The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for January, 2011

>The Sunday blues…

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I just got up for the second time and am having my second cup of coffee. Even though the sun is shining outside, I’m not enthused about the day, but I figure that everybody is allowed a day like that. I want to stay in my bathrobe and slippers and be lazy all day long and pretend that it has nothing to do with me. Actually, I would be doing what the day was created for, except that I wouldn’t heed the call to prayer. I simply don’t want to participate and I think I will be excused by whatever higher being lords it over me. 
I thought that it might be due to the fact that I had reduced my anti-depressants, but I decided that I was just in a slightly grumpy mood and not to blame it on that. I think it is quite normal to be in a grumpy mood every now and then for no particular reason other than that it is Sunday. It isn’t my favorite day of the week anyway, no matter how hard I try to ignore this fact. Reducing my medicines has nothing to do with it. I simply want to be good and kind to myself and make the best of a not so exciting day. 
One thing I should not be and that is scared of moods, because they are the most normal thing  in the world. I can’t always be even tempered, no matter how hard I try. I think I’m so very often in a positive mood that a grumpy mood takes me by surprise and I immediately get suspicious. I try to find a reason other than the most obvious one, in other words, that it’s part of the human condition. It is possible to be fed up with the most ordinary things and to need a little time out, which is what I’m going to take today. 
Having written all of this down already makes me feel a lot better. I have probably analyzed it the long way around, but I have gotten to my point in the end. Anyway, there is to be no ‘ought’ or ‘should’ today. There are only wants and needs. 
Ciao,
Nora

>The 101st post.

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Post 100 went by without me realizing it. I would have had a big celebration with party hats and balloons, but I’m too late now. I could still have a cupcake, but where can you buy just one cupcake? I would have to get at least three and feel obliged to eat them all, or two of them anyway and give the other one to Tyke who doesn’t need one. I’ll have to properly celebrate the 200th post and have people over to share in the fun and buy a real cake. That’s a good plan and gets me off the hook for now.
I just woke up from a nap on my bed. It was very comforting and beneficial. I was feeling cold and fuzzy brained before I took it and now feel restored back to normal, whatever that is by any measure. I think that when you say you feel ‘normal,’ everybody knows what that means. It’s a universally accepted state of being, as opposed to feeling ‘crazy’ which is not okay. Taking a nap can make you feel perfectly normal. In my case it always seems to work well. At any rate, I’m full of good cheer now. 
No doubt I’m full of good cheer because it’s Friday evening and the weekend has officially started. I feel myself bathed in good vibes. I couldn’t feel better if I were going out to the pub tonight with a bevy of my best pals and was going to drink six pale ales. That would be about my limit if I were going to ride my bike home. 
Luckily, I have to do no such thing and I get to stay in the warm apartment and not have to brave the freezing temperatures outside, although a pale ale would taste awfully good right now and I have none in the refrigerator. That is my bad luck and I should plan ahead better. I will ask the Exfactor to pick me up a six-pack the next time he goes grocery shopping. 
The good thing is that it’s nice and warm in here. I aired out the apartment earlier today and pretended that the cold air didn’t bother me. There was very little sunshine on the windows, because the sun is still so low in the sky that I’m plunged in shade in the afternoon. The apartment was aired out, at least to my sense of smell it was, but it sure was chilly in here. I wore almost enough clothes, but Tyke started shivering. 
I quickly closed the windows and turned up the thermostat. I was ready to knit Tyke a sweater. I think he was grateful as it heated up in here. I sure was glad about it. I’m not much of a hero when it comes to extremes of temperatures, unless I’m dressed like Scott on Antarctica. My nose is not sensitive enough to know how it really smells in here now. I’m so used to nicotine. I’m sure only I can live with it or the occasional visitor who also smokes. 
Since I’m not having a cold glass of beer, I’m having a cup of freshly brewed coffee, which is not bad either, although I would have preferred the beer. What a choice that is on a Friday night. Coffee or beer, really! Come to think of it, though, there’s an awful lot of carbonation in beer and no doubt it will make me burp something terrible. That’s something you always have to take into consideration when you have a gastric band. It won’t be so bad when I burp, I will be here on my own anyway, but there may be some discomfort involved. I don’t know if I’m willing to undergo that. Maybe I should let it sit and go flat first.
I’m going to hang up a load of freshly washed laundry before I forget. It will make it smell good in here. At least, that’s my fervent hope. 
Ciao,
Nora

