Posts Tagged ‘rituals’


Sunday in the wee, wee hours of the morning. Let me start off by saying that I always like getting comments on my posts very, very much. I get emails with the contents of the comments all day long and I always look forward to them and then hate to delete them and leave them up for several days before I do.

The thing is, I don’t like commenting on the comments, sometimes I want to on one of them, but then I think, if I comment on one, I’ll have to comment on all the other ones too and what will I say? “Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment,” or a variation there off?

I like going to the person’s website every day, if at all possible, and being a loyal reader and leaving my comment on their post and I always hope that suffices, but maybe I am breaking all the rules of protocol here, I don’t know.

My point is, that I really do like all of your comments and I am not ignoring them, I read every one of them at least twice. There, I hope I have explained myself enough about that subject. I do admire people who comment on comments, I just don’t have the discipline for it, or the good graces.

Yesterday, I found out that Sonific Songspot is stopping on May the 1st, so I thought it was time to go look for some other way to play music on my weblog. I found several others, but found not all of them that user friendly or with the choice of music I wanted until I got to Deezer.

They have a modern website and lots of music to choose from and they are fairly easy to use. You can download all the music you want and then have it played back randomly, which I think is the fun part, because I listen to it constantly when I am behind the computer. I just open one browser with my weblog on it and then open another browser to do the other stuff.

Now I can’t imagine sitting behind the computer in silence, I’ve gotten so used to the music in the background. It’s mostly just a question of thinking of enough artists that you really like well enough to download and want to listen to regularly. I like women performers, but I couldn’t think of too many quickly enough yesterday to really fill the bill, or my bill, I should say. I like them a little raw, like Amy Winehouse.


I sure like the rawness of Rammstein, because if you understand the lyrics they are kind of strange and violent, not in a cheap way, more in a disturbed poetic way, but not for the faint of heart, but because they sing it in German, the message is somewhat softened for me. I am sure Babaloo would feel differently about this, but she is in New York, so we can’t ask her.

I have developed a strange physical complaint. Whenever I try to sit up straight, my upper body starts to sag to the right and before I know it, I am bent over sideways. I have sore muscles in my back from trying to stay sitting upright, because Eduard keeps pointing out that I am bent over sideways again.

I also have it when I walk the dog, my upper body starts to sag to the right and when I ride my bicycle I keep wobbling to the right and as a consequence I am now an insecure bike rider.

When I sit up in bed, within the shortest amount of time I am completely leaning over to the right side and Eduard tries to push me back up. I really am most comfortable bent over to the right and subconsciously I take on that stance. It’s just hard to type that way.

So, I keep sitting up straight again, but it is a real strain on my back and slowly I sag back to the right again. I first noticed the problem when I was walking the dog a few months back, that I did that and in the last couple of weeks this whole sagging thing has started to happen.

Any ideas? Eduard thinks I should see the doctor, although I have little faith in him. I think I will check on line myself and see what horrible disease I have.

Yesterday was Eduard’s first afternoon off by himself. It was a beautiful day outside and he went off on his new bicycle and was gone for hours and came back sweaty and tired. I am not supposed to ask where he has been and he is not supposed to tell me and we did real well, although this is a little tough for us, because we always tell each other everything that we do and that happens to us, but that is part of the deal.

His Saturday afternoons are not open for discussion. He takes a shower when he comes home and changes his clothes and that is it. It’s a real responsibility we have taken on and we have to stick to the rules, neither one of us can break them and I’ll stick my fingers in my ears and start singing, “La, la, la,” really loud if he starts to tell me anything.

I didn’t miss him for the time that he was gone, I was too busy downloading music and making metamorphics and generally having a love affair with my computer, because, man, I do love that piece of electronic hardware (or is it software?). We had to do the trick with disconnecting the wires two more times yesterday, so we probably need a new modem. I can not do without an Internet connection! It is my life line to the world, for God’s sake!

The other day, out on the field, I told a weird woman that she was treating her dog badly and she got her teenage son to follow me home and threaten me. So now Jesker and I don’t go to that field anymore, but we go to a different field, which he likes just as much and he can sniff to his heart’s contend there. Oh, life is full of compromises like that isn’t it?

Anyway, Jesker and I have a different route and it’s okay. At least we are away from the boys playing football and the other kids playing on the field and in reality, this is a better route because we can make it wider if we want. I’ve heard that the woman’s husband is quite aggressive, so I am just keeping myself out of harm’s way. Apparently, she doesn’t have all of her marbles either.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

You’ll have noticed that I changed my banner again from the metamorphic of the yellow tulips to a metamorphic of three glasses of white wine. Don’t ask me why I do these things, just now when I have stopped drinking white wine. I liked the yellow tulips, but this one was a little more sedate and it is possible that I will change it one more tim
e, or twice. Yes, I am fickle that way!

I haven’t rapid cycled since Thursday! It was Thursday, wasn’t it? Yippee! Maybe some amount of normalcy is returning to my life. My friend Joost called me yesterday and said that he had been slightly psychotic again, but that he had realized it himself after awhile and had increased his medication and that he was starting to feel a lot better and more normal now. He says we are alternatively normal.

