Sunday, March 31, 2013

The lengths I will go to.

I am very happily sitting here drinking some coffee and enjoying the fact that it is still so light out even though the clock tells me it is almost time for the 8 pm news. It is something different to be excited about today, because the fact that it is Easter does not mean much to me. I have pretty much ignored that celebration, although I suppose it would have been different if I still had small kids.

When I was young, we celebrated it according to Saxon tradition because of where we lived and that was a lot of fun. We decorated a cross with a horizontal circle on it signifying the sun. On top of it was put a rooster signifying fertility made of bread wi raisins for eyes. On the four wind directions of the circle were put oranges and strings of candy eggs were hung between them.

The cross and the circle were decorated with twigs from a bush that was illegal to harvest, but my Dad did it anyway because he wanted me to win first place in the competition. A nest was made inside the sun circle where we placed real painted eggs in straw. I have pictures of me walking in the parade that followed the competition and I look both proud and confused for getting second place, although I thought that was a high enough honor.

I tried to get excited about the god awful way Easter was celebrated in The States when my kids were little, but I never learned to like it. I hated the choices of the frilly, pastel colored dresses for the girls and the fact that the boys had to wear little suits and ties. And then those really horrible Easter baskets with that overdose of chocolate! Not to mention the terrible overdose of Christianity. I am so glad that I do not have to experience that anymore. I look back with distaste at that time.
Actually, most of my American time is an embarrassment to me and often I wish it had never happened, but I suppose I learned valuable lessons from it, though god knows I might have learned them another way. I am so relieved to be back here in my own country again where I belong, amongst people who think like I do.
I am counting on the fact that tomorrow the stores will be open, even though it will be Second Easter Day. I need to buy some food that I can eat without my stomach going into an uproar. The vegetable soup is just not cutting it.

Slowing down the speed...

I  have just set my watch one hour ahead and before I go back to bed, I will do the same thing to the living room clock and the alarm clock. And then, hopefully, I will also sleep really well and wake up at a decent hour. In order to do that, I have to ignore the hunger pangs in my stomach because it is either that, or feed it and suffer from those after effects and which is worse? At least this way the coffee I am drinking is agreeing with me because my stomach is not at all in an uproar. This is the best possible situation I can find myself in, so I will ignore the hunger pangs.
I have increased one of my medications by 1 mg and I think it is doing me good. I will have to be on this dose for a week or so to really notice the difference, but already I feel a lot calmer and more level headed. I think it was time that I did because sometimes I was bouncing off the walls a bit. I was a bit too emotional. I like to be more self contained than that and more in charge of my feelings and not so much all over the place. I suppose what I really mean is that I like to be more predictable. Not for the pleasure and comfort of anyone else but myself.
It is quite possible that, if I was not already boring, I will become boring now because a lot of things suddenly do not seem so important any more. There is a lot that I can not get excited about and I am glad about that. It will make my life a lot simpler.
It is time to go back to bed. I will set the clocks ahead and take my medicines and hope for some more hours of wonderful sleep. Right now it seems like the only thing that matters.

Friday, March 29, 2013

It isn't working...

I have been trying to convince myself that I am in a good mood, or that I am going to be soon anyway, but it is not working out at all and I have to admit defeat. Then I tell myself that it is okay too and that I do not continually have to be in a good mood and that it is alright to feel crappy sometimes too. I am not going to resist this any longer and just give in to the feeling and allow whatever negative vibrations I have to come to the surface. They are not going to kill me, after all, and it will be good to examine what is bothering me.

It is impossible to be on top of the rainbow all the time, or to even be on your way to the top most of the time, although it feels that way to me very often. By nature I am a happy person and I have the tendency to be cheerful. Even when I am not quite happy, I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is always burning. I see the glass half full and I am an optimist and always think that things will work out, even though life has shown me often enough that sometimes they do not.

I think more than anything, I am worried about my stomach and the problems it is causing me and the amount of pain I have from it. I start my days with 500 mg of paracetamol. The goat milk cheese and yogurt are not working out, so I seem to have a general lactose intolerance. Wheat is not agreeing with me either so I eat rye, but I think that I will go without any kind of grain products for a while to find out if that makes a difference. The kindest thing I can eat is my home made vegetable soup.
Luckily, the paracetamol is working now and I feel a bit better and my other medicines have started to work too. And then, of course, there are the cups of coffee I have had that have helped me regain some of my stability, but I am not out of the woods yet. This weekend it will be Easter and when we set the clocks one hour ahead in Europe. I must admit that I am not in a festive mood and will not be wearing an Easter bonnet.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What do I do for an encore?

It is past dinnertime and I should have already had something to eat, but because I got my schedule messed up, I had to finish my cup of coffee first and then drink a tall glass of lemonade because I am very thirsty. I am so thirsty, that I shortened my walk with Tyke in order to get home quicker to have something to drink. I am now having that ice cold lemonade and very welcome it is too and it tastes like I have been out in the desert for a week. People can never understand my desire for cold drinks with ice cubes in them when it is freezing outside. They look at me when I offer them one like I have a screw loose. To me it seems like the most normal thing in the world.
I washed some very precious jackets this morning of which I thought they really had to go to the dry cleaner, but I never got around to taking them there. I washed them on the delicate cycle of the washing machine and hoped and prayed that they would come out okay and they did. Of course, they went through the delicate spin cycle too and were very wet when they came out of the machine. I hung them outside on the clothes line to dry, but this evening they were still damp and they are now drying in the bathroom.
I always have a lavender scented, solid air freshener in my closet because I like for my clothes to smell nice. After all, not everything gets washed all the time, but it is nice if things that do not get worn a lot and only collect dust do go in the laundry once in a while just to freshen up. I  do love to wear clean clothes and like for them to smell good. My favorite thing in the world is to have an excuse to put clean clothes on and to put the ones I wore in the laundry. Not to sound decadent or anything and they probably wear out quicker from being washed that often.
I just ate two slices of breakfast cake slathered in margarine to help them go down easier, but still I am burping. I am hungry and want more food and have to try and think of something else to eat that will not upset my stomach. I will probably open a can of soup and that will be the last one there is. I have a can of raviolis, but I have to read the list of ingredients to make sure there is no product made of cow milk in it. I am a fool for wanting more food.   

Indulgence and so on...

