Friday, September 24, 2010

Trying for inspiration in the early morning!


I've had my first cup of coffee and the cobwebs of sleep are removed from my mind. I will have my second cup next, after I first take my medicines, because I almost forgot about them. So, I quickly took them and poured my second cup of coffee and now I'm ready to try and write something interesting and inspiring. 

I think my last post was especially dull, but it was written when I was exceptionally tired and not really in the right frame of mind to write a post. I went to bed immediately afterwards and was sound asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. As a matter of fact, I was dozing off while I was still sitting behind the computer, so that shows you what a silly woman I can be. You shouldn't blog when you are half asleep and pretending you're not. Nothing good will come of it. I am such a stubborn woman sometimes, that I think I can't end the day unless I've written a post. The fact that I may not have anything to say doesn't enter into the equation.

So now is the morning of a busy day, but it is still early and I don't feel rushed yet. I will get excited in about two hours when time will start to press. I must shower and wash my hair again, because it is flattened against my head on one side and I look like I've been slapped upside the head and I'm completely crooked. I must make an appointment with my hairdresser and get my hair cut on the sides and in the back. Not on the top, it is the perfect length there. I'm moving away from punky hair and going for a little bit more sedate look, but one I can still make look unruly and mess around with if I want. 

At least I know which clothes I'm wearing today and because It's going to be a cool day, I'll be wearing my cowboy boots. I've not worn them in a long time and it will be fun to put them on again and step around like a tough broad. Not that I especially feel like one. I haven't got that attitude about me at all. I feel more like a kindly earth mother who is all goodness and graciousness and wouldn't harm a fly. The tranquilizers make me much too mellow to be a broad with an attitude and kick ass boots. Come to think of it, maybe I should wear different boots, so nobody gets the wrong impression. Do you think it will matter or will the benign look on my face speak words? 

I've stopped drinking coffee and am drinking cold orange juice now. It's a special brand that's supposed to be very good and I must say that it tastes better than what I usually get. I could easily drink three or four glasses of it. I got it from my sister who had too much of it and an overloaded refrigerator. I'm buying this brand from now on, because I like it a lot better. See how easily I can be persuaded to switch brands? Just put something better in front of me, that's all it takes. I don't care about the price. It's the taste that matters. I had been drinking my juice rather reluctantly and hardly at all lately. It languished in the refrigerator and only when I almost ran out of milk did I drink it. I thought I just didn't like juice very much.

Well, I must get going. It's that time of the morning. I'm not looking forward to the shower, because it is cold in here and the windows are still open. Still, I must be brave and do it. Then I have to go and walk Tyke before it starts to rain. 

Have a good morning!

Ciao,
Nora

 

A little nap...

I took what was supposed to be a little after dinner nap, but woke up four hours later instead, all sweaty and hot and bothered. I took off some clothes to cool off and made myself a cup of coffee and quickly came to my senses again and now it's raining outside and for some reason that sounds just right and I wish to go stand in it and let myself get completely wet. It's thundering and lightening too, though, so I guess I better not. It's really pouring down hard, it's raining buckets, sort to say.

Today I waited for my package with the long sleeved top to get here, but when it didn't at the usual time, I checked the mailbox and sure enough, it was in there. At least I didn't waste the rest of the afternoon waiting for it, because I did have to walk Tyke. I tried on the top right away and I'm happy with it. It fits perfectly and is gray, which is the fashion color this winter, and it can be worn layered with another top underneath. I wore it when I took Tyke for his walk, because I was already wearing the perfect clothes to go with it. Never let it be said that I'm not well dressed when I walk the dog.

It was a perfectly lovely day. The sun was shining and it was pleasantly warm. The rain that had been predicted had not come yet. This will have been our last nice weather. After this we get cooler temperatures and more rain, real autumn weather. Well, it is almost October after all. Can you believe that? The leaves are changing color and there is an autumn like quality in the air. The sun is lower on the horizon and sets earlier in the evening. It becomes dawn later and the birds aren't up as early. I tell myself that I don't mind these things, and I think I really don't, it's only the dead of winter I don't like.

The Exfactor was supposed to be here today, but this morning I got an email from him saying that he would not come and that he would be here tomorrow instead. There was no reason why. Now, tomorrow is a bad day for me and he knows it. That's when my personal helper is here and my domestic help. I also have an appointment with my psychiatrist. He's done this to me before, cancel without an explanation and come on a day when it was not convenient at all and it really ticks me off. I said so in a return email. It seems that something better comes along and that he just changes his mind. I haven't heard a thing from him yet and he will probably just show up some time tomorrow. Gggrrr!

I mustn't let that aggravation spoil my mood, which was nice and mellow. I intend to be in a good mood before I go to bed. I'm slowly getting ready to. I'm already yawning and any minute now I'm going to put on my pajamas.

I hope you all have a good night!

Ciao,
Nora

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Something not to do...


I mustn't get up in the middle of the night when I am actually still sleepy enough to go back to bed after I've gone to the toilet and let Tyke out back even though I feel good and it's tempting to sit behind the computer in that mood and answer emails. If I do stay up, I get tired in the morning and have to go back to bed and sleep the rest of the morning and don't get a thing done. Then when I finally do get up, I have cobwebs in my head and I need several cups of coffee to get in a functioning mode again. So it's just a bunch of silliness and I do hope that I remember tonight to go back to bed after I've been up for the necessities.

I did shower and wash my hair and get dressed up. I wore a pair of black leggings, a black denim mini skirt, a black tank top with red flowers and my new red cardigan that's so funky. I also wore my ankle boots and a lot of perfume. I thought I looked nice. Not bad for an old lady anyway. A middle aged croon. I did want to make a good impression, after all. Never let it be said that I under dress.

Full of tranquilizers and courage I rode my bike to my creative class, which turned out to be such an easy thing to do. I very leisurely made my way over there and I was not nervous one bit. I got there right on time and walked straight into the room and introduced myself to the person in charge, who happened to be a very nice man. He asked me what I would like to do and I told him that I wanted to work with clay and that I did have experience with it and I mentioned my other therapy class.

So, a work place was made available to me and I got all the materials I wanted and went to work. This time I'm not copying anything from a picture, but I'm trying to make something up myself and let me tell you, it is tough. I'm really working very hard at it to make it look like something and I change my mind as I go along and reshape it and cut pieces off and add pieces. It will be a lot of hard work to get it to look like anything that I will be satisfied with, but I've got all the time in the world and I get to work on it again on Monday. It easier to copy something, though, then to make something up.

I didn't really get to know anybody in the class. They seemed to be very paired up and palls with each other, but the teacher is a very nice man and so is his volunteer. Nobody took their coffee break at the same time, while I took mine at the official time and I sat outside in the gazebo with some people from other groups, but none of them were very forthcoming. Hopefully that will be different on Monday. I just have to get into the swing of things and not be such a stranger. It's a shame, though, that I don't speak dialect, because they all do.

The time went by quickly enough and before I knew it, it was time to clean up. I had to place my sculpture under a damp cloth and in a plastic bag and put it on a shelf. I'll have to think about it this week and decide what I want to improve about it by looking at the sculptures I have at home and maybe look in the sculpture photograph book on Monday to get some ideas. There are some obvious things I'm doing wrong and I can't remember how to do them right.

I'm looking forward to Monday afternoon anyway now that I have a taste of it. I'm very excited about continuing my project and making it come out right, no matter how long it takes.

I walked Tyke straight away when I got home. He had been a good boy while I was gone and had not gotten into any trouble. I don't really know what he does when I'm not home, but he seems to come from my bedroom when I walk into the door. Maybe he just lies on the bed there and waits for me to come back.

After I walked Tyke, I put on my pajamas and my bathrobe and I've been very comfortable ever since. It's nice to be dressed up, but it's equally nice to be super comfortable in your socks and sleepwear.

Tomorrow the Exfactor is coming over and I'm expecting a package. It's a long sleeved top that only cost me 2.50 Euros, because I got a coupon and I went to the sales section of the on line store. I saved more than 30 Euros. I love a good deal. I just hope the top is as nice as it looked on the picture. I hope it becomes me. I also have to do the laundry and change the bed and do some ironing. I have one load drying, one load in the machine and one load coming up. How can one person generate so much washing?