You see, you are never safe. There are always stressors in life that affect your state of mind and make something go haywire. Power shortages, burnt fuses, electric surges, you name it.
Mis-firings. Electrical storms, lightning! Positive and negative charges. It all happens in your brain. That’s the way I look at it anyway. When I am rapid cycling, I imagine a big electrical storm happening in my brain and I have to wait for it to be over. Or sleep and take medication if I still have enough sense left.

Yesterday I started ironing, there wasn’t that much to do, so I started with some of my things first and when I had the most important ones done off that, I stopped ironing and put everything away again. How is that for true dedication? The rest was almost all Eduard’s T-shirts and he has so many of those! He doesn’t even care which T-shirt he wears, as long as it’s clean and ironed. Which reminds me that I have to wash my bathrobe, I am starting to look like Andy Cap’s wife.

Well, I’ve come to the end of my ramblings. I have just caught a glimpse of Eduard who came to drink a glass of juice, but it doesn’t mean anything, he will go straight back to sleep. He probably wore himself out yesterday. Oh, that was mean of me!

Brion’s Ashes

Have yourself a suddenly super Sunday with a sumptuous breakfast at Denny’s. That’s where I used to like to go when I didn’t know about fat and cholesterol and heart disease.



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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 86 kilos exactly. Yup, you read that right, I weighed myself twice to make sure, but it really is 86 kilos. Yippee! I am not sure of what I did right yesterday. I ate yogurt several times and bread with thin slices of very lean chicken on it. I suppose eating bread is not such a bad thing after all, depending on what you put on it. I didn’t slather mayonnaise on it, but diet margarine and very little chicken. The yogurt is the nonfat kind with the bits of fruit in it and I guess you can eat that pretty safely. It is such a nice surprise to go on the scales and to have lost weight.

Now it is 3:30 in the morning. I fell asleep om the sofa at about 5:30 pm and went to bed at 9 pm. So you could say I slept enough. Which means we didn’t go to see our Friday night movie, but most likely I would have slept through it again like I did last week, so it’s a good thing that we didn’t go.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Ikea website to check if the chair that I wanted was available at the branch of the store in Heerlen. Much to my chagrin it said it wasn’t, so I called the Ikea information number to find out if I would be able to order the chair and get it that way. A very nice gentleman helped me and he said that, yes I could order the chair, but it would take three weeks to get and it would be delivered at our apartment with a delivery charge. I said, “Oh no, that’s too long for me to wait,” and he checked his computer and said that there were actually three chairs left in Heerlen and that if I hurried I could still get one. Apparently, if there are three or less of something left at a store they say it is no longer in supply.

So I called Eduard and told him that no matter what, he had to lay his hands on 99 Euros and that we had to go and pick up the chair that afternoon. Eduard managed to get 99 Euros and when he got home we were off to Ikea. We didn’t break the speed limit to get there, but I was a little anxious lest someone came around and bought the last chair before us. Stranger things have happened and I had taken an Oxazepam so I wouldn’t be a total bundle of nerves.

When we got to Ikea we found the chair in the warehouse with the right pattern upholstery but the wrong color frame. The black frame was all sold out. What to do? I said to Eduard, “Let’s just buy the beech frame and I’ll paint it black myself and that will be fine too.” So we loaded everything on our shopping cart and headed for the cash register and bought the darn thing. What a relief that was.

When we got home, we put it together, that was a no brainer, and put the cushions in it and the cats confiscated the chair right away and now there has been a cat in there nonstop. The cushions are very comfortable. I am not sure if I am going to paint it black now, as it looks very nice the way it is and painting it is going to be quite a job. There are lots of nooks and crannies, as it is an adjustable chair and the seat and the back are quite intricate. I’ll have to live with it for a while and see.

After all of that, I was quite worn down and I said to Eduard, “I feel like I am having a little nervous breakdown.” It must have been all the excitement that had gotten to me and I took an Oxazepam and that’s when I fell asleep. I think I must no longer be hypo manic, otherwise this wouldn’t have bothered me at all. I would have painted that chair already and the dresser that the TV stands on also.

Eduard says that you should put a white rock in a bowl every time something good happens. Yesterday we would have put two white rocks in the bowl, because we got the chair and Eduard got a new bike that his work bought for him. It is a very nice 7-speed bike with all the latest gizmo’s on it. Through some government scheme, the employer is able to buy his employees new bicycles, but I don’t know how it works. Eduard’s bike cost more than 790 Euros, so he has to treasure it like a newborn. He can never, ever forget to lock it, because surely it will be gone in no time. Anyway, we should start this white rock in a bowl tradition, except that white rocks are hard to come by here. Maybe we can think of something else. Big colorful marbles or something.

Today I want to wax the top of the dining room table and make it nice and shiny. I am hoping it will work with good old Pledge, otherwise I will have to go out and buy old fashioned bees wax and I don’t know where that is sold anymore. When I was a child I had a friend whose mother was continually cleaning house and their place always smelled of furniture polish and it smelled so good. My grandmother used elbow grease to get her furniture to shine. That and green soap and water. My mother dusted every day with a barely damp cloth. I do the tables every day, the rest I do when I feel like it or when I think of it. I am a great believer in St. Marc’s, which gets wooden surfaces very clean, like doors and kitchen cabinets.

