Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sufficiently...


Well, I've sufficiently recovered from my series of minor anxiety attacks re the sofa and am back to thinking level headed now. The idea that I am going to have a new sofa has grown on me and I quite like the idea and even see that I can handle the minor financial challenge. I have gone over my budget in my head and my monthly grocery list and other expenses and see where I can cut down and save some money. I now see it as another challenge and I am more than up to the task. I had also forgotten that I get a sum of vacation money in May and I may well be able to pay off the whole sofa with it. So all is not as dire as it seemed.

I have had a perfectly lovely day, as it is slowly becoming possible for me to get the cleaning of the apartment under control again. Trying to stay on top of things is much easier now. There are some bigger jobs I need to do, but I know that with time and inspiration those will get done, but all the little things are getting done, so that is a relief and it makes it much easier to keep things up. In the springtime, I will get out a can of white wall paint and do some touch up work here and there. That's when I'll make a list of the bigger things that need to be done. I think I will be in the proper frame of mind to do them then.

I did the grocery shopping, but when I rode my bike home, a wind had started up and blew me right in the face making it difficult to get ahead. I don't know where it came from so suddenly, it had been sunny weather all along. We've had nothing but sunshine for a week and it has been very nice and cheers you up, even when it is cold outside. I still need to wear my gloves when I ride my bike and I always have to wear a scarf.

I had to bring the groceries inside in two trips and the Überhund was sound asleep when I came in the first time. He didn't hear me until I came in the second time and suddenly stood there wagging his stumpy tail, being all surprised and happy that I was there. He can be so sound asleep that he doesn't have a clue as to what I am doing. I can put on my coat and scarf and get the leash and the baggies and my keys and he can still be sound asleep. Then I have to call him several times before he reacts. I think it is old age catching up with him and making him less alert. Although sometimes he wakes up barking when there is no reason for it and I have to calm him down and tell him it is all for naught. I think he gets a bit confused.

Oh yes, the Exfactor was here yesterday. I don't know if he was impressed with the way I looked, he didn't say. One thing though, he never talks about the Paramount and I am happy about that, because she used to be a subject of his conversations earlier on all the time and I never liked it. Now I can pretend she hardly exists and I don't have to break my head about it.

He is going to help me move out the old sofa on Wednesday, because it will be picked up on Friday to be taken to the dump. The new sofa comes on Thursday.

I appreciate the Exfactor coming over as often as he does. I think it is a kind thing for him to do, because I think he comes because he cares and he checks on my wellbeing. He drinks two cups of coffee and is on his way after we've had a bit of a conversation. There is no intimacy or deep friendship between us. That is not how I would define our relationship. There is a boundary there that we don't cross. We are polite and kind. We never touch each other. There is no spontaneity or much emotion. I don't know how we decided that this is the way we should be.

Oh well, I guess we deal with it the best way we know how.

Today is the last day of January, which to me, along with December, are the real months of winter. After this nothing counts as much to me anymore. Now the countdown starts, even though wintry showers have been predicted for next week. As long as it isn't real snow, it doesn't count. I will ignore sleet and icy roads, but dress warmly anyway. Nothing can harm me in double layers of clothing. Although I do have that awfully sore little toe that won't go away.

I am managing to sleep well more nights than not. This morning I slept until 9 AM, which I thought was pretty darn good. It helps to dress warmly in bed, I found out. I may get an electric blanket next year, or just wear more night clothes. Even getting a heavier blanket to go on top of the duvet may help. One thing I don't like to do, however, is wear socks in bed. That's got to be the most uncomfortable thing. I do like it when I feel the cool sheets with my feet when I first get in bed.

Well, now that you know this about me, I think I will end this bit of a post. Have a terrific evening, everyone. I am going to check the TV guide and see if there is anything interesting on.

Ciao...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday evening.


I am fighting off a huge anxiety attack, or I should say rather, a series of minor anxiety attacks, because what have I done today? I have ordered, on credit, a new sofa, that will cost me 13 Euros a month to pay off over a period of 4 years. I can't believe I did it and I am still bamboozled by it myself. It was so easy to do, that the deed was done before I even realized what I was doing, but once the decision was made, I did not want to go back and undo it.

The idea came to me this morning when I was vacuuming the sofa and I saw the sorry state it was in and that no matter how well I vacuumed it, I could not make it look as nice as I wanted it to. I decided on the spur of the moment to see if the sofa that I had coveted since last summer was still available and it was. So there you go. It will be delivered Thursday next week.

Now you all know how I deal with big decisions in my life, right? I have upsets in my moods and this one is causing me some upset. I hardly know how to deal with the stress I feel from it. I have made a commitment and it is scaring me half to death and I am already thinking how I am going to fit 13 Euros into my budget. What am I not going to buy during the month that will make up for it?

I have to deal with this like an adult and make the best of it. I have made a decision and now I have to make a plan to make it work. There will be no crying over spilled milk. I will manage this.

I love the way I am reasoning this out in this post and using you as my sounding board. There are actually numerous ways I can save money during the month. Living frugally is not that hard to do and I can do it as well as the next person. I must keep courage and not let myself feel defeated ahead of time. Being overwhelmed prematurely is not the way to go about this.

Right, I think I've got my head on straighter now. Time to put on my pajamas and watch some television. I have a feeling I will be asleep in no time, considering how short my night was last night.

Have a good night.

Ciao...

Even though...


Even though I am sitting here writing another post, you have to promise to read the one from last night, because I think it is one of my finer ones. Sometimes I am very lucid and clearheaded and last night was such a time while I wrote it.

I went to bed late and got up early, so I probably did not get enough sleep, so that will mean an appointment with the sofa later today. It's okay. As long as I stick to my schedule pretty much, there is time for a nap and I did get some cleaning done yesterday, under which were the desk and the book case and the dresser and I moved everything off before I cleaned them with Pledge and a cloth. Then I rearranged some plants, meaning I moved plants to places where they did better and then walked to the flower shop and bought a new plant for the dining table, of which I forgot to ask the name and which I now find impossible to discover on any of my searches. It looks most like an ivy and has small, almost succulent leaves. I know that I now will obsessively search for the name of this plant that only cost me 4 Euros.

The Pledge made the surfaces of everything shine and reflects the items that stand on them back to me. It looks so clean. Especially on the black painted wood. If I could only keep it that way. Well, I could, I would just have to dust more seriously more often. And buy more Pledge. I could become a spokeswoman for the company. Let's see if my Google ads change any and reflect my adoration to the product.

The Überhund was a little unruly a while ago. He ate breakfast and had his bone a while later, so I left him out back for a bit and that seems to have done the trick, because now he is sound asleep on his blanket. I'm not ready yet to go out in the cold and freezing temperatures, besides, it's still dark out and it feels like nighttime. In another 45 minutes it will be light and then it will be soon enough to go out there.

I sure am looking forward to the springtime when the sun will be up early and the day will start properly with birdsong. It will be a joy to go outside without having to bundle up and to just wear a sweater or a cardigan. The best part will be watching all the green things pop up out of the ground. Just think, January is almost over and done with, there is hope already.

I'm an optimist, aren't I? I can just ignore February and March when the weather can be so bad. I'll just pretend it isn't happening and ignore whatever foul weather there is and think it is an aberration of nature. That way it won't seem so bad. I just hope to God that there is no other snowstorm, because there is almost nothing romantic about 6 inches of snow on the ground.

I wish I could slow down the time in springtime and not have it go by as quickly as it normally does. I would like to savor every moment. It all seems to go by too fast. It is as if nature is competing in a race and suddenly it is summer and everything is green and blooming and blossoming and there is an abundance of foliage and flowers. It seems to happen without me being consciously enough aware of it and I must pay better attention this year. I must be very aware of each moment and stop and look around me and take in all there is to see. Why does life go by so quickly when you get older?

I know that last year I was very preoccupied. A lot of the details of life went right past me. It was high summer by the time I had a chance to look around me. I wonder how many of those moments I will be reliving this year? I know it will happen, but I want to not let it become a preoccupation. More than anything I want it to be my springtime in which I discover my world with me in it alone in the sunshine under the blue skies.

Well, the Überhund is seriously awake now and that means I have to get dressed and brave the elements. It's just below freezing outside. I have to pick out what I am going to wear today and will have a serious look in my closet. Hopefully I will be inspired and come up with something really good. I must, because the Exfactor is coming over for coffee later today and I always want to look good so he'll know what he is missing. Hee, hee.

Have a good day, everyone.

Ciao...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One for the road.


