Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

Well, it’s been another busy and eventful day here at he Pondorosa. On top of everything, the weather decided to be a scorcher, so we poor Dutch people were walking around with many body parts exposed and sitting at sidewalk cafés trying to find some refreshment. I am working on a cold bottle of Coca Coal myself, which is helping me quench my thirst and making my stomach region cold. The apartment is pretty cool, because I ‘ve kept most everything closed and the heat hasn’t had a change to sneak in. I just have some little top windows open for a little bit of circulation. An old trick I learned from a native Californian. Do not by all means throw open your doors and windows when it is hot outside. It will fill your house with heat and flies.

This morning I had my appointment with my SPN and i decided to be serious and not have one of those half baked conversations in which I say how great I am doing and then leave again. So, this time I really took my time to talk to her carefully and answer her questions with care. Her concern is that maybe I am hypo manic and I keep having to tell her that, no I am not, I am functioning just fine and am standing with both feet on the ground. I rate myself at a 7, sometimes at an 8 when I am feeling especially good for a little while and sometimes at a 6 when things don’t go as planned, but mostly I am a 7. I don’t think that’s a grade to be concerned about.

I told her, there is nobody jubilating behind my eyes and thinking life is just one great big party and a dream I can’t wake up out of. I think everybody is surprised that I am doing as well as I am. They had expected a hopelessly helpless Irene who wouldn’t have known how to deal with the situation and instead they get this. A competent human being and then some.

We went and saw our divorce mediator this afternoon. We are on agreement on everything and now she is going to write a covenant, which is a divorce agreement between the Exfactor and me and when it is written, we will sign it and it will be presented to the judge, Then we will be divorced in two months time. That’s the normal legal time it takes. She said in the meantime we could consider ourselves divorced for all practical reasons.

The Exgactor and I get along splendidly for small portions of time, but i wouldn’t want to spend a whole afternoon with him, because he starts to irritate me with his lack of attention to detail and his absentmindedness. He forgets half of what you ask him to do, because he writes nothing down and it creates irritation with me who is a stickler for detail. It’s a good thing that we go our own way. We are avoiding a lot of stress this way. Imagine having to be reliant on someone who is so absentminded all the time. Hanging your life up to that particular hook. Very dangerous and unsettling. No doubt it was the source of a lot of my insecurity, because he would not relinquish control.

Well, enough said about that, that’s like getting old cows out of the ditch, as they say here.

I came home to an Uberhund who was very happy to see me, but we could only go for a little walk because it was so hot. The Uberhund would walk for miles, not realizing he was overdoing it and collapse by the side of the road somewhere and I would have to call the animal ambulance. I don’t even have their number in my mobile phone, a good one to add.

So instead we find ourselves here with him laying beside me on the cool floor and with me staying cool while typing this. I am listening to my favorite MP3 player, the one with the weirdest music. I like to wake up with it and go to sleep with it. It’s got I don’t know how many songs on it. Quite a few. Sometimes I listen to the more mainstream ones, when I am feeling more regular and mainstream. Sometimes I just have this need for very odd music. I go through a lot of batteries, but they are all rechargeable, so I am constantly recharging batteries.

I have a tendency to get very sleepy in the evening and start nodding off when i want to start reading blogs. I am going to give it a try now and see how far I will get. Have yourself a good rest of the day and enjoy your evening.


P.S. Here is something I had forgotten about but that needs to be addressed. Two very nice ladies have given me awards. Babaloo for Fairymix.com has given me this award:

And Debs from the Lehners in France has given me this very nice award:

Which leaves me in kind of a quandary. When I left blogger and I came to WordPress, I left all of my awards behind and you know how smitten I was with all of those awards. I gave them top billing on my blog and it was hard to miss them when you opened my page. I thought getting awards was very important and that it equaled being liked by people and being accepted and being appreciated.

Since I left all of my awards behind me, I have had a change of mind and I found out that i did not miss them and did not have the least inclination to import them to my new blog and show them off. I realized that they were no longer important to me and that having them was no longer a sign to me of being one of the gang of accepted and well liked people. That was my interpretation I put on it and it was no longer valid.

So, the next decision was, what to do about any future awards I might get, what would I do about them? Do I gracefully accept them and display them for a day and then get on with life?

I need to hand them out to deserving people, don’t I? But how do I choose, because everyone who reads my blog is a “deserving” person.

I could have a free for all and tell everyone to just take an award when they come upon one, but most people are bashful and will not do it. Nobody will just take an award when it is offered for free.

I have come to the decision not to accept any more awards and to not display them if I do happen to get one, no matter how special and beautiful it is. So, these two I am displaying now are the last two that I will. After that I am taking a page out of Stinking Billy’s book and am not going to clutter up the site with awards anymore, although my reasons may be different than his.