Jesker is so stinky! It’s his ears that he drags through the dirt in the streets and the grass and everything. On Tuesday he is going to be cut and have a bath and high time it is too. We had been unable to get a hold of the woman who cuts and bathes him, but I finally managed to get a hold of her a few days ago. We want him cleaned up before my daughter gets here, as he will make a bad impression on anybody now and we don’t want him to do that. He is sitting beside me now, acting as if he has to go out, but is is only 5 am and I am not going for a walk with him now. I’ll see if he will go out on the patio.

Well, I was too late. With a very guilty look on his face he did an enormous piddle in the living room. Poor dog, he did try to tell me. I was too late. So, I’ve got that all cleaned up and told him it was okay so he won’t feel bad. He came to me with much hesitation, wagging his stubby tail.

One cat has vacated the chair and another cat has taken her place. At this rate we’ll never get to sit in it ourselves. The flowers of the print are so cheerful. They match the cheerfulness of the print of the curtain. I must always pick out things when I am hypo manic, because we get the happiest colors and prints that way.

Well, now I have to go and read some other blogs. I wish you all a great day in which you will not ignore the urgent noises of your dog. Ciao…

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Well, what a nice way to start this Sunday morning. The Rotten Correspondent has seen fit to give me the You Make Me Smile Award, which makes me wonder if she has read all of my posts lately? Nevertheless, there must have been something endearing about them and I very gladly accept the award, of course, I am not going to let that one pass me by, and I will pass it on, as is the custom, to other equally deserving bloggers. Or should I say, more deserving bloggers? Because I love them dearly, and they hold a special place in my heart, I pass this You Make Me Smile Award on to Frances of Carpet full of Holes, Bobbie Of Great Grannie Blog and Beverley of Eleanor’s Blog. So, pick up your award from the side bar, girls, and remember that you are all well loved and have been with me from the beginning and I appreciate that. You’re a bunch of great women!

I woke up this morning on the sofa, under the yellow blanket, with Nouri laying on top of me and that was very cozy. It was four am and I felt like I had slept enough. I had been awake once at 1:30 am and found Eduard sound asleep in his chair with his book in his lap and his head nearly falling off is body. So I gently woke him and sent him off to bed He was very sweet and disoriented and had no idea at first what was going on.

I thought I was wide awake then, but I made myself some hot chocolate and was soon asleep again. I like this new habit I have of making hot chocolate. I fix it in the microwave and it is done in two minutes and it tastes great. I don’t know how many calories there are in it and I don’t want to know, because it is such a wonderful treat and it warms my stomach and makes me feel nice and drowsy and satisfies my sweet tooth also. I make it with two heaping spoons of cacao and three spoons of sugar and lots of low fat milk. It is smooth and dark and bitter and sweet all in one.

When I wake up in the morning, I feel good. There, I have said it. I just feel good, there are no worries in my head and I look forward to making coffee and lighting a cigarette and turning the computer on to read my first blogs. It is all so very uncomplicated and satisfying. They are such simple pleasures, but boy, do I enjoy them. And then they are made especially enjoyable when you receive a reward. That brings a smile to your early morning face! An award a day keeps the doctor away. Well, no, if you got that many, they would become worthless, of course. They do become very valuable when you get one sometimes when you least expect it.

Omega Mum asked me if I had ever blogged about my childhood and I think I have mentioned the odd bits every now and then, but I think because of the festivities today, I will not get into that now. Rest it to say, that I come from a pretty dysfunctional family in which neither parent behaved normally. Some other time, I will get into more details, I have to test the waters a little bit first and see how the possible reactions would be to my revealing more of this. I am never ashamed to tell things, but I do have to keep my audience in mind and their sensitivities. Maybe I should take a poll. It would be handy to have one of those poll things on the blog where people can vote. Does she tell or doesn’t she?

Yesterday turned out to be a good day when you compare it to the day before. The lowest I scored was a four and that was once in the morning when I was feeling a bit low and insecure about things. When I first woke up in the morning I rated myself at a seven, as I do now. Mostly I stayed around sixes and fives. I don’t think that is bad at all, and I don’t expect to be all sevens again yet, that will take some time, I’m sure. God forbid I should be an eight! Although I would like that very much. I think that may be a bit unrealistic and that would worry me also. Looking back in my diary, I see mostly sevens in the past and that seems like a very decent even score to have.

Yesterday afternoon Eduard went to the film house to give an extra training to some volunteers. When he left, he put on his rain suit and left on his motorcycle. Of course, right away I started to question by myself why he was going on his motorcycle and why not on his bicycle and did he need the rain suit because he was traveling far? I will have these kinds of insecurities for a while to come yet. I need to learn to trust him again and not let my imagination take over. I wonder how long that will take? I realize I am full of insecurity still and I can only rest at ease when I know exactly where he is and at what time he is coming home. I know that is no way to live and that I have to relax, but I seem unable to right now.

