Monday, September 30, 2013

About vitamin supplements.

You will all remember that when I saw the rheumatologist, I had to donate some vials of blood for a few tests. I had almost forgotten about that until today when she called me with the test results. Everything came back normal except for one thing. It turns out that I have a vitamin D shortage. Now, this happens to post menopausal women over 50, so is not uncommon. The thing to do is get lots of sunshine and to eat meat and fatty fish and eggs.
The rheumatologist said I would have to take a vitamin D supplement, but I told her that since I saw her, I had been taking Calcium tablets that had 100%  of the daily needed vitamin D and K in them every day. She said that was perfect and to have the level checked again some time later with my GP whom she is sending a report of all her findings.
She is also sending a letter of referral to the rehabilitation center and they will contact me with an appointment. That may take a week or two and I don't quite know what I will be doing there, so that will be a surprise. I did look up if my health insurance covers this and they do 100%. Phew!
She also asked me is I had read the information about fibromyalgia that she had given me and if I had recognized myself in it, and I said that I had. Apparently she takes this very seriously as a rheumatic disorder and does not think this is just some silly thing that I imagine I have because I am in some sort of mental stress. I do appreciate this very much.
She said to stop taking the anti-inflammatory medicines because they help only a bit and they are bad for your body in the long run if you take them regularly. Even the paracetamol is not all that great if used often for a long time. That is why she wants me to go to the rehabilitation center. I suppose you learn a better way to deal with your pain there.
I was quite uncomfortable this morning when it was cold in the apartment because outside a wind was blowing from the east and I was airing the place. I had lots of pain and had to close the windows and turn up the thermostat for a while. I wished for a very warm sweater and those bean bags that you can heat up in the microwave and place on your sore joints.
I am still not quite back to normal because I hefted the trash bag outside and it was quite heavy. I don't think I will be lifting weights any time soon. My fingers are swollen up and are stiff.
I will not write down a litany of complaints, but sometimes it is nice to bitch about them for just a bit. I do feel taken care of properly and that is one thing I am grateful for.

When the coffee is disappointing...

The coffee I am drinking right now is not so very good, because it is the cheap kind and it sure does make the difference in taste and flavor. I have the better Douwe Egberts coffee that I got on sale on the shelf in the kitchen, but I have to finish this undrinkable coffee first. It is such a major disappointment to make a pot of it and it seems that it does not wake me up properly either. I sit here in a stupor for the longest time and wait for it to do its work. I think I am never going to buy it again, no matter how affordable it is, and always buy the Douwe Egberts coffee. But didn't I make this claim before?
I think I have recuperated from my amazing Saturday afternoon and have almost both my feet back on the ground, although one of them may be there only by tiptoe. I do have to be a sensible woman again now that the week is starting with its usual responsibilities. I can't be on cloud nine for the rest of it.
One thing I will do this week, is buy a plant for my computer table and I will get one that can take low light and a watering once a week. I will go to the flower shop that's close to me and that has a good selection of plants at a reasonable price. I have one in mind, but it is possible that I will end up with something totally different depending on the recommendation I get there. The most important thing is, that I don't let myself get intimidated by the responsibility of taking care of it and keep it alive.  
I haven't even glanced at my agenda yet to see what I am supposed to do this week beside the usual appointments and I am not yet quite in the mood to do this. I have the rest of the morning to do so. I don't think that the week is going to be all that busy, even though I would like for it to be. I don't want it to be just a dull roar and I will have to provide my own excitement. That is within a certain amount of reason, of course.
I forgot to take my fibromyalgia medicines last night, but I am not in too bad a shape. I feel a bit stiff and sore, but it is nothing that I can't live with. I get the idea that some people let their fibromyalgia take over their whole lives and make it their lifestyle and major hobby as if nothing else counts anymore. I am not planning on doing that. It will play some role in my life, but it will not define who I am, just like my bipolarity does not.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lucky me...

I will have to drink several cups of coffee more than the one I have just had to become completely coherent, but I am already starting on cup number two, so I should be in better shape soon. It usually also helps to write down my thoughts, so I am going to give that a try and see if I can come up with something good. I do have to share an experience, but I want to make sure that I find the right words to describe it with. I do want to do it justice.
Yesterday afternoon I had my first date in more than 20 years time and I must say that I enjoyed it very much and that it was better than I could have hoped for. Of course, I did not really know what to expect, so I didn't anticipate too much ahead of time, but I secretly did wish for something good to happen. I was ready to accept it if nothing did and walk away from the experience a wiser woman, but that was not necessary. I had a more than a wonderful time.
I had never had a date with a woman before, but ahead of it I already felt a lot calmer than I always had for a date with a man in the past, so I thought that was a good omen. I did not really get nervous about it until the first half hour into the date when I thought I was blathering a bit of nonsense, but that passed after I was comfortable enough in her presence. I did have an awfully dry mouth that first 30 minutes and the cup of coffee I had hardly took care of that. I should have had a half liter of bottled water.
As I got more comfortable, I wanted to spend more and more time talking and getting to know everything about her that she cared to share. We ended up walking around downtown, basically moving from one outdoor café to the other, and always settling down to have something to drink and to talk. We spent 4 hours doing that until the weather cooled off too much and it was time to go home.
I think we did discuss just about every subject under the sun, yet I feel that we have much more to share. It is a whole new process of discovery and it is a lot of fun to discover what an other person is like. I in no way think they have to be like me and agree with my every point of view and like and dislike all my likes and dislikes. It is not necessary to be like two peas in a pod.
And yes, we do have another date next Saturday and we will have a chance to get to know each other better. I enjoy spending time in her presence and looking into her eyes, which are kind and a bit sad. I've got to make those eyes smile more often.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Messing around...

I not only got my hair cut yesterday, but I also got it cut with it parted on the proper side, which does make a difference. I had been parting it on the opposite side for quite some time to cover up a slightly balding spot, but my hair has grown long and healthy enough so that this is no longer necessary. I must say that it looks much more flattering now, but I will let you be the judge of that and I include this photo of me, which I took when I just got home.

I had to get used to my hair being parted on the right side and kept pushing it in the wrong direction, but I think I am getting the hang of it now. It does naturally want to stay this way, so whatever I do to it, it goes back to how it wants to be. It has a mind of its own.
It was cold this morning when Tyke and I went for a walk because it was only 5 degrees Celsius. I was barely dressed warm enough. Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but I was glad to be back inside again. I haven't resorted to turning up the thermostat and will only do that when it gets too chilly in here. I will put my bathrobe on over my clothes and wear extra socks before I do.
I dreamed last night that Tyke and I were caught in the snow and that Tyke couldn't make it home and that I had to leave him behind. I sure as heck hope I never have to do that in real life.
In a while I am going to see my psychiatrist to talk about my transformation into a gay woman and my big date tomorrow. I don't know what to expect of this talk and I have no preconceived ideas as to what I want to talk about. I am going to be as surprised as my psychiatrist will be. Maybe it is all as simple as I now think it is. I feel pretty level headed and calm, but I may feel different tomorrow. I have no fear in my heart and won't try to present myself any different than I am. I will be the whole me.
I have to go grocery shopping before the weekend and I suppose the best time to do that will be this afternoon. I have the shopping list all ready to go and even know the prices of what I am going to buy. I am prepared like the proverbial boy scout. The best thing about doing the groceries, is that I will be able to get vanilla custard, because that is the treat I always get for myself. It is the least of the 'bad for me' foods that I can eat.
It is funny how life turns out. You can not anticipate too much of it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

For the cause of the good.