I realize that there are so many awards out there that sooner or later everyone will get at least one. But i say, lets just write for the fun of it and for the beauty of it and for the entertainment value of it and not bother with the awards. The awards lie in the readership and how moved it is by what you write and the comments that follow. That’s what my interpretation is going to be from now on anyway.


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So, I actually managed to sleep for quite a long spell. I stayed awake all day yesterday until 5:30 pm, which is no small feat as I had been up since midnight. Finally, I started to cave in and went to bed after taking all of my medicines and was out cold after a very short time. I slept until 2 am this morning, which I think is not half bad.

Now all I have to do is stay awake longer tonight and sleep longer the next morning and maybe slowly I will get back to a more normal schedule. Still I had my eight hours of sleep and that’s not half bad, I just didn’t have them at the right time yet.

I did this sleeping with the aid of an oxazepam along with my sleeping pills, which I am sure my psychiatrist will not be happy about, but which I am going to do until I get back to a more normal schedule.

I weighed myself this morning and I was 87 kilos, which is okay. I have bought bread rolls which are only half the size of regular bread rolls and make for a good little sandwich with thin sliced chicken fillet on it. I also bought them the same size in raisin buns and they make for a good little treat. They are just big enough for me to eat so it doesn’t bother my gastric band.

I am eating those and nonfat yogurt and Cup a Soups. Occasionally, I will eat some of Eduard’s dinner, but more often than not, I end up above the toilet when I do, so I guess I shouldn’t bother and do that anymore. My eyes are bigger than my stomach and I eat too fast.

Yesterday I had Eduard cut of a big branch of the now bare Golden Rain. I put it in the vase where I also had the branches with the little lights on them and then went to the store and bought some Christmas decorations and decorated all the branches to give the living room a festive look after all. It turned out rather well. I have beads and balls and a single gauzy butterfly sitting at the top and some red rocking horses as well for a touch of color.

I had given away my Christmas decorations to my sister some years ago, thinking I was never going to decorate a tree again, because I found myself to be always depressed at Christmas time, but this year is different and I may start up a whole new tradition of decorating bare, lighted up branches.

The cats have been curious, but so far they have left the beads and balls untouched, so I hope they keep ignoring them. They could reach them via one of their scratching poles, but none of them has tried it yet. I have visions of the whole thing toppling over, but so far, so good. There isn’t another place I can put it and maybe they instinctively know how much these decorated branches mean to me. That’s what I’ll assume then.

I think I have been rating myself with sixes for something like nine days now and let me tell you something, it is very boring. I am turning into such a dull person. The living room is all done and I don’t have anything exciting to do right now and I think I am just such a dull person for Eduard to come home to, although maybe he likes that, I don’t know. It is possible that he got a bit worn out when I was scoring eights and nines. To him it may seem like peace and quiet, but to me it just seems like a dull roar with nothing happening. Did I wish for this? Well, occasionally maybe, but not non stop like this.

I would like a bit of my hypo mania back, just enough to make my life a bit more exciting than it is now. I do have a good time when I am home by myself in the mornings, but when Eduard comes home in the afternoons, I secretly want something to happen and when it doesn’t, I am disappointed. We both sit there like two old fogies and do absolutely nothing and it is so boring! Of course, when Eduard asks me what I want to do instead, I can’t come up with anything sensible at all, but I am sure that I could if I were hypo manic.

Of course, I am forgetting what our last couple of weeks have been like, so full of activity and I counted that we have made at least eleven changes to the living room. Actually, the stress of it was getting to me in the end and I was getting grumpy because of it, but still…I do want something to happen.

I got an email from my daughter saying that, because of the bad weather in the States, their flight has been delayed until Wednesday, so they will not get here until Friday evening or Saturday morning. They are flying through Toronto, that’s why. This will be good news to my sister, who is swamped with work and other activities right now and she was hoping that they wouldn’t show up too soon. I don’t mind too much, I know she is coming and a few more days will not make a difference. I mind it for her, because it means that she will have less time to spend here.

I definitely need a pair of slippers. I am sitting here with my socks on getting cold feet anyway. Maybe Santa can bring me some, so if Santa reads this weblog…please? I am size 41!

Yesterday was such a darn cold day. The wind was blowing too, making it extra cold. It was not a day to be out for your pleasure and the dog and I didn’t go for a long walk. We just took mini walks. As soon as he had done his business, we headed home again.

