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Posts Tagged ‘pets’

I just finished filling up the fourth and last 1 GB MP3 player and I tell you, it looks like such an easy little job that you’ll just do in your spare little hours between everything else. Well, it is not. It takes hours to find the right music and fill those suckers up and, of course, once you start, you can’t stop. At least I can’t, because I am so obsessive. I want it done and I want to listen to it. Well, now I am and I still have the other three to listen to properly, but at least I know that I don’t have to do this anymore and that I can get back to my normal life. Jeez, get with the program, Irene!

I have neglected my housecleaning and my poor animals and I have not given them special belly rubs and talked to them all nicely and given them extra treats because they were being so good, I am a bad mother. I should be put in the hall of shame. The Uberhund was so patient with me. he looked at me longingly, but my eyes were fixed on the computer screen and my hand was attached to the mouse and I barely petted him.

Well, I guess it wasn’t all bad, I did take him for his walks and pick up his turds and dispose of them properly, and I did make a big deal out of him when I came home and he was waiting patiently by the door. You should hear the endearments I call him. You would be embarrassed for me. They’re hard to translate into English, Ha, that’s my excuse and that’s my story and i stick to it. Somebody has been commenting and telling me that a lot lately, but he is a mystery person to me. It’s probably John.

I went to creative therapy today and worked with clay. I attempted to make a woman’s head. It was very funny. I got the general shape right but she could have been an old croon or an old man. She had no upper lip. It was completely hidden away behind her extremely large nose. She also had very large nostrils. She had no forehead and very heavy eyebrow ridges, Sort of Neanderthal like. I did get her cheekbones right and her eyelids. I didn’t bother giving her ears. I figured that was too hard and I gave her hair instead.

The instructor came I sliced a good part of her nose of and remodeled it and then we could see her upper lid, which she turned out to have after all. It did improve her appearance a bit, but she still looks like an old croon. Maybe I am a character artist and I only do funny heads well, by accident.

I didn’t quit and made a new head avoiding all the mistakes I made in the first one. Now I made a woman who looks like Barbara Streisand, she has the nose and the heavy lidded eyes. At least she looks less like an old croon, but it isn’t art. So I give up on the clay and next week i will try something else again until I find my specialty. Which may be bookbinding or something like that. I am a pathetic student of the arts. I know what I like , but I can’t make it. Here I thought I was, and had the reputation of, being artistic. It’s all a damn lie, I tell you.

Well, luckily, it was finally time to go home and I hopped on my bike and when I was almost home, it started to rain like crazy, so I peddled like mad and got wet anyway.

My new second hand bed is going to be here on Thursday and I think the Exfactor is coming to get the double bed on Wednesday, so that means one night on the sofa, but it does give me a chance to clean up the bedroom really well. There are going to be huge dust bunnies under the double bed, I know that for sure and God only knows what other surprises. I do have three cats, after all. I just hope there is nothing dead underneath there. Like a petrified mouse. I found one once when I moved the bookcase.

I am making a new friend at the place where the therapy classes are held. There is a common room and veranda where everybody from all the classes have their breaks and I met someone I know from an earlier time in the hospital. We hit it of right away again and I think she and I will end up being friends again. We’re just testing the waters now. You have to when all of you come with an instruction booklet. You just take it nice and slow.

I said to everybody that I was getting a single bed on Thursday and that they knew what that meant for my future life as a single woman, didn’t they? They all had a good laugh about that.

It does mean a lot of room in the bedroom to roller skate in and do other activities that need a lot of room. Like playing croquet, for instance, or shuffleboard.

Well, now I am going to end this and sit down on my rear end on the sofa, because I have a sore butt from sitting in his computer chair. Oh yes, will somebody give me Kaycie’s proper website address? I think I am looking in the wrong place. Is she no longer living in the Bible belt?

Have a terrific day. Be artistic and spread your knowledge to us less gifted people. We poor souls.

Ciao…

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This morning I weighed 101.4 kilos, so I have lost another 200 grams. Now I have lost a total of 24 kilos. Yeah! Yesterday evening, while I was watching TV, I ate Melba toast without anything on it. The dog had a piece too, but he didn’t think that was very good: Melba toast without anything on it! I thought it was great! But then again, lately I am satisfied very quickly with anything at all. I have found out that I do love eating pears so much better than I like eating apples. The pears ripen as they lay in the fruit bowl and every day they are softer and juicier. That makes them very easy to chew too, so they pass through the gastric band opening easier. So I have to remind Eduard to always buy pears from the Turkish vegetable man. It’s a real treat to have that for breakfast first thing in the day, especially when you always have a dry mouth. Mmmmm. That reminds me of eating honeydew melons, I wonder if any of those are available yet? When they are ripe, they are so soft and juicy too, thinking about that, makes my mouth water. I’ll ask Eduard to check and see if there are any of those yet.

