Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday, sunday, feels so good...

I watched a Dutch movie late last night and it was actually enjoyable. I didn't fall asleep during it and that is saying something. It was funny and exciting and had an all women cast and they were good too. It finished at midnight and that is when I went to bed, not bothering to read my book, but just laying down my tired head on the pillow and drifting off to sleep. I got up once to go to the toilet, but slept until 10:20 am.

The dog was standing beside the bed wagging his stumpy tail when I woke up. Needless to say, he had been waiting for me to do so. Toby climbed all over me, because it turned out that the kibbles were all gone. It's wonderful to feel so needed right when you wake up.

I made myself a mug of coffee and then remembered that I was supposed to be at my sister's house at 11:00, so I called her to tell her I'd be a little bit late. I had to wake up properly first. This took me about half an hour and then I had the wherewithal to get dressed and comb my hair. No make up on my face, just that freshly scrubbed look this morning.

The dog was more than ready to go and off we went, I in my jeans jacket, for which it really was too warm, but I needed the pockets for various items.

My sister made cappuccinos and we sat out in her garden which is beautiful right now with all sorts of plants tall and blooming. She's got one heck of a tree that's trained to form a straight across canopy and has enormous leaves. I'll take pictures of it the next time. The hedges are green and bountiful and so are all the bushes and the lobelia was bright blue. It's a very pleasant place to sit and have a coffee and a chat, which went effortlessly this time, because you don't shop where the store is closed! That's my mantra.

We also decided to take the dogs for a walk and went around the neighborhood and saw many great flowering plants and tremendously green trees. It actually looks like it has been this way forever and not just a month at the most. I try to take it all in and remember every detail that I see, but it is so much and I should really have my camera handy.

The dog was quite worn out from the walk, because it was warm outside, and he kept looking for a cool place to lie down when we got home, but I think he has recuperated and is laying on his blanket now.

For some reason, I've got a lower backache and it is very unpleasant. I must try to get rid of it by Wednesday when I have dance therapy. I think I'll take those pain pills that I got from my GP. They always work well and fix me up in a few days time.

Today, I have to sweep the floors and hang up some laundry to dry. I also have to water some plants, but not all of them. I've noticed that some of them don't like too much water and if they do get it, they start dropping their leaves. So, I'll have to water them sparingly and hope they come back strong. I dislike plants with special requirements and these seem to need them and there is a middle of the road between letting them dry out and giving them water. They also require a lot of light, so I have to place them close to the windows, where I really don't want all my plants to be.

The dog is finally eating. We hadn't gotten around to that yet today. We had done everything else, such as take his food supplement for his osteoarthritis and I had put both the ointments in his eyes, but he had not had his delicious food yet. He did however just come and ask for it with his cute begging face.

Gandhi thinks she can eat dog food, but if she ever does eat a portion of it, she always ends up barfing it up, so I never let her have any of it, although she eats it with the greatest appetite. She's got a delicate stomach and can only eat little amounts of dry kibbles at the time. Toby is omnivorous, he can eat anything and given the chance will eat a lot of the dog's food. He certainly tries to and it agrees with him too. However, the dog very jealously guards his dish, especially with the new dog food in it.

It's wonderful how well I sleep in my new bedroom. I like going in there at night and the room feels welcoming. Somehow the light is different too and friendlier. I fall asleep looking at the things around me and caring about them. When I wake up in the morning, the sun casts the shadows of the trees on the shade of the window and I very much like that effect, as usually there is some wind and the shadows move.




Well, now I ought to go and do other things, though the lure of the computer is strong. We'll see where I end up right now. The day goes by quickly, it's over before you know it.

Have a super Sunday, its alternately sunny and cloudy here, but it hasn't rained yet. It's not predicted anymore either, so what the heck? Maybe I can hang out the laundry to dry.

Ciao...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Some time on a Saturday...


The time is indefinite, so I can post this whenever I get done with it. Maybe it will take me a while to write this it or maybe I'll write it in one fell swoop. You never know in the weekends. The days aren't that exciting and I usually have to find a subject to write about that's not so current.

I like the fact that the days of the weekend aren't exciting, after all the eventful days of the week. It's good to have a mindless break and to sleep a lot and to be a little bit lazy and unorganized. I slept really well last night, but I just took a nap on the sofa, which was nice, as the dog slept beside me and we both got up at the right time for me to take him for a walk.

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I've been thinking about what wears me out so much and I think it is the three hours of ergo therapy. You sit in a group of eight people plus the therapist and a lot goes on and some of it are underlying dislikes between members of the group. We just got two new members in the group and we are very weary about one of them and two of us, led by me, have aired our concerns in the group.

Whatever is discussed in the group, is supposed to stay inside the group and we had noticed this person was not sticking to these rules. We had also noticed that she very loudly discussed very intimate details of her own life out on the deck, where everyone could hear them. So there was some concern on our part about our safety inside the group with this new person there.

This woman is what you may call a very common woman. She speaks very loudly and very exaggeratedly and fabricates some details of her stories to make herself look more victimized. On Wednesday, I caught her in an out and out lie and the person who could back me up wasn't there, but she, with a stone cold face, pretended that I had made something up in front of the therapist and the whole group.

I think she has made herself immensely unpopular and now I don't know how we as a group can go on as uninhibited as we have. We obviously have a problem. I don't feel free enough to discuss my intimate details in the group and I wonder if the other people feel the same way. I suppose all I can do is wait for the next Wednesday and see how things evolve. She carries enormous grudges, so when you think you have discussed a problem and come to a good conclusion, she walks around feeling pissed off until the next time and beyond that.

I think it is these kind of things that wear me out so much, because they are so intense and wreck the harmony of the group. The therapist says I have to harden myself against things like this, because I'm going to encounter them in real life too, although maybe not on such an intense basis. I wonder if that is possible?

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In the meantime, back on the ranch, the sun is shining relentlessly and I don't remember asking for that. I distinctly remember me saying that I don't mind the occasional cloud in the sky. But I won't despair, because we will have those tomorrow and there is even some rain going to fall out of them. The temperatures are going to be around the 20's and I think that's just fine. That's my kind of weather. For those of you who are sticklers, tomorrow it is going to be 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's a long weekend, because we have Monday off too. That's because it is Pentecost, or Whitsunday, which was originally a Jewish holiday, but supposedly it was when the Holy Spirit descended down from heaven and struck the apostles, so they could speak in languages, so every Jew of every nation could understand them. It's the tenth day after Ascension Day. So speaketh the Bible.

You can certainly tell that we're a Christian nation by the holidays we still keep, which is really kind of silly, because there are so many people of so many different kinds of cultures living here. It seems we are just ignoring all of them. I think we should ignore all religious holidays and just make up some new ones to honor special occasions, having to do with the history of the country or contemporary issues, like international women's day or the day of the child. That's just my take on it. Boy, if only I could be a benign despot. (I'm always so convinced of my right.)

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Speaking of despotism, I'd still rather be the queen, except that our queen doesn't have as much power as I'd like to have. I don't know how many strings she can pull and how restricted she is in what she can get done, but I'd like to take advantage of the position more than she does. I would definitely push that idea of the holidays through, even if I had to take on the major Christian political parties. I wouldn't be afraid if they threatened to dethrone me and just make an appeal to my popularity amongst the population.

I don't think you'd get this sort of thing done as prime minister, They'd laugh you straight out of Parliament, even if a lot of people would agree with you. Those who have the sword in their hands, wouldn't let it happen. That's how the score stands now. We're led by the Christian Democrats, and the Social Democrats, who are in the coalition government with them, are their toy dogs and are restricted by the leash they're tethered by. I've never seen such an anti-social bunch of Social Democrats.

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The birds are chirping outside announcing dinnertime. Gosh, a good T-bone steak from the barbecue sure would taste good. "Ha, ha," she laughed fiendishly, "you will never eat such a thing again." And so it is, unless I have my gastric band removed, which I may do one of these days, but that is a story for another day.

I hope you have a lovely Saturday evening or day, whichever timezone you are in, and that your weather is kind to you.

Ciao...







Friday, May 29, 2009

Finally, at last...


