Friday, May 31, 2013

My home is my castle.

I am sitting here with a certain amount of stress that I'm trying not to feel and I'm doing whatever I can to get rid of it. I have just taken my medicines and poured a fresh cup of coffee and I hope that these two things will make a difference. I am also trying to pep myself up inside and telling myself that there is no reason to feel this amount of unease. I feel as if I have done something wrong and as if the sword of Damocles is hanging over my head and is about to cleave it in two.
Looking back in my memory on this day, I can't think of one single act that would have brought on this feeling and I'm puzzled why I am bothered by it now. Sometimes my mind is a total mystery and I feel like I have to cure whatever is wrong by equally mysterious rituals. If I just get the elements and the order right, everything will be well again, but god only knows what they are. I imagine being a heathen and being at the mercy of a totally unknown fate and bringing as many sacrifices as I can.
Being a modern, Western-European woman, I can't find my faith in that kind of process, so I have to work it out some other way. I can use psychology and analyze myself and my deeds and instantly forgive myself for whatever I didn't get right. Isn't that easy? I can even forgive myself without understanding one bit of it. That's how modern day thinking works. I can be instantly happy again and only have to feel bad for a little while. It doesn't matter that the world around me is going to hell in a hand basket, I can be happy and feel good about myself.
I wonder if it is an overdose to the news of the global village that makes us cynical and self centered and so concerned with our own happiness. We have never known so much about the world around us as we do now and we have never been as selfish. I wonder how much empathy we are at all capable of still? It seems like we all have to fight for our own survival. It seems like that. Whether or not that is actually true is another matter altogether. A part of the population of this earth doesn't know how good it has it.  


I am pretty sure that I am allergic to plain old cow's milk. I don't drink it very often anymore, but when I do, I immediately get a stomachache and the eczema on my head starts itching badly. I also get congested. I think it is because I drink it less often now, that the reaction is stronger and more noticeable. I must have subconsciously suspected this, because I have made the last supply of milk last for an awful long time. I have not had one tall glass after another the way I used to drink it in the past. At least I have become wiser about another aspect of my diet. I will now only use milk to cook with.
Luckily, to quench my thirst, there are the tall glasses of ice cold lemonade and, not to forget, the orange flavored soft drink. I am perfectly satisfied with them and they cost about the same as milk does. And, of course, I will not give up eating vanilla custard, because I don't think it gives me the same problems as milk does. I will have to pay attention to that the next time I eat it. It may turn out that I will only be able to eat goat's milk yogurt. Not that it is such a terrible thing, because I eat it gladly.
I can't believe that it is Friday again already and I must say that the week has flown by. I haven't done anything important with it, except get through it as well as possible, although that wasn't all that difficult either. I have watched tennis on television since right now the Roland Garros tournament is taking place, but the Dutch players are not doing well at all. I don't have to watch it for their sake. I do enjoy watching the really good players a lot, but it is a shame that the games are interrupted by rain. It is said that in five years time, the main court will be covered by a roof and we are all in anticipation of that.
I suppose I will go back to bed and sleep for a few more hours. Sensible people do that and I like to be counted among them. At least it is that time that I can take my morning dose of medicines already, so I will wake up next in a good mood.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hunger is what drives me.

Before I get to eat dinner, several things have to happen first, and one of them is that the hands on the clock have to move around a few more times. So as you see, I should not get excited yet, but I am full of anticipation, because dinner is my favorite meal and I look forward to it all day. I try to not spoil my appetite ahead of time by eating anything in the afternoon, and when it is dinnertime, I am well and truly hungry. I do allow myself the odd glass of lemonade for a quick pick me up, but that hardly fills my stomach.
When I went grocery shopping last, I bought the 'light' variety of dried kibbles for Tyke, and he likes them better than the other variety I had and ate almost a whole bowl full of them. Who would have thought that, although I had hoped for it. The animals are full of surprises, because Gandhi is eating the kibbles for cats that have been standing around on the kitchen shelf for a couple of months. It was either feed them to her, or throw them out, and she likes them. The box wasn't sealed that well either.
In my search for a box to put my assorted, unfiled paperwork in, I ran across more envelopes with photos and several empty albums, so you can all guess how I spent my morning. I had a very good time picking out the photos that were the most meaningful to me and that I had not looked at in ages. I filled two and a half albums and I hope to run into more photos. I found many of my children and those are, of course, the most precious to me, but there is the time when they were teenagers that they were especially so. I treasure that time a lot and those photos also.
As of today, I have decided to only wear my glasses when I am sitting behind the computer, or when I am watching television, or when I am reading a book. I think they are already not good enough anymore, or maybe they never were. At any rate, I am too vain to wear them al the time and I like my face so much better without them. Now, I do have to remember to take them off and place them on my desk before I go out, but I will get used to that. I get a headache if I try to watch television without them, but the news-text is not as well defined as it should be.
Tyke has woken up from his afternoon nap on the bed and I have to take him for a walk. It is a cloudy and dreary day and I have the thermostat turned up. One day it will really be springtime.

In case of happiness...

Tonight I am in possession of a serious dose of sense and sensibility, and I am glad of that, because last night I was full of piss and vinegar. I think I remember several people mentioning the full moon these past couple of days, and maybe that influenced my mind, although I am not claiming to be a lunatic by any means. I don't know if my behavior is influenced by the state of the moon the way ebb and high tide are, and I tend to think that these are old wives' tales that are told. The statistics don't prove it anyway. For now I will believe that my silliness last night was just a chance occurrence.
I just poured the last glass of orange soft drink and think I should nurture it and not drink it so quickly, but as usual, I am very thirsty and can't get enough of it. It is really not such a horrible thing, because I have a full two liters of milk that are on their past due date and that I should drink as soon as possible before they go bad. I will willingly sacrifice myself and have tall glasses of it in a little while. I am not the milk drinker I used to be and had overestimated how much I should buy of it.
For dinner yesterday, I made pasta with a cream sauce and a whole basket of mushrooms, sliced and fried in butter with Italian herbs. Mushrooms are high in protein, so I figured that I didn't need a meat replacement. I will have the same meal tonight, because I have another basket of mushrooms and I don't want them to go bad. I didn't eat applesauce with this meal, because I didn't think that would be all that tasty, but the next time I eat potatoes and vegetables, I will. You can have too much of a good thing.
I can't wait to go grocery shopping again, but I am going to have to wait a few days, because I haven't run out of supplies yet. I am learning what is nutritious and what I like to eat and what is most filling too. I do know that I have an enormous appetite, but I have had that my whole life. I do enjoy eating and by that I don't mean eating snacks that spoil your appetite for dinner. Dinner is a holy meal that needs to be looked forward to and enjoyed completely, and you need an empty stomach to appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cheerful blogging...