Eduard does the shopping by bike. He has different stores across town that he goes to for different items. He has bags on the back of his bike to carry the groceries in. It is a job that he enjoys doing and he is very good at it, and fast. He has his addresses for fruits and vegetables, for dog and cat food, and for the other groceries he goes to two different grocery stores. Whichever one has the stuff at the best prices or has a particular brand. Now, if I had to do the groceries, I would just go to the one grocery store that is the closest, but they are also the most expensive and I think that Eduard likes the sport of getting the best deal. We shop differently too. I would go up and down every aisle and buy whatever I thought looked attractive, whereas Eduard strictly sticks to the list that he has in his head. I am an American shopper and Eduard is a frugal shopper. Maybe some day we can find a compromise and I will take over the shopping from him if I manage to strictly stick to a shopping list. There is also a little shopping street close by, which has a baker, a vegetable man, a drugstore, a butcher and some other stores and I could easily walk there. We’ll see, right now the system is working really well and I don’t know if Eduard is willing to give up this particular job yet. He is very emancipated, don’t you think?

Eduard is very relieved that I have taken over all the other jobs now that I am feeling well again. Of course, he didn’t do that many of them, but still, he doesn’t have to worry about them anymore now. In his own way, for example, he would do the laundry, but I know that was a job he hated doing and now he loves how he can just reach into the closet and find freshly ironed T-shirts and clean jeans there. He would also reluctantly vacuum, but then on most days the dog hair sort of drifted around the apartment. That was when I was feeling my worst and I couldn’t handle the vacuum cleaner. Of course, the real cleaning never happened, men don’t do that, they don’t really have an eye for it, but I know Eduard really likes the fact that it is done now. I think it was all a little bit too much for him and looking back, I wonder how he managed and I wonder how I didn’t manage. There is a fine line between having things under control and having it no longer under control.

Yesterday, for example, I was mostly tired and I didn’t have the energy to do much. It wasn’t a mental tiredness but a real physical one. I made myself do some things, I sort of got dressed, but I didn’t apply make up, and then decided not to worry about it too much, but imagine having several days like that, and then maybe some more days and then not getting caught up again. I am very vigilant about that now, about not doing things and about keeping up with things, because I never want them to get out of control again. I don’t want there to be too many days where I am not performing well. I want to keep the momentum going, although I realize that anyone can have off days during which they don’t get much done. Is that right, people? Do you have that too? Let me know!

So, to be wise and sensible, I went to bed at nine o’clock last night, even though there was a program on that I wanted to watch. So I reluctantly went to bed, but I knew it was for the best, having felt so tired all day. So, I took my medicines and got my glass of milk and crawled under the covers with my books and some of the cats. I’ve stopped eating crackers with cheese, so that simplifies going to bed a bit. And…no crumbs in the bed! In no time at all I was asleep and lately I have not been dreaming, or at least, I don’t remember my dreams, while I used to have such good ones about clothes and things. I got up early this morning, but that’s okay, I think getting to bed on time is the magic ingredient. I can always nap on the sofa if necessary. If I wake up with a certain amount of energy, I know I will have a good day. But then again, it is all like a magic formula, for which you don’t exactly know all the right ingredients and you just hope you’ve got it right this time. mostly it works, but then again…

I talked to my daughter over the telephone yesterday after not having talked to her for a few days. Of course, I am a mom, so if I don’t hear from her for a few days, my imagination takes over and anything is possible then. Silly me, of course she was alright, she was just busy getting on with her life. I do so love hearing her voice. I just love and adore that child!

The birds have started whistling again, that is such a happy sound to start the morning with. Some birds chirp as if they are asking a question, as if there is a question mark at the end. Like: I am fine, how are you? Are you finding any worms this morning? Did you see one of those cats yet?

Since I have taken this new interest in clothes, I am paying more attention to the clothes that people wear on TV and I see all sorts of interesting ways to dress yourself and to make combinations. It’s a real learning experience and I see things I like and don’t like. Some women look their age and dress frumpy, some women look ageless and modern, that’s how I want to look. I do realize that I want to get some different earrings. Right now I am wearing small earrings with little diamonds in them, but I would like to get something bigger and more obvious. Maybe I should ask for that for my birthday, which is only 5 months away from now (I am going to be 53). So Eduard can start saving his money. I will drop gentle hints. It’s a shame that I can’t wear silver, because many of the more interesting earrings are silver.

Do any of you ever watch the home shopping channels? I sometimes get stuck on one while I am switching channels and then I’ll watch for a little while, especially when they are selling jewelry. Man, you could spend a fortune if you watched those channels all day long. My ex used to have an aunt who was chronically ill, who watched home shopping channels a lot and ordered from them too. Very dangerous! But it’s fun to watch them praise the goods sometimes. They make people feel as though they would be absolutely mad if they didn’t take advantage of the offer right now! But I think that if I had that much money, I would rather go to a jeweller and get some guarantee on what I bought. I really and truly would like to be very rich and buy very expensive things, how is that for the socialist thought? No, I don’t think I would in the end, I wouldn’t want to walk around with jewelry that costs a fortune, I would be very uncomfortable. My only concession would be flying business class instead of economy. And I would buy Eduard a BMW motorcycle. And I would pay off my daughter’s mortgage for her. Anybody else got any wishes?