Today I am having the back and sides of my hair cut, but none on the top and the front because I want to let that grow out so I will have a fuller head of hair. Hairdressers always want to make generous use of their scissors and cut your hair everywhere they have the opportunity to, whether you want them to or not, so you have to cut them off at the pass (no pun intended). I am looking forward to having my hair cut, as usual, because I always feel like a newborn woman afterwards, regardless of how much I look like a drowned rat in the all revealing mirror. I pretend not to see all the obvious flaws and act like I am the spring chicken with the great looks I had when I was much younger. But those harsh lights in the salon do make it difficult.
It helps if you dress well when you go there, so you can concentrate on your outfit and whatever jewelry you are wearing to complete the whole. Then whatever state your head is in after it's been fiddled with doesn't matter so much and when you get home, you can re-fiddle with your hair and get it right according to your own tastes. That is why you should never let the hairdresser put hairspray or styling gel in your hair.
I act like I am the most shallow woman on this earth being concerned about my looks, but I do care about them after a former life of not doing overly so. I didn't pay extra attention to how I looked until I was almost 40 and dressed very casually until that time, and that meant wearing mostly jeans and a t-shirt or sweater. When I liberated myself out of the suburban housewife trap, I became more free spirited and started to care a lot about how I looked for my own sake and not to please anyone else. It felt like a liberation to my body to dress it in colors and clothes that accented my feminine aspects. I became more aware of everything that was female about me and it was a relief.
I think I have gone full circle now that I have come out as a gay woman and very much feel all female in every way, and not in an earth mother sort of way, because that is way too maternal for me and I don't have those feelings. I think the ones I did have were for a great part the result of my environment which dictated that the greatest proof of womanhood was that a woman should produce and love her children and sacrifice her life to them. I now know that this did not come natural to me, but that I did show those feelings in an extreme form that made me act neurotic. I am a much better parent to my dog.
Mythology is a great burden.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The majority of time...

Having enjoyed the sculpture garden so much last Sunday with my sister of the Zimbabwean artists' made sculpture, I went looking around on the internet and found an exhibition of sculptures of national and international artists at a chateau not too far from here that looks very intriguing. The sculptures are placed in well kept gardens, both formal and informal, and are mostly of the more monumental kind. I think we will enjoy going to see them and I have already asked my sister if she would like to go and she would.

I have to try and find one other thing to do so that we will be able to fill the whole afternoon with activities. It would be nice if there were also a general art exhibit and I will try to find one around here, so I have to do some more sleuthing on the internet. We do pretty much have the same taste in art and it will not be too difficult to find something that will please us both, if I can find something for the Sunday. And I also very much enjoy taking photographs of what I see so I can recall what the day was like and remember my favorite pieces.

We do have an art museum in town that was designed by a well-known Italian architect and the building itself is a work of art, but the main collection is not yet all that stunning. They do regularly have special exhibits and if you are lucky, it is a very good one and it is worth going to see. We just had one of Russian expressionists that was very good, but I don't know right off what is going to be shown next. I will have to investigate that also. It's too bad that the entrée fees are so expensive, or I would go more often to see the smaller special exhibits in the main three floor tower.

As I mentioned before, I have a first date on Saturday, but so far, I am amazingly calm about it. It is with a woman I came in contact with through the website of Old Pink 50+. She is a few years older than I am and I have seen photos of her, as she has seen photos of me. I am not quite sure if she is my type, her being quite sporty and casual, but I am willing to give it a shot anyway. This is my first foray into the gay world and I have to start somewhere. I may not be her type either, of course. We will have to see how we hit it off.
We have talked to each other over the phone and she seemed put off by the fact that I am bipolar, although I had expected her to be a bit more broadminded than that. She was not as enlightened as I had expected. I hope that she will find the proof in the pudding en that her prejudice will disappear when she actually meets me. Imagine a gay woman having prejudices. I suppose anybody is capable of them, it doesn't matter what their sexual nature is. You would hope for people to grow up and get these kinds of things out of their system.
I will make sure I dress nice and wear my most feminine clothes, although I do not want to doll myself up too much. I will actually give it one or two more casual touches and I will only wear bright lipstick, no other make up at all. I have put some thought into it already. I will certainly not look like the Barbie doll I am not. I will present myself as the person I usually am and not as someone I am not. I have been able to look around at other women and see what I like, and it is certainly not the ones with half of the contents of a make up bag slathered on their faces and a half of a bottle of perfume sprayed on that makes you feel faint when they walk past you.
Attitude is everything.  


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Time passes...

Tyke is capable of being an independent living being now and doesn't have to necessarily be in the same room with me all the time anymore. As I write this, he is in the bedroom dreaming of whatever 4 year old dogs dream of. This is kind of a relief, because I don't feel like I have to be his keeper all the time. I like these little independent actions of his in which he does something all on his own without feeling that he needs to be near me. I suppose I think that he feels secure enough to do them.
The rest of the time he is always within petting distance and follows me wherever I go, That can be a bit of a problem when I almost trip over him like I did yesterday and spilled my coffee.

On a totally different topic. Until quite recently, there were moments during the day when I suddenly would feel quite down without knowing the reason why, and I always thought this was for psychological reasons. I always tried to cheer myself up somehow by drinking a cup of coffee or taking my antidepressives and other medicines a little bit earlier.
It turns out that I had been living with physical pain and discomfort for such a long time, that it didn't even register with me consciously and the presence of it was what was making me feel down. Now, when I get that feeling, I know that it is time to take a paracetamol, or even a Celebrex capsule, and that soon I will feel better. My bad mood melts as snow for the sun and I am my normal cheerful self again. It is an amazing thing what physical discomfort will do to your emotional wellbeing, even if you are not consciously aware of the pain. Your body and mind are very intertwined.
I made lots of pasta last night for dinner, but was unable to eat it all and put what was left over in a plastic container in the refrigerator from which it is now calling my name. It is just possible that I will warm it up in the microwave and eat it all up. I am hungry enough to do it having eaten only one small plateful of it. At least I know that it's a perfectly healthy thing to eat.
The I will go back to bed and finish my beauty sleep because I need all the help I can get. Tyke does have the right idea when it comes to that. Not that he needs more of it as you can tell by the photo.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Playing tourist...

