Saturday, October 31, 2009

Compulsion.


Feeling constantly driven to write, I have to do it now again, although I wrote a post during the night that no one has responded to yet. It doesn't matter, I write for myself at this point. It's an exercise in being alive and aware and letting my brain work around the details of my life, small and insignificant as they are. Let's face it, I certainly don't live a life of high drama and adventure. I only have high drama when things don't go well and I hit one of my low points and extensively write about it. Adventure never happens in my life anymore, that's a thing of the past, when I was younger and more daring and didn't give a hoot about the consequences. The most adventurous thing I do nowadays is cross four lanes of busy traffic on my bicycle, or ride over cobblestoned streets at high speed because I just came off the incline of the bridge, Yes, I do have to squeeze the hand brakes a little bit then to not hit those absentminded pedestrians that wander into the street.

So anyway, high adventure there is not, but I can write about anything under the sun and make a story out of it. I can dramatize the lives of my dog and cats, if I want. I just took the dog out and I noticed that he is actually a bit of a shy dog, because he saw a window washer and watched him from afar and gave him a wide berth. I don't know how much the glaucoma is influencing his vision, and what he actually sees, but he doesn't like to be surprised and shies away from people who suddenly show up in his immediate surroundings. Of course, he doesn't hear them, which is something people don't understand, and they can make the nicest sounds in the world, but he doesn't know what in the world they are talking about and can only tell by body language what their intentions are. He's not much interested in other people or dogs when we are outside. He really doesn't care very much. It's different if they come into the apartment. He likes visitors and will make sure he gets a lot of attention, and so do the cats, so anybody who comes here has to like animals very much.They will be besieged by them.

Gandhi just escaped into the stairwell and went for a roam around to the very top. I left the front door open on a crack, because rather than chase her, I've found out that she comes back of her own accord and it really doesn't take her that long, because she is afraid that she will miss out on something here. Like when the dog will get his food. I just have to make sure that Toby also doesn't disappear in the meantime, but he will come back too, only he hasn't figured out how to push open the door to come back in and sits there on the doormat meowing mournfully. Sometimes they escape through the outside door, but they know how to make their way around the block into the little patio and back into the apartment through the cat flap. They do it in no time at all. Cats actually are pretty smart animals and have a great homing instinct.

Well, that's what I've got too. You should see me on the way back home from downtown. It's like I'm pulled by magnetic forces toward the apartment. I peddle that bike so quickly, even though I go slightly uphill the whole way. All I can think about is to be home again with Jesker and the cats and to be in my own cozy surroundings where I can do what I will and sit and smoke and drink coffee and be absolutely decadent and anti social, Not that I don't enjoy it to be in good company, but I always look forward to my alone time. I'm just the lonesome cowboy type. Yes, me and a campfire and a pot of coffee, I can picture it now. And my horse Trigger tied up to a tree.

I've got to go to the tobacconist. I'm down to my last crumbs of tobacco. I very rarely let my supply dwindle that low. I suppose I like to live dangerously every once in a while. I'm smoking my second to last cigarette and then all the tobacco will be gone. It takes me three minutes to ride my bike over to the tobacco shop and I have to remember to buy stamps as well, because I have to mail a birthday card to my daughter.

I'm off then. I'm going to ride my bike into the crispy afternoon in which the sun is shining. Have your selfs a nice day and I will do the same.

Ciao,
Nora

It's that time of the night again...


After dinner, while watching the news, I was sitting in the corner of the sofa, quite upright, not even with my legs tucked underneath me, but that is how I fell asleep. I woke up at 11 pm in just about the same position, but with my right arm dangling off the side and with my hand all swollen up. That just goes to show you, that when I need to sleep, I will do it under all circumstances, no matter what the discomfort level is, because my hand hurt.

Needless to say, when I woke up, I was wide awake and didn't have one ounce of sleep left in me, so I turned on the computer and have been amusing myself with it ever since. I looked up interesting photos on Pixdaus to illustrate my posts with and then cut them down to the proper size in Paintshop Pro. This is the kind of work I like to do, because it is pleasurable, but not difficult, and I takes some amount of time to find the right photos, so an hour flies by in no time. I do have to sort through a lot of photos, because tastes differ and what one person considers pretty, another person does not, and that means, of course, that you may not like my choices either. But I like them and that's the most important thing.

I have completely adjusted to my glasses and the strength of them and they are so very comfortable to wear, I don't know how I ever did without them, or how I ever was satisfied with the other ones. Well, I wasn't, that's why I wore them so seldom. These are just perfect and I can wear them all the time for any kind of job, which is how it should be. I thought it was strange that I had to take my glasses off when I sat behind the computer. It just didn't seem right. If you have to do this, they may not have been adjusted to your eyes properly.

Jesker is very dissatisfied with me, because he really wants to go to sleep in the bedroom, but because I'm not there, he feels that he needs to stay out here with me. He longs to lie down on his comfortable pillow, though. The poor guy, he is so torn. That's loyalty for you. I hope he chooses for his pillow, I would not be the least bit insulted.

When I was downtown today, I was not the least bit tempted to go shopping and there have been times when that has been different, when I thought I had to buy something for myself whenever I was in town. I am so strict with myself nowadays, that I hardly ever permit myself to give in to the urge, not even at the nice store that has continuous sales and where I very often find very good deals. These days, all I do is pay bills and buy groceries and buy the odd little thing for myself now and then. A book or something. Nothing big. I try to buy myself a treat now and then, but I never spend a lot of money on myself and the treat has to be just a little thing, but something I am happy with nevertheless. It seems that life has gotten very expensive for everyone and everybody is feeling the crunch.

Yet when I am downtown, I see people walking around with numerous bags from expensive stores and I wonder how they can afford to shop like that still. It seems that there is a segment of the population that's doing just fine and that can spend money as usual. That surprises me in these times and I think it is so wasteful. If I were in that situation, I would certainly not waste my money on expensive items, although they say that money must roll. I am exposed to too many people who have to make it from one month to the next and really watch their money, and then it seems almost obscene to watch people shop with so much abundance. I think there are people in this society who have no idea what it is like to have to account for every Euro that you spend. Especially not our government leaders, who have such unrealistic points of view about what people can live on. I shouldn't complain, though. I am still much better of than a large majority of the people in this world. On top of that, I have excellent health insurance, something that even a lot of people in 'rich' countries can't afford.

Oh. I have to make sure I don't get bogged down in politics, but you may have noticed that our prime minister is in the running for president of the European Community. They can have him, for all I care, I'm sure he'll do a fine job and make everybody happy. We can get another prime minister easily and maybe one who does a better job at leading the government. It seems he is a quite popular candidate. That's because he doesn't ruffle any feathers.

Okay, that's enough about politics and economics. Back to the domestic scene. Toby is very happily crunching down on the dog food. The next time I will have to get the mini kibbles, they will be easier for him to eat and the dog may like them better too. Anything to make these animals happy. Jesker usually likes the kibbles for small dogs better, he likes to vacuum them up out of the bowl. I had forgotten about that.

I must seriously consider going to bed now. I do want to get some sleep before the day starts and more than that actually. I wish there was an easy way for me to silence my digital alarm clock, but I haven't figured it out yet. So promptly at 7 am I need to shut it off. That's okay really, I can take my medicines then and go back to sleep.

Alright, off I go then. Have a good morning or a good night. I will be sleeping.

Ciao,
Nora

Friday, October 30, 2009

I can see!


I was a smart woman and slept a lot last night. I fell asleep on the sofa some time in the evening and stayed there all night and when I woke up in the morning, I had the feeling that I was not nearly done sleeping, so at 7 am, I called to say I would not be at creative therapy and went to bed where I slept until nearly one pm. It was wonderful, except that I almost forgot that I had an appointment with Von and that I had to go to Specsavers to get the new lenses put in my glasses. So, I was running a bit late and had to get dressed in a hurry and walk the dog and make cigarettes and call Von to let her know that I would not be there on time. Then I took a big deep breath and sat down and had a tall glass of juice, before I hopped on my bike to go downtown.

I met Von at the Our Dear Lady Square and together we walked the short distance to Specsavers. I handed over my glasses and they said they would be done in 15 minutes, so Von and I walked to the café and sat under the awning and had something to drink. I had a hard time with my glasses off, because my eyes had to make the adjustment and at first it was a strange experience to not have them on. The heating under the awning was on, so it was very pleasant there. Von ordered tea and I ordered cappuccino and I must say that it was delicious.

After 30 minutes I walked to Specsavers and got my glasses and put them on and the whole world looked different. Everything was so crisp and bright and clear. Full of confidence I walked out of the store back to the café, where Von was waiting, still nursing her tall glass of tea. I ordered another cappuccino and we sat wrapped in conversation for about an hour, until it was time to go home.