I got out of bed this morning when it was still rather early and for some reason decided that it was time to get up, but I do get confused about matters like that at times. I probably had an eagerness to start the day because I am never short of that, although I do appreciate sleeping too. But when you are awake, and there is no chance of you falling asleep again, and you are curious what the weather looks like, you do have a tendency to get up and look out the window.
To my great relief I saw there was sunshine and that was the final deciding factor and I made some much needed coffee and took my medicines. Although I usually wake up in a good mood, it really is not a good morning until I have at least one cup of coffee in my system and then it is great. I can deal with almost anything at that point, although I would rather not and very quietly have another one and then take Tyke for a walk.
We were out there before it was 7 am and nobody else was. I specifically looked for the sunny places to walk in, but sometimes that was impossible because the sun was still low in the sky and there was still a lot of shade from all the buildings. I think Tyke got my meaning and obediently followed me to the brightest spots. He did want to roll in something stinky, but it was invisible to me, so I don't know what happened there and what the attraction was.
I always praise him hugely when we get home and he has been especially co-operative and he has come to count on it. It is a real disappointment to him if I do not do it and I seldom do not pet and praise him. He really does try to be on his best behavior while we are out and whatever error he makes is a result from pure exuberance. Sometimes he forgets everything around him and is completely caught up in his own world and what is taking place there. He is just like a little kid.
Gandhi usually sits waiting in front of the living room window and it is customary that I greet her from outside and then she walks to the front door and waits for us there. We do have our habits, but I think she rightly expects to be fed along with Tyke, so there is some anticipation for that. She has not grown tired of her new kind of food yet and I can still make her happy with it several times a day. There is one difference in that she does not eat as if she is starved now, so her greatest hunger has been taken care of.
I have to take Tyke for a walk now in the bright sunshine and that is no punishment, even though it is cold. The blue sky is a welcome sight.

Imagination and then some...

I am imagining that I am warming my toes by a toasty log fire because it is just a bit cold in here with the heater off while it freezes outside. I am too thrifty to turn the heater on and besides that, I am wearing thick socks and my warm bathrobe, so I am not really suffering all that much. Of course, the fact that I just drank a tall glass of ice cold lemonade did not help matters much either. For all good measure, it should have been a mug of hot chocolate milk, but we all know how I would react to that.

I am trying out my other pair of glasses because I thought maybe the problem was that the first pair were somehow not adjusted well and my eyes had really not gotten that much worse, but I am sorry to say that this other pair makes no difference and that, as a matter of fact, they are starting to bother my right eye just a bit. I am getting a bit of a headache just above it, so I think I will switch back to the original pair. I am always willing to try whatever it takes to find the solution, but it was not meant to be this time.
I am so very hungry and could eat singlehandedly whatever is edible in the kitchen, except that I do not think my stomach would agree. I suppose that right now I am in an eating mode because I have not eaten anything recently that has disagreed with me and know what I would have to grab to make me happy and my stomach contend. I have to say that eating big slices of goat cheese all on their own is a pleasant experience and agrees with me well, but I still do keep thinking about bonbons and ice cream sundaes. As if I ate that many of them before.
I am planning on making my own vegetable soups again instead of buying soups in cans. It was a bit of a convenience to buy them ready made, but you have no control over the ingredients and pretty much have to take them as they come or keep eating the same soup over and over again. I know I like my own soups and what goes into them. There is even some joy in preparing them and a meditative aspect to cutting up all the different vegetables if you do it mindfully and I am perfectly capable of that. I am never in such a rush that I do not have time to make soup mindfully.
I think I will go back to bed now to finish sleeping. The night is not nearly over and  I have lots of dreaming left to do ahead of me. I just hope they are uncomplicated dreams or that I do not remember them at all. I think a deep sleep and a dreamless night are the best of all. At least you wake up rested.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No puns intended...

I took a huge nap this afternoon, which I think I needed after I had such an adventurous morning. I had actually slept well the night before, but still felt like I needed to catch up on more of it. Even now I feel that I could sleep for hours and not be done. I do not know what to blame it on, except that I feel that I have been a bit hypomanic lately and that maybe now I am coming down from that. It usually involves me sleeping a bit more and so it is a good sign. In my case it is good to slow down and change to a lower gear. I do less damage that way.
I have been very hungry all day and have managed to not eat anything yet that has hugely upset my stomach. As I write this, I am heating up soup and that is for the second time today. I have also had slices of goat milk cheese and slices of breakfast cake slathered with margarine that had absolutely no cow milk products in it. I read the label well. The breakfast cake is made with rye flour and maybe I tolerate that better than wheat. I am going to stay away from wheat for a while and see if I do any better. To say that I eat like a starved woman is an understatement.
I very obediently slathered myself in baby lotion last night before I went to bed, and I also treated my eczema with the ointment I have for that. I must admit that I had been neglecting to do that and had been doing a lot of scratching. I will repeat this ritual tonight until I have skin as soft as a baby's and my eczema will be all gone and beyond that. I must not forget that I am turning into an " older woman" and need the extra care. 
I knew a woman once who treated her skin with Vaseline, but she glistened like it too as if she were all slithery. I do not know if under that layer she did actually have good skin. She was in her 70's and prided herself on her good looks. I do not want to take desperate measures when I get to that age and do want to look somewhat normal and not as if I have been oiled.
I am looking forward to going to bed very much and I hope I sleep like a princess in an enchanted castle. There is nothing as nice as getting a good night's sleep, unless it is eating well without stomach problems, of course. I am not out of the woods yet and it may take a while.

All in a day's work...

Well, I successfully donated a vial of blood this morning at the doctor's office to see if that bacteria that I always forget the name of does indeed inhabit my stomach. It was done easily and painlessly and I was in and out of there in just a matter of minutes. Then it was home again for a little while until I had to leave for my appointment with the optometrist at Specsavers.
It was cold on my bike and I had to take an alternate route to get downtown because work is being done on the main artery though town, and that meant going further and getting colder. I did end up where I had to be without getting frozen solid because I was dressed well enough while still looking fashionable. I did want to make a good impression and not like just anybody who came walking in off the street.
I was going to get my varifocal lenses for free and get 30% off the frame and I picked out a nice one, so I was all set. Then I had to do the eye test and that is where the trouble started. My right eye had indeed gotten worse, but the optometrist thought there might be another problem besides just needing stronger lenses. He wanted me to go see the ophthalmologist and wrote me a letter for him with all the details in it about my case.
On my way back, I went by the eye clinic and showed the assistant the letter and made an appointment which will not be until April the 12th. Then I also had to go back to the doctor's office to get a letter from him recommending that I see the ophthalmologist because otherwise the insurance company will not pay for it. All of this was easily and quickly taken care of and I was home again before noon.
The optometrist had asked me if there were any eye problems that ran in the family and I told him no, but since then I have talked to my niece and she reminded me that my older sister had cataracts which she had done nothing about, as was typical of her. I will have to mention this fact to the ophthalmologist, not that I wish I had them. No, not at all. I actually I hope there is nothing the matter and that I just need stronger lenses.
My eyes are actually much worse than I remembered they were and the strength of the corrections is pretty high. I was a fool not to wear my glasses all the time and I now regret that.  
Those have been my adventures for this day and I think they are enough for now, although at this point I am ready for whatever comes my way. I am feeling feisty and unafraid of anything because I know there is a solution for it all.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sit very still and nurture it...