Yesterday my sister called me up and said she wanted to play tourist and asked if I wanted to come along, which I certainly did. I am always in for a bit of adventure. She picked me up and did not say where we were going, but it turned out to be the sculpture garden in the countryside not too fare from here. It is actually a project to further the cause of artists from Zimbabwe who make the sculptures, and they were very impressively spread out amongst the herbal garden and along the paths that led under the trees through the grass.
The whole garden was set against the wooded cliffs of a high hill and had a micro climate of its own. It was mostly shady because of the many trees, but there were patches of sunlight where the herbs grew. The sculptures were placed according to design and size and were priced accordingly. The sad thing was that, for now, they were all out of our price range, except for the real small ones that sat on the window ledge of the small café.
I saw one of a voluptuous woman figure that I unfortunately did not get a photo of, but that I would very much like to have. She had an enormous rear end that you would want to stroke every time you passed her. I will somehow have to figure out a way to save up the money to buy her.

It was a wonderful experience and one I would like to repeat but then with some money in my pocket, but even without it, it was a joy to walk around there and see such craftsmanship. Maybe it is even to ordinary to be considered as art, but I appreciated it very much and thought of the time put in to create it and the cause it was made for. It seemed very worthwhile.
Our next stop was the American Cemetery in Margraten that sits on top of a plateau overlooking the Meuse valley. There are thousands of American soldiers buried there and the names of the ones that are missing are engraved into long marble walls beside a long pond that leads to a memorial tower. Behind that are the enormous burial fields with one row of crosses and stars of David after the other.
Here there are nothing but the sounds of nature and the grounds are perfectly kept. It is a very peaceful place that makes you think of and consider many things, but mostly how young those soldiers must have been when they died and what a high price they paid for our freedom. This is one instance when I am not in doubt about the good cause, but maybe that is selfishly spoken. How can any parent allow their child to give his life for a foreign cause? How would I have felt if that had been my son?

We finished the afternoon with a ride through the countryside on windy roads that led over hills and through valleys and through the prettiest villages that tourists from other places paid an arm and a leg for to visit. It was like being on a holiday and at one point we stopped for ice cream that was the best for miles around. We had three scoops in a cone and they tasted very good and were very filling. But then my sister told me that there were two places downtown where you could buy ice cream that was even better than that, although I could not believe it. I am going to try it next Saturday when I will have my first date.
When I finally got home, Tyke and Gandhi were happy enough to see me and thought wonderful things were going to happen, so of course I had to give them some food, because they acted like they were starving. I had a rest while they ate and then took Tyke for a walk. I was near exhaustion, but had enough energy to fix dinner for myself, which I badly needed. Hunger will motivate you well enough. I went to bed early and was asleep in no time at all. My whole body was heavy with fatigue and sore, but I did have the feeling that the day was well spent.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Doing morning gymnastics.

The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place since I know that I have fibromyalgia. One thing that is explained now is my fatigue and I no longer think it is a psychological problem that I have to fight with cups of coffee and artificial cheerfulness. I can really let myself feel the physical tiredness and rest, and at the end of the day, allow myself to feel how tired I am and lie my aching body down in bed and look forward to a good many hours of sleep. It is a luxury that I am allowing myself and it does me well.
I also realize that I can't do without the paracetamol and the anti-inflammatory medicine. I tried not to take them yesterday, but that did not work out well at all and I ended up grumpy because of the discomfort. So that is an experiment I am not going to repeat and from now on, I will be taking them on time.
When the morning gymnastics program came on TV at 8:45, I joined in as if it was the most normal thing in the world and I had my work out, although I could not quite keep up with the rhythm. I suppose I will get better the longer I do it. I did feel good after I was done and I think it did loosen up my joints. It is an overall work out that is not too hard to do. The impact is not so hard that it hurts your body if you have never done it before.
When I finally went grocery shopping yesterday, I managed to stay under the budget, although I did get all the things I needed. I shopped frugally and had planned the list down to the very last item and had looked up ahead of time what it cost. I got Gandhi some food in pouches in the hope that she would like it better, and got Tyke a new giant rawhide bone which he was very happy with.
Both of them are very excited when I unpack the groceries and do not move an inch from my side, knowing I will have something special for them. Of course, I do tell them that and they understand what I am saying to them, Gandhi as well as Tyke. Gandhi understands a lot of the language that I address Tyke in and I can use it to 'talk' with her. She's a smart little critter.
Because it is Sunday today, I will have a bit of a lazy day and I am looking forward to that. Now that I know it is okay to rest my body regularly, I know I can take the time out and sometimes do nothing at all.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


I am a bit frustrated because I got the diagnoses of fibromyalgia, which is the most elusive of rheumatic disorders because not a lot is known about it yet. It is one that my sister has also, so it seems to run in the family. It is just a matter of research and time until the mysteries about it are solved, and until then all I can do is be patient and not listen to the nonsense that is spouted.
At least I know that it is supposed to be this painful and why I live a sedentary life. It is because it makes me tired quickly and I thought I was just lazy. If it is fibromyalgia, it does explain a lot of my complaints and symptoms.
I have complete faith in the rheumatologist who was very thorough and knowledgeable and she really took her time with me. Just to be on the safe side, she had me do a blood test to eliminate anything else and she will call me with the results in a week. I also have an appointment with a rheumatism nurse to go over the fine details of the disorder and how to live with it. Apparently, fibromyalgia is taken very seriously here.
I was wiped out when I got home and had to take some time to recuperate and have a good cup of coffee. It is a good thing to know why I get wiped out so quickly and need my rest periodically. At least I will not be looking for dumb excuses now.
I will start doing morning gymnastics with the program that's on TV every day at 8:45 am, because those kinds of exercises will be good for me. I will also start taking the multivitamins and supplements again, because I had temporarily stopped taking them. I didn't know if they were good for me, but I now know they are. I will also start eating fatty fish two times a week as is recommended. My BMI is 23,9, which is very good for a woman my age.
I think it is my natural optimism that will pull me through this in the end. I do have the tendency to want to get up and go after I rest a bit. I have spurts of energy that carry me through life step by step. And remember: an optimist thinks that doing a step backwards is doing the cha cha.

Friday, September 20, 2013

...and what will the diagnosis be?