I went grocery shopping in the morning and wore a triple layer of clothes under my coat and my scarf and gloves. I need bigger bags on my bike, because I am limited in how much I can buy in one trip by the size of them. I can’t ride my bike holding a bag in my hand, because I can’t steer with one hand. I tried that and I am an accident waiting to happen. The heavier the bag, the worse it gets. I have bike intimidation. I get intimidated by my bike and my ability to do things with it if I also have to do other things. It’s from living in the States for many years and doing groceries by car and losing my bicycle handiness abilities. You see mothers with one child on the back and one child in a seat on the front and two bags of shopping on the handlebars, I could never do that. We would all die in a terrible accident.

Well, anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. The other blogs are calling me. The lure of all the other words and the art work.

Have yourself a great day, don’t fall off your bike, ciao…

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For two days in a row now I haven’t visited any other blogs, so I must make it a point to do so today and get caught up again. Yesterday, I ran out of time and the day before that I sat and read my own old posts, which was a bit enlightening, because I read about my highs and lows and sleepless nights and how they all tied together. I thought I was going to have another long night of sleep tonight, but I was foiled again and am up in the wee hours of the morning. C’est la vie. I am just not meant to sleep long nights, that’s just the way it is.

I must admit to some sort of excitement at being up and starting the ritual of turning on the computer and starting up the Senseo machine. I don’t know what it is about this time of night that I like so much, but it is true that I enjoy it a lot and that I would miss it if I were to get up at say 6 o’clock in the morning. I would miss that time alone and not having the leisurely pace of writing all of this down as slowly as I do and as contemplatively as I do. I stop writing a lot and just sort of stop and reminisce about things as they enter my head, even though I don’t all write them down. I remember my father making very early nights and being chased back to bed by my mother, who was a real Atilla the Hun and who thought people should stay in their beds until at least 7 am. Tyranny. I have none such here, thank God! Talk about ruling with an iron fist!

One thing I do hear when I am up so early by myself, is the ticking of the new wall clock that we bought at Ikea the other day and it is a pleasant sound. I was brought up with the ticking of many clocks, as my father was a clock maker and we always had many antique clocks in our house. He restored and rebuilt antique clocks and most of them also had chimes on the hour and on the half hour. We grew used to this cacophony of noise and it didn’t keep us awake. The ticking of a clock is very peaceful to me and I wish this one did have chimes. I am never in the right places to run into one of my father’s clocks, but I would recognize one instantly, because he always left an identifying mark on them. Maybe if I went to the right places I would find one of his clocks and buy one.

Well, the chest of drawers has been painted black and it has turned out very well. I started out yesterday by emptying all the drawers and taking the junk out that could go straight into the trash bag. There was still a lot left to save and I found some treasures that I didn’t know were there, such as pictures of the children and my grandson that I didn’t know I had there. There was also an essay there that my son had written in junior high school for which he had gotten a good grade, and that I had forgotten all about, and some poetry he had written when he was quite a bit younger. These are all keepsakes, of course. I remember that he wanted me to get that published, like any budding author.

I started to paint the drawers first and when I was just about done with them, Eduard came home and took over, after that he painted and I supervised and that worked well. I sat on the sofa with my coffee and cigarettes and said such useful things as, “I think you missed a spot there.” and, “That drawer is dry now, you can give it its second coat of paint.” We didn’t argue once and Eduard kept saying what excellent paint it was and how nicely it covered the wood and how quickly it dried. It’s true, it is very nice paint that we used and we will always buy this one in the future too. By the time you have painted everything, the first thing you have painted is just about dry and ready for its second coat.

By five o’clock everything was perfectly dry and we could put the drawers back in and put the TV and the DVD player and the telephone back on top of it. It looks so nice that we are not going to buy new handles for it, it just doesn’t need them. It’s a smooth, slick piece of furniture and it looks just fine the way it is. Fairly soon now, we will have a digital camera and I promise you pictures of the whole living room.

Well, all that supervising does make you tired and I fell asleep on the sofa again after dinner. I was dead to the world and Eduard had to wake me up at nine pm. I was not quite coherent then and only half aware of what was going on around me. That sofa is so comfortable and then Eduard always covers me up with the yellow blanket; that makes me extra comfortable. I took my medicines and smoked a cigarette and had some bread with chicken fillet. The dog had some too, my loyal friend who looks at me longingly when I eat. Then I went to bed and dreamed that I was reading my book, which I was only holding with my eyes closed.

This morning I weigh 87.2 kilos which is a marked improvement over yesterday when I didn’t tell you what I weighed. Anyway, I am in a downward movement again, but it will take some more yogurt to get down to 86 kilos where I briefly was one day. In about one more week, my daughter will be here and I am afraid that she will not see an 85 kilo weighing mother, unless I stop eating altogether and I don’t think I have the willpower for that. Well, maybe just yogurt and juice.