I am having some delicious cups of coffee after Tyke woke me up from a nap that was taking much too long for me to wake up from. It was my intention to lie down for only an hour or so, but instead of that, I fell into a deep sleep. Tyke decided that it was past his dinnertime, however, and right he was too, so I made him a bowl of food while I waited for the coffee to get done.

Gandhi paced on top of the kitchen counter, letting me know that she was not going to eat those dried up bits of meat that were lying on her saucer, so I had to come to her rescue also. I still do not know how I was capable of functioning that well before I had any caffeine. I think I was doing it on automatic pilot, otherwise it would have cause me too much stress. Some things you have to do without thinking about them.

One thing is for sure, I ate the goat milk yogurt that the Exfactor brought over, and I had no problems with it other than the usual ones that I always have when I eat anything. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, so I think I tolerate it. I am so happy about that, because now I can have it a few times a week as a special treat. I now also know that it was not the goat cheese that made me feel ill.

You can have too much of a good thing and I am all done having coffee and switching to ice cold lemonade because I am dried out. That is one thing that caffeine does to you. I have also got very dry skin and have to make it a point to rub baby lotion all over it tonight. That is something I must not forget to do. My domestic help threatened to plunge me in a bath with baby oil today, so before she gets her hands on me...



It is quite normal...

I just ate two bowls of chicken soup and much to my surprise, they are not bothering me too much at all, as opposed to the pea soup I had yesterday which was really quite a problem. I wish some of these foods came with labels attached to them that said, "Do not eat this, Irene, this is not safe for you." As it is now, half of the time it is a guessing game.
Of course, I was very hungry because I had not had anything to eat since I had that goat cheese sandwich last night and that was not the pleasure I had imagined it was going to be. I do know that chicken soup is going to be among my favorite foods from now on. I will try the vegetable soup  with the little meatballs next. I hope that is as much of a success. There just have to be some foods I can eat.
I am waiting for the doctor's assistant to call me because I called this morning to complain loudly about the state of my health and what was going to be done about it. I was sitting there looking 7 months pregnant and having major cramps. I ended op taking 500 mg of paracetamol for it and that gave me some relief from the pain. My stomach is just as big now, but at least it does not hurt.
I am actually craving goat milk yogurt and am trying to think of a way to get my hands on some. I can not go anywhere because the domestic help is here and I can not leave the apartment. It is against the rules of her contract that the person she cleans house for is not present. I an going to ask the Exfactor if he will get me some. Yeah, that's the ticket.
The assistant called and I am to go over tomorrow morning and donate some blood to be tested for that bacteria that may be in my stomach. I have to take two courses of heavy antibiotics if it is there and I guess the doctor wants to be very sure before he starts me on those. I hope it is and that the antibiotics will be the solution because then I will be cured. I so very much just want to be able to eat regular sorts and amounts of food and it does not even have to be all that much.
The Exfactor will be here with the yogurt soon. He was on his way to the hardware store anyway. He is always on his way somewhere on his bike and I can count on him to be able to always run an errand for me easily. I think I do take advantage of his goodness, but do not tell anyone that.

In the serenity of the moment...

It would be easy to convince myself that I am completely calm and serene now, while directly underneath my skin things are humming along as busy as a swarm of bees. That is why it is very important that I live in this moment and keep my mind on writing this post and not let it wander to a dozen other subjects that keep wanting to distract it. So being calm and serene is not as easy as it sounds, and I am having a heck of a time with it.

After having had such an adventurous weekend of downloading and installing Windows 8, and then learning how to use it, it is time to return to the regular order of the day. It is going to be Monday, after all, and the start of a new week, and I can not be lying down on the job. My personal helper is going to be here in the morning and I still have to do this weekend's dishes. I did get a little sidetracked from doing my regular chores these past two days.
I am actually looking forward to going back to bed in a while to finish sleeping, because Tyke woke me up when I was still sound asleep and not at all ready to get up yet. He is a good guard dog and will prevent anyone from breaking in, but it is kind of a bother when he barks at midnight. I can not get angry at him about it, though, because he is doing his job. The problem is that he probably wakes up the neighbors too, although they have not complained.
I am having all sorts of cravings for all sorts of food and they are all bad for me. It is a good thing that I am not in possession of any of them, because I would eat them all, even though I would know better. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I crave ice cream and bonbons and vanilla pudding. You know I would have a really bad time if I ate them. I am already sitting here with cramps in my stomach and my belly, but I do not have the vaguest idea why I have them. I did not eat anything that was bad for me as far as I know.
Yesterday I wore a short jacket that I bought in the week that my sister Marianne died. It is a cute jacket and it looks good on me, but I have the hardest time wearing it because of the memories attached to it. I put it on sometimes, determined to get other memories attached to it, but I can only wear it for a day and then it goes back into the closet and I breathe a sigh of relief. Today I will also wear something else and I am already glad for it. I will wear something that is not so loaded with emotion.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Speaking of doing foolish things...

I have downloaded and installed Windows 8 on my computer and I did this yesterday afternoon thinking I would spend a couple of hours on the job. Well, it is now the next afternoon and I am still messing around with it and getting to the point where I am figuring things out, but I am doing it all the hard way. I have never been good at reading instructions ahead of time, so I am learning as I go along and sometimes I have to completely redo things.

It has become quite a pre-occupation and it is a good thing that I sometimes have to walk away from it to take Tyke out, or make a phone call, or get something to eat. I really dislike it when I can not work something out and I know there is a solution for it. Usually, I find it, but sometimes it is after quite a search.  I know that if you reason logically, there is always an answer, but you do have to try and stay calm and also go to bed and get some sleep.

I think the worst of the learning process is behind me now and I can relax a little bit, but this program does have its tricks. Sometimes it has a mind of its own and does things it is not supposed to and undoes the work I have done. I basically have to treat it like a young puppy and act like it is in its formative years. I suppose we have to get used to each other and I have to show it who's boss.