The tranquilizers are saving my life. I would not have done nearly as well today without them. I doubt I would have made it to creative class. I would have been a right mess. And a depressed one on top of it. I'm ever so grateful for them.

Have a good night you all.

Ciao,
Nora

How the magic works...


I'm very comfortably and contentedly sitting here in the very early hours of the morning having my second cup of freshly made coffee. All is well with the world and that is a very far cry from how I have felt for the last several days or so. I am happy to report that the days of anxiety and depression seem to be behind me now and that I am as relaxed as a newly unfolded leaf on a tree in the springtime and that all my worries and stress have dropped off my shoulders like so many tons of bricks.

I talked to my psychiatrist over the phone yesterday and got his permission to use the tranquilizers during the day as well and this has made so much difference that I feel like a newborn person. Instead of wanting to cower under the duvet in bed, I feel that I can face things again and function like an able bodied person and perform my duties and, because I feel no anxiety, the depression is kept at bay too.

I wasn't about to let this problem I was having simmer on the back burner endlessly and I realized that I needed to take a proactive role in solving it. I thought the most obvious thing to do would be to get rid of the large amount of anxiety and the only way I knew to do that was with the use of tranquilizers, so when I took my first ones on my own and noticed the difference, I knew I was on the right track. Since then, the anxiety has not returned and I have felt good ever since.

I was able to do some jobs around the house and walk Tyke and sit down and relax and watch some television, which I had not been able to do. I even ate a decent meal, which had gone by the wayside also. I had been eating snack foods or nothing much at all. I had however been drinking copious amounts of milk and juice, so I was not totally deficient of nutrients.

I feel able to face the day now, which involves going to the post office to mail those packages and going to my first creative class. I was dreading going to the post office and I can't tell you why. It just seemed like an enormous impossible task that I was not capable of. I think I can now do it easily. I'm also not worried about going to the creative class. I will be fine. It's just a five minute ride on my bike away from here and it's not a strange place for me. The creative class is in the same space where I had my creative therapy class. The people will be different and the person leading the class will be different, but all the materials will be the same. If I get through this day alright, it will be proof to me that I can do more than I think I'm capable of.

It's not nearly dawn yet, but I think I will jump in the shower and wash my hair. I can't do a thing with it. I need to be properly dressed for my day out too. That means picking out something different than what I have been wearing lately. A new day with a new outfit. Hurray!

Have a nice day!

Ciao,
Nora

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stress-less.


I had so much anxiety that I was afraid to be alone with my own thoughts. Everywhere I looked, the black dog prowled around and I don't mean Tyke by that. I couldn't find any peace of mind. I finally took two tranquilizers and they have now started to work and I feel a bit calmer. I have also asked for my psychiatrist to call me, because I want to talk to him before I see him on Friday. I must get some help before that time if I'm to survive in one piece.

At the suggestion of someone very smart, I've asked the powers who are in charge to move my domestic help to another time and/or day, so that I will be able to go to my creative class on Monday afternoon. I had not even thought of that myself. It's a good thing that someone else out there was doing the thinking for me.

This morning I paid the bills and got my paperwork in order. I made up the packages to mail, but I didn't go to the post office. It was beyond me and I'm planning on doing it tomorrow morning. Going somewhere is a real chore. I have to build up a whole strategy around it. I can't just spontaneously walk out the door. Everything takes a lot of courage that I'm short of.

The smallest things are super complicated and I have to think the process through all the way to the end before I begin them, otherwise they are too intimidating. It can be something as simple as watering the plants. It seems like a very difficult chore and like it is too much responsibility for me. I could kill them by giving them too much or too little water, so I do nothing and put it off. I will get it done this afternoon and write it down in my agenda. I'm going to write down all my little achievements. It will make it look like I am still capable. Like I'm still worth something. It will make my agenda look full too.

I've just had a cup of coffee and it has straightened out my head. It's funny how I always need a cup of coffee to do that for me or I can't think straight. It makes such a difference. I make six cups in the morning, but I don't drink them all. I reheat a cup as I need it in the microwave. It's a little bitter, but it does the job and I take milk in it, so that softens the blow. I could never function without coffee and I don't know how people manage on tea alone. I would be very miserable on it. I would not do well at all.

The tranquilizers are working properly now and I'm not filled with anxiety anymore. I'm actually feeling relaxed, as far as that is possible. They do take a load of my mind and I should always feel this way. Life would be so much more manageable and easier to take and the black dog has retreated. He's now lurking in the foothills.

Suddenly things don't seem so overwhelming anymore and I think I can now water the plants without having a nervous breakdown. I think I can even hang up the laundry and make my bed. It's even possible that I will be able to read my book again, which I have not been able to do for a couple of days. That would be very nice. I've gotten more books in the mail and I now have all the books that I had ordered with the gift certificate that I got from my daughter. I have enough reading material anyway, so it's a shame when I don't have the concentration to read. I haven't even been able to watch television.

Tyke's having a lie down in the sunshine on the dining table and is watching the children get out of school. It's one of his favorite pastimes, because he does like children so very much. Every once in a while a dog also walks by on a leash and that really gets his attention, but he never barks, he just looks. I think he likes little dogs the most. They seem to really perk him up. He's just a friendly little guy and thinks the world is filled with equally friendly creatures.

Well, you've been witness to a metamorphosis. I've gone from anxious to calm. I think I will have one more cup of coffee and then get on with the chores. I have courage now, so I have to grab the bull by the proverbial horns.

Have a good rest of the day.

Ciao,
Nora

On the road again...


I went to bed early last night and took some extra tranquilizers and managed to sleep through the night, which was very pleasant and something I needed to do. It felt very good to fall into a sound sleep and to wake up refreshed and not tired anymore. Initially I only had one reheated cup of coffee, but I just decided to make a fresh pot, so that I will be ready to take care of some much needed to do chores and get those out of the way while it is still early in the day. I have to take advantage of the momentum and the courage that I still have early in the morning, before all of the anxiety hits me. I have to pay bills and get some packages ready for the mail and then actually go to the post office to mail them. That will be the real test of my courage.

It's terrible not to know where your mood is going to take you on a day. I am rather insecure right now and unsure of how I will be able to pull things off. I'm going to act as if everything is okay and I can do whatever comes my way without the least amount of trouble, but that's not how it feels inside. I feel like I should perform some magic ritual to make to outcome more sure and to make myself more steady. If I drink just the right amount of coffee and smoke just the right amount of cigarettes, maybe everything will turn out right. Of course, I should also take my medicines on time and not a minute too late or too early.

I have turned on the day light therapy lamp just in case that's going to alleviate my mood some. I hope it helps and I will use it for a while and see if it makes a difference. I should know after a few days if it does.

Tyke is sound asleep on the sofa and has not let me know yet that he needs to go for a walk. He is snoring just a little bit and it sounds very cozy. Gandhi is asleep in the armchair, my favorite chair to sit in, but she's welcome to it for now. I'll be sitting behind the computer for a while yet. I can pay all the bills on line. At least those are the conveniences of these modern times. Thank goodness for them.

The day is starting. The paper delivery person has just come by. It is the first noise I've heard this morning. He does ride on an irritating sounding scooter. What a way to wake up the neighborhood.

I think I will walk Tyke first and pay the bills next. It will be good to get some fresh air while it is still relatively quiet outside and the traffic hasn't started up yet. It's just beginning to become dawn.

Have a good day.

Ciao,
Nora

Monday, September 20, 2010

Back at it again...

I just got called by someone from the clinic to tell me that I can start my creative class Wednesday afternoon. I could also go on Monday afternoon, but I explained that I have my domestic help here then. I was told to try and make a different arrangement with the person who leads the class. At any rate, they are trying to give me two afternoons, so that's not bad. I asked for two classes and they are willing to give them to me if there is space.