Oh, I just greeted Nouri, who c
ame walking into the living room, very chirpy with her tail in the air, and of course, Jesker quickly came to get petted and greeted, because, God forbid, he should be left out. That dog is so jealous of the attention the cats get! If he was a child, I would take him to a psychologist. Well, now he is gone again, back to his pillow in the bedroom. Four cats are waiting very patiently in the living room now. It will be duck and poultry, because that is all there is left…

Right, Jesker is looking with much longing at the cats eating their food. That’s why they eat on the table and the kitchen counter, so he won’t eat any of it, although he will never chase a cat away from her food. Sometimes he gets a bit of leftover, but mostly not, because he has a tendency to be overweight. He has since we have had him. I always like the little smacking sounds the cats make when they eat. It also means that at least they are eating.

Yesterday, when I was walking Jesker, two boys wanted to know if they could pet him, and I said, Sure, go ahead. Then one of them remarked on the fact that his tail was so short and I didn’t want to say that people had chopped it off when he was a puppy, so I quickly changed the subject. I think that is so awful and I think it is against the law now, and I am glad too. Jesker just has a little stump that he wags and sometimes it is hard to see if he is happy. Imagine chopping off a little puppy’s tail because it is fashionable!

Okay, now I am going to read some news before I have to walk the dog and drink some more delicious coffee. I am really and truly awake now…

Bbbrrr…it was a bit cold out there. The sun is shining, but the wind is cold. The air is sooooo crisp and clear. It was as if everything had been washed bright and shiny clean. The trees, the hedges, the grass…if I had been in the country, I would have been able to see for miles and miles around. It was as if everything was very clearly defined, as if my eyesight had dramatically improved overnight. It was a real wow feeling. The steeple of the church was really stabbing into the sky very sharply. It’s a shame that you can’t share a moment like that with the dog. Well, it is because of the dog that I see that, of course, but I can’t say to him, Look at that, will you!

In the meantime, our street is being dug up and there is just a small path left to reach our front door. They are going to lay new cables, and what not, for the new houses and then lay down a new cobbled street. I had to have the dog on the leash just now, because of the machinery out there. He is so enthused, he’ll walk right into the hole that they’ve dug or worse. I don’t even want to think of that.

Right, time to get the show on the road. To all of you reading this, enjoy your day, where ever you are…

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James Dean.

I first met Eduard at a party when I was fourteen years old. He had blond shoulder length hair and he couldn’t dance very well, but other than that, he was interesting. One of the first things he said to me was, that if you met a girl and didn’t like her that much, you should talk to her about how to decorate and maintain your aquarium. So I thought that he must like me, because he wouldn’t have told me that otherwise. He had to go home at one point, and my older sister, who was also at the party, tried to talk me into walking Eduard home, which I didn’t, because I didn’t want to miss the rest of the party. At any rate, a teenage romance blossomed and lasted on and off until Eduard had to go away to university in Groningen and that put some strain on the relationship and eventually it died out. Eduard and I had some real romantic moments in our relationship, on which we can look back now with a great deal of fondness. Both my parents liked him very much also, so that helped. Together we were part of a larger group of friends who spent a lot of time together, so that was a good thing too.

I started to think about all of that, because last night, there was a documentary about Frank Zappa on TV, and Eduard was watching that, because he was a great fan at one time. He knew all the lyrics to the first two albums by heart. I was not a Frank Zappa fan, I knew about his existence, but that is where my interest ended. Eduard was much more avant garde then I was when it came to music. I mostly listened to classical music and to Frank Sinatra.

Eduard and I sometimes talk about what would have happened if we had stayed together from the start and we come up with all kinds of scenarios. We both come to the conclusion that we both had a lot of growing up to do, so in a way it is good that we met again at a later stage in our lives, when we had grown up and were ready to be each other’s soul mates. I never forgot Eduard though, he was always in my mind somewhere and I am glad that I found him again when the time was right. I see how well suited we are and probably had been all along.

Eduard has a black leather motorcycle jacket. It has zippers and snaps and a buckle and when he wears it, he looks really mean. It is the kind of jacket James Dean would have worn. Eduard bought it at a second hand clothing stall at the open air market for 40 Euros. He wears it when he rides his motorcycle and it isn’t too cold outside. Sometimes Eduard needs to be a bit of a rebel. Because he is married to me, he now does own a jacket and two pairs of nice pants and some nice shirts and two ties. These things weren’t part of his wardrobe before. He looks real good when he gets dressed up and I would love to see him in a smoking.

The point is that I not only love Eduard very much, but I also like him very much and he is my best friend, even when he wears that really mean motorcycle jacket. And I am glad that we have a shared past, that we have memories together, that we can say: remember when…

Anyway…this morning I have lost 22 kilos and 900 grams, so that is nearly 23 kilos. Now I only have 2,5 kilos to go before I hit 100. Yesterday, I was walking the dog and my brother in law came riding up to me on his bike and it wasn’t until the last minute that he realized it was me, although I have to admit that I was wearing my sunglasses. My face has really gotten thinner and yesterday Eduard said that I was starting to look like the girl he fell in love with so long ago.

