Monday, May 31, 2010


Much to my surprise, I find myself awake in the wee hours of the morning and not at all sound asleep in bed. It is not a disaster, because I had emails to answer, so I've spent my time usefully and enjoyably with a cup of coffee. I had hoped to sleep longer, but after I had gone to the toilet, my head decided it wanted to stay up and do exciting things. My body agreed. You see how they are autonomic entities that function independently of me, as if they have their own will. Where do I come into the picture?

Assuming I was doing Tyke a favor, I put Jesker's old pillow underneath my desk, where Tyke often sleeps, but he would have none of it and rejected it completely. He was waiting for me to take it away before he would lie down there. So I took it away and put it down on the floor against the wall behind me, and now Tyke is lying underneath the desk on top of my feet. I really don't think he likes that pillow and I wonder if I have to buy a new one. Tyke is always lying on the bare floor, even though he can lie on the sofa or on my bed. He does that occasionally, but always gravitates back to the floor. As long as he is close to me, he doesn't mind.

My friend Gail sent me the book of the famous Horse Whisperer and I'm going to be real smart about dog training now. His name is Ceasar Millan and he does that well known show on TV that we even get in the Netherlands. My sister swears by it and watches every episode. She's just recently brought it to my attention and then I got that book from Gail, so it was a nice coincidence. Tyke won't know what hit him. It was meant to be.

It has stopped raining since yesterday evening and the sun was even shining at the end of the day. It may rain a little more in the beginning of the week, but after that the weather is supposed to improve and we can expect temperatures into the 20's. Celsius that is. I don't know about that rain. Maybe the weather forecasters will get that wrong and we will get none. Very often we end up not getting any when some was predicted. We are just south enough for that so it misses us. I must admit that when the temperature is in the low 20's and the sun shines, it is very nice here and very bearable. I won't complain about that. It does cheer me up.

I'm sitting here in my gray cardigan. I don't even need my red bathrobe, it's not really cold in here, even though the windows are still open at the top. It is 20C in here. The apartment holds the warmth well, even when there is a draft moving through it and the place is getting aired out. It smells a lot better in here now, as opposed to when the windows were closed. I hope I can keep them open until October now and not turn the heater on anymore. It's going to be a big enough surprise when I get my end of the year energy bill in July. It's been a cold winter and spring. I'm sure everybody has been in for a surprise. I hope for the best.

At least I know what I'm wearing today. I won't have to stand in front of the closet and wait for inspiration to hit me. It's already hit me yesterday and those clothes are still clean. It's very enjoyable to wear something that fits so well and I know I have a few more dresses that are just like it that I haven't worn for a while. The kind that you don't have to suck in your stomach for when you stand up straight. That's such a comfort. I have other dresses that I have to wear with more care. They make my stomach stick out and it's not very becoming, though I'm not constantly aware of it. I don't go around thinking, "Oh, my stomach, oh goodness!" I'm not that vain. I only think it occasionally. When there's a man around. Ha! I admit it.

I'm up early enough to hear the first birds wake up and to hear the first traffic sounds. Some people do get started early. No doubt those are people who deliver newspapers. They are the ones on those irritating scooters that make so much noise. They should be disallowed early in the morning when the windows are open. It's too bad I'm not a dictator.

Wish me well on what no doubt is going to be an interesting day. It is Monday and we pick up where we left off on Friday. Back to the little rat race that is life and its responsibilities. That means being places on time and interacting with people and taking care of the animals. One in particular.

Have a good day all of you. I hope the weather is great for you and that the birds sing lovely songs for you.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

On a Sunday afternoon...

It rained yesterday in the evening and during the night. It was very pleasant to lie in bed and hear the rain come down on the patio through the opened window. That's how I fell asleep. To that sound.

Today it is an overcast day and cool, but I still have the windows open at the top, because inside it isn't cold. I'm wearing my boots and leggings and an extra top. I have a scarf around my neck for warmth. The draft that is moving through the apartment is not unpleasant and only mildly cool. I'm dressed warm enough for it not to bother me.

When I took Tyke for a walk at noontime, we got rained on, but it was a real springtime rain and very mild and light. It was like wet sunshine pouring down. Nevertheless, we were a bit soaked when we got home and I had to dry us off with towels. Tyke enjoys that and thinks it's the same thing as cuddling. My hair got sticky because of the hairspray. I'll have to wash it again. It was standing up in all directions anyway from sleeping on it.

I'm becoming a champion at sleeping at night. There's no problem anymore in sleeping through the night and waking up at a normal hour in the morning. I usually get about 8 hours of sleep. I think that's the requisite amount. I can do that without taking a nap during the day, but I'll take one of those too if I have to, though I prefer to do without and be really tired at night and long for bedtime.

I must admit that sometimes it's the cups of coffee that keep me going through the day. If I feel at all like I'm faltering and not hanging in there well enough, I make myself a cup and do much better again. It only takes one cup and I'm alright. I don't have to make a second one. That's what so nice about the Senseo machine. That I can just make one cup and drink it hot and fresh.

The Senseo machine is doing a lot better after a good cleaning with a bottle of cleansing vinegar. It's stopped leaking and is working normally again. I probably hadn't cleaned it on time and had waited to long to run the vinegar through. Time goes by so quickly and it is like with my haircuts. If I don't write them down in my agenda, I forget to make an appointment for my next one and walk around with unruly hair, not giving a thought to why that is. Being absent minded is one of my lesser attributes.

Tyke is doing better every day. he's not so worn out when we come home from our walks, so I don't think he really feels sick, although his eye still doesn't look so good. He's gnawing on a rawhide bone right now, preferring a new one to the left over bits of the old ones. I end up throwing those away in the trash. They're not very interesting to him. I need to go to the pet store and buy him one of those huge bones and see what he does with one of those. It will be just out of curiosity to see his reaction to it.

I put away all the clothes I wore this week in my organized closet. I had worn about four different outfits and had left them all lying around, although neatly folded. Today I finally made myself clean them up. When you live by yourself, you only have yourself to blame for the mess that's there. Whatever dish is dirty, is your dish. Whatever laundry needs to be done, is your laundry. Okay, some of the mess can be blamed on the animals, but most of it is yours.

I have to wash the dishes today, because tomorrow the domestic help is coming again and I do have to clean up the kitchen. That includes the counter and the sink and the Senseo machine. I also have to scrub the toilet and take down the dry laundry and see if there is a load ready to go into the machine. I have to change my bed, that's right. That will be one load of laundry. The fun never ends.

There are always enough jobs to do that the domestic help doesn't do. Things I need to do to make it easier for her. I didn't realize I had a bottle of bleach and I'm going to tackle the toilet with it, being careful not to get any on my clothes. That would be a shame, now that I'm so nicely dressed in my Sunday best. Actually, I'm wearing a dress that I had quite forgotten about and that fits me very well and hides all my faults. Who can ask for more?

Okay, I'm going to tackle those jobs now. It's a long enough post. After that I'm going to read my new book. "A Home At The End Of The World" by Michael Cunningham. It's intriguing, though very confronting and it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable at times. I think that must be the function of the book. I think he is harsh on young teenagers and their motivations. I don't think they're quite that sophisticated. Or young children for that matter. He interprets them through his grown up eyes and hindsight knowledge. It's written well, though. I intent to stick with it.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wasting time...

I took Tyke for his noontime walk and he's been sleeping ever since. It seems to have worn him out quite a bit. The weather is still beautiful and' I've not yet seen any of the rain that's been promised. The sun is shining and the temperature is quite pleasant. I've got the windows open at the top and it would be nice if I could keep those open, because it does air out the apartment and that is very necessary when you smoke.

Needless to say, I don't have the heater on. It is nice when it is turned off and I don't have to worry about my energy bill, but every week there are days when I have to turn it on, because it gets too cold to do without it. It's been a cold springtime so far, and it isn't done being cold yet according to the weather forecasters. I must say that I get cold quickly and don't suffer it easily. I put extra clothes on and make myself as comfortable as I can get.