I am worried about going to the class, because I'm in that kind of a mood again. I feel very insecure and rather depressed. I'm frankly not doing so well and what I want to do more than anything is crawl away in a corner and never come out. That won't do, though, and I do try to function up to some point. I worry about having to take care of things and not being able to and I find myself postponing what I think is unpleasant and difficult. My courage is lacking.

Needless to say, I'm smoking again. All I was doing anymore is lie in bed and sleep. It was a depressing existence, but I knew no other way to survive. Any time I was up, all I could think about were cigarettes and how much I wanted to smoke. I fled to bed to escape the thoughts of them. I thought I was going to manage that way, but I was wrong.

What I really need is for someone to come and take care of some of the more difficult things now, but I'm afraid that I have to take care of them myself. I'll give myself today to recuperate, but I hope that tomorrow I have my act together better.

I'm going to lie down now and listen to the radio. It's the least uncomplicated thing I can think of. It's safe too.

Ciao,
Nora

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Falling down hard...


At 10:30 this morning I went to the gas station and bought a pack of cigarettes and I have been smoking them ever since. I am going to smoke every cigarette until they're all gone and then I'm going to quit all over again. A terrible desire to smoke came over me and I couldn't contain myself any longer. I wasn't looking forward to the day and had not slept well. I was worried about coping and couldn't imagine the day without a cigarette. I could have just had two or three, but now that I have them, I want all of them. It seems like they are the most precious things I've ever had. They are so neat and pretty in their rectangular pack. I'm in trouble, aren't I?

I will assume that this is just an episode I'm going through, like a drunk falling off the wagon. I'll get back on the wagon as soon as I can. As soon as all these cigarettes are gone anyway, because I'm enjoying them too much. I'm not courageous enough to flush them down the toilet. Not yet, anyway.

I didn't sleep well and at first didn't even go to bed. I sat in my armchair with my book and fell asleep there. I woke up a few hours later and turned on the computer. I should have gone straight to bed, but I don't seem to be thinking clearly these last 24 hours. I did make it to bed eventually, but I didn't sleep long enough and now my schedule is all messed up.

I think my increasingly bad mood has to do with the fact that I'm smoking and I just flushed the rest of my cigarettes down the toilet. I'm sure that the poisonous chemicals are not good for my state of mind. On top of that I was awfully disappointed with myself and I didn't like my own behavior. I would only dislike myself more if I kept on smoking. I tore the cigarettes in pieces and threw them in the toilet bowl. There, that's it. I need to be able to feel proud of myself and like my behavior. I know I can live without smoking. I just have to continue to do it. Come hell or high water.

It's not been a good weekend to tell you the truth. I've been out of sorts and I don't know how much stopping smoking has to do with it. In reality I think smoking does my mood no good and I think it is just an illusion for me to think that it does. I actually feel better when I don't smoke. It's the habit of smoking that I miss and the instant gratification, but in the long term I don't think it helps me be in a good mood at all.

But still, I do miss smoking and having to think of other ways to fill my time and keeping myself occupied and having to direct my restless hands and mind along other paths not previously taken. I would be a liar if I said that was not true. What I must try to do is keep my life simplified and not add stress to it by not getting enough sleep and upsetting my schedule and doing things that I normally would not do. I need to keep myself focused on each individual moment and not anticipate so much and try to look into the unforeseen future and worry, which is what I was starting to do.

I have to try, while I quit smoking, to live from moment to moment and not make things so difficult for myself. I have a tendency to want to complicate my life when it shouldn't be necessary that I do, or when it is even silly to, and I must break that bad habit. I do have to cut myself some slack and go easy on myself. There's no reason to prove that I can jump through hoops. I will once again return to this moment, right now, and be present in the reality of my life and see the simplicity of it. I've made it uncomplicated for a reason.

I'm glad and relieved that I threw those cigarettes away. I was worried about having to smoke the whole pack. I thought that's what I wanted, but I was not comfortable with the idea. It bothered me that I was so willful.

I'm going to read my book now, or better yet, take a nap. I think that will be nice. It will settle my mind and I will be in a better mood to go celebrate my nephew's 16th birthday later today.

Ciao,
Nora

In the evening...


There are whole periods of time when I forget about cigarettes and I don't think about them at all. When I'm so preoccupied that the fact that I used to smoke does not even register on my memory. It's very pleasant when it doesn't and kind of bothersome when I do remember it, although I think that I can easily forget cigarettes again if I can keep them off my mind for such a long time. I push the thought of them back into oblivion and concentrate on something else. Every time I do that successfully and manage to distract myself, I figure that I have the winning hand and that I will get better at not smoking with every day that passes, although right now I'm happy with every hour of the day that I pass without smoking.

I divide my day up in sections and each section knows its difficult time that I have to get through and somehow I find a way to cope with it. I find that keeping my mind occupied is a very good way to deal with the desire to smoke, because one of the reasons I want to smoke is because I get bored and sit and stare at the walls. That's a definite thing not to do and I must always make sure that I'm actively engaged in something with my head. I must either be reading or blogging or emailing, if I'm not doing that, I lie in bed and listen to the radio and take a nap.

Another thing to do is chores, although I don't have that many, because the apartment seems to stay so clean and there's hardly anything to do. I'm a much neater person now that I don't spend so much of my time smoking and making a mess with my ashes and tobacco. I'm constantly picking up fuzzy bits and things from the carpet and putting them in the unused ashtray that's very clean. The desk and table surfaces aren't getting dirty. I don't waste half of my life inhaling smoke.

No, keeping my mind occupied is the best thing to do. It also helps if I drink coffee and you would think that the opposite would be true, but I find that it calms my mind and distracts me from wanting to have a cigarette. If I just sip coffee I do fine and feel no need to smoke.

I've been to bed, although it's not late at night yet, but I found it impossible to sleep. I was lying there with a crowded mind, thinking of a hundred things all at once and not being distracted by the radio enough. That's because it's Saturday night and sports are on and I'm not interested in sports persé. I don't care about the football matches and about handball and gymnastics on talk radio without the pictures. I can think of more exciting things to listen to. Surely there are more interesting discussions to be held than these sports reports.

There's a big difference in radio interviewers too. Some of them are very good and well informed and the discussions are very rewarding and informative. Some of them don't know what the heck they are talking about and don't take advantage of the knowledge of the person that sits across from them. It's very frustrating, because I'm talking back to the radio and saying, ask them this or that, please, that's what I want to know. A good interviewer does, a bad interviewer makes a mess of it. Sometimes the potentially interesting guest turns out to be very boring and shallow and is a lost cause, but the program needs to be filled with him anyway. Those are hard times.

Anyway, I was lying there thinking about a hundred different things and none of them were really important as they were all silly 'what if situations' that I imagined myself getting into and what I would do to get out of them. It was a case of doomsday thinking with one scenario being worse than the other and totally unnecessary to waste my time on.That's why I got up. It was useless to lie there and do it any longer. I had to stop that train of thought. It's a kind of obsessive way of thinking that gets a hold of you and you get deeper into it before you know it and start to think it is really pertinent to your life that you solve these problems that don't exist. I'm glad I'm now realizing that these are exercises in futility before they lead me down the road to madness too much. It's like seeing a murderer behind every tree and imagining what your tactic will be to deal with him when he decides to strike. Sometimes I have an overdose of imagination.

Tomorrow will be the true day of rest, if today already wasn't. Today was a rehearsal for tomorrow, let's put it that way. It will be the most quiet day of the week, although church bells will ring all day long, jubilantly. That's part of the Sunday pleasure, as long as you ignore the implications behind the ringing of the bells. It's all so tainted now, but probably has been for a long time. Still Sundays are sacred days and are the most peaceful days of the week and I do appreciate that. It's alright for the world to fall silent and for there not to be a rush on the stores and downtown, except to stroll through the nearly empty streets from one café to the other. It's a shame I don't have a partner anymore to do that with, husbands are good to have around to do those kinds of things with. Husbands do have their merits on occasion. If they are the least bit interesting and loyal.

