Posts Tagged ‘sons’

I am sitting here with my daft head thinking strange things, because I am not quite wide awake yet. It is too early to be awake properly, yet this is the second time I am tonight. I thought what my mot de garde would be and it would be something like “no pain, no gain”. In my sleep foggy mind I imagined we had founded a literary foundation and each of us had to have a slogan like it, that was only known to us insiders. Talk about wanting to be exclusive. Of course, I thought if I can’t be creative in the fine arts, I must try and be it in the literary arts. God forbid that I should turn out to be only mediocre at anything. What a waste of a wonderful mind that would be…

It may come to that yet. Embrace mediocrity, Irene. Yes, humbly I will. I will accept that I am just an ordinary person with no special talents at all and that, at heart, I am just an interloper trying to pass as something other than le petit citoyen that I am. Bourgeois! Oh, the shame of it, the embarrassment. I weep. I hide my face in my hands. I sob. Maybe I can be a dramatist. There may be hope for me yet.

Well, like Babaloo says, there are those of us who do art and there are those of us who criticize. She didn’t quite say it liker that, but I am taking literary license. We less gifted people who stand back and admire or disapprove, as you will. I once went to an exhibition of German expressionists and left there with a headache, that’s how impressed I was, I will never forget it, but was it supposed to make that impression on me? The much touted about exhibition of the impressionists at the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art left me rather unmoved. It was as if I was looking at reproductions. I didn’t get any goosebumps. A Frans Hals painting at a museum in Berlin left me weak kneed. I wasn’t expecting it there. The paintings of Frida Kahlo move me very much. I like any jubilant painting, a painting that can’t help but be happy about life, no matter it’s subject.

Well now, how did I get here? Oh yes, being a critic. There is a preschool close to here that has some art by three year olds hanging up in its front window and I would love to frame it in some nice pas par touts and hang it up here above the sofa. It is so uninhibited. I don’t think any three year old has that talent. Some of them just make a mess of it.

The painting I liked best that my son made, was the portrait he made of himself. I am sure his father has it somewhere, because I know we wouldn’t have thrown it away. It was so refreshing, and shocking almost, to see how he saw himself as a five year old and how close to the truth that was, including his adorable butch crew cut and bright blue eyes. Children should be taught art by real artists when they grow up and not to learn to color within the lines.

I love how the Uberhund has accepted me as the Alpha dog and goes wherever I go. He is always within a few feet distance of me. Now he is snoring away beneath the computer desk. It is very good to feel such loyalty from an animal and I feel very privileged. I must always take care to give him the proper attention he deserves and to never neglect him. I must remember to give him his cuddles regularly and not be autistic about that. Luckily, he is very good about demanding his time with me. He just shoves his nose in my hands.

He is very good about letting me know when in the evening he wants to go out. He doesn’t like to wait until 10 o’clock, that’s too late for him. If I tell him it’s too early, he barks at me and starts pacing up and down impatiently and doesn’t rest until I have put on my shoes and then he is so happy, he does pirouettes. That’s not bad for an old overweight dog on a slippery floor.

He tries to be very bossy on our walks and he has been testing me a lot and I really have to be firm and drag him away from areas I don’t want him to go to. That’s hard to do with a 20 kilo dog who’s stubborn. A very loud voiced, “No!” does wonders. Sometimes it’s confusion and sometimes it’s plain stubbornness. You can be too kindhearted to your dog too, thinking, “Well, it is his outing.”

I am listening to the last MP3 player I downloaded and I am pretty happy with it. It’s better than elevator music. It’s cocktail party music. Some of it is “Let’s get between the sheets” music. It’s a good thing I am home alone.

Oh, I have t see my SPN this morning. I think I won’t see her every week anymore. It isn’t really necessary, because all I do is sit there and tell her how well I am doing. You can only talk about that so much and then you are done with that. I also wonder if the people at the day therapy wonder what I am doing there, because i am not showing any obvious signs of any affliction. I’ll be lucky if I get to finish my 4 months there. Sorry, this patient does not need out highly qualified care. She is too normal.

I’ll get sent out into the real world, you wait and see.

The Exfactor is coming to fix my bike this afternoon. For those of you who are wondering, he did tell me last time how much he enjoyed his freedom of responsibility and care. How he liked only having to worry about himself and to only think of himself, so the same story that is true for me is true for him. He likes coming and going as he pleases and not being bogged down in a traditional relationship. So, don’t feel sorry for him, because this is what he wanted, except that I made him choose for it sooner than he wanted to. In the end, we both got what we wished for.

Well, that’s it for me now, my dears. Happy Tuesday to you. For those of you where it is still Monday, there is the Monday post too.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ciao, tutti voi cara gente.

P.S. Image courtesy of John Mora.

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Bowl with Junk:

I am not sitting here in my regal red bathrobe, but in my clothes, as that is what I was wearing when I fell asleep on the sofa last night. I hadn’t planned to fall asleep there, it sort of overtook me by surprise and before I knew it, I was gone from this world completely.

I had very intricate dreams about a very evil child who was not me, nor was she my daughter and I don’t know who she was instead, but she was a sheer devil. She could put on her wily charms at the drop of a hat and she was a very calculating little b*tch. It is almost scary that I am capable of dreaming these kinds of things and I wonder what Jung would make of it.

