The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for March, 2011

>Almost fools in April…

>

Today is the last day in March and tomorrow will be April Fool’s Day. I hope I’m not fooled by anyone because in the past I’ve been gullible and fallen for it. I may be cynical enough by now not to, I don’t know. I suppose it depends on who were to try it and how sincerely it was done. I will forewarn myself and with every story I hear, I will remind myself that it’s April 1st and intend not to believe it. I think that’s the best defense. 
I’m not a great fooler myself  and hate to tell people stories that aren’t true, so I’m not about to go along with the tradition. It’s probably because my mother and older sister used to tell very upsetting stories that turned out not to be true when I was a child. I never wanted to carry on that tradition. It’s not the kind of joking around that I like. 
Yesterday was not a great day weather wise. It was cloudy and the sun was not out and with it, all my good intentions disappeared. It was as though most of my energy had been drained out of me and I did the least amount of chores. Whether or not it is a sunny, bright day does influence me, apparently. The gloomy weather didn’t make me gloomy so much, but it made me want to withdraw inside the apartment and not do much of anything. 
I’ve done enough of that this wintertime and am not about to repeat it every time the weather doesn’t co-operate. I have to get over that and not be so influenced by it, although it seems to have a life of its own and I don’t know how much I can actually do about it.
I didn’t really perk up until the end of the day and the news came on television. Not that it was anything to be happy about. You have to watch the news so critically, not that they try to influence you one way or the other, but you have to do a lot of reading between the lines and try to get more background information about the stories you hear. Radio is good for that because you hear many different points of view on the subjects. Different broadcasting groups have to share air space on Radio One so, many angles are got at and more information is given. 
It’s with some amount of dread that I look forward to today because it’s going to be a cloudy, rainy day. Now, I know in the past I’ve claimed that I liked these days, but I don’t like them now. I crave sunlight. I probably preferred the relatively mild, rainy days to the snowy, cold, windy days. Maybe I felt like hibernating more then, but since we’ve set the clocks ahead one hour, I want nothing more then bright and long, sunny days to go out in. I do walk the dog with much more cheer when it’s sunny outside. Heck, I do everything with much more cheer.
I’m going to sit down in my armchair and read my thriller before I go back to bed. It’s become a nice little habit. I read in the afternoon also. Slowly but surely I’m getting through that book. Havers is being insubordinate to Linley, but it will all be for a good cause. It will help solve the case. 
Have a nice day.
Ciao,
Nora
Advertisements

>It wasn’t working…

>

I didn’t achieve my goal of sleeping six hours last night. I had really imprinted it in my mind before I went to sleep and had picked the time that I should have woken up at, but alas, it didn’t work out. 
First I woke up because I had to go to the toilet, which isn’t too bad because I can usually go back to sleep. Then I woke up from a cacophony of noise emanating from the radio instead of the usual gentle nighttime sounds that come from it. After I got over that shock and tried to get back to sleep, I was alerted by the dog who had taken one of my boots off the third shelf of the bookcase and was just planning on having a good chew on it. 
I gave up trying to get more sleep then because I was perfectly awake, but had slept only four and a half hours. I decided that would have to do and got up reluctantly not having achieved my goal. I’m going to try again tonight and every night and get as close as I can get. It must be doable if I have my mind set the right way. I will always aim for six hours. 
My psychiatrist thought my way of dealing with my sleep problem was the right way and he was glad that I didn’t want any new sleeping pills because he would have been very reluctant to give me any. I think I would have had to beg for them. He likes this approach much better and he was about to suggest it to me himself. 
We’re also going to not do anything with the rest of my medication, so there are to be no reductions for awhile. It is thought better to let me be in balance for now and have a steady time before we do any more of that. I’ve been bouncing up and down enough. It’s time for some peace and quiet. I can only agree to that.
My visit with my SPN went fine. She said she was glad to have the old me back. She was genuinely pleased about that. I was a reasonable woman again. I know I am because I feel that way myself.
Now I’m yawning again. I think I will sit in my armchair for a while and read my book and then go back to bed. I have lots of sleep to catch up on. 
Have a terrific day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Ease me gently into the morning…