Well, I managed to do it again. I fell asleep while watching the news and just woke up. I was gone from this world, as they say, and oblivious of everything. I may as well have been drugged and knocked out for all I know. Comatose is a word that comes close. I think a small horde of people could have entered the apartment and emptied it of nearly everything but the sofa and I wouldn't have known about it. They might even have been able to move the sofa with me on it.

My sister and I took the dogs for a brisk walk at noontime. It was near freezing, but the sun was shining and it was nice as long as you didn't walk in any shady areas. Still, I should have worn my gloves and alternately put one hand in a pocket. A walk is just long enough for my sister to tell me all that's going on in her life and I listen and make the odd remark and comment. I tell you, I'm a good listening post. In my next life I'm coming back as a therapist.

It's always been my job in this life to be a listener to people and to be patient and to absorb whatever is said to me without becoming overloaded. I seem to have that sort of attraction to people because I don't judge. I just listen and try to understand and not condemn them. It's always been that way and grew even more so when I gained psychological insight and started to understand the motivations of people, but I have always had this patience to listen and calm people down. Having had complex parents probably prepared me for that role.

It gives me the appearance of being very competent, when in fact I am not always. People have high expectations of me, because I seem to have a lot of knowledge. Nobody knows that I sometimes survive by the skin of my teeth and that understanding and logic applied to other people's lives, doesn't mean you can always apply it to your own life. On the contrary, I come up short often when it comes to dealing with my own problems, although I must say that there has been a vast improvement these past eight months since I've been single.

That's a funny thing. When there is nobody else in your life to muddy the waters and to muddle your thoughts, it is amazing how quickly you can put your finger on the sore spot and come up with the right solution. You get to the point where you want to be much faster. When left to your own devices, it turns out that you are more ingenious than you thought you were and far less helpless. When faced with an immediate problem, you have to figure it out on your own and reason it out in your own head without any outside help and you get it done quicker and better.

It makes you wonder how much of sharing the load is really true when you are in a partnership. I wonder how much help the other person really is in soothing your fears and worries. In helping meet them head on. I think in my case I've never found the person that really made things better and easier. It may have seemed so at the time, but looking back now, I am convinced that it wasn't. Looking back, I see that all the so called 'help' was only a prolongation of the problems and that there was never a solution or a teaming up together to eradicate the difficulties.

It's made me very weary of relationships, for me in particular and those of other people in general. All I see is the potential dysfunction of them. I think you have to be very healthy to have a good relationship. Or agree to the degree of your dysfunction and the seriousness of it. Now that I'm single, I feel that I've escaped from some terrible fate and I would never willingly go back and take that relationship up again.

At this point, I think I will stay single, because I like it too much to give it up and I do not feel the desire to share my life with anyone. I don't miss there being a person in my life that is always hovering in the background. Right now, I don't think I am generous enough to share myself with anyone else. I am too greedy of what is mine.

I have been married twice and both times it ended in a divorce, although the marriages were very different and so were the husbands. In between those two marriages, I had a serious relationship that was also very dysfunctional. I don't have a very good track record up to now. I think it is more important that I learn to live with myself than that I learn to live with somebody else. At this point, that's the most important thing and, oh yes, the fact that I get along well with the Überhund is very important too. Hee, hee.

Well, so much for philosophizing. It is late and I will go to bed and sleep for a while. I hope for a long while.

See you tomorrow morning.

Ciao...

Really?


I can't believe I did it, but I slept until 9 o'clock this morning. How did I manage that, for goodness sake? Regardless, it was wonderful. I hope to do that many more times when I don't have anywhere to go in the morning. I was up during the night to go to the toilet, but I had enough sense to withstand the urge to stay up and start blogging, which would have been a very insensible thing to do and I guard myself from them. I have to be my own adult and make the right choices. I don't even remember falling asleep again, so I was not really quite awake when I had the thought to stay up.

Now I am sitting here quite contend in my pajamas with my mug of coffee. The Überhund has had his breakfast and his piddle out back and is laying by my side. Pretty soon I'll really have to take him out, but for right now he is asleep. If I move gently, I won't disturb him and he'll let me sit here for a while longer. Oh no, I spoke too soon, now he is looking at me with begging eyes. There, I've let him out back again. I am not quite ready yet to get dressed.

There are moments that I want to savor and draw out as long as possible and this is one of them. It is nice and warm inside and the sun is shining outside and everything feels just right. I don't want it to end.

The new TV Guide came in the mail, but it is the one for next week. Still, I could look in it last night and get some idea of the programming for that night and I watched a bit of television, but I fell asleep sitting straight up on the sofa and missed the most important programs. That's not very helpful, is it? Doubtlessly that was due to my short night the night before. I should be all caught up now and hopefully stay awake all day long and the evening too.

I have been refusing to go on my bathroom scales. I am afraid of what I'll see there and rely on how well my clothes fit me instead. They fit me fine, but I do know that I've gained some weight and that I need to watch it or I'll turn into a porker. I'm not completely in denial, but I think I was in the month of December and that it was not a very good month for me eating wise. I mean, I did too much of it. I think everybody does in December, don't they? It's the stress that makes you eat. January is a perfect month to get over that. There's no excuse to have all sorts of devilish food in the house. Speaking of devilish food, I haven't had a deviled egg in more than 15 years and I used to like them so much.

It's been almost 15 years since I drove a car. That's quite some time for someone who used to drive one daily. I had a car when I first came to the Netherlands, but I never did get my Dutch driver's license and now it is too late, because I can't afford a car and besides, I would have to have a real good argument to justify owning one, considering I travel by bike or by public transportation and I would have to take costly driver's lessons and take the exam, which is difficult here to pass. I would have to get dispensation too, because of all the medication I take. So, for now and the near future, I will be without a car, unless I win the lottery and I would have to play in it in order to win anything, although the Exfactor said he would share some of his if he won anything. Do you think I can keep him to that promise?

It's only Thursday and to me it already feels like it is the weekend. That's because I have no engagements and no classes. The only things I have to do is clean the apartment and do some shopping and I have my new schedule to stick to and help me through the day, making it much more manageable. As it is now, I am already behind schedule, but I don't really care, because I feel that I have to seize the moment and reorganize the schedule on a daily basis.

I do see that I have to clean my desk, because it is very dusty and I could write my name in it. It means moving all sorts of odds and ends off the desk and wiping it clean and replacing everything, which seems like too much work, when in reality it isn't. It just appears that way. I am too easily intimidated by things that look complicated. I call them frustration moments.

Well, I'll finally go and get dressed then and start the day. I can't postpone it forever. It's still freezing outside in spite of the sunshine.

Have a wonderful day.

Ciao...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Take that.


I was up during the night until 4 AM, couldn't sleep and spent my time reading old entries to my blog, which was very educational and eye opening, because I had forgotten a lot of that stuff. All those moods and up and down movements and little dramas and scary moments. It's good to look back on it all and remember how it has been and I didn't even go back that far.

Finally at 4 o'clock I was tired enough to go to sleep and then, of course, I overslept and was late for my ergo therapy class, but I wanted to take my time waking up with two cups of coffee and do my morning routine in the same regular way I always do, so I wasn't rushing and running around with my head cut off.

Ergo therapy went fine. We have another new person in the group, like we did last week, and these are people who stand at the beginning of the process, so they need lots of support and encouragement, which I am always happy to supply, because I am just like Polly Anna and such a good and positive girl. Gag me with a spoon here. Miss goody two shoes optimistic with her head stuck in the sand. Get the beam out of your own eye first, lady.

Anyway, I try to be a beam of sunshine in an otherwise somewhat morose conversation at times and I am always convinced that my positivism will reap its rewards. Surely I get sick to death of myself sometimes and so must the other people. I have to remember to have my own complaints ready the next time and discuss my own difficulties and not gloss over them so easily. I must bitch more often.

After the therapy, it was off to home where there awaited me a very happy Überhund whom I walked straight away and he was very appreciative of that. He peed on all the frozen bushes and on all the frozen tufts of grass, because it was quite cold during the night and in the morning too. Then I had my mug of coffee and took some time to contemplate my navel and discovered that it was still at the center of my universe. That does give me some satisfaction.

Then I made a trip by bike to the drugstore to buy the Überhund some delicious food for 5 days and then it was off to the pharmacy again for another drug round. They see me coming there and stand at the ready with the bag of pills. I am a good customer and the pharmacist probably goes to the Bahamas every vacation from the profits he makes on my drugs.