In the meantime I am reading The Unquiet Mind and it is a fascinating book as she manages to achieve so much in her life in spite of her disorder. Lithium works very well for her, so she is lucky that way, but still she is victim to the ups and downs that come with the disorder, yet she manages to have a very successful career in the medical profession. You wonder how it is possible? I look at my own life and see so little achievement, just a very average sort of life with nothing really outstanding and to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t even call it an average life, what am I saying? It certainly has not been an ordinary life. It’s been more like a dramatic movie script. I know one thing, I want Meryl Streep to play me in the film version! And Robert Redford can be Eduard. He is all wrinkly like Eduard too.

That reminds me that I have not been watching the film channels, which is a shame, because I am sure that all sorts of good films are passing me by. I don’t know why I have taken this hiatus from watching films, except that I find them hard to concentrate on right now. I’ll have to look in the film guide and see if there is anything really good coming on that will grab my attention.

Of course, the books I got at the book store, like The Unquiet Mind, I am all reading in Dutch, but I find that the translation is so good that it doesn’t bother me at all. I thought it would and that I would prefer to read them in English, but it is turning out to be no problem at all. Sometimes, when a book is badly translated, it is. You find yourself constantly translating it back into English, but I am not doing that now at all. In the past, when a book has been written in English, I have preferred to read it in English, but now I find I can read it in Dutch and that it doesn’t distract from the stor
y at all. Maybe that is also because my Dutch language skills are becoming better. I am getting used to the sentence constructions and the vocabulary.

Jesker is chasing Gandhi around the apartment, they are playing tag, it seems. She is the only cat he will play with. The others he just tolerates. Gandhi is allowed to sleep on his pillow with him. I don’t know why that is, but she has never been intimidated by him, so maybe that is why. Nouri loves him, but he does not love her back, the silly dog.

Well, people, this is going to be a short post. I am going to make cigarettes now, because I have run out and I have nothing left to say. Just for once I can’t be rambling on and on. I hope for a happy day and that Eduard and I will have our nice Sunday morning ritual together. With hard boiled eggs and soft white bread buns with strawberry jam.

Have a wonderful day. Remember that it is Sunday and that officially you don’t have to do anything! Ciao…

P.S. I have added a new blogger to my list of favorite bloggers and that is Jo Beaufoix who is very humorous and the mother of two little girls called Miss M and Miss E and she is married to Mr B.

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Firstly, before I do anything else, I want to refer you to the website of Sue O’Kieffe that is called Sacred Circle Mandalas and you will see there how a great mandala is truly made. She is the master of mandala making. I have a lot to learn and she is a great inspiration to me always. Hats off to you Sue, for doing a magnificent job all the time and for knowing how to use the Photoshop software really well and understanding the different applications so well. You have a masterly hand and brain.

The mandalas of the peaches that I am posting here, I am less happy with than the mandalas of the oranges that I posted yesterday, but I said that I would post all of my efforts, including the ones that turned out not as well as I would have liked them to. Or maybe it is just a question of personal taste and you will find these just fine. The image to start with was not that inspiring, just three peaches laying there bunched together without much other color in them. I realize now that I could have added a different color border, but I think I was trying to see what would happen if I just let the color of the peaches do their work. They did have a bit of green leaf, but not much. Anyway, you be the judge of them and tell me what you think off them.

I have had some new visitors to my blog and it is always a lot of fun to see new names pop up in the comments. Then, of course, I have to find out who they are and what their blogs are all about and that increases the fun even more. You find out that people have a diversity of hobbies and that all ages are interesting, but that the young mothers are especially endearing with their young brood and their enthusiasm for life. You hope that you convey some of that enthusiasm yourself still, beside the occasional cynicism.

Yesterday was another completely wasted day when you count it in terms of getting things done around the apartment. Eduard even commented on the fact that I didn’t seem to be taking my chores very seriously right now, to which I answered that all would get done before Friday night when I celebrate my birthday and I know I will go through this place like a whirlwind and have it cleaned up in no time at all. My motivation to clean things really well has been locked away in a box in my brain that is almost inaccessible to me right now. I know it is there and I will break it open on Friday afternoon and get everything done at the last minute and all will look spotless.

In the meantime, I sit here and am very happy that I feel such peace because of the Oxazepam and notice the difference when it has stopped working and I have to take the next pill and wait for it to start working again. I want to buy my psychiatrist a bouquet of flowers for writing me the prescription and allowing me to feel this peaceful and for shoving the unnameable stress and irrational irritation to some place in the far away nether regions. It is a joy to feel the tranquility that the medication brings and it is such a relief to function in this state of mind as opposed to the other one in which I am moody and unreasonable and panicky. I find myself to be able to open my heart to what is around me and to really enjoy those things and to appreciate them and to feel love for them. Other people may achieve this state of being by meditating, but I am glad I can take a shortcut and achieve it this way. And now, when I want to sit and contemplate my navel, I can really do that and achieve a peaceful feeling very quickly.