Finally, after a day of mostly sleeping, I am beginning to feel like a human being again. My arms and legs are functioning and so is my brain and I can think straight without having my eyes fall shut. I slept in the morning and I slept in the afternoon, on the sofa, lest I became really confused and thought it was nighttime, and I must have really needed that sleep, because the earth could have moved and I wouldn't have noticed it.

I did go to creative therapy this morning, but once I was there, working on my sculpture, I realized that I really wanted to be home, sound asleep. Our creative therapist is still on vacation, so our head therapist was taking her place, which was opportune, because I could discuss my schedule with her right away. As she can see that I'm so tired a lot of the time, we've decided that I'm going to drop Thursday morning therapy and see if that will make a difference. I think that's a good idea, because that's the day I struggle with most.

I was home at 10 am and laid down on the sofa and was asleep in no time. I woke up at 12:30 to walk the dog and take my medicines and to see if I was sharp enough to keep my appointment with Von. Unfortunately, I had to cancel that and after I walked the dog and piddled around behind the computer for a little while, I went back to sleep on the sofa and slept for most of the afternoon.

Oh, I don't want this to be a litany on how much I slept. It's just that I'm so tired all the time. My therapist asked me if I was getting depressed, but I don't think I am. I'm not jumping up and down for joy, but I'm not stuck in a pothole either. My arms and my legs feel heavy, as if I have to drag them through life, but once I'm on my bike, I do pedal and move forward, at least as long as the pedals co-operate. I move slowly. I do everything in slow motion. And I lean to the left.

I did check my glucose levels three times and they were fine. I have started drinking a multi vitamin juice three times a day and I'm even eating some meat. I forgot to buy eggs, but I'm planning on eating those regularly.

A plane just flew in front of the sun and cast a shadow in the living room. That was a very neat effect. There is an airport close by, so the airplanes fly over low. I hardly notice them, except for just now.

It used to be that the sight of an airplane made me want to travel, but I don't have that itch anymore now. All I can think about is the high grade security checks and being packed in economy class like sardines and the long flight to the States, because that's were I usually fly to. I don't really want to do that anymore.

A car or a train gets me more excited. Trains especially, because I love the countryside they travel through. You get better views than if you travel by car on the freeway. On the motorway, as the English say. I do love sitting in a train and looking out the window at the things that go by. Cows and farms and villages, mostly. People waiting at the crossovers on their bikes. The odd glimpse of a deer that you get at the edge of a forest. Neat stuff.

I've loved trains since I was a little kid and we traveled a lot on them to go see my mother's family during the holidays. I don't remember ever disliking them, except for my mother's anxiety, that was so large, about missing a train or getting on the wrong one. Lord, that woman was just awful. As if it was so difficult back in those days to catch the right train. She never lost that capacity to worry while traveling, even by plane. As if she would get on the wrong plane!

I purposely never went to the airport when she had to leave after visiting me, because of her level of anxiety about getting there on time and getting to the right counter and having the right ticket and putting the luggage in the right place and on and on. People like that are very difficult to be around. They make your nerves stand on end. I am by nature not an anxious person, but my mother turned me into one for a long time. I found that out when I had kids of my own.

I don't actually know if I'm an anxious person now, because I take medication for it. I used to have enormous amounts of anxiety, overwhelming amounts of it, especially if I was responsible for other people. Now that I live on my own, that element has been removed from my life completely, but I still don't know. I used to have so much anxiety, that I ground my teeth at night and misaligned my teeth and my jaw and it dislocated completely one day, which was very scary and painful. I had to wear a splint and have all my molars rebuilt to fit properly and keep my jaw in place.

But I think I was made anxious by my mother, I don't think that I'm naturally an anxious person. I'm actually the opposite off. I actually have a laissez faire attitude about a lot of things and I remember being that way since I was a kid and being blamed for it. Later on in life being praised for it, because people saw it was an easier way to go through life.

I've been anxious again since my mother's death and I suppose it hasn't left me until I started on the medications and now that I'm living on my own. Sometimes I get anxious when I hear the outer door open and hear footsteps and I think it's the Exfactor coming home, but then I remember that he'll never and I'm relieved.

Well, I think that's enough of a long story, don't you think? I don't want to bore you with too much reading material. I have so many things to say, but there's always the next post to say them in.

Have a good evening. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly and count to ten and relax.

Ciao...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The times, they are a changing...


Let me be the first to congratulate myself on a halfway decent day, survived with just enough energy to spare to do the few things I told myself I had to do, because, let me tell you, my butt was dragging this morning and I could hardly move off the sofa once I sat down with my mug of coffee and my first cigarette. My limbs were sore and my shoulders ached and all in all I felt that gravity would get the better of me and drag me down to the floor, where I would lie like a sack of potatoes, never to get up again.

I was expecting the representative from the domestic help at 1 pm and my apartment didn't look so good. Of course, it wasn't supposed to look good, that's why I am getting help, but there are degrees of not looking good, if you know what I mean. I do have some amount of housewife pride in me and I wanted the kitchen and the bathroom cleaned up of their worst messes anyway, but had no idea how I was going to manage that in the half hour between the time I got home from therapy and the appointment.

So, I made an executive decision and canceled my therapies for this morning and breathed a sigh of relief. I was so beat anyway, that I wasn't up to getting dressed within the next hour and hopping on my bike to get there and joyfully make music. I think five mornings and two afternoons is too much therapy for me, because I always need a breather after Wednesdays. I feel like I've run the New York Marathon and finished last and took ten hours to run it, on my knees.

Well, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but that is to get my point across. I'm just plain tired on Thursday mornings and only want to sit for the first four hours or so. Drag my butt from one sitting surface to the next and do no unnecessary walking. Only raise my hands high enough to take a sip of my coffee and a drag of my cigarette. And wear no shoes, because my little toe hurts and wear no clothes, because my pajamas are so comfortable.

So, after a long while, I finally washed every dish in the place and got them spotlessly clean and scrubbed the kitchen counter with a scouring sponge. Then I took a load of dry clothes of the drying rack and folded those and put them away and took what was in the washing machine and hung it up too dry outside (hoping for no rain) and filled the machine up with a new load. I went around and picked up big fluffs of dog hair that laid around like snow flurries and wiped the surfaces of the tables. I threw away a bunch of things that were laying around for no good reason at all and emptied ashtrays that were overloaded. I didn't want it to look spotless, but cared for a little bit, so it wouldn't look like I was a total slob.

At ten minutes to one the outside door bell rang and I buzzed the person in, who turned out to be a very neat lady, who had to sit down in a cat hair covered chair, but I didn't point this out to her. She sat on the edge, but I think she always sits on edges. It was a - get to know you and what do you need appointment - and it went very smoothly. She already had an intro from my SPN and I added some details to that.

Now, the first help they are offering me, is someone to come and help me put everything back on the rails, but I have an option to have regular domestic help as long as I need it. Someone would actually come and clean my house on a regular basis. This is very tempting and would help me keep the place in order, so I may plead for that option. As it is now, I´m no longer in control and look at everything as a giant obstacle. Having someone come and do the big jobs, would help me keep the place clean and leave me with the little in between jobs, which there are enough of with the animals.

Anyway, lets not get bogged down in the details of that now and have ourselves a nice relaxing time here, because it´s almost 6 pm and time for all sorts of things to happen. I must take my medication then, I may watch the news, or wait until 8 pm, I will give the dog his dinner, I may walk him shortly after that or I may wait a while. Oh yes, and the cats will need clean water and milk in their dishes and the hardy fern needs more water until I have time to replant it in a bigger pot. Details, people, life is full of them and you need to keep your wits about you all the time. Woe is me!

The Exfactor was here this afternoon for two cups of coffee and a bit of a talk, and I told him that I´m switching political parties and am moving further to the left . I told him my reasons, expecting a good discussion about that, but much to my surprise he agreed with me and became as disloyal to his party as I had become. Well goodness, what´s the world coming to if it´s that easy to convince someone with your arguments? We´ll be voting for the European Union Parliament on June the 4th, that´s why this is a current topic now. I wonder if there´s anyone else I can convert before that time? Any of you? Vote to the left!