It is a good thing to wake up to reality when you dream like that and realize that you real world doesn’t look like your dream world. I check all the different parts of it for evilness and find out that, no, there is none such in my life. I did have a very scheming and conniving grandmother, but she died and I don’t think it was her in the dream.

I have had two cups of regular coffee and now I am drinking decaf to see what will happen. Maybe I will get sleepier sometime during the wee hours and feel the need to go back to sleep again. It’s an experiment. Of course, it is possible that when I do start to feel sleepy, I’ll switch to regular coffee again, because I am having too much fun staying up. Decisions, decisions…

One thing is for sure, I tried not to turn on the computer right away, but that was as impossible as not breathing, so that experiment failed. I wanted to sit and just enjoy my cup of coffee and my cigarette, but then I thought, “Who am I fooling, turn that darn thing on already!” So I did and I felt much better. Some habits are best not broken, they just feel good.

Yesterday morning the dog and I went for a longer walk. I forgot my gloves and came home with quite cold hands. I could have frozen ice cubes with them. The dog enjoyed his morning constitution and we ran into one other dog who took one look at Jesker and decided to go the other way. It is funny to me that Jesker can be intimidating, because he is such a kindly looking dog, but I guess not always when you are another dog.

I always look at Jesker from the rear when we go for a walk and I think he is quite comical looking, as his rear legs are kind of bow shaped, as most dog’s are, and it makes him look kind of like a little tough cowboy. He ought to wear a Stetson and have a cigarette dangling from his lips. I am sure he thinks he is really tough looking the way he swaggers down the street, but he doesn’t fool me one bit, although I am sure he is a hit with the ladies.

I am always surprised that he isn’t bothered by the cold, while I am wrapped up in layers of clothing. He never shivers. He must have the ability to stay warm even in the cold and he must have an internal mechanism to keep the heat up. I wish I did, as my extremities are always very cold and you can ask Eduard about that. He has felt my cold hands and feet.

I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store and we didn’t really need that much, so I went to the little Mom and Pop shop around the corner where are the items are packed to the ceiling and where you really can buy just about anything. It is fun shopping there if you know where to look. I couldn’t find the cornflakes until they were pointed out to me some seven feet up on a shelf. They do have a good enough selection of cookies there and those were what I was after. Butter spritz with chocolate and little rolled up cakes with whipped cream and jam. Oh, so fattening!

My daughter and her boyfriend came to dinner last night and that is what the cookies were for. I figured we’d have them afterwards with coffee. but we never did get to the coffee part, because the wine tasted too good.

I made a wild mushroom soup, courtesy of Unox with extra mushrooms added in and a container of creme fraiche. I had also made my famous leek pie and I must say that it turned out very well last night. Sometimes, it is especially good and last night was one of those times.

My daughter keeps regaling her boyfriend with amusing and comical stories about her childhood and tells him about people and events that I have half forgotten, but that jar my memory when she tells them. I am so amazed at what she remembers. Apparently I told her, when she was little, that it was good to have lots of pets, because when war broke out we would always have something to eat. I know this is true, it is something I would have said, remembering the hunger winter of WWII, but hearing her say it, it seems so shocking.

She has lots of stories about her and her brother and the kinds of adventures they got into together and some of these things I know nothing about. I am just hearing about them for the first time. And then she says, “But Mom, we were good kids,” and she is right, they were good kids for the most part and I could trust them not to do anything too stupid.

I am glad that she is remembering her childhood with lots of humor. It seems to be a great source of amusement to her and I am happy for that. I think the fact that she had a brother who was so close to her in age and who was her buddy really helped her. They always had each other in the good times and the bad times. At least they could ridicule their parents together when we were being completely disagreeable.

My daughter talks about her brother a lot. He is most definitely a big part of her life still. I think she misses him a lot. But all her stories of him are happy ones and she talks of him with joy in her voice. She is very happy when she finds a photograph with him in it that she hadn’t seen yet. Especially one in which he looks very handsome. He was such a good looking young man.

I am very happy that my daughter is keeping her brother’s memory alive so well. I don’t get a chance to talk about him that much and when I do, it is always with a certain amount of sadness. It is good to talk about him with a certain amount of joy. To remember the happy times. To remember who he was apart from the person who had cancer and suffered so. I’ll make it a point to ask her to tell me more good stories about him and about them.

Some cats are sleeping on the kitchen counter as if that is the most comfortable place to sleep. I don’t know what they are waiting for. Their dishes are filled with kibbles and there is milk in their other dish. Maybe they’re hoping to get lucky and
get some spare luncheon meat. I have been known to give that to hungry looking cats. I think these cats may have me figured all out.

The dog is eyeballing me from his pillow as if I am wearing something that belongs to him. Sometimes I think that these animals have ulterior motives in so innocently hanging around here. I think they want things. They’re constantly keeping me under surveillance to see if I’ll do something that will be to their advantage. It’s a cat and mouse game.

My life wouldn’t be half as amusing without the animals. They are a constant source of humor to me. Actually, there is a lot to be said for the study of animal behavior, although I am studying them in a domestic setting, which influences the outcomes of the results I get, because we do influence the animals quite a bit.