I'm looking at the night ahead. It's nearly midnight now and I'll have to go to bed shortly. There's no other way about it, I must go to sleep. I'm full of life and not really ready to go to bed, but neither do I have a reason to stay up. I think I've read all the blogs there are to read and I've commented on them. There's no other recourse but to call it a night and hope that once I go to bed, I stay in bed and don't get it in my head to get up again in the middle of the night. I can always read my book now that I've put a light bulb into the lamp in the corner of the living room behind my other armchair and I can see what I'm doing. It does make a difference and makes the room so much brighter. That was a fairly simple solution.

Well, I'll try to see if there is any kind of other mischief I can get into before I crawl under the duvet. Doubtlessly there is something I can find to do for the next twenty minutes or so. I'm only postponing the inevitable.

Have a good night.

Ciao,
Nora

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rites of passage.


It's officially Saturday, although you can't really speak of morning yet. It's still in the middle of the night, but by the time I finish writing this, it will be so close to dawn that it will be almost morning. I'm glad that it's officially Saturday, because I feel that I can go back to bed at any time and sleep until I'm done sleeping and ready to get up again, although it may not actually take me that long.

Since I've quit smoking, I've started taking short naps during the day and they help me get through the occasional craving I may have for a cigarette, so I'm never really super tired and I'm done sleeping quickly. I also spend a lot of time reading to take my mind of cigarettes, so I don't exactly get exhausted from physical activity. Reading is my main activity and it works very well to keep me occupied, but it's not very tiring.

I think I take naps to relieve my mind of the thoughts of smoking and because it's a distraction to lie in bed and listen to the radio and doze off for a short time. I just as easily get up again and move to my armchair to continue reading.

I think the period of quitting smoking is a huge time out from regular life and it is a period during which nothing is quite as normal as it usually is. It is a time of coping and waiting. You wait for your body to forget the actual habit of cigarette smoking. I still have the tendency to want to light up a cigarette and I'm waiting for that to dissipate and disappear altogether. I don't want that to be part of my second nature anymore. I don't want it to be an automatic reaction to any given situation, innocent as it is, rewarding as it might have been.

I know that in time my body and my mind will forget about this habit and it will not be second nature anymore. I will get used to not subconsciously wanting to reach for a cigarette and my lighter. I can already drink a cup of coffee without associating it with the need to smoke. Which is good, because I need my cups of coffee.

Every once in a while, though, a very strong urge to smoke hits me and I'm ready to go to my neighbor and beg for a cigarette. Pride and a dislike for my neighbor withhold me from doing so. They are nosy enough as it is. Besides, that would be one cigarette and I would still have to do without the rest of the time and it wouldn't help me one bit. It would just be a very temporary satisfaction.

I finished reading 'When We Were Orphans' last night and was very much impressed with it. The ending was especially exciting and very surprising and not at all what I was expecting. It was such a well written book and so very much believable that you started to think it had really happened, but of course it was impossible, but it is the hallmark of a great book and I wonder about the author's research for it. This is the kind of novel that will stay in my memory for a long time.

I started reading 'Man Walks Into Room' by Nicole Krauss. I've read this book before, but it was in a muddled past and I have forgotten nearly all of it, so it's like reading a new book. I'm looking forward very much to finishing it, because I remember enjoying it very much before and being impressed with it and I will read it all day today, unless I get distracted by the television. There are some cultural programs on this morning, so maybe...

My apartment is very clean, as the domestic help was here yesterday and it also seems to stay cleaner since I've quit smoking. There's less dust and no ashes and tobacco and the whole place looks better. I told the domestic help that whatever she cleaned well now would stay clean and there would not be that brown film on everything. She's been cleaning with ammoniac to get that off everything. She's a smoker herself and that's how she cleans at home. The one that comes on Monday also did a good job and that's the day I quit, so it made a difference from that day onward.

I think I will go back to bed for a little while and listen to the radio and see if I have any sleep left in me. I will find out soon enough if I'm done sleeping and if I should start the day officially now. According to Tyke it's not time yet, because he's sound asleep on the sofa. Gandhi is sound asleep in the armchair. It's still early in the morning and I haven't heard a sound yet outside. It's even too early for the paper delivery person.

I hope you all have a good day.

Ciao,
Nora

Friday, September 17, 2010

Je ne sais pas...

I've posted photographs of the living room here in my last post, so if you missed those, go have a look there. It would be a shame if you missed those after all the effort I went through to post them, lol. I don't post pictures every day, you know! Although, come to think of it, maybe I should do that more often.

Here's one of Gandhi I took a few months ago.

And here's one of Tyke I took yesterday.

Every once in a while, like right now when I've done a frustrating job, I get the strong urge to light up a cigarette. I see myself going through the motions in my mind and really long for one, but I have no tobacco in the apartment and I have to get through the moment on my own without any help. I sip my coffee and think relaxing thoughts and try to calm myself down. I tell myself it's only a temporary longing I'm going through, that it will disappear after a while and that I've gone through worse things.

I just did deep breathing exercises, as if I was deeply inhaling smoke, but I was inhaling nothing but air. I did that for a few minutes and it got me over the moment. I must remember that trick, because it really works. My chest feels as if it has done some work and I had to cough. That's good. It will get all the gunk out. You learn something new every day. No doubt my brain is benefiting from all the oxygen too. The desire for a cigarette is gone.

What wasn't gone was my desire to eat a couple of teaspoons of peanut butter straight from the jar, so I had some of those and they were good, though now I'm very full. My eyes were bigger than my stomach (gastric band) and I'm burping very unladylike.

Can you believe today is Friday? Isn't that wonderful? I have my personal helper and the domestic help coming today and after that I will be released from my biggest obligations. I'm planning on doing a lot of reading and sleeping this weekend. For some reason I have the need for those two activities the most. It's because I'll feel relaxed enough to indulge in them. I feel like hibernating and cocooning. It must be because of all the changes that were made this past week. It takes a person a while to get used to them and they do wear you out.

With all the dawdling I've done writing this, and I've done nothing but, it's become morning and I will make a new pot of coffee, because the old one is empty. I only made enough for three cups anyway. I've got to take a shower in a while and wash my hair which I can't do a thing with. Though come to think of it, I may go to bed for a while and sleep some more first. Maybe that will be a better idea. It's early enough still.

Have a good day.

Ciao,
Nora










Thursday, September 16, 2010

Photographs!

This is what the living room looks like coming into it from the hallway. The shades in front of the windows are new. They are a brighter red than what was there before. The black and white armchair is the chair I like to sit in. It's where Gandhi usually likes to lie down.


This is looking into the room from the other direction. The covers on the throw pillows are new. Gandhi is laying in the red chair, but you can hardly see her. I should sit there, because that's where the reading light is, but I don't like that chair as much.


Here's the most adorable dog in the world. He knew he was having his picture taken so he was extra good. Can you resist that face? I can't...

It's a good thing the Exfactor came over today. He went to the hardware store while I waited here for the new covers for the throw pillows to be delivered. I told him which color window shades to get and within the shortest amount of time he was back.

We thought we'd just have to take the old ones out and snap the new ones in place, but it turned out that the attachment system was different, so the hardware to hang them up with had to be changed. That turned into quite a job and I couldn't have done it myself. Even the Exfactor had a hard time with it, but somehow it was done and once the shades were in place they looked great. The screws need to be tightened a little better, but he needs to come back with the right screwdriver. In the meantime I'm not allowed to pull hard when I lower and raise them, so I have to be gentle.

At one point, after he had hung up the first shade, the whole thing came off it's rail and unrolled to the floor, which had me in a giggle, because the Exfactor was stunned and it was so comic. The shade turned out not to be attached to the rail with the sticky tape yet. It was a neat trick, though. Sort of like slapstick. I made sure it didn't happen with the other shade.

Right in the middle of it, the covers for the pillows arrived and I took the lime green ones off and put the new ones on as quickly as I could, because that faux pas had really bothered me. It was a thorn in my eye to look at them. They had been so totally wrong.

Now I need to paint, but I'm not going to do that immediately. First I need to have a little time out to get used to the way things are now. I also have to do some administrative errands in town next week and that will be enough of a chore for me, because you all know how I feel about going into town. It's not my most favorite thing to do.

Well, enjoy the photographs. You can click on them to make them larger.

