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Posts Tagged ‘parents’

man.grovels





It was my intention not to post anything for a while, as you may have figured out from the title of yesterday’s post and the reason why being clear to you if you read the labels, but now it is the middle of the night and I find myself at loose ends, as I have read all the blogs that I normally read and I must fill up the wee hours. I went to bed tired and early last night, because I didn’t take a nap during the day and if I don’t do that, I don’t last very long past the evening news. I have a tendency to get instantly sleepy and go from being quite alert to being quite unconscious in a very short time and that is not due to my medication. So, as a result, I am up early too.

Anyway, now I find myself writing a post after all and I have not prepared myself and must think of some subject matters. Normally, I make notes during the day and I use them to help me write down something halfway interesting, but now I don’t have any notes at all, so I’ll just do it from the top of my head. I think that is how the expression goes.

I can tell I have been reading a lot of Dutch language novels, because my Dutch is improving, but I am getting it mixed up with my English, or so it seems to me. Let’s just say that sometimes I am not so sure of myself. I think I am using the right expression, but then I wonder if I am not translating it literally out of Dutch.

Being unable to describe my weekend to you, I must think of something else that is entertaining and I am sure I have all sorts of bits and bobs in my head, but it is just a matter of remembering them and pulling them out in a coherent fashion.

When my son was growing up, we used to call each other Martha and Johnathan. I don’t know why we did this and how we got this idea to do it. We used to have very melodramatic dialogs and call each other those names. Sometimes we would get mixed up and call each other Marathon. I would see him enter a room and pretend to very delicately swoon with my hand to my brow and call out, “Oh, Jonathan!” He would then reply in the appropriate manner and off we went with a whole little scene we made up on the spot. He had a good sense of humor and his favorite movies were Monty Python ones.

He was a great kid and we had a lot of fun together. I think it was because he was such a sensitive kid, that made him so humorous in such a dry and witty way and he would always come up with great one liners out of the blue. He was definitely a big source of humor to me and I had many good laughs because of him. He was especially good when we had to travel long distances in the car and we all went silly with boredom. I remember instances when I had to unbuckle my seatbelt because I was laughing so much and was writhing in my seat from it. The kid was a prime example of absolute madness within the realms of sanity.

It’s been more than three and a half years now since he has died. I am able to talk about him now without it hurting so terribly and I talk about him in an offhand way regularly, as if he is someone who is still alive and matters. I refer to him when I discus different issues with other people and I can do that easily.

His death was traumatic, even though we were expecting it, because he was very sick. It is always a very traumatic thing when you lose a child, because your children are supposed to outlive you. I had to travel to Alaska where he lived and it is a journey that I will not soon forget and it was very intense and exhausting and like some bad dream. I got to say goodbye to him, though, and I am always grateful for that and I am happy that I got to see the place where he lived and where he always vowed he would live when he was a little boy growing up.

So, his death was traumatic, but somehow manageable and the grief was within human proportions and something I was strong enough for to bear. I cried a lot and felt stunned and shocked and I had all those feelings mothers have when their children die, but I managed it and I was able to mourn in a more or less sensible manner and in the healthiest way possible. It didn’t damage me.

There had been a death that was very much more traumatic than that, and one that caused me a tremendous amount of emotional damage, and that was my mother’s death and this because it happened at the hands of my father. I also had to make a long journey when it happened and that one was of nightmarish proportions and I was not sure if I would survive the journey, let alone the aftermath of the deed that was done. My father murdered my mother in cold blood and it was such a traumatic experience that this one deed influenced the whole path of my life after that.

It seems a shocking thing to write it down here and I don’t know if I am wise to do so. While I write this, I feel some of that anxiety rise up in me again and I know I will have some of that with me always. So maybe it is best not to dwell on it too much, but merely point out that there are different kinds of death and there are different kinds of grief and there are different kinds of mourning. All pain is not equal.

It is always very important to me to live in the here and now and whenever I threaten to get bogged down in the swamp of my memories, I call myself to order and I tell myself out loud to live now in this moment and to stick to the reality of this day and this day only. It is a good thing to do and it normally works very well, especially if the reality of the moment is a good one and your life is going well. Therefor, I do whatever I can to make sure my life is going well and it is a mission of mine to have it be so. I try not to look back too much on yesterday and I try not to project myself too much into the future.

Well, I am calling myself right back to this moment now and that means that I am sitting here with a very good mug of hot decaf and a lovely cigarette. Toby is sitting behind me on the coffee table and he has his legs folded under him in such a way that he looks like a teapot, as if I can pick him up and pour tea from his nose. All the other animals are in the bedroom with Eduard.

Yesterday, it rained nearly all day and it is supposed to rain again today and tomorrow. I don’t mind it too much, except for when I have to take Jesker out for his walk. We looked up the pain medication that he takes on the Internet and found out that he can take it indefinitely and if it is okay with the vet, we would like to keep him on a maintenance dose, because he is doing so much better.

Well, I guess that’s all the writing I am going to do for this morning. I feel a little
bit drained, as if my emotions have been wrung out. I don’t have anyone to blame but myself, because in my effort not to discuss the weekend I have tackled other intricate subjects.

Today is Miserable Monday. At least it is for those people who have to go to jobs they are not too happy in. Others of us stay home and make the best of that. Whichever sort of Monday it is for you, do make the best of it and enjoy it anyway.

Ciao, tutti voi cara gente.

P.S. Image courtesy of John Mora.

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I realize that I write a lot about my father in the positive sense and that, if I talk about my mother at all, it is more in the negative sense. That is because I have resolved my issues with my father mostly, but not with my mother. My issues involving my mother go much deeper and involve some deep seated anger that I have been unable to deal with until now. I don’t know if I will ever be able to resolve it. My childhood was effected by her very much in the negative sense and she did not stop having this negative impact on me until I graduated from high school and landed a job with some status. It seems that I didn’t become a legitimate human being to her until that time and I am left to this day with a lot of questions and unresolved anger. Mostly I don’t give it much thought anymore, but when I was writing about my father yesterday, I realized that I could not write with the same amount of fondness about my mother and I started to think about why that was. A lot of memories rose up and I have been unable to stop thinking about them and I realize that I have to deal with them somehow.

Until I was a teenager, I very much was my father’s child and my mother never let me forget it. She had a very complicated relationship with my father and a lot of it was built on her contempt for him. Because I was my father’s child, I was the recipient of a lot of this contempt also and it was hard growing up with it. I have thought about going into details here, but I have decided against it so far, because I don’t want to speak badly of the dead who can not defend themselves. Let it suffice to say that my mother had a cruel streak and that I very much felt that and that, as a result of that, I grew up to be a very insecure person. It took me a lot of time and energy to get over that later on in life.