I always find the way back home easier to ride than the way to downtown. I don't know why that is, but I do it more gladly. I'm less bothered by the traffic lights and the traffic and the inclines I need to ride up against. I think maybe I just like going home.

My trusty four footer was happy to see me and the first thing I did was pet him for a while, so we could bond again. Then he got a treat and I got a glass of fruit juice and I turned on the computer. While I was reading my emails it dawned on me that I was reading them with my glasses on, which I had not been able to do with my other glasses that had been the same strength. This leads me to believe that maybe those lenses were not put in right and that the adjustment for the astigmatism hadn't been correct. Maybe the focal point had been in the wrong place. Anyway, now I can see the writing on the computer just fine.

I'm so tired now, that I'm going to put on my pajamas and have something to eat and veg out in front of the television. I feel a lot of sleep coming up.

Have a good evening,

Ciao,
Nora

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What is it anyway?


After I had that bowl of porridge this afternoon, I couldn't resist the temptation and laid down on the sofa for just a little while with my book and, of course, I fell asleep for an hour and a half, but it was very pleasant and I don't feel at all like I've ruined it for tonight, because I still feel that I've got plenty of sleep left in me. As a matter of fact, I'm yawning as I write this and tears are running down my face and I'm yawning so hard, that I'm in danger of dislocating my jaw, which I will have to push back in place myself if it does. Everything is crackling and popping every time I yawn. It will have to be part of my self sufficiency, how to relocate my jaw after yawning. Just like changing light bulbs and reconnecting the computer.

The Exfactor always thought that I didn't know how to do those things. He assumed I was helpless. He didn't know I had 22 years experience at being not helpless, at being competent. He was a rescuing knight on a white horse whether you wanted to be rescued or not. He pulled your survival tools right out of your hands and made you unskilled and all thumbs. Some people are that way. They are Super Good Samaritans and don't let other people figure things out for themselves. There are Mother Theresas all over the world in all guises. They are so eager to do good deeds, that they are constantly looking for victims and if they can't find them, they create them.

It feels like it is very late at night already, but is isn't. I've got my pajamas and my bathrobe on. The pharmacy delivered my medication. I just told them to do it and didn't give them a reason why. I very easily could have picked it up myself, but I didn't feel like going out at the end of the afternoon when my prescriptions were being faxed. There's always a lot of traffic then and I do so hate crossing those two intersections at that time of the day.

I've never gotten quite competent at riding my bike again when I came back to the Netherlands. I do a good job, but I always worry about the traffic. I feel very vulnerable after all those years of always driving a car. I feel especially so when my bike is loaded with groceries and I'm glad I live so close to the grocery store, because I worry even over that short distance. I still yell at pedestrians downtown that step of the sidewalk in front of my bike. They are suicidal, but I will have the biggest injuries and when you live alone, you don't want a broken arm. It's hard to go to the toilet on your own with only one arm functioning. I yell, "Watch out, watch out!" I can't ring my bell fast enough. Or at people who walk on the cobblestoned streets, "Will you please go walk on the sidewalk?" Those cobblestoned streets make you rattle and shake as it is. It's hard to keep control over your bike. You just hobble all over the place.

It's all an effort by the city to make the streets downtown look as authentic as possible, but those cobbletones are murder on your bike, or your ankles when you walk on them. Sturdy shoe wear is advised. Ladies with high heels shouldn't go there, you see evidence of them stuck in the cracks. Not the ladies, but the high heels.

I'm having a terrifically tall glass of fruit juice to quench my thirst. Drinking coffee makes you thirsty and this fruit juice is the greatest stuff. It is freshly squeezed and kept in the cooler at the store. I could drink glasses of it, but I do want to make it last and it is high in calories, but it has all kinds of vitamins in it. I drink two glasses of it a day and that gives me a bunch of the vitamins I need. I also drink a lot of milk and as a result my nails grow very quickly and so does my hair. The porridge I eat is high in vitamin B and iron.

Specsavers called this evening and said that the lenses for my glasses were there, so I'm going in tomorrow afternoon to have them put into the frame. It shouldn't take long to do it and I'm seeing my friend Von at the same time. I haven't seen Von in a while and it will be good to hang out with her. No doubt we will sit by our usual café, but hopefully under the awning where there is heating, although it hasn't been that cold outside the last few days and there has been no rain. The leaves are dropping very quickly off the trees, though. It's going very rapidly right now, but some of the trees look spectacular still. Not all of them are equally pretty and only the imported maples are really awesome. Some trees just turn brown and that is it. Some turn yellow and that is much better.

I found the glasses that I had lost. They were in a box in my bedroom that had photos and photo frames in it. I don't know how they got in there and I found them quite by accident, but now that I have them again, I must say that I don't really like them and that I like my old glasses better and that I'm glad that I'm getting the proper lenses put into those. I've tried them out, of course, and I can't wear them behind the computer and do better with them off. It seems the worse my vision gets for far away, the better it gets for close by. I don't know why I thought these new glasses were better for me, because they are not at all attractive. At least, I don't think so. I think I look like a very stern school mistress who should have her hair in a bun and a pencil behind her ear. I look much kinder in my old glasses.

I have creative therapy in the morning and I will be looking at that last painting I made and try to figure out what's missing in it, because something is. It is too stilted as it is now. There's not enough life in it. It needs more abundance, more joie de vivre. I'll either fix it or ruin it. It's a 50/50 chance that I take. That's what skill is all about. Next I need to do a painting that brings me back to the basics. Just the original elements that I started out with, but very well combined. I'm futzing too much now with other little details and I don't want to do that. It distracts me from my main design. That's what I need to get back to.

Why is it that I get oodles of energy the later the night gets? I really enjoy myself late at night, that's when I feel best. I'm complete in my satisfaction and contentment. I will take my medications now and maybe that will slow me down. I need to get sleepy now and not excited about being up.

Alright, I think I have made this post long enough. I don't want the length to be overwhelming. I hope you all have a good night's sleep and I will "see" you all in the morning, fit as a fiddle.

Ciao,
Nora

I wish...


I actually got six hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. I decided, after getting some good advice from some friends, to make my sleeping pattern more normal and to not stay up all night anymore. What I think is actually happening, is that I'm displaying some hypo manic behavior, without actually being hypo manic, and the reason I am not, is due to the fact that some of my medication has been increased. I am, amongst other things, changing the looks of my blog and adding new blogs, without keeping in mind if I will be able to keep these up. So, I have to keep an eye on myself, so I don't start to run rampant and crash and burn. Enough said about that, I will be good and watch myself better.

I posted a new six sentences on my writings blog, so please go there if you have the time. I wish lots of people would become followers. It would make me feel good if I knew that a lot of people were reading me, because I write to be read and to get feedback from people who themselves write and don't all bloggers do that? These are nuggets of myself that I'm giving away, much more so than my art. My art is a physical manifestation of my outer self, my writings are a psychological manifestation of my inner self, the real me, dressed in prose, in evening wear if you will. I lay bare my soul in them and you can see glimpses, if not outright vistas, of me and my innermost self. That's saying a lot.

While I write this, I'm doing chores at the same time. I've now got dishes soaking in the kitchen sink and I've already cleaned up the kitchen counter and done the trash and picked up the living room. The Exfactor was here and brought me two rolls of whole wheat biscuits. I scolded him for doing so, but he left them anyway. I don't know what I'm going to do with them, except eat them, which I always say I won't, but which I always do. My excuse is that they're good for me, but it's a very flimsy one. They are more bad for me than that they're good for me.

I have to take the dry laundry off the drying rack and hang up the next load to dry. I don't mind doing this, but I get distracted and forget about it and then it sits in the machine while I'm with my head in the clouds. I must make it a point to remember it today, otherwise it will get stinky and I'll have to wash it again. I seriously like doing laundry, because it is such a satisfactory job, but I am forgetful and a load of laundry takes me days to do until it is clean and dry. Thanks goodness that I hardly do any ironing. It would take weeks.

I also don't mind doing the dishes, but I act like I do and let them stack up until it seems unmanageable. Then I get it in my head to do them and I rinse and organize them and suddenly it seems that there aren't that many and they are done in no time. It's sheer intimidation that stops me from functioning sometimes. The intimidation of unorganized things. Once you've sorted everything out, it's always less daunting than it looked in the first place.

There, I've just done the dishes, Now I'll take a break and do the laundry next. I'm using my instant reward system. It works if applied diligently. There must be no wavering and no dawdling about the job. The minute the coffee is gone and the cigarette has been smoked, I must get up and do the next thing, with the expectancy that I get to sit down here again as soon as it's done, but I must think about another job I can do in the meantime. There is always something that needs to get done, even if it is as lowly a job as scrubbing the toilet, and you all know how I feel about that!