The tranquilizers and sleeping pills are now not covered by the insurance companies anymore, unless your psychiatrist adds a special code indicating a necessary need for the pills in your regime of medicines, which mine has done, thank goodness. I would hate to have to start paying for them myself. This new policy is an effort to get people off the addiction to the pills, as it is felt that they should do without, but some people need them long term. I am one of them. I can reduce them slowly and do without, but I don't function nearly as well and sleep badly and feel a lot of stress. I have quit them more than once in the past, but always go back to them in the end.

I have my new weekly schedule at home now and will start living according to it starting tomorrow. It is full of good guidelines that I will try not to deviate from too much, but there is also built in a lot of free space to do with as I want. I have to plan some activities to fill up my spare time and not just sit behind the computer or in front of the TV. I am looking forward to some better weather, so the Überhund and I can go for longer walks. That's one thing, but there needs to be more.

I am trying to arrange get togethers with a woman from one of my groups, but our schedules are very different, so it's been tough. The will is there anyway and we both have dogs, but she lives at the other side of town. I can't just walk over there.

I have to get my much neglected camera out and take pictures, but I've been saying that for some time and I'm not doing it. I feel like I am wasting a whole side of my potential by not being engaged enough. It just reminds me that there is so much room for improvement.

Well, balderdash! This is not supposed to be a post to get down on myself. Contemplation is one thing, breaking down criticism is a whole other thing. I will stop that right now.

That's all I wrote. I have to do some Internet banking and eat something. I can't live on lunch meat alone, even though it is very tasty.

Have a good rest of the day, you all. Keep smiling, especially if it puts dimples in your cheeks.

Ciao...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon.


I will endeavor to sit here on my not so royal behind and write a halfway decent post, although it is possible that inspiration may be far away from me in an other dimension and I will have tor resort to all sorts of tricks to make this thing a bit readable and enjoyable. My head is lazy in a laissez faire way and I don't know how much good material I can pull out of it. It's all there, no doubt, bundled up in a neat tidy heap waiting for me to untangle it and find the beginning of it and unravel it to the end. I am hoping many cups of coffee and numerous cigarettes will see me through. It is not writer's block I have, but lack of the blarney, if that is a proper expression and I seem to recall that it is and if not, it ought to be and I just made it up, but you all know what I mean.

I feel like I've been shot through the head and a stiff wind is blowing through the open ended hole that results of it and it is of a cavernous size. My synapses are misfiring and the subsequent electrical storm makes it hard to make sense in the usual way, when I am all logic and sense and consequence and my story rambles along to a sensible ending after having had a proper beginning and an amusing middle part. Now I am more like a blindfolded donkey that is trying to pin on its own tail at a stiff drinking party.

Still, it isn't with the least apprehension that I sit by the keyboard here and type these odd and lopsided words to shape into a story. Some sense of the absurd is making itself visible to me in all my bedazzlement. I can even detect my muddled thinking above the pity full sounds of the Überhund who thinks he is being short changed in some area of his life and I would think it has something to do with food, which I will remedy immediately right now with my own two hands.

Having taken care of that, I can now devote myself to this bit of strangely inspired prose and get on with the proceedings.

The day started out well with a visit to my SPN where I learned much and spoke a lot and talked of things I had never talked of before. It made for an interesting and diverting conversation, that was both educational and amusing and, as always, made me convinced that we will never have a lack of material to talk about, because life is poignant and full of learning moments.

After that it was to my favorite pharmacy to get my supply of drugs, or at least some part of it, as I never seem to run out of all of them all at once, so it is a nonstop project. A work in progress, sort to say. Through the power of the drugs I transform into the wonderful person I have the potential to be, of course, with a little bit of help from some very special persons, whom I would not be able to appreciate and understand nearly as clearly if it weren't for the little pills. Actually, some of them are rather big capsules and it takes courage to swallow them, but I'm an old pro at it and can take them by the handful.

Once home, I regathered myself over a mug of coffee and a very good tasting cigarette and made a list of the shopping I had to do and forgot to add the Überhund's food, so he has been having wheat bread sandwiches with lunch meat all day and he does appreciate that very much, much more I even think than he appreciates any other type of food I give him. It is whole grain wheat bread and very good for you and the lunch meat was meant for me and I am generous enough to share it freely, because I do love my dog and get great satisfaction out of seeing him eat well and with a good appetite. The dog is my 'never grow up child' and I care for him in that manner always, forever fussing about and making sure that nothing is missing from his comfortable life.

As I said, I bought lunch meat for myself, several kinds as a matter of fact, and I can eat 3 or 4 slices all at once if I chew them carefully and not greedily stuff them in my mouth, which takes some effort, because I do love the act of eating, but I suffer the consequences if I eat too fast. It is almost as if food is more of a decorative element in my kitchen and refrigerator than a real nutritious element that can be digested easily. Besides, there is nothing worse than a near empty refrigerator and freezer, where I keep loaves of bread in case of company and not because I can eat it myself.

I was just taken by complete surprise by the Exfactor who showed up completely unannounced for several cups of coffee. I bet he wanted to see if I am as good looking when I don't know I am getting company as when I know I am. Well, I fooled him.

He's gone again now and I can pick up the thread of my story again, although I think I am nearing the end and that my entanglement is becoming disentangled. Besides, I have to walk the Überhund before the news comes on, because I feel it is my duty as a citizen of this world to watch the news and to be updated on all the latest political crimes. Did I say crimes? Goodness, Freudian slip, no doubt. Our minister of finance is bailing everybody out with huge sums of money, yet thousands of people are loosing their jobs. Those high in rank continue to draw their comfortable salaries and get bonuses if they screw up and have to leave the company.

Their is much injustice in this world, luckily, I suffer very little of it myself, so I feel myself blessed with what I have. Misfiring synapses and all. It is the Chinese year of the Ox and I think that will be the animal that I will like especially well this year and I wonder if it has some special significance for me.

I have a new psychiatrist. He is Belgian. My SPN is Belgian as well and so is my favorite ergo therapist. My creative therapist lives in Belgium. Do you think that I may have a lot of luck with Belgians this year?

Have a good night.

Ciao...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Second Post for Tonight.


I have to point out that I wrote an earlier post just a few hours ago, so go ahead and read that one too, it would be a shame if you didn't, because it is a real happy one. The reason I am writing this second one is that I've read everything on the Google reader and I have read all the comments and now it is an hour until bedtime and I am kind of killing time. Said I who claimed not to be addicted to the Internet.

I took the Überhund to the vet and he decided to give his eye a rest and not treat it anymore and see if the rest of it will heal by itself, seeing as though it really doesn't seem to be bothering him at all. The cloudiness doesn't seem to interfere with his vision, because he moves around in a darkened apartment just fine, quicker than I do. We do this in the middle of the night when I have to get up for some reason.

The poor dog just about has a fit when he sits in the waiting room waiting for the vet to come and get us. He moans and groans and whines and pulls at the leash and I have to be very firm with him and tell him to sit, but it is impossible to calm him down. He is just overwrought. He thinks bad things will happen there, although lately nothing of the kind has happened there at all. I go early, so we will be amongst the first people to be helped, but there is always someone ahead of me who had the same idea.

Anyway, the Überhund is so happy when we leave. He stumbles down the steps by the front door and pulls me along the sidewalk ready to cross the street. He is full of joy. And so am I, because I hate to see him so distraught and the vet is such a nice man, he doesn't deserve such a scared dog.

It's been a quiet evening home after that. It is freezing outside, so I've turned up the heater and it is toasty warm in here. Luckily, there has been no rain for the past few days and there has been lots of sunshine making the world look a bit more cheerful. It's tempting to smoke your cigarette outside during the break in therapy classes, but it's not quite that warm yet, so we all sit in that stinking smoker's room, that has no ventilation and where we inhale triple the amount of nicotine just by being there. Apparently, the ventilation stopped working one day and nobody has bothered to come and fix it, figuring we would enjoy the stale smoky air. Smokers are third class citizens. We get no respect, although there are people who don't smoke, but who enjoy our company so much, that they'll come sit with us anyway.

I do go sit in the other coffee room too and socialize there, so as not to be a complete stranger to the rest of the people. Different people, different conversations. Some more intellectually stimulating than others. It's just whatever you are in the mood for.

Today we sat at a table with three single woman of my age and one single man and the subject was dating and we women decided that we would just as easily date a nice woman as we would date a nice man, which was sort of off putting to the single man there and he felt a little superfluous. I don't think he quite knew how to react to that, but we were dead serious and we all said that we could just as easily develop a crush on a woman as we could on a man, providing she had the right character and attractiveness.