I didn’t wake up this morning until 5:30 am and I think that is pretty darn good. At least I am starting to sleep like a normal human being. I went to be at 10 pm and was out like a light in no time. So, I am sleeping more normal hours and I am happy about that. I do wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I look at my watch and see that it is some ungodly hour like 1:30 am and I don’t even contemplate staying up. I go back to bed and don’t even remember pulling the duvet over me to go to sleep again. Sensibility is becoming my middle name, that and the fact that my legs seem to buckle under me when I try to walk and I feel like I am going to collapse on my way to and from the bathroom. I make a strange zig-zagging journey back to bed and sort of fall into it. I am avoiding bumping into furniture just yet, but only just yet. I do bounce off the walls.

I am always so happy when it is really morning and time to get up. When I check with myself and see that I am really and truly awake. Nowadays, the first thing I do is put on my bathrobe, because it is a little chilly in the morning and we still have the windows open on a crack. Then I turn on the computer and take my Oxazepam with a glass of water. Then I make a pot of coffee and while that is brewing, I make a cup of Senseo. By that time the computer is warmed up and I can check my emails and comments. Usually their are a bunch of comments that require a response from me and with my half sleepy head, I proceed to do that. I properly wake up after the first cup of Senseo and then proceed to drink the regular coffee. After a few cups of that, the Oxazepam also is working, and I can fully absorb all the information in other people’s blogs and I always start with my favorites, such as Frances’ and Neda’s and Rima’s and Debi’s. There are lots of other blogs I read, but I save them for later. First I have to see what my women are up to.

Imagine having to forgo this ritual when I have a job! I hope they offer me a part time job that starts in the afternoon so that I will keep waking up the way I do now. Of course, I am a morning person and it is when I would deliver my best work. So, to be fair to my future employer, I should start work in the morning. We’ll see, I may not have much choice in the matter at all and just have to take what they offer me. I think in the end that is how it will work out.

I’ve told you that I really don’t have the time to have a job, but that I need the money. I would be perfectly happy staying home, doing the things I am doing now. I am very seldom bored and very often feel that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do. I don’t have enough time to read quality books and I don’t have enough time to watch quality films. Sadly, I don’t get paid for doing these pleasant things. I do get a monthly housewife allowance of a 156 Euros that is paid to me by the state for being a stay at home wife. That is to give women like me some pocket money, but we always end up spending it on tobacco. It’s a good initiative anyway. But I very rarely feel like I have dull days with nothing to do and nothing to fill my time. It helps that Eduard is home in the afternoons, of course, it makes for a nice break in the days. So, I actually already have a quite pleasant life.

But we do need the money, as the month is always a little too long for the paycheck we have. We nickel and dime everything to death and that causes Eduard some stress, so it would be
a very good thing if I also brought in some money. We have some debts that we need to clear up and that would make a lot of difference in our monthly financial burden. I don’t think I have any rich relatives that are going to leave me a legacy any time soon, so we have to face the reality. It would be a wonderful thing to pay those off. So, therefor, I really do need to get a job and I think that I mentally am in a good enough state to handle that now, where before I was very unsure about it.

It is almost unheard of anyway that both people in the marriage don’t work. It seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Even for couples our age. There was an item on the news last night that there were 20,000 after school care places needed for children whose parents both work. The government wants women back in the workforce, but is unable to provide the after school care that is needed and there are huge waiting list with the women generally being the victims of this problem in not being able to go to work properly and build up their careers. The government says that it had not anticipated this number of children needing after school care and had miscalculated it completely. Fathers just shrug their shoulders and carry on as usual, but it is the women that are left holding the bag.

Now, luckily, I don’t have that problem, but then again, I am not looking for a career. And when my children were growing up, I was just one of many women who stayed home and filled their time taking care of their kids and doing volunteer work. Sadly, that doesn’t prepare you for the real wold when your marriage doesn’t work out and you have to make it on your own and obtain some standard of living that you and your children are accustomed to. It was customary then to stay married, although I never knew if anyone was happily, it wasn’t discussed. Being married was our job, we just did it and received the benefits that came with it, social status and ease of living. We were living the American dream and felt ourselves to be privileged. Or so I thought.

It is nice to marry a man who can provide in your financial comfort and that of your children, but it is silly to put all your eggs in one basket. You can’t assume that you will live happily ever after, unless you are willing to go through live with blinders on and accept a lot that is unacceptable. Given optimal circumstances, it may be possible to pull it off, but that would be all that you were doing and that is not living happily ever after. Unless you don’t believe in that dream anyway. There is always an obstacle that you encounter, that suddenly makes it impossible to go on living your imaginary dream any longer and you must be prepared to take another course of action that is equally satisfying and rewarding.

Okay, I will stop preaching now, because I must take care of the animals. Eduard has already gone to work and Jesker is asleep on his pillow, no doubt waiting patiently for me to get done here and I don’t know where the cats are. None of them can be seen. They’ll suddenly appear when I get out their food dishes.

Here we go for another wonderful day in which I will probably accomplish very little, but in which I will feel good nevertheless and have my peace and tranquility all over the place. I forgot to go on the scales this morning, but yesterday I weighed 92.7 kilos, so not much is happening there. After having rated my days with fives and sixes for a while, I am now back up to sevens, and that is good and how it should be.