My dog is forgetting that he has not been walked yet this afternoon and is sound asleep on his blanket. No doubt he will wake up just as I'm about to hang up the laundry.He will have to wait his turn. I must do everything in the proper order. There will be no chaos reigning here.

Okay, that was the laundry. My psychiatrist just called me to discuss my medication with me. He wanted to make sure that the amounts I was taking were what I should be taking and that I wasn't taking too much of any kind. He was getting ready to fax new prescriptions to the pharmacy. I think he is a very conscientious man, He doesn't just go ahead and write a prescription, he wants to talk to the patient first, even though he has seen me not too long ago. He always calls me when he is about to write a prescription, just to make sure I'm in my right mind, I think. I think he would know fast enough if I were not okay, if there were something wrong with me and I was up front with him and told him I am showing signs of hypo mania.Therefor he knew why I was using up the anti psychotic quicker than usual and why I had not gone back yet to my old dose. It's good to be in good hands. It makes me feel safe.

The laundry just fit on the drying rack. I had sheets and assorted stuff. I have new laundry, but not enough to run the machine. It will have to wait. I must dirty some things first. I even found two pairs of matching socks that had originally been separated, but I knew if I waited long enough they would pair up again. I have clean pajamas for tonight, that will be something to look forward to.

I have to sweep and mop the kitchen floor next. I will need extra courage for that, for the mopping part, because I don't like mopping. It never turns out as well as I want it to. It's an exercise in frustration. First I will walk the dog, I think he is ready now.

The dog wanted to go for a longer walk than we normally do, so we did, although I had to curb his enthusiasm a little bit. I wasn't about to be dragged all over the neighborhood. We made compromises. As soon as we got in the turdy neighborhood I turned around. That's where people don't pick up the dog poop in the little green area. I'm not about to walk around there. It's very much disgusting and somehow they are getting away with it and there's a playground right by it.

I've just eaten a bowl of porridge and it has made me sleepy, so now I long for a nap, but I must not lay down and fall asleep, because then my schedule will get turned upside down again. It's taken the wind out of my sails completely. I will sit down in the armchair and read my book with a cup of coffee or a glass of fruit juice.

Right, so much for sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor.

Have a great rest of the day, be good for goodness sake.

Ciao,
Nora.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A new blog.


Someone suggested that I start a new blog with only my writings on it instead of adding links all the time to this blog for you to see my writing at other sites. I thought that was an excellent idea and I've set up a new blog called The Green Stone Woman Writings. You can also find the link to it at the top right hand side of this page. If you become a follower, I won't have to refer to it every time I publish a new piece of writing, although I will at first anyway for those of you who haven't caught on yet. What led to this was that the story I had published at Facebook was not accessible to you unless you were a member. You can now read it on the new blog.

I went to bed at 6:30 this morning and slept until 11 am. That is still not enough sleep, but it is better than no sleep at all. It does mean that I missed my creative class again, but I thought it was more important to catch up on my sleep. I feel pretty good now and like I'm fairly well awake. I'm still in my bathrobe and pajamas and I still have to walk the dog, but I will do that shortly, after I have had my second cup of coffee. The dog is sleeping by my feet, ready to go when I make the move.

I talked about all sorts of rubbish in my last post that I wrote during the night, but it may be worth reading it, so I won't have to repeat myself. Not that I never repeat myself, because I know I do. I don't have such a great memory when it comes to the finer details of life and I know I rehash things that I've already discussed, but I'm sure you'll excuse me for this habit.

We have a blue sky streaked with clouds and the sun is shining. We're not expecting any rain and it is 13C outside. It will be nice to walk the dog. It is actually good weather for the time of year, as it is supposed to get as warm as 16C today...

...It was nice out. I could have done without a jacket. At least not one as warm as the one I wore. I've gotten two books in the mail, so that was a nice surprise. They are ones I got in my own country, so they only cost me one point. They weren't on my wish list, but they are nice additions anyway. It isn't always possible to get the books on my wish list, because many people in the USA no longer send books outside their country. I've also stopped sending books outside Europe, with the odd exception if I can afford it. It's too expensive to ship books overseas and you go broke doing it. It does have to stay an enjoyable hobby.

Well, that's all I had to tell you really. Just some information about the new blog that I hope you will enjoy. I'm going to be busy keeping them all straight and updated. I'm going to read now and have something to eat. Feed the mind and the stomach.

Have a good day!

Ciao,
Nora

Getting it out of my system.


I wrote six sentences in Dutch and then translated them into English and just published them on the Six Sentences website. That was that piece of prose that was getting in the way of my thinking this afternoon when I was trying to write a post. I don't know why I had to write it in Dutch first, but it played in a Dutch rural setting, so maybe that is why. It is also not a bad thing for me to write in Dutch and to see if I can express myself to my liking in that language , which I do surprisingly well. Better than I think I'm capable of anyway. I think I'm going to keep doing this, write in Dutch and then translate into English and keep both versions. Maybe I can turn it into poetry some day for a poetry magazine.

I have walked the dog for the last time and am now in my pajamas and bathrobe. It is very cozy and nice to know that I won't have to go out again. I am already looking forward to going to bed at a decent hour with my book, which is The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble, and which I am enjoying more and more the further I am getting into it. There are many characters in it and that was a bit confusing at first, but now I'm getting them straight in my head and am getting all the relationships figured out. It is definitely a women's book, as many of my books are, because most of my book moochers are women, but there is a solitary man in there who is a repeat moocher. He has mooched four books so far.

It is in the middle on the night in the meantime, because I took some time out to eat and watch the news and, of course, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until a few hours later, sitting upright on the sofa with my head in my hand, which had gone to sleep also. So, needless to say, I am not ready to go to bed now and will stay up for a while.

I just watched Jesker eat cat food, but I was not about to give him more of his own food because he had his share for today. Strange dog, scrounging around in the kitchen looking for food instead of coming to me to ask for some. I would have given him a Bonzo bone if he had asked for it. Toby was sitting by the bowl looking absolutely flabbergasted, so I gave him some dried dog food, which he adores and which the dog ignores completely. I think I have very strange animals.

Some time ago I ordered business cards for myself that say "The Green Stone Woman" on them, so I can never change the name of my blog, just so you know or I would have to order new business cards. As a profession I have "writer." Someone asked me why I had not put down "artist" and I guess that had not even dawned on me, because I see myself as a writer first, but when I run out of business cards, in about ten years time, I will put down "writer and artist." I keep a little box of cards in my purse and try to remember to hand them out to the appropriate people. Often I forget I have them, though, and I have to make it a point to hand one out every day to whomever. Even if it is only the delivery man. I do have to get my name out there.

I have written another six sentences in between everything else. It's really funny, because I put it through the Alta Vista Babelfish translator to see what it comes up with and the translation is great! Of course, it's completely unpublishable and wrong, but it's so funny and interesting to read and it does give me ideas on how to translate some things. You wouldn't be able to make any sense of it unless you knew the original text, though.So don't count on Babelfish too much when you're translating into a language you don't know. It may come out all wrong at the other end.

I hurt my knee while grocery shopping the other day. I was carrying a very heavy shopping basket and letting it rest against my knee. I took a step with my leg stretched and pushed against the weight of the basket and heard something go pop. Since then I have a sore knee. I don't think it is anything serious, but it is amusing that you can get hurt while doing the grocery shopping, as if that is a hazardous occupation. Isn't there a condition called "housewife's knee?" I am sure they weren't talking about this kind of injury, though. That must be from scrubbing the floors, which I don't do. Or don't do enough of, I should say. My knobby knees don't allow it.

I've just remembered to take my medicines. I'm a little bit late with that and according to my inner clock, I'm really late. I don't know about you, but I'm having a bit of a hard time adjusting to that hour we gained by setting the clocks back. I keep being one hour ahead of myself. I'm going by what it looks like outside and not by what time it says on the clock, but even in the morning I'm ready too early and sit around waiting for it to be time to go to creative therapy, which is where I have to be in the morning and where I will be in not too many hours and I wonder if I will sleep before that time. I really should try, but I'm so wide awake. I will drink hot milk, that should do the trick.

Okay, without much further ado, although I could sit here forever yet, I will come to an ending. Where before I knew not what to write about, I know not how to shut up this time. I can rattle on for a long time. I do so enjoy a monologue in which I'm not interrupted and in which I can talk about whatever I please. People should always have that pleasure, but in real life I'm not like that at all. I'm a silent water that runs deep.

