Posts Tagged ‘social services’

Poor Überhund had his teeth cleaned yesterday and in the process it was found out that he had an infection in one of his top incisors. A a matter of fact, the vet showed me where there was puss coming out of his gums, so he must have been suffering with this for a while.  So the option was to cut away the gum there or to pull the tooth and I told him to go ahead and pull the tooth. That seemed to me the most straight forward thing to do.

I stayed with the Überhund while we waited for the anesthetic to start working and he literally was standing up one moment and was toppled over the next. He was very floppy after that and the vet could do anything with him at all.

When I came to pick him up in the evening with my sister and the car, he was still very drowsy and almost incapable of walking. At home he sort of tottered to wherever I was sitting, so I tried not to move too many times and ended up taking a nap on the sofa. When I woke up at 10 PM, he was standing there, looking at me quite expectantly, as if to say, “I have to go out now, are you going to take me?” After that, he ate a whole bowl of food and maybe that bad tooth was the reason why he had not been eating so well lately.

All’s well that ends well.

I had ergo therapy in the morning and we had to sit around a very large sheet of paper and keep moving up one place and with each of us, in a different color paint, had to take turns being the manipulator or the manipulated. We could not talk and everything took place in great silence. After two turns, the sheet of paper was changed to a new one until we al had a turn with each person in the group. There was a discussion afterwards about how we interpret what manipulation is and how we do it and if it is always a bad thing.

It turns out that, when I am on my guard, I am a good manipulator and I am not easily manipulated. The person who is the best manipulator in the group, had the hardest time with me, because, while I was manipulating her, she was trying to manipulate me and it didn’t work.

You see how these exercises can be so very educational to a person and really give you a lot of insight into your own psyche.

Social Services is asking me to send in forms, in a rather mildly threatening manner, that I have sent them twice already and that I will now be sending them for the third time. Am I happy about this? I think not. That’s all I’ll say about it for now.

I did, what I hope was, a week’s worth of grocery shopping yesterday. My bike was so loaded with groceries that it is amazing that I made it home in one piece. I did almost get run over by a bus, but he was going slowly, so major injuries were avoided. I just made a little detour to the sidewalk. Actually, I don’t think they’re going to all last for a whole week, but I hope they’ll last past the weekend.

It seemed as though I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off yesterday, but it was all very carefully orchestrated pandemonium. None of the housework got done, but numerous other things did, I just seem to have no recall of most of them. I was running here and there and forgetting to do this and that and then remembering things at the last minute. My shopping list was very good, I know that. I only forgot the sliced sausage for the Überhund.

When you’re gone all morning until almost 1 PM, there is a lot of catching up to do, so I know I would hate to have a fultime job, or I would have to get organized much better and cut out the navel staring times. The umbelical contemplation. Woe is me.

I waste time, though. I know I do. I could become much more efficient and move around the apartment at a much quicker speed and get more done, more quickly. That is just not my style, though. I am not a race horse, I am more like a Belgian draught horse. I am slower but steady. If I go too fast, I become inefficient.

Well, that’s all I have to say, really. It’s not much, but I’m not very inspired. It’s too early in the morning for it. I need numerous cups of coffee still and my medicines and a good walk with the Überhund.



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Because I had to live on a teeny little welfare check for two months, that was not even enough to buy groceries with, Eduard supported me financially the best way he could by also borrowing money and making ends meet. Because of this, Social Services sees this money as income and is therefor not giving me my regular welfare check for this month. As a matter of fact, I am getting no money at all. So, until September the 20th, I will have to live on the money I borrow from my Visa card, because money borrowed is not considered income, because you can show that you are having to pay it back. I can not receive money from anybody else, as that will be considered income and will be withdrawn from my welfare payment. I can submit an objection, but it is all going to take precious time and in the meantime I am going to be very poor and owing a lot of money.

Still, after the initial shock of it, I decided to put on my happy face and consider myself lucky that I even have a credit card with enough credit left on it that I can borrow the money from. I would have to go through all sorts of lengths to get money otherwise and frankly, I would not know how, except for hanging a red light in the window. So, I’m trying to look at it cheerfully.

The man who is handling my case at Social Services now is new and he thought that the money I had received from Eduard was an alimony payment and that I would get that much money all the time. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and I told him that I was sorry, but that I had to pull myself together and that I would call him back shortly. I did have to pull myself together emotionally and I don’t like to do that while on the phone with a well meaning, but complete stranger.

This also explains why the tax people, who decide about my rent and medical care subsidies, told me they would call me back later this week between 1 and 3 PM. They are probably also assuming that I received a large amount of money in alimony payments and will forever. I sure do have some straightening out to do.