Have a great day, people, ciao…

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Well, I told you, I had my little sleep and here I am again, drinking my coffee, smoking my cigarettes, reading blogs, getting the day started. I wanted to go on the scales this morning, but then I forgot all about it and now I have had three cups of coffee, so I won’t. Every little ounce counts, after all, and I don’t want to become discouraged. I always want to weigh myself before any food or drink has passed my lips, in my underwear, holding my breath to make myself as light as possible.

Contrary to what I had hoped for, the last 26 lbs are not coming off that easily. They have gripped my body tightly and won’t let go. I think that I am still eating too much and that the portions should be smaller, so maybe the next time the gastric band is filled, that will make the difference between eating enough and eating just a little less. Oh, what the heck, I am going to weigh myself and see what the damage is…

Well, the damage is 93.8 kilos, which I am not happy about at all, because the last time I weighed myself it was 92.4 kilos, so this won’t do at all. I keep moving up and down a kilo or so and that’s no fun. I must be smarter about the food I eat. It isn’t that I eat large portions, but they are obviously not small enough yet for me to be losing the weight, which makes me think that the gastric band it not working optimally yet. So, next month the obesitas nurse specialist can just fill that thing a bit more and not be so careful about it, for all I care. I think I am going to live on dry toast and crackers, although I am not looking forward to that.

I remember my neighbor telling me that the last kilos were hard to get rid off. I didn’t believe her at the time, because I thought the gastric band would do the work for you, but now I am having some serious doubts. If it isn’t filled properly, it can’t work properly and you really have to diet. Right then, toast it is and Melba toast and cheese and crackers. It will be dull eating for a while, but it will be for a good cause.

I am trying to remember what we used to do when it was Labor Day weekend when I still lived in California, but nothing immediately springs to mind. I think we may have barbecued a lot, sort of the last barbecue of the year if I remember correctly. My life in the States seems as if it happened to someone else and sometimes I have a hard time remembering the details of it. Of course, I’ll never forget Christmas dinners and Thanksgiving dinners for all the abundance of food and all the left over turkey. I used to think that heated up stuffing with turkey was especially good.

We don’t do anything that traditional here. People fix more exotic foods if they have a family dinner, we don’t have a traditional dish as such. It is a bit of a custom to eat game in the form of venison or pheasant or duck or some such bird. People also eat rabbit or lamb. There are no traditional vegetables persé, although sweet and sour red cabbage with apples is eaten a lot. Potatoes are served plain boiled. We don’t have any of the delicious traditional pies for desert, like pumpkin pie or apple pie. Usually it is something like bavarois or another kind of exotic desert. Usually something with lots of fresh fruit and whipped cream. We don’t fix huge amounts of foods and then have days worth of left overs. We fix just enough and maybe some people get a small second helping if they want.

In America people as a rule eat very large portions of food. Their plates are twice as full of food as they are here when they go to a restaurant. I’ll never forget going to a Denny’s for the first time and seeing the huge breakfasts that were served there. I couldn’t believe it! This was in the early seventies when cholesterol played no role yet in the daily diet and people just ate and ate and for such a low price too. A steak dinner for 5.95 and the steak was as big as the plate it was served on!

Now that I have the gastric band, I will never be able to go to a restaurant and order a plain meal again. I did used to like eating breakfast at Denny’s, but now I would only be able to eat a portion of scrambled eggs. My favorite breakfast used to be two eggs over easy, hashed browns, sausages, bacon, wheat toast with real butter and coffee. Although the coffee never tasted that good.

I also used to like going to Chevy’s and have their fresh tortillas and what is that grilled meat dish called that you wrap in the tortillas with guacamole and sour cream and fried onions? The name escapes me. I used to be a real food connoisseur and I never gained an ounce in America. It’s all that darn medication that did it here in the Netherlands.

I don’t really have a favorite food here, except maybe for croquettes which are our take out food. They can be quite nice if they are well made with lots of meat in them. But you can’t eat too many of them, as they are deep fried. There are also the frikandel which is a sausage that should be eaten with lots of mustard and onions and ketchup on it. Sensible people don’t eat it. It is too fattening! That’s the kind of food you eat secretly and then don’t tell anyone about.

The pies here are very good to eat. They are large and flat and are filled with all sorts of good ingredients, fresh fruit and whipped cream being my favorite one. There is also one filled with thick rice pudding that is very nice. And of course apples and peaches and strawberries. Nobody sits on a café terrace without ordering a piece of pie to go with their coffee. It is actually called ‘vlaai‘ and is typical for this region. They are exported throughout the Netherlands. You can order your coffee with whipped cream too, instead of just plain cream, which makes for an extra treat. The coffee is always very good and strong and is individually made with an espresso type machine. Similar to my Senseo Coffee maker.

Oh, of course, I forgot about the famous herring that has been cleaned and decapitated and that you pick up by the tail and eat with your head bent back. With onions on it for the best flavor. They have not been cooked, but only salted on board ship and the new herring is quite a treat. Everybody in the Netherlands eats herring like this. It’s a tradition. At one point when you are a child, you get a taste of one and you learn to like it and before long you are having your own whole herring. They are also good to eat on very dark rye bread. It’s a big
day every year when the fishing fleet comes back with the first new herring of the season. The herring is then judged to be either good or superb, depending on the fleshiness and firmness of it.