Eduard says, that the animals have nothing better to do than to study us all day long, so they know us better than we know them and they know exactly how to get us to do the things they want us to do. They are only limited by the language they can use to express their desires.

Toby makes urgent noises by the kitchen door when the kibbles are all gone. Gandhi becomes very affectionate when the milk is all gone. Nouri is kind of dopey and leaves it all up to chance. She just takes advantage of what the other cats do for her. I think when push comes to shove, she’ll let me know that she needs something, but so far it hasn’t been necessary. There is always Toby ahead of her demanding new kibbles in the dish and when he meows, she meows too. She is codependent.

I have taken some pictures with Eduard’s camera, but the deal is, that it is Eduard’s camera and that it is hands off for me and that I can have my own camera if I want to. I haven’t decided if I want to yet, so for now I am dependent on him for interesting shots to make my images with. I suppose I could sit down with the instruction booklet and really get to know Eduard’s camera, but that would imply that I would be planning on using it and I don’t want to seem presumptuous. He really and truly wants his own camera and really and truly thinks I should have my own if I want to seriously take photographs. I don’t know how serious I am yet and if I want to spend the money. I’ll have to think about it for a good long while.

He does take photographs keeping my hobby in mind and there are always lots of shots I can work with. You know how I make a series of four images? I know the first and the third image of the series are the best, yet somehow I am compelled to post all four, just because I make all four. I have thought about only posting images one and three and then doing double images. I don’t know, I have to think about it. Maybe I’ll come up with a solution today.

Tell you what, lets take a vote, should I only post images one and three or should I post all four images of the series? You tell me and please, be brutally honest. I know you can do it. I’ve seen you do it on other blogs. I like to show the whole sequence, because that’s what I make and they are connected, but I can see the charms of only posting one and three, because they are maybe the best.

You tell me!

I have been so busy doing other things, that I have forgotten to polish my nails and now I look like a floozy. I can’t have that and either have to wear nail polish properly or not at all, none of this half off stuff. I have always disliked that about other women’s nail polish when it wasn’t on right anymore and I used to think, “Oh, I would never walk around looking like that!” Well, now I am and in just a few minutes, I am going to wipe it all off.

I realize that I am no fun in the evening. Some time after dinner, I start to yawn and my level of energy declines rapidly. My ability to keep up an acceptable level of conversation fails and I start to give one syllable answers. My daughter suggested a game of Scrabble and I could only decline with some amount of horror, even after she offered me the chance to play in two languages. I am intellectually not up to that after dinner and I could probably only make one syllable words like “What” and “Who” and “Why”. Or words like “Poop” and “Pee”.

I am not a great one for playing games anyway, as it requires a level of concentration that I just don’t have. I get distracted and bored to quickly and I don’t have a killer instinct. I like to play poker if it is a fast game, but Scrabble and Rummy Cup take too long. I also like a fast game of dice, as long as it moves quickly. I’ll have to remember that the next time I am almost falling asleep. If people would just get up early in the morning like I do, we would all have a great social life, but they all sleep late and don’t get going for hours later than I do. I get bored in the morning waiting for the world to wake up.

I’ll be happy when the holidays are over, because I have been eating things other than what I usually eat. I have had a lot of sweets and I haven’t weighed myself for some time and vow I will not until I start eating more normal again. I have an appointment with the Obesitas Nurse Specialist on the 14th of January, after I have my first appointment with the dietitian. Lots of good and sensible advice will be given me, but mostly it will be the moral back up that I need to get rid of the last kilos. And I hope that the gastric band will be filled one more time, because I think there is some room left for improvement. I definitely should be eating smaller portions.

Well, I suppose this epistle has grown long enough for one sitting. It has been most amusing sitting here writing it and I could go on for hours. I won’t, though. A woman does have to know her limits and the limits of her audience.

I wish you all a very good day, with lots of productive and creative hours. Ciao…

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Today’s opening sentence is, “Sleep, what is thy middle name?” I thought it as I woke up and got up out of bed, but I don’t know what dream preceded it. I know I dreamed about frames and pas par touts last night, which isn’t so strange considering what has been keeping me busy lately, but I don’t see how that ties in with the opening sentence. I know there were other dreams, but they are just beyond my reach of remembering,

Eduard doesn’t seem to be disturbed at all that I dream about him roasting cute animals, nor did he try to help me understand why I dreamed such things. If my wife had such disturbing dreams, I would want to know more about them and discuss them with her, but I get the feeling that Eduard isn’t very much interested in them at all. That’s something that never ceases to surprise me about Eduard, that he can seem so uninterested about deeply psychologically disturbing things. He always acts as if it is of no importance at all and not even worth discussing. I may as well have said, “It sure gets dark out when the sun goes down at night,” and I would have gotten an equally interested response. He is not the least bit interested in any of the things I dreamed about the night before last, it just doesn’t seem to touch him. Sometimes I find that very disturbing.