Ciao,
Nora

Good day coming...


I've had my first cup of coffee and I've turned from a grumpy, sleepy person into a good natured, alert one. It's really made quite a difference, because when I first got up even the animals got in the way of me and I felt like grumbling at them. I knew I would have to be patient and that I would be alright if I just had that first cup of coffee inside of me. I ignored my own bad mood as much as possible and tried not to take it out on anyone, least of all myself, which I am also quite capable of. I can be my own worst enemy when I'm in a bad morning mood, even when I know it is just a temporary condition. Never mind, I had that cup of coffee and soon everything was alright again and I could react to life as a normal and reasonable person.

I went to bed after I wrote my last post last night and did not stay up to read my novel. I decided to be sensible and go to sleep like any other normal person would. I fell asleep quickly and much to my surprise I slept until 8 am this morning. That is an amazing feat and I rarely do that. I do remember vaguely getting up once to go to the toilet, but apparently I had enough sense to go back to bed after I did so, which is a surprising thing, because normally that would be reason for me to get up and have cups of coffee and sit behind the computer. Of course, now I can't smoke cigarettes anymore, so part of the appeal is gone and that may have something to do with it. I was also very exhausted due to a shortage of sleep from the night before and I had to catch up on that, but I would like it if I slept through the night every night and got up at a reasonable hour every morning, grumpy or not.

I'm still in my pajamas now and not nearly ready to get the day truly started. I ought to get dressed, but I'm postponing that moment until later when I'm really in the mood for it. I like sitting here a while longer and pretending that the day is not rushing at me to get a move on. All will happen in its own good time and I'm sure I will get everything done today that needs to get done. I have to go to the hardware store, where they have everything you may need in a lifetime, and buy the new shades for the living room windows. That's the most important thing I need to do today. It is for the sake of my decorative aesthetics that I need to do that. I will not comfortably rest on my laurels until that is done.

Tyke has made himself comfortable on the new sofa and Gandhi is laying in the armchair which is my favorite chair to sit in. Luckily, neither one of them sheds a lot of hair. I've had animals that were much more of a problem, but these two aren't. Tyke doesn't lie on the coffee table anymore, because I've made it impossible for him to do so. This coffee table is smaller and I have a sculpture and a large plant on it. Even Gandhi doesn't sit on it. She hasn't shown much interest in the sofa yet, but I'm waiting for the moment for that to happen. I will have a spray bottle of water ready and I will not hesitate to use it.

I'm waiting for the Exfactor to show up and I realize that it's better if I do get dressed, because it would not do to greet him in my pajamas, although I can put on my bathrobe and be decent... I've just done that for now.

I have just fed the animals and Tyke is digesting his food now and quite happy for it. Gandhi had a bowl of milk and is now eating Tyke's leftovers. She got lucky today, because Tyke seldom has leftovers. What is a little bit of food to a dog, is a lot of food to a cat, especially of the dainty variety, which Gandhi is a specimen of.

Every once in a while I have the urge to light up a cigarette and then I remember that I don't smoke anymore. It seems such a natural thing to do, to reach for a cigarette and to light up. It's the habit I miss, I suppose. It's not the nicotine so much. It's the ritual around it. I must distract my mind with other activities and think of other things to do with my hands and my mind. It helps to stay busy and to be oblivious of my subconscious longings. I must keep them in the back of my mind as much as possible and not let them come to the foreground.

I'm going to get dressed now and look like a presentable woman. I can't be disheveled like this with my hair sticking up in all directions. I do have to make an effort.

Have a nice day all of you.

Ciao,
Nora

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday night and all is well...


I've already been asleep for awhile, but as is usual, I woke up and am wide awake again. I had a cup of coffee, but now I'm drinking cold milk and it is tasting very good. It fills my stomach and quenches my thirst. I don't feel like eating. For some reason my stomach feels very full and all I've had today was a peanut butter sandwich.

I didn't go back to sleep last night, but read my book until it was morning. I did doze off in the armchair a couple of times. I should have gone back to bed and set the alarm clock for 8 am, but I was stubborn and decided to stay up. It's a mistake I won't make quickly again because it bothered me for the rest of the day. I'm just now recuperated from it.

The men with the sofa got here at 10 am. The sofa easily fit through the front door and the hallway into the living room where it was unpacked and put in place. It's a nice sofa, very modern in a pretty gray color, but I should not have gotten the throw pillows with the lime green covers for it. That doesn't look good. I definitely need red covers for them to tie in with the color of one of the arm chairs, and the curtain in front of the door that I don't use, and the red window shades. The colors in the living room need to be red and black and gray. I didn't figure all of that out until way later in the day.

I have to get new shades for the living room windows tomorrow morning to replace the rather discolored ones that are there now, and I'm going to get a brighter shade of red than I have now. It's going to match the other shades of red in the living room better. I have ordered new covers for the pillows and they will be here in the afternoon. That will tie the whole thing together.

I mounted different collages in the frames above the sofa and put a different movie poster in the frame by the living room windows. I just wanted a change. I don't know if I'm happy with it yet. I have to think about it. I may change it still.

I was actually too tired to be making decisions about changes and needed to go to sleep. I canceled my appointment with my psychiatrist and asked the secretary for him to call me later in the afternoon, after I had slept. We could make a new appointment then.

I slept for a couple of hours, but not nearly long enough and I felt like a wrung out dishcloth when I got up. I had no energy for anything, but I did realize what was wrong with the living room and was bound and determined to set it to rights.

I finished the autobiography that I was reading and will start on 'When We Were Orphans' next. That will be shortly as I'm not nearly ready to go to bed yet, though I don't want to stay up all night like I did last night. I did learn my lesson. I don't want to read in bed, though, because there's the danger that Tyke will get a hold of my book and shred it to pieces. Besides, when I'm in bed, I like to listen to the radio and let my thoughts wander.

Have a good night you all.

Ciao,
Nora

Encore un fois...


I'm following my usual 'get up in the middle of the night' routine and have just made myself some coffee to get the last few remnants of sleep out of my system. Not that there are that many there. I'm pretty perky as usual and could do my whole administration and not make any mistakes. I want to do something far more pleasant that that, however, and write down my thoughts and musings on no particular subject at all. That means that I'll probably touch on many bases.

I read a lot yesterday and finished another book. I have now read A Virtuous Woman and Ellen Foster, both novels by Kaye Gibbons. She is a good writer with a unique voice and she writes with an intensity that makes you want to finish her novels in one fell swoop. That's not hard to do since they aren't big and you can finish one in just a few hours. They are very concise and to the point, but tell a whole big story with enough detail so you don't feel shortchanged one bit. You like her characters, though they are not at all perfect people, and you want things to end well for them, though there are not necessarily happy endings.

I am now reading Don't let's Go To The Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. It's a very well written autobiography about her childhood in Rhodesia. The war for independence seen from a white farmer child's point of view. It's extremely interesting. I love the title and it alone intrigues, but I like books about white settlers in Africa and what their experiences were there. Another book I really like about that subject is The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing. It's a sad story, but written with a lot of compassion.

I think I will be reading When We Were Orphans next, by Kazuo Ishiguro. He's the same author who also wrote The Remains Of The Day. He was born in Japan, but has lived in England since he was 5 years old. The story plays in Shanghai and England in the 1930's, before WWII, and is of mystery and nostalgia and memories that go back to before that time. I loved The Remains Of The Day, so I'm looking forward to this book in particular.

I find that reading is one way to forget about smoking. I become so involved with whatever novel I'm reading that I forget all about cigarettes. I find it easier to get involved with a book and the storyline, maybe because I'm not distracted by my smoking. Maybe smoking is bad for your attention span and you lose your train of thought. Anything is possible.

Not smoking has certainly simplified my life. I can simply sit down wherever I want without having to arrange to have my cigarettes and ashtray and lighter there. I can just sit down without all the paraphernalia and get up again and move to another spot without a problem. I'm unencumbered. There's a freedom in that. All I need is my peppermints and something to drink, though that has gotten less too and I don't drink nearly the large amount of fluids that I used to. I'm not as thirsty and I think that is because I don't smoke. I guess it dehydrated me.