We have a shelf system in the kitchen that holds the microwave and other kitchen appliances, plus bowls and other odds and ends and some canned food. I had planned to take everything off the shelves yesterday, to clean everything and the tiled wall behind it, but then I thought: it is Sunday and I am taking the day off. So that is a job that I will do today. Eduard has gotten rid of the weeds that grew between the patio tiles, so now I have to sweep there really well and get the weeds out of the flower beds, which have no plants, only weeds. Maybe I will plant impatience there. The Golden Rain is starting to blossom and it no time at all it will be covered with yellow blooms.

If any of you watched the Amstel Gold Race, you would have seen what it looks like around here, as the whole race took place in our country side. Some of the pictures of the landscape were gorgeous. It really is very pretty around here.

I got up at four this morning, a little early to my liking, but it can’t be helped. I went to bed on time anyway. Two cats are sleeping in the living room. Lotje is sleeping on the pillow of the sofa as if she is a Turkish princess, all spread out and elegant with all her fluffy hair about her. The cat dishes are empty again, right now they like the flavor beef and poultry in chunks in gravy. So I have been giving them that for as long as it lasts. I am sure they will change their minds about that somewhere down the line.

When Eduard has been gone, and I see him driving by on his bike through the living room window, I say to the dog: I know who is coming home. The dog gets very excited about this and starts running from me to the front door and back again making little puppy sounds. He doesn’t just wag his tail, he wags his whole body. When one of the cats is doing something that Jesker thinks they are not supposed to be doing, he comes and tells us. Yesterday Gandhi was playing with Eduard’s hiking boots and Jesker kept coming and telling us and then going back to the cat to bark at her, until we put the boots away. Sometimes I think he is very smart. When the cats line up to be fed, and I am ignoring them, Jesker comes up to me and barks at me, like: Feed the cats, now! The reason he does that, is that he sometimes gets some of the leftovers if the cats really don’t want it.

On Sunday evening early, there is always a program on TV in which they discuss a composer and last night it was about the Hungarian composer Bartok. They showed how he had gone around the country side and had recorded ordinary people singing country songs that were very old and he had recorded them on wax cylinders as that was the only way to do it then. Luckily, a lot of the wax cylinders were preserved and by listening to the songs you could hear how he had used them to compose his own master pieces. The melodies were very recognizable. Now, Bartok’s music is romantically classical, which is more Eduard’s style of music, although I can appreciate its beauty and when I was younger I liked it also. But still it is interesting to watch these programs and learn about the composers and how their music came to existence. I very much prefer the simplicity of barok music and, of course, Johan Sebastian Bach is the man for that style of music. There are a bunch of CD’s I would like to have, but they are quite expensive, so I will have to wait for my birthday to come along. Eduard likes Mahler and Rachmaninoff and Tsjaikovsky, large, sweeping, passionate movements. I guess he is an old romantic at heart. I do like some of the music of Samuel Barber, the Adagio for Strings for example, that is very beautiful and heart breaking. I can only listen to it sometimes, because it just about does me in.

Yesterday afternoon, when I came back from walking the dog, I picked up all the trash by the outside entryway and I have decided to keep doing this every time I see some laying there. It is easier for me to bend over now to do it. There are a lot of cigarette butts laying there and somebody is stubbing out their cigarettes there, which I think is pretty anti-so
cial, so maybe we should hang up a sign about that. I wonder, though, why the maintenance people aren’t cleaning this area. Unless they only do the inside. Sometimes Holland is like a banana republic. Some things are left undone forever and you wonder at the inefficiency of it all. I suppose I will go outside with a broom and sweep those butts and leaves up also.

Jesker has been to greet me, but has gone back to sleep. It is seven o’clock now and I should take him for a walk, but feed the cats first. I think I’ll do that now…

…Well, done that and because the grass had just been mowed, I tracked some of it into the apartment, because it was stuck to the bottom of my shoes, but never mind, I have to vacuum anyway. When they mow the field, they don’t collect the grass, but just leave it laying there and I don’t know the reason for that, although it doesn’t seem to make a difference to how the grass grows. Early morning is my favorite time to be outside with the dog. It is so quiet out there and so peaceful. Of course, the only car out, comes by just as we are about to cross the street, so Jesker really has to pay attention to me then. The man behind the wheel was laughing at Jesker. I guess he thought Jesker is a cute looking dog, he does have that kind of appeal to people with those big ears and that stumpy tail.

Well, I am going to finish my coffee and get dressed properly. It is still very early and I ought to sit here some time longer, but I have nothing left to write about. Other than that I am beginning to feel so skinny and that I really am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now. So, ciao for now people…

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Well, I went to bed at 9 pm again last night, so that was good. Eduard agrees with me on keeping as close to my original schedule as possible. It also means that I wake up early in the morning, but then I have had enough sleep, so that is no problem. I do love to get up then and go through the movements of making coffee and turning on the computer etc. I rated yesterday with a 7, so that is a pretty good grade, other than that, it was just an ordinary day and nothing spectacular happened. I did two loads of laundry and washed some of Eduard’s jackets and my bathrobe finally, which had never been washed and was desperately in need of it. It is very thick and heavy and is taking a long time to dry. When Eduard bought it for me, it was the largest size they had and it barely fit me. Now that I am losing weight, I am starting to grow into it in reverse. This morning I went on the scales and I had lost another 100 grams, so by tomorrow I should have lost 22 kilos. My face is getting thinner, so I am happy about that, because I had such fat cheeks and such an double chin.