My living room windows have been washed and I can clearly see the outside again. Tyke had drooled on them quite a bit and I need to get in the habit of cleaning them every day, but they have been washed on the outside too, where they never did get cleaned properly by that other girl that did them. The one who used all my dishtowels and then left streaks all over. That was a fiasco. She was a university student who had never learned to wash windows well. I don't know what she was studying, but it didn't have anything to do with home maintenance. I don't know how they get away with sending out people like that to clean people's houses. I suppose I should have complained. I didn't think of it at the time. I guess I was willing to accept slip shot service.

I haven't been reading at all the past week or so. I don't read anymore before I go to sleep. I'm not excited enough about my book to make the effort, but turn off the light immediately and go straight to sleep. I'm also not that interested in reading it during the day. I think it doesn't hold my attention well enough and that I need to find something completely different. Something that is exciting and that I'm willing to read during the day also without falling asleep. Something that I will sit down in the armchair with, along with a cup of coffee and my cigarettes, and enjoy reading a good few hours. I'm going to look on my bookcase in a while and see if I can find an exciting novel that will hold my attention during the day. I have enough books that I haven't read yet, so there's bound to be something there.

I think that when I've lost all the weight that the Obesitas Specialist said I could expect to lose, I will try to continue to lose weight, because I don't think I will be satisfied after I lose those 6.5 kilos. I will still be overweight and still have an inner tube and I know I will want to lose another 5 kilos if that is possible. I will only do it if it is possible and not if I have to starve myself for it. I will keep eating the way I am now and just see what happens. Hopefully it will be a natural result of my diet and I won't have to make any changes.

It's becoming overcast now and a bit more windy. No doubt the rain is on its way. It will be cozy inside, but not much fun to walk Tyke in. He will get a short walk tonight. I think I'm taking him to the vet on Monday to have him look at his eye. It is awfully red. I'm a bit worried about it and wonder if he needs antibiotics. Better make sure than regret it later on. The vet is only down the road and we can walk there easily.

I think I'm going to look for that new novel now. I still have time to read and sit in my newly vacuumed armchair. It's nice to enjoy the little luxuries in life. Wish me luck on finding a book. I hope for gentle rain. Not the kind that falls in buckets. That's alright for during the night when I'm asleep.

Have a good rest of the Saturday.


Starting the weekend.

Much to my satisfaction, I slept nine hours last night and I think I could actually have slept more. I went to bed early, because I was pooped and fell asleep almost instantly. I woke up at 7:30 this morning and thought I was done sleeping and had only one cup of coffee initially, but just now I had to make myself a second cup, because I started to yawn something awful and the sofa was starting to look awfully attractive. I'm sure I will end up taking a nap today, but for now I will keep myself awake with the coffee.

I went on the bathroom scale this morning and had lost another 1.5 kilos. So now I have to lose 6.5 kilos total (14.3 lbs). I can't tell that I've lost the weight. My stomach is so bloated for some reason. I think I'm going to have to eat some high fiber cereal. Things get more complicated as you get older and you need to make all sorts of efforts to make them work well. I may try that special yogurt with the good bacteria that's supposed to be helpful with these kinds of problems. I'll add it to my shopping list the next time.

Sleeping well is such a blessing. It's an amazing thing to wake up with the sun shining through the blinds and not to be up in the dark. Of course, it makes me have to answer my emails and write my blog posts during the day, but since it's the weekend, it doesn't matter much. I do miss out on all the birds singing in the early morning. I sleep right through that.

I took Tyke for a walk this morning and he was just stubborn enough for me not to worry about him too much, and when we got home he pestered Gandhi for a bit. Other than that, he is well behaved and sleeps a lot, very close to me and sometimes right on top of my feet. I think he wants to feel secure and hasn't forgotten his operation yet. His eye still looks red and I'm waiting for that to start looking better. I think he is having a little bit of a harder time than the first time he was operated on.

I made the mistake of drinking sweet lemonade after I had my first cup of coffee and it made me feel very tired and down, making me more sure that I should not have sweet things to drink. They go into my system rapidly and I do not react well to them. I always become very down and out. I react the same way to alcohol. It works as a downer. So does sugar. It sure doesn't make me hyper. A cup of coffee is the best solution, as it straightens out my head very quickly.

It's supposed to rain this weekend, but so far the sun is shining and it's pleasant outside. I did have to wear my denim jacket, but it was actually not too cold. At least it has pockets to put the baggies and my keys in when I walk Tyke. I always forget to bring my mobile phone, but I don't think it is necessary that I'm available all the time. I figure if I miss a call, I can always call back. I'm not so important that I need to be within close distance of it all the time.

I think I'll call my sister and see if she wants to take the dogs for a walk together.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Next post, please.

I slept 8 hours last night and I would still be asleep if it weren't for the fact that I'm expecting my personal helper and had to get up for that in time. I did have to get dressed and drink some coffee to be in an approachable state. I'm drinking my second cup right now and hope to be fully operational soon.

It's a beautiful sunny day outside and I really ought to be out in the country somewhere enjoying myself with Tyke, having a picnic and wandering the unbeaten paths. That's what I'm in the mood for. I must find a way to do this. Tyke is doing better, by the way, he is livelier and pestering the cats again, so he is almost back to his normal self. His eye is still red, but I assume that will disappear over time. He's still a little more subdued, but that may be psychological as well. It's quite an ordeal that he went through, after all.

It's now a few hours later and the domestic help is here. This is Friday's domestic help who is very unhappy with Monday's domestic help. She says that the one on Monday doesn't do her work well and is going to try and replace her with herself. My personal helper was witness to this indignation and agreed with her, so I do have a back up when I get entangled in this web. I really hope I don't, though. I'd hate to get in the middle of two domestic helpers.
I'm a bit uncomfortable to be sitting down while somebody else is cleaning my apartment, but I act as if I don't care. I try to be as cool as a cucumber. It is hard when you're really a bit nervous about the whole thing, but I don't want to get in the way of her either. She's so industrious.
I don't know how you feel about people coming into your house, but I'm a bit uneasy with it, especially if they concern themselves with your personal life, which these people do. I do feel that I have few secrets. I really have to have locked chambers in my head to keep some things sacred. Then I have to decide who to tell what. I try to tell my SPN and my psychiatrist everything, but I notice that even then I'm on guard sometimes. It becomes a habit.
My apartment is clean and the domestic help has left. I have to say that I like this woman a lot. She's very friendly and easy to talk to and she does a heck of a job. I didn't know what cleaning house was until I saw her at work.
The personal helper and I took Tyke for a walk this morning. He did well and was obedient. He's been obedient all day. I don't know what's gotten into him. I like him this way. Maybe he has entered a new stage in his growing up process through the shock of it all. Shock therapy for dogs. Oh, how sad. As if you would do that to your dog.
The weekend has properly started now. I'm my own boss from this point forward until Monday. How very nice. I do appreciate my time off. Now that I feel better the empty hours are not a problem anymore. I do have to watch the afternoon news in a little while and see if BP managed to fix the oil leak. I don't have high expectations. My God, what a disaster. I also have to see how the political campaigns are going and what godawful things they are promising us, the voters. We are all being taken on a merry-go-round. Don't trust a politician, except the rare honest one. I'm voting for her. Call me naive.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I'm trying to recuperate from a whole night up spemt with Tyke. He had to piddle quite often, but didn't warn me when he had to go in his befuddled state. Instead, he started to wander around the apaprtment and I had to direct him to the back door, so he could go out to the patio and piddle in the flowerbed. I didn't get any sleep until this morning and some this afternoon and I'm still not caught up, but I'll save the rest for tonight.

Tyke is still not back to normal and is very subdued, but he's better than he was yesterday and his eye doesn't look too bad, although this morning it was encrusted with dried blood and I had to remove that. I've taken the collar off and he isn't bothering his eye, so I think it is okay. He was so miserable with it on and the drool had made the front of him and his ears all wet and stinky. I have to soap up a wash cloth when he's feeling a bit perkier.

He did go with me this morning to return the umbrella to the hairdresser and to the tobacco shop, but I think he did it just to please me, because when we got home he was completely spent and he hasn't done much since that time.