Oh, by the way, I didn't eat dog food. I ate lunch meat that I use to wrap the dog's pills in. I can't wait to go to the store tomorrow to see what sort of selection of lunch meats there is that may be agreeable to me. I have been thinking about it all day and I have really gotten an appetite for it.

Okay, now that's really all I've got to tell you for today. I am going to get my bedtime snack and watch a tiny bit of TV, but first get my pajamas on for the coziness of it.

Ciao...

A Splendid Day.


I thought I would title this post optimistically to get you all in the right mood. That way, if I do go on about something, you will forgive me and read on to the next happy bit.

I am sitting here quite cozily with my mug of decaf and the Überhund at my feet, while I am being scrutinized by some cats. I don't know why this is, but I've decided to ignore them, because their dishes are full and I don't know what other meaning I can have for them.

It's been a good and educational day, in that I had my second evaluation with both my therapists from the classes and my SPN and the head of the department and it all went well and I really think I am in good hands. Within the shortest amount of time, they had me pegged down and described the areas in which I still need help and growth in confidence and assertiveness, but they said it in such a kind and caring way, that I could only agree and hope that in the next 4 months I will be able to work on those areas with their help and see myself improve with leaps and bounds and get to the place I want to be.

Really, you never met a nicer bunch of caring women, who are so gentle and kind and who want so much for you to succeed and they will do anything to help you. And they compliment you too, where that is due. So it isn't like you only very gently get criticized. They shower you with goodwill and you leave the meeting feeling as if you've received a dose of good luck. So I am good in my skin now, as they say here.

I had my creative therapy class this morning, so I haven't spent a lot of time at home today. I am doing something completely different from the usual collages that I always make. Now I am making a painting with acrylics and I am having much fun with it. It is abstract and I drew the shapes with pencil and now I am filling it in with paint, which is a painstaking process, but right up my alley. I love working with the paint and a little brush. It's such peaceful work and I love to be caught up in it. It''s almost a shame when we have our coffee break, because I want to keep working. I have done the greens first and will now move to the reds. Then I will add golden yellow.

I am tempted to copy a Mondriaan, but I have to find a good picture of one. It would be interesting to do 'Boogy Woogy', but I don't know if I will have the patience for it, you now, the measuring and everything.

Picasso is a good one to copy also, although it may be good just to be inspired by him and then to come up with something of my own. I am not even going to attempt to copy Van Gogh or to pretend to be inspired by him. Such greatness I could not reach.

I am taking the Überhund to the vet tonight to have him look at his eye and to get some more pills for his osteoarthritis. They work very well, but of course the Überhund will be a nervous wreck, like he always is. That one big shot he had there, spoiled it for him forever and now he does nothing but tremble when we are there.

I found a cute top in my closet that I forgot I had and I'm wearing it now. My small closet is so packed with clothes that it is hard to see what I've got and I really need to get something bigger. I may look in the second hand goods store to see if they have something there that is a little better.

Well, that's it for me for today. I've got to watch a bit of the news and then go to the vet. Have a great night, everyone. At least the weather is halfway decent.

Ciao...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sausage.


I just woke up from a nap and I was so hungry for something good to eat, that I ate 7 slices off the Überhund's farmer's sausage meat and it tasted delicious. Now, this is coming from a vegetarian of all people, mind you. I never thought I would say those words, but it was simply delicious.

Maybe, just maybe, I miss eating meat after all. I am going to have to give this a long hard think and see if there is room in my diet for maybe something like chicken or beef, but not pork, no, no, because I don't like the way pigs are raised and transported. And it would have to be lunch meat, because I can't eat regular meat, it is too chunky for my gastric band. Look, a whole other source of potential vitamins and minerals is opening up for me. I'll let you know what I decide.

Yesterday I cleaned house, so I thought that today I would take it easy. It was my intention to watch many good programs on television, but I fell asleep instead. Not that it's a bad thing, of course, but I do have to save some sleep for the nighttime. I can't think of a better way to keep me awake than writing a post.

I swept all the floors with a broom and then swept the area rug in front of the sofa very briskly with the broom also and it worked very well, because much dirt came out of it. Then I treated the Überhund for fleas and washed his bedding. I still need to tackle the cats, but I need an extra pair of hands for that, so I'll wait until the Exfactor is here again some day.

I changed the bed and did two loads of laundry and cleaned the bathroom floor on my knees. Much dog and cat hair collects there and gets stuck to the tiles. I cleaned the wash basin and the toilet and I would like to say that everything sparkles, but it is only clean. There is no sparkle like there is on the TV commercials.

I still need to dust everywhere really well, but I was not in the mood for it and will do that on another day when I am much inspired. There are also cobwebs to be gotten rid off. Those suckers seem to appear overnight, because I suddenly discover them all one day and realize how many of them there are. I have a special sort of broom to get rid of them, but I can't figure out how to get the cobwebs out of the broom. It is better to vacuum them. That's a very satisfying job, especially when you get the spider to go with it. Don't 'oh, poor spider' me.

My sister vacuums her dog and he likes it very much, but I doubt that the Überhund would allow me to do that. I have never tried it, but I have a feeling that he would become very indignant. He is not scared of the vacuum cleaner and only reluctantly moves out of the way, but still. I may give it a try some day, we'll see.

My funky cats are indoor cats all winter. They only go outside to do their thing, while there is a litter box inside that they never use. I don't mind that, of course. No schlepping around bags of cat litter. The three of them hang out inside constantly, trying to find interesting things to do. Sometimes they have the crazy 30 minutes and they all chase each other around the apartment.

The best thing is to leave empty boxes and bags sitting around, so they can crawl inside of them and scare each other half to death by suddenly jumping out of them. I have one chair with a slipcover to the ground and it's an excellent place for one cat to ambush another cat that happens to innocently walk by. The Überhund always intervenes in these skirmishes, because he thinks they are misbehaving and he tries to separate them and looks at me helplessly when it doesn't work. Sometimes Toby hits him over the head when he gets in the way too much.

I don't know what I would do without the animals. They are a constant source of amusement to me. Their presence in the apartment makes the place feel alive. I will always have pets, but never a gerbil in a cage or a canary in a bird cage. Too confining. Trapped animals make me nervous.

Well, that about does it for me. I hope you had a nice Sunday and that you didn't waste it quite the way I did, although there's something to be said for complete peace and quiet also. Very low stress, for one thing.

Ciao...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday morning.


I've never seen or heard a dog sleep as happily and contentedly as the Überhund is sleeping now. He is gone from this world completely and is sprawled on his blanket under the coffee table in full length with one big ear covering his face completely. He is snoring a little bit and it makes for a nice background noise. Of course, everything the Überhund does fills me with adoration, so it doesn't take much, but he is especially adoring now.

I have that weekend feeling today, since it is Saturday, although I could have had that feeling just as well yesterday. But no, I had my evaluation yesterday, so it wasn't really a day off. I went in there feeling like spit and vinegar, but came out of there a little bit humbled, because I did not fill out the questionnaires as positively as I had anticipated, which sort of disappointed me. It was a bit of a downer.

There were ratings from 1 to 5, 1 meaning you never had that feeling and 5 meaning you always had that feeling. Of course, I wanted to have only 1's, but did not manage that and it was probably unrealistic, but it burst my balloon.

Never mind. After that, I had to ride my bike all the way to the pharmacy, straight into the stormy wind that was coming from the west and it was very hard peddling and sometimes I was almost blown into the traffic. I peddled very hard and made it there just a little bit out of breath, which goes to show you what good shape I am in, and on the way home, I had the wind in my back and I rode my bike effortlessly.

The Überhund wagged his stubby tail when I got home and thought I had brought home treats instead of medications. He always thinks that. He thinks every outing on my part ends up in me bringing home good things for him. Not to disappoint him, I gave him a bone to gnaw on and he was happy.

I bought the cats a 2 kilo bag of a different cat food the other day that was a bit cheaper than what I had been buying and they like it just fine, so for a change they aren't being finicky. It seems as long as Toby eats it, the other two will also. I don't buy the cheapest kind, because I do want them to get some sort of quality, but some of the food is very expensive and I wonder at the sense of it and if it is really worth it.

The wind that has been blowing is of the hurricane style and it whips the hair right off your head. It takes quite a bit of hairspray to keep your hairdo intact until you reach your destination. I have hurricane strength hair. It gets whipped about, but stays in place no matter what the wind does. You can imagine that no man can run his fingers through my hair, but seeing as though there is no such man in my life, it is not a problem. My hair is only to look at. It is very difficult in a country like this to have a decent hairdo, unless you have long hair or have it cut short like a boy's. It will be a horrible day when they start making bicycle helmets mandatory. All those woman with all those hairdos!