When I became a legitimate person in her eyes, our relationship changed, but because of that, I was unable to ever have it out with her. I never confronted her with the things that she was responsible for. The dynamics of the relationship changed and because I lived so far away, it was easy to forget the past and to only concentrate on the here and now, which involved seeing her for a few weeks every year. I pushed away my own childhood and the indignities I suffered. I never demanded retribution.

My mother has been dead eighteen years now and I notice that I still at times get angry about a lot of it. I still haven’t figured out what made her the way she was and what made her such a cruel mother at times, the way she could be a cruel wife to my father. I don’t remember her with love in my heart, although I cried like a child when I saw her laying in her casket. I think that was also because of the way her life ended so abruptly, so cruelly.

So, I can write with great fondness about my childhood with my father and not write with equal fondness about my mother. I will keep writing with fondness about my father and my memories of him and my childhood. Even though he was an emotionally unstable man, he was not a dangerous man for me. He never was an angry or hurtful father. My mother, on the other hand, was also an emotionally unstable person, but she was dangerous to me by way of her cruelty and I can’t forget that. She took out her madness on me. I just don’t know what her madness was. She always thought it was fine if my father was put away in a psychiatric hospital, but she denied ever having any problems herself. I hold her responsible for that.

Anyway, the things your childhood can do with you! It lingers on forever. I was so determined to have a ‘normal’ life when I grew up and had my own family. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I didn’t, in the end I did not. I entered adulthood burdened with emotional baggage, the extent of which I didn’t even know. It’s a shame that it has taken me all these years to get the story straight. I was so good at pretending that everything was alright when it wasn’t. I thought a tortured mind was a normal ingredient of life. I thought eternal sadness belonged to it. I thought that if you really did your best and if you had all the right things, i.o.w. the right house, the right furniture, the right car, then life would treat you right and you would live happily ever after. I thought the reward for suffering was goodness and happiness.

Now I know better and I know that suffering has no function at all and that it is a complete waste of time. The object is to get it out of your life as quickly as possible and to strive for a ‘normal’ life as quickly as you can. Normal is not waking up in the morning filled with self hatred, it means loving the person you are with, it means having the least amount of emotional baggage to lug around. It means having the space to breathe deeply and to look around and see all of life, not just the shallow space you are suspended in. It means unconditional love and being loved unconditionally. I always aim for normality and soberness and discover uniqueness and variety along the way.

Anyway, yes, I loved my father and yes, my feelings for my mother were very confusing. I hope never to have feelings like that for anyone else in this life again, not to that extent. I have learned not to get into relationships with dysfunctional people, at least not the kind of relationships in which I am a dependant. In which my emotional well being is dependent on that person’s emotional stability. Eduard is incredibly normal, while at the same time he is not at all, but very unique and not at all an average sort of person. He just doesn’t carry a lot of emotional baggage with him and he is very functional. He doesn’t play any sort of games that I am aware of. He is a very healthy person to be with.

So, today I weigh 92.9 kilos and I really don’t care that much today. I know that I am not losing the weight I should, because it is too easy for me to still eat too much. Sometimes it feels as if I have no gastric band at all. No, I am not overeating, but I am eating more than I should for losing weight. I basically just keep going up and down a few ounces and I never seem to go on a downward slope anymore. I could if I really watched what I ate, but sometimes I am just hungry. Yesterday I had raisin crackers because I craved something sweet. I searched the kitchen and found those. That was very satisfying. I also saw that we have some powdered chocolate to make hot chocolate with. That is so very tempting. This gastric band really needs to be filled, that’s the whole purpose of the thing.

Yesterday, I gave the cats some special food out of little pouches. They loved that! Having the three of them certainly makes life very easy. I think the cats like the fact that there is more room for them and I make it a point to give them the proper attention. When I see one, I pet him/her and I get rewarded by a purring cat.

Eduard went to see about Lotje and Pieke yesterday. It turned out that Lotje was up in the attic, but she came down immediately when she heard Eduard’s voice and started purring and rubbing against him to be petted. She does come down to eat, so she is okay. There is no sign of Pieke, so she most likely has escaped and is now on the run. The new owner is going to hang up lost cat notices in the village. I have to honestly say that we don’t miss Lotje and Pieke very much, as it is a lot less stressful around here and there a no more cat skirmishes. We think about their well being, but that is as far as it goes. If we know they are alright, we don’t mind them being gone. We do hope that Pieke shows up again, but maybe she will adopt another family if she gets hungry enough and that problem will solve itself.

I have different feelings about Nour
i
and giving her up would be very difficult. I really hope not to have to do it. We have thought about giving the neighbors some boxes or bags of pellets that will keep the cats out of their little garden. We will talk to them anyway this week and hope to reach some compromise with them.

I slept late this morning after going to bed early, so that was nice. I did some more laundry yesterday, but I was unable to dry it outside because of the rain. I ended up hanging it in the bathroom to dry, it will just take longer. I did all the ironing, but there wasn’t that much to do. I do keep on top of that. As long as I am doing the laundry and the ironing, all is well with me.

This morning I have my appointment with the people of the city about my job training. I just hope that the weather will be dry when I have to go, as I am going by bike. The bus won’t take me there. Outside it is very stormy. We saw on the news last night how bad the floods are in parts of England. People there are up to their waists in water and worse. The rivers Avon and Severn are flooded and they think the Thames will flood also, because they are expecting much more rain. Let’s all hope that Eleanor and her family are okay.

Now I have to go and feed the cats and walk the dog. Duty calls me, but I do it with pleasure. Boy, you should hear the wind howl around the building!

Have a wonderful day, ciao…

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This morning I weigh 93.5 kilos. That’s more like it! I can say I have lost 32 kilos now, more or less. Yesterday I ate one cookie, one chocolate and the rest of the day I snacked on Melba toast and cheese. Finding out I can eat more certainly has made me want to eat more. I eat the extra bit of cheese now, because I know I can. I really have to watch it.

This morning I didn’t wake up until 6:30. I enjoy sleeping late. When I wake up, I really feel like I have had enough sleep, like I did yesterday. But I still managed to fall asleep on the sofa anyway.

In the morning I walked the dog and fed the cats and cleaned up the kitchen. I always clean up the kitchen in the morning, because I am too lazy to do it the evening before. I only wash the dishes once a day. But it is a nice routine in the morning, a good way to start the day and I clean the cat and dog dishes at the same time.