The dog slobbered up his dish of food with much appetite. Toby is finding a few leftover bits of it and eating those. The dog doesn´t care. He knows he´s had the best part of it. Now the digesting part starts and then I´l have to take him out.

After a cold gray day, the sun has come out and suddenly it´s nice out and 18 degrees Celsius. It´s going to stay that way for the next couple of days. That´s good, because I do need to sit out on a café terrace tomorrow afternoon and I have no extra money for a bus ride, so I have to go on my funky bike. It is nice when mother nature co-operates under those kinds of circumstances. I do not want rained upon hair and wet clothes. It´s awful when your skirt clings to your leggings and your leather jacket gets wet, but you need to wear it, because it keeps you warm.

Oh, goodness, I forgot all about my Levi´s jacket. I must have a look at it and see what kind of shape it´s in. I haven´t worn it for such a long time. I can always wear it, even though I don´t know if it´s as cool as a leather jacket. I do have my image to consider, after all. I mustn´t even come close to the frumpy housewife look. God forbid!

Well, that´s enough of this ramble. I just made the mistake of checking my real life mailbox and see that I have been signed up for an email service that I did not sign up for with a company that I´m trying to get off my back since January now. They gave me a number to call and I did, but the number has been blocked. Hurray! I hate Internet companies! Grrrrr...

We´re not going to let that press our fun, though. Onward we go to higher mountains over steeper and greener hills. That will show them.

Have a great evening, everyone. Don´t forget to treat yourself with tender care, especially in these times.

Ciao...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whacky World.


More then half the week of therapies is behind me and I'm beat. I don't even have the energy to go to the store and I'm eking out the supplies that are in the refrigerator and the cabinets. I will have to go tomorrow when hopefully I will have the time and the energy. All I did today was make it to the tobacconist for tobacco and filter tubes and the special trash bags and one chocolate bar for a quick pick me up, because I was seriously dragging my butt, going there straight from my dance therapy.

It feels so good to sit here with my mug of coffee and my cigarettes and to just rest my mind and body over nothing complicated at all. I've just read new posts to a lot of blogs and that was very enjoyable. Not that people all have uncomplicated lives, but somehow it all seems manageable. There are no catastrophes out there. At least none that I'm aware of. We all have our difficulties, but they are all human sized and within the norm of what is standard.

I guess somewhere along the line you have to make up your mind about that. About what you as a human being can accept in your life as tragedies and how much is too much and how much time do you need to grieve over that before you feel that you can be normal and join the human race again. I suppose the answer to that is different for every person, but maybe much more alike than different for all of us.

I notice that in all of my groups, that each person in their grief and depression and pain and sadness is so much alike and exhibits such similar behavior and has such similar thought patterns. It's like we all read a big book somewhere that said, under these conditions you act that way. So much of it is very predictable. The beginning, the middle, the end, if it ever comes, all have their own sets of behavior and thought patterns and language and if you're a patient long enough, and know a lot of things, you see this and get as smart almost as the therapist. I do have to point out that I say almost. That's very important. You never get as smart as. Patients lack the objectivity.

Hell, I don't even know if I'm qualified to write that stuff down. They are just my own observations. You do learn a lot in my line of activities. People around me in the groups say I have a lot of courage and inner strength and that I am verbally strong. I dare to talk about subjects that they are afraid to bring up, but are relieved when I do. But I'm not always courageous. I get insecure too and wonder if I say too much or breach the wrong subject and I pay a price for that afterwards if I don't get the answer to my questions quickly. I have to settle my own sense of insecurity on the spot or walk around with it and it will nag at me until it hurts.

Well anyway, today at dance therapy, we learned to dance with a veil and if you think that's easy, think again. Your arms get very tired lifting this thing up and around you and twisting it around your shoulders and in front of you becomingly. Then try to do that while dancing with the emphasis on your hips.

I have to tell you very honestly that I'm the worst student in the class and do not move gracefully, but more like a stiff rake with arms an legs attached to it. I have no swing in my hips and no easy bend in my back and all my movements cost effort. And I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. I lean to the left and forget to breathe. My hip and my back hurt and I have to take mini breaks. I loose the rhythm and have too start all over again. I'm a lost cause.

But still I'll keep going, because the music is wonderful.

The weather has been gray and cold and windy all day and now it is raining. It's feast or famine here. We'll have sunshine again on Friday, but it won't be warm. That I don't care about so much. I don't mind wearing an extra layer of clothes. In fact, I prefer it, it makes for interesting dressing up. And you know how much I like that.

I gave away all my jangly earrings that I never wear to a very nice woman who loves to wear them and I made her very happy with them. I only wear my titanium studs, at least, I think that's what they are. They never irritate my ears. This woman was wearing a necklace that I very much admired and she's going to get me one just like it. I'm a necklace person and feel naked without one. So, that's great.

Tomorrow is music therapy and relaxation exercises and only a short morning. In the afternoon, someone from domestic help is coming for an intake meeting to see what needs to be done to the apartment to get it back to normal again and how much help I need with that. They had lost the original application that was put in when I was depressed and my SPN sent in a new one, because it seems I still need help now with all these extra classes and no idea of how to get things back on the rails.

I'll leave it at that and walk the dog for the last time and get my pajamas on and do the dishes. Oh, somebody needs to do them. I live here, so it must be me.

Have a great evening.

Ciao...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's time!


It's time to wake up and I'm endeavoring to do so with my second mug of coffee, It is slow going this morning, but one way I always wake up quickly is by writing a post, but then I must remind you to read last night's post, because it will give you more entertaining information than I will give you now. Now I will only give you the murmurings of an early morning, not quite awake woman.

I had a wonderful sleep in my new tastefully decorated bedroom, giving me hope for many good nights of sleep. It's so cozy to lay down in there on the newly made bed and have a good look around at everything. I don't even have to read, I just sort of drift off into a deep sleep and am gone from this world. Somewhere along the line, I start having my crazy dreams, even there in that bedroom, so my vivid imagination is still intact. I dreamed Rod Steward picked me up in his open sports car and drove around town with me. That's just part of the dream, I won't tell you the rest. It's rated X and involved several movie stars. I always dream big. Excuse the pun. It may have been a Freudian slip.

I've put the food down for the dog and he is looking at it from 3 feet distance. The cats have been by to taste some of it and the dog hardly growled. Now, this is the old food, so maybe that is why, but he is showing no interest in eating it. As a matter of fact, he is almost falling asleep.

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I had to stop writing, because I realized there were all sorts of things I had to do before I was off to my creative therapy class, which included getting dressed and walking the dog, who finally ate his food. I had to pick my clothes with care, because the weatherman had predicted cool temperatures and rain, so I wore my jeans skirt and thicker leggings with my boots and a tank top with a light cardigan over it. At first this turned out to be too warm, but then a wind kicked up and it became stormy and when I left creative therapy, I was caught in a huge rain storm which soaked me to the bone. It was very pleasant!

Creative therapy was fun. In the morning I finished my doodle, but in the afternoon added a border to it, which gave it a more finished look and I'm quite pleased with it. I was ready to start my next doodle, but the therapist and I got involved in a discussion about Escher and how he saw the world in segments and patterns and what techniques he must have used to make his drawings and with a ruler and a compass we started to try to figure it out and that kept us busy until the end of the class. It was a very interesting experiment in that we tried to recreate his technique. I think he used a lot of math and technical skills, but I don't know if I convinced the therapist. We each had our own approach.

I have to try and figure out what my next doodle is going to be about, because I do want them to have a subject and not just be a collection of shapes that endlessly repeat themselves. I also have to think about the shape of it, if it is going to be a square of a rectangle or a circle.

So, I came home wet and it kept on raining and I had an appointment with my SPN which I canceled, because even the dog would not go out in it and I couldn't blame him. Finally, at ten minutes before my appointment would have been, it stopped raining, so I still could have made it over there, but alas. The SPN called me instead and we had a conversation by phone, which is almost as good, but not quite. I would rather see her in person, but I saw her yesterday and that helps too.

I am not going to the store and I am not going to the pharmacy for fear of getting drenched, because more rain is coming. Tomorrow should be better, said the optimist, and I still have that funky bike with the pedals that sometimes go round without pushing the bike forward. Quite often, actually. It's quite a comic sight. Like slapstick a little bit.