I don't know why I should be so cheerful, except for the fact that I had three cups of coffee and I think the caffeine has gone to my head and made me a bit high. It is a wonderful experience and I can recommend it to anyone. It is a cheap and safe way to feel real good, but I am going to switch to the orange soft drink now, because the coffee has made me awfully thirsty. That is the one drawback of it, and beside that, I do have to get a handle on myself.
You can't say that I don't like my little thrills in the middle of the night, but I do know when enough is enough and when I have to talk myself down off cloud number nine. Maybe there is nothing as irritating as someone who is relentlessly cheerful in the face of everything. It may be possible to be too optimistic.
There, I feel more normal now and I think I have landed on earth again. That was a quick trip into the outer atmosphere and back again at the speed of sound. It was fun while it lasted, but I am happy to be back. Thank goodness that these altered states are always only temporary and that I don't get stuck in them, because they would wear me out. The soft drink must have sobering effects, or maybe the caffeine has just stopped affecting my brain and is already leaving my system.
I had a wonderful dinner of leftovers last night and had applesauce with everything. Leftovers are always the nicest food to have, because the flavors have blended together and heated up, they taste the best. I now realize that applesauce is the condiment of my choice and mayonnaise and ketchup are not, because they upset my stomach. I will have to make sure that I always have a pot of applesauce in the refrigerator to add to any food I am eating, disgusting as that may sound. It is a Dutch thing and makes any food edible.
I have already started a new shopping list on the white board in the kitchen and every time I turn around, I am adding an item to it. The white board had gotten a bit hard to clean, so I got out some nail polish remover and a paper towel and they removed all the traces of old ink and got it sparkling clean again, so there is no need to go out and get a special cleaner.
I found a cooking website on which there are many innovative vegetarian recipes that I want to try when my American ex is here, because I do want to fix a variety of foods and make the experience as interesting as possible. I also found the recipes for making Nasi Goreng and Satay Sauce the authentic way and I am going to try them. I may turn into the kitchen princess I used to be yet.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photos and photo albums...

I felt awful when I got up this morning. My throat hurt and my glands were sore and I was stuffed up and coughing. I was seriously worried that I was getting sick and made up my mind to talk myself out of it. I took my medicines and some paracetamol and had a few cups of coffee, after which I took Tyke for a walk and when we got back home, I felt a lot better, although my glands still hurt. I think I probably am bothered by allergies and that problem should be sorted out soon, because it's going to rain this evening and tomorrow too. All the pollen will be washed out of the air.
I decided to spend some time pleasantly and I sorted through the photos that were stored in a big box in the dresser drawer in the living room. I found a lot of my daughter and her son when he was about 18 months old and such an adorable little kid. I found an album that I could put them in and had a lot of fun doing that.
I also found a lot of black and white photos of my father when he was serving with the engineers in the Dutch East Indies during the war there. He looks very handsome in his uniform and I added those photos to an album that I had already started filling with old black and white photos of my mother. The album is full now and I put it with the other ones on the bookcase.
I also found some other smaller albums that I had completely forgotten the existence of and looked through them. I found a wonderful photo of my son and put that in a frame that is sitting on my desk now, so I can look at him all the time. I put the smaller albums on the bookcase too. Little by little, I am able to look at all the photos and can be confronted with the memories and not have them hurt me. It was a long journey until I got to that point.  
The Exfactor has brought by the ibuprofen and the applesauce and the ibuprofen is working very well. I haven't tasted the applesauce yet, but I will for dinner this evening. The Exfactor also fixed the latch on the gate, which is really a job I could have done myself, but I like to ask him to do jobs for me, because I think it is good for his self esteem. They are my tools, but his muscles. Sometimes you have to act a little more helpless than you really are.

Because I say so...

I am feeling a bit under the weather and I hope I am not coming down with something, although it could just be a case of tiredness that needs a good old sleep. My domestic help, who was here yesterday, had a serious cold, so I hope I didn't catch it from her. But I am usually pretty sturdy and don't pick up every germ that goes around, so I assume that I will be okay. It was also a dry and sunny day yesterday, so I may possibly be bothered by some allergies. Some pesky pollen usually does get to me.
The Exfactor is bringing over Ibuprofen in the morning and I will be glad for that, because I have only been taking Paracetamol and that really doesn't help my back much. I have a constant ache and really have to be careful of how I sit down in a chair. Sitting in it sideways with my legs crossed is not such a good idea. I have to sit upright with both feet firmly planted on the ground. It's a boring way to sit, but my back does protest if I don't.
I don't like it when my body parts give out on me, but I suppose everybody has their aches and pains and that there is no escaping them, especially as you get older and wear out.
My stomach is co-operating very well and I enjoyed eating dinner last night. I didn't wait for the applesauce, but I have enough food left over to have it again tonight with the applesauce. These beans that I had, that I don't know the translation for in English, tasted very good with the fake bacon cubes and minced onions. The fried potatoes were delicious. The applesauce will be the icing on the cake. It will make it a real typical Dutch meal and one I hadn't had for a long time.
I am so very sleepy that I have to go back to bed. Tyke is already there and I think Gandhi is also. I hope they left some room for me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Trying to put a lid on it.

I am never as talkative as I am during the night, especially when I have had a cup of coffee, and tonight is no exception. The urge to write a blog post knows no bounds, but I hope I can pull it off and make some sense of it. I will try not to trip over my own words.
That makes it sound like an avalanche of words and sentences is going to come out now, but that's not quite the case either. I am actually hesitating what to write about. It's not as if majorly exciting things have happened over the last 24 hours that I can now amuse you with. My life is not quite as interesting as all that.
I bought two bottles of orange flavored soft drink when I went to the supermarket yesterday afternoon, which is something I very seldom do. I opened one bottle last night and watched television while I drank three tall glasses of it. I have to tell you that I enjoyed that very much and stayed up past my bedtime because of it.
It was like I was having a small party all by myself and the carbonated taste of it made me happy. It made me think of my childhood when I used to drink that exact same brand, except that I was limited then in how many glasses I was allowed to drink of it. That is one of the perks of growing older: you can have as much soft drink as you want. There is no mother hovering over you telling you to share the bottle with your sisters and make it last all weekend.
I did the rest of the grocery shopping too and managed to stay under the budget while not skimping on what I had to get. I even bought fake bacon cubes to have with beans and fried potatoes, which just made me realize that I forgot to get the applesauce to go with it. Oh well, I am not going back to the store just to get applesauce. I will have to do without, or I can ask the Exfactor to buy a jar when he is out foraging for food and bring it with him when he comes over next.
I am feeling quite carefree right now, but that is because it is the middle of the night and I don't have to worry about anything yet. It is an attitude I would like to have always, but of course it would be a bit irresponsible. I do have to concern myself with reality up to some point.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It takes one to know one.

Having coffee in the middle of the night is all very well, but it does cheer you up to the point that you don't even contemplate going back to bed to finish sleeping. I made less coffee this time, so I would not be able to drink too much of it and get overly wired. I have to add that I was already cheerful when I got up, so it didn't take much caffeine to get me in the best of moods. Any minute now, when I have taken the last sips of this cup of lukewarm coffee, I will switch to lemonade, and if that does not calm me down, I will drink a glass of warm milk.
Last night, I made vegetable soup with vermicelli, but I added so much vermicelli that it was like eating a pasta dish, although I have to say that I enjoyed it and that it was very filling. I usually misjudge how much vermicelli to add and as a rule overdo it. This time, I had two bowls of soup and only had to eat one peanut butter sandwich to complete the meal. I also had a tall glass of cold milk and did not burp once, which would have been impossible as little as a month ago. I have to tell you that I do count my blessings, small but significant as they are.
The sugar in the lemonade is like fuel to my brain and is making me chipper, which is the opposite effect of what I was going for. I will make the best of it and enjoy it. It is going to be Sunday after all, and I don't have to come into action all that early. I do have to get up on time to watch the programs about music and literature, because those are my standard fare on Sunday mornings and I can't start the day without them. However, they don't come on until 9 o'clock and I will even have time to take Tyke for a walk before that.
The hot milk is warming my insides and I am pretending that it is making me feel more mellow in preparation to going back to bed. If I can sleep another three hours, I will be happy. Most likely I will not, and be up again in the shortest amount of time, because I am always too eager to start the day.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Patience is a virtue.