After I had gotten properly dressed and made up, Eduard asked me if I wanted to go to the library with him and I said yes, because I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to also go to the chapel and to go have a coffee. Eduard misunderstood me at first and thought I wanted to have coffee at the café in the library, but that would have been too boring to me. I meant Café Monopole downtown, of course. So, after we got that straightened out, off we went to the library. There is a little sitting area on the floor where the novels are and you can sit and listen to a spoken novel with headphones, so I sat and did that while Eduard searched for books. Soon enough, he was done and we checked out his books, which you can also do yourself at the ‘do it yourself counter’, so that makes everything very easy. Then we rode our bikes across Square ’92 to the elevator of the pedestrian/bike bridge. The square is named after the year of the Maastricht treaty.

When we got to the Our Dear Lady Basilica, it was very busy there. There were a lot of tourists there as usual and let me tell you here, the most dangerous people in traffic are pedestrians, especially tourists. Without any regard, they walk into the road, regardless of traffic. It is like they have suicidal tendencies. They don’t look left or right or up or down, they just walk straight ahead with no worries or cares about any other traffic at all. I always end up shouting at them: Sure, go ahead, lay down under my bicycle, no problem!

In the chapel I prayed the Our Father, and after that I said, Hi God, it is me, Irene, are you taking good care of my daughter and my grandson? Just checking, really, if he is paying attention. I haven’t addressed my Higher Being directly for a while now and I thought I would give it a try. I guess I feel secure enough to be able to do that now. You can feel it in your bones if the timing is right.

After that, Eduard and I rode our bikes to Café Monopole, all the while avoiding those dangerous pedestrians. We managed to find an empty table on the terrace and ordered coffee and a piece of strawberry pie. The coffee came with a cookie and a chocolate this time and that is one reason why I like to go there, because they aren’t skimpy with their sweets. I had four bites of the pie and it was delicious. The strawberries were freshly glazed, so they tasted very good.

Eduard was very sweet and went to M&S Fashions with me and we looked at the sales rack. M&S Fashions constantly has items on sale. As soon as they have a new collection in, they put the old stuff on sale. This time I found a wrap around tunic at 70% off, so that was a real steal. It has long sleeves, so I will be able to wear it for a while yet, and I bought a little tank top to go with it with little beads along the top of it. Very cute! You must all realize by now that I am clothes crazy, especially when I can get stuff marked down so much. I cleaned out my closet to make room for all of my new clothes and all of the old clothes, that are to big on me now, can go to the recycle store. I’ve got all of my stuff on hangers, so they are easy to find.

I walked Jesker in my new clothes and, because the weather was so beautiful, we hung out on the field for a while. The grass was dry, so I could sit down, and Jesker especially likes this, because, after a while, he lies down beside me and together we watch the people and other dogs go by. The clouds were beautiful, huge, white, cottony looking heaps of whipped cream in the sky. That’s the best about the end of the rainy time, the clouds are great. Whenever Jesker sees a dog, he waits for that dog to be gone and then goes to sniff all the places that dog has been. I guess he finds out a lot about that dog that way.

In the afternoon I sort of watched a movie. The Interpreter with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. I fell asleep halfway through and didn’t wake up until the end of it. Still, I saw enough of it to get what it was all about. Then I was supposed to watch The March of the Penguins, but I realized too late that I was on the wrong film channel and that I had missed most of it, so I’ll have to watch that the next time it is on. It’s supposed to be a very good documentary about penguins and Eduard showed it at the film house with a lot of success.

I realize that I write this blog with an audience in mind and that makes it hard sometimes, as my audience is so diverse and I keep picturing different people when I write it. So now I have decided to write this as a diary for myself, keeping the audience out of mind mostly and maybe that will make it a bit easier to write. If I just write it for myself, as a reminder of my days, maybe that will loosen up my thoughts a bit and make it less artificial. I will just write as I think of stuff, as it comes to me.

Yesterday I did two loads of laundry and dried them both outside on the new washing lines. The laundry dries in no time at all and it smells so good! I love hanging the laundry up to dry and taking it in again. It makes it much more fun to do laundry. I have another load to do today and I look forward to doing it. Silly me for having such fun doing that. It is a good sign however. When I enjoy doing laundry, things are going well with me.

Last night was a perfectly lazy night. I went to bed at 9:30 after spending some time watching silly programs on TV. There wasn’t that much on worth watching. Saturday night never is a good night for watching TV, they figure most people are out that night doing more interesting things. They don’t think about us old fogeys, staying at home, being boring. I suppose I would be more fun if Eduard and I were real drinkers and we enjoyed going to a pub regularly. There are people who have their special pub to go to, but we have never gotten into that habit. Let’s face it, it is better if I stay off alcohol completely, the stuff doesn’t do me much good. I am a lousy drinker and get sentimental too soon and too down. The last screwdriver I had made me realize that. That’s when out neighbors were here and I felt compelled to tell the story of my parents. Bad move!

I think about my parents every day. Not constantly, but they pop into my thoughts regularly. I am always reminding myself how I feel about them and how that affects the way I think about a lot of things now. I know that there is behavior in me that comes straight from my mother and some of the least likable things I have to keep an eye on and make sure they don’t pop up too much. I also know that I recognize some of my father’s most likable trades in Eduard. That, for instance,
is the very caring and kind side of him. Also the very comical part of him. So you do subconsciously choose the parts of your parent in your partner. I have my mother’s intelligence, but that can be a drawback too, in thinking that I know everything, when in fact I don’t. My mother always thought she had great psychological insight, when in fact she didn’t. So I have to make sure that I don’t make the same mistake. I think I have my kindness from my father. I can be a bit of a pushover, though. But I definitely see things of my father in Eduard and I am happy about that, because they are lovable things and I am glad to be reminded of these things of my father. There are many grey areas when it comes to my parents, it isn’t very simple all in black and white. There are no good guys and bad guys. There is responsibility and lack thereof. There is weakness of character and lack of understanding and lack of guidance. Everybody s a victim.

Now the cats are starting to become very noisy. They want to be fed, but Jesker is still asleep in the bedroom. He was out here once, but has gone back to sleep some more. He saw that I wasn’t ready yet. It is so late already! That is one drawback of sleeping late, you get started later with everything too. Well, it doesn’t really matter. I am a master of my own time, after all.

I want to say, well, dear diary, that was it for today, but I’ll say, well, dear audience, have a terrific day. Ciao…

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Today I weigh 97.7 kilos, a bit less than yesterday, a bit more than the day before that. That’s okay, it will go down again. I feel just a bit bloated in my belly, so that’s part of the problem too, and that’s quickly solved. Yesterday I had a glass of juice, Melba toast twice, two pears and a tall glass of milk and that was it. I still feel pretty full, but I think that is from feeling bloated and that is a whole other problem! I decided not to eat any cheese for awhile, because I like it too much and I eat too big a piece of it when I do eat it. I am hoping that the pears will help with the bloated feeling and then there is always the natural laxative tea.

Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day. After I slept all morning, I didn’t feel like doing much the rest of the day. I walked the dog and cleaned up the kitchen, but then I decided to ignore the rest of the things that needed to get done, because I thought, tomorrow is another day. Lucien called in the afternoon and we talked for a bit about what a good time we had had when we had gone to town. It is definitely worth repeating the experience. She asked me if she could borrow my Bright Light Energy Lamp to try out before she went out to buy her own. Since she has stopped with her antidepressants she has been getting down a bit and she wants to give the lamp a try. Now I know that you think that it is only used in the wintertime, but if you feel down in the summertime, and the weather is gloomy, you can use it too, and it will work. If it is going to work for her, she should know within a day or three.

Eduard came home at about 3:30 pm. He didn’t have to stay at work all afternoon, as there were enough volunteers to do the job. He just had to make sure that all the equipment was set up properly. That was a good thing, because he had to go back to work in the evening at 6 pm. I started to watch the movie Flight Plan with Jodie Foster and after about 10 minutes, I knew it was going to be a very good movie and that I wouldn’t be able to miss it to walk the dog, so Eduard was kind enough to do that for me. Wow, what a movie. Jodie Foster is such a great actress anyway, she is so believable. The movie was full of suspense and at no time did you really know how the ending was going to turn out. Not until the last minutes anyway. I am so glad we have the film channels now. I think I see a good film every day. We also have the DVD The Da Vinci Code from the library, and I was trying to watch that last night, but I couldn’t get the DVD player to work now that the digital box is also connected to the TV. Eduard will have to show me how to do that.

Lucien came by to pick up the lamp after the film was just over. She and her husband were on their way to their cabin in Belgium for a long weekend along with their cat and dog, so she couldn’t stay to visit. We will do that when she returns the lamp. At first I was thinking of staying up for Eduard who was supposed to get home at 10:30 pm, but then I thought better of it, because I didn’t want to have a repeat situation of that morning, so I ended up going to bed at 9:30, which was still a bit late, but I still had to make cigarettes and feed the cats before I went to bed. Eduard has bought some completely different cat food and the cats absolutely love it, so I think we need to keep buying this stuff for awhile until they grow tired of it. It’s so good to really see the cats literally attack their food dishes!

Eduard had brought home some reading glasses last week that someone had lost at the film house some months ago and had never returned for. They were a bit strong, so he thought I might be able to wear them. I used them a couple of times at night, when I was reading in bed. Then I started getting itching hives on my face and at first didn’t figure out why. Not until yesterday morning did I put two and two together and figure out it was from the reading glasses. I am allergic to the metal that touches my face, so now I can’t wear those any more. It’s always something. Now I really am reminded that I have to be careful with any jewelry I buy, especially with any necklaces. If the metal rubs my skin, I will get hives, and that will be a shame. I saw some pretty necklaces at M&S Fashions the other day, but I really have to make sure about the metal before I buy anything. My mother once bought me a traditional silver necklace that used to be worn with the traditional Dutch costume. It was very pretty, but it was made of silver, so if I wore it for any length of time, I broke out in hives, although I never told her this. I still have it, but I will never be able to wear it. Maybe I can give it to my daughter some time. I don’t know if she would wear it though. So far, the dangly earrings aren’t bothering me, so they must be made of a metal that doesn’t cause my allergies to act up. I am happy about that. I do so like wearing them.

I have been thinking about Nick and Mark and how their weekend is going. I am very curious about that, of course. It is the first weekend that they are spending together and I wonder how it will be for them. I am sending lots of positive thoughts their way. It’s kind of a shame that I didn’t have to go to town on Friday after all. I could have gone to the Mary chapel and said an extra prayer and lit some extra candles. I hope God can pick up on my thoughts too and see that they are full of longing for a good outcome…I’ve just lighted a little candle here beside the computer and while it burns I am thinking good thoughts, that will have to do for now.

Yesterday morning I really thought I was getting depressed, when all it was was tiredness. I have to pay better attention to things like that. I was getting worried for nothing. It shows you how important it is to get enough sleep. Even when you think you are done sleeping. Because you are being stubborn and you are up and awake.

My parents usually fought at night. Or I should say, that is when my mother decided to fight with my father. We would be in bed and wake up from their dramatic fighting. A lot of yelling and swearing and of course, the neighbors could hear everything too. I remember laying in bed waiting for them to be done. Sometimes I would get up and sit at the top of the stairs, listening for it to get really bad, so that I could get down quickly and prevent something bad from happening. If things got out of hand, my father would punch holes in doors and break furniture. Or he would threaten to kill my mother with a knife. Sometimes everything would become silent for awhile, and then I thought, okay, they’re done now, but then it would start all over again. Finally, some time late at night, they would be done yelling and fighting and each would go to their own room to go to sleep. I would go to my own bed, but I would try to stay awake to prevent my father from killing my mother during the night. I kept a broom beside my bed to hit him with if he tried.

One time, during the day, my mother had to shove us over the fence to the neighbors, because my father was threatening to kill us all with a knife. I think that that was one of the instances when he was taken to the psychiatric hospital. And you know, I didn’t hate my father. I must have known that there was something wrong with him, because I didn’t hate him and I blamed my mother just as much. Never were there two people who were so mismatched. I remember being a little girl and playing outside, and seeing my father walk into our street on his way home from the hospital, and me feeling such joy at seeing him. How is that possible? I hadn’t seen him for a long t
ime and he was so handsome in his trench coat. I’ll never forget that moment and me yelling, Papa!

Well, in the end it all ended as badly as I had feared then. I wonder if that is why I need my mega dose Oxazepam at night to sleep well. I need to be oblivious of everything. I find safety in sleep, but a big relief in waking up again and getting up and starting the day. When I’m depressed I find my bed the best place to be, but I avoid it when I feel well. I go to bed because I know that it is the good and sensible thing to do, that I need my strict schedule and that it is imperative that I get enough sleep, but when I am depressed, I can lay in bed all day long and find it the safest place to be. When I lived by myself, I very much disliked sleeping on my own and I was very happy when Eduard came to California and slept beside me. I felt very safe then. I have always felt safe with Eduard. I trust him more than anyone. When my father died ten years ago, we went to his cremation and we both stood by his open coffin, and I cried very hard and Eduard cried along with me out of sympathy. That is love for you.