My friend Yvonne was here this afternoon and he greeted her very sedately, not at all like his normal enthusiastic self, and when the Exfactor also got here, it was more of the same. They both thought he was on his best behavior, but I had to help them out of that illusion.

It's very obvious that people like me better with my glasses on. I get approached more openly than I do without them. Yvonne says that I look friendlier. Maybe that is because I see everybody better. I recognize people easier. Whatever the difference is, it is positive, so I better keep wearing them. Please remind me of this whenever I start to doubt the use of my glasses, besides not getting headaches, of course. I do think being friendlier is very important.

I wish I weren't so darn tired. I would go to sleep on the sofa, but I'm waiting for a package to be delivered. They said they would be here between 12 and 6 pm. Of course, it will be closer to 6 pm, so you sit and wait the whole afternoon and can't walk the dog. Come to think of it, I will check my mailbox and make sure they didn't stick it in there like they sometimes do.

Yes, it was in the mailbox and here I was futily waiting for the door bell to ring. Now I have to take Tyke for a walk.

Okay, did that.

I think I'm going to lie down now and take a little nap. I need one badly as you can witness by this post. It's not quite full of life.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Other moments...

I'm a little bit over excited. Doubtlessly this is still due to the unrest I felt while waiting to hear from the vet about Tykes eye. I was quite uneasy about it, because when he called right after the operation, he said that Tyke's eye was bleeding quite a lot and that he had to put a collar on him straight away. He said he would call me when he thought Tyke was well enough to go home and then I didn't hear from him for a long time, so I envisioned all sorts of scenarios that involved a lot of blood. Your imagination does take a hold of you.

Anyway, at one point I was wound as tight as a violin string and I could have snapped if it had gotten any tighter, so I thought I had better take those tranquilizers I had not been taking in the afternoon. They helped me quite a bit and I felt a lot calmer afterwards and able to think more rationally. So, when the vet called with good news, I very calmly walked over there with my umbrella and was greeted by a happy, drooling Tyke who was still drowsy, but ready to go home.

We walked home slowly. Tyke was a little wobbly, but we made it in one go. He's asleep now on the sofa, still under the influence of the anesthetic and still drooling a lot. I won't get much movement out of him this evening, but I'm proud of him for walking home. He does have good instincts.

The cats were very happy not to have him home and luxuriated under all the undivided attention they got. Toby got as much cuddling in as he could and couldn't believe he could walk around the living room without being chased by a power hungry dog. Gandhi walked around looking in all the corners for Tyke, but couldn't discover him anywhere and I think she liked it. She has a very ambivalent relationship with him. I'm hoping for the day when Tyke will become mellow and leave them alone. God only knows when that will be. It may take a while. At least for today they are safe.

I got my hair cut earlier in the day. I walked over there and enjoyed the ambiance of the shop while I waited for my turn. I had an interesting conversation with a nine year old boy who wasn't too shy to talk to an old lady. I haven't talked to anybody that young in a long time and it was fun. I wanted to say, "Come here and give me a cuddle," but I don't think he would have liked that very much. It would have looked odd. There's nothing better than cuddling a kid. You just have to be related to them.

I looked up a haircut I liked in one of the books of examples that was lying there and showed it to the young woman who was going to cut my hair. It was the most perfect way to get my point across. She did a good job and cut it to the perfect length. It's not too short, but short enough to be manageable and easy. First, though, I got my hair washed with wonderful smelling shampoo and a little head massage. I do love that part.

But the wonderful part is watching the haircut take shape and seeing your own face emerge under a new hairdo. That's so refreshing. Especially when it's cut well and it falls into place the way you had imagined it. My hair always looks lighter when it''s been cut and I like the color, so I really do undergo a metamorphosis. I feel like a new person when I'm done. Same old body, but a new head.

When I got ready to leave the shop. a deluge started. The rain came down very hard and I had no umbrella. Another customer, unknown to me, had an extra umbrella and lend it to me with the request that I bring it back to the shop when I was done with it. I thought that was awfully kind and it was a good thing too, because I would have been soaked to the skin if I had walked home without it. Good Samaritans are out there.

On another subject, I had been having slight headaches and had been ignoring them, but then I also started getting dizzy and I started to wonder why. To make it as simple a solution as possible for myself, I thought it might be because I wasn't wearing my glasses. That was mainly out of vanity, because I thought they made me look uglier than I was and I wanted to prevent that at all costs. But what the heck, people with glasses aren't ugly. That's just a prejudiced point of view. I see people with glasses all the time and never think that.

So, I got out my glasses and cleaned them and put them on. It took me about an hour of wearing them to get used to them, but then I could see clearly and the next day my headaches were gone and I don't get them now until I take my glasses off and I instantly don't see well anymore. That's how much my eyes have made the adjustment. I put them on the first thing in the morning and take them off the last thing at night.

The funny thing is that nobody realizes that I have them on. Nobody does a double take or gives any sign that they wonder what's different about me. So, it makes no difference at all, the same as wearing no make up. People just see the essence of me. Not the little details. I don't have to worry about that at all. It's so silly to spend time fretting over those things. People just accept you as you are. That's it. There is no judgment.

We're too obsessed with that one vision of beauty that we all have to attain and dismiss the looks of the majority of the people in this world. I am boycotting the whole notion and liberating myself from the narrow idea that we should all look like Hollywood stars or catwalk models. I'll go my own way and find satisfaction in that. Why should I, at my age, try to look differently? I want to be healthy, yes. But I don't need to look eternally young and glamorous. I do want to age with grace and respect.

Well, I've had my say and I've told you the story of my day. Tyke is breathing very rapidly. I suppose that's from the anesthetics. I must keep an eye on him tonight.


Singing birds...

It's early in the morning and I've been up for a while. I woke up from two cats fighting on the patio, Toby being one of them, I'm sure, and I tried to go back to sleep. I was almost successful, but then I had to go to the toilet and was really awake after that, so I decided to get up and enjoy the wee hours of the morning in peace and quiet. Actually, I felt an unbridled passion for life and I didn't want to miss any part of it by sleeping. I was too excited to stay in bed and had to get up and do something.

I made my first cup of coffee and sipped it slowly and felt great. I answered my emails and enjoyed the dark silence around me. I like sleeping during the night, but I must say that these are the most gratifying hours of the day and I like being up. There's not a hair on my head that thinks about going back to bed. Now the birds have started singing and it is a very joyful sound. They greet the sun as it starts to rise and are full of hope for the brand new day, as am I. I can't wait for the day to start and do the things I have to do, although one of them is maybe less pleasant, and that is taking Tyke to the vet for the operation on his eye, but the outcome will be fine and his eye will be cured and that is good.

I'm also getting my hair cut today and I'm looking forward to that, because to me going to the hairdresser is a treat that I always enjoy. I like being fussed over and enjoy the ambiance in the shop. Everybody speaks dialect there, which I can decipher, but not speak, and it is all sort of laid back and easy. No stress. I love getting my hair washed, although I hate to see myself afterwards in the mirror, but the I think that everybody feels that way before they undergo their metamorphosis. You should never be too critical of yourself and the light in the shop is harsh, so don't judge yourself too strongly. All those wrinkles don't show up at home in the bathroom mirror. That's the only light to judge yourself by. It's all an illusion.

Yesterday the Exfactor came by for coffee and did my grocery shopping. I do manage to stay around the same reasonable amount of money every week and I am much pleased with that, because it isn't very much at all. I more or less get the same things every week, so it is very predictable. I've managed to work out a way to live on the least amount of money possible and not go hungry and have enough food for the animals and treats too. When you're living on a minimum income, that's a matter of pride. You make your Euro stretch as far as it will go. It's almost a sport with an exciting ending every month.

I had to go see my SPN afterwards and we had an upbeat conversation for a change. Well, that gives the wrong impression. It's not one big lament when I go there. I always leave there wiser than I was when I went in, but now I am in a much better frame of mind, so the conversation was much more positive. I felt like I was unbeatable and very much in charge, but willing to learn. I guess that is good. You do have to keep your ears open for good advice and be willing to follow up on whatever you commit to.