I have changed the bed and put on my favorite duvet cover; the one that is dark blue and says 'sweet dreams' all over the top of it. I always feel that I will dream better when I have that one to sleep under. The subsequent laundry is nearly done churning in the washing machine, and I will be hanging it up to dry in just a little while. That is one of my favorite jobs, because of the nice smell of it.
I think Tyke has forgotten that we are supposed to go for a walk now. He is sound asleep in my armchair and does not seem about to wake up. This morning, after his first walk, he was not interested in eating his food, and it took him until later in the morning before he finished it. Maybe that is why he is off his schedule now. I will just let him sleep until he wakes up on his own.
I have decided to go grocery shopping tomorrow afternoon, because there are a few items that I am almost out of. I will not be able to go on Monday, because that's when my personal helper and my domestic help will be here. I am glad they are coming, but it does take up the better part of the day and I can't plan much of anything else. At least we get it over and done with right at the beginning of the week.
I have not done yesterday's dishes yet and that will be the job I tackle after I have walked Tyke. There aren't that many of them and I will be done in no time. It's not a job I really dislike doing, but I do have to mentally prepare myself for it and choose the right moment. First I rinse and stack them and think about them for a while. I do dry them off and put them in the cupboards right away after they have been done. I do so love a clean and empty kitchen counter.
There is a weed growing outside the living room window that has yellow flowers. I am torn between pulling it out and letting it grow because of its cheerful color. I really think any flower has a right to grow, even if it is a weed, so I will probably leave it there. I am sure the maintenance people will come along soon enough and cut it down. And that reminds me that there are lots of buttercups growing in the fields, and also purple clover. Those are also a cheerful sight to see.
I will go hang up the laundry now and see if that action will wake up Tyke. He is usually curious enough to want to come watch me when I do something in another room of the apartment. Oh yes, when I searched through all my hair products earlier, I found the perfect stuff to rub in my hair and make it stand up a bit to make it look fuller. I now look a bit punkie.

Chilled to the bone.

I very quickly drank two tall glasses of ice cold milk, because I was so thirsty, and now I am very chilled, even though I am sitting here in my warm bathrobe with my socks on. This has forced me to reach for the coffeepot again and pour a cup of hot coffee to warm my cold bones. Luckily, I had not turned off the coffeemaker yet and I must have intuitively thought that I may have wanted to inhale some more caffeine later. I do have to tell you that it is doing me a world of good and that I am starting to feel warmer and more alert than I did a while ago. There is goodness in the small things.
As is usual, I am glad that it is the weekend, although I have no special reason to look forward to it. It will just mean that I will be in possession of a little bit of that holiday feeling that I always get. It is true that television watching is much more interesting in the weekends and that all of my cultural and political needs get met, because it is the one time when daytime programs are really intelligent. I suppose that is a good reason to be happy that it is the weekend, because at least I feel that my curiosity gets fed and my intellect gets stimulated.
It will also be the time to get caught up on chores, because I save those especially for the weekends, and one thing I will be doing is changing the sheets on the bed, so that I can look forward to going to sleep in a clean one. It is almost a shame that I don't have to go grocery shopping yet, because I am very much in the mood for it. I have no excuse to do that, because I have not yet run out of supplies. I don't even know if the supermarket I want to try next is open this Sunday afternoon, but if I find out that it is, I may just go shopping a little sooner.
The truth of the matter is, that I am always in a better mood in the weekends and I haven't quite figured out why that is. I do have more of a sense of freedom and I generally feel less stress. I suppose I feel that things are in a holding pattern in the weekends and I feel less threatened by what hangs over my head like the sword of Damocles. I am glad that the weekends exist for the very purpose of getting a break from the stress of the weekdays. Maybe it is not as clearly defined for other people, but I do experience it like that myself.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The truth of the matter.

Having another cup of hot coffee is always a good option when you have come in from the cold after you have walked your dog. This morning the temperature was down to 0 degrees Celsius and I think it has only gotten a little warmer since then. I have it from a good source that over the next month it isn't going to get all that much better, so sitting in outdoor cafes is not going to be the up and coming attraction without a warm coat on. I hope my American ex brings one with him and not only shorts and t-shirts and a light weight sweater.
Tyke, who is losing weight, is trying to convince me that he wants some other food beside his dried kibbles, and it is tough to sit here unmoved when he so patiently keeps staring at me with his big brown eyes. I do have to be ruthless and ignore him, because I only have enough wet food until the next time I go shopping and that won't be until next Tuesday. Of course, he doesn't understand this system at all and thinks I can just give him whatever he wants at any moment of the day.
I have the windows closed, but don't have the heater on, although I will probably change my mind about that later this afternoon when, as usual, I get cold and want to put my bathrobe on over my clothes. My estimated monthly energy bill is high enough that I should take advantage of it and turn the thermostat up, but I really do want to get some money back at the end of the year. And speaking of that, why does the energy company not have to pay interest over that amount?
I am still taking Ibuprofen and Paracetamol at least once a day for my back, so that is a slow process of recovery. I try to avoid taking those pills, but I find it to be necessary and they really do work. If I don't take them, I start moving carefully and that only makes my back hurt worse and that brings me further from home. Preventive medicine is the best and I don't believe in walking around with a painful back just for the sake of being brave and being able to take a beating. That's not logical and I do not admire people who are stubborn like that. They are not my role models.
I have to make a sandwich and I will do it with the first slices of the loaf of bread that the Exfactor brought over yesterday and that has 30 percent more fiber. I suppose that will be very good for me.

Believing in the impossible.

It is ever so nice to sit here with a cup of coffee and a completely sober minded attitude that borders on the optimistic and makes me feel that, in the end, maybe everything is going to be alright. How I am going to pull this off is not exactly clear to me yet, but I have to believe in the power of positive thinking and the possibility of good outcomes. The likelihood is that I, when the chips are completely down, will find a solution and save myself. Come hell or high water.
Taking the day off yesterday has done me a world of good and I am ready to face the music today. I will gladly tackle the dishes that are waiting to be done on the kitchen counter. It is good to give yourself a break now and then, both mentally and physically, although I do have to say that the most pleasant thing I did was take Tyke for his walks. It was a bit cold outside, but I was dressed warm enough and the fresh air did wonders for me. Whatever cobwebs I may have had in my mind, were blown away by the wind.
It is a good thing that I have stopped eating cheese, although I love the taste of it. I have stopped retaining water and am much less bloated. I think maybe I wasn't supposed to eat it in the first place and do better just having a few glasses of milk a day. I may even decide to quit drinking them and to rely only on the vitamin and mineral supplements. I am an adult, after all, and do not really need dairy products. The supplements are a bit of an investment, but a bottle lasts a long time, although I am very faithful about taking them and don't skip a day.
The peanut butter sandwiches agree with me very well and I can't believe that I thought I was allergic to peanut butter at one time. That was, of course, when my stomach was still acting up. At least now I don't have to worry about getting enough protein. I also have delicious whole grain bread that is a pleasure to eat. Whatever I do, I will not skimp on the bread. It has to be of a good quality.
Tyke has forsaken me and gone back to bed and I think that is where I will go for a while. It is the best place to be when it is not quite dawn yet.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A day off...