The cats just had an argument in the junk room and one of them screeched really loud, but after a few moments, they both came walking into the living room as if nothing had happened, so I guess they settled it between themselves. Leave it to cats to work these things out quickly. They don't seem to bear grudges.

I have to take the dog to the vet in a little while for him to look at his eyes again and to probably get another tube of ointment. He's not going to like to go, but it can't be helped. We must keep this thing under control. His eyes look quite red, so I know they're not okay.

I hope you all had a nice day like I had, except for the getting rained on part. Well, I did say that the sun didn't have to shine endlessly for me. And it didn't. It took me quite literally.

Have a great evening.

Ciao...

Monday, May 25, 2009

At the Ranch.


It's been a long and happy day at the ranch and its outlying grazing grounds. Well actually, it isn't really over yet, but I'm pretending that it is and I'm calling it a day, although I may have to take the dog for one more walk. It will be a sauntering jaunt around the inner circle of the property, though. Yeah, as if those green fields belong to me only and not to the whole darn neighborhood. Well, I can pretend I'm the owner and cast a proud eye on the clover and the buttercups that grow so sprightly in the grass. Hell, I can pretend anything I want, as long as I don't share it with too many people. They may start having doubts about the soundness of my mind.

In between everything else I've done today, I've decorated my bedroom and made it a place of my own, which I had never done with the other bedroom. I got all the things I cared about the most together and artfully arranged them on the shelves of the white bookcase and on the shelves of the wooden shelf system that stayed in my room and was the nicest and sturdiest one, which I found out after the Exfactor and I unloaded the thing. I know a good deal when I see it and how to confiscate something worth while.

I have Aims' bear and Tessa's print and all the other things that are precious to me, plus lots of framed photographs of the kids and the grandson. The Exfactor hung up my two big framed movie posters and I hung up four small framed collages that you haven't seen and I made a long time ago. Then I sat down in one of the rattan chairs and had a good look around and was satisfied. The walls badly need a coat of paint, but I'm very good at ignoring that for now. I look past that and at the things I like. Home sweet home.

I got up bright and early this morning and was in the shower by 7 am. I finally figured out how to get the shower head to point in the proper direction and it was actually very simple once you knew how and very obvious. I saw a knob which I turned and that did the trick. Surprisingly enough, the Exfactor with his mechanical brain had not figured this out, so I beat him to it. Women so rule!

Since it promised to be a hot day, I only wore my jeans skirt and a tank top and my ballerina slippers. I actually let people look at my bare legs, but they weren't as milk bottle white as I had feared. I have seen worse. It was hot all day long and then at the end of the afternoon, there was one roll of thunder and two and a half drops of rain fell out of the sky and that was it. Now the sun is shining again. That was the thunder storm that was promised.

I had creative therapy this morning and someone convinced me to just take a block of clay and no example, and to just start creating with no preconceived idea in my head. I thought that was going to be awfully hard, but I went ahead and stuck the clay vertically on a pin and start manipulating it until slowly an idea started to form and it is taking better shape as I am working with it and will change some more as I go along. Something is emerging and it is starting to look African, but at this point, anything is possible.

So, I did not want it to be break time and I did not want the morning to end, but it did and I had to go home to the ranch where my animals waited for me. My trusty dog had been asleep in the bedroom on his pillow, because his blanket was in the washing machine. I think it's so cute that he slept in my bedroom while I was gone. It's a little bit his bedroom too, which reminds me that I have to put his picture up also. He's been especially close to me today and hasn't been gone from my side whenever I'm home, even forsaking his food when I wasn't close enough so that he could see me.

The Exfactor came over shortly after I came home and we tackled the shelf system and packed the stuff that was his in boxes. He also brought me a small box with assorted nails and screws and hooks and I already have a hammer and two screwdrivers and a measuring tape. That's how I came to hang the collages on my own on a wall that was soft enough to hammer nails in. I would like some more tools, so I guess I'll ask for a power drill for my birthday. It's handy when you live on a ranch to have power tools. I should get a real strong drill for these hard walls.

After he left, I jazzed up the room and then I had to leave again for my Patient Evaluation Meeting with my SPN and all the therapists from my activities. The purpose is to reassess your goals and assess your progress and what there is left to do and everybody gets to have some input, including me.

I was very worried, because the new policy states that patients ought to finish their course of treatment in 9 to 12 months and I have been there 11 months. I was ready to hear that my time was going to be up. However, I get another 4 months and then a decision will be made at the next evaluation and if it is decided that I have reached my goal, I will still be given 2 months to finish. During that time, everybody will help me figure out what I will do next and help me get there. Nobody tell me that I live in the wrong country when it comes to care for psychologically disabled people (for lack of a better term).

I am very much relieved, because I know I'm on the right track and I'm learning things and I'm catching on and they notice that I am, so they know the treatment works. We are getting somewhere, we are getting results.

My SPN is a great one. She always puts me in such good daylight and even brings my lesser periods in a positive way. She such an assertive person and I can really trust her to take care of my interests. It was a lucky day, the day I met her.

So, when I finally came home, being rained on by those two and a half drops of rain, I didn't feel like going to the store anymore to buy the multi vitamin juice I like so much or the dog food that the dog likes so much. I will have to find time tomorrow, when I have another two creative classes and an appointment with my SPN. This creative class is the one in which I'm now doodling and I can't wait to finish the one I'm working on and start a new one, but I have to be patient and not rush things and do everything properly until it's truly done. No short cuts on the ranch.

That just about really and truly brings me to the end of this ramble. I feel like I've had my daily talk with you, although there's not one particular person I have in mind when I'm writing down all these things. Just a general audience, I guess. Whoever is out there and willing to read. Being out on the ranch now, I feel like I'm talking like a cowboy with a twang and maybe you should read it that way too. Makes it real authentic.

Well, bye for now, hope you all have a good evening.

Ciao...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hi People.


If you're looking for your award, you have to go down one post and you will find it there. If not, you're in the right place for some leisurely reading.

This afternoon, The Exfactor and I were supposed to move almost everything from my bedroom to the spare bedroom and move all the junk from there to my bedroom. In other words, we were going to exchange rooms, but he called me at 12:30 pm to tell me that his back was still bothering him and that he would be by instead tomorrow when I'm hardly going to be home.

So I said, "Never mind, I'll do it myself," and promptly made a plan of action and went to work. First I moved my own furniture out of the way, to make room for the first of the boxes and other junk that was sitting in the middle of the spare room. Then I started hauling that over and stacking it in a rational way against a wall.

That cleared up all the floor space in the spare room and I saw that I would have to do an awful lot of vacuuming, because I could hardly see the carpet for the grit and dog and cat hair and other assorted little bits and pieces that were unidentifiable. It had also been the Exfactor's hobby room.

Then I started taking the boxes of assorted items out of their shelf systems and brought those to the bedroom, very carefully one by one, easy does it. Every time a shelf system was empty, I took it to the bedroom and stood it against the wall and filled it up again, trying to do this in the most logical way, with all the heavy stuff on the bottom.

I did this five times with little breaks and glasses of juice in between. Finally, I had the spare room almost empty, except for one shelf system for which I could not find room and that also has some of my things on it. I am going to look at those items in a while and give them a better place. There won't be much left on it after that and the Exfactor should be able to move it out tomorrow.

Then I had to get rid of all the cobwebs, which were numerous, and vacuum the carpet really well. I took my time doing that and I got it cleaned up very nicely. If you run fast, you don't notice anything. That's what my mother always said.

After that, I had to haul my bed in there and that was a lot of work, because I didn't have the right screwdriver to take it apart. I had to leave it in one piece, but did take the mattress and the mattress support out, which was very heavy. It took some shoving and pulling and pushing to get it through the doorways and around various corners, but I did get it in place and put back together.

The night stand and the chairs and the standing lamp were easy. The long white bookcase was already in place and just needed too be cleaned up and have items placed on it. I did that, but I still need to clean the radiators and wash the windows, but I had run out of steam and called it a day. I will do a few small things now that I'm rested up again, but the hard work I'll do later this week.