>The bull by the horns…

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Today is my day off and I can do with it as I please. I will have to walk Tyke and do some chores, but other than that, I can be as leisurely as I want to be. I have no appointments and nobody coming over. That means I can sit here in my bathrobe for a while with a cup of coffee and my cigarettes and take my time writing this. That’s nice if I’m not inspired by my muse and I have to think about what to write next. 
Tyke was taken to the dog trim salon yesterday by the Exfactor and came back half the dog he was. His circumference had been decidedly diminished. He didn’t, however, look like a puppy. He looked like the adult dog he is, with a fully grown body and a strongly built head and face. I did have to sit and stare at him in this incarnation quite a bit. He looked so tough, as if he was a different dog and some of his cuteness was gone. We did a lot of bonding, because I felt that I had to re-establish my ties with him. 
Of course, he’s the same sweet thing he always was, he just looks different. We played with the ball and I gave him many belly rubs and scratched his ears and tugged his rawhide bone. He slept on the bed with me as usual and I think since he has such short hair now, he wanted to stay especially warm so close to me.
Yesterday, I also told my personal helper that I had less need for personal help now and that I wanted to reduce the care from 4 hours a week to one hour a week. She was quite taken aback and flustered. I don’t think she knew how to deal with it, because I was so sure of myself and so assertive. The normal procedure is that they decide when you need less care and this is done after careful discussion in an internal group headed by a psychologist. 
I had already gotten the distinct impression that the 4 hours a week care would go on indefinitely and that there would be no re-evaluation. It surprised me that they didn’t wonder as to what to do with me anymore when it became so clear that our time together was empty and useless. We might have as well played a game of cards. We were desperately trying to fill up the time. I was saving up chores to do for while they were here, but then being told that this wasn’t necessary if I could do them myself. I felt that I had to keep them entertained while they were here. 
Well, I’m down to figuring things out for myself now. I feel perfectly capable of taking care of myself. Reducing my medication has made me much more stable and aware of things. I no longer feel lethargic and dull witted.
I’m looking forward to today. It will be a cold but partially sunny day. It will be nice weather to walk Tyke in. I hope he won’t be too cold in his short coat. I do have the luxury of wearing my warm winter coat and gloves. 
I hope you all have a nice day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Ponderings…

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It’s late at night, but I assume I will go to bed eventually. It’s past midnight, so officially the day has ended and I’m in a new day. It is Wednesday now and Tuesday is yesterday. That’s to avoid confusion when I talk about yesterday. 
Yesterday I saw my SPN and talked about my growing dislike to see my personal helpers anymore. I explained how with the decrease of my medicines, my own sense of self destination and independence had returned and that I felt much more capable and emancipated and in charge of my own life and much less dependent on the help and interference of other people. 
My SPN thought that made perfect sense and that I sounded very reasonable, but she didn’t want me to discontinue the services of my personal helpers in case I was in need of them somewhere down the road. She did say that maybe it was time to cut back the amount of visits to once a week or once every two weeks. I think for scheduling purposes I will have to go to once a week. 
I will discuss this with my Wednesday personal helper this morning and tell her that I would like only the one to come on Mondays to get the week started. I don’t know how she will take this, but it must be done. We’re wasting each other’s time. There’s no sense in her coming here on Wednesdays. I will be most diplomatic about it and get it across it in the most positive way. There’s no need to hurt anyone’s feelings. Having decided that, I feel a lot better. 
It rained almost all day yesterday and I walked to my SPN under my umbrella. I decided to walk instead of riding my bike, as I thought that might be easier on my knee. I also didn’t want to get soaking wet and the Exfactor also needed my bike to do the groceries while I was gone. He arrived here just before I left and we had coffee together while I made the grocery list.
I took Tyke for walks in the rain and his fur turned curly as if he’d had a perm. He is lucky that way. My hair just gets straighter when it gets wet.
I think it’s time for me to go to bed. I’m tired now and long to go to sleep. It will be ever so cozy in my bed. 
Have a good night, you all. 
Ciao,
Nora