Anyway, this bright and happy news did set the tone for the rest of my day, even though I did not want it to, but I couldn’t help but be affected by it. The best thing to do is put on my brave trooper face and act like the whole damn thing is not going to get me down and it won’t in the end. I just hate bureaucracy and the stiff unbending rules that make it work against the little honest people. Eduard and I should have lied our heads off or have made different arrangements, but c’est la vie.

In the meantime, life at the Pondorosa continues with all the regular things that take place, although today was a little bit off. I did walk Jesker four times, but we didn’t make a long walk once, because he gets out of breath so quickly. He pants for a long time when we get back. I have been noticing that this summer. It’s not the heat, because it hasn’t been warm here at all for quite awhile.

I am having fun with Facebook, because this time it is I who picks out who I want to be friends with and I have a eclectic set of rules that only I understand. It comes down to instinct basically, guided by some very basic standards. I manage okay that way and have made some new friends. I even got Eduard to join, which is a miracle of itself.

Tomorrow I have wonderful ergo therapy and we will discuss detachment. I feel I have to crawl into my shell when I get bitterly disappointed, but maybe the thing is to seek your solace amongst people and their healing presence. At least I assume their presence can be healing. I am Irene the Brave, master of all my emotions. Right!

Eduard was here this afternoon, because his mobile phone is in my name and we thought his subscription had to be renewed and the person who owns the phone has to do that. It turned out that the subscription didn’t need to be renewed, it does it of itself, so that was a waste of time, even though they told us last year that we would have to do this. I had my passport and client number all ready for it too. Good intentions all the way down the line.

I am especially looking forward to going to bed tonight, even though so far I am postponing it, but it does mean an end to this rather disappointing day. At the same time, I don’t want to go to bed with even the slightest defeated feeling, so I am staying up until that is completely gone.

Jesker is snoring beside me after he has been very good about letting me put his eye drops in.

The differences between the cats and the dog are really so large. The dog is so dependent on me and the cats are hardly at all. Well, yes they are for their food and water and milk and they let me know very loudly when they’ve run out, but other than that, they are independent creatures that make up their own mind about when they come and go and when they need attention and how much they want. I am much more like a cat that way, because I like my independence too and I hate to be shackled to a time and a place and a person. I would hate to be a dog and I would probably bite my owner in his bum out of frustration. Maybe that’s why I am always so overly nice and patient with Jesker, because I would hate to be him and be dependent on a human being. I try to be an understanding human being for Jesker. I felt the same way when my kids were little and they were dependent on me.

I swept the apartment with a broom and a brush and dustpan this afternoon, because i thought the tax people might call me and I don’t hear the phone when I have the vacuum cleaner running. It worked equally well and you would be amazed by how much sand and hair I swept up. Actually, it was a meditative sort of job and kind of pleasant to do and I may do it again. The drawback is that I don’t vacuum the sofa and chairs then, so I will have to do that another time or wave my magic wand and have them turn out perfectly clean that way. Ha, I wish.

Well, I’ll end this epistle and go and do some other things until I am good and ready for bed. I could go on forever, but I don’t want to bore you with every tiny detail of my life, fascinating as it all may be.

See you all tomorrow, sleep tight.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Now I need to take a nap…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Despite my claim to morph into a housewife yesterday, I did no such thing and decided to pretend it was a holiday and took the day off. I did go and get some groceries and wash the dishes, but then that was it for me. So you see how I really didn’t morph, because even on your holiday you need to do some simple chores to get by.

It was a quite pleasant day, because on your holiday you are not allowed to have any worries or be occupied with deeper concerns than what you are so pleasantly going to fill your day with. I did some blogging and set up a website for Single Middle Aged Women in the Netherlands. See my sidebar. It says that it is for women in the Netherlands, but anyone can join, that is why it is in English, to give it universal appeal. So come and join us if you feel that it may apply to you. Especially if you are in a less than perfect relationship. I leave the term ‘middle aged’ open to your interpretation. See if that appeals to you too.

Who says you need any other hobbies when you blog? You can be as involved as you want to be and spend hours of your day absorbed in it. Yesterday I spent some time looking for the right image for my new header and had quite a bit of fun with what that should be. I quite accidentally ran into the one it ended up being and quite like it, although I did notice that nobody commented on it. I think it has universal sex-appeal, especially with us older women, don’t you think?

I feel the same sort of languid laziness today that I had yesterday and I don’t quite know what this day is going to look like. All I need to do is go to the tobacco shop to buy some tobacco and filter tubes to make cigarettes with. I also need to vacuum, argh!