Today is the day that I am going to see the rheumatologist and the timing couldn't be better because I am in some pain. The old Tietze Syndrome is acting up badly and is causing me quite a bit of trouble and having me reach for the paracetamol quite often. I have had this problem some 30 years and every once in a while it rears its ugly head. It really struck hard this time. I am curious what diagnosis the rheumatologist will give me, although I have one in mind myself. I will see if we agree on that and I hope that her diagnosis is not a worse one than mine.
Yesterday, I had to wash the duvet covers on both the beds because Tyke had frolicked on them with his paws all muddy, leaving dirty prints all over them. I didn't mind having to wash them, because I love sleeping under a clean cover, but I have decided to not make up the guest bed anymore until I get an actual guest. I will not be like a boy scout and be always prepared, but I doubt very much that a guest is going to show up so unexpectedly, that I will not have the time to make the bed. As a rule, I get a few months notice.
I think I may have to take Gandhi to the vet because she has pretty much stopped eating. I have tried all sorts of food now, and she tries to eat them, but gives up after a few bites as if they do not agree with her, or she totally does not even try. There seems to be nothing else the matter with her other than that she is very affectionate, more so than usual, and she practically sleeps on top of my face at night. The rest of the time she sticks close to Tyke and when I am up, they sleep on the sofa together.
My fingers are swollen up and they feel tight. I would not be able to take my rings off now, but luckily, I don't have to. They do look a little like sausages. My psoriasis is acting up and I want to scratch it very badly, but I am trying not to.
It's always something.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

From the top of the hill...

My cups of coffee taste very good and have made my brain work very well and released it from the sleepy fog it was in a while ago. In a while, I will have to start drinking cold lemonade to quench my thirst because coffee does not help that at all. That will be another nice thing to look forward to. As you can see, there is no end to the joys I find in life, except that I wish I had a liter or two of vanilla custard. Well, there is always something left to long for.
Yesterday, I finally caved in and closed the bedroom windows and turned the thermostat up for a while to get it a bit warmer in here. It was cold and damp enough outside to give me reason to do so. Since then, it is a lot more pleasant inside and now I am very comfortable sitting here in my freshly laundered red bathrobe. I am not going to open the windows until the weather gets a little better which may happen next week. It's very nice to sit here and not have ice cold hands and feet.
Since I have started eating like a normal person again some months ago, I have gained weight and have now reached a more normal one and am steady at it. I go on the bathroom scale every now and then and always weigh the same. I ought to because my diet is pretty steady and I don't eat anything too outlandish. I think I look better with a bit of meat on my bones and in all the other more feminine places. I am a bit more curvaceous now and actually fit my bra. That was a minor achievement.
There is one pair of skinny jeans and two tops that don't fit me anymore, but that's as far as the damage goes. I will give them to my sister. I have enough clothes in my closet that do fit and am glad that I have a variety of them to choose from. There never is a dull moment when I have to get dressed.
It is true that I love my clothes more than I love my books, although I wouldn't want to do without my bookcase. It is also true that it really only serves a decorative purpose in the living room right now, but I hope that one day it will be more than that again. Because my armchair is placed right beside it, I do look at the books regularly and see the ones I have not read yet and do feel a vague urge to read them. One day it will be an overwhelming feeling and it will do it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Feeling my oats...

A big hot flash just rushed over me and I had to take off my cute red cardigan in order to cool off. My body is getting back to the right temperature now and that feels ever so much more comfortable. In a little while I will be able to put that cardigan back on. That hot flash was on its way for a while and I knew something was up before it hit me and was relieved when it did. It felt similar to an orgasm, but was not quite as much fun. You can't have a jolly time always.
It is much colder now that the sun has gone down, at least it feels that way to me. I do always go from one extreme to the other and am now drinking cups of hot decaf in order to warm up. They taste good, because I am drinking the best brand and I have to say that it was worth the money I spent on it. It is just possible that I will do that again. I think you sometimes have to go for the more expensive product in order to spoil yourself a bit, simply because you deserve it. Nobody will do it for you but you.
The Exfactor was here and we had all sorts of discussions on just about any subject under the sun. I think he is much more comfortable with me now that I have come out. It is very noticeable and he must really be convinced that I am no longer pining for him, although I had not been all along. I am really not pining for anyone, and if someone does come along, she will be icing on the cake. The cake is solidly baked and tastes very good. I am not particularly going hungry.
Gandhi, who was not at all eating well, got some chunky canned food in gravy this afternoon and that pleased her very much. I give her small portions and wait for her to get done with them and ask for more. Tyke thinks he is missing out on something, but he eats well enough. There is no need to start feeding him canned food.
I have an appointment to see my psychiatrist next week on Friday, which is still a long way off. I have the patience to wait for that and am not in such a hurry that I think I will run into trouble if it is not sooner. There are always lots of people to talk to and what I want is just someone professional to bounce my ideas off. Someone I also trust very much, but I do all the people I talk to and I am very fortunate that there are enough of them.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The sun also shines...

I am perfectly dressed for a sunny Sunday, except that my chest does not quite fill the top half of my dress well enough. I am afraid that my boobs are not of the right size to do the decollate justice, even though I am wearing a push up bra. You can give mother nature all the help you want, but sometimes it still is not enough.
Oh well, if I run fast, no one will notice it, but I am afraid I will not be able to run fast in the ankle boots I am wearing today. They are the ones I have not worn in a year and have rather high heels and no, they do not bother my knees. As a matter of fact, the heels make my knees feel better, maybe because of the angle they turn them at.
I am wearing what is, right now, my favorite dress and I find any excuse to put it on, unless I forget that I own it. That does happen on occasion and that is one benefit of being forgetful about your clothes. I am wearing them with a pair of pantyhose I found along with two other pair in the drawer of my antique wardrobe yesterday. I also found some pairs of matching socks and perfectly white handkerchiefs. Those will come in handy when my nose starts to run in the cold winter air.
But we are not at that point yet, although it was chilly this morning when I took Tyke for a walk. At least the sun is shining in a perfectly blue sky and I must say that it makes me very cheerful and look forward to the day. I kept thinking it was Sunday all day yesterday, but I am glad that I was mistaken about that. I feel that I have gotten a day of reprieve and get to enjoy an extra day of laziness. I always do Sundays as they were intended in the old testament, with the least amount of effort. Not that I am a believer.
In my dreams last night, my whole grown up life passed the revue and there was also much symbolism in them that I will spend the rest of the day trying to figure out. Not that I will break my head thinking about it. Some of it is more obvious than the rest, but all of it had to do with my identity as a woman, which is not so strange considering my present situation.
I have no doubt about my femininity and the fact that I am most clearly a female in all the molecules that make up me. I like being a woman too much, but not necessarily by the conventional standards. I suppose I should say that I very much like being a human being with the icing and the frills on top. But I don't like the color pink and I don't like to be girlish. I very much, in all ways, like to be an adult.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Subdued midnight noises.