My daughter is a slenderly built girl. There is not an ounce of fat on her and she is mostly muscle and bones. She does lots of yoga and eats healthily. She is actually built like me with broad shoulders and strong legs. If I were skinny, I would look like her. At one point, when she was a teenager, I could wear her clothes. That’s when I was skinny. Now, she is even skinnier than that, doing so much yoga and eating no junk food. She doesn’t eat red meats and eats only biological foods, as far as I know, from a special coöp.

I have been rating myself with sixes for five days in a row now. I am pretty happy about that. It means that I am not hypo manic and that my head is screwed on pretty straight. My psychiatrist is out of town this week, so I don’t know if he got my email asking him about lowering my medication again. For now, I am staying on the higher dosage until I hear differently. I am kind of concerned about going back to the lower dosage as I did me no good the last time. I suppose we must keep trying, though.

l, the coffee is tasting mighty good this morning again and so are the cigarettes. Eduard will stub out a cigarette after he has smoked half of it, because he says he doesn’t like the taste of it anymore. Not me, I smoke that thing down to the filter. I have never met a cigarette I didn’t like, although I prefer non menthols. Gauloises are pretty hefty to smoke, especially without the filter, but that makes you chew the tobacco. I like Peter Stuyvesant the least, those are the cigarettes I smoked first of all when they still made me nauseous. I was a true die hard, smoking anyway in spite of the fact that they made me sick. I was bound and determined to get my nicotine fix.

Now I get my caffeine fix too, although I don’t remember when I started drinking coffee. I know I used to drink it with sugar and milk, then I drank it black for a long time and now I take milk in it again, although I like it best with real cream, as you sometimes get in the cafés. Sometimes in the cafés, you get a little glass with brandy in it topped with whipped cream and you are supposed to tip that into your coffee. It is called a stall holder’s coffee and it is served on open air market day. It’s too bad if you are an alcoholic and you don’t know the custom, because sometimes the glass holds another extract such as almonds. Although I suppose that has alcohol in it too, doesn’t it? Either way, it’s a dangerous custom when you are an alcoholic. (I have experience with alcoholics, that’s why I mention it.)

It used to be very customary to drink tea in the afternoon, but you see more and more people drinking coffee instead., You also see more and more people dunking teabags in cups of hot water. It seems like nobody brews a pot of tea anymore. I am all for brewing tea. You can’t tell me that you get a good cup of tea out of dunking a teabag. Most people take the teabag out before it has steeped long enough, when the water has only taken on the color of tea but hasn’t got the right flavor yet. I like a strong cup of tea myself.

I am off now to read everybody else’s blogs. I must keep up to date. I have lots of time left to do that, there is no one up yet here and they won’t be for a while yet. It’s just me sitting here in this nice living room. I must get the Pledge out and give the chest of drawers a good shine.

Right, cheerio and have a good day. May all your painting days be good ones, whether they are creative or functional like mine. Ciao…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tolmiea menziesii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Saxifragaceae
Genus: Tolmiea
Species: T. menziesii
Binomial name
Tolmiea menziesii
(Pursh) Torr. & Gray

The flower Tolmiea menziesii is the only member of the monotypic genus Tolmiea. It is known by the common names youth on age, thousand mothers, and piggyback plant. It is a perennial plant commonly kept as an ornamental. It is native to the west coast of North America, especially in regions dominated by redwoods. It requires moisture and does not tolerate much sun or dry conditions.

The plant is most interesting for its reproductive habits. It grows plantlets from the petiole near the base of each leaf. The plantlets drop off, fall in the soil, and take root there. It will also reproduce by rhizome and by seed propagation. It bears small flowers of various colors, usually brownish-purple to white depending on the cultivar. It has hairy, toothed leaves and a capsule fruit containing spiny seed.

The plant is also unusual in that it is sometimes diploid and sometimes tetraploid, due to autopolyploidy.

The genus was named after the Scottish-Canadian botanist William Fraser Tolmie.

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This morning I weigh almost a kilo less than I did yesterday, but still 5 ounces more than I did the day before. Isn’t that strange? It is one of those mysteries of the body that I will never understand. I weigh 89.9 kilos and I don’t know why, when I eat so little, but I suppose I should be happy, because at least I am below 90 kilos again. I must stay below 90 kilos, that’s sort of a psychological and physical limit for me.

Yesterday was an alright day. I had to wait for the black sweater to arrive that I had ordered on line. It got here at 2 pm and the woman who delivered it put it in the mailbox. Luckily, I saw her drive by and checked the mailbox or I would have been sitting there forever waiting for her to ring the doorbell and hand me the package. The sweater fits and looks really nice, so that was a good buy.