Oh yes, I dreamed about my ex and that I was at his house and that I was looking through boxes of old junk and that I found my diamond earrings in a box of trophies. And the more I looked, the more diamond earrings I fond and I realized that I could sell them all and become rich, but then some jewelers came by and tried to take the earrings away from me, because they claimed that they didn’t belong to me and that anything I found belonged to them. They had a book with rules stating that anything that was precious belonged to them, that included objects made of leather and wood, and I got very mad and said, “That’s not fair, you’ve made that up!” Then one of the jewelers, who was a woman, laid down on the ground and claimed that I had assaulted her, and I really felt like doing it too, and she said for the other jewelers to call the cops. When the cops came, they and the other jewelers raped the woman and she was like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and she didn’t seem to mind. How’s that for a strange dream?

Yes, I know, I have a strange mind at night. Maybe I have one during the day too, but I manage to suppress it. No, during the day I am such an ordinary woman. I don’t go around having all sorts of strange fantasies. I certainly don’t wish for diamond earrings and for women to get raped. So, it seems I need Carl Jung again, or a book on dream interpretation. I would want to know who or what dwells in the nether regions of my mind to have such disturbing dreams, which I still don’t experience as nightmares, as I don’t wake up with a pounding heart and the fear of God frozen on my face. They just seem to be stories that tell me something about myself and the people I know, I just don’t always understand the meaning.

Yesterday I ironed fifteen T-shirts and one tank top. Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? I had kept putting it off and you know that is not a good sign. Once I got to ironing, I realized it was such an easy job and that I could easily have done it much sooner, but I had forgotten that it was a fun job. It seems to be that way with some other chores right now too. I put them off, only to discover that doing them isn’t that bad at all and that I do feel satisfaction afterwards. Since we really cleaned the apartment well for the parties, I am trying to keep it this clean, but I am afraid that I will get too lackadaisical again and start putting things off.

I must vacuum today, for instance. I was going to do that yesterday afternoon, but then Eduard laid down on the bed for a nap and I didn’t want to wake him up, although he reassured me that I could. Instead, I laid down on the sofa and fell asleep myself for two hours. The best thing about that, is waking up leisurely and having a cup of Senseo and a cigarette and slowly coming to my senses while I pet the dog. The dog who thinks, “All you people do around here is take naps, you are all so boring!” The cats like it when we take naps, as they get to sleep on top of us. They think it is always better to sleep on top of a human being, you have a better view and you get body warmth.

When I walked the dog a 5 pm and we were at the field, my niece came out of her house with a package of Activia from Danonen. It was muesli flavored and she said that her mother had bought it especially for her, but that she didn’t like that flavor and if I wanted it instead. Of course, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and took it home with me, expecting something healthy, but awful in taste, but is was actually delicious and just a right size portion for me. If the stuff weren’t so darn expensive, I would have Eduard buy it all the time, but they are tiny containers of yogurt that are gone in just a few bites. It’s supposed to be good for your intestinal flora, so we will see if things flourish. My sister says she can’t eat it because it gives her belly cramps.

I have been wearing my new hand knitted sweater outside when I walk the dog. It is perfect for this kind of weather. It buttons up the front and is very warm and it looks fashionable too. I am sure that all of the neighbors are saying, “Ooh, look at her, taking her dog out in style!” It feels very Autumn like outside. The weather is cold and crisp and the wind is chilly and the sun is watery, and I am waiting for the leaves to start changing colors. The dog doesn’t have a clue, of course, he just thinks that the world always stays the same, except for when it snows and he has lumps of snows hanging of his fur when we get home. Not that it snows that often here. I think last year it only snowed twice. Climate change!

Which reminds me that I want to buy a new pair of boots before it really becomes winter. I have already decided to get some cowboy boots and have been going around different stores downtown pricing them when I am there. Some of them are pretty expensive, but all boots are, as they are such a fashion statement. I’ll end up going to some shoe chain and buying my cowboy boots there at the cheapest price. They need to be easy to get on for when I have to take the dog for a walk and sturdy and comfortable to walk in. I still have my pointy suede boots, but I can’t wear those when the weather is bad.

The other outfit my sister got me is really cute. It is a striped brown an burgundy red tank top with a cotton button down sweater over it, that I wear unbuttoned with a necklace and matching dangly earrings. You know how your newest outfit is always your favorite? So it is with this one and I keep wearing it. But today I will wear something else, because I’ve worn it for three days in a row now. Time for a change. It’s not as if I don’t have a myriad of clothes to chose from. Ther
e is no shortage of outfits to wear. Eduard was very generous with me after I lost all the weight.

You know, my favorite birthday present is the photograph of my son? I have it sitting on the coffee table, so I can look at it often and I burn a small candle by it every day. I have such good feelings when I look at that photograph. Brion is so sweet and almost innocent on it, even though he was eighteen when it was taken. But in it I still see him as my child and I still love that child in him. He was still very healthy there and we had no idea what a long hard road he had ahead of him. It is all steeped in innocence and promises and a future to come. His hands are so big and yet so boy like still and so tender where he pets the cat.That is the true image of how I want to remember him.