>If I can think of something…

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I’m sitting here with my third cup of coffee, which probably won’t prevent me from going to bed again later on, but I’m not supposed to, because my Belgian personal helper is going to be here this morning and I do have to be ready for her and not receive her all sleepy headed in my pajamas and bathrobe. That would happen, because the battery in my alarm clock is dead again and I really don’t have another one now, so the alarm clock can’t wake me up on time. I have to shower and get dressed before she gets here, that’s part of the deal. She does keep me on my toes. It’s all part of the effort to make a decent human being out of me. One that’s presentable to the world and I think it’s come to fruition so far, but then again, I was never a lost cause. 
Before I went to bed last night, I changed the sheets and it was a pleasure to lie down in bed and go to sleep. Of course, I didn’t sleep long enough, but if I’m smart, I will last the rest of the day and save up all my need for sleep until tonight. I tell myself that this should not be too hard to do, but I wonder if I’m fooling myself? I can just see myself make attempts to stay off the sofa later this afternoon.  I suppose I will be drinking my pot of coffee today, but not to the point that I’m so wired that I can’t calm down. I won’t take it to that extreme. There is even a limit to how much coffee I can drink and be happy with. 
Because today is Monday, it feels like I’m going to participate in my own little rat race again. My rat race is not too fast and complicated, but it is in contrast to the lazy weekend when my time is my own. I have obligations during the week, although they can be seen as accomplishments that I achieve and that are good for my self esteem if I do. That’s how I approach them anyway and I’m always very relieved at the end of the day when everything has gone well. God forbid that my life should be more complicated than it is. I manage things just fine now and get enough satisfaction out of them. Not much ought to be added to it. It would be like throwing a wrench into the works. 
I am getting a little tired of my personal helpers. I feel that I don’t need them so much anymore and I’m starting to feel their presence as an interference and not an added value. They are becoming much too nosy and bossy for my taste and I’m not looking forward to their presence as much as I once did. I started to notice this once I started to reduce my medicines and I think  it maybe is because I’ve become less passive. I think they are taking away my autonomy which I so badly want. I will have to stand up for myself and let my own opinions count. I don’t want anyone interfering with my independence and my sense of self destination. I don’t think I need to depend that much on other people to give me a sense of direction and purpose.
Having said that, I think I will get the show on the road now. There are a few chores I have to do. 
Have a good day!
Ciao,
Nora