Then I shortened the tunic that was too long. I had to do it by hand, but it was an fairly easy job and I was done in an hour. It had been long to my knees and I always felt like I was wearing a monks habit when I wore it. Shorter it looks ever so much better and perkier.

Yesterday morning, after I walked the dog and before I did anything else, I took a long nap on the sofa. I guess that was just what I needed, because when I woke up I felt really good and to celebrate I had several cups of coffee to really wake up well with. Getting up early is nice, but sometimes I find out that I still need some more sleep and than it is very tempting to lay down on the sofa and sleep a little bit more.

Eduard sold a gold ring and a hanger for me yesterday and with the proceeds I am going to buy a necklace today. This is the last of the jewelry that I am going to be selling. I have some silver jewelry left now that I can’t wear because I am allergic to it, but I know that I can’t sell it and make any money on it. I am looking forward to going into town this morning to get the necklace. I will stop by Eduard’s work and have some capuchinos with him and some of those cookies that I like so much.

As you can see, I don’t have really anything important to write about. Everything here has settled down to a dull roar and I like that just fine. I am rating myself with sixes and sevens and that is fine with me. It is so much easier to be a six than it is to be an eight. It is less complicated.

Well, that is it for today then. Have yourself a wonderful day. I am planning on having a really nice one myself. If you are just about to go to bed, have a good sleep and sweet dreams. Ciao…

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Yesterday morning I didn’t wake up until 6 am, so I didn’t even bother turning on the computer, but just sat on the sofa and had my coffee and cigarettes, thinking it was too late to start writing a post anyway. It feels very liberating not to feel like I have to write one every day. It also feels very liberating to feel that I don’t have to turn the computer on every day.

In the end, the only reason I did turn it on, was later in the day to listen to some CD’s, because our CD player is not working, so I had to use the computer to listen to some music. They were CD’s that my daughter had given me last year and that I had not listened to in a long time. Glen Gould playing Bach, the Goldberg Variations, and Ella Fitzgerald singing all sorts of jazzy songs. Oh yes, and Paris Combo, singing in French, quite upbeat and happy. I always like the CD’s my daughter gives me as they are always quite cheerful music and not at all laden with all sorts of heavy emotions.

The last two days I have been quite active. On Wednesday I sold two gold rings for the value of the gold and with the money I got from them, I bought a new ring made from burnished precious steel, silver and gold colored, with a single zircon set in it. It is a quite attractive ring and looks like it is made of gold. It looks more expensive than it actually was, the band is quite wide and I am very happy with it.

I also sold some books at the second hand bookstore and with the money I got from them, I bought a new top and some new earrings and a necklace. When I got to the clothing store, they handed me a ticket with three stickers on them for 30, 20 and 10 percent off, that I could place on any price tags I wanted to. So the decision was easily made and I got quite a good deal on the items I bought. It was just my lucky day.

After that, I had capuchinos at Eduard’s work, even though Eduard didn’t have time to really sit and visit with me, but there were other people there to talk to and I didn’t stay long, lest they think I have become a fixture there.

Yesterday morning, I decided that what I needed was some nail polish to paint my nails with and I went to to the drugstore to get some. I bought what I thought was the right color, but when I came home and applied it to my nails, I realized that I didn’t quite like it as much as I was hoping to. Oh well, I thought, next time better, and proceeded to do jobs around the apartment, but later on I thought that I was not happy with the color and I took the bottle back to the store and exchanged it for a color I liked better. That was no problem, because I still had the receipt, of course, and I like the new color ever so much better.

Nowadays, nail polish dries quickly and you don’t have to sit around forever waiting for it to dry. I do realize that I have to let my nails grow a little bit longer to do justice to the nail polish. I usually keep them cut short, but now I will let them grow a little longer. It is so much fun to be a female and to get to fuss with yourself this way. It is like getting up in the morning and putting on your face. It is fun to apply all the various bits of make up and watch yourself transform. And then you do the hair thing and everything is perfect and you smile at yourself and all is well with the world.

Yesterday I looked for jobs to do around the place. There were all sorts of little cleaning jobs I could do. Things I had been neglecting and finally got around to doing. It was a lot of fun. I’ve got a really good cleaning product, that Eduard bought, that you spray on any surface and it gets magically clean, so that helps a lot. The computer desk is always a great gatherer of dust and dirt and you should see how clean I got it. It is white, so it really shows.

Needless to say, I am rating myself with an eight now and I suppose I don’t mind that too much, as long as I don’t get frantic, which is not the case now. I feel very happy and active and I very much feel like doing lots of positive things. As long as I don’t move up to a nine, I will be fine. I liked being a six, because I was so nice and mellow, but now that I am an eight, I like that too.