I also have other photographs sitting in a group on a small bookcase of my daughter and my grandson and my son, I also burn a candle there every day. I suppose I want to emit a little bit of magic there. I have a tiny silver container with some of my son’s ashes sitting there. The rest were scattered over a lake is Alaska, like he wished it. The container is tarnished and I suppose I will have to polish it some day, but I am afraid to move the ashes out for fear of spilling them. There is also a green stone heart that my aunt Elizabeth carved for me and the little candle holder. It’s a little altar. If I burn a candle there every day, nothing bad will happen.

Oaky, it is time to end this wordy epistle. The cats are starting to show up and pretty soon the dog will be here too. I think I will eat a muesli Activia, because I am slightly hungry.

Have a terrific day, everyone. Don’t forget to let us know when you have a birthday coming up, so we can make the appropriate noises. Ciao…

P.S. The images of these barnacles aren’t the greatest as they lack color which the other barnacle images had a lot off. But still, this is my contribution for today. I am working on some with a monarch butterfly, but I am finding it hard to get a good mandala out of the images. The kaleidoscopes turn out great, so maybe I will just print those with the patterns.

The dog is still not up, because Eduard walked him very late last night. He is getting old too and likes to sleep late in the morning. As long as Eduard is in bed, Jesker stays on his pillow beside him.

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Well, I am suitably in the right mood to write something halfway sensible down now. It is rather late and I have been reading other people’s blogs and trying to leave witty comments and become inspired by their muses. Speaking of muses, Neda had an interesting post about them here.

I got up rather late this morning, it was six am, can you believe it? I slept from nine pm until that time this morning and I only got up once in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I just don’t know what is wrong with me. As a result, I am running behind in everything, even in the amounts of coffee I have had to drink, so I am quickly trying to catch up by fixing myself lots of cups of Senseo, which I was going to save and drink only for special occasions, like that first cup in the morning, but which I am now drinking more often than not, because I am hooked on the taste of it. Besides, I drink it because I’m worth it. I don’t know how many of you will agree with this statement, but I am completely convinced of it.

I think there are times in my life when I am self indulgent in the little things. I don’t need great big expensive things that cost huge amounts of money, but I like little treats like a good perfume to wear or a good cheese to snack on or a good cup of coffee. It’s these little things that make the day seem special and worth while. I like it especially when Eduard is the person who indulges me with them. When he is the person who comes home with the treats. It makes me feel loved and appreciated, although I never feel that I have to do anything special to deserve them. I get them for just being me and nothing more than that. Sort of for being the spoiled queen around here and Eduard is my well armored knight who goes out in the world to slay dragons and brings back trophies. I do like the way that works. Eduard would be my Saxon knight and I would be his lady in the ancient moated castle.

I suppose we may have been these people in a former life and I would like to think that Eduard and I knew each other in that capacity in the middle ages. Both of us in warm cloaks riding our trusty steeds across the moors on foggy winter mornings. Making love in an apple orchard surrounded by curious cows and buzzing bees on a summer’s day in June. Oh no, that really did happen. I am confusing my lives and my memories. I do like to think that I have always known Eduard and that I am always going to know him. All the way into eternity. He is my complementary soul.

I had an odd dream last night. I dreamed that I was with Brion and that we were staying at a big motel and that David showed up there looking for me. In my dream, I didn’t want to see him and I wanted to hide from him, so Brion and I walked to the inner part of the motel, which was like a labyrinth, until we came to a large room in which we could see all the constellations on the high ceiling. There we hid behind the furniture while David searched for us, but didn’t find us. Brion was very young and healthy and powerful and not scared of anything. I felt very safe with him. David traveled in a large car with his ex wife, whom he is living with now. He told her many lies about me and wanted to prove to her that I was as crazy as he had told her I was, but then couldn’t. He had told her the lies to cover up his own craziness, so she would stay with him and never leave him, which is what he wanted all along. I was just a pawn in that game. In my dream, I felt a real fear for him and absolutely did not want him to find me. That is the unconscious speaking, of course. It is probably close to the truth. I wonder about the constellations and if they represented the heavens where Brion is now. So much symbolism and I have to pay attention to it.

I like dreaming about Brion. I always feel very close to him when I do, as if he is very real to me and I can touch him and feel what that is like. I can feel his skin and the solidness of it. And see his beauty and he was a beautiful man. I am glad he goes on living inside of me.

Yesterday, I took two long naps on the sofa, In the morning I started watching An American Haunting, which was supposed to be a pretty scary movie, but I fell asleep after the first ten minutes and I didn’t wake up until after it was well finished and a completely different movie was playing. In the evening, after Eduard went to work, I fell asleep again and didn’t wake up until it was time to go to bed. So I just take my medicines and get the Melba Toast and a glass of milk and off I go to the bedroom, where I barely have time to eat the toast and drink the milk before I am sound asleep again. I seem to do a lot of sleeping, which must come with hibernation. I am not that physically active, yet I am feeling tired and sleepy all the time and I want to cuddle up all over the place.

On Friday, when it is my birthday, I have an appointment with the temp agency about the job/training program and I do want to be extra perky then. I wish I was more of a talker and I could sell myself better and I think I will bring the test results of my original tests that I did for the CWI. They say a lot about my abilities. I will have to dress nicely and look like a dynamic sort of person in spite of my age. Some well applied make up will help and some nice jewelry will also help a bit. Luckily, my hair has grown out a bit and I no longer look like a middle aged version of Sinnead O’Connor.