This morning it was snowing and when I opened the blinds in the living room, a completely white world laid ahead of me. And the snow was thickly falling down from the gray sky and adding to what was already on the ground that had not been walked or driven on at all. So Tyke and I went out right away and were the first ones to make tracks.

 Do not tell me that dogs are not aware of the fact that snow is a special occurence, because Tyke immediately becomes very playful in it. He knows that it is something fun and that he has to take advantage of it. Of course, his hairy paws pick up lots of snow and soon balls of it are clustered under his feet and we have to try to get them off and that is a mutual effort. Still, he brings them home where he goes around making a ticking sound on the floor until they have finally melted, although he does try to help the process along by chewing on them. They really get frozen solidly to his fur.
Oh, I just remembered that I have not installed a virus scanner yet. I must do that immediately.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Best laid plans.

Tyke is not at all co-operating by sleeping on his pillow that I drag with me from room to room and put down beside me at whatever spot I sit in. Just to please me, he lies down on it for a minute or so, but then goes and moves to the hard linoleum floor. So this is turning out to be an exercise in total futility. 

He can also lie down on the area rug that is in front of the sofa, but he even does not do that all that much, except when I am sitting in my armchair in the morning and he finishes sleeping at my feet. Maybe he is overheated because of his long and curly fur that I have been reluctant to have let cut because the weather has been too cold so far. Maybe that is why he likes the relative coolness of the linoleum. 

Gandhi, of course, has no such problem, because she is a short haired cat and shares my pillow with me at night to stay warm. She sleeps right against the top of my head and it is very cozy. I like it when she purrs because it helps me fall asleep. I miss her if she is not there, but sometimes she does change positions and sleeps on my belly instead. Luckily, she only weighs about 4 kilos, so the load is not very heavy. She is so light compared to Tyke that I hardly feel her lying there. 

I have very patiently been working away at the callous bump under the ball of my left foot that keeps returning, because I do not think I have done a good enough job of tackling it so far. Yesterday and the day before that, I intermittently scraped away at it with that special tool I have and I am now to the point that it is level with the rest of my skin. But the callous goes deeper than that and I am going to have to work away at it some more until I reach the point where it stops hurting when I apply pressure to it. 

I think there may actually have been something of a splinter in it that I think I spotted, but that is now gone and there is a little pitted area. I never thought of there being a foreign object in there, but it does explain a lot. I am afraid that this has been a neglected area of my body that I am finally paying the proper amount of attention to. I do resurface on occasion and realize I need maintenance. 

I washed my hair with silver shampoo the other day. I had done that in the past but never achieved the result that I wanted. This time I decided to read the label and saw that I had to lather up and leave it sitting in my hair for 5 minutes at least. So that's what I did and when the 5 minutes were up, I waited for 3 more and then I had a purple head of hair. I rinsed my hair and dried it and it was decidedly lighter and the gray had gotten more sparkly and that is what I had wanted. I will keep using it and see if it gets lighter every time I do. Ha, so much wishful thinking!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thanks, but no thanks.

I am reluctant to go outside because, although the sun is shining, there is a mean east wind blowing that makes it feel much colder than it really is, and now that I can not wear my snow hat anymore for vanity reasons, I will be at risk of suffering more from the cold than I did before. I am hoping that Tyke will be satisfied with just relieving himself out back, but I actually do not think that I am going to get off that easy. I will have to face the reality of the situation and go out there and shiver in my warmest coat and get a cold head. 

I made a huge mistake today after eating almost no dairy products for a week. I ate two bowls of vanilla pudding, even when I noticed halfway through that I was having a bad reaction to it. I was stubborn and liked the taste so much that I insisted on eating all of it and then I payed the price. It has been hours since I ate that pudding and I still am bloated with a very sore stomach. I will not discuss with you what will happen later today. I will never eat vanilla pudding again, so help me god. What a fool thing to do.

 I do not even know if I will ever eat again. I suppose I will find that out later this evening. It is hard to think of food right now, let alone get excited about it. Even if you offered me the most delicious ice cream sundae with whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top, I would turn it down. 

Now that I am wearing my glasses all the time, I think I may have to have a stronger lens for my right eye, which is where I have the astigmatism. Things are not quite as sharp and well defined as they should be, or so I assume. I do not think you should go around finding things too blurry. I have contacted Specsavers and made an appointment for an eye test on Tuesday morning. If I need new lenses in my glasses, it is going to cost some money, but it is better than guessing at what I am looking at and getting frustrated. 

I have taken Tyke out in the meantime and it was cold, but not nearly as cold as I had anticipated,  so I must make it a point not to let my imagination dictate my decisions too much. I do not live in Siberia, after all. Tyke was happy with the walk and ate his dinner when we got home. He is now digesting it under the dining table as if that is the most comfortable spot to lie down. 

I just got his big pillow from the bedroom and put it beside my chair and he got the idea and is now very contentedly lying down on it. I suppose it will be one of my duties from now on to always put that pillow beside whichever spot I am in. Sometimes it takes me a little while to catch on too. I forget how very much he enjoys being close to me. 

I think I will now take another paracetamol for my sore stomach and wait for whatever else is going to happen. I live such an exciting life. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Not quite time to dive under the covers.

Because my new and shorter haircut makes me look so much perkier (and younger, the Exfactor said today), I have decided to wear my glasses always. Well, at least from the moment I get up in the morning until I go to sleep. I doubt they would be very comfortable to wear in bed. They look much nicer with my hair cut this short and suddenly I do not look like an boring old lady any more. 

It did take some courage to actually go outside with them on, but once I was on my way, I forgot all about them and was amazed at how clearly I could see all the details of the things around me. I do have to add that I wore my nicest coat and no snow hat, and that I wore my very good cowboy boots without the brace. I wanted to make the best impression I could. 

My ankle was kind of wobbly and my foot dragged a bit, but I did okay other than that. I was just glad to be wearing my favorite cowboy boots again, because they are the nicest pair I have got. The other pair I have got molested by Tyke when he was a puppy. 

Speaking of Tyke, I realized this week that it had already been his birthday this month and he is now 4 years old and that maybe explains why he is becoming so well behaved. I just found it unbelievable that I have had him for such a long time already. And Gandhi is going to be 11 years old in another 2 weeks. I made sure I looked that up. I will have to buy her some catnip.

I wouldn't have bought Tyke a cupcake for his birthday anyway, but a new set of good tennis balls would have been nice. I will have to go to the sporting goods store, because the ones you get there last the longest. He tears the cheap ones apart in no time at all. All the best tennis balls he has, he has found on the fields where the kids play and they are part of a game set and have been accidentally left behind. Tyke finds them first thing in the morning before anyone else has been out there. 