I think my mind is telling me that it needs a little break from strenuous thinking and worrying, although you could argue that a physical activity like vacuuming would do me a world of good.

The Exfactor was here again yesterday to get some forms to take to his appointment with Social Services with him. Apparently they are going to have a very serious talk with him and see what sort of financial support he can give me every month that will unburden their financial support to me. He has to prove the financial burdens he already has taken upon himself as a result of the divorce and show them he is not a bad guy trying to get out of doing his share.

Anyway, I now see the Exfactor at least twice a week and we have developed a very easygoing relationship without any strain or awkwardness. It is just like seeing a good relative come and go, but we don’t show affection. It is more like a camaraderie. I don’t know how comfortable the Paramount is with this, but it is no concern of mine.

Because i was so sidetracked with these other things, I only saw the last little bit of the opening of the Olympic Games, but guess it was quite a spectacle. I saw the man running along the wall and igniting the flame. I am kind of sorry that I missed it, as I was curious how the Chinese were going to present themselves to the world. I do have a certain amount of admiration for that.

Now don’t fall all over me because of the human rights and the conditions of many people in that country, because I am aware of that, but I am curious to see how China is going to become a more modern democratic country, as they will be forced to be. There is so much exposure to the West and so much pressure on them to do it differently. Circumstances will force the change or they will lose face and credibility. They won’t change in isolation.

Well, now I am going to get the show on the road. I really can’t have another lazy day, much as I would want to. The vacuum cleaner gently calls my name and I need to put my proper face on.

Have a great Saturday.


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For those of you who were looking forward to read all about my adventurous journey to Amsterdam, I have to disappoint you, because I didn’t go.

I woke up at 4 AM and dreaded the thought that I had to go all the way there and just could not find the motivation to and was hoping there was a way to get out of it. I called my daughter in Texas and asked her if there was any other way to get my request for the marriage certificate notarized. She said, yes, if I could find a competent and recognized notary in Maastricht, then that would do also.

Of course, I reached for the yellow pages immediately and started my search and soon found one that I thought would do and when it was a decent enough hour I called and made an appointment, which I was able to get this afternoon. Notaries are university educated people who do estate planning and last wills and testaments and make up contracts. They usually have their offices in the most beautiful old buildings in town. This one did too.

Anyway, my request was notarized and it will have to be good enough. They even notarized a copy of my passport. If this is not good enough, I will travel to Sonoma County and pick the darn thing up myself.

The rest of the day was spent walking around in the heat with the Uberhund and riding my bike to the store to make copies of important papers for Social Services and to do groceries, again. I drink a liter of milk a day, so I constantly have to replenish the supply and then there is always cat and dog food to get and fresh bread.

It’s very warm outside. Tomorrow it is going to be equally warm with rain and thunder storms. That should be quite a spectacle. I am already planning on wearing the least amount of clothes, because I was overdressed today. Trying to make a good impression on the notary.

I have lost 8 kilos since I have told the Exfactor that I wanted a divorce. Don’t worry, I am not starving myself. I eat when I am hungry, but my little stomach gets full very quickly. Today, for lunch, I had pudding with berry sauce and it went down well. Those kinds of foods always go down easy. Sometimes I let myself have a treat.

I have stopped taking the Temazepam during the day and have found no averse effects from it.  I am as calm as I was before. I take one 10 mg pill at night before I go to sleep and I sleep better. It is so nice to go to bed and feel myself getting drowsy and hear my book plunk down on the floor beside the bed.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Positively boring, isn’t it? I tell you, there is no drama in my life anymore. I am turning into just your everyday boring old blogger. Pretty soon I’ll have to start making up events to keep your attention.


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Even though I wrote a post last night, before I went to bed so sleepily after i walked the Uberhund, i feel compelled to put some words on paper again. Well, what am I saying? There is no paper involved, is there? It gives the illusion though, but anyway, I need to write a little bit more. Not that I have to share any big thoughts. It’s just the time of the morning to sit here and write while I have my big mug of coffee and smoke my numerous cigarettes.

I woke up with one minion cat comfortably laying on my stomach and she certainly didn’t feel like moving. It took some effort on my part to get her to shift so i could get up. She has been sleeping there lately and it must be the best place in the apartment. The Uberhund woke up and thought something exciting was going to happen and he followed me out to the kitchen, but then he realized I was only going to make coffee and sit behind the computer, so he was soon back to the bedroom to sleep on his pillow some more. Yes, sometimes I am just a dull human being who does very predictable dull things.