Eduard always buys me a kilo of cheese at the open air market on Friday’s. It is called Maasdammer and it is a relatively young cheese with holes in it like a Swiss cheese. I love to eat it on crackers or just cut off a piece of it as a snack. I used to eat four crackers with cheese at night before I went to bed, but now I can only eat two crackers. My portion of dinner has really shrunk too, it is very tiny now and I quickly become full.

The role that food plays in my life has changed very much. Before I was much more fixated on it and I was constantly thinking about what and how much I would eat and I generally ate too much. Now that I can only eat little bits, it is important that what I eat is healthy and when I eat, I eat slowly to enjoy it longer and to be happy with the little bit that it is. But it doesn’t bother me. I enjoy the little treats that I allow myself during the day. A bit of cheese, some yogurt, half an apple, a cookie. I can see where there would be a problem if we went out for dinner, because I obviously would not be able to order a regular meal. I would have to order a side dish and eat what I could of that and make it last as long as I could. So going out for dinner wouldn’t be that much fun for me.

The other day, Eduard had made himself a pizza and I had just one bite of it. I chewed it very well and slowly and I liked the taste of it, but that one bite was enough to satisfy me. The best dish that I can eat right now is couscous, because it has carbohydrates and four kinds of vegetables, so Eduard fixes that quite often. It is very easy to make, especially since we eat it without the meat. It is easy to chew in to little bits, because the vegetables are well cooked.

I had found two pair of really nice elastic waist pants with flared legs that I had hardly ever worn since I bought them some years ago. I recently rediscovered them and remembered that I hadn’t worn them much because they were a bit too long and I could only wear them with shoes with high heels. Well, I don’t like to wear high heels, so Eduard took them to the tailor’s and they shortened the legs for me and now they fit in the length. I have started to wear them, because they look good and they are very comfortable, but now the problem is, that they are just a tiny bit to big around the waist and if I do a lot of walking, they slide down and I have to keep pulling them up again. So, somehow I have to remedy this situation. I’ll try it with a big safety pin first before I do any sewing, because the end is not in sight, of course, and I do want to wear them for a while yet. But I do consider this to be a luxury problem, so this is not really a complaint. It was much worse the other way around, when I found out that the nice clothes I had didn’t fit me anymore, because I was gaining weight. It was a travesty! I don’t have any of those skinny clothes anymore and I sure wish that I did, because some of them I really liked.

Eduard and Jesker are up and about. Eduard is making his breakfast in the kitchen and Jesker is watching his every move. The cats are starting to line up also to get fed. Yes, they are all here waiting patiently, so I suppose I will feed them and walk Jesker now and get that out of the way before I write more…

Fed the cats and walked Jesker. It is just a bit chilly out there, but I like that and the sun is shining, so that to me is perfect weather. I don’t like it when it is too hot either. Temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius are perfect for me. The grass was very dewy and my shoes are wet again. I saw my nephew on his bike on his way to school and my sister in her car off to some place. We met a German Shepherd and a Fox Terrier. Jesker wasn’t very interested, because he knows both of them. Jesker likes little dogs especially. There is a little Maltese Lion that he is just crazy about. There is also a 5 month old Manchester Terrier which very much wants to play with Jesker, but Jesker is never in the mood for that and runs in the other direction when he sees him. Sometimes, our cat Gandhi comes for a walk with us and follows us all the way to the field and around. She is fine as long as there are no other dogs around. She usually does this in the summertime, early in the morning. Our cat Nouri likes to hang out by the elementary school, behind the hedge, and when she spots us, she starts this mournful crying as if she is a banshee in the fog.

All of our cats wear collars, but Nouri does not. Three times we have put a collar on her and three times she has come home without one. So, we’ve given up on that. She gets very neurotic when you put one on her and starts running around the place trying to bite into the collar. Yesterday, one of them killed a little finch that had a ring around it’s foot, so Eduard is going to make a phone call about that and see for what project this bird was ringed. Luckily, they rarely kill birds and we also don’t feed birds, because we really don’t want to attract any.

When we were first in Holland we had an old cat called Noortje, that used to belong to Eduard’s brother who couldn’t keep her anymore. She has since died of old age at the age of thirteen, but she was the first cat we had. I then also had some goldfish in a bowl, but that wasn’t very successful and they ended up being flushed down the toilet. Then I had some parakeets, but one of them escaped through an open window when I was cleaning the cage. We found a good home for the other one. After that we just stuck to cats and we have been more or less successful with them. Now, I am pretty sure that I will not go out and get any more cats. We will just let all of these get old and die of natural causes and then we will have one or two cats and that will be it. I don’t know if I will have another dog after Jesker. I love Jesker so much, that it would be hard to replace him, but I would miss having a dog in my life, so I would have to give that some careful consideration. Maybe if the right dog came along…

I definitely have a different relationship with the dog than I do with the cats. The dog is more like my child, the cats are so independent and much less needy. The dog is really focused on us and really shares our lives with us. I talk to the dog more than I talk to the cats and, of course, I think he understands more. You see his ears perk up as familiar words come along. And he needs more af
fection than the cats do, the cats come sometimes to be petted, the dog comes a lot. Eduard says that the dog only knows that he exists if we reaffirm it, so we constantly have to do it. How is that for a theory? I do know that dogs think that, every time you leave, you will never come back, and that is why they are always so happy to see us.