It was a very beautiful day, I think better than was forecast and the sun was shining all day and I didn't need a jacket on my bike. The day had a very summery feel to it and everybody seemed very relaxed, even the people in the traffic. I didn't encounter any maniacs. I did run a red light, but luckily there was no one to control it. Sometimes they do on that spot and they write lots of tickets, because lots of bicyclists run that red light. That's because it's green too short and there are always lots of bikes crossing that road.

Someone wrote, "It's great that everything is coming up roses," but here everything is coming up buttercups and daisies and purple clover. The fields are full of them and it looks very pretty. It would be a shame now if they mowed the grass. The bumble bees are very busy collecting pollen and I see them all over the place. They seem to like the clover the best. The dandelions have all gone to seed and there will be that many more next year. The grassy fields are not immaculate like they are in California where there are no wildflowers to be seen. At least not in the neighborhood I lived in.

It's going to be a cooler day today and it may even rain here in the South. That's because of a low pressure system that's laying over France and moving slightly to the north. We need the rain, though, and many of the crops are late growing in the fields. The potatoes are not even above ground level yet and they should have been thriving already. It's been a strange spring and everything in nature was late. Winter lasted so long. It's going to be cool all week, but that's okay. At least I get to wear the clothes I like. That's just my own personal point of view and may not reflect the general attitude of the Dutch.

Tyke's sound asleep on the coffee table and doesn't seem to realize that it's almost time to go for a walk. I won't wake him, but wait for him to make up his own mind. He's not allowed to eat anything now, not even a treat, so it's going to be a little tough for him today. He won't understand why I won't give him anything to eat after his walk and will be confused. You can't explain that to a dog and it just seems cruel. I hope he forgives me. The poor thing has a tough day ahead of him. The anesthetics make him sick, so it's not much fun for him. He'll have to wear that awful collar too, to prevent him from scratching his eye. You should see him try to eat and drink water with that on his head.

I have to take my medicines and get dressed. It's time to start the day. I say, world, here I come.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shining my light...

I actually slept another 8 hours last night, maybe even a little more, because I'm not sure of when I really fell asleep. I went to bed awfully early having taken no naps during the day and having slept not enough the previous night. I read for awhile, but had enough sense to put my book under my pillow when I got sleepy so Tyke wouldn't tear it apart during the night. At least I've gotten into the habit of doing that after some books suffered that fate. I do learn my lesson after awhile. I'm just a bit of a slow learner.

The first thing I did was go on the bathroom scale, which I hadn't done in about a week or so, and I discovered that I had lost 2 kilos. I wasn't expecting that at all, though I haven't been over eating, and now I only have 8 kilos left to lose. That's 17.6 lbs and I think that's very doable. I think now that I'm below 10 kilos, everything looks easier and I think it will be an attainable goal from this point forward. It is within reach now. The only problem is that two of my skirts are getting a bit big and I do like them, but I will have to wear them with a belt and solve it that way for a while.

I ended up finding 2 pairs of jeans, a blue pair and a black pair, and they are size 46 (American size 16) and they do fit me, so I'm thrilled about that, especially when you consider that I used to be size 56. That was size 26 in America, because I bought two pairs of jeans when I was in Alaska and I was at my heaviest then. I remember being surprised that I could buy that size jeans in a regular department store. I also remember being embarrassed in the airplane, because my seat belt needed an extension and I barely fit in that little seat and couldn't really get the arm rest down, except in business class where I was upgraded to for the first part of the journey.

I looked through the shopping bag with clothes that I had not looked through yet when I wrote my last post, and I did find some things in there and put them in the washing machine and they are hanging up to dry now. I don't know if these clothes are going to be too big to wear. I'll find out when they are dry. Clothes that are too big are amusing and a real luxury, unless I like them a lot, but I'd rather be thin. Or thinner.

I ran into a dress that had a little hole in it, so I fixed the hole and now it can be washed. I had forgotten all about it and it's actually quite a nice dress. So you see, your own wardrobe can be full of surprises.

I think I may actually be able to hang the laundry outside. It's supposed to be cooler, and it is, but no rain is expected and the sun is shining. I will go do that now.

Have a happy day everyone.


P.S. Comprehensively so.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The closet!

I got up early this morning and was full of excitement, because I had promised myself that I would clean out my closet and because I had worked out the method I was going to use, I was looking forward to it. I didn't want to rush into it and had a cup of coffee first and answered my emails. It was still early and there was no need to act as if I was short of time. I had lots of time.

So when Tyke started to get impatient with me and let me know it was time to go out, I got dressed and took him for a 20 minute walk. Not too long, but long enough for him to do his business and sniff at all the blades of grass and the other various bits of vegetation. Once I got that out of the way, I took a break on the sofa with a glass of milk and a cigarette and mulled over my strategy. I was going to move some of my clothes to the shelves in my bedroom and needed to reorganize some things there first. I wanted to put some clothes there that I didn't wear very often and would easily fit on the deep shelves of the tall bookcase. So, I had to move some books first.

Luckily, my bedroom is organized and I could move things around pretty easily and I had room. That part of the job was done in no time and I had two empty shelves to put clothes on. Then I got all the mixed up stacks of clothes out of my closet and sorted them out and found four long sleeved stretch T-shirts that I had quite forgotten about. I also found some cute tank tops that I didn't realize I owned and a skirt and a pair of jeans that I didn't know about. They're all in the right size too.

I refolded everything and made new stacks. Then I went to the clothes that were on hangers. It was a chore to get the first item out. Things were jam packed, but the first dress I pulled out could go into the trash bag and the hanger could go into what would become a pile of hangers. I was ruthless. If I hadn't worn it in a year, it went into the trash nag. If it didn't fit, I wasn't going to fool myself and think it would fit me next year. It went into the trash bag.

Some things I had quite forgotten about and it was like I was shopping and discovering new clothes. A cute, colorful dress. A nice yellow long sleeved top. A green cardigan. A black top, printed with gold leaves and tied with ribbons. A light weight Hawaiian blouse.

When it comes down to it, I think I removed almost half of the clothes that were hanging there and put them in the trash bag. Some of them I had forgotten about too, but I'm not going to wear them anymore. Now I can easily move around the clothes that are left on the rod and all the extra hangers are gone too. I carefully stacked them in the bottom of my closet. There must have been thirty of them. The stacks of clothes are neatly divided over all the shelves and I know what I have now, so getting dressed is going to be a lot simpler. All I have left to do is look inside a large shopping bag in which I put some clothes a long time ago, because they didn't fit, and see if there's anything in there that might be of interest to me now.

So, wasn't that a fun job? All you need is a plan and to discuss it on your blog and then you will do it. You will be committed.

I've got to go look at that shopping bag now. My curiosity knows no bounds.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday News...

Today is part of a long weekend, Tomorrow is a holiday too. I'm quite pleased about it, because I feel like I'm on a mini vacation and I can just do whatever I please. Well, within reason. I mean, I do have some responsibilities, like the animals and some chores that need to get done regardless of whether or not it is a holiday or a Sunday.

There is always a job that has been put off for a long time and that finally needs taken care of and today was the day to do it. I tackled the floor in the spare bedroom, which has been turned into a storage room where the Exfactor and I keep everything that we don't have room for and there are stacks of boxes there against all walls and numerous other items. It is also where the back door is and in the back door is the cat flap where the cats enter and exit the apartment. It is also where I let out Tyke if he has to do an emergency piddle, so needless to say, the floor was quite dirty and littered with sand and cat and dog hair and twigs and leaves and other debris.

It hadn't been cleaned in a long time and I kept promising, no threatening myself, that I would clean it and I finally got around to it this morning. I swept it first, as well as I could with everything that was in the way, and then mopped it. I got it fairly clean, good enough for the animals anyway, and we'll see how long it lasts in this condition. If I stay on top of it, it should never get out of hand again. This was the result of a depression. Now that I'm out of it, I should be able to manage better.

I also hung up another load of laundry to dry and I have another load of sheets and odd ends to go into the machine. I told you, I never run out of laundry. It seems to be my favorite chore to do.