I have not started eating more to compensate for the lack of cigarettes. I think that's because I'm not going through nicotine withdrawal. I eat the same portions of food that I normally do. I'm definitely not planning on gaining any weight. That's not part of the program, especially not since I lost 9 kilos this year, or maybe more, I don't remember. If anything, I'm planning on continuing to lose weight, although I hope that the peppermints I eat don't hinder that.

The Exfactor was here yesterday to do the groceries. I had him pick me up some chunky liverwurst, because, despite my misgivings about the meat industry, I did have some worries about getting enough protein in my diet. I thought the liverwurst would be easy to eat for me, because I did so well with the paté at my sister's party. Well, it turns out that I don't like the chunks in chunky liverwurst. They remind me too much of meat and where the meat came from. I guess I like my meat products to be in unrecognizable form and not in anyway to remind me of the animal, especially if it's a cold meat product. My imagination works overtime. The Exfactor is now going to go to the Lidl close to his house and buy a few patés and see if I like those better. I'm sure I will and I look forward to him bringing those over on Thursday.

Ostensibly, he's coming over to look at my sofa, but I think he just wants an excuse to come over, because he likes coming here. My sofa is going to be delivered this morning between 8:45 and 11:00, so there will be no sleeping late for me if I desire to go back to bed. I think I will stay up and read and watch the nightly repeat of the news. I never did get to watch the news last night and feel hopelessly uninformed.

Tyke seems to be cured of what was ailing him, so those antibiotics worked quickly. I'm sure it was that shot that set him right. He gets a pill once a day wrapped up in a slice of luncheon meat and he likes that so much that I'm sure he'd like it for the rest of his life, three times a day. Gandhi gets a slice to, but she's a finicky eater and doesn't finish all of hers. That leaves the rest for Tyke and he's no picky eater. Gandhi takes little bites of her slice of meat and takes forever to finish half of it. Tyke gulps his down in one fell swoop. he doesn't even take time to chew properly. That's why it is so easy to hide the pill in it. I guess that's a blessing then. You can't do that with a cat.

I'm planning on finishing that autobiography tonight. I will sit in my armchair and do nothing but read. Hopefully I will have it finished by the morning. I will make that my goal for this night. It will not be to sleep, but to read. I can always sleep. There are enough quiet moments to go lie down and from this morning on there will even be a sofa again.

I have to go see my psychiatrist this afternoon and I'm sure he will be pleased that I've quit smoking and am still sane. It is a miracle isn't it? I never thought I would be this calm. I thought I was going to be much more of a frantic person. I suppose I am very determined. I'm aiming for a 100% success rate on all fronts.

I have to get rid of that nasty little cough. If I still have it next week, I'm going to the doctor to ask him for an antibiotic, because maybe it's a bit of chronic bronchitis, which wouldn't surprise me after all that smoking. I never paid attention to it before and just accepted it as a smoker's cough, but that's ridiculous, of course. You should never accept things like that. Not even subconsciously.

It's raining outside and 16C, so it's not real cold. It's supposed to clear up later today, but not get much warmer. There's to be partial sun and clouds. That doesn't sound too bad. Sunrise will be at 7:15 am. That's late. It's staying darker longer all the time.

I hope you will all have a nice morning.

Ciao,
Nora

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oops, don't do that!


It's in the middle of the night and I'm having my cup of coffee. I've already slept a couple of hours and got up a while ago. I just had a dirty, stinking cigarette that I made with the tobacco crumbs that I had saved in a pot in the cupboard where I also had the filter tubes. It was not such a positive experience. It made me cough, it made my chest hurt, it made my eczema itch and it made me light in the head, plus it gave me a general feeling of sickness. I think I will flush those tobacco crumbs down the toilet, so I will not be tempted to make another cigarette. That will be for the best. I don't need that kind of temptation in a weak moment when maybe my nicotine patch is not working optimally anymore.

The worst thing is the itch from my eczema. It is just possible that as I never smoke again, it will clear up completely, because all day yesterday it didn't bother me. If I diligently apply the ointment now, it is very possible that it will disappear and that would be great. It's been with me for so long that I don't remember doing without it. The chest pain bothers me too, though, and I'm sure that's a bronchial thing. My poor body is just protesting at the smoke and chemicals entering my system. It's saying, no, don't do this to me! It was a good lesson to smoke this cigarette and to see how I reacted to it. I think I will not do it again. It was a complete moment of madness.

I had to take Tyke to the vet yesterday. He had a bad case of the runs and was running a bit of a fever. Luckily, he likes going to the vet and thinks that all the dogs in the waiting room are there for him to visit with. He's such an amiable guy and wants to make friends with all the dogs and their owners. He thinks everybody is great, including the vet, even though he put a thermometer in his butt and gave him a shot of antibiotics. He also gave him pills for three days and then Tyke should be over whatever ails him. He's still lively and eats all his food, so he's not suffering. The vet did say that there was a lot of noise in his intestines. Poor Tyke. Having noisy intestines is not good. Tyke seems unaware that he's ill, though, and is his usual cheerful self. Gandhi can attest to that.

Gandhi has found a new favorite spot to sleep in, but the problem is that it is the armchair that I always sit in, so now we have to jockey for position. I hate to have to move her when she's so peacefully sleeping, but I pick her up and put her on my lap, which she usually likes and sometimes not. Tyke gets jealous when she sits on my lap and tries to push her out with his nose. I try to prevent that, but I'm not always successful. I do have my hands full.

Eventually, everybody settles down and we are at peace and I can read my book and pet Gandhi at the same time. She is an affectionate little cat. Normally she doesn't let herself get intimidated by Tyke, but he does test her patience on occasion and she has to remove herself from the scene, but the first one she goes looking for when she returns is Tyke. Tyke doesn't realize what a privileged dog he is to get so much affection from Gandhi, in spite of the fact that he pesters her so much. He really loves her to pieces, but in his exuberance he gets a little carried away. He doesn't realize that she's a delicate cat and is not meant to be pounced on.

The morning is slowly approaching and, as usual, I'm not tired and I feel better than I have in the past when I still smoked. I think I will sit up the rest of the time until dawn and read my book. I'm more then halfway through it and very interested in the story. I will sit in my armchair by the reading light and have a tall glass of milk, which will leave me with just enough milk for a cup of coffee later on. The Exfactor is coming over today to do the groceries and that is good, because I'm almost out of milk and juice. I do have to make a shopping list and see if I have any money left in my bank account. That would be helpful.

I threw the tobacco crumbs away in the large trash bag and shook them down to the bottom. I will put something distasteful on top. There no longer is any thought of smoking another cigarette. I've put that behind me. I'm fine now.

I hope you all have a very good day and that your weather is beautiful.

Ciao,
Nora

Monday, September 13, 2010

The day I quit smoking.


It's now the afternoon of the day I quit smoking and things aren't nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be. I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck by now, tearing out my hair and pacing the floor, searching through the trash for cigarette buds, being emotional and desperate, going to the gas station for a pack of cigarettes and all sorts of other things.

Well, I had all these scenarios in mind, but not the actual one, and that is that I'm pretty calm and only go through cravings sometimes and have a peppermint if I do. That seems to do the job. Every once in a while a sense of panic hits me when I realize that I can't smoke, but I quickly subdue it and tell myself not to be a wuss. There are worse things in life.

I know that if I were to light a cigarette now, I would suffer from a terrible coughing fit and would not enjoy it at all. I would be bent over double from coughing, because I would not be used to smoking anymore. I do realize now that I had a chronic little cough with phlegm all day long and I really need to get rid of that and I'll be happy when I have. It's not healthy and it is my goal to be. I want my lungs to be clean and my bronchi to be in good shape.

I bought the bag of peppermints at the pharmacy. It's a good thing that they sell candy there, because I bought it as an afterthought and it has come in so handy. It really takes care of the mild frustration I feel when I have a craving for a cigarette. When my mouth wants to be occupied.