The candle is burning quickly, sending my thoughts with it. Every time I look at it, I think good thoughts. I think how good relationships can be and how wonderful it is to meet the right person and how that can change your life. Faith, loyalty, trust and friendship, besides a healthy dose of love. Those are the things you need.

Well, after all those revelations, I think I may go and walk the dog now. Think good thoughts, people. Love one another and have peace in your hearts. I know, I am a sentimental fool, but there has to be room for a fool in this world also. Ciao…

P.S. I walked Jesker and it was raining a bit, but it wasn’t cold outside. We even saw a jogger in his shorts and T-shirt. Such dedication to the cause! He probably thinks I am dedicated taking the dog for a walk in the rain. Eduard is still asleep and it is tempting to go back to bed, but I just made some tea, so I have to drink that first. The cats have eaten everything in their dishes again, leaving nothing for poor Jesker. He had a denta stick instead. Ciao again…

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Today I weigh 98.3 kilos. For some mysterious reason I weigh one ounce more than I did yesterday and I have no explanation for it, but just for the heck of it, I am going to blame it on the cheese, so from now on I am not going to be eating cheese anymore. Yesterday I had one small glass of juice, one hard boiled egg, some Melba toast, one pear, one piece of cheese and a tall glass of milk. I think that this is a small amount of food and it all agreed with me, but I noticed that I got a bit of a stomachache after I ate the cheese, so today I am not having any. I’ll just have something else instead, like some yogurt maybe, or another pear. I really like eating the hard boiled egg, because it tastes good and it is satisfying to eat. Anyway…

Yesterday, after I walked the dog, Eduard and I had a nice and cozy morning together along with the cats and the dog. It’s like a three ring circus, but then a very mellow one. When we finally did get the show on the road, Eduard made himself breakfast and boiled the egg for me. Then I had the terrific plan to go for a bike ride in the afternoon and Eduard thought that was a great idea also, so that is what we did.

Luckily, the weather turned out to be nice enough and we rode our bikes along the outskirts of town into the countryside, through the fields and through the hills to the windmill, where Eduard once got to help the miller haul in the sails off the blades. That is some years ago and that’s how long ago it was since we had been there. We took our jackets off there and proceeded to village A, some miles south of town. Now, most of the trip was going uphill, so the muscles in my legs were protesting a bit and sometimes I had to let Eduard pull me a bit. But the countryside was beautiful and it made it all worthwhile. Everything was so green and lush! It was as if we were in some foreign country like France instead of the Netherlands. When we got to village A, we could look back and see what a climb we had made, without really realizing that we had. We were up quite a bit higher. Eduard asked me if I was tired yet, and I said, no, I wasn’t, so we proceeded on to village B, which I thought was to the north west of us, so closer to town, but turned out to be south west of us, away from town some more. I have such a bad sense of direction that I was completely turned around. So on we went through the countryside to village B.

Now, village B is were we lived for a few months when we first got to the Netherlands, so the place is fraught with memories for me, so when we got there, we stopped at a café and had a cup of coffee on the terrace. Being in this place loosened all the memories in my mind and Eduard and I ended up having a big conversation about all sorts of old hurt that I felt and all sorts of old regrets and sad memories. Not between him and me, but mine from a life that is past. I talked about the children a lot and the sadness I had had about them and about my past marriage and about those first few months in the Netherlands. Eduard is such a good listener and good at giving feedback. I don’t feel the acute pain anymore, but there are things I need to talk about to get them straight in my head, to sort them out as it were, and Eduard knows me well enough now, that I feel that I can talk to him about them. I wouldn’t have done this at the beginning of our marriage. It would have been too much of a load.

Anyway, then we got on our bikes again and made our way back to the town. This was taking a bit longer than I expected and we were taking a different route than the one we had taken to get there, and at one point I asked Eduard why it was taking so long. Then he explained to me that village B was south west of village A, so actually quite a bit further south of town, so that explained everything. Well, we peddled and peddled and actually did make it back to town, and after some more peddling we made it back to the apartment and I had a sore butt from the saddle, but I sure did feel good for having gone the distance. Eduard estimates that we rode for
about 15 miles, which is not bad for only my second day on the bike. I am not that sore in my legs, except for my knees a bit, and feel like going for another bike ride today.

When we got home, I made a pot of Irish Breakfast tea and it tasted so good. I guess tea really is good to drink when you are thirsty. Eduard never had that flavor tea before and liked it also. Assam superior, remember that name. Of course, the dog was thrilled that we were home again and required lots of petting, which I gladly did. He took turns going from Eduard to me.

Then my daughter called me and I had been expecting her phone call and we had a wonderful talk together and all the news is good. So my agreement with, and commitment to God stands. God no longer is a little element in my life, nor is God someone I am angry at. I assume now that God is someone I can talk to and someone who listens to me, even if He doesn’t do everything I ask of Him. I am talking about God as a Him. He could also be a She, of course, but for the ease of the thought I am calling God Him. It is simpler for me. I don’t think I can only talk to God in the basilica, but I think that for my own sake it helps if I am really serious about the subject that I want to discuss with Him. And I can light candles there. I think it is also important to be grateful and to give thanks when a prayer is answered and to do that with all the fervor that is in my heart. Today I am going back to the basilica and I will be lighting three candles and one of them will be for my grandson, who also needs all the extra help in all of this. I am keeping my promise.

All of these years of fighting with the God issue has been leading up to this. All the intellectualizing and all the arguments and all the questions and doubts and points of logic now all come down to one thing and that is having faith. I can no longer doubt and question and argue, but I have to have faith, even when things don’t go right, I have to keep my promise. But I don’t think I need a mediator to help me talk to God. I think I can talk to God on my own, although I have to admit that the chapel dedicated to Mary is attractive and is probably a very powerful place to pray in if you believe in it. But I want to pray in the basilica itself, directly to God, not even through Jesus about whom I am very unsure. I have faith in my child’s heart that God is listening when I sit there, kneeling and praying with my hands folded and I imagine that I can do that all over the world in any chapel or church or basilica. Just me and God. When I say my child’s heart, I mean I believed this when I was a child and now I have that same believe again.

In the meantime, Eduard is up and it is getting to be time for me to walk the dog and feed the cats and all the other things, although the dog is sound asleep on his pillow. Eduard had to work last night and I decided to stay up and wait for him to come home. He got home at 10:45 pm, so I went to bed quite a bit later than is usual, but it didn’t seem to bother me this morning, so all is well. I always forget the good programs that are on Nederland 2 on Sunday evening and I always run into them by accident when I am zapping from one channel to the other. Luckily, I see what’s on then and stay there and watch them. They had a documentary about Rutger Hauer and I watched that and he turned out to be quite a different sort of man than I had expected, much more kind and compassionate. There was also a short documentary about the writer Leon de Winter, who had a Jewish mother who typified all Jewish mothers. Lots of drama and emotion. It’s amazing how mothers leave their mark on us so much more than our fathers do. Or it seems to be more obvious. I know that my mother, and her particular form of drama, left a huge mark on me. I remember reading Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth and thinking that some of it sounded awfully familiar.