The smoking laws aren't being very successful. There is much rebellion against them and in a quarter of the cafés people are still allowed to smoke. There is a court case coming up about it that would allow small café owners to stay smoking cafés, because they are loosing their customers to the cafés that have a separate smoking section. We don't like government to dictate what is good for us and people can choose to go to a smoke free café. Most of the people who work in the cafés are smokers themselves and have to go outside for a cigarette. There are arrangements like this in Germany and Denmark and it seems to work fine. Now you have the problem of people standing outside the small cafés at night on the sidewalks with their drinks and cigarettes creating noise in the neighborhood.

My ex brother in law, the cardiologist, singlehandedly managed to get rid of the one smoking room in the hospital where patients could go and have a cigarette. He is so proud of it. Now the patients have to go outside in their bathrobes in front of the hospital if they want to smoke a cigarette. It is a big hospital and it is a long walk to the front of it and it is very exposed. I don't know what his point was. He is not going to forcibly create non smokers, but only have many poor frustrated patients who already are ill at ease. I find this a kind of fascism that really riles me.

Oh well, before I really start getting on my high horse, I better stop writing and leave these issues for someone else to discuss. The Überhund has had his breakfast and is now sound asleep again at my feet with a full belly. And I will go and make myself another mug of coffee.

Have a very good day, everyone.

Ciao...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lazily.


How very tranquilly and lazily I start the morning. I have had 2 mugs of coffee and am about to have a mug of decaf. The Überhund has had his breakfast and is busy digesting. The cats are slightly disgusted, because they didn't get anything so good, but all is really well and it has even stopped raining for a bit. This low pressure system is coming to us by way of England, so I know what sort of weather they are having there.

I am sitting here in my red bathrobe and pajamas and I think that is a pure luxury. The blinds are still closed, but I could open them and not be embarrassed. Anyone who wants to look inside will see a woman who is quite contended, sitting behind her computer with a nice mug of coffee and a cigarette. They should all be so lucky.

Yesterday, the installation packet from the Internet provider I canceled in December arrived and I sent it back right away. It took some doing, because I had to call them first for a return address and a return number that allowed me to send it for free. I was on hold for quite some time.

Considering that I had canceled them after not having them deliver it on time, and after receiving a letter from them that they could not provide me the service I asked for, it is very ironic that the installation packet finally did arrive when I had no use for it and so very late. I think these companies don´t have their heads screwed on straight and I wonder how they even manage to do any business, except that you seem to be caught in their web once you are in their system and you need to watch out for yourself very well. Their right hand doesn´t seem to know what their left hand is doing.

Today I have an evaluation for my therapies. It consists of filling out questionnaires and having a talk with the top therapist about your status and your goals. On Monday I have another evaluation with my SPN there as well. You get evaluated every 4 months and a decision is made as to how much time you still need and if you are moving in a forward motion. The purpose is that you are, of course, and I think I am.

I don´t know. Sometimes I am so full of confidence and I am so convinced of my ability to do well. I don´t know where that courage comes from and I know it isn´t constant, but I´m happy when it is there. I feel that I can take on the world and be unbeatable and I am not intimidated by anything. I could singlehandedly slay an army of opposing forces and be right and justified in everything I do.

Okay, I need to get going now. It is well past start the morning time and some chores are waiting for me.

Have a terrific day, I am planning on having one myself.

Ciao...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday at the end.


Well, not quite. There is still an evening of television watching ahead of me inside a warm and cozy apartment with the Überhund at my feet and hopefully I will not have to take him out again, although I think we will have to go and make one more pit stop. He has just had his dinner, so doubtlessly there will be some reaction to that. I will have to dress warmly, because that low pressure system has brought a cold wind with it and it is very unpleasant outside.

I noticed that especially when I rode my bike to the store this afternoon. The wind whipped my shopping bag like a kite through the air. I especially went to get milk, but had made a list and, of course, ended up buying more things and they were all heavy and bulky. I happened to meet my sister at the check out stand and she asked me if I was really going to take all those things home with me on my bike. I nodded like a pro and said that I would stow most of it in my bike bags and then she looked at me with amazement when I picked up the very heavy grocery bag. I guess I have developed some muscles. I am not a wimpy woman.

Then I proceeded to sleep most of the afternoon and this was after I told you that I don't do that anymore. Well, I guess I was wrong and I slept on the sofa, being interrupted once by a phone call which I answered incoherently. I had no words in my sleepy head and my friend Lucien must have thought I was very uncommunicative. Timing is everything in life.

I have just watched the news and the subjects don't change much from one night to the other. The economic crisis is always one of the first items, but it doesn't hurt me much, because financially I am already at the bottom of the ladder and managing okay. I make it each month and that is the most important thing. I don't have much to loose, so I don't worry about it too much. The new president of the United States will be a news item for a long time to come, as he has been for a while. Then it is internal politics with our own politicians making their own dumb mistakes and having to publicly own up to them and not being able too hide behind anyone. I like tough journalism and exposure. Especially when you have the government coalition you didn't choose for, nor did many other Dutch people.

I just signed up to receive a weekly TV Guide so that I will know what interesting programs there are to watch instead of stumbling upon them. If I am going to be watching more television, I want to do it right and plan my evenings and weekends well. This guide I have ordered does a good job of highlighting the special programs and giving background information on them. There is also good information about movies and foreign channels.

I've got to go now and clean up the kitchen a little bit and see if the Überhund wants to go out. Bravely I will enter into the cold evening air. Brrr. It will be better than having to get up early tomorrow morning when it is expected to rain.

Have a good night everyone.

Ciao...

Thursday morning.


It's my day off and I can be as slow this morning as the Überhund allows me to be and so far he is allowing me to just sit here and drink my coffee and read blogs and comments. I have bribed him with a bone and he still needs to eat his breakfast, after which he always takes a little nap, so I have some time yet.

Because of my forced withdrawal from the Internet during those nearly three weeks, I have noticed that it is less important to sit behind the computer every free hour. I spend some time behind it in the morning, but then shut if off for the rest of the day until some time in the evening and then I spend a short amount of time catching up on some blogs, but I don't read nearly as many as I used to and don't comment as often as I did either. As a matter of fact, I noticed that I had, after a while, a lot of peace and quiet without the computer and I do notice that when I am on it too long, I get stressed and I need to turn it off. So those three weeks of doing without were good for something. I think I was becoming addicted and now I am not. A good lesson was learned.

Ergo therapy went fine. As usual, we took our turns talking about what is happening in our lives and it is good to listen to the other people and to hear how they deal with the intricacies of their daily lives. Some people make huge strides and some people struggle with the same issues over and over again. We all give input and try to make the other person see sense when we see them being stuck in the wrong place.

You wouldn't believe how hard some people are on themselves because they suffer from a mental disability that prevents them from functioning the way they think they ought to. People have very high and unrealistic expectations of themselves and are very hard on themselves and forget to be kind and compassionate for their own somewhat disabled selves, while they would be for another person in the same situation.

I am very lucky in that I am very forgiving and accepting of myself and I don't generally browbeat myself for finding myself in the situation I am in. I try to care for and about myself and to always calculate in that there are things that I don't do well and that there are circumstances under which I don't perform well.

My appointment with my case manager at Social Services went well. Basically, he wanted to know what I was doing in my life now and when I had told him everything, he was satisfied and had no other expectations of me other than that I finish my rounds of therapy and to let him know when that is. After that he wants to look at the possibility for me to do volunteer work as a way for me to get back into society and give my piece of input to it. I am not expected to work. He thinks that my fear of failure and my level of stress will be much lower in a volunteer job. I thought this was extremely kind and understanding and I felt much comforted by it.

It's nice when people are realistic about you and don't expect you to do things you can't live up to and at which you are bound to fail. I always give the impression that I am a very competent person and that is my big trap, because very often I am not and I fail miserably at something I seem to be more than capable of. I don't beat myself over the head for that, but I don't want to keep repeating it either, because it is mentally very upsetting and energy draining.

Anyway, when I say that today is my day off, I don't mean that I am not going to do anything. Household chores must be done, whether or not I like it. There are numerous jobs I could be doing, besides the obvious ones, but I think that for now I will stick to the obvious ones and wait for spring madness to do the other numerous ones. How about, going along the baseboards with a little brush and soap and water and getting all the dust and dirt off? Does that sound like fun?