When I was walking Tyke this evening, suitably dressed and with my glasses on, I got mistaken for someone else and was addressed in English by a father with a little kid. I automatically switched to English too, but it is possible that both of us were Dutch. There was some confusion and sincere apologies and big smiles and then we were on our way. I think my glasses must make me look like a lot of other people. They must make me look like a certain type of woman. I hope it is the intellectual kind that is taken seriously. 

Finding space between the lines.

I am sitting here in the middle of the night with a very funky hairdo, because my adventures in my dreams have made my hair stand up all over the place. I look like I have gone punk, and it does have a certain attraction all of its own. It is your typical bedroom hairdo and would look attractive in an appropriate movie scene. Of course, I would need the appropriate male co-star to go with it. And soft subdued lighting to hide the little faults that come with my age. 

My own domestic help told me the other day that I had very dry skin and that I should rub baby oil all over it. I do not know if I want to be quite that slippery, but I do have a bottle of baby lotion that I may use instead. If it is used on babies, it can not be bad for the skin of a middle aged woman who needs some help, but is too lazy to apply it. I do so not like to fuss with myself and have never developed the habit. I am vain about my clothes, but neglect the rest. That makes me look good from a distance, but dubious if scrutinized from up close. 

Actually, I am the sort of woman who should have those sort of things done to her. I should have pedicures and manicures and facials and massages on a very regular basis. I mean, very often. So, that means I should be rich and independently wealthy and to my great disappointment, I am not. I will, out of necessity, start having to do these things for myself. Darn, Melissa Gates is very lucky, but then I do not know how Bill is to live with. He is probably not a dreamboat. 

I had chunky chicken noodle soup for dinner last night and some time later a goat cheese sandwich. I did not want to push my luck and eat them all at once, and all went well. I only burped a little bit, but that is allowable. As long as I am not having dinner with the queen, I will not worry about that. The main thing is, that I did not get sick and that I kept everything down. 

My GP has increased my stomach tablets to me taking one twice a day to help me get over the burping. I hope the extra one will start working soon. I must also remember to chew my food well because of my gastric band. That is an extra complication. Ah, if eating were only a simple thing...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't eat the pansies.

It is snowing as I write this and I have already been out there for a walk with Tyke and had to dry him off with a big towel when we got home. Luckily, he likes this very much and stands completely still while I rub him dry, including his big paws. I did not wish for it to snow , because this morning it was merely raining and not as cold. Now there is even a bit of cold wind and when you turn the corner of the buildings by the fields, you get the wind, and the snow, straight in your face. And I do hate to suffer. 

Nevertheless, I do take Tyke for his walks, because I realize how healthy it is for me to take them. Not only physically, but mentally as well. A good walk blows all the cobwebs from my mind, and I always feel so energized when we get back home. They are the perfect breaks I need in my day and the fact that Tyke dawdles now and then, reminds me to be patient and slow down. 

I woke up this morning just before the alarm clock was about to go off, and that meant that I was all done sleeping, which I prefer to being woken up by a loud beeping sound. I had timed it so that I could have two cups of coffee before I had to get dressed and walk to the hairdresser. Tyke did his first business of the morning out back and was not even ready to eat breakfast yet. It was too early in the day for him to come into action. He was only interested in getting more sleep. 

I was the first and only customer at the hairdresser and someone new cut my hair, but she did a great job. At first she wanted to cut my hair in the original style, but I told her to cut it differently and to make it much shorter. I had been having trouble with keeping it looking good, because I sleep on the side that my hair is parted on and in the morning it always looked funny and I had a heck of a time getting it to look halfway normal again. 

I have much shorter hair now than I have had in about a year and I am happy with it. It fits my skinny face better and looks good too when I wear my glasses. I can go out in public now and not be embarrassed by the way I look. I suddenly do not feel the need to wear my snow hat to disguise the fact that my hair is out of style. I do not mind if my ears get cold. It was, after all, all about vanity. Unless it gets colder, of course. 

Speaking of allergies, cow milk is in very many packaged foods and you really have to read the labels. Even in the foods that are supposed to be freshly made and good for you. You can not think that it will not be a problem because I have run into several already. I realize that I have to get very serious about this and not do a halfway job about choosing the foods that I eat and remember the ones that agree with me very well. 

A nice night to be up.

I forgot to take my sleeping pill before I went to sleep last night, but I do not think that is why I woke up in a sweat two hours later. It must be because of those mysterious raging hormones that never seem to bother me during the day. I wonder if there is an herbal supplement I can take for night sweats? Dr. Vogel must have something for it. I must look into it because it is very bothersome to wake up all wet and clammy, and if George Clooney ever wants to spend the night, it is not very sexy. 

I am allowing myself another cup of coffee, because it will be a while before I go back to bed. I do have an appointment with the hairdresser first thing in the morning, but I seldom sleep late and besides, I can set the alarm clock. I have enough experience with this one that I know I can trust it to wake me up on time. I worried about that a little bit when I first got it, because of my experiences with previous alarm clocks, but this one is very trustworthy. 

I am very excited about getting my hair cut, because while I was busy being sick, I was too preoccupied to pay much attention to my hair and now I notice that it has gotten quite out of hand. In other words, I look like a total fool. On top of that, it has been cold and I have had to wear my snow hat every time I took Tyke for a walk, so you can imagine the state of my hair. 

Yesterday was the first time I did not wear my snow hat, but then I had to use an umbrella when I went to see my GP for my check up. I got an almost clean bill of health for my lungs (there is a little bit of residue there still) and I told him my theory about the cause of  my stomach problems and he came to the same conclusion. He did say that it will most likely need another course of strong antibiotics to really wipe out the bacteria and to let him know as soon as the symptoms return. 

The experiment of eating the meat was a fiasco, but in a way I am really relieved because it helps make me be clear on my decision to stay a vegetarian. I gave all the meat that was left in the freezer to the Exfactor when he came by yesterday, and I also gave him the packages of cumin cheese slices that I am unable to eat.  

Yesterday I ate some "hutspot" (potato and carrot mash), some bean soup and some pancakes. I ate small portions because I did not want to push my luck after the meat fiasco. My stomach did not behave quite as normally as I would have liked, but for right now, I am blaming that on the experiment with the meat. 

I wore my jeans that slid off my hips and forgot to put a belt on. Luckily, I was wearing a long t-shirt so my underwear did not show. Well, my GP saw it when he listened to my lungs, but I am sure that he sees all sorts of things and I can not worry about that. Today, I have to go in search of that belt. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

...and so you find out.