Well, it is time to get going again, duty calls and all that stuff. I wish somebody else out there would start a weblog so I could read that one. How about it folks?

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So happy.

Eduard got up and the dog was very happy and that caused us to sing this song: I am happy, so happy, that my nose is in the front of my face and not to the side. Now it rhymes in Dutch and it has a cheerful tune, so you have to imagine us singing this very cheerfully, Eduard in his underwear and me in my bathrobe and the dog without a clue as to what was going on. That is a good way to start the day and it is not even seven o’clock yet. There are very few dull moments when you are married to someone like Eduard, but I suppose he would say the same about me. When it comes to humor, we are each other’s equal.

I am starting the day out of order. I’ve hardly read the news yet and I haven’t walked the dog. Considering how I like to stick to a tight schedule, I am living dangerously. What the heck, I am throwing caution to the wind. Eduard has gone back to bed with his first cup of coffee and we are waiting to hear the sound of the newspaper being dropped in the mailbox. We always get our newspaper free. A neighbor several houses down the street, delivers newspapers in the morning and she usually has one extra that she gives to us at no charge. Luckily, it is a paper that we like to read.

In spite of the sweet almond oil, my head is still itching like crazy in the morning and yesterday I called the doctor’s office for another medication to put on my head. I use a betamethason creme on my ears and that works well and I know that there also is a lotion and I hope to get that one. This eczema started when I was about 30 in both ears and I have hardly been without since. Lately it has spread to my head, but it hasn’t gone anywhere else, so that is good. I had eczema when I was a kid and also lots of bronchitis and migraine headaches. I outgrew that when I got older, but then at a certain age it returned. I get migraines from certain tree pollens and asthma from other pollens and the eczema is chronic. Some foods I don’t eat, because they make my ears itch like crazy; corn and peanuts for instance. Things I really do like to eat. My mother always made a cornstarch sauce when I was young and every Sunday we got peanuts to shell on a newspaper, which was lots of fun, but that is how your allergies start. My son used to be very allergic to eggs, they made him sick to his stomach and throw up. I don’t think that my daughter has any allergies. Brion was allergic to penicillin as well.

Well, now I have to go walk the dog…

Okay, done that and it is going to be a beautiful day. We are expecting temperatures in the mid twenties Celsius, so you could say that summer is starting in April. You do so appreciate nice weather after a dreary winter and it is so nice to see everything turn green again.

Eduard got up officially now and got the newspaper. He is already grumbling about the news and he hasn’t even started reading it properly yet. Oh well, I did want to be married with someone who had opinions. Eduard is a passionate person. Or, as passionate as a Dutch person can be, as Dutch people are mostly known for their pragmatism. He never reads the paper quietly and he never listens to the news without becoming excited. Very often I have to tell him to shush so I will be able to follow the news reader. But I really wouldn’t want Eduard to be any different. One minute he is very passionate about a newspaper article and the next minute he is passionate about me, haha, so take your pick.

Today I am going to see my psychiatrist. Then I am also going into town to have passport pictures taken and to buy some new make up. It has been so long since I have worn make up, that the mascara is just about dried up and I had to dip the brush in water to get it to work again. When my daughter was here, one of the things that she bought for me was a face wash and I have been using that and it works well. I don’t have to use any sort of creme afterwards. I mostly have good skin and I don’t have to do anything special to it. She also got me some mud mask which is fun to use, as it dries up and makes your skin feel tight and then it is fun to wash it off again. I am actually quite lazy when it comes to taking care of my face and body and I only do the minimum that is required. I keep my nails short and never use polish on them, for instance. I have short hair because it is easy to take care of. I use a kohl pencil and mascara on my eyes and that is it. I do have a liquid foundation, but I rarely use it. I suppose I would if I wanted to look especially good. I have very red cheeks of my own, so I don’t need to use a blusher.

I wonder what my psychiatrist is going to say about my seven years theory. Maybe he remembers things differently than me. I haven’t seen him very often for the past five years, considering how often I used to see him before that. I kept insisting that I was doing well, after all. Five years ago my son was in remission and I spent three high quality weeks with him, and those three weeks were so important to me. It is like I went into remission also. Brion and I talked and talked and it was so good. There was so much we had to say to each other. I am very grateful that I had that time with him. I would be having a much harder time with his death if we had not had that time together. The final week before his death was much harder and I was not able to get close to him, the circumstances didn’t allow it, it was a difficult time. There was something he had not forgiven me for and he died without us having resolved that. I hope to meet Brion again in another life, even though I am very vague about what that may be like.