I hope you are all having a good night or whatever you are having in your time zone and a good morning to those of you who are reading this upon arising.

Ciao,
Nora

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Publishing.


I've published a story I wrote about 18 years ago on Facebook and have gotten excited responses to it. This is very encouraging and caused me to rewrite two poems as pieces of prose on the Six Sentences website and you can read those here and here. This has gotten me interested in writing more of these kinds of pieces and I'm hard at work to come up with more.

I've been sleeping erratically and have not had a normal night yet. I'm always up some part of the night, if not the whole night. Last night was a little bit better and I actually slept for 5 hours. The night before that I was up all night and functioned all day. I can't believe that I did, although I had a bit of a dip in the afternoon and didn't feel like getting the groceries that I ought to have gotten, so I only picked up a few things and will have the Exfactor do the rest today. Sometimes grocery shopping on my bike is more than I can handle and I gladly leave it to someone else to do.

I am done with my fourth painting and I am mildly pleased with it. I think maybe I need to add something to it and I will look at it again on Friday and see what that is. It has an unfinished feel to it and maybe that is why I only feel mildly pleased and didn't take a photo of it. Things don't always turn out the way you had planned, sometimes they need a little tweaking.

I've just taken a nap on the sofa and feel a bit better now. I was sitting in this chair like a limp dishrag. In the meantime, the Exfactor has come and done the groceries and I see that the store charged me more money for the dog food than I thought it was, but that must be because I buy the senior chunks and the price on the shelf must be for the regular chunks. It's a difference of 2 euros. That's very dear to me. He gets regular chunks from now on. It's expensive enough as it is. Man, why is good dog food so expensive? I don't want to feed him the junk dog food, yet you are almost forced to because of your budget. Anyway. I've got a lot of food in the house now, so I shouldn't have to go to the store soon. I hope not anyway. I can't afford it.

Now that I'm writing literary prose, I'm missing my inspiration to write a really good post. I sit here and try to think of something sensible to write and it just isn't happening. My head is busy doing totally different things. It is composing and becoming confused in the process, because I'm doing it in two languages, while I just need to do it in one. I must be a little bit addled because of lack of sleep.

Forgive me for writing such a short post, but I just can't think of a thing to add that's interesting. I hope I get out of the doldrums fast.

Have a good day, enjoy the weather if it's good. If not, be cozy inside.

Ciao,
Nora

Monday, October 26, 2009

The middle of the night.


After I wrote my last fascinating post, I was pretty tired and after I ate a bowl of pea soup, I went to to bed, even though it was only 8:30. I fell asleep pretty quickly while reading my book, The Reading Group, with my reading glasses still perched on my nose. That's how I woke up a little after midnight with the terrible urge to get up, which I did. I anticipated it to be much later, but much to my disgust it was not and needless to say, I turned on the computer, because that's what I always do when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Luckily, there were emails to answer and since then there have been more emails. Thank goodness that I know people on both sides of the ocean and even on the opposite side of the earth. There never needs to be a dull moment. Of course, I also know people who stay up in the middle of the night like I do and they are always good for an email or two. I am extremely fond of people like that and count them amongst my best friends.

I have run out of milk and fruit juice and now only have tea or coffee to drink and the coffee with artificial creamer, which I am not too fond of. I think I will drink tea, even though it's always either too hot or too cold to drink. Too cold, because I'm waiting for it to cool off and forget about it. Then I gulp it down and that was the end of that dubious pleasure.

With all the dawdling I'm doing, the night is going by quickly and the hour hand is moving towards the morning now. I have to keep myself amused for just a while longer and I don't think that will be any problem. I have some ideas for short stories for Six Sentences and I have to work those out. I also want to look at that map of poetry I was talking about. I think there are some stories in there that are longer, but may give me some more ideas. The whole map may be a source of inspiration, as it may waken some of those old feelings that I had back then and that were very unique to the moment. Maybe it is possible to rekindle some of that specialness.

There's not a lot of poetry in my life now, nor a need to describe my life in poetic terms. I don't feel that romantic about my life, not like I did back then. I don't walk around two feet hovering above the ground with my head in the clouds. I constantly try to stay grounded now and fear that writing poetry will cause me to become unstuck. But actually it would not be a bad idea to write in a simple poetic way about my life now, as long as I don't let too much sentiment seep in. It must be possible to write rational poetry that is grounded in real life and realistic, yet pleasant to read and surprising because of its word choices and sentence structure and brevity. Yet at the same time that makes me think that what I want to write then are very short pieces of prose. It's the structure and the rhythm that determines it, I suppose.

When you find yourself constantly in the state of being in love, but the object of your affliction is always just outside your reach, it makes you live with an unrealistic state of mind. One in which you are constantly bouncing from great happiness to great sadness and these extremes of emotions awaken all sorts of latent feelings inside of you, that look for expression and inspiration in the world around you. Everything you see that is of beauty attaches itself to your feelings and magnifies them to excruciating proportions, until your heart can barely contain them and you have to give expression to them in some way that you are capable of. A painter paints, a writer writes. Painfully so, as if she is crucified and constantly dying. It's a heightened state of mind that in the end is unsustainable and there will be a near death experience.

Anyway, that's how you stop writing poetry, because it scares you to do so. but I think I'm a little bit ready to try it again, though in a totally different manner. I'll pretend I'm writing prose and make it a poem afterwards, after the fact, because I'm not Robert Frost.

Have I given away enough of myself now? Or too much? Only God may know. I'm going in search of poetry now. I hope it is as interesting as I remember it to be.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. I will, because I have creative therapy, but then the groceries...oh no.

My other blog.

Ciao,
Nora

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One heck of a nap.


I took one heck of a nap this afternoon and when I woke up, I looked at the wrong clock (the one that I had not turned back one hour yet) and thought half the afternoon had passed, but then I looked at the alarm clock and saw that I had lots of time left. I still had to take my medicines and walk the dog and proceeded to do so. When I came back, I had myself a wonderful cup of coffee and proceeded to read all the blog posts that I had not gotten around to these past few days.

I must admit that I skipped some, as I would have still been sitting here reading them, and I did not leave comments everywhere, because I was not feeling that original all the time and sometimes 25 other people already had said the same thing I would have said. I also had quite a few emails to answer and I got that done as well as I could. You do find yourself repeating yourself at times and feel like you are writing the same story over and over again, so I try to give a new twist to every one. I really need to follow a course in creative writing. No, I'd be too lazy to do that and then I'd have to do it in Dutch and that is not the language I write in.

Some sentences for the beginning of a story in Dutch just entered my head and I went and wrote them down. I will add more as they come to me. It is possible that I'm capable of writing in Dutch also. But I must not let it preoccupy my mind. The sentences must come naturally, as if by themselves. It doesn't matter how long it takes. The story will grow of its own accord.


It’s funny, sometimes phrases enter my head and they are like bits of poetry and I don’t know what they want to be, a poem or a short story. I’ve written lots of poetry in the past, but I think most of it was only somewhat good, if middle of the mote at best. You have a tendency to be really impressed with what you’ve written, until you read it again some years later and wiser and see the folly of it. I think I like writing Six Sentences, because that is just as far as my imagination carries me on a sustainable level. I don’t know if I could keep that up for a longer story. Maybe I can write a poetic short story and boil it down to six sentences and translate it into English. That would get me off the hook. What a solution.


I’ve got a whole map of poetry that I wrote 16, 17 years ago. It would be interesting to look through it now and see if anything could be done with any of the poems. If they could be reworked into short stories. Some of the ideas behind them are okay, but the expressiveness of them is kind of naive and faltering. I have no formal training in this kind of writing and the only help I had was a book on writing poetry that I barely glanced through, thinking I didn’t need it, being so sure of myself. Cocky is the word.


My mind was definitely in a different state then, I lived for the written word and was constantly one with nature all around me. I had to take only a few paces out of the house and I was in the forest with the trees and the creatures that lived there. I saw the raindrops on the leaves and the mist creep through the trees and heard the deer walk through the dried leaves on the forest floor. That’s where I was The Green Stone Woman and I never felt more emancipated as a living being, not as a woman, but as a living being, a creature on this earth and of this earth. I became somebody else there.


Looking back now, it was a very valuable time in my life, even though it was not an easy time. It allowed me to cut ties that bound me to my past. I hold the memories like treasures in my heart and hope to go back there some day again, although I doubt it will happen. It’s a magical place and maybe it is best if it only exists in my memory.


Well, so much serious pondering. I must end on a less serious note. I will tell you that I have to take out the trash. How is that for a bit of realism? It is my least favorite job and I often forget to do it and skip a week. That’s really no big deal, because all the trash is in plastic bags and I don’t have to worry about an overflowing bin.