I can’t believe I am turning 53, but it doesn’t seem like such an awfully old age. It does sound very mature and it makes me feel like I have finally arrived at that age when I will be taken seriously. In my mind, I am still in my thirties and I suppose I will always stay there. I figure I have thirty good years left in me at least, and that is a long time to be alive and do all sorts of things yet. Life isn’t nearly over yet. God only knows what it holds in store for me yet, what is around the corner and what challenges I face still. As long as I get to have Eduard by my side, I am willing to face up to a lot.

Mostly I hope for sort of a dull roar with the occasional burst of excitement. It doesn’t have to be anything earth shattering. I think this blogging world is quite exciting and making the mandalas is and winning the poetry contest is (see below). Getting a job will add a lot of fun to the equation, not to speak of the financial reward. I certainly enjoy making these new virtual friends. It is just as good as making real life friends, if not better.

Well, I suppose I better get the day started now by cleaning up the kitchen and dragging out the vacuum cleaner. There are some drifts of dog hair again and the sofa needs to be vacuumed. Oh joy! My Oxazepam makes me feel so good, that I almost don’t want to interrupt my good mood with doing those mundane things. Well, I look at it this way, as long as by Friday the apartment i
s clean, then all will be well with the world. I will have done my duty.

Have a terrific day, people. Hope you get sunshine where you need it and rain where you need that. Ciao…

P.S. I had claimed in an earlier post that Eduard is 57. He is not, he is 56 and three and a half years older than I am. When we were dating as teenagers, this was not really a problem, as Eduard was a bit of a late bloomer, but he was an incredibly sweet young man who never took advantage of the fact that he was older than I was. We were both very much of the romantic kind and liked classical music and long walks in the woods and summer afternoons in the fields. We drank rosé and had philosophical discussions. As far as I was capable of having those with my young mind anyway. At the time, we were too young to appreciate each other’s uniqueness, but it is much better now that we have lived a lot and bring all of that experience to the relationship.

We have developed separate from each other, but have both developed a healthy dose of deadly humor and just the right amount of cynicism. We both turned out to be good people and Eduard was just as I had left him, a very decent and sweet human being, albeit a little disappointed with life. Hopefully he has gotten over that by now, as I have.

P.P.S. I have discovered another blog. It is called Wife in the North and you can find it here. She is quite funny and very English.

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You guys, I have added another male blogger to ‘my favorite posts’. His name is Fawzan Barrage and he can be found under artEzan, where he shows his wonderful water colors. It wasn’t until I read his older posts that I realized he was Rima’s husband. I knew there was some connection, I just didn’t realize it was such a close one. I think I now have three male bloggers under my favorites, so things are starting to even out a little bit. I am not excluding them on purpose, it is just working out that way. So far, the blogs I have found by male bloggers have been about technical things, which I am not interested in, of course. I will gladly add male bloggers to my list, providing they write about the more sensitive issues, such as love, life, family, relationships, art and fill in the rest. If it’s done with humor, than that is a bonus. If it’s is done with passion, than so much the better.

Listen to me, I sound like I know it all! Jeez, such an expert already on blogs!

I am sitting here having my second cup of coffee and I think I am properly awake now. Eduard had to get regular cigarettes at the BP last night, because we ran out of tobacco and they don’t taste nearly as good as home made ones. They’re skinny and they have a long filter on them, so you don’t actually get that much of a smoke. They’re Marlboros, in case you’re wondering. The kind we make also have filters on them. We have a little gadget to make the cigarettes with. It is my job and I make them every evening while I watch the news. Sometimes the gadget doesn’t work right and I swear a lot in Dutch and English. Then it is good to be bilingual. Don’t imagine anything too extreme here. It is mostly mild mannered swearing, the kind you can get away with in a semi public gathering.

I have sent out emails to invite people to my second birthday party, but so far I have received no replies, which leaves me thinking that nobody is going to show up and that we will sit there with lots of good food to eat and no people to eat it. Well no, that’s silly. I know of two people that are coming. I already know which wonderful pie I am going to have. It is going to be the one with the freshly glazed fruit and the freshly whipped cream. They only make that kind in this part of the Netherlands as far as I know, at least it originated here.

Limburg is well known for its culinary delights, there is lots of haute cuisine here. Evidence of this is the very good fish market that is held every Friday and where there is an abundance of fresh fish and lobster and other crustaceans. It’s a delight to walk around and see what is on offer, but the only thing I cook well is salmon. All other fish cooking is a mystery to me. There are lots of good restaurants and especially north African restaurants that do really well. Those are Eduard’s favorite places to eat. What I miss is a really good Indonesian restaurant, because once you’ve eaten the real thing, you’ll never settle for anything less. I think for really good ethnic food you have to be in the west of the country, where there are many more people of different cultures.