Eduard has put Christmas lights around the headboard of our bed. It looks very bright and cheerful and especially nice when all the other lights are off in the bedroom. We did have candles on our nightstands, but they were a little bit too dim to see by. The Christmas lights are much better. Isn’t he romantic? I wish for all of you to have such a romantic partner.

Last night we were talking about our time together when we first met again. Those first romantic days and Eduard wanted to know when I first knew that I thought he was going to be more than just a friend to me. I told him of the moment when I first got the idea that I was going to seduce him. It was when I was in Paris and talked to him on the phone and he asked me to come and stay with him in Annecy. There was just the tiniest idea of the possibility in my head then, although I wasn’t quite sure yet. But I thought the chance was there definitely. Eduard and I had such a history together. When we saw each other again, it was like old times and we just picked up where we left off and hit it off immediately. So, we both got the idea to seduce each other simultaneously. Some bottles of wine helped too.

Eduard became the love of my life.

His sister, who later became my best friend, was staying at a campsite at walking distance from his house and the next day, when we walked to her caravan, we were all innocent looking as if nothing had happened, although the air must have sizzled between us. She claimed later on not to have noticed anything, but I wonder if she didn’t? Were we that good at hiding something that obvious? We had a terrific couple of days. We ate good food and saw lots of good sights and spoke a mixture of French and Dutch and English.

Speaking of languages, I was listening to A Belgian French language radio station yesterday. They spoke very rapidly and I hardly understood anything they were saying. It went something like this: “Blah blah blah, Robbie Williams, blah blah blah, James Blunt, blah blah blah.” Then they would announce the title of the next song, “blah blah, You Are Always On My Mind, blah blah,” and play a song either in English or in French.

I like listening to foreign radio stations, as I like to pretend that I am in a foreign country. I don’t mind if I don’t understand most of it. We also receive a British radio station very well, bu
t they play pretty lame music from the seventies and do a lot of talking and there is a lot of hype, so I don’t enjoy listening to it. Which is really a shame, because it would be interesting to listen to a British radio station. Then there is Arrow Jazz FM, but their Jazz is very easy listening and very uncomplicated, so it poses no challenge at all and becomes boring after about three songs. I wish there was a radio station that played nothing but Baroque. I would listen to that all day long. There is a classical radio station, but they also play heavy emotional classical music for which I am not in the mood. I love the mathematical rationality of Baroque. To me it just sounds like good Jazz. There is rationality in good Jazz.

This morning my gastric band is going to be filled again. If I am not mistaken, I think this may be one of the last times, if not the last time. My weight has be slowly going down this week by ounces. At least it is going down. I have been living on wheat rolls with peanut butter and Cup of Soups. After today, I will only be able to eat half a wheat roll at one time. I hope I will still be able to have a whole Cup of Soup.

The wheat roll with peanut butter is a real treat and something I really look forward to eating. It is such a joy to bite into and taste the peanut butter. I know it is a nutritious food and that it is good for you. I am still taking vitamin B complex, Vitamin A & D and a multi vitamin. I think I am pretty healthy. My hair and nails are strong and my skin is soft and healthy looking. I use a Vitamin C moisturizer on my face and it really makes my skin feel soft there. I am using a really good face wash to get my make up off. You do these things when you get older. It’s all maintenance.

On an other subject. I have bought the cats Whiskas kibbles and they like it so much that they don’t ask for their other food. I must say that these kibbles look appetizing. They look like a cocktail snack and I am tempted to take a hand full. I am constantly filling up the bowl and they are constantly eating. We figured out that it is cheaper to feed them the more expensive Whiskas than to feed them the other kibbles that are cheaper and the wet food. We were spending 42 Euros a month on the wet food. That’s way too much money. We were also spending 30 Euros a month on buying the special cheese for me, so it is a good thing that I have stopped eating that. These are all sorts of expenses that you make that you don’t stop and think about, but they add up. We were spending 21 Euros a month on raisin bread and 9 Euros a month on little containers of potato salad. Eduard spends 45 Euros a month on wine. You see how you can cut your expenses down all across the board.

So, we save a 133 Euros if we don’t buy any of those things. Of course we spend a little of it buying other things such as Whiskas instead of the other cheaper kibbles and buying Cup of Soup, but it is a real lesson in economy and I think a jar of peanut butter doesn’t set you back that far financially.

Well, don’t I have much to tell you this morning. I am sitting here having one cup of coffee after another, typing with my nicely painted finger nails that look like little hard candies and make me want to eat them. I am so ready to have my gastric band filled, because I really want to shed those last ten kilos, at least the first five of them and I think I can do that in the coming month. I am at 90.7 kilos now and before December the 10th I would like to be at 85 kilos. You guys should all dare me to and I will accept the challenge.