Now I’m going to eat pea soup and watch some television. It will be a great way to unwind from this day and go to bed early. There’s nothing better than being tired and looking forward to going to a clean bed in clean pajamas with a good book.


Have yourself a good evening. I have creative therapy tomorrow morning. Hurray!


Ciao,

Nora








On a lazy morning.


Well, after I wrote my very interesting last post about going in search of Blogger templates, I did just that and found several websites that had free templates that you could install, but it all turned out to be a popcorn fart and in the end, I almost lost my complete blog and had to do some tricky things to get it back and then go to the original templates that Blogger offers themselves and customize one of them and what you see is the result. At least it's a change and it's something different for a while until I change my mind again, and I don't want to hear any complaints about it. You'll just have to adapt to the change along with me and humor me in my fickleness. I am, after all, a woman who is allowed to change her mind repeatedly. I thrive on change when it comes to my blog. Not in real life, I like everything the same there, very predictable, but in my blog I allow myself to make changes.

The clocks did get turned back one hour, because my radio controlled alarm clock woke me at 7 am this morning, when the other clocks and my watch said it was 8 am. So, I guess all of Europe has turned the clocks back this weekend. At least western Europe has, most likely.

I was immediately wide awake when the alarm clock went off. I jumped out of bed and sped into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. It was as if I was a woman with a mission. The only one I have right now is to go walk the dog who just ate his breakfast, so I better go do that right away...

It is 10 degrees and cloudy and windy outside (50 degrees F.). Real Autumn weather. The leaves are changing rapidly and covering all the sidewalks and parking spaces. Soon enough the trees will be bare and we will all be longing for spring instead of winter. That will be that awful cold season that we have to get through and I sure hope that Mother Nature will be kind to us and make it a mild winter and not one in which I am going to freeze my buns off with snow and ice. I'll never forget trying to ride my bike in the snow and slipping all over the place as I got caught in tracks made by car tires that had made icy spots. It was no fun whatsoever. Especially if you're not so young and agile any longer.

Thank goodness for warm leggings that you can wear underneath your skirt and look decent in. They are keeping me warm. And so are the scarves that I'm continually wearing. They've taken the place of the necklaces I normally wear and are keeping me nice and warm.

I am fortunate enough to have one pair of boots that I've had for ages and I'm wearing those now. They were expensive and I bought them when I still lived in California. They are in good shape and I guess it means that it pays off to invest some money in a good pair of boots and not buy the cheaper kind. I have to go look around in some shoe stores to get an idea of the price of boots and I'm purposely not going to look in the cheap stores. I have to buy real leather boots with good soles and solid heels. Not high ones either. I will just start walking funky if I get those. I'm not going to bother to take the other boots to the shoemaker. I think they are not worth it and within the shortest amount of time I will have the same problem again. They are not real leather and weren't very expensive, so it will probably cost more than I paid for them to repair them. I suppose you could say that in the end they weren't a very good buy. That teaches me a lesson about going for the cheap article. It doesn't always work out well.

Is there anything more delicious that a freshly made cup of coffee? I just made one after putting it off for 45 minutes, because I was to busy doing other things, but it sure tastes great. I do love the flavor of coffee. I don't remember when I started drinking it, but in my memory it seems like it has been forever. Those cookies that were so hard to eat that the café on the square served, are biscotti and you are supposed to dunk those in your coffee to make them edible. If you try to eat them without doing that, you'll break a tooth. I dunked my biscotti in my cappuccino on Friday and it worked well. Within seconds I had a soft cookie to eat. If I had waited any longer, it would have fallen apart in my cup. I heard about this from someone else when I complained about the hard cookie I was served.

I just googled Italian cookies and came upon all sorts and they sure made me hungry for some. They have some cookies that look like the kind we have over here too and I'm sure they are very similar in taste. The Netherlands is the land of cookies as well and you can buy many kinds in the store. My favorites are the kinds that are made with real butter and almonds and dark chocolate, not necessarily in that combination. Another thing we are big in is candy and a town of any size has at least one candy store where there are bins of candy with scoops so that you can fill your bag yourself and have it weighed at the counter. And then there are always the bonbon shops where you can pick out handmade bonbons per piece and have them put in an attractive box. Secretly, that is my favorite shop. If you're ever a guest at my house, don't bring me flowers, bring me bonbons. I'll eat them all myself, no sharing!

I'm dubious about cleaning house today. It really is a day off, since it's Sunday, and I should take advantage of that and read blogs and my books. I'm almost done with The God Squad and I will get the chance to finish the other book I already started. The one about the reading group. I must finish it before I go on to the next one, so I do have a mission to accomplish. No doubt I'll take a nap, because I didn't sleep long enough last night. I think I will make this a day of rest and relaxation. The first thing I'm going to do now is eat, because I'm hungry after talking about all those delicious treats.

Have a great day. The sun's come out momentarily. What a thrill!

Ciao,
Nora

Wiling away the hours...


After I wrote that long post about cleaning the apartment, I took one heck of a long comatose nap on the sofa. I was out cold and didn't hear the alarm clock go off at 6 pm and slept right through it. Didn't take my medicines until I woke up at 8:30. Then I was truly awake, although Jesker had tried to wake me up a few times before that, but I had only in a very grumpy way been aware of that. He kept pulling my arm off the sofa and pushing against it and I kept pulling it back in. I finally tucked it under my body so he couldn't get to it, but he did complain. Just think of that, he was trying to get me to stand up the best way he knew how and I was completely ignoring him. How frustrating that must have been to him. To his great indignity, there were two cats lying on top of me and he can't have liked that very well. The poor critter. Well, I'm not always is my right mind, especially not when I'm stupefied by sleep.

At least I have a semi clean apartment that makes me feel somewhat happy and hopeful that I will get the rest done tomorrow. I completely pooped out after dusting my bedroom. It was like somebody let all the air out and deflated me. I couldn't have pushed that vacuum cleaner around if you had paid me for it. At least it will give me something to do tomorrow, because I'm not nearly done yet. There's the whole bathroom left to clean, which is alway my least favorite job and the one I do last, because I find it so disgusting. All those germs! They are my germs, but still. I'm always very suspicious of the toilet bowl and hate cleaning it. Yuck!

So, it's going to be a late nighter. I have settled myself behind the computer and I'm ready to see if tonight is the night that the clocks need to be moved back. I haven't watched the news and don't know if they are supposed to, but I figure that I'll see it on the computer clock at 2 am. I'll probably still be up at that time. My alarm clock is radio controlled and checks its correct time every hour, so it will also tell me what time it is exactly. In England the clocks are being moved back. I have that from a good source named Maggie May from Nuts in May. She's a reliable English grandmother and if you can't believe them, who can you believe?

The thing I don't like about turning back the clocks is that it will get dark so early in the evenings. Actually, it will still be afternoon when it gets dark. I do so dislike that, because It makes the days seem so short, although the good part is that it will be light earlier in the morning and that is good. It's no good going out in the dark in the morning when you feel you ought to still be in bed. So, I guess it has its pros and cons, but enough sunlight is an important ingredient to someone's mood and attitude. The Scandinavians get depressed during their long dark winters and escape to Minorca. So do many Dutch people, as a matter of fact. I think all retired people escape to Spain and get a tan.

Jesker has given up on me and has gone to the bedroom to sleep. He did give me a long glance over his shoulder as he left, but then continued on to his pillow beside my bed. The cats are lying on my bed also. They are creatures of habit. Even when I'm not. They just go ahead and desert me. It's very unfaithful of them.

I've just spent some time on the Pixdaus website downloading photos that I use at the top of my posts. I pick out the ones that I like and cut them down to the right size in Paintshop Pro.I do this every few weeks to get new photos and there are always oodles of new pages of them to choose from. I have to look through quite a few of them to find what I like, because some of them are not to my taste. Some of them are too cute, with animals doing adorable things or quaint landscapes that are too predictable. After a while, you can't see the forest for the trees and that's when you have to stop looking. You start thinking that everything is good or that everything is bad.

I find my wallpaper there too and frequently change it. I also find it at Foxsaver that comes with Mozilla Firefox. I like to change my wallpaper and go for a new look and have something interesting to look at when I start up the computer, or when I have it at rest. I have wallpaper for every kind of mood and find new ones all the time. I like change and would do more if I could. I like changing my blog template, but I'm always afraid of upsetting my readers. If it were up to me, I'd change it once a week. I wish Blogger had more templates to choose from. Come to think of it, I think there is a website where you can get them. I'll have to look into that.

Jesker has come back and is lying by my feet now. I guess he got a bit lonely. It can't be very comfortable lying on the hard floor, though. The cats are in the kitchen eating. It's a coming and going of animals. It's like a train station with a fast food restaurant.