I think I must have stubbed and broken my little toe some time ago, because it is constantly in pain, even when I wear my slippers, let alone when I wear any of my boots. Last week, my nail fell off, but I don't think there is anything that can be done for a broken little toe. I have gotten so used to the pain that I was ignoring it, but these last few days I have started to pay attention to it and wondering what is wrong with it. I am a great ignorer of physical discomfort, whereas I am very sensitive to mental anguish.

The Überhund has had his breakfast and has piddled out back and is now laying on his blanket under the coffee table. He is sleeping, but every time I move, he wakes up. He is such a good dog and so patient.

The cats have had two dishes of milk and they love it best straight out of the refrigerator. I guess that quenches their thirst the best. The other day Gandhi had managed to open the refrigerator and they had eaten all the lunch meat that I use to wrap the Überhund's pills in. She is the only cat that manages to open the refrigerator. I think she is the smartest cat I have, because she understands the commands that I give to the Überhund. She may even have been a dog in a former life.

Well, that's about it for today. It is time to get the show on the road, so you all have a great day and I hope the weather treats you kindly, although we have a low pressure system moving in with lots of rain. Yuck.

Ciao...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Last night.

Well, I suppose I don't need to tell you what I did yesterday evening at around dinnertime. Yes, I watched the inauguration and I was so impressed and awe stricken by the whole procedure. It felt like the president of the world was taking office. You can bet that the whole of the Netherlands was glued to the television with glee at seeing George W. go and seeing Barack Obama enter.

It was truly a magnificent moment and one that we will not soon forget, because the importance of it was not lost on us and I am sure I don't need to tell you any of the reasons of why that is. I would just be repeating the thousands of commentators from all over the world who have asserted the significance of it.

I was so impressed with his speech, because it was full of hope and optimism, while at the same time being realistic and truthful, but ever so inspiring. Not only to you Americans, but to all the people in the world. I felt like I was listening to John Kennedy who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you..." Barack Obama has that same inspiring charisma and that attraction to make people willing to do their very best. It must be a wonderful moment in time to be an American now and to be proud of it.

I tell you, we would give anything to have a prime minister with such vision and inspiration, but I doubt very much that we will ever produce that man or woman to fill his shoes. Someone we can be that proud of. Our own prime minister pales in comparison, but then again, it doesn't take much.

So, today is Wednesday and I have an appointment this afternoon with my case manager at Social Services to talk about work integration. It will be our first serious talk together and in a way, I am looking forward to it, because it is time that he knows what I am all about and what his expectations of me should be. I need to paint a realistic picture so that he can offer me the kind of help and guidance that I need. It isn't like he can just toss me into the work force and expect me to handle that with flying colors. Much caution is needed.

I also have ergo therapy this morning and I am looking forward to that, because we are going to discuss our daily schedules and how we fill our time and how we bring structure to our days. I have a daily schedule that I have a hard time sticking to and I need to sit down and have a look at it and find out what seems to be the problem, what is intimidating about it.

I have a tendency to spend a lot of time day dreaming, which I find a very pleasant occupation, because I think of very pleasant things, but it does prevent me from mopping the floors. It is a habit I have had all my life and is hard to break. I travel inside my own head and it takes me to so many places. I also think I need the peace and quiet it brings me, because I know that too much of the real world overwhelms me.

Anyway, it will be good to look at the schedule, because in reality, I know it isn't all that difficult and I know that if I stick to it, I'll manage a lot better in the end. I'm not the only one in the group who's having this problem.

In order to take care of the Überhund's teeth, I have bought him a box of Bonzo chewy bones and he gets one three times a day. He is very fond of them and practically salivates when he sees the box. I think he has a harder time chewing things because he is missing some crucial teeth, but he manages with the bones anyway. It just takes him a little longer.

When I first gave him a bone, he was so pleasantly surprised, that he didn't know what to do with it and he walked around the apartment with it for some time, looking for a good place to devour it. It seemed that everywhere he went, there was a cat and, because he was very protective of that bone, he could not relax and eat it.

The cats must be very jealous, because all they get are dry kibbles and milk and water and the few bites of food they manage to steal from the Überhund's food when I fix it for him.

Have a perfectly terrific day and do manage to stay out of trouble. Who am I saying that to, really? Right!

Ciao...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Six Sixes.


Before I do anything, I have to direct you to the compilation of my Six Sixes that was published earlier this month on Six Sentences when I had no Internet access. They are six short stories consisting of six sentences each and I am mighty proud of them, so please take the time to visit and read them. The format in which they are presented is really nice and it makes for fun reading, because you get to turn the pages. Just follow the instructions.

As is usual, I am sitting here having my morning coffee, but black this time, because I ran out of milk last night and because it was raining, I didn't make it to the store. It isn't too bad black, but I am going to like it all the more when I get my hands on some milk and drink it properly the way I am used to. I used to drink my coffee black all the time, but since I am back in the Netherlands, I have started using milk again, because the coffee here is a lot stronger than it was in the States.

Today is Inauguration Day and I tell you, if there is a time when I do want to believe in God, it is when I think of Barack Obama. Every time he makes a speech and says, "Thank you America and God bless you," I say out loud, "No, God bless you, Barack Obama." I am so afraid that that man is going to be assassinated and today would be the day for it, of course. The proceedings are going to be on television at six PM our time and I am going to watch them. As a matter of fact, I think he gets sworn in at one minute before six PM, so I'll have to start watching sooner.

I have been reading my head off on the Google reader, but I have no intention of catching up on everything, of course. There are so many unread posts. I read as many of the latest ones as I can to be up to date as much as possible. It is a fun activity and it is also fun to comment on my favorite blogs. It's nice to see that everyone is so consistent and that almost nobody has suddenly changed styles or moods or themes. Whereas I have been known to do so myself.

I have neglected my other website and must make it over there today to change the image and the name. I hope I can come up with something good. The page on which I have the best names has been used as a coaster for my coffee mug and many coffee rings cover it. Some of them are barely readable. Sloppy me.

I'll now go and take my medicines and do all the other early morning chores. Life's tough that way.

Ciao...

Monday, January 19, 2009

A miracle.


Just for the heck of it, I decided to try if I could make the hook up with the Internet today and much to my surprise I could. I typed in the magic numbers and the password and there I was. I couldn't believe my luck, because I was supposed to be connected on Wednesday and Wednesday is a busy day and I was worried about having the time to do it. The telephone is working also and now I only have to worry about the huge phone bill I am going to get from making all those service calls on my mobile phone. It's going to be painful.

I am so happy to be back on line again and I had so many emails in my in box. I still need to take care of a bunch of them, but I will have time for that today, although I must go to the store to buy some milk, but the store is open until 8 pm.

I survived my time without the Internet by watching a lot of television and never let me claim that Dutch television is bad, because I watched some really good programs. Lots of documentaries and factual programs about many interesting subjects and a lot of cultural things too. There is some good stuff out there, you just have to know where to look for it. So, from now on I will be watching more television and I will be doing a little less blogging, because I have to feed the other part of my mind too.

I also watched many inane things out of boredom, things I would not have watched normally, but sometimes I was pretty desperate. I watched programs specifically for people over 50, can you believe it? And I watched and did not participate in morning exercises. It was very boring. Maybe I should have done them, but I thought they were rather funky, although to tell you the truth, they would be good for me.

The withdrawal symptoms were only bad the first day when it felt like I had quit smoking and I felt rather desperate. After that I accepted my situation and tried to make the best of it, although I did make a pest out of myself with the providers. The empty promise makers. It is amazing, though, how you learn to do without your computer, although I did miss it for Internet banking and checking my account balance. I was in the dark about how much money I owned and had to go to my sister's to check. Luckily, it was always more than I anticipated.

The Überhund profited the most from my lack of Internet, because I spent of a lot of time on the sofa, very conveniently located close to him, so that he could be petted almost constantly and where he could lay between my feet. The cats also profited by laying on my lap a lot, so for the animals it was great. The Überhund is now back to laying under the computer desk, which is not nearly as cozy and comfortable. Pretty soon the cats will install themselves on the keyboard in front of the computer screen again. I must remember to not be such a negligent owner and spend more quality time with them.

Today it is 10 degrees Celsius and rainy and windy. I was perfectly coiffed this morning when I went to creative therapy and only the ample application of hairspray saved my hairdo. The wind came from the south and sometimes I barely moved on my bike. At other times I had the wind in my back and I didn't need to peddle. The wind makes it feel colder than it really is and I am wearing two pairs of leggings and my scarf and gloves when I go out. I prefer there not to be any wind. I dislike it intensely. Unless it is a blustery wind on a summer's day on the beach.