I'm mighty proud of myself and said as much to the Exfactor when he called. He was quite surprised that I had done the job all on my own. I tell you, I'm no wimpy woman, I have muscles in my arms. You could say that I take after my father and don't know the word 'can't.'

All this time, Gandhi was 'helping' me. She climbed on every box and shelf system and on top of the mattress that was leaning against the wall. She had a ball. She ran from one room to another and jumped straight into an empty trash bag that made a lot of noise and when the bed was made, she went to sleep on it for a nice little while.

Toby was outside all this time, but at one point he came in and started meowing very confusedly and walking around as if he had lost his way, so I had to reassure him that everything was okay. He's not as playful as Gandhi, being the male cat of the house and having to think about his dignity and all. I think he also gets scared quicker, but don't tell him I said that. He has a reputation to hold up.

The dog just laid on the floor at a close distance and slept and if he got in the way he moved two feet and went on sleeping. I moved his pillow and that was just fine with him, he didn't mind one bit and laid down on it when he felt like it no matter where it was. That dog is unflappable. Nothing upsets him, except for cats eyeballing his very good food. I had accidentally bought him chunky puppy food and he certainly liked that! Gandhi only got to lick his empty dish.

Now I'm off to do those few little chores. I don't have any sore muscles or a sore back, so I suppose I am okay. Tonight I get to sleep in my new bedroom, now no longer called the spare room or the hobby room or the junk room.

Have a good night, everyone. I hope your day was as enjoyable as mine.

Ciao...

P.S. It was 26 degrees Celsius today, tomorrow it will be 27. That's about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

An Award from Tessa.

Before I forget to do this, as if I would forget, right, I have to post this very nice award I have gotten from Tessa Edwards and if you click on her name you can read for yourself the reasons why I got it.

The very difficult part is passing this award on to other people, because I do want to limit myself to some extent and not make the list endlessly long. So here I go.

I want to pass on this award to the WiseWebWoman, to Aims, to Crystal Jigsaw, to Grit, to Jo Beaufoix, to Jeannette, to Maggie, to Potty Mum, to Laurie, to John Mora, to Violet Sky and to Cheryl.

There, that was a lot of work, but I think I have chosen well and I hope the recipients are as happy with the award as I was. I think it's a real beauty.

In the meantime, it's well into Sunday morning and I'm still in my pajamas. The dog is very lazily digesting his food on his blanket under the coffee table. I bought him some different dog food and he likes it so much, that he growls extra hard at Toby and Gandhi, who don't dare even come close to his dish. This dog food has chunks of real meat in it and the dog thinks he has died and gone to heaven. At least, that's how I am interpreting it.

My older sister called me a while ago and we discussed the situation of ourselves and that of the country in general. With the way the economic crisis is being handled, you can imagine what that conversation sounded like. She has her own business and things are very tough. I think my sister lives under a great deal of daily stress and she has high blood pressure, so I do worry about her a lot. Maybe I already mentioned that before. I worry about her general health and think she needs a complete check up. I wish I could give her an award.

I am not going to make this a long post, because I have to notify the recipients of the award and then walk the dog and clean up the kitchen. The Exfactor is coming over to help me change my bedroom around.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and that it lives up to its name.

Ciao...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday and all is well.


The dog just ate and now he is sound asleep, digesting his food, which gives me a little bit of time to sit here and write a short post. Yes, I've got my coffee and cigarettes, so I'm all set.

I've got a regular routine now at night. I put my pajamas on in the evening and watch the 8 o'clock news and try not to fall asleep. Sooner or later I do, but then around 11 pm I wake up and take my medicines and shut off all the lights and go to bed where I luxuriate in the feeling of my head on the pillow and my body under the duvet. Within two minutes I'm asleep again and stay asleep until I have to go to the toilet. Even then I don't give in to the temptation to stay up, but go back to bed and almost instantly fall asleep again.

I think I have discovered the fine art of sleeping.The thing is, that you mustn't be stubborn and at any point think that you are done sleeping, until it is truly morning and really time to get up and if you have the day off, you can roll over one more time and sleep a little bit more.

Probably most of you already knew this, but it is news to me, because I thought every time I woke up, it was time to get up and I had gotten so used to this, that my sleep schedule was completely messed up.

Today promises to be another lovely day. That is if you like warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. Now, a little bit of that goes a long way, I think, so more of this isn't necessary for me. I don't mind some clouds in the sky and a little bit of wind. The sun doesn't have to shine nonstop for me. It's going to be 21 degrees Celsius today. That is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I think that is a temperature I can be comfortable with. At least it leaves you with enough options in what to wear. You can be as lightly dressed as you want to be or do it in layers, and wear shoes or boots, but still wear leggings.

I dream my most interesting dreams after I've been awake and have gone back to sleep. I dreamed of a very fanatic preacher who proclaimed, "Every time you commit a sin, hairs fall out of my beard!" And I said, "So what, I don't care if hairs fall out of your beard, really!"

I dreamed I had a baby called Lynn Leander Nottingham, but she was only 40 centimeters long and because she was not long enough, I stuck her back in and waited on my estate for the ambulance to come and fetch me when the real birth would happen. I had a bedroom and a salon and a reading room. The Brönte sisters also lived there and the British Queen sometimes stayed overnight. For some reason, she was not amused that I was having a baby all on my own, being unmarried. When the ambulance came, it had mashed potatoes smeared on the stirrups.

I'd like the WiseWebWoman to make sense of that dream for me.

In the meantime, I've gotten dressed and walked the dog. There's a pleasant breeze out there and it made my dress flutter up around me. Luckily, I am wearing leggings, so I was not embarrassed. I'm getting handier now with the baggies and the keys and let the keys dangle of my thumb so I don't have to have such a hold of them.

The sky is bright blue, but I think if you had a kite, today would be a good day to fly it. Yesterday I was sitting at the dining table, looking out the window, and I saw many big soap bubbles float by. That was a fun sight and it made me want to blow some myself. I never did find out where they came from.
Well, that's it for me this morning. No doubt I'll write some more at the end of the day, it being Saturday and I being able to waste my time.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and the right kind of weather.

Ciao...

Friday, May 22, 2009

A good Friday and a day off.

After falling asleep on the sofa last night, I did get up at about 11 pm and make it to my bed where I continued sleeping almost instantly until 9 am this morning. I thought that was pretty darn good and it was nice of the dog to let me sleep in, although I could have done with another hour or so.

I didn't turn on the computer right away, which is unusual for me, but decided to wake up with only a mug of coffee and my own thoughts and the company of the dog. I wanted to see how relaxed I could be if I had nothing to divert me and nowhere to go.

Well, I didn't quite pass that test as I got rather nervous and started to get my shaky leg syndrome, which I get when I'm unsettled, so I busied myself with making cigarettes and then I got dressed and took the dog for a walk. Diversion is a much better thing.

I wore my summer dress and didn't have any pockets, so I had to carry my keys and the baggies in my hands, plus the handle of the leash and then when the dog did his business it was a bit of a juggling act, but it all worked out in the end and I didn't throw my keys in the dog poop container, which very easily could have happened. The dog is oblivious of my struggles and just pulls at the leash while I'm juggling various items.

When I got home, I turned on the computer until it was time to fix my face and my hair and catch the bus downtown to meet Von on the Our Dear Lady Square. The weather was great and it felt like summertime and it was busy downtown and a lot of the tables were taken, but there were some free chairs here and there and we found some at the table of two English ladies, which meant we could talk about anything we wanted.

Unfortunately, they ordered lunch and it looked so delicious, that we were both practically drooling, but I can't eat that and Von is on a diet. They had a bowl of fries with their lunch and I said to Von,"Why don't we just beg for some of their fries? They won't eat them all." Von looked at me as if I had lost all my marbles. Luckily, our tea and cappuccino came with some goodies and I got to eat all of those. Pretty soon, we spotted an empty table under the canopy and moved there, out of the sun and continued our talk there.

After we said our goodbyes, I went to the market square, to the walk in Chinese hairdresser and had my hair washed and cut by the Chinese man himself. I don't know how much Dutch he actually understands, but he did a decent job on my hair and was quick about it. He even put some wax in it and it looked good when I walked out of there.