A seven years theory sounds like the biblical seven good years and seven bad years. I don’t think it is quite that simple, but I would go for mostly good, if it were just interspersed here and there with just a little bit of bad. I sure try to keep that to a minimum. That reminds me of that book ‘When bad things happen to good people”. I read that once a long time ago, but I don’t remember much about it. I used to read a lot of pseudo-scientific books like that. I was always looking for answers to the hurt I felt. I always thought I would find the solutions in the next book. I remember regularly being a deeply unhappy person and trying to find out why that was, not realizing that they were recurring depressions. Oh, how uneducated and naive I was! I remember a friend of mine telling me about her sister in law being manic depressive and me not really understanding what that was really all about. So many depressions, so much unhappiness!

The dog and the cats are all sound asleep again and Eduard has left for work. The dog always snores a little bit when he is asleep and I like that sound. You would think the cats would be outside with the weather being this nice, but I suppose they have been out all night and they are catching up on their sleep. The neighbors have a new cat, but so far there haven’t been any problems between our cats and that new one.

For some reason, all the instructions for the weblog and the spelling check have switched to Dutch and I can’t get it switched back to English. It is very frustrating, because I didn’t ask it to do that. I hate it when things start to act independently. I can’t do a spell check now, so I hope for the best.

Okay, time to get dressed and decorated properly…

PS I see what has happened. Today they have added Dutch as an official language, so it had automatically switched to Dutch. I changed it back to English now. By the way, would those of you reading this blog leave a small comment? I am just curious as to who is reading me.

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A cup of coffee.

It is early in the morning and I am properly awake. I have been drinking coffee and reading the news. I make strong coffee, it packs a real wallop. I think that is how you say it. Anyway, it wakes you up properly. I only make real coffee first thing in the morning. After that it is all decaf, but still, I drink a lot of that, because I am always thirsty. I take low fat milk in mine, no sugar. I think it is the medication that makes me so thirsty, I always have a dry mouth and I never have enough spit to close an envelope. It also makes it hard to whistle, sometimes I try to whistle for the dog, but nothing comes out. I used to be able to whistle on my fingers, but I can’t do that anymore either. Such talents that are lost!

I stayed up later again last night. I went to bed at 10 pm and I thought I would still be awake when Eduard came home at 10:30, but I conked out fast. I am also reading a pretty boring book that puts me to sleep quickly. I am still trying to decide if I am going to trade it for something more exciting. Hopefully Eduard will go to the library soon and he can take one of my book lists and find something else. Yes, that’s how I get my books. I look up English language novels on the library website and I make lists of books I want to read. Then when Eduard goes to the library, he picks up books for me. It is a system that works well and I have read many novels this way. The library is on Eduard’s way home from work, so it works out perfectly. The library has almost 5000 English language novels, so I’ll have reading material for some time yet. Then I’ll have to switch to Dutch. When a book has been written in English, I prefer to read it in English, and when I can’t get it at the library, I may get it at Bol.com. But I try not to order more than one book per month. We’re also members of the book club and we have to order 4 books a year. Then I usually order Scandinavian thrillers, because I like to see how the people interact with each other. I have times when I read a lot. Right now I am reading just a book or two a week, nothing spectacular.

Eduard reads a lot too. He is never without a book. Whenever he sits down, he has a book in his hands and he is a fast reader. He also reads in French and English and sometimes even in German. The man does know he languages. I take that for granted, but it just goes to show how smart he really is. He has a quick mind and picks things up very quickly. Whenever we go out of this country, I just let Eduard do the talking. It is much easier than when I try to do it. Of course, I speak English well, but Eduard can handle that too. He just mispronounces some words sometimes, because he has only read them and not heard them being used. Anyway, it’s handy for when I want to be really funny in English or when we want to do some Monty Python slapstick.

Sometimes we talk to the dog in foreign languages, but he doesn’t have a clue. Or sometimes we talk English to each other when we don’t want the dog to know what we are talking about and it concerns him. We don’t know how smart Jesker actually is. Sometimes we think he is very smart, but sometimes he can be really retarded. I think he is just really selective that way as it pleases him. He now is really good about crossing the street. He starts to slow down in anticipation as we near the curb and just about stops before I tell him to. He now also needs to do this in other places. So when I tell him to wait, he has to do that no matter where we are.

I never go to the bathroom with the door closed, there are usually some cats that follow me and very often the dog comes in as well. They have no idea what I am doing, of course. They just think it is nice to be in the same place as I am. Eduard and I have very little privacy. There are always some animals around, no matter what we are doing. The dog thinks it is terrible not to be in the same room with us. The cats think they should be wherever the best place to sleep is and very often, that is the bed. Two of them always come along when I go to bed at night and Lotje, our fluffy cat, sits purring in anticipation beside my pillow when I get into bed. But then again, my life would not be nearly as interesting without the animals. They are always a source of wonder and humor to me. Officially, I am allergic to them and I wonder how much of my eczema is due to the animals, but that doesn’t deter me from having them. I would rather itch than be without them.