The cheapest store to grocery shop at, turned out not to be all that great. They did not really have a greater variety of really cheap items like my regular supermarket has and their vegetables were also a bit expensive. Other items they did not carry at all, so they had to be got at the regular store, which meant two shopping trips. I have tried several grocery stores now and I think my original one is the best, simply because they have a bigger variety and price range to choose from. I think a lot of the claims I have heard are fallacies and I will not put my faith in them anymore.
I have perfected my pasta dish and even found a pasta that is sold by the kilo at a cheaper price and that tastes good. I now have that dish down to a science and have it turn out well every time. I enjoy chopping the vegetables and don't even mind that I cry when I cut the onions. Because I always dislike peeling the garlic cloves, I got some already peeled in a jar and it is easy to get out how many I need and crush those. They are preserved in vinegar and that gives them some extra zest.
I don't fry up the bacon cubes, but let them simmer along with the vegetables after I have sautéed those, and the bacon turns out tender. I used a different brand of Italian herbs last night and I liked them better and did not use as much of them. It turns out that I don't have to and that a little bit goes a long way. The finesse in cooking is knowing when not to add too much of something. You should never get over enthused when sprinkling on herbs. Our ancestors used them sparingly, because herbs and spices were expensive and their taste buds were so delicate.
I eat the bacon cubes, because I can not eat any dairy products or legumes, and I have to get my proteins in somehow. I have not yet found an alternative way to do this, because I also can not handle soy. I ate vanilla custard yesterday, but I am still dealing with the aftermath of that. It's just that I craved it so much and wanted some very badly, that sometimes I am willing to pay the price. I just can't be away from home when I do.
I am looking forward to the next grocery shopping trip when I know which store I will go to. There will be no more of this riding my bike across town looking for the best deals. I know where they are.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Things I do for myself.

For some reason, my very excellent cups of coffee are not cheering me up as well as they usually do, so the problem must lie with me. I am not feeling my normal cheerful self and, as a matter of fact, tonight I am feeling a bit insecure, which is, considering everything, not all that strange I suppose. It is not every day that I come out as a gay woman. Although I feel confident about having done so, I was expecting more response and feedback and some more empathy. I did get that from some people, but the almost deadly silence that followed was unexpected and is making me feel somewhat uncomfortable.
You can't have a meaningful dialog with silence, so that forces me to speak into the void instead, although I know there are some kind and sympathetic readers out there. And let's face it, no matter how tough and self reliant I think I am, I do want some acceptance regardless of who and what I am. I am a woman of flesh and blood and not made of stainless steel that can take any sort of beating. Not to speak of my feelings that, although not unstable, are capable of getting hurt.
By saying all of that, I don't mean that I am not ready to hear all sorts of noises providing they are aired in a polite and calm manner. I suppose just about everybody will want to say something about me coming out, even if it is not the most positive thing. But imagining what that will be, and actually finding out what it is, are two different things, and I would rather know for sure and stop letting my imagination run wild.
As a way of celebrating my coming out, I have bought myself a simple silver ring with a small zircon stone in it and it is the only piece of jewelry that I wear now. Because it is brand new, it sits like a shining beacon on the ring finger of my right hand, so I have to look at it regularly. It is a symbol for the new stage in my life I have entered in which I am so much the same, yet different. I no longer have to be pleasant and charming to almost every man I encounter and I can openly enjoy looking at every handsome woman.
I won 50 Euros in the state lottery and bought another ticket beside the one I always get, so the next time I have double the chance at winning something. I usually win a small amount of money, but I am waiting to hit the jackpot. A woman's got to keep having her dreams.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Change becomes a woman...

I am doing ever so much better tonight and am in such less pain that it is a true relief and I count my blessings. Maybe it is because I have peace in my heart and mind that I am doing so well physically, because all things are connected after all.  The mind is not separated from the body and the state of one affects the other. The fact that a load has fallen off my shoulders since I have come out as a lesbian, probably has a lot to do with how much more light weighted I stand on this earth. No doubt that makes all of my body feel a lot less burdened. I do know that it has cleared up my mind an awful lot.
I have informed all the most important people in my life that I am gay and I got nothing but positive reactions, and to tell you the truth, I really had not expected anything else, because they are all enlightened people. Still, it is awfully nice to have this happen and it certainly makes it a lot easier on me, although anything else would not have made me change my mind (as if that would have been possible).
I am not overly concerned about how the rest of mankind reacts to my announcement, because everybody is entitled to their own opinion and it is not my mission in life to change their minds. All I can do is be myself and let that speak for itself. If anyone feels threatened by my natural state of being, then it is something they will have to deal with. Being gay does not rub off on people after all, nor is it catching like the flu.
I tried to eat that spicy Indonesian rice dish named 'nasi goreng' again yesterday, but it was not a success and I am going to have to accept that hot spicy foods do not agree with me. While I was making it, I already had my doubts about it, but it was the only choice of food I had, because I was out of things to fix. I will have to make a trip to the grocery store and stock up on things. One thing is clear, I will know what to buy that does agree with me. I have by now become an expert on that.
In the past few days it has rained more than it would have in the whole month of September. We have had regular deluges. I was lucky in that I could take Tyke for a walk in between the worst of it and we hardly got wet. Tyke did walk through the biggest puddles and enjoyed that very much. I think his paws are still wet.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In which I complain...

This is a post in which I complain because I have got an awfully painful knee. I will not contemplate going to bed for a while until the pain has lessened because I am sure that I will not be able to go to sleep with it like this. I have just taken some paracetamol and that will have to do the job, so let's hope it starts to work soon. In the meantime, I am trying to find the most comfortable position to sit in and what to do with my leg so my knee will not be bothered so much.
I had to get this off my chest because there is nobody here to complain about it to and it was necessary that I did. It makes me feel just a bit better to be able to do that. If you share what is bothering you, you lessen the load you carry. Isn't that true? When you live on your own, you don't get to share your gripes much and every once in a while you do feel the need to do that. That is not because you need sympathy, but simply because you need to air your frustration.
Having had enough coffee, I am now drinking lemonade at a rate as if there is going to be a shortage of it. Whichever medicine is responsible for it, is still causing me to always have an enormous thirst. Some days I can not even produce enough spit for the glue strip to close an envelope with and I end up taping it closed. Luckily, postage stamps are self sticking.
After having been unsure about the nature of my feelings most of my life, I am step by step coming out of the closet and have joined the website of 'Roze 50 Plus', which is for older gay people. Instead of being discombobulated about this, I feel very much at ease and a great deal of calm as if I am finally doing the right thing. There is a café downtown that is called 'Café Roze' and there regularly are special nights and Sunday afternoons for the older crowd and it is my intention to go there.
I am also checking out the official website that is run by the gay union. There is lots of information on it and also a chance to meet other gay people. I have a lot to contemplate and take in and Rome was not built in one day.
I feel that I am taking on the rest of my identity and that this was the missing piece. I will be a whole person from now on and no longer pivoting on an edge. I will be able to say: this is all of me and I like it.   

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Yellow tulips.