I think that the weather today is going to be rainy. There is supposed to be a weather system coming in from France and it promises some rain. I just hope it doesn’t get here this morning, because I do have to go into town by bike. I may just have to take the bus instead, that may be a better idea, after all. I do have to wear comfortable shoes, because my toe is really acting up and I really do need to go to the doctor with it.

Okay folks, that’s it for now. Have a wonderful day, ciao…

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Well, today I weigh 99 kilos, so I lost only 1 ounce since yesterday, but then I really did eat a little more than I should have and I wasn’t expecting a lot of weight loss. I had a small glass of juice, 2 pears, Melba toast twice, one boiled potato (courtesy of Eduard), one piece of cheese and a tall glass of milk. When I went to bed, I felt full, as if I had eaten too much, and I worried about maybe having gained weight, so I said a little prayer before I went on the scales this morning. Much to my relief, I had lost that one ounce. Phew. I didn’t need to eat the potato or the extra Melba toast, that was just eating extra, because it was there. Opportunity eating as it were.

Now I am having my first coffee of the day. The birds are whistling and it is just getting light outside. I am still yawning and waking up, but that coffee should do the trick. Eduard and I both went to bed early last night. I for the usual reasons and Eduard because he has that breakfast showing this morning. He should be getting up any minute now.

I talked to my daughter yesterday and she said that it was a wonderful thing to be a graduate finally from law school. Her father and her aunt and her son were at the ceremony and they went out for a nice dinner afterwards. She has already sent me pictures of her in her cap and gown with her diploma in hand and flowers in her arms. She’s got a great big smile on her face. I noticed that my nine year old grandson is so tall that he already reaches up to her shoulders. He is built like is uncle Brion, tall and well proportioned. I speak with some grandmotherly pride and prejudice, of course. Well, now I am the mother of a future lawyer and I am proud of her.

I just poured my second cup of coffee and I am writing this very slowly, because I want to take my time waking up and thinking about things. Sometimes, I am in such a rush to write everything down, but this morning I realize that I have all the time in the world. There is no need to be in a hurry. And it is Sunday, after all.

I am thinking about those two pairs of pants that I wanted Eduard to take to the tailor. When I had them shorten the legs, it cost 19 Euros to have that done, and I am sure that making them smaller is going to be even more expensive, so Eduard and I decided that for the money, I should just go ahead and order another pair of smaller, similar pants online. So, I did that yesterday, and I am just going to tighten the elastic in the other pants until I run into someone who has a sewing machine I can borrow, to do the job properly myself. I think it is the best solution that I can come up with. Sometimes it is hard to decide what to do, especially when you have to make a money decision, but I ordered the pants in a small size, so they should last me a long time and I don’t feel guilty for having ordered them. The jeans that I have been wearing only for about a month now, are getting too big on me. I have washed them in hot water, but I think I will wash both pairs of jeans that I have and then dry them in my sister’s drier to see if they will shrink some more. Usually that will do the trick, as I have noticed this with other clothes I have dried in the drier.

I haven’t tried on the pretty red flowered dress again, but then again, the weather hasn’t been right for that kind of dress. When it improves, I will try it on again and see how much I have left to lose. Then I think that there are some more items in the closet that can go in the “get rid of it bag”.

When I chose for the gastric band, I wasn’t convinced that it would work for me. That is why I was seriously considering a gastric bypass first. I thought about it all for a long time, but then considered what a big operation a bypass operation was compared to a gastric band one, so then decided for the gastric band. Once I made that decision, things happened very quickly and in no time at all I was in the hospital in Belgium having the surgery done. Right after the surgery, I could eat very little, because your stomach swells up from having done the surgery. So I got a taste of things to come then. I drank a lot of liquids then, very little solid foods. But after a while you can eat again, because at first the gastric band is not tightened yet. Still, I lost 12 kilos during that first period, simply from changing my eating habits. I ate as if I couldn’t eat a lot of things already. It was purely psychological. After the first time it was filled, things became more serious and I found out what it was like to eat too much, so then I really had to start paying attention to what I ate. The second filling really made a difference. I can tell a lot of that when I eat my pear in the morning. Even when I chew it carefully, I become full very quickly and can’t finish the whole thing, but that is fine with me, because that lets me know that the band is working and it is good to have that full feeling after eating relatively little food. And I am constantly chewing my food very well and eating slowly, because it is a very uncomfortable feeling to have a chunk of food stuck down there. You end up having to upchuck it.

Eduard is up now having his first cup of coffee. The dog is laying on his pillow. It is too early in the morning for him to be up and about and active. Even the cats aren’t asking for anything yet. They are just sitting around, staring into space, thinking deep thoughts, I guess. It’s no wonder people think that cats are mysterious. They can sit for a long time, not doing anything but just staring ahead of them. Very deep! Bathroom pit stop, all that coffee…

Eduard has left the building. He is going on his motorcycle, that is always a special treat for him, usually he goes on his bike. He is taking the first 3 weeks of June off for his vacation. He will turn off his mobile phone and can only be reached in emergencies through me. It is going to be hard for them to do without Eduard for 3 weeks, but he is entitled to it and deserves it after working such long hours. Maybe then they will realize that they need a part time operator to help out when it gets really busy, as it does very often. I will enjoy having Eduard home and I am sure we will fill that time doing interesting things, maybe making day trips. We are not taking a real vacation, the vacation money has already been spent on other things like the new computer. But it is that way every year and we are just glad that we always get the extra money. Besides, we don’t want to lay on the beach in Spain along with thousands of other Dutch people. We are lucky that we live in a very pretty area of the country ourselves, with Belgium and Germany at our doorstep.

Lotje is telling me now that it is time for me to feed her. She is being very polite about it, she hasn’t sat on the mouse pad yet, so I think I will feed the cats now and pour myself another cup of coffee…

It’s good to see the cats eat so well and I wonder if, within the same brand of cat food, there sometimes is a difference of quality, because they always like it or dislike it all at once. It wouldn’t surprise me. Jesker is still sound asleep.