When I still lived in California, there was a restaurant in San Francisco that we used to go to that was run by a couple from Eritrea. They made the authentic food from their country and man, it was good. They were in the Haight and Ashburry district, but I don’t remember the name of the place. It was just an unassuming little restaurant with the best food and the friendliest people. Then there was an Indonesian restaurant in San Raphael that had authentic Indonesian food that was out of this world. Sometimes we drove all that way and found it closed and it was always a huge disappointment. I suppose I really like ethnic food for the blending of all the flavors and the colors of it. I also like meeting people from other cultures and having a chat with them and finding out how they are doing in their new place of living. Having been a foreigner myself, I was always curious about that. The thing is, that nobody could tell I was a foreigner, but still I experienced it as such and I felt some sort of connection with all other foreigners.

When you don’t speak a language fluently yet, people have the tendency to talk to you in a loud voice in very simple sentences as if you are an old deaf person. You make it a point to become fluent in that language as quickly as possible, as a matter of fact, you try and become better at it than the average speaker. You learn to speak it so well, that people have no idea where you originally came from and it is all a mystery to them. They hear something different, but they can’t put their finger on it. I was thought to come from England or from Australia, but never from Holland. As a result, I didn’t teach my children to speak Dutch, which I thought later on to be a mistake and it is really a shame now that my daughter only understands some of it, but doesn’t speak it. I didn’t want the children to have a handicap in their language and I didn’t realize at the time that children do just find growing up bilingual.

Children in this part of the country learn to speak the local dialect from their parents and learn to speak proper Dutch at school and the two are very different. So, they grow up bilingual. The dialect is very difficult and although Eduard and I can now understand most of it, we can’t speak it, it is too difficult and we would sound silly trying.

Speaking of children, last Thursday it was exactly three years since my son had died and no, I didn’t feel especially sad on that day, although I was very much aware of it and I did talk to my daughter on that day. I think I didn’t feel especially sad, because to me Brion is still so very much alive. I have such a clear picture of him in my head and I can recall exactly what his voice sounded like and recall all of his body language. I take it for granted that he is always around me somewhere. I just assume that he is, I never feel disconnected from him. So the remembrance day of his death wasn’t an extra out of the ordinary day. Of course, I have no grave to go to and put flowers on, maybe that would have made it different, but then I would always be putting flowers on his grave.

You have to take my word for it when I say that Brion was a very special human being. He was very unique, but I guess every mother thinks that about her child. He is still unique in his continuous presence and I like to believe that he guards over us. His instructions to us were to embrace life and to do the things that our hearts told us to do. Sometimes I forget that and I get caught up in every day life, but there are times when I am reminded of that and I truly live one day at a time. I guess we all have those moments of panic when we think everything is going wrong and we have to man the battle ships, but mostly I try to live my life like Brion wished me to. When you face death, you get your priorities straight very quickly and solidly.

Well, that brings me at the end of my words for this morning. Yesterday I didn’t do anything with Paint Shop. I think I want to do more, but I am a little frustrated i
n that I don’t know enough yet and I want to find out how to do more. I will fiddle around with it today and see if I can find any tutorials on line.

Have a wonderful day everybody, surprise us with your words and with your art. With your Words and with your Art, with capital letters. Ciao…

P.S. This is an idea from Debi, here is a link to a personality type test you can take, It is free and you don’t have to register. It is done in a few minutes and I am a ISTJ. Which means I have:

a very expressed introvert personality
a moderately expressed sensing personality
a distinctly expressed thinking personality
a very expressed judging personality

And here is an explanation of the sixteen personality types. It is all very interesting and, as far as I am concerned, very accurate. So let me know what you are. I am very curious if there is anyone out there like me. Especially a certain family member!

Here is a description of my personality type:


Serious and quiet, interested in security and peaceful living. Extremely thorough, responsible, and dependable. Well-developed powers of concentration. Usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. Well-organized and hard working, they work steadily towards identified goals. They can usually accomplish any task once they have set their mind to it.

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Just for a change, I decided to weigh myself again this morning and I weigh exactly 93 kilos, which is not bad and a kilo less than I weighed on August the 4th when I weighed myself last. So, I am not in the least bit discouraged, although I would have liked it better if it had said 91 kilos, but secretly I was afraid it was going to be a lot more, so phew!

I have been living on raisin crackers and whenever I feel like eating, I have those and I feel like eating often and I was wondering if I could eat too many of those, but it seems that I can’t. Well, within limits, of course. I love to eat raisin crackers, I am absolutely addicted to them. I think about eating them and look forward to eating them and while I eat them, I enjoy them so much, it is like a food fest to me. Can you imagine? These things I have now are packed with raisins, so I figure it’s good for a lot of things.

Yesterday, I updated ‘my profile’ a little bit and added the possibility to email me. So, those of you who want to have a more personal contact with me, besides leaving me a comment, can now send me an email. Use this option if there is anything you need to get of your chest.

I have also added under ‘my profile’ a wish list, which was a lot of fun to do. I started my wish list very modestly with bath towels and a few smaller items like that, and then I thought: Oh, what the heck, lets wish for the really big stuff, because you aren’t going to get any of this anyway.

So, I added really expensive items and of everything the most expensive version. I may as well have added Prince Charming on a White Horse and a Pink Castle in Bavaria, that’s how small my chances are of getting any of it, so it is all done in good fun. I would have asked for a sports car and a motorcycle, but those were not available. I had a good time putting the list together and thinking up items I could put on it and I would love to see other people’s wish lists.