One satisfied customer leaving the shop. My own hairdresser is going to wonder what happened to me. I'm being awfully disloyal, but I find it so handy to be downtown and get a haircut without an appointment.

I walked to the bus stop and heard that my bus had just left, which meant that it had been there 6 minutes early, because my watch is on time. That meant I would have to wait for another 30 minutes and rather than do that, I walked to the next bus stop the next bus would come by, which took me all the way out of the downtown area close to the train station. It was a bit of a walk, but better than standing there waiting. Besides, I need the exercise, because I saw a fat lady walk by when I looked in the shop windows, although I tell myself not to do that. It's time to call the gastric band man.

At any rate, it took forever for my bus to get there and in that way it took forever to get home, but I finally made it. The dog was overjoyed and so were the cats in their minimal way and I sat down and had a mug of decaf and a cigarette and took my shoes off. That was a relief.

I didn't do the grocery shopping and now I'm down to my last carton of milk, so I will have to go tomorrow. I have to get a lot of things, so I pumped up my tires yesterday.

Now I've got to stop, because I'm beat. I'm falling over from exhaustion and I still have to walk the dog one more time, just in case.

Hope you all had a terrific day and that you had beautiful weather.

Ciao...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ergo Therapy.

Alright, I've taken a power nap on the sofa and I've walked the dog, so now we'll see if I can come up with anything sensible. I may have to go back to the sofa and power nap some more, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I actually power napped for a long time, so you shouldn't see it as one short burst of a nap. It was just very immediate and intense and that's why I call it a power nap. I lie down and am almost immediately sound asleep.You'd have to shoot off a cannon to wake me up and I stay asleep until I just as suddenly wake up and get up immediately as if I never slept at all.

Those first few minutes determine my mood and in that time I can become happy or sad. If I become sad, there is only one thing to do and that is to sleep some more. I am on the verge right now of being unhappy and it is not something inside of me that is making me so, but I am unhappy because of how the ergo therapy went yesterday morning.

I think it was too intense and too emotional and too dangerous and somehow I feel that I am implicated in it, although I know this isn't true, but because I am the bearer of some knowledge that the rest of the group does not bear, I feel a certain amount of responsibility.

You see, I know a very awful story about one of my co-patients that she just shared with me herself in the strictest confidence and yesterday, the therapist, who also knows the story , tried to get this patient to tell this story to the group, using me as an example of why it would be possible, because of the patient's extreme fear that she would be ostracized by the group if she told them the story.

I iterated to her how this knowledge made her not repulsive to me, but how it made me care about her more and made me respect her more. The therapist made me repeat that, so the patient would understand that very well.

Anyway, the whole thing became very emotional, and another patient walked out, and in the end the story was not told and now maybe never will be, although it should, but it should not be forced out of her. The patient who walked out had a half an hour of one to one counseling and the rest of us were fine and concerned ourselves more with the patient who didn't tell the story.

But it has left a bad aftertaste with me and I feel as though I've done something wrong. As if I'm implicated in a crime. I feel dirty and ashamed and I can't talk about it with anyone. That's why I'm writing it all down here, without going into the details of the story, because I can't.

I hope somebody out there understands my situation and gives me some feedback. I feel used, I guess, although I suppose the intentions were good.

I hope I made this an understandable story and not too confusing. It helps to write it all down.

Ciao...

Thursday morning and no place to go.

Well, darn it, now it is a holiday and that's the same as if it were a Sunday and there is nowhere to go. So, I have to make my own amusement and what better way to amuse myself than to write a post . Of course, I do have to come up with something to write about, but with my imagination, that shouldn't be too difficult. Not that I make anything up, of course. I wouldn't do a thing like that.

You mustn't think that I have forgotten about yesterday, because I'm as special today as I was then. Only just now I'm sitting here in my pajamas and it's a little bit more difficult to be regal in my pajamas without make up and a well styled hairdo than it is when I'm all put together. That's why I don't show myself to the world this way and only go to the back door to let the dog out, who is now snoring beside me with his one eye half open.

Is there a better subject in your blog to talk about than yourself? You could talk about the economic crisis or world poverty or the Mexican Flu, but really, the most interesting subject is yourself. It's the thing you know the most about and that you care the most about, in all honesty. I could write in endless fascination about myself and never get bored or finished. I would always find some detail to discuss with you, some area of my life that has not been talked about enough.

Right now I am completely fascinated by the knowledge of my specialness. By my uniqueness. By my possessing those qualities that set me apart from everybody else and I feel exalted and elevated above the crowd. I will never walk through life as a gray shadow again, but will always be a presence to be aware of and made room for.

It is the same awareness I had as a child of feeling unique on the playground amongst all the other children and knowing that I, standing on that spot, was more special than anybody else around me and that the grown ups knew this and talked about it amongst themselves. That's how convinced I was of that.

Of course, somewhere along the line they try to beat the conviction out of you, but some of it always stays with you. That's what makes you survive.

Yesterday the therapist said to me, "You're a beautiful woman, you're one hell of a woman." I thought, "I'm getting the recognition I deserve. No need to be humble, time to hold your head up and take your rightful place." I sat there as if I owned the place, as if I was responsible for the outcome.

Now I own the place everywhere I go, I own the place and I own the people. I am entitled. Call me Your Royal Holiness, that's who I am. I'm the Queen and the Pope and the Dalai Lama all rolled into one. And Oprah and Buddha and Obama and Christ. You name them. That's a lot to live up to, isn't it? I feel up to the task.

It's not in order for a Dutch woman to stick out her head higher than the mowing level of the field, but I'm doing it. I'll duck when the guy with the sickle comes around.

So, how does it feel to be completely fascinated with yourself? It feels pretty darn great, to tell you the truth. I feel like the only person on top of a lovely high mountain and I'm only contemplating myself and the universe and the universe is vast and impersonal, which leaves me much room to contemplate my privileged position in it and see the world at my feet.

Have a splendid day.

Ciao...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One hell of a Wednesday.


We had one hell of an ergo therapy session this morning. It was like we were thrown before the lions and had to be brave and come out as victors without even any tears in our clothes.

You see, we didn't have our regular therapist who is all kind and motherly and soothing. She is on a week's vacation. We had a therapist who went right for the jugular, which I liked, none of this wishy washy stuff, but straight at it, no holds barred. Within two minutes she had each person pegged down and analyzed and confronted with themselves and then made them declare themselves and dared them to say out loud what they were afraid to. It was hot and heavy and led to some steamy emotions that sometimes went over the top, but boy, it was good.

Afterwards, it felt like we had been in a knock down, drag out fight with all of our wits called upon to stay as sharp as they could to dodge the quick punches from the left and the right. We went far beyond the call of duty and some couldn't handle it, but I thought it was great. I like those kinds of things, I like the confrontation. I'm not scared of it.

As it was, I got to be someone's champion who really needed it and I almost helped her over a ledge that was very high and steep, but I couldn't push her. That would have been unfair, because I was in a position of power.

It's somewhat frustrating to be so riled up about this morning and to not be able to tell you any details, but I can't, because whatever I hear between those four walls, stays there and I don't discuss it with anybody else, no matter how much space it takes up in my head. I have to figure it all out on my own and live with it all by myself until the next session.

Now my therapies are all done for this week, because tomorrow is Ascension Day and the following day is a holiday too. That means a four day weekend and I think that's awfully long. Too long, but there isn't a thing I can do about it. It has been decreed so. I don't know whose bright idea it was, but I think they should have checked with me first. After all, I'm second only in importance to the Queen so I should have some say in the matter.You don't believe me do you? I tell you it's true. It's just not common knowledge yet.

The Exfactor was here this afternoon to make a plan of action for the bedrooms and we've got it all figured out to do it in the easiest possible way. He did complain of a sore back and I offered him drugs, but he wouldn't take them. He did take the electric heating pad. That's something anyway. Since he's just a low ranking citizen, I thought it was kind of me to offer him my drugs from the aristocratic pharmaceutical cabinet.