Regardless, the snow is gone and that is good, because the stuff was treacherous. When you rode in it on your bike, you never knew which direction your back wheel would go. If you were lucky, it would go straight and find some track to stay in, but more often than not, it did not and you slipped all over the place. Still, it is regarded very normal to be able to ride your bike in it and you are quite a sissy if you don't. I took the bus when I could, but sometimes that was not possible. When I went downtown, I took the bus and walked around on the slippery cobblestones while being snowed upon and trying to keep my hair dry. It's a tough country to have a decent hairdo in.

The one thing about not having the Internet, was that it upset my whole daily schedule. I was completely discombobulated and could not perform my tasks in an ordinary orderly fashion. Needless to say, not a lot got done and I wasted a lot of time doing nothing but being discombobulated. I sat at the dining table with cups of coffee and cigarettes and stared out the window, wishing for my life to have order again. I didn't think any deep and disturbing thoughts. I just let my mind wander wherever it wanted to roam and it tiptoed all over the place, but it always came back to all the things I wasn't doing and the lack of order that I could not seem to get back on track. There were numerous little jobs that needed to get done and all I had was starting up problems and a lack of focus.

It would have been a great time to have taken up drinking, but luckily, I was not fool enough to do it, but I sure would have been the perfect pastime. I also very easily could have made a round of all the cafés, but I was smart and did not succumb to the allurement. At least I know that when I am bored, I don't take up any bad habits, I only keep the ones I already have. Actually, mentally I did well. It was a time of great calm and spiritual rest and it taught me something. That is not to try and cram so much into one day and to get enough sleep at night and to walk away from the computer on time.

I haven't lost any weight over the past year. I have lost some and gained some, so it must not be important enough for me to care that much or I would be trying much harder. Actually, right now I am in a frame of mind of almost complete acceptance of myself and I worry very little about how much I weigh. I have a belly and I let it be there. I am comfortable in my clothes and I feel good. Maybe in the springtime I will loose some weight, like I always do, but I will cross that bridge when I get there. Time will tell. I feel good when I move around and I have the attitude of a slender person. I think attitude is important. In the springtime I'll go see the Obesitas Nurse Specialist and see if the gastric band needs to be filled some more.

Well, I guess that just about brings me to the end of my words for today. It's so nice to sit here and take my time to write it all down in the privacy of my apartment, surrounded by the animals.

I hope you all have a terrific day and that you're all not too cold (I know some of you aren't).

Ciao...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Very Soon Now...

No people, I am not back on line yet, but it has been promised to me that I will be back on line on Wednesday and I have already been given a new phone number. So, I am counting the days. Once I said to them that I did not need to keep my old phone number, things sped up quite considerably and all my phone calls started to bear results. On Wednesday, I will email all of you my new email address and my new phone number and I hope to be on line quickly that day, but it is a busy day and I am already trying to figure out the logistics of it. I may have to skip some obligations. What is more important than making the hook up with the Internet, after all?

In the meantime, all is well. The weather has improved dramatically and today it feels like early spring. It is half cloudy and the sun comes out regularly to shine on us. The temperatures are pleasant and there is barely any wind. I am still enjoying the view of the grass and some of the stubborn wild flowers that still want to pop out of the ground. Some of the shrubbery in people's gardens are evergreens and are indistructable. There is always something to look at, but the trees are bare and I can't wait to see the first green fuzz on them, although I know I'm being very optimistic now. 

The Uberhund and I have been taking short walks, but now that the weather is getting better we will increase our distances again. He has been looking longingly at the street corners we don't go to and this morning I took him to the tobacconist with me and he enjoyed that. He doesn't actually like being in the shop, especially not when it is crowded with people, but he likes the walk over and back. 

His eye is better, there is no infection in there anymore as far as I can tell, but I am going to use up the eye gel just to be sure. His eye lens is a little bit cloudy and that may be the permanent damage that he suffered from it, but it doesn't look nearly as bad as it has. Really, you wouldn't think that he is going to be 12 years old this May, he is in such good shape yet and manages so well. 

I have been seeing the Exfactor regularly and it has been interesting. I always enjoy it when he comes over, but then I try to figure out where he fits in the scheme of things in my life. I thought, what if I had to choose between an Internet connection and the Exfactor and I chose for the Internet connection. I do like him in regular small dosages, but I don't think that I would ever like to live permanently with him again 24 hours a day. I can not be that generous with my time and space again, as I have become very protective of what is mine and I am unwilling to share a lot of it. I like moving around independently in my own little world and have things my own way and I would even hate to share the Uberhund with someone else. 

The Uberhund and I have such a good life together. We are perfectly in tune with each other and very much connected. He knows all the endearments I call him by and wags his stubby tail when I do, even when it is in dialect. He wakes me up in the middle of the night when my breathing goes funny because op my sleep apnea, and goes to sleep peacefully when he knows I'm okay. He follows me where ever I go, and if he looses track of me, because he is sound asleep, he looks in every room until he has found me again. He's always keeping an eye on me. I think I am very attached to him. 

I have solved the falling asleep during the day problem. Instead of taking my antypsychotica in two doses, one in the morning and one at night, I now take them both at night so it doesn't make me sleepy during the day. It works much better and as a result I sleep better at night too. This morning I actually slept until 9 AM, which is unheard off. Of course, there isn't that temptation to blog and that keeps me in bed longer too, but I must make a habit of it.

Well, that all I have to report for today, except to say that a storm just blew in and it just is starting to rain, although that is still better than snow. I will never wax romantically about snow again. I have been cured. 

I will try to blog some more between now and Wednesday, D-day. Lord, I will have gone 3 weeks without the Internet and without the telephone. All for the sake of trying to sake a buck.

Have a great day, people. Talk to you soon. 

Ciao... 



 




Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hallelujah!

The snow is gone. It rained during the night and it made all the snow disappear. I am so glad, because I had to ride my bike in it and it was mighty tricky. We can now see the streets and the sidewalks and the field again and it all looks so lovely and normal. The snow was fun for the first day, but after that the novelty wore off and it became a bother. The Uberhund liked it well enough and pranced around in it, but I can't say the same for myself. As to the temperarures. Well, now that it is a few degrees above freezing, it pracrically feels tropical outside. Cold? What cold? 

I know one thing for sure. I don't like the freezing cold and it makes me think of sad things like homeless people and poverty and frozen limbs and people trying to stay warm in poor countries. Like they are right now in the Ukraine now that the Russians have cut off their gas supply. Cold is suffering in my book. 

I was getting groceries in the freezing cold on my bike and while unloading them from my bike bags into my big shopping bag I thought how awful it must be to perform every task in the extreme cold like maybe some place like Siberia and I consider myself very lucky to live here in this temperate climate. 

There is still no good news on the internet provider front. Maybe I will get the letter today, but I'm not holding my breath. I am learning to be long suffering and patient. It's an unbecoming role for me. 

Now I'm going home to take a nap, because I feel one coming up. A nice little sleep on the sofa with the Uberhund by my side. My sister has very tempting chocolates and I must remove myself from them quickly. They're making my mouth water. 

Have a great day.

Ciao...


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Morning.

I am sitting in my sister's house while she is at the fitness studio and her kids are watching TV. The sun is brightly shining on the snow on the field and if you didn't know better, you'd think it was warm outside. It is still cold, however, but in a few days the snow may melt and we'll be able to see the streets again and the sidewalks, which is fine with me, because it is treacherous to ride your bike now, except for on the bigger roads that have been cleaned. I walk my bike on the slippery streets and get on on the clean streets, as I don't want to fall over and break anything. 

I am sad to say that today is boring Sunday. I was up early and now it seems that the day is lasting forever. I do have all sorts of housework to do, but you know my rule about that on Sundays. I did the dishes and will do a load of laundry, but I need to wash the floors and I am so not in the mood for that. 

The maintenance men from the housing corporation tracked in dirt when they came by to do maintenance to the apartment last week. They replaced all the hardware on the doors and fixed one kitchen cabinet door and replaced the shower head and hose, so now I've got a nice new adjustable one. They also fixed the toilet tank from which the water kept running. If I run into any other problems, I can call them and they will be there in a jiffy, but they do make a mess. 

I am sitting here without my reading glasses and it is kind of a pain having these great glasses now for seeing well far away. One eye is -3, but that doesn't help much for seeing up close and I really need my reading glasses when I sit behind the computer, but I forget to bring them when I come here, I am guessing at some of the words that I type and I assume the right letters are showing up. 