I am going to end this epistle now and visit some blogs or read the BBC news, whichever comes first. I have a feeling I am not informed enough about what goes on in the world, although I watch the news religiously. I see the French president Sarkozy is being good buddies with Bush and I don’t like it at all. Something is rotten in Denmark.

Have a great day, everybody. May all your politics be dull and may the Belgians finally form a government. Ciao…

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Well, I have decided to mostly eat cup of soups and Melba toast and that I want to lose 5 kilos by the time my daughter gets here in December. I think I should be able to manage this, as I know that I can lose one kilo a week. It means no more raisin bread and no more potato salad and no more Maasdammer cheese. But, I will manage just fine without those things and I started out not eating them anyway when I first had my gastric band and I was losing a kilo a week. As it is now, I am maintaining my weight and not losing any, so I need to do something.

So, that’s an executive decision I made. Don’t you love the way I make them? Now watch me stick to it!

Yesterday turned into an alright day. At noon, I suddenly felt like going into town and, luckily, it didn’t take much persuasion to talk Eduard into going. We hopped on our bikes and rode them downtown where it was very busy because of All Souls and there were a lot of tourists in town. We stopped by the tourist information place first to say hi to my sister and she was very busy explaining things to people in various languages, which I find very admirable.

Then we walked to M&S Fashions and discovered that they had their winter coats on sale. Now, I have a winter coat that is made of leather and has a furry liner and it is very thick and perfect for when it is freezing, but mostly it is too warm to wear. I needed a coat that I could wear when the weather wasn’t that cold. After trying on some coats, I found the perfect one. It is dark blue and has a zipper and buttons and a hood and it is knee length. It is actually kind of classy and I look skinny in it. So, the decision was quickly made and Eduard bought the coat for me. I wore it out of the store and the jeans jacket I was wearing is going straight into the recycle bag and will never be worn by me again. Aren’t I lucky?

After that we went to Café Monopole to sit on their terrace to have a cup of coffee. It was very busy there, but we managed to find a table. The weather was decent enough to still sit outside and they also had electric heaters going under the big parasols, so it was very comfortable. The parasols are enormous and together form a complete cover over all the tables and chairs, so you are completely protected from all the elements. We ordered coffee and they came, as usual, with cookies and chocolates, so that was nice and satisfying. People where eating their lunches there and I was amazed at the huge amounts of food on their plates and couldn’t believe they would eat it all. Entire African villages could have been fed.

After having our coffee, we walked to the film house, where Eduard had to look something up and it was strange to be inside without anyone else being there. No films are shown on Saturday afternoons and it was very quiet in the building. Then we walked to the Hema, where I picked out a moisturizer and then we went to V&D where we critiqued their handbags and decided that I already had the best ones and that none of them there were as good. Which is kind of a relief, because now I don’t have to think about a handbag I don’t have, but secretly want.

Then it was home again and I said to Eduard, “No matter what anyone does, let’s not get mad at them.” So, whatever tourist wandered onto our path, we didn’t yell at them. We just went around them. Although it is very difficult not to yell, especially when they are being so obviously dumb and dangerous.

At five o’clock, I walked the dog and stopped by my sister’s house to show my niece my new coat and boots and all met with her approval, which is nice, because she does have good taste for fashion.

Then my sister came home and started moaning and groaning and complaining and scolding before she even had her jacket off and it was just not very nice to see and hear. Apparently she believes that nobody does anything right while she is gone to work and she acts like sort of a martyr because of it and I think her attitude is terrible and it really bothers me and I don’t know if I should say anything to her about it. My niece bore the brunt of it, when she alone was not responsible. I think if my sister can’t handle her household and her job, she should quit her job or else stop scolding and complaining. It’s not as if she needs the money and apparently she doesn’t have the time to go out and work and run her household properly at the same time.

Well, I have to think about what I am going to do about it. If I can do anything about it. It upsets me. Any input from you guys will be appreciated.

Anyway, I just took a few minutes to gather my thoughts and take a deep sigh. My sister doesn’t take any sort of criticism well from me at all, no matter how carefully I put it, so it is a real problem.

But all in all, you could say that yesterday my rating was up to a seven if not an eight. The only thing I didn’t do, was go to the chapel and I had thought about it, but then decided against it, because it was so very busy in town and I thought it must be in the chapel also, so I will go there some other time when it is a bit more quiet. In the meantime, I light candles at home by the pictures of the children.

That’s all my news for now. I get to walk the dog in my new boots and my new coat all the time now, which makes that kind of fun.