Writing about food is almost as good as eating it. I think I will be writing about it more than I will be eating it from this point on. It just depends on how many adjectives I can use to describe the food. Maybe I should become a restaurant critic. I could have little bites of food of each dish and everybody in the kitchen would worry about such a picky eater. I think a sushi restaurant would be the perfect place for me.

I just realized that today is Sunday and that means laundry day, amongst other things. It also means Eduard and Irene Sunday morning ritual day of staying in bed long and Eduard boiling eggs for brunch. I think I can’t wait that long for my food, though, and I will have some Maasdammer cheese before that time. We have no plans yet for today, but since I am in my hibernation mode, I don’t need for there to be any plans, really. Maybe we can ride our bikes downtown and sit on the terrace of our favorite café. It shouldn’t be too busy with tourists anymore now and the weather is still nice enough in the afternoon to sit outside.

I haven’t been to the chapel in such a long time and really feel no desire to go. It seems that all my religious curiosity and desires have disappeared for now. They really belonged to a very different mood. You see how I could never join a church, because I would only be an active and convinced member part of the year. I go from being completely convinced of my religious convictions, to not having any at all. It all leaves me totally indifferent now and I have no desire to ride my bike to the chapel and light a candle and say the Lord’s Prayer. I do kind of hope that it will come back, as it was a good time in my life, but for now I feel very little for my Higher Being and I am not aware of him/her performing any sort of function in my life at this point, when I was so convinced of it before. I am sure I was religiously manic for several months and I enjoyed the experience, but I can’t for the life of me get this feeling back now.

I have less enthusiasm about some other things too and I will blame it on my mood. I am a bit more withdrawn and contemplative and I don’t feel like getting all excited about what goes on there in the big wide world. Life certainly is not a techno color movie now. It is more like a very subdued low light art film in which the characters are unsure of their roles and their text and the director doesn’t always know what he is doing either. Maybe now I am in an Ingmar Bergman film and it is called Shadows of Memories.

Thank goodness there is Paint Shop to be creative and colorful with. I must make something every day, that’s a rule I made for myself. It doesn’t all have to be exuberant, but it does have to please me. I must feel some degree of satisfaction when I have made something and it also has to appeal to my sense of order. Therefor a mandala and a pattern. Always the two in pairs.

Well, now I’ve got to feed those darn cats again, they are waiting impatiently and Jesker is laying here by my feet, waiting to be walked. I do like my early morning rituals, though. They are nice ways to start the day and the animals are always so grateful and happy.

Have a wonderful day, everybody, ciao…

P.S. The images came of a photograph of a sparrow sitting on a branch in a snowy landscape.

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I have started reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, but last night I only got as far as the introduction, because I fell asleep with my raisin crackers uneaten and my milk half finished. I know that I read this book along time ago, when I was younger and much less wiser, so it will be interesting to read it again, being older and wiser and looking at life so much different now than I did back then.

One thing I did conclude then, is that people have a lot of personal mythology too. That you go around thinking a lot of things are true about yourself that aren’t, and that very often these are things that you learned about your self in your childhood and early adulthood, and don’t realize aren’t true about you anymore as you mature and grow into wisdom about yourself and the world around you.

Such as, you will grow up and be happily married and buy a washing machine and have a couple of babies and live happily ever after as a wife and a mother in the suburbs and you will have no other longings and you will be fulfilled. That’s a myth about myself that I grew up with and believed in for a long time. It was hard to let go off and I believed it well into my thirties, never imagining that maybe it was a myth and that it was high time to throw it overboard and get me a more realistic narration instead. A true story about myself to live by.

It takes a little time to find a new story and it can be painful to throw the old myth overboard, especially when there are other people involved who have also come to believe in your myth. It is painful extracting yourself from the old story and it is not wise to not have a new one to believe in and ready and waiting for you to try on for size. It has to be a hell of a story to replace the old myth. A success story that makes the old myth like a worn out fairy tale that has lost all its power and magic. One that you really can’t believe in any longer.

That’s the tricky part. You have to really stop believing in your old myth before you shed it. You can’t toss it overboard and secretly believe in it still, because that will mean that maybe you failed at it, when you would have succeeded had you been stronger, wiser or anything better than what you were. You can’t shed the old myth and at the same time keep believing it.

According to Joseph Campbell, we are surrounded by mythology all of our lives. In our daily lives and in our rituals. Mythology is what we used to make the world around us explainable too ourselves. The rituals are necessary to appease that which we could not explain and to bind us together in a single common action. I am a great believer in rituals and I can see how they will strengthen people’s resolve to accept their sometimes insecure hold on and understanding of life.

Ritual can be carried to an extreme and become an obsessive compulsive disorder, but that is taking a whole step to another thing altogether. For awhile, in the seventies, I was convinced that there was one window that was not properly locked at night, and I would close it 20 to 30 times before I was sure of it. That was more than a ritual, that was a disorder which I was cured off when we moved.

This is how it is described in Wikipedia:

A ritual is a set of actions, often thought to have symbolic value, the performance of which is usually prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community.