Then I forget that there are no other human beings here and that i can turn on my music, but as soon as i remember, i do and i get cheered up immediately. I don’t have to be quiet and circumspect for anyone, I can be noisy and bang things around and whistle while I work. If I wanted to, I could run around naked and do a war dance with a tomahawk swinging over my head and smoke a peace pipe afterwards. With some good stuff in it. Or have a brownie. The possibilities are endless and because they are, i don’t have to do any of them, it’s just that I can that makes me feel the freedom. I can even fart very loud and not apologize for it.

I keep thinking that today is Friday and that the weekend is almost here, but I am running a little ahead of myself. Yesterday i registered the dog under my own name and applied for health care and rent subsidies. Those will help my pocketbook quite a bit. It makes the difference between being able to have housing and health care or not. Luckily, I still live in a country where is is difficult to be out on the street unless you really blow it. People see hard times, but there is usually a solution. Families don’t get put out on the street.

The trajectory I am on, expects me to be able to have some sort of part time job down the line, if only for 20 hours a week. They don’t expect you to always sit and do nothing, unless it can’t be helped because of your mental health. They try to get people back to work and provide all sorts of assistance with that. I would be happy if I could work 20 hours a week. If I could be well enough to handle that. That would be a very positive development.

The Uberhund decided he couldn’t wait for his walk and had a good piddle in the flowerbed out back. Luckily, there are no flowers there, but you should see the trees grow. It’s truly miraculous. I have my own little wonders of nature out back. Even the littlest tree is getting big. Just when I needed three trees, they showed up by themselves as if called for. I need to rake the dirt there really well, it has become compacted by all the showers we have had. That will be a fun job for the weekend.

Well, it’s been very enjoyable sitting here starting my day with you this way. It is always the most pleasant way to get it going. It’s like having a talk with your neighbor over a cup of coffee early in the morning or having a chat across the hedge.

I hope you all have a terrific Friday with lots of delicious Friday moments in it.


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I was so tired yesterday that I could hardly find the energy to take the Uberhund out for his last walk. I felt that I had done so much work in the past week that I had no spare energy left to even do a simple job as that and even my body was protesting, because it had done all that bike riding from here to there to eternity and back.

Yesterday I had my final talk with my contact person about the fate of my welfare payment and I had to show him all the documents I had been collecting over the week before that. Everything went very well actually, although the meeting itself exhausted me with all of its details and I nearly collapsed under the weight of them towards the end. I will not hear the final outcome of the decision for another week or two, although chances are in my favor and I have to behave as if I will get it and proceed from there and apply for my different subsidies, which I started to do yesterday. These are subsidies for rent and health insurance which are very important and can make or break the budget.

There are some other subsidies which I will apply for, such as a partial return for Internet payment and a relief of payment of city taxes. There is also a cheaper health insurance I can apply for that is especially for people on welfare, but I need to look into that some more. What happens when you find part time work, as they have me down to eventually work 20 hours a week?

Anyway, lots to do yet. There has been so much running around and care for detail, that by yesterday evening I was just worn out. I was so tired, that I found it hard to go to sleep and at one point found myself behind the computer writing my daughter an email with lots of spelling mistakes and nodding off while doing so. In the end, I went to bed end slept a few hours, but not nearly enough. My daughter will think I was drunk while I typed that email. I was, drunk with sleep.

I imagine people who have full time jobs feel this way constantly and I don’t envy them one bit, because it is awful to feel that exhausted. I don’t see the satisfaction in it at all of a job well done and the good old tiredness that follows. I thought it had more sort of a nightmarish quality with no time to rest properly and come to your senses. I find the emotional strain to high, but then again, I am not used to much.

It is good to come home to the peace and quiet of the apartment and the animals. The Uberhund who excitedly greets me at the door with one of the minion cats beside him. She is always there also. And then the conversation I have with the animals about if they’ve all been good and if anything happened while I was away, and they look at me and sort of agree and go along with whatever I say and follow me to the kitchen, where the Uberhund will get a treat and the minion cat a drop of milk. That’s how we do things around here.

Now, I have deserved a big two pad mug of coffee, so I am having one of those. I think it was Babaloo who said not to forget to treat myself every once in a while. So, here’s to you, Babaloo!

I said to my SPN, “It’s a big secret, and I don’t want you to go around telling everybody about it, but I am actually quite happy.” I said, “It’s nobody’s business how I am doing, let them believe what they will, but you and I will know that I am doing really well.”

I think she is still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it may not drop at all, or maybe it already dropped a while back and it isn’t going to now. Only time will tell.

Well, I’ve told you enough for now. I am going to sit and contemplate my navel for a while. This morning I have ergo-therapy and I am more than ready for it. But first some quiet contemplation and then I have to decide what I am going to wear, yippee!

Have a really good day.


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