I think I may have been too enthused about my smartphone working, because it is very possible that it is not as yet. I get a message on the touchscreen that I can only make emergency phone calls and that is certainly not my intention. I do not know how I am going to solve this problem yet, but I am not in the mood at all to deal with it, so for now, I am putting it out of my head. I hardly use a mobile phone anyway and still have to find a good reason for having one in the first place. It really isn't worth the expense. It must have been in a very mad moment that I got it.
The weather that we are having is not good for my arthritic joints, and I am aching in spite of the strong medication I am taking. It is damp and cold outside and I feel that I ought to wear thermal underwear. Because that would not look fashionable, I am not going to put any on, but it would be nice and warm. I am wearing jeans and thick socks and my cowboy boots, and I can not even imagine wearing something as skimpy as a dress. I have to get used to these temperatures, although I do like them better than the summertime heat.
As I sit here behind the computer, I can contemplate the very strongly executed watercolor of yellow tulips that is hanging on the wall facing me. For some reason, it had not recently occurred to me to pay attention to it that much. The colors are very rich and it looks like you can dip your fingers into them and lick them off. Now I do remember why this is one of the two I picked out to take home. I suppose sometimes you look at the art you own and remember why you liked it so much in the first place.
I think the possible solution that John Kerry quite accidentally through a reporter's question came up with, may just be brilliant. It sure gets Barack Obama out of a uncomfortable position and the other European leaders will be off the hook also, although the majority were waiting for a UN resolution. I think the fact that even Russia is positive about this idea says a lot. It creates a win-win situation for everybody and maybe there will follow more diplomatic traffic. Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

Monday, September 09, 2013

That's a miracle!

When I was in Texas over the holidays, I tried to recharge my smartphone, but something went wrong and my touchscreen went black and I was never able to use that phone again. When I came home, I put the SIM-card in another mobile phone that was much more primitive, and have been using that one ever since. I thought maybe I had broken the smartphone by trying to recharge it abroad and that I would have to pay for the costs to have it repaired myself.
This morning I called up the telephone company and got some very simple to follow instructions on how to fix the phone. These did not all work instantly, but like it had a mind of its own, the battery started recharging and just now the touchscreen lit up and I can now make calls with the phone again. I had visions of having to send it in and having it repaired at an enormous cost that I would not be able to afford, but it was all solved very easily. And all it took was one phone call. I goes to show you how easily something can be taken care of if you just give it a try.
I guess I am a fortunate person, because I have had nothing but luck when I have talked to people who man helpdesks. I have never had a bad experience with them and everything always works out well. I suppose that is also because I am a reasonable person to talk to and I expect a positive outcome.
When I was looking for the original box that my smartphone had come in, and the instruction booklet, I had to look in my suitcase and I also found there 4 pairs of jeans of which 2 pairs fit me perfectly. There was also a skirt which was a welcome addition to my wardrobe. Isn't it nice how one thing leads to another? Before you know it, you are better of than you thought you were. I am not really a forgetful person, but when it comes to my clothes, I do have a tendency to not remember what I have when it is not clearly in sight.
The sun is shining into the living room windows, but it is a gentle sun and I do not have to close the blinds. Outside it feels like a real autumn day and we have got the same beautiful sky that we did yesterday. It is 17 degrees Celsius and that is a very pleasant temperature. I get to wear my down filled coat, but not feel too warm.  

Minding my own business...

I've got a delicious cup of coffee that's made with Douwe Egberts coffee, which I think is the best you can get in the Netherlands. You can get the more special blends, but those are too expensive and not necessarily better tasting. As a treat once in a while they can be nice, providing you find the blend you like, and that can involve some detective work. That makes them a pure indulgence and not a choice for my slender wallet. Buying Douwe Egberts instead of the store brand is bad enough.
Being financially challenged means having to be frugal when going grocery shopping and there are a lot of things I don't buy because they are not necessary to my diet and would just add calories that I don't need. What I will not forego are fresh vegetables, and they don't have to be expensive, because you can buy whatever is on sale at the moment. I do have a few basic ones that I always use such as onions and garlic and celery, but after that, anything can be added and I'm having a lot of success with cauliflower right now that was one euro a head. And then there are always the mushrooms that are 99 cents for a small container and enough for the pan of food that I make.
I do have to tell you that right now I have a huge craving for a tall glass of ice cold milk. It has been a long time since I had one, so I suppose it is only natural that I crave one every now and then, feeling deprived as I do. I can not say that everyone is entitled to a glass of milk because it simply is not so. Dairy products do make Dutch people tall because we consume a lot of them. Dutch men have grown taller by 11 centimeters in the last century. There are no numbers for the women because they did not join the armed forces back then and that is where the statistics come from. I am 5 feet, 7 inches and am on the small side.  I take after my little grandmother on my father's side.
It seems that more governments are becoming supportive of the American Assad punishment attack, although I am still not convinced. There is no doubt that chemicals were involved, but the question is, who used them?  And haven't there been enough instances of inhumane suffering by the use of other weapons? Isn't one side as guilty as the other of committing war crimes? I think we should stay far away from using any form of force and only try to find a diplomatic solution. It is like hitting a wasps' nest with a stick to use force. There will be a lot of angry wasps.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Not now anymore.

It is not my birthday now anymore, although it will be a little bit again when the package my daughter sent will arrive in the mail and I finally find out what it is that she sent me. I am completely in the dark about that now and that is the best kind of surprise. I am certainly not going to pressure her into revealing what it is before I get it. I am not that mean spirited of a mother.
I got house plants from my sister and the Exfactor like I asked for and the one from my sister is a tall exotic one that originally came from Zanzibar and is on the point of blooming. I gave it a very good spot in the living room in a place where it gets good light and should do well under my kind and nourishing care. I gave it a quarter of a liter of water and will not water it again until next Saturday, which is the day when I water all of my plants.
It is starting to look downright cozy in here with all those plants and if I am successful at keeping these alive and healthy, I will definitely get more as the budget allows. It is too bad that only the sitting area of the living room gets good light and that the rest of it is so much darker, but maybe I can find plants that do well under those conditions. There must be plants that do well in the deep shade of the jungle floor and that have now become domesticated house plants.
I have found out, because I wanted to try something different, that I like coffee with powdered creamer as long as it is not the fake kind. I read the label carefully on the pot that I had on the shelf in the kitchen for emergencies. There was nothing weird or odd in it, so that made me want to try it. It is nice to drink my coffee with a different flavor for a change and it helps make it go down easier because I was getting a bit tired with the taste of it.
That must be because I am still drinking the cheap brand, but the next two packages are from Douwe Egberts and I know that is going to be a whole new and improved flavor experience. I am looking forward to that, but I first have to finish the coffee that's in the glass jars. I am not wealthy enough to just dump that coffee. My conscious would not allow it. Frugality is my middle name.
It turns out that taking one capsule of the new medication every 12 hours, and a paracetamol every 4 hours, does the job and I have not been as comfortable in a long time. At night I sleep with a pillow under my left knee and that helps a lot. Now I don't nearly have as many aches and pains as I had before. I am lucky that the GP was willing to write the prescription for this medication because I am officially still without a diagnosis.
I think I will seat myself in my armchair and watch the repeats of the news. Obama is the only one who is strongly convinced that it was Assaad who is responsible for the chemical attack, although Hollande seems to feel that way also. Nobody else wants to strike back against him, but he only blames Russia and China. There was a story in a very respectable Dutch newspaper stating that the rebels had got their hands on chemical weapons and were moving them around when an accident happened and the gasses were released.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

How to solve a problem...