Well, I'm off to find those Blogger templates and if I don't find those, there are blogs I have to read. I'm awfully behind in that. I'm so self centered, I only write posts and don't read any of the others.

Have a good night, if you're not asleep already.

My other blog.

Ciao,
Nora

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Up again already...


After I wrote my smashing middle of the night post, I finally went to bed only to be awakened by the enthusiastic beeping of the alarm clock at 7 am. I couldn't believe it was doing that and took a whole minute before I shut if off. I got up out of habit and made myself a cup of coffee and turned the computer on, still somewhat sleepy headed and yawning. Luckily, there were some emails I could answer to help wake me up and take away that "help, I 'm not quite there" feeling. It took me forever to answer a few of them, proving again that nearly four hours of sleep is not sufficient to function on. Yet now, with my second cup of coffee, that's exactly what I'm doing while I'm listening to my music at Deezer at the same time. I imagine the music to be waking up my brain, although the tempo of this album may be too slow for that.

It's wonderful Saturday again, although what is so wonderful about it I don't know, because I have to clean house. I haven't done a bloody thing all week and now I must catch up on all the things I neglected to do. My heart is making little leaps of joy, ha ha, but not really. The only things I'm looking forward too is hanging up the clean laundry to dry and putting clean sheets on my bed. The rest I will do grudgingly, but stoically. Of course, at the rate I'm going now, not much is getting done. Even Jesker is just lying around doing nothing.

I tell you what, I will get the show on the road and continue this in a while...


...I've done three chores. I've walked the dog, stripped my bed, hung up the laundry to dry and put the dirty sheets in the washing machine. Well, that's actually four, if you want to get real technical about it. Next I'll make the bed with clean sheets and do the dishes and sweep the kitchen floor. I'll take a break every time I do three chores, it's back to the old system that worked so well. Before, I was lucky if I got one chore done. That was a major assault to my system and I could hardly handle it. I felt exhausted and defeated before I began, but since Wednesday that has changed and I'm back in my old mood again. I think I was a bit depressed there for a while.

I'm wearing some super comfortable clothes and I'm not overly concerned with fashion today. I wanted to be warm and practically dressed. I'm so used to wearing my glasses now, that it's uncomfortable not to wear them and I just had to go and get them and put them on immediately when I started to type this. Nobody remarks on them, leading me to believe that it makes absolutely no difference if I wear them or not. Nobody does as much as a double take. There goes all my vanity out the window. My 300 Euros titanium pair of glasses are the best I have to wear and all those other ones I had and traded in were the wrong choices. That's why I never liked wearing them. I never should have listened to the Exfactor and trusted my own taste. I got those titanium glasses for 10 Euros, by the way, by being among the first customers of the day on a special day. I think it was an anniversary of the store or something like that. It was my lucky day, because I had picked out a cheap pair of glasses that I would have been allergic to. Nickel allergy.

Well, on to the next set of three chores...


...Okay, I have done those. It feels real good to accomplish what you promised yourself you would do and a little extra, I also wiped down the stove, although I never use it. Still, the cats walk on it and leave paw prints and hair on it. I tell you, it's the animals who cause me to have most of the work here. When I sweep the kitchen floor, it is hair and grit I sweep up that's from them, not from me.

The next three chores will be to dust the living room and to vacuum it and to water the plants . Now I'm having a glass of juice and a cigarette. I'm still listening to music and I find that it's helping me clean house better. It moves me along. Where before I liked silence, now I like a bit of noise. I've got all sorts of play lists at Deezer, so I've got all sorts of music to choose from.Some of the bands I have are a little obscure even to me and I wonder why I picked them at the time, but I must have liked them then. Now I've got 'Groundation' with some good Reggae. That will be fun to clean house to, except when I have to vacuum, of course. I'll have to do it quickly. I forgot one more chore. I'll also have to walk the dog. The Super Pooper...


...I lost my connection and had to reset my modem. That happens every once in a while and I have to unplug some cables for about five minutes and then plug them in again. Usually that does the trick. It was very frustrating when it first happened and I had to call the help desk, but now that I know what the problem is, it is easily solved. I have done my three chores and the next ones will be to dust my bedroom and vacuum it and the hallway. Since those are such little chores, I'm going to vacuum the junk room as well. Oops, I can't believe I said that. Now I've committed myself, haven't I? I've walked the dog, who is refusing to eat, so I've put his food in the refrigerator out of reach of the cats. Okay, off I go...


...Oh, what the heck, I've dusted the bedroom and I've run out of steam. I don't want to do any more chores. I'll do the rest tomorrow. I've just eaten almost a whole bowl of bean soup and I feel disgustingly full, as in, is it going to stay down? There is great doubt. I should have stopped eating before I did, but I am so used to finishing what's on my plate, or in my bowl in this case. I am going to take a nap now. It's been fun keeping you up to date on what I was doing, but I realize that it was a totally senseless thing to do. But there you have it! I am now one fatigued woman.

Ciao,
Nora.

Well past midnight...


I'm sitting here so merrily in the half dark with my glass of juice and my cigarettes and my snoring dog, who doesn't have a good way to let me know that his water bowl is empty, so I don't know what he wants and do a guessing game, until I notice it myself and refill it. I must remember to include this in the possible reasons why Jesker is trying to get my attention. I normally fill it up every day, but it slipped my mind today and the bowl was dry.

Now, if he were a smart dog, I would expect him to pick up his bowl and bring it to me, or at least to go sit next to it and bark beside it, but he does no such thing. He just comes to me and complains in a general sense, that could mean anything and I am preoccupied and think he needs to go out back or that he wants to be petted. Which is fine with him too, but that is not his final goal. So he keeps on fussing and I keep guessing. It's just like having a toddler, except that Jesker doesn't throw a temper tantrum. I guess I'll take the dog then.

Jesker doesn't eat his dried dog food, the cats do that. Today I watched the cats eat the dog food and the dog eat the cat food. I quickly put an end to some of that by feeding Jesker a pouch of his food, but I can't stop the cats from eating the dog food. They eat it with the greatest appetite, preferring it over their own food, and they have their eyes closed in satisfaction as they eat it. They are just an inch short of purring over it. I guess I don't have to worry about the cats having a good life here. They're just plain old scavengers, but they're not getting the smallest chance to eat the dog food from the pouches. Jesker likes it so much, that he doesn't leave it unguarded for one second.

Anyway, enough about the animals already.

I had a great old relaxing time at creative therapy and made great headway with my painting. As a matter of fact, almost every detail is painted and I just have to give some things a second layer. Painting, and being in that space, does wonders for my mood, and it always gets me in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. As I sit there and paint, I listen to what happens around me and make the odd comment, but mostly I just sit and work and keep silent. That way I get to enjoy all the conversations and all the silliness that goes on and I can participate when and if I want to. I think I have to arrange for my sister to come and pick up the paintings next week, because I'll have four of them ready and it's time to take them home.

When I got home at 12:30, the Exfactor was there and he had already walked the dog, so that was very convenient for me. I think he enjoys doing that for old time's sake. Jesker did come and greet me when I came home, but you can tell that he thinks it is mighty interesting that the Exfactor is here. He is torn between the two of us and doesn't know which one of us to sit beside, although he gets the most attention from me. The Exfactor is not really that much of a dog person. They require too much attention. He likes cats better and their independent spirits. I like bonding with dogs.

After he left, I got ready to go out and I had to make sure my purse was stocked with all the things I needed, wallet, bankcard, mobile phone, keys, you name it. I went to the pharmacy first to pick up a three month supply of mood stabilizers, and then I rode my bike downtown and parked it beside the Our Dear Lady Basilica and walked across the square and down the little cobblestoned street to Specsavers.

They got my information out and could see which lenses I need for my glasses and because one of them is so strong, with the big astigmatism, they have to be special ordered from the factory. That should take about a week and they will call me when they arrive. Then I will go in with my glasses and they will fit in the new lenses while I wait. The man did not want me to go without my glasses that whole week because of my astigmatism. Needless to say, I didn't tell him that I did without them a lot. I left him to believe that I was a faithful glasses wearer, which I will be from now on. He only charged me half the price for the new lenses, because he felt it was such a shame that I lost my glasses after I had not even had them for a year. I thought that was very decent of him. Specsavers gives me a good deal every time I go in.