>

I figure if I’ve managed to get 5 hours of sleep, I’ve done a damn good job and I allow myself to get up and walk into the living room to turn on the computer and from there proceed into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. I know how really awake I am by how well I perform this job. If I do it without the least frustration, I am most definitely ready to be up. 
This morning I made the coffee without the least amount of effort. I did it routinely, without giving it a thought and got the proportion of ground coffee just right. I don’t over optimistically spoon coffee into the paper filter anymore. I know that less is better to make a strong enough cup with this Dutch coffee.
I also know now at which time of the evening to go to bed to get the most out of my sleep. It isn’t very late and I’m certainly not going to go down in history as a party animal, but it is the most sufficient way for me to deal with my specific sleep requirements. It’s a good thing that I live alone and that I don’t have to be a companion to anyone late at night, because surely it wouldn’t work out. Our schedules would clash like crazy.
My dog knows when it’s time to go to bed. He gives me the warning signs and acts like my alarm clock to tell me it’s time to go. Around bedtime he sits and barks at me softly and won’t stop until I’ve gotten up and changed into my pajamas. Then I have to do my whole ‘going to bed routine’ while he follows me around the apartment, checking to make sure I do everything I’m supposed to do. He’s not happy until I’ve settled down under the duvet and he’s climbed onto the bed with me. 
Of course, every night we have the problem of the cat who wants to come on the bed also and who needs to be chased away by the dog. This is another endless routine that we go through and nobody seems to learn a lesson. The cat always comes and the dog always wants to assert his position and I always have to intervene. Maybe I should stop intervening and let them figure it out for themselves. I should stop rescuing the cat and let her fight her own fights. She needs a little bit of assertiveness training. 
I’ve stopped drinking coffee a while ago and have switched to lemonade. I’m going to take it and sit in my armchair for a while and read my thriller before I go back to bed to get some more sleep. The Exfactor is going to be here this morning and in the afternoon I’ve got appointments with my psychiatrist and my SPN.  I don’t want new sleeping pills. I think they mess me up too much during the day without working at night. I think the system I have now will suffice. 
Have a great day everyone!
Ciao,
Nora

>Tea doesn’t do the job…

>

I tried to wake up with a cup of tea, but it left me very grumpy and grouchy, so that was not a success. The reason I had the tea, was that I had to open a new vacuum sealed package of coffee and I was not in the mood for that first thing when I got up. I just couldn’t face the struggle of opening it up and pouring the coffee into the glass containers before I could make a pot. So I chose the easy way out and microwaved a cup of tea. It did nothing for me, except leave me in a bad mood. 
Of course, then I was very motivated to open that darn package and make coffee. It didn’t turn out to be too frustrating a job by then. I was quite up to dealing with it. I’m very happy to say that I’m having my second cup now and that I’m beginning to feel a lot better. My coffeemaker is kind to me and doesn’t take too long to turn out a fresh pot. I don’t have to wait endlessly. My craving is soon satisfied.
I went to bed very early last night because I simply was done with the day and had read my book and there was nothing decent on television. In the book a gruesome murder had just been discovered and I figured that was a good place to stop reading lest my imagination started working overtime. The investigating team was just off to start looking for a second body, which I’m sure was going to be an equally gruesome discovery. It was a lot to take in all at once. 
Television on weekend nights is pitiful. You can’t count on it for your entertainment, unless you are a vegetable and have no functioning brain cells. They must save the worst programs for the weekends when everybody is otherwise committed and only really dull and less challenged people stay home.  The kind who don’t know that the television has an off button. 
My sister and I sat in the sunshine in her garden yesterday afternoon and I had cappuccinos while she drank tea. It was wonderful. All the bulb plants had come up and were blooming or were about to bloom. The violets were brightly purple and blue. The hydrangeas were getting new leaves and the perennials were starting to pop out of the ground. We got a little bit of color from the sun and discussed world issues. We agreed on most everything and exchanged information about what we’d read and heard and seen. It had been a while since we’d had a good conversation. It gives you food for thought. 
Tyke and Gandhi were happy when I got home and Tyke got a belly rub and then a walk. When we got back, Gandhi got to lie on my lap for a while. I do have to keep both animals happy. 
I’m sufficiently tired now to go back to bed. I do have to put the trash out. I forgot to do that last night. I have to set the alarm clock because my personal helper is going to be here later this morning. I do want ample time to wake up before she gets here, otherwise I won’t be communicative enough. 
Have a super day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Summer Time…