I have decided to take the day off from all my worries and to only think about pleasant things that make me feel good. I think I really do have an on and off button in my brain that allows me to do this. I did not start out feeling that way this morning when I got up, but after I had a few cups of coffee, I found the wherewithal to make the decision. I am very determined now and it would take a lot to have me change my mind. I will act like I am on vacation and like my mind is on a tropical beach in the warm sunshine.
There, that is all settled then and I can relax. In a little while I will have a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of ice cold milk, and then I will walk Tyke before it decides to rain again. It did all night long and earlier this morning, but there is a momentary break now. That is not to say that Tyke minds the rain, because he does not. His favorite thing to do, is to walk through puddles, no matter how large and deep they are. He likes to drink from them as he does so.
Gandhi accidentally had the crazy half hour this morning and played with everything that came upon her way. They happened to be Tyke's toys and Tyke was a bit astonished by this. Gandhi pounced on them as if they were prey and batted them through the living room. She very seldom acts this way and I don't know what came over her all of the sudden. Maybe it is the shortage of mice outside that made her behave like this. It was a very funny sight and I hope she does it again soon.
The outside of the windows very badly needs to be washed, but because it is almost constantly raining, it would be a futile exercise. I am a bit embarrassed by the state of them, but I assume that everybody's windows look like that. Well, maybe not those of obsessive housewives, of which I am not one. The armchair that I usually sit in, is placed so that I don't have to look at the windows, so that way I can forget about them, but when I sit behind the computer, I see them all the time.
Oh yes, I forgot. I am only supposed to think of pleasant things. I think I will take a nap this afternoon, because I had a most complicated night with the most interesting dreams, and I woke myself up several times because I was talking out loud. Epic movies, those dreams are. They tell whole intricate stories and I wish I could watch them again the next day. It's too bad that we haven't figured out how to record them yet.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Another decision.

As of last night, I decided to stop using my sleeping pills, because they weren't helping me sleep very much anyway, and I slept as much without them as I did with them. I don't know if I am going to go through any withdrawals, but I'll worry about that when it happens. I am assuming that I'll be fine and that it is going to be no problem at all. I have done without them before and I don't even remember now why I went back on them. I think maybe it was when I was cutting back on the antipsychotics and felt a lot of anxiety.
I went grocery shopping in a different supermarket yesterday, and it wasn't nearly as traumatic an experience as I had thought it was going to be. Actually, it was fine and a bit of an adventure. I had a shopping list, of course, and all I had to do was walk through the store and find out where everything was located. I was shopping for the best deals and think I did a good job. I shopped for the whole week and stayed within my budget. I think I saved money, but I still have to compare the items on this receipt to the one from last week.
I didn't buy any cheese, but I bought a small jar of peanut butter instead, just to give it a try. Much to my dismay, I found out that this is also very addictive and that I have to be careful how many sandwiches I eat of it. I do very severely have to put a limit on it. I found the perfect food for Tyke that he can eat twice a day and that isn't expensive yet filling. I found something similar for Gandhi and they both like it. As a matter of fact, they both try to persuade me to give them more of it, but I am tough enough not to do this.
I have to go back to bed now and finish sleeping. It will be a few hours until dawn yet, but I will be greeted soon by birdsong and that is an awfully nice way to wake up.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Instead of worrying...

I am having one of those restless nights again and this is the second time that I am up. I am feeling a lot of anxiety and I know it is because I am worried about my financial situation. I have not been able to make ends meet every month and things are only becoming more dire. It is the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing when I go to sleep. It is to the point now, that I really can not afford to go grocery shopping.
I made myself a small pot of coffee and am hoping that it will cheer me up a bit, because, as a rule, caffeine makes me feel better. I know worrying does not help, but coming up with solutions does, and that is what I am going to have to do. I have already found a supermarket that is farther away from here, but that is cheaper than the one I go to now. I hope to save some money that way.
I am going to have to stop eating cheese, because it is making me retain water and making my hands and feet swell up. It will be a good thing, because I am addicted to cheese and have a tendency to eat too much of it. There will be enough alternatives of things to put on my toast instead, such as honey and jam. I think cheese also makes my eczema worse, so that is an extra incentive to stop eating it. I would be silly not to and it will save on the grocery bill.
Thank goodness that I have a natural streak of optimism that does not let me down in the end and that, for a little while anyway, allows me not to worry when nothing can be done about it. I have to let my rational mind prevail at all times and keep my common sense intact.
Yesterday was still a holiday, but today the week starts again like any other. I am a bit glad about that, because I do like things to get back to normal and we have had a lot of holidays lately. My personal helper will be here in the morning and in the afternoon a domestic help should be here. Somewhere in between, I will try to go to the store or I may even be able to postpone that for a day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A decision.

I think I have decided to very leisurely take the day off and to only do the chores that absolutely need to be done. I am not going to go over and beyond the call of duty and I am not going grocery shopping, although I did toy with the idea for a while. There is enough food left for me to eat, and if the animals do not protest too much, there is enough for them also. And, of course, today is a holiday and I should take advantage of that, even though the supermarket is open. Today I think I will have a little vacation.
Having given myself that permission, I can now relax and do as I choose, well up to a point. I will not throw all my responsibilities overboard. I am not quite that careless. I do feel that I can plan my day very loosely, and do what needs to be done whenever the fancy strikes me. It is supposed to rain today, although it has not started yet. The sky is overcast and it does not bode well, but I have already been out to walk Tyke. That is one responsibility that I got taken care of. I will have to take him out more often than that, of course, so I am not off the hook yet.
I have already changed the sheets to my bed and very optimistically put the summer ones on that are such a cheerful color. I still have the four season duvet on the bed and it will be a while before I change that because it is not quite warm enough to. I am actually not that optimistic about summer and it may turn out like last year when we had a cool one with a lot of rain. That is really not all that awful, because it is better than having heat waves, which can feel tropical here because of the humidity.
My American ex is going to be here on the 12th of June and will be staying for a month. I have arranged for him to have a bike while he is here, so that he will be able to get around. At least we will be able to go grocery shopping together. I will make sure that he gets some shopping bags too, because I am sure we will need more food while he is here. He likes to make those big American sandwiches and he has quite an appetite for dinner too. No doubt he will want me to make macaroni-shrimp salad, which is his favorite.
I have managed to have a couple of cups of coffee, but I did not get the kick out of them that I used to get. I ate earlier during the night when I woke up and could not immediately go back to sleep. I think I am now ready to eat again. I just took a loaf of bread out of the freezer and will have toast with cheese. I also think that I will go back to bed for a while and get some more sleep. I think I did not get enough during the night. Is that not the best thing to do on a leisurely day?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

When a point has been made...

Since I am eating solid meals, I have to eat regularly because my body tells me, except that I am not that good yet at interpreting the signals and mistake them for tiredness and sleepiness, which I try to fix by drinking cups of coffee. I found out that those do not work at getting my energy back and that I really need to eat a meal and not even just drink a glass of lemonade. I certainly learned my lesson this morning when I struggled mightily with this whole concept.
I must get low blood sugar that I have such a hard time with it and from now on have to make sure that I eat on time. It does not matter what time it says it is on the clock, I can not let myself be led by that kind of small detail. When I am almost comatose, I need to eat a meal. Luckily, toast with cheese is easily fixed and I can always eat extra if it turns out to be necessary. All I have to do is wait for the first helping to do its job, and if it does not, have a second helping. I have to learn this funny business about food all over again.
Now I am to the point where caffeine only cheers me up when I have a full stomach and my metabolism is working normally. If I am floundering, there is no amount of coffee that is going to make me feel better and I may as well not brew a pot. It certainly is an interesting development when you consider that it practically kept me alive before. Things really have changed.
I am listening to Radio Clara, which is a Belgian classical radio station. I do not care for all of the music I am hearing, but then again, I do not get to choose it and I have to accept whatever I get. I was inspired to listen to it because there was a very interesting conductor being interviewed on television this morning who spoke with passion about Beethoven. He not only did so with his voice, but with his face and his hands and his whole body as well. This got me longing for classical music, which I have not listened to for a while.
Apparently Gershwin counts as a classical composer as well, because I am listening to a piece by him now. It sounds kind of frivolous to me, but who am I to say. I just want some Beethoven, but I suppose I can look through my own collection of music. I have not done that in a while either and have forgotten what I own.
It is a beautiful day today and the sun has been out since dawn. There is hardly a cloud in the sky, but we have been promised some rain this evening and more of that tomorrow, unfortunately. I have to go walk Tyke again and it will be a pleasure. There is nothing as healing and kind as sunlight.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

On a day like today...