After that, I walked back to the square and sat on the terrace and had a cappuccino and was immediately recognized by the waiter who wanted to know where my friend was, whom he assumed was my younger sister. I helped him out of that mistaken illusion and told him she had a date, which she did. It was a bit chilly out and the trees are losing their leaves, but it will still be possible to sit under the awning where they have overhead heating. I drank my cappuccino and watched the people walk by and relaxed for a while. You see all types walk by and I especially watch the women and what they wear and I see that I have to invest in some new boots, because my old ones just won't do anymore. I also saw what sort of winter coats women wore and there were some really nice ones, so I have to give that some consideration too. In a town like Maastricht, you have to be well dressed. But for the money, you know?

I rode my bike back home reluctantly, not going shopping at my favorite store, because that would have been unwise, and I got home just in time to have something to eat and have a little nap. I walked the dog and put on my pajamas and watched the news, but fell asleep watching it and laid spread out over the sofa like a comatose person, until Jesker woke me up. That's when I had to start guessing what he wanted. In my semi sleep condition, I couldn't figure it out right away.

If I'm smart with my groceries, I won't have to go shopping until Monday.That means I really have to make things last and be a frugal consumer. I should be able to do that and make it through the weekend. That means I have to eat soup for two meals. I have pea soup and bean soup. That sounds good, doesn't it?

Now, without much further ado, I will go and read blogs. I have been neglecting to do that. I've been too caught up in my own life, how very odd.

Have a nice night and a beautiful morning, wherever you are.

Ciao,
Nora

Friday, October 23, 2009

A quickie...


I have no time to sit here and write this, so why in the world am I? Well, I do have some time to kill and I can never let an opportunity go by without at least attempting to write a post. I do have that much ambition, even if I do have to move quickly and barely give a thought to what I'm writing down and do no daydreaming whatsoever. I'll just have to forgo that pleasure.

I have just made my second cup of very strong coffee and it's puckering my mouth before I've even tasted any yet. I've just opened a new bag of coffee pads and the good smell of it was almost more than I could handle. I wanted to push my whole face into that bag. I can actually do that, because there's nobody here to observe me. I should make a note to myself to go ahead and do those kind of things.

Someone has eaten all of Jesker's dried food, but I don't know if it was Jesker himself or if it was the cats. I would like to believe it was Jesker and that he really liked it and that he enjoyed eating it and that it means that I picked the right kind and that it is not money wasted on another bag of dog food. Jesker has been known to have secret eating habits in the middle of the night when I'm not looking. He thinks I won't know that he likes something if I'm not there watching him eat it. I know he wasn't begging for a treat this morning, so maybe that explains why. That silly animal!

I fell asleep on the sofa again last night and when I woke up, I quite drunkenly took my medicines and made it to my bed, where I fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow. I don't even remember falling asleep, that's how out of it I was. I always wake up very sweaty and I wonder if these are signs of menopause or if I just naturally sweat a lot at night. It's not something I remember doing in the past. I think I'm kind of old to be going through the menopause, but I could be wrong and if this is the worst of it, then that is okay by me. It does mean that I have to change my pajamas and the sheets more often, but I do have those in supply. Oh, that sounds like another fun thing to buy at Ikea. A new duvet cover and pillow cases for my bed. Mmm...!

I better pay the bills first. Every day there's no mail in the mailbox is a good day. I like it when there's absolutely nothing in there, not even a brochure of some company advertising their low rates on some product. I do like it when there's a package with a book from Bookmooch. That's always an exciting moment. Which book will it be? I'm still expecting seven of them, so my life will still be full of surprises. At least those of the kindhearted sort. The other ones I don't care for.

My clothes didn't get here yesterday. When it was almost 6 pm, I decided to look on the website at my order and see if there was a phone number I could call. To my surprise I saw that my order had been canceled. I know why that is. The Exfactor is still registered at this address with an account and they probably thought I was trying to pull a fast one on them by opening my own account. I emailed their service department and hope to hear from them within two days. That's cheaper than calling the service number for which you always have to pay a phenomenal amount of money. I do have all the time in the world to get this figured out.

As I write this, I'm wearing my stunning, intellectually looking glasses. They, beside my bathrobe, are the first thing I put on this morning. They do help me see better behind the computer, although that's not the case with my glasses that are at the correct strength. At least, I seem to remember that I had to take them off when I sat behind the computer, because there was so much correction in the right eye. Well, anyway, I didn't wear them when I sat behind the computer, but these help me. And you know what? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am the beholder.

Well, that's all I'm going to write this morning, because now I have to get ready. Have yourself a wonderful day and I will do the same.

Ciao,
Nora

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On the halfway there.


Well, I slept on the sofa half of the night, because that is where I conked out in front of the TV in my pajamas and bathrobe, but I did, at one point, have enough sense to make it to my bed, where I slept much more comfortably, until I was done with that at some early hour of the morning. I don't quite remember when I got up, but it was before the alarm clock went off and the animals followed me hoping for I know not what, but they are always so full of expectations, giving me a great sense of responsibility and a huge guilt feeling, because I don't know what they want, except for all sorts of things that I'm not going to give them, like lunch meat and cookies.

So, I sit with my cup of coffee and my cigarettes and have these animals staring at me from their different positions and I feel as though they're trying to hypnotize me into doing something against my will. Toby is especially good at it and sits and looks at me quite motionless for a long time while I try to ignore him. I finally get up and pour fresh milk in his dish and sometimes that's what he wants, but not always. It's a guessing game.

The worst culprit, though, is Jesker, who after pondering on it for some time, decides to come and bother me for some unknown thing that I have to try and figure out. After yipping and yapping at me for a while, he decides he needs to go out back, where is does a minuscule piddle and for which he wants to be rewarded. That is after I have petted him extensively, because I'm supposed to do that too, although it is not always very clear, I wish he would just tell me what's on his mind, it would make it so much easier. Of course, that's what he's trying to do.

I got all my Bookmooch packages ready to be mailed and went to the supermarket, along with ten cans of dog food and the cash register receipt. I turned those in at the customer service desk and got my money back without a problem. Then I went to the little post office to mail the books that were going all over the world and I just about had a heart attack at the amount of money it cost me to send them, but these are the last ones and I have no further requests. If they do come, they'll come trickling in from this point forward and I'll have enough points now to mooch more books. It's because I was a new member with a new collection of books that I got so many requests all at once. I spread them out over a couple of months.

I went to the dog food aisle and bought Jesker some senior dog food in pouches, of which he will get one a day, and I bought him some new dried dog food for senior dogs that I hope he will like, because he's not eating what I have now. He's such a finicky dog and we have such food issues. It's like trying to get a little kid to eat what's on his plate.

When I came home, I took away the old food and gave him the contents of one pouch on a clean dish and he liked it very much and is now very contentedly sleeping. If he eats well, he is always very pleased and has a big sleep and is as happy as a pig in a pen. He just oozes happiness from his whole being. He lies there in a big puddle of satisfaction. My effort is to achieve this with the least amount of nutritious food.

I can't find my glasses anywhere. I looked for them this morning before I went out, but all I found were two pairs of reading glasses and two pairs of sunglasses. I have to go look around some more in a little while. I saw them not too long ago, but I don't remember where that was. They are not in their case, which would be the most obvious place for them. I hope they are covered by my insurance, because they would be expensive to replace. All I can think is, that I was wearing them and without thinking took them off and put them down some place, but it could have been anywhere...

...I just spent half an hour looking for my glasses again and I can't find them anywhere. I did find my old glasses that are not quite the right strength, but I'm wearing them and they are better than nothing at all and I quite like the way they look. They were expensive glasses too, because they are made from titanium (anti-allergy). I don't rightly know why I ever switched frames, except that the Exfactor said he didn't like them anymore, but this was during the time that he was falling in love with someone else, so now, in hindsight, I know he wouldn't have liked me in any kind of frames. So, since my new glasses seem to have disappeared, I will get new lenses for the titanium frames and I will be all set. I did call my insurance broker to see if I can claim my lost glasses and he is going to call me back and let me know if there is a way in my policy that I can do that. In other words, we're going to bend the rules a bit.

I'm glad I found the old glasses, because when I put them on and I looked in the mirror, I immediately liked them better than the new glasses and didn't feel that dislike about them that I had about the new ones. They are also very lightweight and I hardly notice that I'm wearing them. So you see, happiness hides in a little corner.

In the meantime, I've forgotten to walk Jesker before noon and I can't walk him now because I'm waiting for the delivery of those clothes. Jesker keeps looking at me and he knows that I'm supposed to take him for a walk, but he'll have to go out back for now. That's not much of a treat for him, but it will have to do.

I'm not wearing my shit kicking boots. I'm wearing my flat soled boots of which I glued one sole and I see I still have to glue the other sole. I'll have to do that tonight so it will be dry in the morning. One heel of the shit kicking boots is worn away unevenly and I can't walk on them anymore until I get it fixed. I'm going to twist my ankle if I keep walking on them. That's what you get if one leg is longer than the other. If you're a cripple!