>

I was already in bed and sound asleep when the dog started to bark. It startled me awake and I decided to get up to prevent him from barking again because that’s the last thing I want. I had already set all the clocks and my watch one hour ahead before I went to bed, so to me it is an hour later now than it still really is. The time won’t change until 2 am and it is not that yet. At least I am well prepared and I won’t be fooled by what time it is in the morning when I get up for the second time. Believe me, there’s logic in there somewhere. It all makes sense to me in a slightly convoluted way. 
So, I’m sitting here now being wide awake, having my coffee and my cigarettes, with a very quiet dog at my feet,  Of course, he had to go out back first before he would settle down and I was quite nervous that he would start to bark out there too, but he did no such thing, thank goodness. There’s nothing like the unpredictability of a dog to make you feel on edge in the middle of the night when your neighbors are asleep. My adrenalin rushed through my body until he was inside again, especially since I have a grumpy neighbor who likes to complain about nothing at all.
Saturday went by well and it was a good day. The only thing I forgot to do was pick out a new novel from the bookcase. I never did get around to that because I didn’t get a chance to sit in my armchair to read. 
In the morning I slept for a long time to catch up on the sleep I didn’t get during the night and it was blessed. I woke up in an excellent mood and totally well rested and not under the influence of the effects of the new sleeping pills that I had stopped taking. Apparently the effects of those babies kept working all day long and did all sorts of things with me that weren’t pleasant. I’m not going to try any others. I’ll just live with things the way they are now and consider myself a night person. I do get my sleep eventually and that’s the main thing. I haven’t become psychotic yet because of lack of sleep. 
I took my time picking out an outfit that I wanted to be especially comfortable besides looking good. Comfort was the main thing, though. I wanted to feel easy in it and not have to worry about everything constantly being in place and looking well arranged. I have a couple of outfits that I feel especially comfortable in and I opted for one of those. I can sit as unladylike in it as I want when nobody is around. and it always looks good and is warm enough to wear. I would wear it every day if I could, but it it does have to go into the washing every now and then. 
It’s a black, long sleeved, stretch T-shirt dress with a low slung belt that I wear over leggings with a lightweight cardigan on top that’s open at the front. It makes me look slimmer than I am and therefor it’s flattering. At my age, I need all of that I can get. 
I had to go to the tobacco shop and I remembered to pick out a card for my grandson who is going to be 14 years old in a couple of weeks. I must send the card with contents on time because he lives in the States. I even remembered to pick up a couple of lighters because those things always run out of fuel prematurely. Before you know it, you’re left without the means to light your cigarettes. The only thing I forgot to buy was a chocolate bar, but I have chocolate pudding in the refrigerator and I get to have some of that every day so that takes care of that craving. When that is gone, I still have yogurt on which I sprinkle some sugar. I do have to take care of my sweet tooth. 
I watched an international indoor bike racing competition on television in which we finally won a bronze and gold medal on the third day, which is a good thing because the event is held in the Netherlands on a newly built course. We had higher hopes than that, but there’s one day of competition left. Dutch people always expect to be the best at all sports and are surprised when we aren’t. We assume we belong to the world top in everything. Maybe we are naive optimists. Or maybe we really are fairly good at a lot of things. We have a lot of gumption for a little country and great fans all decked out in orange at every occasion. 
As soon as I’m done writing this, I’m going to choose a novel from the bookcase and put it ready for me to start reading by my armchair. I’m very curious as to what I will find there. I’ve got to get myself into the proper mood to read. I would really like a thriller and hope I can find one. An Inspector Linley would be nice. I need light entertainment, nothing too intellectual. My brain can’t handle anything that’s too deep and introspective. No high drama. You’ll see the book magically appear on my sidebar.
I’m going to see my sister this afternoon. I haven’t seen her in forever. She’s always got such a busy life. We do keep daily contact by telephone, but it’s not the same as seeing each other. I will drink good cappuccinos and eat Italian cookies of which I will only be able to eat two and then I will be full and I will burp a lot, but it will be worth it. 
Have a great day you all. It’s now officially summer time. 
Ciao,
Nora