Now that my stomach is behaving like a more normal stomach, and allowing me to eat a greater variety of foods in larger amounts without bothering me, I do get to find out which foods I absolutely do not tolerate. The reaction to those foods happens within a half a minute, or as fast as I can take one or two bites. My stomach starts to protest immediately and I have to stop eating and toss the offending food out, or, if I have more of it, save that for the Exfactor to take home with him. 

The good part is that there have been more foods that I can eat, than I can not. When I started to try different things, I had no idea how my stomach would react, but on the whole, it has been a good experience. 

One thing there is no doubt about, and that is that I do not tolerate cow milk or yogurt and cheese made from it. Now that my stomach is behaving so normally so often, it is very clear when it is confronted with something it can not handle. As a rule, the damage from eating these kinds of foods is limited because I stop eating them on time and my stomach settles down again rather quickly, although I do have some after effects. 

For some reason, I can handle vanilla pudding, but I think it has gone through such a preparation process, and has so many other ingredients added to it, that the milk in it seems to no longer play an important role. 

The solution is eating goat cheese and goat yogurt, although those are still relatively expensive because there is not enough competition on the shelves in the supermarket for them. There is a "Nature Store" that sells organic foods and products made from goat milk not too far away from here and I will have to go visit it and see what their selection and prices are like. 

I still have some cuts of meat in the freezer and I am going to be preparing those this week to see how my stomach reacts to a whole piece of well braised meat. I am on the fence about being a vegetarian and have very conflicting feelings about it. I need the protein and the iron, but I have a hard time with the whole bio-industry. 

I need to go back to bed and finish sleeping. This was merely an interlude. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

For the heck of it.

My grocery store is now also open on Sunday afternoons and I think that is brilliant because that is exactly where I need to go today to get some more supplies. I have misjudged the rate at which Gandhi eats her food and  need to get two more boxes of it to last the week. I have also found more interesting foods to eat on the website of the store and want to buy those because I want my eating experience to be as varied and fulfilling as it can be this coming week. 

It is amazing what an appetite I have and how hungry I get regularly because my stomach is really empty. My body's system seems to be working really well and I am responding appropriately by feeding it on time. I am going to be such a much more healthy person and may even develop a curve here and there. That will be better than the stick figure I have become. I will even hang on to the size B cup bras I was about to get rid of. I have got to take the optimistic point of view and assume I will be able to fill them again one day. 

I have always enjoyed discussions about food and I like hearing the descriptions of the meals that people had when they have gone out to a restaurant. I normally want to hear every detail. When I was a kid, one of my favorite books to read was my mother's cookbook. I not only liked the pictures in it, but also enjoyed reading the recipes and wished my mother would fix some of the foods that were described. I was absolutely not allowed in the kitchen to try anything of my own and in practice, hardly knew how to cook an egg when I was a teenager. 

Later in life, when I stopped cooking as a necessity to feed hungry mouths and took it up as a hobby, I turned out to be quite a gourmet and I was not afraid to tackle new and complicated recipes. As a rule, dishes turned out well, because what could possibly go wrong if you followed the instructions? The whole trick to it was to take your time and pay attention. 

But I also enjoyed going out for meals very much to all sorts of restaurants of any kind of ethnicity. Living close to San Francisco allowed me to try some of the best food in the world with the freshest of ingredients and I never tried a meal I did not enjoy. Not a bad one lingers in my memory. I did have a bad reaction once to a steak that came from corn fed beef, but it tasted very good when I ate it. 

One of my favorite restaurants was Eritrean, where you picked up all the different cooked ingredients, that were arranged on a big plate like wedges in a pie, with bits of steamed pancake. That was true finger food  and you had to take your time and savor each bite. If you ate everything, you had to be rolled out the door and down the hill of Haight and Ashbury. 

I am glad I get to enjoy food again after all this time. I have missed eating well. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Feeling no pain.

My favorite kind of sandwich to eat is made with farmer's multiple grain bread, fresh from the "warm baker," with butter spread on it and thick slices of goat cheese. I eat about three or four of them a day and, with my new and improved stomach, I can only say that these are wonderful and fulfilling experiences. As I am finding out that there are more and more foods that I tolerate, I am trying all sorts of different things and having a lot of success so far. I immediately know when something isn't a good idea to eat and stop eating it right away and never try it again, but it does not happen very often. 

As far as I can conclude, I must have been suffering from chronic gastritis that was caused by a bacteria for several years. The treatment for this is a course with a strong antibiotic and that is what I had to take care of my pneumonia. Since then, most of my stomach problems have disappeared. Of course, I have some sensitivity still, because the lining of my stomach must have been damaged and it doesn't react well to fatty and spicy foods. I hope over time this will heal itself and stop being sore. But the difference before and after the antibiotics is amazing and I think I will be done losing weight now. I enjoy eating again and have a good appetite. 

I had extra thick pea soup with sausage and pork in it for lunch and that would have been unthinkable two weeks ago. The meat in the soups I eat is the only meat I have in my diet and for the rest I get my protein from cheese and vanilla pudding. I have been looking at all the different products available in my grocery store on their website so that I can plan my shopping list better and add some more variety. You do discover all sorts of unexpected foods that way. 

I have to take a nap now. It is that time of day again. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

When you want it all.

It is quite cold outside today and I started noticing that in here, sitting behind the computer for a while, not moving much. There is no sunshine today coming through the front windows into the living room to warm up the place and I do miss it. I just turned up the thermostat and put my warm, red bathrobe on over my clothes so I will be comfortable enough. 

I also have a fresh, hot cup of coffee that should warm up my insides. I like to drink it as hot as I can stand it so that I almost burn my mouth. If it is only warm, I do not enjoy it nearly as much. I try to drink it quickly so it will not cool off too much, but if it does, I top it off quite often to keep it at the right temperature. While I was sick, I did not like to drink coffee that much because I did not get a kick out of it, and now that I am better, I am appreciating it all over again. 

Gandhi got a new kind of food and it is the bits of meat with sauce that comes in pouches. I got it for the ease of the packaging and the convenient box it came in, but I really took a chance. I thought she might only lick up all the sauce and leave the meat lying in the saucer and then ask for more, but she surprised me and ate the meat also and really seemed to enjoy it. 

I have to tell you that it is a real pleasure to see her eat so well and with such enjoyment. Within reason, I do not care how much she eats as long as she does not become overweight and I do not think she is in danger of that. She looks healthy and seems very contented. I think I did the right thing by opting for the pouches. 