Well, that's all I'm going to share with you for now. I think I will go do some laundry. That ought to keep me out of trouble.

Have a nice day!

My other blog.

Ciao,
Nora

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday evening.


I took a two hour nap this afternoon and when I woke up, my short hair was in as good a shape as when I lied down two hours earlier. That's the benefit of having super short hair, it does not get messed up, which leads be to believe that it wasn't cut properly the last time I went to the hairdresser and it was supposedly cut short, but not short enough and I, with my eagle eyes, did not spot that, but from now on I will be alert to it and always make sure that it's cut to half an inch in the back and on the sides and even shorter in my neck and around my ears.

Tomorrow morning I have to go to the little post office in the supermarket and mail some packages, and I'm going to bring back the cans of dog food that I still have and buy something different for Jesker to eat. Something smaller and more nutritious, that's still flavorful and meaty. I want to do that, because I want him to get the bulk of his nutrition from his dried food, although it's going to be a bit of a stand off between the two of us. He will want to hold out for canned food and I will offer him dried food after he has had his small meaty meal. He won't know I'm doing it for his own good, but he'll have to get used to it.

I also have to go to the pharmacy to pick up my very important mood stabilizer, because I'm almost out of that one. I'm using Topamax, which was developed for epilepsy and migraines, but which is used successfully for bipolar disorder. It is the one medication that has helped me the most. It has made all the difference in how low and how high I get and has really evened me out, as far as that is possible. I still have my ups and downs, but they are nothing compared to what they used to be. I recommend this medication to anyone for whom Lithium hasn't worked. Oh, I'm not a professional. I don't think I'm supposed to make recommendations.

I have to be home all afternoon, because that's when I expect delivery of my new clothes that I ordered. They get here some time between noon and 6 pm, so that is a long wait. I'll have to get my errands done in the morning and walk Jesker before noon. Not that it's a problem. I should be able to get the show on the road on time. I just don't know when the little post office opens, so I'll have to call about that. There's a sign hanging up there with the opening times, but because I'm never wear my glasses, I can't read it, which makes me think I should wear my glasses, because today my right eye was acting funky and I noticed that I was not seeing well with it. Well, it is -3, so what can you expect? It's only vanity that prevents me from wearing my glasses, isn't that shallow of me? And nobody ever notices when I'm wearing them. I'll put them on tomorrow.

Tell me which one of you wears glasses and would rather not, but does it anyway because they see better with them? Help me get over my complex!

Well, it's time to go to bed. I'll put my pajamas on and have something to eat and then snuggle under the duvet with my book. Getting my pajamas on is always the best part. It means I;m officially out of function for the day, although I'm a little bit late with it tonight.

Sleep tight, have a good night.

Ciao,
Nora

Out of the blue...


I was at my Wednesday morning creative therapy class and had a hunkering to paint a canvas there as well, but I didn't know if it was possible, because it is in a different room with a different therapist than the Monday and Friday one, and I had never seen anyone there work on a canvas, but I asked the question anyway and the therapist said she would look if she could track one down for me. A while later, she came back with the same size canvas that I work on in the other creative space, so I was mighty happy and proceeded to draw the picture I had drawn at home of the cow beneath the starstruck sky in the meadow with the pond and the fish in it. So, just out of the blue I was doing that painting and I've already started to paint the sky and the weeds in the pond. I had a mighty fine time and I was very impatient for the coffee break to be over, and the morning went by to quickly as usual.

Then, as I was riding my bike home, I decided to go and get my hair cut decently and rode my bike to the hairdresser where you don't need to make an appointment and had my hair washed and cut and blow dried for the low price of 15 Euros. It was a complete spur of the moment thing and I needed to get it done, because my own cut was not that terrific. I had the woman cut it real short on the sides and in the back and nothing from the top where it is already short enough. She put some gel in my hair for a spunky look and I felt like a million bucks when I walked out of there.

To top it all of, I opened a charge account on line with a store I like and ordered a skimpy dress and a funky cardigan and they will be delivered tomorrow. I suddenly felt like indulging myself and thought it was about time that I did something nice for myself. So, there's a new painting, a new haircut, and new clothes, and to celebrate it all, I'm going to have a nice cup of coffee and some cookies that the Exfactor brought with him when he was here the other day. No, I don't know why he always brings me cookies, unless he just wants to make me happy, because I don't buy them for myself. Perhaps he likes to see me round and chunky.

The woman at the hairdresser kept saying to me, "You have to sit up straight, Ma'am." I kept leaning over to the left, which I think I haven't done in a while. It's a puzzlement why I did it today. Maybe I do it lots of times and just don't realize it.

Now, from all the excitement, I have to go lie down on the sofa and rest my eyes for a while. I am suddenly very tired.

Have a good rest of the day!

Ciao,
Nora

When up early...


I think I did so much sleeping yesterday, that I'm all caught up and that finds me up at this early hour, having had to go to the bathroom and then realizing that I was all done sleeping for the night. Needless to say, all the animals came into action with me. The cats, who were so very cozily sleeping on my bed with me, and Jesker, who was asleep on his pillow beside me. Jesker wanted a bit of airing out back and a bone as a reward for that, and has now gone back to sleep on his blanket under the coffee table. The cats wanted fresh milk from the refrigerator and are now both sitting in the kitchen hoping something interesting will happen.

I've been giving Jesker dried food as his second meal, because he was gaining weight on all the canned stuff, and Toby decided that it was for him and started munching away at it every day. Yesterday there was a stand off between Jesker and Toby, with each one defending his right to the bowl and neither one of them willing to give an inch, Both of them had their nose over the bowl and Jesker was growling ferociously, but Toby didn't move and hit Jesker across the nose with his paw. Jesker didn't move either and kept growling, so I ran interference and removed Toby from the bowl, so Jesker could eat, which he did as quickly as he could with Toby watching from a little distance. As soon as Jesker had his fill, Toby was back at the bowl getting his last share of it. That Toby has guts and is not the least bit intimidated by Jesker's dangerous sounding growling.

You see how Gandhi plays no role in this whatsoever. She doesn't get mixed up in shenanigans like this. Gandhi knows her place in the hierarchy and would never let it get to a showdown with Jesker. That's why he likes her so much better and tolerates her so well.

I've just made my second cup of coffee and some new cigarettes. It's very quiet here and all I hear is the sound of the computer and Jesker's gentle snore. I've read that Cocker Spaniels on the average get to be about twelve years old and that's how old Jesker is now. He was twelve in May. I hope he beats the odds and gets much older. He's overweight and has osteoarthritis. He's almost deaf and doesn't see well with one eye. I'll have to do something about the weight. If I can get him to eat more dried food, it will be better for him. He didn't like to eat it, but that turned out to be because of an infected tooth. Now that it's been fixed, he seems to like the dried food better. I'm also going to cut his treats by halves, I think he's getting too many of them. Let's face it, I spoil that dog and maybe to the detriment of his health. I have to seriously look into his food and nutrition and pay more attention to what is good for him and not to what he wants, regardless of his appetite.

In the meantime, I'm taking forever to write this, as I keep being distracted by my own thoughts and I realize how often that happens. I write something down and this starts a train of thought going in my head and before you know it, I'm lost in a reverie and far away from here, which is the same thing that happened to me when I was a kid in school and forgot to pay attention. It doesn't matter that it happens now, because I've got all the time in the world, but it was a problem back then. There was always some remark about it on my report card, as if my parents could do anything about it. (Does not pay attention!) I was too busy daydreaming.

Now my mind wanders left and right, back and forth. I hop from one subject to the next and somehow they are all connected. It's amazing how much of your life takes place in your own head with unspoken thoughts and words that you don't share with anyone.

Well, another thought that crosses my mind is, that when I do woodworking, I have to wear practical clothes. I can't be all prettied up in a mini skirt and a scarf around my neck. I'll have to wear jeans and a practical shirt, so I have to delve in my closet and find woodworking clothes. I hope I have a pair of jeans that fit me and that don't fall off when I stand up straight, like the last pair did that I wore. It will be fun to try to find them. It will give me a chance to eliminate some clothes from my closet. Oh yes, I do have belts if it comes down to that, but they are such a hassle it you suddenly have to go to the toilet, as happens so often in my case. The incredible suddenness of having to go to the toilet! Near misses! The brain is not registering the upcoming event ahead of time.

Well, as they say, all madness on a stick, but now I have to end this epistle, because Jesker needs my attention. He wants to be petted and I can't type with one hand. I'll see if he wants to eat as well. Oh, how appropriate.

Have a terrific day, everyone.

Ciao,
Nora