Pretty soon it is going to be allergy season. I have two new inhalers and I wonder how bad it is going to be this year and how much of my problems were associated with my overweight. Last year it was really bad, I couldn’t finish a sentence without running out of breath. The inhalers really work, though. We’ll see. During the winter I have no problems. Last year I had a lung function test in February and I had a 98% capacity. Does make you think it is allergies then.

Last year I had to do a test to see if I had sleep apnea. That was a lot of fun. I had to go to a clinic and I was hooked up to a computer with all sorts of little wires that were connected to strategic places on my head and face and legs. Then I had to go to sleep without taking my oxazepam, because they said that if I had sleep apnea, that could worsen it. It was very uncomfortable going to sleep in a strange bed with a little box tied around my stomach and all these wires coming off me. I didn’t sleep well and had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I was very happy when it was morning and they unhooked me. It turned out that I did have sleep apnea, but it wasn’t severe and it was probably due to my overweight. Anyway, it was okay for me to have my gastric band operation without having to be in the intensive care afterwards. When I left the clinic, it had snowed quite a bit and I had to take the bus to the train station. I couldn’t read the sign by the bus stop, because it was covered in snow, and as there was a bus stop at both sides of the street, I had to jump up and down to get the snow of the sign to see which side of the street I had to be on. I wasn’t wearing proper shoes and pretty soon my feet were wet and cold and I had to wait a long time for the bus. But I did make it home alright and slept very well in my own bed that night.

This morning I went on the scales and I had lost 21 kilos. Yippee!

And now I am going to do some chores and see if we have any paint in the house for the baseboards.

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Easter Monday.

When Jesker and I return from our walks he runs into the apartment at breakneck speed. At the end of the hall way he has to make a 90 degree turn and so far he hasn’t flown out of the curve yet. This morning he had to take the turn and jump over a cat at the same time and he made it. Not bad for an almost 10 year old cocker spaniel. Considering he sometimes has joint problems he does alright. I am always waiting for him to miss that turn and slide on the linoleum, but, so far so good.

Yesterday was a perfectly lovely day. We had blue skies and sunshine all day and it really felt like springtime outside. The trees and shrubs and hedges are turning green and some plants are popping up out of the ground. In the morning we went to my sister’s to celebrate Anna’s birthday. Erica had a pie and a vlaai to eat and I tried both. A vlaai is a pie bottom filled an assortment of fresh fruit with freshly whipped cream on top. Mmmmm…delicious. She also had a very chocolaty chocolate cake of which I had a couple of bites. It was great. She bought them at a shop called Noblesse Oblige, which specialises in cakes and pies and always does a good job. Their stuff is never overly sweet.

We had not brought the dog with us, so when we got home, the dog was very happy and, to my surprise, he only greeted me with great abundance and kind of ignored Eduard. That was a new one for us. Normally, when Eduard comes home, the dog is beside himself with joy. Of course, I hardly ever go anywhere without the dog and we seldom both come home at the same time without him. Good dog, that means he does see me as his boss also and not just Eduard.

We had a nice lazy day and only did what was absolutely necessary. In the afternoon I went to see our neighbors who live to the left of us in one of the new houses. I had only seen them in passing all winter when I walked the dog, so we had to get caught up over a cup of coffee. They are really nice and friendly people of our age. Very modern and open minded with a teenage son.
Right from the start we got along well with them. It is very easy to discuss all sorts of things with them without the least bit of embarrassment and they feel that free with us too. Anyway, they are coming over for drinks on Friday evening and that will be fun. It gives me an extra incentive to have the apartment especially clean. Houseproud!

Eduard had to work last night and I knew that he would be home by 10:30 pm, so I decided to stay up and wait for him. That wasn’t to hard to do, because my daughter called me and we had a nice long chat. So, when I hung up, I wasn’t nearly ready to go to bed and I watched National Geographic the rest of the evening. They had non-stop programs about any scientific evidence behind biblical stories, which was interesting and of which there is very little. So, Eduard came home and was very surprised to see me up still. Even though it was Easter, they had had a busy evening with lots of people coming to see films.

Anyway, I was asleep by 11 pm and I woke up at 6 am and that was good enough for me. I feel good and I think that whatever joy was missing has now been found again and I am not in the least bit worried about my mood anymore. So it is possible to be off for a period of time without anything drastic happening. I didn’t slip into an extreme mood, but slowly came up for air again. It is good to experience this, but I don’t want it to keep happening. I just want to keep feeling the way I do now, although I suppose that this is unrealistic. I will discuss all of this with Dirk.

Oh yes, yesterday I made myself pretty. I blew dry my hair in a nice style and applied make up for the first time in a very long time. Then I carefully selected what I was going to wear and made sure it fit properly and looked good. Then I even wore a necklace and earrings. So, that was quite something and everybody said: Oh, you look so good! People who had not seen me for awhile said I looked different. Yeah! I may keep doing this, it made me feel attractive, even though I am still overweight.

This morning I had lost 20 and a half kilos. Good grief, after all that vlaai! Four kilos and 900 grams to go and that will be the half way point. Hooray!

Well, that’s it folks, gotta start the day, gotta look good and be good…

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