I am wearing my new glasses and have worn them for a long enough time now to have gotten used to them. When I first put them on, my eyes had to adjust to the strength and it felt like they were maybe all wrong, and it felt funny looking at my surroundings when I rode my bike home from the optometrist. Now that it is a couple of hours later, and I am sitting here behind the computer, I realize how much better I can see and that is such a relief. I am at some distance from the screen and can see the words and letters easily without any effort.
These glasses have a bigger frame than my old ones and show my eyes more, and because of that, I have put on mascara and I think I look a bit better with it on. Yes, I have capitulated and am wearing make up. It is a small concession that I made for vanity's sake. I immediately had a very nice man with a dog talk to me when I walked Tyke this afternoon. I'm sure the fact that I was wearing such nice glasses and mascara were the reason. I normally do not get involved in such long conversations with strangers. I hope I see him again.
I think I will let my hair grow a little longer and only have it cut around my ears and in my neck the next time I go to the hairdresser. It is getting a little thin in some places and I think the person who cut it had not taken that into account. If my hair is not squeaky clean, the thin places do show up quickly. I also think it will look better longer with these new glasses, but you do not know these things ahead of time. All you can do is try things out and then patiently wait for them to correct themselves. In another 5 weeks, I will look fine, but I do wish for a full head of hair.  
I am hungry for dinner, but it is not time to eat yet. It is too late to eat a snack and I do not want to spoil my appetite. I also do not want to take in too many calories, because I am gaining weight and there is a limit to how much weight I want to gain. I think I will have a glass of lemonade and pretend it is food. The sugar in it will give me a quick pick me up anyway and the coldness of the ice cubes will shock my system into a whole new kind of awareness. Isn't it nice how I can rationalize any kind of a choice I make? I could just as easily opted to have a glass of ice cold milk and given you a reason why that would have been a good choice.
It has actually not rained all day long, after it did so all day yesterday, and tomorrow is going to be a fairly nice day with some sunshine and warmer temperatures. It does not feel like springtime very much yet, but maybe it will for a while tomorrow.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy little things...

I am happy to report that I can take real creamer in my coffee again and that it tastes good and does not upset my stomach at all. I had it in the refrigerator for the Exfactor, and today decided to give it a try and it was a success, and I do have to say that I like the taste of my coffee this way. It goes down it bit smoother and it feels like I am getting away with something real evil. That must be because I was forced to drink it black for such a long time. This is a far superior experience and I may end up liking coffee even more than I already did.

The other thing that has happened is, that by eating such different and varied food, my metabolism has speeded up and my whole system is working just fine, thank you very much! There is a lot of truth in eating on time and sensibly, which I had not been able to do for such a long time. Now, I no longer have to ignore the pangs of hunger, or feed my stomach mushy foods, and I can eat all sorts of healthy and nutritious things.

Last night I had fusilli pasta with a mushroom ragout and Italian vegetables. I have enough left over that I am going to have it again tonight and I am looking forward to it. When something tastes very good, I do not mind eating it two nights in a row.

I also have in my possession a magazine with lots of vegetarian recipes and I have already found several that I want to try. Some of them I am going to adapt to my taste and others reminded me of food I used to eat when I was young, and I can fix those dishes that my mother used to make, but instead of meat I can use meat replacements that also taste very good nowadays. I did look through the magazine after I had done the grocery shopping, so whatever new food I am going to try is going to have to wait until the next trip to the supermarket.
I just made Tyke very happy, because I gave him the contents of the one can of dog food that I had left over and that I was saving for an emergency. I was hoping that he was really going to like his dried kibbles, but I think he would rather starve than eat them. He is now very contentedly lying in my armchair, sound asleep and snoring very gently. I think having a full stomach did that to him. As soon as it stops raining, we will go out for a walk, but right now it does not look like he is ready to go anywhere. Frankly, it does not look like it will stop raining soon either.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

No matter how you turn it...

A pizza turns out to be fast food after all, no matter how well it is made and, although I liked my mozzarella one, some time after I ate it, I was hungry again. It must be because some important nutrients are missing that your body still needs and subconsciously tells you to start taking in. A pizza does not take the place of an evening meal anyway, and I can only see it as a snack food, but that was not my purpose when I ate it.
I have satisfied my craving and curiosity in eating it and will not be having another one for some time, unless I run into one accidentally and am offered it. It is really a shame to waste the calories and the room in your stomach on it, because I can think of many other foods that I would prefer to eat instead and that would not leave me longing for more. As a matter of fact, I think this took care of whatever curiosity I may have harbored for any fast food.
One thing I am happy to report, is that I am having my old reaction to caffeine again and that the cup of coffee I am having right now is working very much in my favor. It is most definitely giving me a mental kick in the rear end and that is what I was missing these past few days. It is so nice when a cup of coffee does what you expect it to, because it is the whole reason why you drink it. I had already made a pot of green tea with lemon earlier today, thinking caffeine maybe no longer played a role in my life.
All day long I have had a longing to take a book off the bookcase and start reading it, but then I remember the frustration in trying to distinguish the small print. I think this is really what the main problem is when it comes to my ability to and interest in reading novels. I am very much hoping that, after I have picked up my new glasses on Saturday, I will find a good novel to read and not put it down until I have finished it.
I think this problem of not being able to see well has stalked me for some time without me consciously being aware of it, except that I have felt some vague frustration in not being able to see as well as I could, but I thought the problem was due to my glasses. Having cataracts was the furthest thing from my mind.
It has been raining on and off all day and Tyke and I have been taking our walks in it. There is no sense in waiting for a break in it, because there hardly are any at the right time. It is not too cold outside, so we are not suffering too much.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Did I make a mistake?