I found two pairs of dangly earrings in a small box in the drawer of my nightstand, and I have been wearing them. They are not made of silver, because I would not have been able to wear them, but I don’t know what they are made of instead. Anyway, I wear them and I put ointment on the ear that is still a little sensitive from the stud earrings that I wore. But so far these dangly earrings are causing me no problems, which gives me hope fo
r the future and maybe the opportunity to buy more earrings like that. I would really like it if I could, because I like dangly earrings the best. You see how much I like the decorating part of me. I think Eduard is fully aware of that now too and knows exactly the kinds of things that I like. I think that he understands my taste and can walk into a shop and know what I would pick out. For a man who doesn’t care much about clothes, he has good taste when it comes to clothing and accessories for me. He is also good at picking out perfumes for me and does that without any sort of input from me. He always goes to Douglass and has the sales ladies help him. He has bought Clinique and Jean Paul Gaultier for me and some others and I have liked them all. My sister always buys me something from Hugo Boss, which is also very nice. But I like Eduard’s taste and I am glad that he cares that much.

Anyway, so maybe now I can wear dangly earrings again, and that is fun, because now I can look around where ever I am and see if they have anything interesting. So, I’ll be looking for necklaces and earrings. Me? Expensive? No! Not at all! With the weather being this way, my allergies haven’t been too bad, but I have developed the occasional cough which is a bit chronic, but goes with the time of year. My head and my left ear are a lot better and don’t itch nearly as much as they have, so the medication is helping. Even so, it is a chronic problem and one that I will have to take care of constantly. Which reminds me that we still need to get mattress and pillow protectors against the dust mite, I keep forgetting that, although I don’t know how much difference that will make with the animals around. Lord only knows how much dander flies around the place when I vacuum.

When I was telling you yesterday about the illegal immigrants being in jail, I have to admit now that I am not sure if 40% of the inmates are illegal immigrants or if 40% of illegal immigrants are inmates. You see the difference. So that will need some clearing up. Anyway, a lot of illegal immigrants end up in jail where they don’t belong. That’s the point. And they stay there too long. There are even cases of mothers being locked up along with their small children, which is a complete outrage, no matter how humanely this supposedly is being done. What sort of a country are we anyway? Is there any outrage about this? Yes, politically I think something is cooking about this. Their ought to be a law…

Closer to home, the cats are done eating and are now laying in various places getting ready to sleep some more. Pieke is laying on my new handbag, which is laying on the sofa, where it is always within easy hand reach of me. So I can hold it and look at it. And smell it if I need to. You know that I have earlier talked about smells bringing back memories. The smell of leather is one of them and reminds me of my mother and her purses.

I have just had a good look around the living room and I think I can get away with not vacuuming today. Even the sofa looks halfway decent. I had to borrow a special attachment for the vacuum cleaner from my sister, one that she wasn’t using, and it does a good job on fabrics. It has two velvety strips that pick up the stray hairs and then the vacuum cleaner sucks them up. Good system. Yes, when you are a house wife, these things are important. Just like you men out there like your good power tools.

My father restored antique clocks and also built copies with old works in them himself. He also restored antique furniture and hand built copies of them. He never used power tools, except for a lathe to turn the wood. He did everything by hand and never used screws and very little nails. He said that, if it was built well, it would stay together well without all the nails and without any screws. He hand cut bronze gears if they needed replacement and also made the weights for the clocks and the pendulums. He also hand painted the faces on the clocks and added the scenery on them if they needed it. He was a much talented man. We had some beautiful clocks in our house when I grew up and I was used to hearing clocks tick and bells chime. Eduard and I have a very simple clock hanging on the living room wall now, it is from Ikea and if you listen very carefully, you can hear it tick. I wouldn’t have minded having an antique Frisian clock, as they are very ornate and colorful, but at the same time it may have been difficult to have such a clock hanging here. I think that my oldest sister has all of the clocks now, stored away, and one of these days I will have to ask her about them and find out if there was a Frisian clock there.

Well, the time has arrived for me to go and walk the dog, duty calls. After that, there is lots of spare time left to do other things. Like read yesterday’s newspaper. No, in the Netherlands there is no Sunday newspaper, so if you buy an extra paper on Saturday, you can save that one for Sunday…

The weather is so nice outside. There is a layer of clouds, but the sun is shining through it and there is hardly any wind. Still, that is supposed to change later in the day and we will have more stormy weather, unless the meteorologists got it completely wrong this time. I doubt it. Jesker and I hung out on the field for awhile and then walked home. At one point, he was being very obedient and was walking carefully beside me, looking at me very expectantly. I gave him a treat and then he crossed the street carefully to walk on the sidewalk instead of the grass. So, he had that all planned. I let him get away with it for this time, he just can’t make a habit out of it. Sometimes you have to let the dog win. It’s for his dignity.

I just made the second pot of coffee. In the meantime, so much time has passed, that Eduard will be home again before I know it. Which is good, because I forgot to change the bed yesterday and we can do that together when he gets here. I’ll strip it and we can make it up together. At least the duvets, those are always the hardest to do. I also have to trim his hair and beard today, because we keep forgetting about that.

Okay people, that’s it for today, ciao…

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I just weighed myself and I weigh 100.5 kilos, so over the past two days I have gained 2 ounces. I had a feeling I did before I went on the scales, because I felt bloated and yesterday too, so maybe it is time again for some laxative tea. At this rate it is no fun to get on the scales, although I can’t despair yet, because it has happened before, and I know it will all come off again. It is just a temporary thing, but a bit discouraging nevertheless.

Outside the weather is stormy, but it hasn’t rained yet. I think we are all ready for a good downpour now, so just let it come.

I have rated the past two days with sixes. The mornings started off well enough, but both days sort off petered out without any sort of excitement or me finding much joy in what I was doing. Yesterday I got dressed properly, but I didn’t feel like putting on any make up and, except for cleaning up the kitchen, I didn’t end up doing much, except for walking the dog three times. I just didn’t get the show on the road. Of course, it was Sunday, so it seemed to matter less if I did, but for my own satisfaction it did matter and I hope today goes better or at least will be rated with a seven or so.

