell them to contact us immediately if there are any problems with he two remaining cats. I don’t think there will be, but you never know. The ones that we are keeping are the least problematic.

I was able to fall asleep last night feeling a lot better about everything. I will never have that many cats again. That you can be sure of. Like I said, they were hypo manic cats, but I don’t think I will make the same mistake again.

Yesterday was a warm, sweltering day. It is supposed to rain today and that might just be very nice. It has been hot for a few days and then it is nice when it cools of a bit with some rain. I had watered the two trees on the patio this weekend. They were looking a bit peeked, but they perked right up when I gave them a lot of water. I am very excited to watch them grow now that I know what they are. I wonder when the first berries will start to show? Maybe it would help if I got some plant food. That may just be the thing to do.

It’s really funny with my glasses. Some people look at me and then keep looking, as if they are trying to figure something out. I keep looking at them to try and figure out why they keep looking at me. They have a friendly look on their face when they look, so I think their thoughts are good. Maybe they mistake me for someone else, I just can’t figure out who. People who know me, see something different about me, but don’t always realize that I am wearing glasses now, when I wasn’t wearing them before. But the most interesting ones are the ones who keep looking. I wonder what they are thinking?

About being non conformist. I think for a while, I wanted to be like everybody else and blend in with the crowd. Now I am starting to realize that maybe I don’t need to. That I can be my own group of one, my own definition of a group. I am becoming more sure of who I am and what I stand for and I am becoming more comfortable with that. I also don’t overestimate myself, I do know my limitations. I know I am not a great artist or a great writer. I am mostly just an average person with average skills. I am not that special, but I do admit that I am unique. I don’t have a great desire to stand out in a crowd, but I do like it when I make an impression on people. When they remember me as being someone they could have a good contact with. I would like to be known most for my sensibility, as I have seemed to lack some of that in the past. I wish I could truly have an intellectual argument, but I wonder if
I am quite capable of it in Dutch. It doesn’t help me much if I can do it in English. I can’t say: Excuse me while I now switch to English.

Well, these are all my thoughts for today, I don’t have that many as you can see. More than anything I feel relief about the cats. I’ll have to go to the chapel about that one.

Have a terrific day, everybody, ciao…

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