Because I was hardly getting any pleasant effects from the coffee I was drinking these last few days, the thought came up in me this afternoon that maybe I had accidentally bought decaffeinated coffee. I usually notice it immediately when I have had about half a cup by the way it feels like I have mentally had a kick in the rear end. I get very upbeat and it just wasn't happening.
I decided to look in the trash bag to see if I could find the empty package, and after a short search,  I did.  Much to my surprise it showed that I had bought regular caffeinated coffee, so that was not the problem. It must be that when you do not drink it on an empty stomach, the caffeine works differently on you and does not have so much of an impact.
My stomach, nowadays, is always full, and in a general sense, I am always upbeat. But I do miss that high I used to get when I made a fresh pot of coffee and drank that first cup, and now, I suppose, that is a thing of the past. However, when I have to weigh that against being able to eat just about anything, I do have to say that I like the present situation much better. I am steadier and more even tempered and that can only be a good thing.
This morning I discovered that I really did not have enough pasta for the amount of sauce I had left, so I decided to go grocery shopping. I also decided to go early, because it was threatening to rain, but as it was, I did get rained on a little bit on the way home, but when you have short hair, there is not much damage that can be done. My hair got a bit wet, but was dry again in the shortest amount of time.
I bought a lot of pasta and basic sauces and fresh vegetables, because I not only want to eat healthy, but also a lot. I will not put myself on any sort of a diet. I also got two loaves of very good bread from the 'warm baker' and I stocked up on cheese, because I eat that stuff like it is going out of style. I bought a freshly made mozzarella pizza, because I had promised myself that I would as a special treat and all I have to do, is stick it in the oven for a while.
The oven has not been used in five years and I have forgotten how to light it and hope I do not cause an explosion. I do know that I have to put a new light bulb in it, but I just happen to have one of those. It is an energy saving one, so it may be kind of dim, but it will be better than none at all. It is impossible to find the old kind of light bulb, and I only have one light fixture that still has one in it.
I have to go do the dishes now before I make a mess of the kitchen again, although it should not be too bad when all I am doing is heating up a pizza and cutting it up. Oh, I do not have a pizza cutter, but I do have a very sharp knife. That will have to do.  

That is more than enough...

I am afraid that if I keep talking about the fact that I can now eat all sorts of food, I am going to turn into an awfully boring blogger, so I best put an end to that and not keep rehashing that subject. I will turn my back on it and, for a while anyway, not discuss it again. I am sure there are other things to write about, although to tell you the truth, I may find it to be a bit of a problem. It is not so that I lead an real exciting life with all sorts of adventures in it. I have to search very far and wide to find something else to write about that will keep your interest.
When I was in Texas visiting my daughter over the holidays, I bought a big stuffed animal for Tyke in the shape of an English bulldog. It was a success right away and the first thing he did with it was chew on it with a dazed look of happiness in his eyes. In the meantime, about a dozen holes have appeared in it and Tyke has pulled out lots of the stuffing, which I regularly gather and throw away in the trash.
Sometimes, for a while, he forgets all about his stuffed dog and concentrates himself on his rawhide bones instead, but then, with renewed fervor, he will apply himself to the dog again and shake it all about as if he is trying to kill it. Yesterday he had an especially good day and pulled out lots of the stuffing, but the dog is not nearly empty yet, and we have a while to go before it will be.
This stuffed animal has been worth spending the money on for all the pleasure that Tyke is getting out of it. I knew he would demolish it when I bought it for him, the question was just how long it would last. Gandhi liked it a lot at first too and would sleep on top of it when Tyke was not busy with it and when it was not so lumpy. She has lost interest in it now and has found other more interesting places to sleep.
There is seldom a dull moment when you have animals, and when they are not busy destroying stuffed animals, they are as docile as lambs and sit on your lap to be petted and cuddled and meditate with you. We do have many moments in the day like that. Having an animal on your lap is always a good excuse to stay in your chair for a time out. It does wonders for your own peace of mind too.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A most amazing thing.

It is most amazing what eating well and having a full stomach do to your overall mood. I normally have a tendency to be upbeat and optimistic, but since I am eating so much better, my mood has improved enormously too and I thought it could not get much better. Well, I was wrong, it seems I was just living on the outer edges of feeling well.
Now that I am less hungry all the time, I think I was having much trouble with low blood sugar very often and that this impaired my happiness lots of times. Before I would ignore my feelings of hunger and try to cover them up by drinking coffee, but I do much less of that now, and when I feel hungry, I eat until I am full again. It's so nice to prepare food and know that you are going to eat all of it.
I have food left to fix dinner for two more days and then I will have to go to the store. Actually, I can not wait to go, because I have been thinking about what I will buy and letting my imagination run wild, at least bigger than the contents of my wallet. I will seriously have to keep tight reins on myself when I walk through the store and not fill the shopping cart to overflowing. Besides, I would not be able to bring that much food home on my bike, so I am restricted somewhat.
I am going to eat Indonesian noodles tonight and I will be adding extra fresh vegetables to them to make the meal more special and filling. I do want dinner to be an occasion that I can look forward to and really enjoy. I do not want just any sort of meal. I will try to jazz up anything I fix for dinner and I have to put my mind to what extra sort of vegetables I want to buy to add when I cook. Onions and garlic are always good, but there have to be some others too. I am thinking red and green peppers and leeks.
My whole life long I have had a good appetite and enjoyed food and food and I have always had a good relationship until everything went pear shaped. I am glad that I am picking up the good relationship where I left off and am back to normal again. Before you know it, I will be the kitchen princess that I once was and fixing all sorts of interesting dishes. I do know that I look forward very much to eating fresh vegetables, because I have been unable to so far, except for in soups.
Much to my disgust, it has started to rain and I wanted to take Tyke for a walk in a while. Hopefully it will stop soon, because I want to fix dinner after I walk him. Maybe there will be no other choice but to go out in the rain and dry Tyke off with a big towel when we get home. He does enjoy that.

Be still my heart.

Now that I can almost eat and drink food like any other person again, I took advantage of it yesterday and indulged. I ate as much food as I could, expecting with each bite to be confronted with a badly protesting stomach, but it did not happen. I even drank ice cold glasses of milk with my food and thought that might cause problems, but that was not the case either. It was a most amazing experience to finally have a full stomach because I had eaten enough food to feel completely sated. It has been a long time since I have had that experience.
Since I went grocery shopping the last time for someone with a very small appetite, I may run out of food sooner than I had counted on and may have to go back to the supermarket sooner this week than I planned. I really do not mind doing this, but it will stretch the food budget and I am going to have to shop smarter than I already do. The nice part now is that I will not be guessing at what foods I will be able to eat, but  will be able to buy just about anything that I fancy. As long as it is healthy and vegetarian, I will be able to eat it.  
That thrills me even beyond my own imagination and the supermarket will become a whole new place to explore and discover things in. There is so much that I have avoided and not paid attention to that I can now look at and consider adding to my diet, that it boggles the mind. There will be a whole new culinary world opening up to me after years of eating very limited and unvaried foods. You can count on the fact that I will have a very good time when I go grocery shopping next and that I will take my time doing it. Who would have thought that such a small procedure as opening up my gastric band would have made such a difference?

Monday, May 13, 2013

That annoying gastric band.

This morning I dressed in my winter coat and gloves, and got on my bike in the cold and drizzling weather to ride to the hospital. It was 10 minutes to eight, but I had gotten up on time and had enough coffee to be very alert, and I had also had the chance to walk Tyke.
The only negative thing about riding my bike to the hospital, is that I have to go across a high bridge that covers the railway station that is close to it, and I always have to put my bike in the smallest gear and hope to make it across in one go. The thing is, though, that I have been doing it frequently lately, and that I am getting better at it all the time. The trick then is, not to lose control over you bike when you get to the other side where you also have to cross the road to get to the bike path, and not get run over by a bus in the process. At this point you are gathering speed.
I made it to the hospital on time and only had to wait in the radiology waiting room for just a few minutes until my name was called. The nurse said, "You know the procedure by now, right?" And I said I did and prepared myself to have the series of X-rays taken. I had to drink a contrast fluid and swallow it while the X-rays were made to see how quickly the fluid passed my gastric band. After I had done this, there was some consternation and the radiologist showed me the screen, and on it I could see that the contrast fluid was stuck in my esophagus and would not pass the gastric band at all.
She asked me if I had a lot of trouble with burping and food backing up and vomiting, and I told her I did and that eating and drinking were very difficult things. She said that it was no wonder if the contrast fluid would not even pass. She told me that she would empty the gastric band more than she had planned to and then check again to see how it would function.
She checked with the injection needle that she used to extract the fluid in the gastric band first to see how much there was left in it and then decided to take out half. When she made another series of X-rays, we could see that the opening of the gastric band to my stomach had become four times as big. She decided that this should allow me to eat with much more ease, but she said that if it didn't, to call and she would take out more.
When I got home, I could not wait to have a cup of coffee, but expected to immediately start burping like I always did. Much to my surprise, that did not happen at all. Some time later, I had a tall glass of milk and I expected some sort of problem with that, but that also went fine and I could drink the whole glass without effort. For lunch, I fixed myself a slice of toast with cheese on it and I am always barely able to eat that and it always  does cause me all sorts of problems. I ate that without any at all, and could even eat a second slice and drink another tall glass of milk to wash it all down with.
For the first time in a very long time, I had a full stomach and felt satisfied. Now I know I will be able to eat a plate full of pasta for dinner tonight. I can not begin to tell you how happy that makes me and I feel like a newly born woman. It is so nice to be able to still your hunger without aches and pains and other interferences. This really has turned into a good day.