There is one more job that I am putting off and that I'm going to have to get around to doing and that is cleaning out my closet. I'm not looking forward to it at all. The first thing I ought to do is take out everything I don't wear anymore and put it in a bag. I must be very organized when I go to work at it. I think sorting through the clothes that I do and do not wear is the first job. I will get a big trash bag and fill it up with obsolete clothes.

Next, I have to sort out the stacks of different tops and sweaters. They are hopelessly mixed up right now and I don't know in which stack to find what anymore, it's all guess work now. I'm only sure of what's clean and folded in the laundry basket.

I have to sort through everything that's on hangers and that's the tricky part. The clothes are packed in so tight, that it's hard to get to an individual piece and very often the pressure of all the clothes together is the only thing that keeps an item on the hanger. Very often when I make space, things end up on the bottom of the closet. I have to decide which of these things can be folded and put on a shelf instead.

You mustn't think that I've got an enormous amount of clothes. I just have an old fashioned closet. It's not like the kind of closet Americans have. The kind that is built in with sliding doors and lots of floor space. This is a closet from the 20's that I repainted and used to have to share with the Exfactor. I don't know how we did that. I had much less clothes then. That is true. One thing I did when I became single is expand my wardrobe. Long live me! That's one thing a woman ought to have, a choice of clothes when she gets dressed in the morning. Although it is true, that as you wear your clothes, you do end up wearing certain items a lot and other things hardly at all. And some of them never. Those are the obsolete ones.

Who knows what I'll find in my closet? There are probably clothes I've forgotten about. It's very likely that I have more things to wear than I am aware of. Writing all of this down has gotten me curious and I think I will tackle this job tomorrow. It will be a good way to spend some spare time.

I took a nap this afternoon and woke up in a minor mood. I thought something was wrong, but couldn't place my finger on it. I had a slight feeling of discomfort and thought I was coming down with a dip. I made myself a glass of lemonade, because I thought I might need the sugar, but that wasn't it. I sat and pondered about it for a while and then had the brilliant idea to try a cup of coffee. That did the trick. Very soon I was my own cheerful self and I could think straight again. I just needed to have my brain stimulated and a bit of a kick in my rear end. I still take tranquilizers in the afternoon, but I think maybe it is time to stop them. I can't do that on my own. I need to discuss that with my psychiatrist. I think the tranquilizers slow me down and make me fuzzy brained. I feel better when I don´t take them. After all, they subdue your mood and that can´t be right under the circumstances. I don´t need subduing.

Now I´m having lemonade and it tastes great. I´m not going to bed yet, because I can sleep as late as I want in the morning. Just kidding! If I sleep from midnight until 8 am, I will be happy. A little later would be okay too, but 8 hours of sleep would be nice. I´ve started reading Under the Tuscan Sun and I must have read it before at a crucial time in my life, because all sorts of memories are drifting to the surface. It´s a subconscious thing and I don´t know how happy I am about it. If it becomes a problem, I´ll have to stop reading it. Not all my memories are good ones and the past is better left alone. It´s better to stay in the present and not torture yourself with old pain that can´t be resolved.

Okay, that´s enough of that. I made it a long enough post for today. I could sit here for a long time and write a novelette, but I don´t think that´s what you came for.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

The good life...

I hardly get around to the blogging business anymore since I seem to have decided now to sleep during the bight as well when I normally sit behind the computer. Not only that, I get up for a little while in the morning and then go back to bed anyway, if I don't have an appointment and it is a free day like today was. That is after I walk Tyke and I've taken my medicines and had my coffee. I really sleep well in the morning and have the most interesting dreams. I'm done sleeping when I crave a cup of coffee and a cigarette and I want to sit on the sofa with the blinds open and watch the world go by.

I've had an incredibly uninteresting day and I hope I have a few more like it. Not that I want to dwell in boredom, but I like to be lazy sometimes and it has finally given me a chance to catch up with my blog reading in which I was very much behind. It's also given me a chance to spend some time with Tyke and to try and teach him to shake paws. He does it spontaneously, but now I want him to do it on command. It needs a little bit of work.

He's going to be operated on his eye on Wednesday. He has another swollen tear gland, this time in his left eye, and it has not responded to the antibiotic ointment, as I doubted it would. It doesn't look good and we saw the vet last night. Tyke still likes the vet despite his first operation. He doesn't carry a grudge at all, but was happy to see him.

I'm now getting the same domestic help on Fridays instead of a different one all the time, who doesn't know what to do and needs half arsed instructions from me, who doesn't know what to tell them either. The woman who came here yesterday, made an assessment of the situation and went to work and will be back all the time picking up where she left off. She thoroughly cleaned what I thought was a clean kitchen and some doors in the apartment. She's a real go-getter. I used to get part timers who in real life were students working for the extra money and who didn't really have an eye for cleanliness and had to be told what to do, which was hard for me, because I didn't know.

I have an appointment to get my hair cut on Wednesday. I was messing around with my hair and some hairspray, trying to get it to stay in place, and realized it should be a little shorter to be more manageable. This longer hair is okay if I just want it to hang straight down, but if I want any kind of shape into it, it has to be cut a bit shorter than it is now and it does make me look more cheerful if it's done up a bit. I actually look very boring and old with my hair any other way.

I've been going to bed shamefully early and then lie awake for a few hours reading my book very cozily under the duvet with a glass of milk and something to eat. I'm still reading the Provence book, but somebody recommended two books by Frances Mayes. "Under The Tuscan Sun"and the sequel "Bella Tuscany." I ordered them both and the first book arrived in the mail today. I can't wait to get started on it, because I read it a long time ago and enjoyed it very much then. I haven't read the sequel, so I'm looking forward to that. I've put some other books by her on my wish list and will hopefully be able to get those soon.

I haven't got any new reading glasses yet and am having a bit of a problem reading without them and sometimes have to guess at a word or look for a long time before I can decipher it. I can only read books in large enough print, so I really need to get those glasses. My regular glasses don't help, because those are for distance.

I'm going to get my pajamas on and sit and vegetate for a while in front of the TV and then go to bed. I'm all excited about that. I can't wait to fall asleep after I've read awhile.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to pass the night...

I had a cup of coffee and a glass of lemonade and I'm undecided now what I will have next. I think I will not have anymore coffee, because I'm thinking about going back to bed and sleeping some more. I'm wide awake, though, and not the least bit tired, which is a problem when you're thinking of going back to bed. It's all in the timing. If I stay up long enough, I will be able to take Tyke for his first walk, but if I keep this short, I can go back to bed and sleep a little more, but then Tyke may have an accident.

Sometimes I wish I had a husband who was an early riser, say about 7 am, and who would walk Tyke for me. It would be so perfect. Husbands do come in handy at times. I would only need one for practical matters like this. Like doing the groceries and washing the windows. I guess I really need a butler or something. Just a man around the house. When I win the lottery, I will hire one.

I am really happy, because today I have a day off. Nobody is coming by. No domestic help and no personal helper and no Exfactor. It's just me and the animals. I have no obligations and I like that. Nobody is going to call me either as far as I know. Isn't that wonderful? That means I can do as I please and go my own way and spend the day how I like it, with a book on the sofa most likely, recharging my battery. It will be very quiet and peaceful. Serenity will reign.

Nothing makes you appreciate an empty day better than days filled with people coming to your apartment and having intense contact with them. At least, what I consider intense contact, because I'm a private person and a little bit goes a long way. I appreciate having people around, but equally appreciate the peace and quiet when they're gone. Even if the contact is of a high quality, which does happen every so often. Although I must add that it is because of that contact that I do appreciate the empty days and without the contact I would not fare as well. It is good for me. No doubt about it.

I can imagine that people who are constantly surrounded by other people have a great desire for private time. That they would like nothing better than their weekends to be a big empty space in which to only spend time in their own quiet heads. At least I would imagine that's how I would be. I think I would need the quiet to digest all the impressions from the past week and to prepare myself for the week to come. It must be awful if all sorts of people make demands on you on the weekend. But maybe I'm wrong and other people are put together quite differently and their needs are not like mine.