The watch I ordered for 5.95, and that was a special deal via Marktplaats, finally arrived after I had forgotten all about it. I wanted to have an every day watch that I would not have to worry about getting beat up or in any way lost or damaged. The watch that I got from my American ex for Christmas is a very nice one and I should really save it for special occasions. 

This watch is white with a big, round, red face and the hands and numbers are big too so I can very easily see what the time is even if I am not wearing my glasses, which was a bit of a problem with the other one. I suppose you could say it is a sporty kind of watch and one I will not have to worry about a lot. It can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. 

I do wear my glasses at home almost constantly, but I take them off when I go outside because I am too vain to be seen out in public with them. I do miss them when I am not wearing them and really should have them on all the time. Officially, it is time to have my eyes checked again, but new lenses are now no longer covered by my insurance so I will have to save up for them. Those and a dozen other things. 

I have to go take my afternoon nap or I will not make it through the day. I have it built into the schedule. A nap a day keeps the doctor away. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I get to decide that!

I declared myself well again yesterday morning and went out in the cold, freezing air and walked Tyke and I have to tell you that this was a very satisfying experience with no bad after effects whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I feel perfectly fine and, except for a stubborn cough, there is nothing wrong with me at all. Even the cough is getting better and less frequent and things are loosening up a bit. 

I called the doctor's office yesterday afternoon and found out that the chest X-rays showed no abnormalities whatsoever and all I have to do is go in for a check up next week. I had such a good feeling about it ahead of time that this did not surprise me and I really was not expecting anything else. I am very happy, to say the least, that I do not have to go on another course of antibiotics and I now take pro-biotics every day to get the flora in my intestines to a healthy level again. 

I have my appetite back and am able to eat good sized portions of healthy food without any problems. This is a good thing because I had lost a few kilos while being sick. As a matter of fact, I am eating better now than I did before I got sick and I think the antibiotics also cured whatever problems I was having with my stomach. Eating has become a joy again and it has been a very long time since it was. 

I think Tyke is happy about the fact that I am taking him for walks again. He did not mind being walked by the Exfactor, but for some reason he was always very reluctant to go with my sister. I have no idea what the reason for that was. Now Tyke can dawdle and take his time checking out all his favorite spots which is really what his walks are all about. We do have our routines. He has to, for instance, check all the bushes along the way on one street for half eaten apples, and that takes a lot of time. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In those little wee hours.

For the first time in a very long time, I am starting to feel like my old self again and I have to tell you that it comes as a great relief, because I have very much disliked being in this negative space I was in because of being sick. I now dare to hope that I am on the road of getting better and that my health really is going to improve from this point on. I hope this takes care of me getting sick for a very long time and next year I will get my flu shot, there is no doubt about it. I will never take a chance on getting this ill again. 

Very early yesterday morning, my sister picked me up to go to the hospital to get those X-rays made and the timing could not have been worse, because there was a snow storm and rush hour traffic. The roads had not been cleared yet, but my sister managed, through sensible driving, to get us to the hospital on time anyway. We could already see that the traffic on the way back was going to be horrendous, because it was backed up for kilometers. 

Having the X-rays made was as easy as pie and I was in and out of there in a few minutes. My GP will get the results today or tomorrow and I am not really concerned about it, because it will most likely just confirm that I have a pneumonia  and my GP has been treating me for that all along. I know that I do not want to take another course of antibiotics, because I have already had two and I think the last one has done enough damage to my intestinal flora. 

We were in and out of the hospital so quick, that we did not even have to pay for parking, but then the real journey home began. We slipped and slid, and so did other cars, and very slowly made some progress, but at one point, my sister decided to find an alternative route home and the funny part about that was, that we got stuck just ahead of a snowplow, so the road behind us was clean. It took us almost an hour to go just a few kilometers and my sister decided to work from home that day and not risk driving to the office. 

I have enough cabin fever to last for a lifetime and in the morning I am going to walk Tyke myself. I can not stand to not do it myself anymore and absolutely have to get out of the apartment. This backfired on me the last time I did this, but I think I was in worse shape then than I am now. I tell myself that crisp, freezing air is good for my lungs. I have already put my brace in my hiking boots and it fits just fine, so I will be surefooted at any rate. I can not wait to go out there and inhale the fresh air. 

So you see, I am full of optimism and good intentions. That is half the job. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


I am in the temporary possession of some physical energy and will take the opportunity to give you the latest news on the health front. I do know one thing, I make a very bad patient, and when I do not feel well, it is better not to get in the way of me because I am likely to bite your head off. I noticed that these last three days when, on top of everything else, I also developed a stomach bug and and became extremely grouchy. 

Much as I would like to be, I am not better yet, and after a brief moment of improvement, got worse again. The best thing I can do is sleep, although I do sometimes make big plans to sit behind the computer for a long while and amuse myself that way. That normally does not work out and I end up shutting it off and crawling under the covers to sleep for a couple of hours. 

My sister and the Exfactor have been walking Tyke, which is especially nice now that the weather is so bad. It is snowing as I write this. I did have to go out in the cold myself this morning when I had to go for my appointment with my GP. I dressed very warm and it did feel good to be outside, but it was a little bit too cold to be real comfortable. 

The GP listened to my lungs and was concerned enough for me to go and have chest X-rays taken tomorrow morning. He did not want to write another prescription for antibiotics because I have already had two courses of them and the last ones were very strong. He wants to wait with making a decision until he has the results of the X-rays. 

I am not saying that I have a serious disease, but I do sympathize with anyone who does and who has to listen to the dumb remarks other people make when they supposedly want to comfort a sick person. I imagine that when you have to deal with something like cancer, you hear an awful lot of stupid remarks. 

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Time to relax.

Because there is an unwritten rule that says that the weekend is a more relaxed time than the other days of the week, I will take full advantage of it and laze about as much as possible and take care of my sick body. I am already doing better and even manage to walk Tyke twice a day. That is quite an accomplishment for me and I do not manage much else, and I do have to take a very long nap in the afternoon in order to make it through the day. 

I am still coughing an awful lot and especially my right lung seems to be full of whatever I am trying to cough up but am unsuccessful at. When I look in the mirror, I can tell that I am still sick because my eyes have that dull look in a very skinny face, but I am eating better and I do not have a fever anymore. 

The weather was lovely all week and I got to enjoy the last little bit of it, but starting Sunday we are going to have cold, wintry weather again. The whole country is highly ticked off about this. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Vanilla pudding.