>Always in the morning…

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I made the mistake of looking at the alarm clock this morning, not realizing that it had stopped because the battery had died. According to it, it wasn’t even early in the morning yet. I felt quite frustrated, because I was all done sleeping, but soon after that, I looked at my watch and saw that it was much later. I do have bad luck with batteries for the alarm clock and I hope this one is rechargeable. I’ll have to invest in a package of rechargeable batteries. That shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg and I do need them for other things as well. I’ll put them on the shopping list for next Tuesday along with a bottle of vinegar to clean the coffeemaker. 
The coffeemaker is making a lot of protesting noises when it spits out the last bit of water into the filter and I know it is because of the hard water and the fact that I haven’t cleaned it for a while. It’s so easy to forget. I do have to take care of it, because it’s a good coffeemaker, although I would prefer a Senseo machine, but I can’t really afford one of those right now. I want to get a real one and not one of those cheap imitations that you see for sale sometimes. I have no faith in them at all. I think they’ll break down in the shortest amount of time. 
Yesterday was a nice day, although it rained nearly all day. I didn’t let that bother me and took Tyke for a long walk in the drizzle. I decided we needed some fresh air and some exercise. We both enjoyed it very much, apart from the fact that we got wet. That’s not the worst thing that can happen, though. I pretended that I didn’t have a sore knee and walked like it didn’t bother me. I doesn’t seem to have hurt me at all. It’s going to be sore anyway, regardless of what I do. At this point, I think it’s the cut that hurts me most. 
There was speed skating on television in the afternoon and that did provide some diversion. The Dutch men did well and I can only be proud of them. I do enjoy watching speed skating, as it’s almost hypnotic to look at, especially if they skate a longer distance. It’s a very relaxing sport to watch, while being exciting enough too. The commentary is always very good and professional and as unbiased as it can get. There’s real admiration for the skaters from other countries, not just our own. 
I didn’t get a lot of chores done, but then that didn’t seem so important. There was not that much to do anyway. I played with Tyke a lot and gave him some of my undivided attention, which he appreciated very much. Gandhi participated as much as possible, unless it got too rough. She stuck as close to us as she could and retrieved Tyke’s rubber toy when it got stuck under the chair. That was good, because I didn’t have to kneel down and get it. That’s kind of hard on my knee.
The Exfactor came by and I gave him some of my strong coffee and that quite perked him up. I saw him come to live. I think he’d only had tea, which proves my point that it’s another beverage altogether. 
I went to bed early, despite my intention to stay up. By eight o’clock I was yawning something awful and longing to go to sleep. I put it off as long as I could, but there was no stopping it. I listened to the radio for a while, but there were football games on and that doesn’t interest me all that much. It seems that football season is never over. If so, I must miss the break. I was thinking about putting on a CD when I fell asleep. 
This morning I will go back to bed for a while, because it’s Sunday morning and there’s no need to rush the day. There will be enough hours to be up to do things in. It’s going to be cloudy and chilly today and there may be a shower now and then. It’s not very exciting weather. Mostly very dreary. It’s really the kind of weather that makes you want to have a hibernating Sunday, but I suppose I will go for another long walk with Tyke. We’ll take the same route we did yesterday, because it was such a great success. It was just long enough to not be too exhausting. 
I hope you all have a great day!
Ciao,
Nora

>A few cups of coffee…

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I was getting worried about myself and thought that I was maybe feeling the effects of the reduction of my medication. I felt negative and emotional and couldn’t talk myself out of it. Then a brilliant idea hit me and I thought that maybe I was going through caffeine withdrawal. I’d only had two cups today. I quickly made a pot of coffee and now I’m drinking my second cup. I feel a lot better already, so my hunch was right and that problem was easily solved. 
I do have my addictions, but I guess my anti-psychotics aren’t one of them. Caffeine and nicotine are, but I had been ready to take another pill and I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad the solution of the coffee presented itself to me first, because I would have lived under a mistaken illusion. I would have thought that I could not reduce my medication any further and that would have been a shame. I’m doing such a good job at reducing them and I’m kind of proud of myself that I’ve gotten this far already. I would not have thought it was possible. 
It’s just below freezing outside, but it’s nice and warm in here. I have the blinds drawn and the heater on and I’m warmly dressed. I’m glad it’s evening and I’m ready to make the most of it. It’s my goal to really enjoy this Friday night. Not that there’s anything on television, I’ll have to find another way to amuse myself. That shouldn’t be too difficult. I do have some imagination and then there’s always the radio to listen to. 
I’ve always been fond of a good political discussion and I’m sure there will be one on tonight now that the university students are protesting against the budget cuts. I don’t think the protesters will be taken serious and I think the budget cuts will be made anyway. Not enough students showed up at the rally. The protest signs were too neat and too polite. The students were well behaved. There wasn’t enough of an uproar. Nobody knows how to get outraged anymore. The government will do what it wants, regardless of the opposition and in this case, it may possibly be right. 
I’ve had enough coffee now and I feel great. It’s done its job and I can function like a normal person again. That certainly is a difference with how I felt earlier. It’s funny that the things that seem the most innocent, are the most addictive. I wonder if people get the same addiction to regular tea? And what did people do in the days before there was coffee or tea? They must have had a drink to get them going in the morning. I can’t imagine that they just drank water. There must have been some stimulating beverage. I know that people drank a weak beer when the water in the towns was not potable. Maybe everybody was continually slightly drunk back then. It was said that beer was good for nursing mothers. It can’t have been all bad and there used to be a lot of breweries. 
My timing is perfect and I can watch the news in a little while. I think the news ought to last longer and be more comprehensive, but that’s just me. Most people probably don’t want that. 
Have a good night!
Ciao,
Nora