You just hope that people are aware of their own needs and are able to formulate them and make them clear to the people around them, so there are no misunderstandings. There are always expectations that are silent and taken for granted that can cause so many problems when people's needs aren't known and understood. So much is not said and explained, because we are not aware enough of these things ourselves. That's how we get caught up in lives we don't want to live.

Alright, enough philosophising. I'm going to bed and to sleep. It's too early to take Tyke for a walk, so I'll let him out back for a piddle.

Have a good day, you all.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A little bit of time...

I have some time to try and write some sort of a post before I have to take my medicines and take Tyke for a walk. It is early in the morning now and I have been up for a while reading blogs that I had not got a round to reading due to my limited time on the computer. I skipped a bunch of them, though, and will have to try and find time to read those later. I also still have to answer some emails and I don't know when I'll ever get around to that. I do want to guard against sitting here too long and spending more time than I allow myself. The computer is off during the day, that's a rule.

I've had two cups of coffee and now I'm drinking ice cold milk. It's so good, I could drink liters of it. One of the things that make me happy is having the refrigerator filled with milk and knowing that I can drink it whenever I'm thirsty, as opposed to the end of the shopping week when I have to be frugal and make it last and drink lots of lemonade. The lemonade is fortified with vitamins C, B and E and is very good also, so I drink it with pleasure, but there's nothing like a glass of ice cold milk.

The Exfactor arrived here two hours later than he was supposed to and he got here 10 minutes after I decided that he must be lying in a ditch somewhere, the victim of a traffic accident, because I could not reach him on his mobile phone. All sorts of scenarios played through my head until he drove up on his motorcycle. He had slept late and had not thought to call me to let me know he would get here later. Sheepishly he admitted that he should have. It takes him 45 minutes to get here from where he lives, so it is quite a journey, and he can't hear his phone, nor answers it, of course, when he is riding his motorcycle. He rides the country lanes, because they are more fun.

I had checked my bank account balance and found out that I was independently wealthy. Well, that I had more money than I had counted on, which was a pleasant surprise, but that's what you get when you live frugally, so I could afford groceries, which the Exfactor got for me without protest. We unloaded those together with Tyke's "help" and the Exfactor had three cups of coffee total while we talked about nothing important whatsoever. It wasn't about politics anyway, nor about the state of the world. Sometimes you have conversations like that too.

My psychiatrist called and reduced my tranquilizers some more, so that now I'm only taking half of what I was taking before. He said tranquilizers only subdue your mood, they don't alter it, so there should be no problems. I haven't noticed any problems after the first reduction. I am more alert, I do notice that.

Speaking of being more alert. I have finished my book, "Walking Across Egypt" and will now start another one. Because I'm in the mood for light literature, I will read "A Year In Provence" by Peter Mayle. I read that a long time ago too and remember it as being quite humorous, though all the details escape me.

I have to go. It's time to take my medicines and take Tyke for a walk. Then I'm going back to bed for a while. I need to sleep a little more.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lemonade and coffee.

When I first got up just now, I drank a glass of lemonade, which was great for my thirst, but didn't do a thing for my brain cell activity, and I sat here in a little stupor trying to get my head together and my thinking processes going. It was as if I had cobwebs in my head that prevented me from thinking properly and that made everything kind of hazy and lethargic.

Then I made myself a mug of coffee and as quick as a shot, everything woke up and started to jump into action and all the synapses started to fire and the neurons did whatever they were supposed to do, which is yet unclear to me, but I know they play a role. They carried whatever messages they were supposed to carry from one braincell to the other, I guess. I've read how this all happens, but I always forget in my inability to quite picture it.

How the caffeine works in it, I don't know, but I know it helps in stimulating the whole lot. I think it's quite a need trick and very reliable. See there the manipulation of my thought processes by the consumption of a hot beverage.

The first hour or so of my awake time is taken up reassuring Tyke that I like him very much and that, because I sit behind the computer, I doesn't mean that I'm neglecting him, so I have to spend some time petting him and rubbing his belly until he is satisfied and he goes to sleep at my feet. If I don't do this, he will find other less pleasant ways to get my attention, and it usually involves molesting a cat.

Now, if he even thinks of it, all I have to do is softly say, "Come here, Tyke, " and he comes right over and gets ready for a belly rub and calms right down and forgets every evil deed that was in his head. It's as though every time I get up, or do something that takes my attention away from him, we have to reestablish the order of things and re-bond with each other.

At least this way I don't have to get angry with him and I understand what drives him and it is easily taken care of. It does require some patience, but nobody said that pet ownership was easy and I assume he will become more secure as he gets older. Anyway, that's what all the naughty behavior in the past has been about.

I assume today is going to be a good day. The Exfactor is coming by in the morning and I'm going to ask him to do the groceries for me, which he said he would always do, but I do have to check my bank balance before he goes. I haven't dome that in a while. Time to check if there is any money left. It would be very embarrassing for him to stand at the check out and not be able to pay with my bank card.

My psychiatrist is going to call me at noon and I only have better news for him, except for my sleepless nights, which I make up for in the morning, so I suppose that's not much of a problem. It would be if it affected my mood negatively, but I have no such problem and I feel fine, although I still have a problem with going places that are busy and complicated and make me feel insecure.

After that I have to go see my SPN and on the way home stop by the pharmacy and pick up medicines.

I need to do more laundry and fold and put away the dry stuff. That's always such a joy. Especially when I have to put things away in my closet, because my stacks of clothes are all mixed up now and need sorting out.

I did manage to put together an outfit for today and hopefully it's warm enough for the temperature it's going to be. I will be layered and wear summer shoes, but a leather jacket over the outfit. I may wear my black one, though, which is just a little more spring like. Things are good when I start to care about how I look and don't just wear the same old thing. At least I have the mental energy to make an effort.

With my hair cut the way it is, I don't use wax in it and hardly any hairspray. I just let it sit however. Since I've also stopped wearing make up, I'm not much of a consumer of beauty products anymore. The only things I still use regularly are body lotion and face cream, but I think a good shower gel does the job too.

I do want to get some shampoo especially for blond hair, since I have the shampoo for brown hair from when I had dyed my hair brown. I'm not going to dye my hair again since I'm happy with the color it is now, but I would like to lighten it up just a bit. Add a bit of a spark to it, which I hope the shampoo will do. So that will necessitate a trip to the drugstore, coming up one of these days.

I'm reading "Walking Across Egypt" by Clyde Edgerton. I read it a long time ago and had forgotten nearly everything about it and it's good fun the second time around. Sometimes having a not so good memory is a good thing.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

The wee hours...

It's very early in the morning and I've been up for awhile answering emails and drinking coffee. It's been a most pleasant time, because in between everything else, I've had to pay the proper amount of attention to Tyke, who I watch with eagle's eyes, and we have done quite a bit of bonding in the act of reassuring him that he's loved and that he comes first. He's now sound asleep by my feet and quite happy that he's been loved so much, I'm sure, and cuddled enough.

I have the computer off all day long, except for in the evening when I have it on for a short time to check my mail. Now that I'm up in the middle of the night, I can write a post, because it feels like I have the extra time and I'm not taking it away from anything. It's almost the last thing I do before I take my medicines and get dressed to take Tyke for a walk. I like taking him early in the morning when nobody else is about yet and the dew is on the grass. It makes Tyke's hair very curly on the front and on his belly and legs and ears. He really does look like a poodle then.

I trimmed his hair on his head and around his eyes. It was starting to get in the way. He was surprisingly good about it and I felt like I ought to have kept going and trimmed him all over. I realized on time that it was a job for a professional, so I will make an appointment to have his hair cut and washed soon.

I had a good day yesterday. It was very mellow and laid back and I took Tyke for four walks. Two of them were of the longer kind. I watched sports on TV, because in the afternoon there's nothing but, and watched a whole field hockey game for the Dutch championship. I can watch TV and pay attention to Tyke at the same time, because he's never far away from me and I'm never so wrapped up in the TV that I forget everything around me.

I got the laundry done also and managed to almost fit everything on the drying rack. Some tops are hanging on clothes hangers on the shower rail. I never seem to run out of laundry, which is amazing considering I live here by myself. I do like clean clothes and clean sheets, but I'm not fanatic. If it is at all possible, I don't do any ironing. I haven't touched the ironing board in months and I hope to keep it that way. My mother ironed everything, including the washcloths, but I'm not that dedicated. She had a laundry day and an ironing day. She also very often had a very sore back.