Still feeling my aches and pains yesterday morning, I decided to do some research to find out what sorts of medicines were used to combat pain when you have rheumatism or arthritis. I visited the website of The Rheumatism Foundation because they have the most reliable information and are the authority on the subject. I soon found out that beside the standard anti-inflammatory medication, there are new ones that possibly may work better when the standard ones don't.
Then I remembered getting some pills from my orthopedic surgeon to use after the surgery and I dug them out of the medicine drawer. It turned out that they were one of the new non steroid anti inflammatory drugs that the information on the website talked about, and they had worked well. I decided to call the GP to ask him for another prescription for them and when I did, the assistant said she would ask him and for me to call back in the afternoon to find out if he had agreed to that.
In the meantime, I had to go see my psychiatrist, and I have to say that seeing him is always like a breath of fresh air and I come away from there with renewed courage. He is the one person who takes care of me in the sense that I am a whole person, body and soul, and he keeps track of  all of me and not just of my mind. He is as interested in what is going on with me in the strict medical sense as much as he is with what is happening with me emotionally, and he is a well informed person medically. I think it will be a wise thing to see him more often than once every three months and I have an appointment in October.
When I called back the GP's office, I found out that a prescription for that medicine had been faxed to the pharmacy, but because my knee bothered me so much, I didn't want to have to go out on my bike again to pick it up. I called the Exfactor and asked him if he could pick it up some time in the afternoon that was convenient to him, which he did.
I took a pill with a paracetamol and at first thought it wasn't working at all, but after two hours it did and it has given me lot of relief. I am supposed to take one every 12 hours and use paracetamol more often. I don't feel any of my joints now, except for my knee a bit, but I do have swollen fingers. I think I get those from using the keyboard.
Today is officially my birthday and I have turned the ripe old age of 59. I am completely going to indulge in being this age and get whatever benefits there are out of it. I think I am now allowed all sorts of liberties and that there are a lot of conventions that I don't have to worry about anymore. I will do pretty much as I see fit and live my life accordingly. Just imagine how great it will be when I turn 60. I am going to practice for being that age this year.  

Friday, September 06, 2013

A different drummer...

I looked through my stash of medicines and found anti-inflammatory pills that are stronger than the ibuprofen that I have been taking. I made sure that they had not reached their 'use by date' and took the first pill yesterday evening. I don't really know if they work all that much better, but I am going to give them another try today. I did have pain in both my knees when I tried to go to sleep last night and initially it kept me awake. Luckily, the sleep medication did the job in the end and I slept well all night.
I am seeing my psychiatrist this morning to talk about how I am doing on all the various doses of medication I am taking. He likes to get a personal impression of how I am besides just being in touch with me by email, although that is a very handy way to exchange information also.
The Exfactor was here yesterday and brought me a good looking ivy in a pretty pot for my birthday and it now has a place on the coffee table. It will get good light there and should grow as quickly as the one I already own. Now that I know that I am perfectly capable of keeping house plants alive, owning them doesn't daunt me any longer. I know my sister is also getting me one because I asked her to and I am very curious to see which one she will have got me. I purposely did not ask for expensive presents because times are rough for everybody.
For my pasta, I made a vegetable mix of garlic, onions, celery, mushrooms and carrots with Italian herbs. It turned out well, but Tyke appreciated the carrots more than I did and in the end, he ate almost all of them. I went a bit lighter on the Italian herbs because I realized that with as much as I was using, I was drowning out the individual flavors of the vegetables.
Today it is going to be tropically hot, but it ought to be the last of the real summer days. Tomorrow's temperatures will be a lot more pleasant. I think today we will set a record for how warm it is going to be in September. I have kept the apartment shut up and the blinds closed and that is how we have survived. Yesterday evening, I didn't walk Tyke until the sun was almost setting. I do think he appreciated that and he moved around a bit easier.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

No such luck...

Well, sometimes things don't work out quite the way you would have liked them to. I thought I was in a position to be able to use the services of the food bank, but it turns out that I am not poor enough by 25 Euros. So there goes my big chance at getting help that way. Again, more frugality will be the way I will have to make ends meet, though I hardly know how to achieve that. I suppose I have to see this as a big test which I can either pass or fail, and I am determined to pass. The food bank would have been the break I needed, but fate seems to have different ideas for me.
It is true that when one door closes, a window opens, though I would like to think that you can try to open a few other doors. First I have to determine their location because I am stumbling around in the dark a bit and I think I will have to find the light switch first.
Yesterday, I tried to shop frugally at that other grocery store, but I think this one is not the cheapest one I can shop at, so next week I am trying another one for which I will have to ride my bike even a bit further. The store I shopped at yesterday did have a good selection of fresh vegetables and I was able to take advantage of some special deals, but I was surprised at how expensive vegetables are in general. People are encouraged to eat them fresh, but I hardly see how it can be done at those prices. You really have to pick and choose carefully.
The Exfactor goes to the open air market downtown on the square a lot, and I know that terrific deals can be had on the fresh vegetables there. I may now have to consider going there myself or ask him to shop there for me to get the best deals. I first have to try out this next grocery store which I have heard is number one in the fresh vegetable department.
I do have to say that, at least on a temporary basis, riding my bike does my knee a lot of good. It is getting on and off that's a bit tricky and I can well imagine reinjuring myself doing that, so that is something I do carefully.
I slept well last night because I also took a tranquilizer before I went to bed. I had such a great desire for a good night's sleep that I decided to give that a try. I think I could have slept longer this morning, but the urge to start the day made me want to get up. When it comes to that, I am still like a kid that can't wait to see what exciting things the day will bring.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Butterflies in my chest.