My sister is being weird again and thinks she is in a power struggle with her dog, except that her dog is unaware of this and the struggle is all in my sister’s imagination. It involves food and the dog having been sick and being off his food, and I think my sister is just a very strange person sometimes and I feel very sorry for her dog and it bothers me a great deal. The dog had been ill for some time and was off his food. She took him to the vet and he said to put him on rice with bouillon. She did, but the dog did not get better. Then she went back to the vet, who gave the dog an expensive shot and sold my sister a very expensive bag of dog food for dogs with a sensitive stomach. The dog wouldn’t eat this for three days, but my sister thought that was because he was still sick. So then he had to go to the dog hotel, because of the of the floors being oiled and while he was there, he ate to his hearts content, because they had food there that he liked. When he came home again on Friday, he wouldn’t eat again. Now, instead of buying him some new dog food that the dog would like to eat, my sister decided he had to eat what was there or go hungry. So the dog went hungry. I was there yesterday and I asked her if she had bought him any new dog food yet, and she said no, it is his own fault, he can eat this dog food or go hungry, it is up to him. Well, he is not eating obviously, so he is going hungry. My sister said this with some amount of pride in her voice, as if it was a contest between her and the dog and she was winning. She did say that she would get him some new dog food today, so I hope she will buy him something that he really likes like Pedigree or Bonzo. Now, if my dog had been sick and not eating and I found out he had been eating well at the dog hotel, I would have run to the store to buy him some new dog food. I left her house feeling somewhat physically ill and then when I got home, I told Eduard about it and he said it was typical for Erica to make it a power struggle between her and the dog. Gggrrr…sometimes I really don’t like my sister.

I stayed up until 10 pm last night. There was a good Dutch movie on one of the film channels and I watched that, and after that I watched a program about Pim Fortuijn and the downfall of his political party after his death. They interviewed different former members and there was a lot of finger pointing. It is a good thing that this party is gone now and no longer in the government, as they were very ineffective and caused the downfall of the first cabinet Balkenende. After that, there were old interviews with Pim Fortuijn and you could see what an ego the man had and how emotional he had been and what a hothead. He would have made an incompetent political leader, let alone prime minister. At any rate, I broke my rule again about getting to bed on time and I don’t know what’s to become of me…

I can hear Eduard snoring in the bedroom, so at least I know he made it home last night. Jesker has been out to greet me and some cats are visible. But no rush yet.

My mother used to be a very stubborn woman and was always convinced that whatever she thought and said was right. She was always convinced of her own truth and God help those who went against that. She ridiculed them mercilessly. She ruled with an iron fist and my father didn’t have much to bring in to what went on at home. She could be quite ruthless, even when it was quite obvious that she was wrong, because although she wasn’t dumb, she could be quite stupid and there is nothing worse than being ruled over by a stupid woman. My mother was always in conflict with other people, even with her own children and also imagined herself always to be in power struggles with other people, including her own children. She had a bit of a persecution complex and thought that my father was always blackmailing her efforts, and she always blamed him for whatever went wrong at home, while clearly it was she who rocked the boat constantly. Yes, I know, don’t speak badly of the dead, but I think that is nonsense. I am not blind to my mothers deeds and personality and I am not sentimental about her at all. My father was mentally ill, and sometimes he was very sick, but instead of helping him and trying to understand him, she pestered him and fought him and ridiculed him. And to us she said, you better watch out or you’ll become crazy like your father. Ha! What would she say now! No, she is not a woman to be pitied. When I was a child, I was afraid of her, even though I was very attached to her. Go figure.

Sometimes, you have to write harsh words like that. They just have to come out. But my mother also had another side. Sometimes she could be very caring and motherly, especially when you were sick. You just didn’t know ahead of time which one you got to deal with. I would like to hear from other people and their experiences with their parents, especially their mothers who are always supposed to be there to protect us. Leave a comment if you’ve experienced something similar, please.

It’s raining now, finally. It won’t be much fun to walk the dog in, but it is great for the farmers. It is supposed to rain all week. Jesker won’t be too happy about that. Maybe I should get him a little raincoat! The good thing about the rain is that it takes all the pollen and dust out of the air, although I have to say that my allergies haven’t been to bad so far. I have only been out of breath a little bit, not nearly as bad yet as last year. Maybe the weight loss is helping after all. I really don’t mind the rain. I think it is kind of cozy when I am inside. Of course, I don’t have to go out in the worst of it, like other people do who have to go to work and school. Last winter, we had an amazing lack of frost and snow, it was a relatively warm winter and I wonder what the summer will
bring us now. Maybe April has been a taste of things to come. It is nice that all the national holidays were dry, that helps a bit in celebrating those, like the Liberation concert out in the open air in Amsterdam…

My sister gave me some of the expensive food that the vet had sold her, but I don’t see Jesker eating it and even the cats don’t seem interested in it. And some of them like dried dog food! I suppose it will all get tossed out in the end, which is kind of a shame. 52 Euros for a bag! When our cats categorically refuse to eat, we switch cat foods until we find the one they like. Right now they are eating the ones we have, so that is a real relief. Jesker likes his Pedigree, but he isn’t big on dried food, so he also gets a little bit of canned. We are planning on buying Bonzo next, to see if he likes that better than the Pedigree, because we would like for him to eat more dried food, as it is good for his teeth and his digestion. If we could only talk with the dog, he could make clear to us what he specifically wants. It would probably be potatoes and gravy with a pork chop.

Speaking of pork chops, the other day I did have a real craving for one, but I am glad that I can’t eat it, so there is no temptation. I have to keep in mind the animals, but it helps to have the gastric band and being restricted from eating meat. Another thing I always really liked eating was pot roast and my ex mother in law used to make a mean one that I could never repeat, no matter how I tried. Another thing she made really well was potato salad with red potatoes, mmm…she was a good cook. She also made a very good macaroni-shrimp salad, which I did learn to make and 5 years ago I taught my ex how to make it, because it is one of his favorite dishes.

Well, I’ll go read the news for a bit now until the dog is ready for his walk. I’ll let you know how wet we’ve become…

Well, I just read the results of the French elections and then the dog decided that he needed to go out, so we did that. It was raining a bit, so we got wet a bit. After we walked around the field, Jesker wanted to go on it, as usual, but I wouldn’t come, and he was a bit confused about that. I didn’t want to get sopping wet shoes. When we got home, I dried him with a big towel, but now he does smell like dog a bit, although I don’t object to the odor. It’s kind of a good stinky smell.

Eduard is up and telling me what he is reading in the newspaper. Of course, I have already read some of this on the BBC news, but never mind. Eduard likes to grumble out loud. Do any of you have husbands who do this? I think it is a typical Dutch trait, but it may happen in other cultures, of course, also. Maybe we should get Eduard the Good News Newspaper in the morning and save the Real News Newspaper for later in the day.

Some people don’t watch the news on the Public TV, but watch the news on the commercial channels. This is the news of the lighter variety, for people who just can’t handle all the misery in the world. It’s one way to be a citizen, I suppose. They don’t do much international news and do a lot of news items that are only very locally mildly interesting.

Okay, now I am going back to reading the news and after that I am going to have the sort of day that I will rate with a seven or so. Just wait and see…ciao…

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