Well, I have to go wash my hair. It is sticking up again in two directions with a dump in the back. I have no idea what the weather is like. I looks gray and dreary outside, so it's probably cold. I'll wear my winter coat and my scarf.

I hope you all have a nice Sunday. I will after I've walked the dog and gone back to bed again for a bit more sleep.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

For a change...

For a change I find myself not sound asleep in bed getting my six hours of shut eye, but find myself awake in the middle of the night without any sleep left in me. I've answered my emails and had two cups of coffee and numerous cigarettes.

The Senseo machine is dying on me and has decided to start leaking when I use two pads at once when I make a big mug of coffee. We'll see if it just continues to leak or if the problems become worse and the whole thing starts to fall apart. I will have to buy a new one, but the timing isn't exactly right now. I'm going to run a bottle of vinegar through it to see if it will make any difference, although I did that not too long ago, but I'll give it another shot. If I do have to buy a new one, I'd like for the next one to be red. It will be more cheerful than this black one I have now. Of course, it isn't under warranty anymore, so that's no recourse. It has done its duty and I suppose that's all I can ask of it. It's to the scrap heap with it.

I wanted to buy an espresso machine, but the Exfactor, who has a lot of experience with them from working behind the bar in the film house, talked me out of it and said it was not worth the bother for the cup of coffee I would get out of it. He made the whole process of getting a decent espresso sound awfully bothersome, not at all like getting an easy mug of Senseo, and I guess he convinced me, because I do like uncomplicated simplicity. Especially early in the morning when I want everything to be easily and quickly done.

Did you know, by the way, that it's good to keep your coffee stored in the refrigerator? It keeps it fresher longer in a good container. If you have whole beans, you can keep them in the freezer before you grind them, although I'm not sure what the extreme cold does to the beans, except preserve them very well. It has to be a frost free freezer, of course. It doesn't solidly freeze the beans together. We made our coffee that way in Sonoma and always enjoyed a good fresh cup.

Today is Saturday and a day wholly defunct of any special meaning whatsoever. It's just an ordinary weekend day. I don't have to go anywhere or celebrate anything or remember a loved one. All I have to do is the laundry and walk the dog. I don't even have to go to the store. It's a completely benign day. The apartment is clean and the dishes are done.

The domestic help who was here yesterday was a part timer. In real life she was a 4th year psychology student at the university here. She was curious about me and my situation and we started to talk and ended up having a discussion about the Bipolar Disorder, which turned out to be interesting and a real eye opener for her I think, because until now her knowledge had been limited to textbooks. I did make me realize how really awful this disorder is and that it's better to just live in the moment and not to look at the big picture too much, because I will get too disheartened and give up. I really have to live one day at the time and make up the score at the end of each day and hope for the same success, if there was one, the next day.

Tyke is faring very well under my renewed attention to him. What I have noticed is that he longs for quiet, gentle guidance and lots of petting and cuddles and talks. He is very jealous of Gandhi and doesn't like it when she gets too close to me. He thinks I only belong to him and he is very attached to me, so I have to reassure him that I'm attached to him too. I drop everything when I think he needs attention and spend some time reassuring him until he feels secure again and is relaxed. The result is that he listens better and is more at ease. He just needs a lot of love and I wasn't giving him enough of that, because I was preoccupied with other things. I wasn't paying enough attention. He's just like a kid and needs to feel security.

It's light outside now and I think I'll go take him for a walk. It's still early, so nobody will be out yet. That's the charm of getting up in the middle of the night. I do plan to go back to bed, though. I really do need more sleep and I'm even daring to read a book. I do have to put it away before I fall asleep. I'm reading "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros. They're very short stories, but fun to read.

Have a good day, you all.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ascension Day

This is just a post to let you all know that I'm alive and breathing, but that I've decided not to spend so much time behind the computer anymore. Blogging was taking up too much of my time and it had nearly become an obsession and a lot of my spare time went into it. I always had the computer on stand by and every free moment I sat down and did something related to my blog and I thought it had gotten out of hand.

Tyke is the recipient of my free time now, as I spend much more time with him and it's paying off, as he's bothering the cat much less and begging for attention less, because he's getting enough of it now. I take him for more and longer walks and spend more time cuddling with him and just sitting with him and being there, instead of sitting behind the computer. He appreciates that very much. Gandhi also gets more opportunities to sit on my lap, so I make her happy as well.

The photo at the top is of the field where I take Tyke for his shorter walks. I took it a few years ago at the beginning of Spring. I'm taking him there for his last walk tonight, while it is still barely light outside. The days are getting longer, although the weather has been dreary and cold.

Tyke has a little infection in his eye that I'm treating with an antibiotic ointment and it seems to be helping already. He's pretty good about letting me apply it. He only protests a little bit. Maybe he knows it's good for him.

The country has been in the grip of the disaster of the Lybian airline crash in which so many Dutch people died and which one 9 year old boy named Ruben survived. It's been quite shocking, to say the least. It happened one day before the 10 year memorial of the fireworks disaster in Enschede in which a whole neighborhood got wiped out and many people died. Flags are flying at half mast.

I hope you're all having a good day.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another six hours...

I have chest pains and I have a headache. These are psychosomatic pains. I'm not having a heart attack and I'm not having a migraine. It's just my stress translating itself into physical symptoms. If I were a hypochondriac I would be going to my GP now and demanding all sorts of tests and pills. Luckily, I know the pain is all between my ears. There was a time when I didn't know that and my stress really did translate itself into physical ailments, such as a dislocated jaw from grinding my teeth, and a herniated disc, and stress induced asthma and a host of other defects. My poor body took the blows that my mind suffered but didn't register. I rarely have something wrong physically now, but I sure do get screwed up mentally.

Except that today I have chest pains and a headache and I think that's because I'm trying so desperately to be more cheerful than I am. I want to act like nothing is really wrong, but the thought of having to do the dishes and the laundry defeats me and I can barely think of the thought of having to perform these minor chores. I feel beat before I've even started them.

What I really want to do is sleep some more on the sofa. although I slept another six hours last night. I know that isn't really enough, but for me that is a lot and I'm very pleased with myself. I know I need to sleep more and I probably will allow myself the pleasure when I'm done writing this. I have to, because right now I feel overwhelmed by the details of life, although they are all minor and shouldn't have such an impact. To me they seem like insurmountable obstacles that I won't be able to move out of my way and that hang over my head like so many swords of Damocles. The longer I don't do anything about them, the worse it gets.

I really do need someone in my life to help me take care of these things. I wish I could gather the energy and the courage to take care of them myself, because I know what needs to get done. It's the carrying out that's the problem. I'm good at organizing, I just need to be able to delegate.

It's with some worry in my heart that I look at the rest of the day. I have to get enough rest to be able to do my chores. I have to get things organized by tomorrow when I have an appointment with my SPN and when the personal helper is coming. I'm not looking forward to either event. Too much energy will have to go into them and I don't have any to spare right now. It's not my regular personal helper either, as she's on vacation. I'm not pleased about that. For two weeks I have to do with someone else who speaks Dutch with a very heavy French accent. It's not my cup of tea.

I'll leave you now, in a minor mood, to go sleep on the sofa. Maybe I'll feel better after a long nap.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Rapid Cycling...

I'm sitting here in my jeans and a long sleeved shirt with my boots on and a scarf around my neck. I have the heater turned up, but I still feel cold. Outside the weather isn't very nice either. It has been overcast and cool all day and I wore my leather jacket when I walked the dog. For some reason, it doesn't seem to want to become Spring and I read that in some other blogs too. In some places snow is even falling. At least things aren't as bad here. We just suffer from dreariness, which is bad enough when you would like for it to be a little bit warmer and a little more cheerful. Not that I expect tropical weather, of course. Temperatures around 20C would be very nice.