Well, I think I will survive. Today is my 4th day on the antibiotics and I think they are starting to do their job. I am afraid to jinx the process and will not say that I am getting better until the doctor says I am on Monday, but my appetite has returned and that is something remarkable. I have been completely uninterested in food and have had to force myself to eat something now and then, but that has been a slice of bread with butter on it. 

Today I feel like eating something very good and I have been thinking about vanilla pudding all morning. The Exfactor is going to the grocery store for me in a while and I have put it on the shopping list. And, of course, I am getting chicken soup. That must be the most nourishing thing to eat right now. Maybe it will be a cure all in itself. 

Being sick and almost totally unable to do anything, sure gives you a lot of time to contemplate your life. You get to think about all the things you normally do not have time for. I certainly was confronted with myself and the finer aspects of my own behavior that I normally did not examine that closely. That was a real eye opener and I have come to a bunch of conclusions about it that I have already started to apply changes to. 

I think that maybe it was high time that I got sick so that I could have this time to contemplate. You can not go galloping through life and not take a big time out every once in a while to really think about what you are doing and if you are not doing it mindlessly. 

I am not as happy go lucky as I used to be, but that is okay. I am a bit wiser. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Well, so much for that!

My idea to take Tyke for a walk Sunday afternoon, turned out not to be such a very good one. That very same night and the next morning I was shivering and trembling like a leave because i could not get warm enough. I found out later, that this is when I am actually running a fever and I have learned to keep the thermostat of the heater turned up very high.  

Anyway, I felt pretty miserable and incapable of doing anything, so I thought the best thing to do would be to call the doctor's office and make an appointment. With a lot of effort I got dressed and made it over there. 

I told the doctor that I was so very cold all the time but he took my temperature and it showed that I was running a high fever, He listened to my lungs and said that I was on the verge of having a pneumonia. He was quite concerned and wrote a prescription for a broad spectrum antibiotic and ordered bed rest for a week.  I have to see him again next week Monday. 

I keep the heater turned up high and also sit in my chair very warmly dressed under a blanket. I do not take ibuprofen any longer but paracetamol for the fever. 

I am worn out now and have to stop writing. 

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Enough of that!

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

After a bad start to the day, I decided that was enough of that and I had two cups of coffee, and loaded up on Ibuprofen, and took Tyke for a walk. I needed the fresh air because I was tired of being cooped up inside feeling sick. Being outside did wonders for me and I felt like a reborn woman when we got back to the apartment. I think if I keep taking enough ibuprofen, I will do just fine. I know I do not want to be sick anymore because it is a very boring and miserable thing to be and it makes you too dependent on other people. I am done with it anyway. 

So, now I am all dressed up with no place to go, but I am full of good will. I do have an awfully runny nose that would probably prevent me from going out in polite company. And I must not overdo it, of course. 

Gandhi keeps trying to convince me that she wants more and more food every time I walk into the kitchen as if she has been starved all these years. I do measure out her food in little portions so she will not make a glutton of herself, but I do not know when enough has been enough. I suppose if she starts taking on enormous proportions, then that will be a sign. 

Tyke was glad that I took him for a walk myself this afternoon. He is most unhappy when I am sick because I do not act like my usual cheerful self and he gets very quiet and sad. That is another reason to get well again fast. 

I thought I would just give you this little update. I am full of optimism and Ibuprofen. 

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Oh no, not again!

Of course I have managed to get the flu again and this time it is worse than the last time around. Maybe I never did get properly better, or maybe this is a whole new variety. I called the people at the weekend clinic early this morning and the person I talked to said that it sounded like a typical case of the flu and to take painkillers and drink lots of fluids. 

I do follow that advice and take big doses of Ibuprofen, but I am running a fever anyway and I am still quite sore. Actually, everything hurts, including my head, and I am coughing quite a bit. I just slept for a couple of hours and I think that was the best thing to do. 

Last night I was in a coma with a fever and I could not make it out of bed. When I finally did, early in the morning, I was so confused that I almost did not know how to make coffee, and I felt like I really needed a cup. I am having one now and I can not say that it is the best cup of coffee I have ever had, but it is reviving me a bit. 

My sister is walking Tyke regularly and also brought over more lemonade starter because I drink a lot of lemonade ice cold. Big glasses of it to quench my thirst. I have never been so grateful for ice cubes in my whole life. She also brought over more Ibuprofen because I was going to run out of it. Thank goodness for a sister who lives close by. 

There are all kinds of viruses going around and I did not have a flu shot this year, although I could have had one. I wonder now if it would have protected me. 

It has worn me out to write this and it took me quite a while. I think I will try to eat something now. Some bouillon sounds good. 

Friday, March 01, 2013


The years teach much which the days never know.

Because I care much about the impression I make on all of you, I do not want you to get the idea that I am a heartless person when I say that I am over the worst of my sadness and basically function like a "normal" person again. My natural optimism got the better of me and prevented me from staying too sad for too long a time. I was unhappy and not functioning well for 24 hours, but when I got up yesterday morning, I was ready to grab the bull by the proverbial horns. 

I got all the little jobs done that I had not been able to do the day before and felt like I was very competent and that gave a boost to my ego. I needed to feel that I had most of my life back on the rails again. It is good to know that you can feel infinitely sad, but that it is a temporary condition that you need not get stuck in, and that you can move on from there and participate in life again. 

I still think about Marianne and always will. I doubt she will ever be far from my mind, but I am more at peace with her death now. Or at least as far as that will ever be possible. It is the same with the death of my son, which is now more than 8 years ago. You learn to live with it, but it is always a sore spot in your heart. That does not mean you have to sacrifice your life to it and suffer forever. 

The Exfactor came by yesterday and fixed the flat tire on my bike. It turned out that I needed a brand new inner tube and once that was bought, the problem was quickly solved. Of course, you do have to have the know how  to remove the back tire from a bike with several gears, and luckily, the Exfactor does have that. 

I made a shopping list keeping my new and lower budget in mind. I did want all the food on it to be nutritious for the animals and me and it had to be filling enough too. I did not want to be stingy and put all of us on a diet. The Exfactor offered to do the groceries for me and I was very curious how much money he would spend. When he came back with them, it turned out to be about half of what I normally would have spent. 

Now, I misjudged a few things and will have to go to the store on Monday to buy another package or two of sliced goat cheese, for example, because I obviously will not have enough of that, and I think I will also run out of cat food before the week is over, because Gandhi is eating more than I expected. Now that she is off the dried kibbles, it turns out that she has quite an appetite and she has put on some weight, which she needed to. 

And so life goes on...