The Uberhund is such a happy dog since I have switched food. He now spends his days content and satisfied and not begging for treats. The cats are very much interested in his food and all crowd around when I put it in his dish and try to eat it when it is still on the kitchen counter. I let them have a little bit, but the majority goes to the Uberhund who eats it in one fell swoop. 

People in the Netherlands are skating all over the place, on every lake and canal and bit of water that is frozen over. The stores are constantly running out of skates to sell, the suppliers can't keep up with the demand. Three times as many people are being brought into the emergency rooms with broken bones and dislocated limbs, but everybody is very happy and a skating fever has broken out all over the country. 

Well, that's all for now. Not much to report, not much inspiration, not much time to write in either, because I am not in my own house and always feel rushed when I am here. 

Soon I will be writing from my own trusty computer again. Just a few more days. 

Have a great day, people. 

Much love, Me.
 


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Still hanging in there.

The Internet frustration has not been solved yet. I seems that providers can allow thenselves up to two weeks to get the modem and the letter with the activating code and password to you. Don't ask me why this is so. I don't call this customer service. By being the pest that I am, I found out that the letter has not been send yet and that is really all I need, because I already have the modem from the old membership we had with them. By being very persistant, I have somebody at the company sending me a copy of the letter that should get here sooner than the original letter. 

I feel like I am sort of sneaky and pestering customer who won't take no for an answer, because they keep a record of how often you call and aren't afraid to let you know that they do this, but there is a good egg in the bunch here and there who is willing to stick out his or her neck. Thank god for good eggs. If they weren't so anonymous, I'd send them a fruit basket. They are probably breaking the rules. Another guy said, that if I didn't have the letter by Monday, he would give me the activating code and password over the phone then, but of course, I also need the email details to set up my new accounts. 

Oh well, this is getting boring, but it consumes a large part of my waking hours. It's a case of how to out smart the internet company and all the snotty young brats that work there.

I have fallen three times in the snow. I hit a slippery spot and down I go. All three times I've landed on my right wrist and right knee with a bloody knee as a result twice. Now I have finally gotten wise and put on my hiking boots, which means I can walk very steadily with big steps and also have much warmer feet. I have to tell you that vanity prevented me from doing this untill now, but this morning I thought, vanity can get you into the hospital with a broken limb.  I thought that as I laid right in the middle of an intersecrion where I had fallen while crossing the street when I was walking the Uberhund, who is no help at all.

I could be laying there suffering from the most terrible of wounds and he would just go on sniffing the bushes and not give a hoot about what I was doing on the ground. He is a very careless creature. He does not show enough empathy for his owner.

This morning the liberating phonecall from Specsavers came to tell me that my new glasses were ready. What a relief, it only took them 2 weeks. I sped over there by bus, as much as you can speed in a city bus, and walked on the snowy ground to the downtown area. All I can say is, it was cold. There is not much sunshine in the narrow streets and you feel chilled to the bone. 

At Specsavers, they did a very decent job at fitting my glasses properly and I am much happier with these. They look more like the very first pair I ever had, only a little bigger. The problem with the other pair was, that they were too narrow and at certain angles I could look right over them, defeating the purpose. But I also did not like their rectangular shape and I like these rounder glasses better. I told the man at Specsavers that I tried the funky look, but that it just wasn't me. 

It wouldn't have been a real downtown outing if I had not gone to my favoritw store, but I didn't by one single item of clothing. Common sense prevailed and every time I saw something I liked, I thought of something similar like it that I had at home. I did buy on necklace, but they are exceptions to the rule. 

Then I went to Cafe Monopole and had a nice cappuccino with a chocolate and a cookie and tried to decide if I wanted a second one, because I was sitting on the terrace right by the space heater and I wasn't all that cold. I decided against it when I considered the coffee I could have for free at home and the fact that I had to go there to walk the Uberhund.

Always, when I am on my way home, my bladder decides that it needs to be emptied and the closer to home I get, the more urgent it becomes, until I am at my frontdoor, practically peeing my pants. Isn't that always the way it goes? Near accidents always happen while the Uberhund tries to greet me enthusiastically. I've got my legs crossed trying to make it into the bathroom, while he jumps up at me and I say, Yes, you are a good dog, but not now.

Well, that's all the fun I have to report for today. I and my clunky hiking boots are going to walk home now and gave a good cup of decaf. I just had an espresso that my sister made for me and it was very good, but now I need something to slow me down again. 

There is only a Dutch spell check on here, for some reason, so any mistakes in the text are purely my own fault. 

Have a great day, maybe I will be here tomorrow. Take good care of yourselves. 

Ciao.... 

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Encore et bis.

My nephew has been kind enough to let me use the Mac while he uses the laptop, which I really appreciate, because I don't like using the laptop. It's that screwy thumb pad that confuses me. It feels alien to my biggest digit and I need a mouse in my hand. He's a good kid for going along with the program and letting me have the most convenient device. 

So far, 2009 seems to be a not so really great year when it comes to getting things done that I badly want to get done. I picked out new glasses nearly two weeks ago and they aren't done yet when they should have been done last Monday. I think I better not have too much anticipation for things to happen and instead aquire a lot of patience and just learn to wait for things to come in their own sweet time. Maybe this is the year I'm supposed to learn to be patient and this is all a test. 

For some strange reason, my sister and I have been taking the dogs out at noontime, in the snow and in the cold, and I don't for the life of me know why we do this. It was my sister's idea and I, like a dummy, went along with it and now we are making it a habit. The snow is soft and crunchy and cold and the temperatures aren't much to write home about either. You need warm clothes, so I wear two pairs of leggings and my sister wears snow boots. The Uberhund makes yellow snow all over the place. My sister's dog doesn't, because he has been neutered. 

The dogs seem to like the snow, for some reason, and the Uberhund keeps sticking his nose into deep piles of it. He seems to think there are unmentionables down in there that he doesn't want me to know about. He is a very secretive dog in the snow. 

This is just going to be a shorty post, because I miss being in my own apartment and having my cup of decaf and my cigarettes and having the Uberhund and the cats around. I am a creature of habit, after all. While I was gone to therapy one morning, the cat door froze shut with a cat outside and the cat tore the door open to get inside, so now it's broken. There is just a hole there. Poor cat, being so desperate to get inside.

Have a good night. I'll talk to you as soon as possible. Thank you all for all of your comments. You guys are sweet. 

Ciao...  



 


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Murphy's Law

I am a victim of Murphy's Law. Anything that can go wrong has gone wrong and I keep my fingers crossed and hope that my latest hour and a half telephone conversation has finally straightened everything out.

I was trying to change Internet providers in order to save some money, but it was a bad idea, so I warn you never to do this. I thought I had planned everything down to the latest detail, but some other people threw wrenches in my carefully laid plans. 

I cancelled my old provider on a day long after my new provider should have started up his service, except that he didn't and left me high and dry without internet or telephone. Promises were made and not kept and I finally said, screw you guys, I'm going back to my old provider, who had now changed ownership and is operating under a new name.

I called them on January the second and arranged everything and waited patiently for my activating code to arrive in the mail, but of course, it did not come. So I made a phone call today and found out that my order did not show up anywhere in their system and had to be placed all over again, which means waiting another week or so. 

I am going to try and get my hands on the activating code sooner than that, by making a phone call to the technical service, but I will have to wait a day or two for it to show up in their system.

January the first is a day that will live in infamy. Suddenly I was without Internet and I couldn't do any blogging and I went through withdrawal symptoms. It was not a pretty thing. Since then, I have grown somewhat used to it and manage to fill my time with other things, such as watching more television and bothering the dog a lot. I don't think he minds.

But all of you must have thought I dropped off the face of the earth by my sudden disappearance, although there was some forewarning. I have thought about all of you a lot and I am also thinking about all the wonderful posts I am missing and the comments I miss reading and that I can't write. 

I am using my sister's computer now, in between her kids needing it for their school projects, so it isn't always available to me, but I will try to use it while I can until I have my own connection again. 

I am well and glad that the holidays are over. Really relieved that they are behind us. I am so ready to pick up my normal life again. The humdrum of everyday living without any excitement. Especially the wear and tear of people not doing their jobs right and leaving me high and dry without my blogging buddies. 

I am keeping this short, since I am not at home and I still need to go walk the Uberhund. There is much snow here and it is very cold. It was -20 Celsius last night. That's quite cold. We aren't used to it anymore. It only happens every twelve years or so.

I will try to write some more soon and keep you up to date on the proceedings here, but what I really hope is to be writing from my own computer soon. 

Take care, all of you. I am thinking about each and everyone of you and missing you. I hope all is well and that you've all started the new year out on a positive note. 

Ciao...