I talked to my psychiatrist this morning. In his opinion I'm not suffering from a depression in the traditional sense of the word. I am, however, very unstable and he says that I'm rapid cycling a lot. That means that your moods change from one extreme to another in a relatively short amount of time. Of course, when he said that, I knew he was right, but when I'm in one mood, I always think I have been in that mood all the time and I forget the other moods.

It seems like every time these mood changes happen, I'm taken by surprise. It is like every time is the first time and I never learn what to do or how to deal with it. I forget everything and almost have to start over again from scratch, unless I am reminded of them by someone else and then all my knowledge comes back to me. Well, not even all of it, bits and pieces of it and I really should reread the textbook every time, but I'm too mentally exhausted to do it.

Something in my memory doesn't work well and I forget things that are important. I have a hard time storing and retrieving bits of information. I've always had that problem, my whole life, so it's not due to the medication. I am rereading novels now that I read 6 or 7 years ago and I have no memory of having read them before. They are like new books to me. So I just go down the list of books I've already read and read them again. Unless the dog destroys them.

It's because of him that I've decided not to read anymore before I fall asleep at night, because he destroys my books if I don't put them away and I go to sleep with one in my hands too often. That's a lifetime habit. When I was a kid, my father had to come and take away my book and turn of my bedside light every night. Later on I had husbands who did that. After the initial thrills of married life wore off, of course, when we weren't enfolded in each other's arms every night.

Oh, the happiness of new love.

I'm going to watch TV. The 8 o'clock news will be on soon. I've got to watch that.


A brand new day...

I actually slept for six hours last night, I was completely flabbergasted myself. That hasn't happened in quite a while. I don't think it means that I'm done sleeping now. Doubtlessly I'll need a nap today, but it's a good beginning. I hope it means that I'll have more nights like it and maybe even with longer hours. It certainly would be a pleasure. There's nothing like getting more sleep to get your head straightened out. You can't do that on a measly three hours. I will try not to sleep too much during the day and save up my sleep for the night. I want to be good and tired when I go to bed tonight.

I'm trying to be cheerful today and I'm partially succeeding. I have to push away some unpleasant thoughts and concentrate on the moment and not think too far ahead and too much in the past, but if I do that I can almost manage. By the past I mean yesterday. By ahead I mean this afternoon. I really mean I have to live in this moment, although it's kind of hard. I'm slightly stressed, because I'm not sure yet how I'm going to get my groceries. That's an unknown and I'm waiting to hear from the Exfactor who may or may not be having motorcycle problems. If not, he may be able to do them for me. I may have to do them myself and for that I will have to build up a lot of courage. That's going to take me some time.

I also have to do chores, because the domestic help is coming this afternoon. Needless to say. I haven't done much these last few days and I do have to put some things to order. My psychiatrist is calling me at 10 o'clock this morning. I have a lot to discuss with him, especially the effect that the extra anti psychotic is having on me.

Actually, I would like to cancel today or already be at the end of it. It's a little bit too complicated for me. I'm not quite up to the task, which goes to show you that I'm really not okay yet and that I can act cheerful, but that it's a hot air balloon.

So you see, I'm not living in the moment very much.

Actually, nothing much has changed. It's just a different day with different events.

I think I had better get moving. I have to go to the tobacconist. It's something I don't look forward to, but I can take the dog, so I won't be alone.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Today on Sunday...

After having been up practically all night, I slept on the sofa for a while in the morning under the yellow fleece blanket with my bathrobe and my socks on. I didn't sleep long, because I was too sad for it. I was too sad to sleep. I woke up at nine o'clock and made myself some coffee. I turned on the computer and read some emails, but they started me crying almost immediately, and I turned the computer off. I don't even remember now which emails they were, but I seem to be very sensitive to emails right now, especially those pertaining to my blog.

I sat crying on the sofa for a while until I was done with that, but when the Exfactor got here, I started all over again. It seems that is about all I can do anymore, is cry. The tears just roll down my face spontaneously, without any effort.

The Exfactor stayed until he had to leave to go to work. That brought on more tears from me, although I certainly did not beg him to stay. I wouldn't do a thing like that. Things got worse in the afternoon and in my mind's eye I saw myself break every piece of furniture in the living room. I called the crisis line, but was told they were unavailable, because they were dealing with an emergency and it could take an hour.

An hour is a long time when you are going through a crisis yourself and I had to find a way to calm down, so I took an extra anti psychotic. I have the discretion to do that if I think I need one. It was working within half an hour and I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up a while ago. I don't feel like crying now.

The anti psychotics were reduced not too long ago from 6 mg to 4 mg and I wonder if that is part of the reason why I am having a hard time? It is a question I will have to ask my psychiatrist tomorrow.

There were a lot of emails in my in box just now and I started to answer them, but was defeated by the task. Sometimes it's all just too much and I don't know how to handle all of it. At least not in the state of mind I'm in, which is one of sadness and frustration, amongst other things. As I speak now, at this moment. I feel like I have a huge hangover too. Like I've been to a really bad party where horrible things happened. Things that should not have happened.

I worry about tomorrow. There are no groceries left in the apartment hardly and somehow I have to make it to the store. It fills me with terror. I'll try not to think about it now.


Sunday Morning.

It's starting to be the early hours of the morning, but I have been up since the early hours of the night and the peace and quiet remind me why I like to be up at this time. The advancing hours make me acutely aware of how little time there is left until daylight. I know I really need to be asleep now in order to live a healthy life, but I will miss these hours at night when I sit here by myself and I can pretend that all is well with the world and with me.

I find it difficult to know what to discuss on this blog. I feel like the whole world is watching me and judging me. I have thought about not blogging at all, but I would miss it too much, because I always feel the need to write down my thoughts and to get feedback, but suddenly it all seems much more complicated now and I know that you can expect any kind of reaction, not necessarily the one you are waiting for.

I'm suffering from a depression and have been for a long time. That was why I wanted to be on the other medication that didn't work out. I got the feeling that the medication I was taking for my depression wasn't working, but when the new medication didn't work out, I went back to the old medication that I thought wasn't working. I don't know the reason for this. It is something I have to discuss with my psychiatrist when he calls me on Monday. There is obviously a kink in the cable. Until I get this depression sorted out, I'm pushing a stone uphill.

The Exfactor came by yesterday evening. He helped me make a short list of things to discuss with my psychiatrist. He is going to come by again this morning to see how I am. I am not well.

I called the crisis line and talked to a psychiatrist. I don't really know if it helped. I said I would call back today if it was necessary. I don't know if it does me any good, but when you hit bottom, you think it does.



Saturday, May 08, 2010

A tough day.

Because of what I considered to be unpleasant and unhelpful comments, I have deleted the new blog and resurrected the old blog. It is my hope that nobody will be aware of that and that I can blog in peace and quiet. I tried to start a new blog, but Blogger was being difficult about my identity and wanted to send a verification code to my mobile phone. That was too much of a hassle to me. I hope that by now everybody had forgotten about this blog and that no one has bookmarked it anymore. It's my experience that it's better not to write for an audience, but to just sit here and write my thoughts down as if no one is reading them and to expect no comments in return. People get the wrong impression from you easily through your writing and you have to be careful what you say.

After having been up most of the night, I finally went to sleep at about 8 o'clock in the morning and slept until 1 pm, only to wake up in a terribly depressed mood, which did not improve when I read the comments to my latest post on my other blog. My world fell apart. I cried for hours. Even now I don't know what to do, except keep myself safe from as many outside influences as possible and try to find my own way through the swamp that is my mind. That is, with the help of my psychiatrist and my SPN, but they are not available now. Right now I'm on my own and I have to be a tough cookie to get through this weekend.

It's hard to have the domestic help and the personal helper in my life. I feel that I should not let them down, but I hardly have the energy to keep them happy. I'm being accused of dramatizing my life, so I guess I had better watch what I say. I would like to live my life without any help at all, but I think it is not possible, because if I chose for that, I would be accused of boycotting the effort to help me.

I only know that as time passes, I seem to be getting worse instead of better. I find it harder to stand in the world by myself and I feel godawful lonely. I have no illusions of that changing. I find it difficult to know what to do. I don't know what I can discuss anymore.