I find keeping my mind occupied works well too. Reading is a good activity. I've started a new novel. A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons and I'm reading it quickly, because it's that kind of a book. It reads very easily, but I think maybe I'm better able to read now that I'm not distracted by my smoking. I can pay better attention and not worry about the ashes falling on my book and having to light up another cigarette yet again.

Every once in a while I think, oh, I will light up a cigarette, but then I think, oh no, I will not, and am disappointed for just a split second, but I am immediately relieved again because I don't have to. It's not a compulsion. I can live without it.

The domestic help has been here and cleaned the apartment and I have also liberally sprayed all the rooms with air freshener and opened the windows wide. The ashtrays have been washed and put away. I will not be using them anymore, nor will anyone else, unless they go outside. It's nice to have clean, never to be used again ashtrays. They will be museum pieces soon.

I wonder what smoking does to your psyche while you inhale all those different chemicals that manufacturers put in the tobacco to get you hooked? It must have all sorts of psychological effects on you that happen as a result of the chemical reactions in your brain. It can't help but be a mood altering drug or drugs. I wonder very much how I am going to be feeling over the next weeks and months. I bet I'm going to see an improvement in my mood and my overall mental health. That's something that really motivates me. I want to see how my total health improves.

I remember when I started smoking more than 40 years ago and how tough it was to start and how I really had to fight my body's resistance against the nicotine. For some reason I was determined to smoke and within a very short time I was hooked. I never was hooked on anything else but nicotine, but it bit me good. I'm just as determined to quit now. I should say, to stay quit, because I already have quit.

I'm going to finish reading my book now. I have the feeling that I'll be doing a lot of reading in the near future. Luckily, I have enough books to read. And interesting ones too.

Have a good afternoon!

Ciao,
Nora.

Completely...


It's in the middle of the night and I'm completely wide awake, smoking the last of my cigarettes until I go to the pharmacy first thing in the morning to pick up my nicotine patches. When I first got up I was miserable and grumpy and out of sorts and chain smoking, until I had my cup of coffee and then I was okay and a more reasonable human being. Coffee does set me to rights and I can never do without it. It's like a medicine to me. I sorts out my brain. I'm convinced of the healing powers of caffeine in my case. I don't know what it does for you, but for me it is a very positive experience.

I read blogs, which I was behind on, and left comments on most of them. Some of them I had not read in three days, so I was shamefully behind. I had not been in the proper mood and could not bring myself to read them, let alone comment on them. I am caught up now and can relax again. I feel I've had my enjoyment and done my duty. I read some blogs that I hardly ever comment on, because I feel a little bit like a stranger there, but I'm a faithful follower. I hope the fact that I show up counts for enough.

I had not planned to stay up, but now that I am, I am going to make the most of it and enjoy myself. I'm in such a good mood now that I want to take advantage of that and let the situation last as long as possible. I'm not going to spoil it by going to bed. There's not a hair on my head that's thinking about it anyway. I'm too excited to go to bed just now.

I do have very interesting dreams when I sleep and I wonder how much they are influenced by what I hear on the radio while I'm asleep. I have elements in my dreams that were not there before, so I'm sure they are coming from outside, but I give my own twist to them and incorporate them into my own fantasies. Music is part of it and I do dream about that regularly, but have people play it whom I know very well. Or have them sing songs. Still, although I listen to a Dutch radio station, all my dreams take place in the English language, of that I'm sure, and I find that interesting. My dreams are all very dramatic and look like large screen movie productions with special effects and a music score and everything. Like a filmed opera, I suppose. There's wailing going on too, sometimes. Lord only knows what I listen to at night.

I talked to my sister yesterday and she told me that her party went on until 2:30 in the morning. Can you imagine lasting that long? I would have called it quits by midnight. I'm so obviously not a party animal and my sister so obviously is. She always has a lot of fun in a crowd of people. I do better in small intimate groups. She's a very outgoing person, a real extrovert and shares herself with anyone and everybody. I'm more introverted and private and share myself sparingly. Except on my blog, that's the exception. I share myself here because I can be contemplative and choose my words carefully and show what I want to show, although I'm not that secretive about myself. For the most part, I'm pretty open and tell it like it is in a mostly rational way.

For the past few days I've felt a bit down and I thought that maybe I was getting depressed, but it seems to have lifted now and I feel better. I suppose those are just the natural cycles that people go through that I have to get used to. Not every mood has to have a significant meaning, except for the last one I had, which was distinctly hypomanic and could have gotten me into a lot of trouble. As it is, the damage was relatively small and I didn't do anything too crazy, except for buying a new sofa and coffee table and area rug. That's still within reason, just about. I'm going to pay them off with the money I save on the tobacco I won't be buying anymore. That adds up to a large amount of money.

I'm afraid of the black dog that's always stalking me in the background, but maybe he will stay in the background this season. I've had years when he didn't appear at all, and maybe this will be one of them. I'm as prepared as I can be and have all systems in place. I know I can count on the light therapy lamp to elevate my mood, there's no doubt about that. It's a shame that I had lost faith in it and didn't use it last year. It would have saved me a lot of bother.

Yesterday afternoon I didn't have an Internet connection. I reset the modem four times, unsuccessfully. I finally called the help desk and they talked me through the procedure and it turned out in the end that the cable in the hard drive wasn't plugged in properly. Duh! I think Tyke must have pulled it loose when he went to retrieve his ball. It sure puzzled me and I hadn't thought of that solution, but I will from now on. It will be the first place I look if and when it happens again. You learn a new lesson every day. It makes you appear a little dumb, but I don't care about that. Let them think what they want, as long as I have my connection back.

Well, I'm going to enjoy the last hours of my smoking life. I have to stock up on some air freshener and Febrèze. I'm going to treat the whole apartment and do lots of laundry. I will have the place smelling good in no time.

Have a good day!

Ciao,
Nora

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Things you lose...


I decided to go one the bathroom scale this morning, after not having gotten on it for quite some time. I expected not to have lost any weight at all, because I had not been trying really to lose any. I had been eating when I was hungry and drinking lots of milk when I was thirsty. Much to my surprise I had lost another 4 kilos, that is 8,8 lbs, and just to make sure, I got on the scale twice. It is very accurate and gave me the exact same weight the second time.

Now I am one kilo away from the weight the Obesitas Specialist said I should aim for, but I think I can lose some more weight. I'm not going to obsessively go on the scale to weigh myself all the time, though. I'll just keep eating and drinking the way I am and go on the scale occasionally, but it certainly is a nice way to start the day. It cheered me up tremendously and I needed cheering up.

I was grumpy and out of sorts when I woke up this morning. I had a runny nose and an irritating cough all night. I must have eaten something at the party that I'm allergic too. I tried all kinds of food, so I don't know what it was. Whatever I thought I could eat easily, I ate, including a wonderful paté and a piece of quiche. Needless to say, I'm itching in all the usual places now.

The party was fine. I had one glass of white wine and one beer. There were some people I knew there, so I was not completely out of my depth. I didn't stay too long and as I was leaving, the DJ was setting up the sound system. It must have gotten quite noisy after that. That was at 10:30 and I thought it was a good time to go. I'm not one for big crowds anyway and it was starting to be a big crowd. At least the weather was nice and a large amount of people were out on the patio.

I rode my bike home through the dark night and was a little bit worried about that and didn't dawdle. Nothing happened, of course, and there's no reason to think that anything would. Not in this neighborhood. It's just the idea of being a woman out there alone on your bike in the late evening. You always feel vulnerable.

Tyke was very happy to see me and got a good belly rub. He had found his lost tennis ball and was trying to keep track of two balls at the same time. It was very funny to watch him do it. One ball in his mouth and the other between his paws and that's how he moved around the living room.

I was pleased to walk into the living room and see the coffee table and the area rug and the new plants in their lime green pots. When I bought those, I had not realized that I already had three other lime green pots, so it was a fortunate purchase, done completely subconsciously. I must have zeroed in on that color in the flower shop without being aware of it.

The colors in the living room are going to be black and dark gray with touches of red and light green. Yellow will be eliminated. There is only one house plant in a yellow pot and I will change that today. The newly washed, yellow, fleece blanket will not be put back, nor will the yellow pillows. I've bought two pillows with lime green covers instead. Yellow will be banished to the bedroom.