It's a very joyful thing, to feel so elevated in life. To feel so über-special. Everywhere I deem to walk, people nudge each other and say, "There she goes!" It's much better than being a beauty queen, because that is just a fleeting thing. This is inherent to me and everlasting to my dying day. The priviledge of specialness that is only rewarded to some people, because of some outstanding inner quality. Several outstanding inner qualities. A whole bunch of them. I have known I had them since I was a child, they've sometimes gone unrecognized because of circumstances, but they were there all along.

I could be the Queen's sister and still feel more elevated than she is, actually. I'd have no problem taking the crown from her head and putting it on my own head and wearing it daily, although it may be a bit cumbersome. I'd wear the neatest royal gowns that would make an impression that nobody would forget. Full of glory I'd walk down the palace steps and make a daily ride in my royal coach.

Ah, but it's better not to be the queen and to be unrestrained and let my über-specialness have the free reign and go wherever it wants to take me in the world in which I live and where I can shine in my brightness and stand out in my uniqueness and be one with, but above my fellow man.Where I can sit on a café terrace and pretend that all the people who walk by, walk by for my purpose, so I may look at them.

Now I have to end this epistle and walk my super dog and feed him and watch the news and feed myself too. I can do all these things if I hurry.

Have a lovely evening.

Ciao...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday evening.


I am pleasantly established in my chair here with a mug of decaf and my inevitable cigarette, home made of strong tobacco, and I've just walked the dog for the last time today, which is good, because my little toe is hurting. Toby is staring out the window and Gandhi is curled up by the teddy bear. Peace reigns and all is quiet.

I've stopped being so awfully tired all the time since I've quit taking the Temazepam and I now can easily last the whole day without taking a nap. I'm not yawning in the middle of the afternoon and have energy left to do things.

Today I pedaled straight from creative therapy to the tobacco shop and missed the Exfactor by minutes. He had been by and left a note saying he had a sore back from mowing his lawns and that he would be back tomorrow. I hope his back recovers quickly, because he's supposed to help me exchange my bedroom on Sunday. That's the plan anyway. He thinks it's going to be an easy chore, but then he's the optimist and I'm the realist.

I had a lovely day today and woke up in my bed after having fallen asleep on the sofa with the TV on. Sometime during the night I made the switch. The bed is really much more comfortable than the sofa on which om right arm always dangles of the side and swells up my hand. Also my face gets squashed on the sofa cushion and I get wrinkles in it. It's not a pretty sight and I have to use lots of cold water to try and get rid of them.

Like I said, I had creative therapy again today, but in a different room and with a different therapist. I made a print with my lino cut again that wont fit in the press, so after inking it very well and putting it face down on the paper, I sat on it. I figured my weight would be enough to make a good print and I was right. It turned out well. Now it has to dry a long time before I can take it home, but I've taken a picture of it and one of these days I'll download it and show you it, Not today, because I've only got that one picture to download.

After that, I decided to doodle, since almost everybody else was doodling too and it was very inspiring. So, I doodled my time away with a fine tipped black pen and found it very enjoyable. Now I can't wait to finish it and doodle something else, because I've gotten a taste of it. I do have the patience for it, though, but I make landscapes. Jungles. Actually, a little pop art sneaks in. I don't know if I'm going to color it, or if I'm going to leave it black and white, I just have to wait and see.

I left the house without a jacket in the morning, which was fine, but by the afternoon it got real warm and I was overdressed. When I got home, I put on a tank top which was nice and cool and walked the dog in it. My bare arms haven't seen so much sun since last summer. I do need a little bit of color, but my older sister gets hers from a jar and I may try that. It's better than sitting in the sun getting wrinkled.

I exchanged my boots for my funky lace up ankle boots. I hadn't worn those in a long time and now I feel like a rocker again. I'm going to wear my black mini skirt tomorrow with those. There's always a plan. Always.

I am going to get into my pajamas now and have something to eat and then watch the eight o'clock news. Maybe something earth shattering has happened. Well, it happens continually, we've just become immune to it.

Have a splendid evening, everyone. Don't do anything I wouldn't do.

Ciao...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday afternoon.


There's an ambulance parked outside my living room windows and I didn't even notice it pull up there, so it didn't come with a siren. Now the big mystery is why is it here? Which neighbor is in trouble? Well, apparently nobody, because the ambulance personnel just came out without a person on the gurney and pushed it back into the ambulance and left. It must have been a false alarm. Mmm...stuff happens around here and you never know why or how and what for. Very interesting.

Well, that was a small diversion this afternoon. At least nothing serious happened.

I'm sitting here with my diet Coke, burping very ladylike every once in a while because of the carbonation, but since I'm the only one here, I figure it's okay and I can let them happen.

I was up briefly at 3 am and sent some emails, but had enough sense to go back to sleep until the alarm clock woke me. For a change, I was wide awake when it did and I needed only one mug of coffee to get me kick started. Nowadays, that is a record and unheard of.

I need thirty minutes to get myself put together. The dog waits patiently by the bathroom door. He's full of excitement when I turn the light off, because it means we're going for a walk. I stuff baggies in my pocket and my keys and off we go on our regular round.

The Überhund ignores all the other dogs we meet, unless it is a new one and then he wants to find out if it's a boy or a girl. You know how dogs do that. But after the first meeting he has no interest in them whatsoever. Not even if they very happily run up to him with their tails wagging.

I had creative therapy today and made it over there on time to sit on the deck and have an espresso. The weather was fairly nice, but I had my jacket on. Sitting on the deck is nice, except that there aren't enough benches to sit on and I guess nobody finds it necessary to put some more out there. There are always people leaning against the windowsills and the railings.

I was stuck on my sculpture last week and could not figure out the other side of it and how to finish it, but I was inspired today and did it. Suddenly I knew how to do it and it turned out fine. I was able to hollow it out too and now it is slowly drying under a plastic sheet so as to not dry to quickly. That means I start a new one next week and I have looked some up that I may give a try, or I may make a design of my own. I'll see what I want to do. There is also a sculptress named Barbara Hepworth I want to look up. She also does/did abstracts.

The morning went by quickly. It always does when you're pleasantly occupied and things go smoothly. You want that morning to last the whole day, but I did need to get home to the Überhund and feed him and walk him and be his best companion.

Lately, he doesn't wake up when I get home and he's asleep. I think he is getting a little hard of hearing, because he barks at nothing and thinks he hears things when there is nothing to hear. He just suddenly starts to bark, but looks around somewhat confused, as if he doesn't know what he is barking at.
I had neglected my fig plant and the result were some yellow leaves that I had to cut off. That's the first time that's happened. The ground was very dry and I gave it a whole bunch of water. The baby leaves that were drooping have perked back up again, but I have to keep a close eye on it, because I think it's having a growth spurt and it probably wants water more often.

I've moved the hardy fern to the window, but it needs to be repotted to a larger pot, because it dries out too quickly now. It's barely hanging in there and if I don't do something fast, I may loose it. It's a bad sign if my plants don't do well. It means I'm neglecting things and that's no good. I have to stay on the ball a bit better.

The summer programming has started on the TV now and there are a lot of new talk shows. I miss the old ones that were very good, but they won't start again until September. At least we don't have endless reruns here.

It's time to walk the dog and watch the news, so I've got to go. It's been pleasant chatting at you, but all good things must end.

Have a lovely evening, and no, it's not raining here. Hurray!

Ciao...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday when we are lazy and at rest.


I'm having a wonderful mug of coffee and my inevitable cigarette and the Überhund is momentarily distracted while licking his paw. That means he has forgotten the myriad of things he wants me to do for him in the morning. Sometimes he is just a spoiled dog who doesn't know what he wants and decides to be fussy just for the hell of it. Either that, or we're having a big misunderstanding, which is just as likely, because I'm preoccupied and not paying the correct amount of attention.

Before I forget and before I do anything else, I want to post this photograph of my friend Von, so you will all know who I hang out with every Friday afternoon.

It's always nice to put a face to the name, isn't it? The fact that this is a very attractive face helps. Von is tall and skinny and when she walks downtown with her greyhound she turns quite a few heads. They are a perfect match. She turns heads without the greyhound too.

I fell asleep on the sofa and just continued sleeping there, even after I woke up at 3 am to go to the toilet. It's me and that sofa again, or I should say, me and that bed, which I have such a hard time sleeping in. I must change bedrooms quickly and not even wait for the paint on the walls. I have such a dislike for my bedroom, that I don't like sleeping in it. That's not good. I'll have to call the Exfactor today and see when he has time to help me change it around.