And this is what it says about mythology:

Stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and to explain the nature of the universe and humanity.

The sagas that our Germanic ancestors used to tell the stories of their Gods were mythology, just as the Greeks had their myths. We are just not fortunate enough to have been taught those stories in school, the Greek ones being thought of as more interesting and evolved. All the religions in the world are myths in the end, and I hope I don’t do anyone an injustice by claiming this, because I am not denying them their believe in their God.

There are all the wonderful rituals of prayer, such as reciting the Lord’s Prayer or the Hail Mary. It would be interesting to know what the ancients recited as they performed their rituals to appease their Gods. It’s a shame that those words weren’t written down anywhere.

There is ritual in our daily lives. I, for instance, have a ritual of doing things in a certain order, and if I don’t do this, the day doesn’t feel right and I invariably forget to do something. I like to do certain things in a certain order at certain times of the day. If something or someone comes along to disturb the order, I try to get back to it as quickly as I can. I think that is true for most people.

Nowadays, you find that people believe in mythology other than that of their own community. We are exposed to other cultures and we accept concepts and truths from other cultures. We are not afraid to touch and integrate the things that are foreign to us. With our Western minds we find ourselves evolved enough to embrace that which a hundred years ago would have been alien to us. What we decide to ‘believe’ about it is up to us. It can only be an exercise of the mind or a true acceptance of everything. Through knowing another culture’s mythology, we can understand that culture better and maybe in the process come to understand ourselves better also.

Personal mythology should be held up and examined closely, however. It is not good to blindly accept things about yourself that have not been picked apart for their truth value. There are always elements in the story that do not ring true and that most likely aren’t true. Luckily, with today’s psychology, we get to examine our minds and our deeds closely and we are no longer unread books to ourselves. As we mature, we get to read what is stated there and agree with it or not and change it as we see fit.

I read Greek mythology when I was in my early teens. Had Germanic sagas been available to me, I would have read them also. I was fascinated with the Greek ones and also read them during boring lessons in school. I was most fascinated with the story of how Icarus tried to fly with his wings of wax and feathers, but flew too close to the sun and fell to earth. I always wondered how much truth there was in this story. If someone really made wings and tried to fly. Mythology is fascinating to a growing teenager. It teaches you about the mortality of man and the fickleness of the Gods.


I have been playing with the Paint Shop Pro, but I see there is a lot that I have to learn yet. Other people are doing lots of interesting things, such as Bobbie here. Rima here also does some very interesting things. I will practice a little bit every day and see what sort of things I can come up with. It is all a matter of trying things out and not being afraid of screwing it up. Luckily, there is an undo button. My version of the Paint Shop Pro is in Dutch, so all those handy terms in English are worthless to me. I’ll have to translate them as well as I can. I think my very artistic friend Laura may be interested in doing this sort of art work.


Yesterday afternoon we went into town. My sister had told me that there was going to be music downtown and salsa dancing, but we must have looked in the wrong place, because we didn’t see or hear any. We walked around a bit and it was not that busy, because the shops were closed and only the cafés were doing good business. On the big square, there was a huge Jeu de Boules tournament going on and there must have been a hundred people playing all at once. The whole square had been covered with sand and was divided into different courts. They were playing in the hot sun, so we only stayed and watched them for a few minutes.

We had coffee and apple pie on the terrace of Café Monopole and people watched. On the terraces on the square, there are always many tourists and it makes for an interesting sport as we try to pick out the foreigners before we hear them talk. Some people are so Dutch looking though, that you can spot them from a mile away. We walked the long way back to our bikes and had a soft ice cream on the way. It wasn’t necessary that I eat this, but I was struck by the opportunity and figured it was my last chance before my gastric band gets filled on the 20th. I was disgustingly full afterwards. My eyes are always bigger than my little stomach pouch.

Eduard had to work again in the evening and I drank many cups of Senseo to make my evening as pleasant as I could make it. Actually, I was very tired and was struggling to stay awake. I had taken a nap around dinner time, but still I felt as if I should have been in bed already. When I was ready to go at nine o’clock, I realized that I still had to make cigarettes, so I did that and then stayed up watching National Geographic, which had a program about a terrorist airplane bomber. That’s real uplifting programming just before you’re off to bed! I took all the books that I had tried to read, but wasn’t enjoying, out off the bedroom and put them back on the book case and got The Power of Myth out instead and I have vowed to myself to read nothing else but that until I have completely finished it. I need a bit of intellectual stimulation after trying to read two really not so very good books.

I know there comes a moment when I go out cold and I fall into a very deep sleep, but I always think I can postpone that moment. I try to stay sitting up and keeping my eyes wide open, but it is all for nought. Nothing works once I have taken the sleeping tablets. I can be in the middle of eating a raisin cracker and I will fall asleep with it in my mouth. In the morning I still have the raisins in my mouth to attest to that.

Well, I really can’t complain about that. It is so much better than laying there for hours not falling asleep. I just hope I get to read that book a little before I conk out.

Well, I’ve got to feed the cats and walk the dog. My morning rituals await me. This morning I have to go and have my profile test done. I get the results right away and I am curious what they will tell me.

Have a great day, everyone, ciao…

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