Happiness from a coffeepot.

After initially waking up a bit grumpy, I have managed to achieve an artificial high from the cup of coffee I just had. This is so pleasant, that just to be on the safe side, I am having another cup. I do want to keep the level of caffeine steady. I do not know of any other kind of drug that works as well, so I am pleased that this is a rather innocent one. It does give almost immediate results and I can always count on it. A cup of coffee has never let me down, unless I have unwittingly had a decaffeinated one and could not figure out why it was not working.
I had a nice enough mother's day, because for the main part, I made it a nice day myself. Of course, it was also nice that my daughter did not forget me on this day, so that made it extra special, but my day was going well already and I have determined that Sundays are really my favorite day of the week.
I spent it very leisurely doing chores that I had not got around to during the week and took times out to sit behind the computer or watch political discussion programs or sports on television. The best programs, at least the ones that I like, are on on the weekends, so that is when I get all my television watching done. I did have to switch off the television at one point because of my disgust with the points of views expressed by the guests and the ineptitude of the host of one program, whom I suspect of not being capable of the job, but that's what the on and off button is for.  
This morning I am having my gastric band emptied out some and I am looking forward to that procedure. Well, I am actually looking forward to the result of it, because I expect to be able to eat with more ease. It would be nice if I could eat two pieces of toast with cheese instead of just the one I am barely capable of eating now and that always leaves me hungry. I made pasta with a cream sauce last night and had a small portion of it, but I was hungry for more. I put the leftovers in the refrigerator in the hope that I will be able to eat more of it tonight. Of course, it may take my stomach a while to loosen up after the gastric band has been emptied out more.
It is not going to be a hugely exciting week, but on Saturday I am going to pick up my new glasses and I am looking forward to that. It will be great to be able to see better than I do now and I expect a big improvement. Hopefully, they will be good for a long time and the cataracts will not get worse too quickly.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What's new anyway?

Unless I pretend that this is a confessional booth, there really is not much to write about, but it is out of habit and to prepare myself to go back to bed, that I do. I have to wind down from the excitement of having visited Facebook and all the other blogs and find spend some time in contemplation of what the last 24 hours have been like. I do have to add, though, that nothing really important happened and that the time passed quickly without me really being very much aware of it.
I did the grocery shopping yesterday morning after I watched all my favorite cultural programs on television, because I decided that they were too important for me and that I did not want to miss that quality time in order to get to the store while it was still relatively quiet there. I do need my once a week fix of culture. It is important that my curiosity gets satisfied and that my mind gets challenged. I may not like everything I see and hear, but I sit there with an open mind and ready to be convinced.
Because Tyke did not like the dried dog food that I had gotten for him, I very carefully picked out a new kind and hoped that he would like it. I had made a shopping list of everything I thought I would need and that included getting Gandhi's favorite food. In the end, it turns out that my dog is a much more finicky eater than my cat. Tyke thinks he only likes food that I am eating and I do not want him to get into the habit of being a dog that eats leftovers. I do want him to eat a balanced diet and considering the fact that he is a bit overweight, it is especially important that he eats healthy food.
I ate all the vanilla custard and goat yogurt yesterday, which is a habit I have. It is a treat to myself whenever I have gone shopping and it agrees with me so well. It's the kindest food that I can eat and I thoroughly enjoy it. In the past, it would put me into a stupor, but I do not have that problem anymore. I very often take Tyke for a walk afterwards and it helps to settle everything in my stomach. I also bought Bami Goreng, which are spicy Indonesian noodles, and I am especially looking forward to eating them after my gastric band has been emptied some on Monday morning. It should be easier for me to eat them then.
Tyke likes his new dog food very much and I am so relieved that I found one that he enjoys eating. It is the only kind of food that he will be getting from now on, beside his dental sticks. Those really do work and his teeth have gotten cleaner and his breath smells good. He gets one a day, although he wants more of them.
Today is Mother's Day, although I am trying to ignore that fact and reminding myself that it is only a commercial invention.

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's tough to be normal.

Being normal is the most overrated thing in the world and I can not wait to stop being it. I think I must have been it all week now and I am growing pretty tired of it because it is basically very boring. I prefer the awkward state of being not normal much better. At least it adds some excitement to your life. I even started an argument with myself while I was walking Tyke this evening, because it was too quiet in my head.  It did get interrupted by Tyke's insistence on diving into the bushes to get to a half eaten apple. I now do not exactly remember what the argument was all about.
I realized arguing with myself was much preferable to not having any sort of dialog going on at all, and that I got livelier and more passionate while the argument lasted. It is not that hard to view both sides of a case, and argue both points of view, and even let yourself get a wee bit emotional about it. At least your feelings as well as your ratio come in to play.
Well, that goes to prove my point that being normal is not at all preferable because who would do that? Or own up to it? Anyone who passes for a normal person would not.
In my completely normal state of mind, I went to the hairdresser this afternoon and got a real short haircut. You could say that it is a totally rational haircut, because I had it cut that way to be completely carefree. I have combed it once since I have been home, to test it out, and it is as easy to get in place as I had hoped it would be. It is not a haircut I will come to regret, because at least I made the decision to get it in a rational state of mind, so there is something to be said for that. I guess being normal sometimes is a good thing.
I have to do the grocery shopping tomorrow and I am already looking forward to making the list, which I will keep as short as I can so I will stay under the budget. No, that's silly. I really will buy everything I need and we will not go hungry. That day will never come. I will try to go early in the morning, because one time I went in the afternoon when it was very busy and all the shopping trolleys were in use. I had to elbow my way to the front of the line of people waiting for one in order to get mine. I am tough that way.

Some of the good stuff...