It being in the middle of the night, you can count on me doing at least one tried and true thing, and that is having a cup of coffee. Since I have been buying the decaffeinated kind, I have been making pots of coffee that are half that and half regular. I started off making pots that were two thirds decaf, but they did not give me enough pizzazz and I soon switched to an equal mix of both. The cups I drink of that, make me alert enough without making me feel wiry and having my heart beat rapidly. I used to lie in bed and wonder if I had butterflies caught inside my chest.
It is a good thing that I did get enough sleep already and that I don't feel deprived. It is possible that I will go to bed later and try to get another hour of it before the day starts, but it is not all that necessary. When it comes to routines, I pretty much have this one down to a science, and I know that I don't need all that much sleep and that I can get caught up on it during the weekend if I need to.
The shopping list on the white board in the kitchen is just about complete and I will have to transfer it to the back of a used envelope like I usually do. I find that, as a rule, I have one of them lying around handily. Already, there are too many items on the list and I worry about staying within the budget. I really can't wait to find out how much cheaper this other grocery store is going to be, but they don't have a website that shows all the products they have in the store, so I have been unable to find out. I won't know until I go into the store and start adding things to the trolley.
I dug around inside my closet and found two dresses that I had bought some years ago but had never really worn. Since I have gained some weight, they fit me perfectly, and I can only guess that it is serendipity that I should find them now. I wore one of them yesterday and will wear the other one today and give it a road test on my bike. Besides going shopping, I also have to see my therapist because she has to fill in an application for me for the food bank. I have heard that there is a waiting list and it may be some time before I am able to participate in that program.
Now I will go watch the news and also that on the Belgian television and the BBC. It's also time to take some ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Grocery shopping...

I thought I had done the shopping for a whole week when I last went to the grocery store, but I am already starting to run out of some things, even though I am living frugally. That goes to show you that you can never plan carefully enough. I had to adjust my eating habits a little bit to make the food last as long as possible so I can postpone the moment when I have to go back to the store. I didn't have it planned in my budget to go before Friday.
Luckily, I am going to that grocery store that came out cheapest in the consumer test, so I can't wait to shop there to see if it really makes a difference. I will be buying a lot of the same items that I did the last time, so I will be able to make a good comparison. All the quarters and dimes that I save will add up to a good amount of money and that matters. Here I go already assuming that I will save those. I am a bit of an optimist.
Eating the way I am, with all those fresh vegetables in the pasta, is having its benefits and I am now convinced that it is the healthiest way to eat. I never before realized how important fresh vegetables are and how necessary to your diet. I completely underestimated that, even though it was proclaimed from the rooftops.
Depending on what vegetables are in season, I will eat what is available with my pasta. I will have to have a good look around the produce department and see what the exact choices are. The store I have been shopping at, has a lot of pre-sliced, pre-packaged vegetables for the convenience of the shopper and has a relatively poor choice in the rest of the vegetables. I hope this new grocery store will do better in the variety that is available that is not pre-sliced and pre-packaged, because those kinds of vegetables are expensive and you can't keep them for a long time in your refrigerator.
I have been enjoying the combination of crushed garlic and Italian herbs very much and I will have to look for both of them as my supply is dwindling. I make generous use of them because I like my food to be overwhelmingly flavored. I worry about running out of them when I am in the middle of preparing a meal and that is just about the worst thing I can imagine. There is nothing worse than not having your food turn out well because you did not have enough of some crucial ingredient.

Monday, September 02, 2013

A thrill a minute...

I received in the mail the nicest little handmade notebook and a handmade book tag to go with it. They came in a nicely decorated envelope that was a piece of artwork all on its own. They were sent to me by a good blogging friend by the name of Connie Rose. She is a very good artist who is more than proficient in all sorts of creative art, and amongst that she has the creative skills having to do with paper and printing and bookbinding. I often admire her work on her website which is here.
I sure do enjoy receiving things like this and they always get a place of honor on my computer table where I can look at them all the time. They are treasures that I cherish and will keep for the rest of my life. I get enormously attached to work that has been handmade with a lot of care and skill and am so appreciative of it. If I had the patience and imagination, it is the kind of work I would like to turn out myself, but since I don't, I am sure glad other people do.
Needless to say, if I had lots of money, I would be the one who would go to all the workshops that good artists are always giving all over the world in places like New Mexico and Bali and Australia. And I would travel business class. Of course, I am going to have to win the jackpot in the state lottery one day to be able to do that. The sooner I do, the better, because I feel like time is running out.
I had a truly uninteresting day yesterday in which nothing the least spectacular happened. The most unusual thing I did, was take a long nap in the afternoon and it was so long, that I had an epic dream about death and rebirth and waking up in a much improved, futuristic world where space travel was a normal, daily occurrence. If your life is a bit boring, then at least your dreams can make up for it.
I ate well and now have my recipe for pasta with fresh vegetables and Italian spices perfected. I can fix it with one hand tied behind my back. Well, not really, because I need both hands to drain the pasta and chop the vegetables. I go heavy on the spices because I like this dish to tantalize my taste buds and the different textures also help make it interesting. I also put a couple of cloves of chopped garlic in and that helps the taste too. And, of course, I use olive oil.
Eating rice for a week like I did, had made me feel very stuffed and as if my whole system had shut down. I don't think it was such a good idea, although I tried it to get away from the gluten. I think I overdid it and it was a bit too much of a good thing. I have since bought some excellent dark, whole wheat bread with seeds and nuts and am eating that every day. I think I will forget that notion about the gluten, because being lactose intolerant is bad enough. I don't need to go looking for other intolerances.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

Now that I have been on the lower dose of antipsychotics for a while, I have to admit that I don't think it is such a good idea. It has started to dawn on me that I spent an inordinate amount of time obsessing about the same (small) problems. I get fixated on them and am so from the moment I get up until I go to sleep. I also find it hard to relax and let go of things that should not bother me and that have already been dealt with. I am stuck in the details and keep mulling them over in my mind. This results in me not being able to see the larger picture and view my life from a broader scope.
I only got this insight yesterday when I caught a brief glimpse of it, but I held on to that bit of wisdom and have been working it out ever since. On the sanest moments, when reason is with me, I can see where the hitch in the system lies and that I need an increased dose. Luckily, next week I am seeing my psychiatrist so that I can discuss this problem with him and we can set this straight. I may even be able to before that time if I email him and he gives me permission to increase the dose. I think I would prefer that.
My knee feels amazingly good and I think that bike ride to and from the grocery store really fixed it. Whatever had snapped into the wrong place, has snapped back into place again. I am not so sure now about what the orthopedic surgeon told me was wrong with it. I assume I am a bit arthritic in that knee and that it causes the problem. I will be sure not to make any deep knee bends again and certainly not while picking up something the least heavy. The vet will have to put Tyke on the examining table the next time.
Now that I have stopped smoking regular tobacco and am smoking only electronic cigarettes, the apartment smells a lot better and there are no longer ashes and dust lying around all over the place. I had to give up the tobacco because I could no longer afford it. Of course, I had the windows open anyway all the time, so it didn't smell that bad in here, but it is nice to know that when the weather gets bad, and I have to close the windows, it will not smell like smoke in the apartment at all.
The electronic cigarettes work fine and take care of my need for nicotine. The best thing is, that I can smoke them anywhere, even at my sister's house. They are not a nuisance nor make you a social outcast and there's a lot to be said for that.