In the meantime, I've fed and walked the dog and now he is quite happily snoring on the floor beside me. Of course, I wasn't at all well put together. My hair was pointing in all directions and I had no make up on, but I couldn't be bothered just to walk the dog. It would be the height of vanity to get all dolled up for that early in the morning. The poor dog already was impatient enough.

We had the European Song Festival on TV last night and although I started watching it, I fell asleep very soon into it and have no idea who won. The Netherlands didn't even make it through the half finales, which was not surprising, because it was a very bad song. We haven't come up with a good song in years. They all sound alike, like European Song Festival Songs and there's nothing original about them. We go in there with an attitude as if we're going to win and I'm thinking all along, no way, boys! Talk about fooling yourselves.

I keep on not doing the few household duties that I'm supposed to do. I keep finding excuses not to do them, like: oh, it is late in the day now, it can wait until tomorrow. Or: it's not that bad, if I postpone it one day it won't matter. Of course, I keep postponing everything one day and never get around to it, so today I must. I have to get the kitchen cleaned up, the plants watered and the laundry folded and put away. On Sunday, the day of rest, but I must do it to get a good start to the week.

I must also try and put in a full week of therapies and not cut one day if I can help it, even though I know there will be mornings when I want to stay in bed and sleep some more.

I just looked at the spare bedroom and saw how much stuff there is to move out of there. So many boxes, it makes your head spin. What a mess! There's no way I can tackle that job on my own. I had a small sparkle of hope that I could, but no. It looks like a dumping ground. I would be a broken woman at the end of the day if I tried to do that on my own. It needs muscle power.

I better stick to the things I have to do today. Which include washing my hair again. I will do that first.

Have yourself a super Sunday with lots of nice weather.

Ciao...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday at noon.


As I was saying, when I was so rudely interrupted by my sleepiness last night, I had a fun time with Von. We sat under the canopy of the café, while it rained out in the street, and I drank cappuccinos and had no desire for a beer, because my mood was so good that I saw no need to alter it.

Von said that I was in such a good mood that it was radiating off me and she was almost afraid to sit next to me, that's how strong it was. I do have to add that I had been very down lately, so there definitely is a difference.

I think the fact that I've cut down on the Temazepam during the day has given me a lot of energy also, I'm not half asleep all the time anymore. Yesterday I didn't take any during the day and I was fine and I haven't had any today yet either. I do take 20 mg at night to help me sleep, so some sort of equilibrium exists.

I was feeling great and the weather wasn't getting me down at all. We had a perfect spot and sat next to some Flemish women, who spoke in a dialect that was so thick, that they sounded like they came from a Slavic country. They spoke Dutch to the waiter, though, with their neat accents.

When Von and I parted, it was still raining and there was nothing else to do but get on my bike and ride it home as quickly as possible, without trying to hit confused, wandering into the streets tourists. They are a menace to all traffic, but I would have a real accident if I hit one of them.

I didn't shop. How about that? I'm such a penny pincher right now. I think twice before I spend any money and then only on what is necessary. Which reminds me that I have to go to the store today. Oh heck, I'm so not in the mood for that. Well, it's only for a few things.

The Exfactor was here this morning to look at the shower head, but couldn't fix it. The attachment that holds it up can't be tightened, so I will have to call the fix it people whom I have a contract with for these kinds of home repairs. They'll probably replace the whole thing, which would be fine with me.

The Überhund has become super alert lately and if there is even the mildest threat that he thinks a stranger is going to come into our apartment, he barks very fiercely. More so than he has done in the past. He watches the windows carefully and is alert to any sound, which makes him a good guard dog. He does make me feel safe, although I rarely worry. Living alone in this apartment does not bother me.

I fell asleep on the sofa last night and woke up there at five am with the TV on and all the lights burning. I got up for a while, but then went back to sleep for a bit until I was done sleeping properly.

I dreamed of a man who said he had known me since I was a little girl. Since my name was Johanna Willemijn. He showed me pictures of myself and it was really me. He said he was here to marry me and to take care of me properly, because so far nobody had. He said he had been in Indonesia all this time and waiting for the right moment to get back. He felt very familiar to me, as if I had known him my whole life. Am I having prophetic dreams? All my men seem to come from the East. I must face to the East, to where the sun rises. Maybe I should journey there.

The windows need to be washed. I am waiting for a gnome to come and do that overnight. You can see exactly where Toby sneezed on them. Since Toby is done sneezing now, they need to be cleaned. Maybe I will even do that myself, although I want to do it with Glass-ex, because I don't have a bucket to make good suds in. I should put that on my wish list. One good bucket! Along with a bottle of very nice perfume.

Well, I need to do some housewifely duties, even without a husband you need to do those. First the dishes and then the laundry and then the groceries.

Have a super Saturday, everyone. Oh, hallelujah, tomorrow is a day of rest!

Ciao...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fiday night and all is well.

My hair is a little bit disheveled from getting rained on a bit three times this afternoon, but it doesn't matter, because I'm in my pajamas now and I walked the dog for the last time and nobody is going to see me now. Besides, I don't look all that bad, just a little bit rained on and I can fix it in the morning when I have the energy, because I am starting to yawn now and that means it's getting close to bedtime.

I don't want it to be close to bedtime, because I'm having a splendid day and I want it to last just a little bit longer. At least another hour or so, but I'm getting the distinct impression that I'm not going to last that long, unless I drink a mug of regular coffee and I don't want to do that. I have decided to drink more decaf and I am gong to stick to that decision. I am trying to not move up and down the energy ladder too artificially too much.

I had a great time at creative therapy this morning painting my sculpture that was done and I took all morning getting it done, because the therapist wasn't there to give me good input, so I had to do it on my own as good and as bad as I could. It was quite a job, but I think in the end it turned out okay, and then I promptly gave it away to someone who had been coveting it from the start very much and who had been in love with the whole design all along.

So, when I was done I said, "There, do you like it? If so, then it is yours." Of course, he was very happy with it and I didn't mind, because it is not one of my favorite sculptures that I made and there are others coming to take its place.

It reminded him of some of the buildings he had seen in Istanbul and the tulip shapes of some of the domes. He was very taken with Istanbul and that is why he liked this sculpture so much. So, I did a good deed and made somebody happy today.

After that, it was homeward bound for a good fifteen minute rest before I took the Überhund for his walk. I fed him his Butcher's first and had some coffee while he ate. His chief motivation to eat seems to be to prevent the cats from eating it. He very jealously guards his food and growls very hard when they get near it. Of course, they are not at all impressed, but just walk by as if they don't give a darn.

When we got back, I spent some time taking pictures of the animals and I even got down on the ground to get on their level for a better shot.

Here is Jesker going for the dignified look...

And here he is barking at imaginary burglars.

Here is Gandhi looking very dignified...

And here she is waiting very patiently for me to get done.

And here is Toby just being a cat while he tries to look out the window.

After dawdling around for a little while, it was time for me to go see my SPN and when I was almost there, it started to rain and drops of it ran down my head and I parked my bike in a hurry and ran inside.

We had a good talk, because I was in a nice normal mood, although I had not seen her for three weeks, but I had improved quite a bit since then. My depressed mood is over and I am kind of cheerful now and she has no problem with me cutting down on the Temazepam, even cutting it down completely during the day. So all in all we had a good productive talk and I left there feeling good and with a list of new appointments in my wallet. I was kind of shining all over.

When I got outside, it was still raining, but not badly and I decided to brave the weather and hop on my bike for my appointment with Von. It wasn't a long bike ride, just long enough to get a little more wet. Von had found a place to sit under a canopy of a café on the Our Dear Lady Square and we very cozily sat there watching the people walk by with or without umbrellas, but all with a mission to go some place. The big parasols on the square were all opened so all the tables there were safe from the rain and customers were sitting out there too.

Jeez, I'm too tired to finish this story. I'll have to continue with it tomorrow. I'm yawning something awful. It's bedtime.

I'll see you all in the morning. Goodnight, don't let the bed bugs bite.

Ciao...