It is overcast and dark outside and it's supposed to rain. It sure looks like it will. I don't mind because I'm nice and cozy inside. I will do a few chores and take it easy today. There will be no grand deeds from me. My nose is still runny and I hope that will disappear soon. Of course, smoking doesn't help that either. Tomorrow morning I quit and I'm looking forward to it. It will be a whole new challenge and one I'm cut out for. I'm not daunted by it, although maybe I should be.

Have a great day!

Ciao,
Nora

Saturday, September 11, 2010

No fooling around now...


That pill that allows me to fall asleep only keeps me asleep for a few hours and then I'm wide awake again. It's not a real sleeping pill, which is good, because I've heard from people who take those that they are very groggy in the morning and that they suffer the consequences of them the next day. At least I don't have that. I am wide awake after it has worn off and any sleeping I do later, I do on my own. I may as well try and get off it and it is one of the things I will try to do soon. First I have to quit smoking.

The day went well yesterday. Everybody came and went and the Exfactor put the coffee table together without any trouble. It is very nice and solid. The area rug arrived while he was working on it, so we put it in place and then put the coffee table on top of it. The area rug is dark gray and the coffee table is black. It looks good and will look even better when the sofa is in place.

After the Exfactor left. I walked to the flower shop with Tyke and bought two large ivy plants in square, lime green pots. I put one on the coffee table along with a sculpture, so now Tyke can't jump on top of it. He's been foiled. He does like the rug very much and likes to lie down on it. It is soft and warm. I put the other ivy on the dining table, to pull the interior together. I do have to make sure that I always have a bouquet of flowers, because it cheers the place up so very much. I have to make a point of that.

I'm not hypomanic anymore. I came down to earth yesterday afternoon and now I am completely calm and sober minded. I hadn't realized that I was hypomanic until I stopped being it and then it became clear to me. I suspected it last week, but thought I was over it. It's a relief not to be it anymore, because I was outshouting myself. Making too much noise, having too many stars in my eyes. Now I'm down to a manageable level and I'm going at an easier pace. It's a more realistic state of mind to quit smoking in.

I like being this calm me. I am almost sedate. At least I'm more introspective and I like that. I'm not on the run for anything. The hypomanic me got a lot of things done, the calm me gets to enjoy them. I can be more objective like this and think about things in a more rational way, without high running emotions. I also feel that I can rest and be quiet and that everything will happen in its own good time. The last thing I want to do now is turn on the light therapy lamp. That will turn me back up.

My sister is giving a house warming party tonight and she has invited lots of people. If only half of them show up, it will be a full house. She'll have food and drinks and good company. I will make it a point not to drink too much wine. I do have to ride my bike home.

Have a good day!

Ciao,
Nora

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pretending...


It's early in the morning and I'm pretending to be awake. I think I am awake, but I'm still drinking my first cup of coffee, so anything is possible. I will know more in half an hour when the caffeine has done its work. In the meantime, I sit here and smoke my cigarettes and blearily look at the keyboard and pick out the right keys to type. Every once in a while I yawn and think I will go back to bed, but I know it would be an exercise in futility. Once I'm up, there's no stopping me and I won't be able to go back to sleep, because I will be too excited about what the day will bring.

So coffee it is and several cups of it. Nice and strong. The kind that puts curl in your hair. Ha ha, if that were true, I would have very curly hair by now. I have no such luck and have to get any curls I want from a curling iron. I do have one of those, but up to now my hair has been too short to use it. I've tried it and all it does is put a kink in my hair. I'm to dignified to walk around with kinky hair. I'll have to let my hair grow longer just a bit. I just may do that.

I have to get dressed on time in case those men come to pick up the sofa and the carpet early to take to the dump. It will be a relief to have them gone, because they are standing in the hallway where I usually park my bike, and they are in the way. That sofa is standing on end in the corner and even Gandhi is not climbing to the top anymore. She did that at first, but the trick has gotten old, just as she never uses her scratch poles anymore, but prefers to use various pieces of furniture, rotating between the ones that are her favorites.

It's going to be one heck of a busy day with people coming and going and me having to go to the post office and the pharmacy at the end of it. I have to pick up some medicines and my nicotine patches, because I'm working on my last pack of tobacco and I'm not sure when I'm going to run out of it. Any day now I could be an ex-smoker. You will all have to bear with me as I go through the throes of cigarette withdrawal. I'll know not what to do with my hands. I better get something to fiddle with. Some rubber bands maybe or paper clips that I can bend out of shape.

Instead of waiting for my sister to take me to Ikea, I've ordered an area rug on line and I just discovered that it is going to be here this afternoon. I hope they get here on time, because I do have to go out at the end of it. It is nice that it is arriving today, though, as I can put it in place and it will be a spot for Tyke to lie down on. He has been sleeping in the armchairs, but he prefers to be on the floor. Usually the delivery person gets here around 3 pm, so I hope that counts for today as well. I will be home, because that's when the Exfactor will be putting together the coffee table. I can't wait to see what it will look like. I do know that it will be heavy, as the flat pack weighs a lot.

I have to get dressed and get the show on the road. It will be the beginning of a long day and I must be ready for it. I've had enough coffee to wind up a cuckoo clock. I think I will switch to fruit juice now.

Have a great day!

Ciao,
Nora

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Is that lucky or what?


I did go back to sleep in the middle of the night when I told you that I was maybe going to do all sorts of jobs and I thought was too wide awake to go back to bed. I slept until 7 o'clock and got dressed immediately. I was a little dopey, but a cup of coffee helped me get over that. Coffee always works and always gets my mind up to the proper speed. What would I do without it?

Promptly, at 8 o'clock, a big truck pulled up outside and I locked Tyke in the spare bedroom and went to open up the front door and the outside door. The first thing that was carried in was the new coffee table, which came in a flat pack and which I would have to assemble myself. Then the delivery men started to carry in the sofa, but soon ran into trouble, because the space by the front door in the hallway turned out to be to narrow to let the long sofa in. I had not realized when I ordered it that it was over sized. Those guys tried every trick, but they could not get it inside, so they had to take it back and told me that I would have to order a shorter sofa.

I did that and it turns out that the sofa I ordered now is nicer than the sofa I ordered first. I think this one escaped my attention, because I was not looking for size, but for a three seater. This time I looked for size and got different choices. It will be here next Wednesday and until that time I will have to do without a sofa, but that is really no problem. There are worse things in life.

Then I opened the flat pack and saw what I had to deal with and the fact that there were about 100 screws that needed to be screwed in and I decided that it was not a job for me. I don't have an electric screwdriver. I called the Exfactor and he will be over tomorrow with his and put the coffee table together. I'm ever so grateful and until that time, the flat pack has been closed up again. Tyke lies on top of it with his ball and thinks he's the king of the living room.

I took a break and thought about things and then switched the armchairs around so that the barrel chair, which has comfortable armrests, is by the reading light and I can sit in it when I read my book. That way I don't have to lug a pillow around every time I sit down to read. I've put the extra pillows on my bed with pillow cases on them and they will come in handy when I want to lie down on the sofa, which has low armrests. They should be very good to sleep on.

Then I cleaned up and rearranged the bookcase and made space for more books by getting rid of obsolete things and moving reference books to the bedroom. That went a lot easier and faster than I had anticipated. I still have to move two boxes that are sitting on top of it. I had quite forgotten about them and am running out of space to put things. There's only so much room in the apartment. The bookcase looks much better now and that shows you what a short amount of hard work can do for you. I wasn't even out of breath.

I'm still going to do a load of laundry next and change my bed, so going to sleep tonight will be fun, although it really is every night, but I will wear clean pajamas too. That's something to look forward to. I think you must have these little points of light to aim for in your day every day. The smallest things count. Like having a glass of cold milk and a peanut butter sandwich or getting your mail out of the mailbox and finding a package there that you were expecting. It's all about anticipation and enjoyment.

I'm now going off to enjoy my chores. Have a nice day.

Ciao,
Nora