Yesterday, we watched the last little bit of the movie Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe. It was about the boxer James Braddock and his fight against Max Baer. We were just in time to see the fight. I don’t like boxing, nor does Eduard, but this fight was incredible. We were trying to figure out how they had filmed it, because it looked so real, as if they really were beating the shit out of each other. Sweat and blood were flying. Because we hadn’t been watching the movie and we didn’t know what was supposed to happen, we didn’t know the outcome of the fight and we were awe struck watching it and happy to see Russel Crowe (Braddock) winning it, that’s how real it had looked to us. I first saw Russel Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, which book I also read, and I think he is a great actor. I love his face and like to look at it. He has the best sort of sad looking eyes.

I did two loads of laundry yesterday and dried one of them outside. The weather was okay. The sun was out most of the day and it was a little warmish. Tonight it is going to rain again. The things I enjoy drying outside most are the sheets, because they smell so good then and making the bed is so much more fun with clean smelling sheets and getting in bed at night is a treat.

When I took the sheets in, a spider had built a web between one sheet and the washing line. I felt sorry having to destroy that work of art, but it couldn’t be helped, he had just picked the wrong spot. We always have many spiders in the apartment and I wonder why. We do always have the windows open on a crack, so that is how they come in, but I have never lived anywhere where there are this many spiders. Spiders drop from the ceiling on your head when you are sitting on the sofa or behind the computer. You can’t be squeamish, that’s for sure. As a result, we have a lot of spider rag and I always have to remember to vacuum the corners of all the rooms where most of them are.

We didn’t do anything interesting yesterday. I think Eduard was happy to have most of the day off, because he has been working so much these past three weeks. I didn’t want to bother him with some half baked scheme and figured he just wanted to relax and read his book and watch some TV.

I invited our neighbors to the left to come to my birthday party on the seventh of September, which will not be a big party, as on that night we have only invited six people. The following night we are inviting ten people. We are not having everybody all at once, because there is not enough room for that many people.

I am looking forward to it and can’t wait to celebrate it. It will be the first time in a long time that I have really celebrated my birthday. I can’t remember when I last did. I didn’t make a big deal of my 50th birthday, as that was right after my son’s death. Turning 50 is a big deal in the Netherlands and it is celebrated extensively, but I certainly wasn’t in the mood for that. I am in the mood for this birthday and I don’t mind turning 53. Eduard says I look younger and I’ll take his word for that.

I think the last time I celebrated my birthday, that I can remember, may have been in the year 2000. I vaguely remember some people coming over with presents and having cake and tea then. One of them was my friend Lucien and she gave me dish towels which I had asked for. So, that is seven years ago when I turned 46 and that was the year my son was diagnosed with cancer. I also remember that that was the last time that I still felt good for some time to come.

I think Brion having cancer, and me not being able to be with him, really took its toll on me and I think I became depressed that winter and never really came out of that depression again until two years later when I saw Brion again and he had gone into remission. Then I was hypo manic for a while and after that I was depressed again and that lasted off and on until last winter. I think I came out of it every once in a while, but when Brion died three years ago, I became permanently depressed pretty much. I had times that I seemed okay, but I wasn’t functioning very well and my life was only going at half speed.

At one point during those seven years, I was so depressed, that I contacted the Association for Voluntary Euthanasia for information on ways to end my own life, because I knew I couldn’t do it by taking an overdose of pills, because I had tried that several times and failed. I went to my GP and asked him if he would help me end my life by prescribing me a strong medication that I could overdose with. He refused, of course. I was pretty desperate and I didn’t want to make a messy job of ending my life, I did want to step out of it gracefully.

You probably think this is morbid, but I want to point out the difference between then and how I feel now, because the two states of mind are so very far apart. Back then I cursed life and now I embrace it. It is important to understand the trauma of depression and the weight and despair of it when you are in the deepest parts of it. It really and truly is unbearable, you can not carry that load. It is too heavy. There is nobody who can help you, you really are on your own, not even your psychiatrist can follow you there.

Well, what can I say, I came out of it. Look at me now, alive and well and functioning like no other. Victory to me and victory to my psychiatrist who found the right medication after all. It’s a shame that it
took so long, but here I am. Sometimes you have to make an awful lot of noise to get people to listen to you and take you seriously. You have to yell and shout and scream and say: Hey, I am seriously drowning here!

My psychiatrist always says: The best thing you can do, is do the best that you can do. He meant this in my relationship to my children. It’s too late to do the best that I can do for my son, and I have some regrets about that. I wish that he could see me now and that I could have many conversations with him. It’s not too late for me and my daughter. We have many years together yet in which we can forge our bond and become the soul mates we are meant to be. We are well on our way.

I am very happy that I can write about this very negative period in my life in the past tense. I am very happy that I can write about myself with such optimism now and that I no longer feel like I am drowning. You know how they say sink or swim? Well, I am on dry land.

Okay, now to leave you with something totally different. For my birthday I am asking for bath towels and perfume. The bath towels are the practical gift and the perfume is the self indulgent gift. Of course, I already have my gift from Eduard and that is the Senseo machine, so I hope he doesn’t feel compelled to go out and buy me anything else. I have to remind him not to do that.

Have a great day, everybody, ciao…

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