Yesterday, I only had to take the pain medication twice, and the second time was after I took Tyke for his third walk. I would say that is quite an improvement. Of course, I had a bit of a lazy day because it was a holiday and I did not feel compelled to do much, but still. I always do have some responsibilities being the only adult in a household with two animals who need to be fed and watered and paid attention to.
So I think my back is getting better and I am ever so grateful for that, because I do dislike taking those big and powerful tablets. Even though I take them with a glass of milk, they do have a tendency to upset my stomach for a bit, so the less I have to take them, the better. Of course, it is best if I have no pain at all so I do not stiffen up and make it worse. I do have to guard for that. I am not purposely going to withhold the pain medication from myself if I need it.
It was Ascension Day and, although a Christian holiday, still a day that most people had off. A lot of them will make a long weekend of it and take today off also. Luckily, the hairdresser had no such ideas, because that is where I will be going this afternoon to have my already short hair cut a bit shorter. Actually, it has grown out of shape and that is why I am going, not to have much of it cut off. I do need the outing and the pampering too. That is another reason to go there.
After taking inventory, it turns out that I have enough clothes for this summer and that I really do not have to buy anything new anymore. Slowly, over time, I have acquired the things that I need. It is, of course, a question if we are going to have much of a summer at all, because springtime is not very encouraging so far. I do have to say though, that I do not wish for hot weather because I can not stand that at all because of the humidity that is inherent to it. So, if it turns out to be a cool summer, I will not complain about it too much.
I have decided to start taking vitamin C tablets beside the multivitamin that I take every day. I want to take at least the recommended daily allowance and maybe more. That is something I want to think about. So far, I eat so little fruit that I think it is necessary, but it is possible that after my gastric band has been emptied some, I will be eating more of it. Of course, all the fruit I like is the expensive sort, except for juicy pears.
I have to think about going back to bed, although it is with some reluctance that I do. I am not quite looking forward to it yet. I think I need a glass of hot milk first.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Just because...

I can not say that I am wide awake and chipper, even though I have had two cups of coffee. It is because I am awake at an unusual time. Tyke woke me up by whining pitifully in my ear, but I never found out what exactly he did want from me, because nothing seemed to satisfy him at all. There must be some need he has that I am overlooking and I keep guessing wrong. We are obviously miscommunicating, but I hope there will come a moment when I will guess right.
It is all very good and well to sit here drinking coffee, but now I am hungry too and I know it is not a good idea to eat late at night, because it will upset my stomach when I go back to bed. I think some toast with cheese would be lovely, though, and I think that is just what I will have. I will have to stay up for a while longer so it will have some time to settle in my stomach well.
Having taken care of that craving, I can now concentrate on writing this post, although what is to become of it, I have no idea. I thought I was full of good ideas and intentions, but they seem to have flown the coop. Maybe if I have another cup of coffee, I will be uplifted and inspired. Caffeine has been known to do that to me. Besides, it will help to wash down the toast with cheese that is bothering me slightly. I can never have even the slightest amount of food without paying a price for it.
There, I feel ever so much better now that my food has made it all the way down to my stomach. I feel positively happy and my whole mood has improved. That is definitely a trick I have to remember the next time I am feeling uncomfortable after I eat.
It keeps raining hard outside. Every once in a while it eases up, but then it starts all over again. It is a very good time of the night to be inside. I do not know if we are supposed to be happy with the rain. It all depends on what the farmers want and need and if nature is thirsty. I think what is going to fall this week will be more than enough and it is going to get cooler too. I really do not mind. It is not that important to me personally.
I will have to go back to bed because I am very sleepy. I still have not figured out what Tyke wanted, but I will let him out back just to make sure.  

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wishful thinking...

The pain medication for my back is working very well, I only wish it did not upset my stomach. This is despite the fact that I take stomach tablets and it does depend on what I have eaten. I have yet to figure out what the magic combination is, but it seems to help if I drink a glass of milk with them. That is how it worked this last time anyway and maybe it will from now on.
I do know that I move around much easier and that I hardly feel any pain when the medication works, and I can easily take Tyke for a walk, providing we do not go too far and he does not pull at the leash. For the most part, he is a well behaved dog, so as a rule it is not a problem.
I must have springtime tiredness, because I am ready to take a nap at the drop of a hat and already took one this morning. I woke up because I got the hiccups, or otherwise I would have slept longer than the hour that I did. And then I usually feel like taking one in the afternoon too. Right now, my bed seems like the nicest place to spend my time, but when I am done sleeping, I am more than ready to tackle whatever kind of job I am able to.
I am doing some laundry now, and the dishes are soaking in hot sudsy water in the sink, and if I can manage it, I am going to change the bed. I do remember to use my back wisely and to bend my knees and not my back when I have to pick up something. It is not because I am so smart, but because it is to my own benefit. I do notice it if I make the wrong move.
Tyke is pretending to be exhausted and is sound asleep on the floor beside me and Gandhi is sharing the chair with me so that I have to sit on the very edge of it. Yes, we do like togetherness. We are just like the Three Musketeers, one for all, and all for one.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Yes, do me the honor...

As was planned, I took my very sore back to the doctor this morning and she examined me and came to the conclusion that it must be my old herniated disk acting up because I have a pinched nerve down my leg. She prescribed 600 mg of Ibuprofen along with two tablets of 500 mg of Paracetamol three times a day. I am to come back if my leg gives out in any way. She also said that I must keep moving as much as I can.
Thanks to the pain medication, I am able to much better, so it does help. She prescribed the 600 mg of Ibuprofen for seven days and I expect that I will be much better by then. I am an optimist, and think I will be.
I accidentally walked around without my glasses on for a while and got a headache and sick to my stomach and lied down for a nap until I felt better. Do not, not wear your glasses when you are supposed to. You will come to regret it. Especially when you are used to wearing them all the time and you are wondering why you do not see as well as you normally do.
I walked Tyke, but it was a mixed success because he decided to pull at the leash and I could not very well stop him. We did end up going in the direction that I wanted to go in, but it was a bit of a struggle and it did cause me some pain. I hope he is more gentle on me when we go next, although rainclouds have gathered and I think I hear it thunder in the distance, so we may not even be able to go for a walk. I would mind that very much because I do want the exercise.
If I hurry, as far as I am able to, I can take him now before the weather really does get bad.

Monday, May 06, 2013

That's another good trick I did...

This morning, while carrying those two heavy boxes of books to the sidewalk, I put my back out and have been in trouble ever since. There is not one position I am comfortable in and moving around is quite an effort. In the end, I went back to bed, because I have a good hard mattress, but I fell asleep and woke up two hours later with an equally sore back.
I called the Exfactor and asked him to go to the store to buy the milk for me that I had planned to get, and to also walk Tyke. He was more than willing and able to do that, so for now that is taken care of. I called the doctor's office thinking they would fax a prescription for something to the pharmacy, but I have to come in tomorrow morning instead if I can manage to walk that short distance.
Who knows? Maybe I will be cured by tomorrow. It would certainly be nice. If I sit upright in a straight hard chair, I am the most comfortable, but then I can not move a muscle or I am in trouble. Sometimes, when I move around the apartment, I make a wrong move and utter sounds of pain and anguish. The doctor's assistant said that I had to keep moving or I will freeze up, so I do try to do that carefully.
I just got up to get a cup of coffee and yelled "Ouch" all the way to the coffeemaker and bit my tongue on the way back. I have to again find the most comfortable way to sit and I have to say that this is seriously cramping my style. And, of course, today of all days when the weather is beautiful out and when it would have been lovely to go for walks with Tyke.
Tyke is lying on the dining table in the sunshine and that really is the best place in the living room right now. I have pulled up the blinds as high as they will go so as much sunshine as possible can come in. It is still fairly cool in here and I want it to warm up a few degrees. I had the windows open earlier, but that created a cool draft and I had to put on my socks because my feet got cold. I now only have the back door open so Tyke can walk in and out whenever he wants.
It is too bad that physical therapy is not in my basic medical insurance package because I am sure I would benefit from it. Next year I will make sure that is included in the new insurance I get. Some good manual therapy would do me a world of good, I am sure. Even a massage would do wonders.
I have to eat now. My stomach is hollow and growling. A glass of milk does not fill it enough. I will have some more of that Indonesian rice dish and hope that my eyes are not bigger than my stomach.