Have a great day. Today is Sunday, the day of rest! Don’t do too many unpleasant things, such as chores around the house. Ciao…

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Today, I weigh 91.9 kilos and that is 1.6 kilos too many. Actually, it is 6.9 kilos too many, but who is counting? Well, I am obviously. I can tell it is almost wintertime, because I am eating more than is good for me. I am eating more often. I get the urge to eat something more often. Yesterday I ate too many grapes and I had to hang over the toilet for a bit. I am having a terrible craving for sweets and carbohydrates. I always get that in the wintertime. I feel like eating all the wrong foods and I have to have a good long talk with myself and get over it.

Well, enough said about that. I just have to do it and not whine about it.

Yesterday afternoon, Eduard and I had our silly thirty minutes and we sang opera to the dog. We sang in very loud and deep voices, “Oh Jesker, sing a song for me only.” Of course, I can’t sing or carry a tune, so I sounded very bad, but nevertheless, I carried on singing in a loud voice.

The dog thought it was awful and ran back and forth between the two of us and barked at us, so it was real pandemonium and to make matters worse, I started to elaborate on the song and sang, “Oh Jesker, bite Eduard in his butt and kick him in the shins,” because my opera always has to turn violent. Eduard caught on right away and started singing equally violent things, so between the two of us we sounded like a regular pair of nuts. The poor dog just didn’t know what to make of it and went nuts also.

Eduard and I always joke about the fact that we are both crazy, but that I can prove it and he can’t. I am certifiable and he isn’t.

We stopped singing, much to the dog’s relief, and had an awful conversation in Saxon dialect about what we would say to Eduard’s boss if we were to call him anonymously. It’s a good thing that there are no hidden cameras and microphones here, or we would be picked up for making grievous verbal threats. The Saxon dialect made it funny, although you can seriously doubt our state of mind when we say these things.

But, that is what silly thirty minutes are for. You get to be completely nuts for a while and you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody. My mother used to call it the crazy half an hour. Do you have that in other cultures also? This built in time to be crazy for a while? I think it is a very healthy thing to do.

Yesterday I finished A Short History Of Tractors In The Ukraine. What a wonderful novel that was. I recommend reading it and I am not going to give the plot away here. Just take my word for it. It is set in England and involves a Ukrainian immigrant and his two adult daughters and and a Ukrainian woman who wants an easy way to stay in England and what she is willing to do for that.

I have now started reading Coming Home by Anne Tyler, and although I am sure it is going to be a wonderful novel, her style of writing is so different that it takes me a while to get used to. I normally like Anne Tyler, but I had not realized that she had such a specifically American way of writing that belongs to her generation of writers and it is really noticeable now after reading the other novel. It is bothering me just a little bit, as it seems to be too much of a formula. I hope I get past that point and can just read the book and not notice that anymore. I am reading these books in Dutch and maybe because the translations are so good, I may be picking up such nuances in the style more.

Yesterday afternoon, at 5 pm, I forgot to take my Topamax. I was sitting on the sofa at 6:30 pm and said to Eduard, “Oh, I forgot to take my Topamax,” then I imagined that I went to take it, but at 7:30 pm my mood became lesser and lesser and I realized that I had not taken it at all and that this is why I was going downhill. So you see what a difference that makes. It is so important that I remember to take it on time during the day. I was starting to have all sorts of negative thoughts and becoming uncomfortable in my own head. About half an hour after I took it, I was okay again. I don’t have this problem in the morning, as my mood is fine then and I take all of my medication at 7 am.

Your mind and body have some sort of daily rhythm and I am finding out through trial and error what mine is. I know that taking the Topamax on time is very important during the day. I really have to watch the clock and normally that is okay, because I take it at times when Jesker needs to be walked, but if I deviate from that schedule, I can get into trouble and forget.

I had ordered a new pair of jeans and a tunic on line and they arrived yesterday. The jeans fit perfectly. They are a size 44 and five sizes smaller than what I used to wear. The tunic was too small and they are picking it up today and delivering one in a size bigger. On top I am four sizes smaller than I used to wear. The problem is my waist, it didn’t shrink as much yet as the rest of me. All of my extra weight is in my stomach area now, that is where I need to lose it. I don’t have the money to join a health club, otherwise I would. I could really use some exercises on some exercise machines to get that stomach down. I don’t think I can talk my health insurance company into paying for a membership, although they really should and keep their members healthy.

Well, that’s all the news I have for today. I keep being at a steady six, except that I was probable at a seven during the silly thirty minutes yesterday. I like being at a six, it is a very comfortable place to be.

Have a great day, everybody/ Ciao…

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