>The most excellent time of the night…

>

I have slept four hours and am in good spirits. That is only one hour less than if I had taken my new sleeping pills, proving my point that they really don’t work. And I feel better waking up too, making me all the more happy. So, the psychiatrist was right in telling me yesterday not to take them anymore. I can only agree with him, besides, the less pills, the better. They all have side effects and I believe these ones made me grumpy and emotional during the day. I’ll have to see if today goes any better, but I assume it will. 
I am sat here with my cup of coffee and my cigarettes and all of my good intentions and a very good mood. I somehow want to act on them and make them count, but that’s hard to do in the middle of the night. I can’t perform good deeds or climb any mountains or make a trip around the world. If I were a billionaire I could maybe do some of these things impulsively. That’s a huge daydream I could get lost in and I just did. I do have to call myself to order. 
This very good mood I am in will have to be put to use some other way. I will just have to write a good post and try to get my good vibes across. 
There’s nothing nicer than sitting here in the middle of the night, feeling very good all by myself and wishing to share it with somebody else. If I could make your day seem brighter, I would be very happy. I would want your half empty glass to seem half full. I would want you to count all your blessings and be grateful for them, no matter how small they were.
But that sounds too evangelical and I don’t want to come across as someone like that. You get to decide those things for yourself. There is such a thing called self determination, after all, in which you choose your own destiny and the things you believe in along the way. You have to pick your own attitude and outlook. I can’t force you into one or the other. 
I’m now sitting here with a glass of cold milk and am thinking of all the ways a person can enjoy themselves if they can hang on to their good mood indefinitely. It seems to me that even the little things in life would be a joy to do if your mood was always good. Everything would be done without a struggle. I can’t count on such predictability. My moods are too changeable for that. They go through the whole range from high to low and back again in one day. Especially at this time of the year. I’m a wobbly woman. I need my own cheerleader section. 
I am taking my time writing this because I’m continually distracted by my own thoughts. It’s called daydreaming, I think. Sometimes I do a lot of that. I’m also developing a sore throat, which is surprising because as far as I know, I haven’t been exposed to anyone who is ill. Oh yes, one of the domestic helps had tonsillitis and was taking antibiotics for it. I hope I’m not getting sick. It would be a waste of a good weekend, but I suppose the timing would be good. I have nothing really important planned. 
I can actually say that I’m glad that it is Saturday. I’m going to take the day off and rest on my laurels. Oh yes, I do have to go to the tobacco shop. That will be my outing for the day then. I do look forward to the day. I get to pick out a new novel from the bookcase and I’m full of curiosity as to what it’s going to be. I feel like a thriller, but I don’t know if I have any left that are unread. Wish me luck at finding something good. 
Have a good day and stay out of trouble. 
Ciao,
Nora

>Is there no rest for the wicked?

>

Since it’s so very early in the morning, I won’t worry about how wicked I apparently am. I figure that I’ve got at least several hours before I have to face the truth of that question and by that time it may not be relevant anymore. I may have forgotten all about it. For now I will just enjoy these quiet hours that are given me in which to write this post and in which to announce as much nonsense as I can think of. I’m sure that if I let my mind take it’s silly course, it will come up with all sorts of good stuff, providing I don’t censor myself too much. 
I slept as much as I was able to, I woke up once and forced myself to go back to sleep, but that didn’t work the second time. The second time, my eyes popped open and I practically jumped out of bed, ready to get the coffee started in the kitchen and turn on the computer. I was as eager as a young puppy to get up and play. This not withstanding the fact that I had taken the new sleeping pills. Much good they do me. I slept 6 hours last night and now I slept 5 hours. I’m defying medical science. 
Nevertheless, It’s with a certain amount of contentment that I sit here and have my coffee and cigarettes. What better way to start the day. If the wicked can celebrate the early morning in that way, it pays to be wicked. The best thing is that I’m doing it at a clean desk because I uncluttered it yesterday. All I have left to do is sort out a stack of papers and I think half of them can go into the recycle box. 
I suddenly realized that I was working at a desk topped with unnecessary junk and took care of it in the shortest amount of time. I got rid of what had no business being there and rearranged everything else n a more pleasant manner. This suddenly gave me all sorts of space and I felt that my life was suddenly much less complicated. 
So, that’s all it takes to make your life simple. You simply take the clutter off your desk. It unclutters you mind at the same time. I’m going to apply this trick to the rest of my apartment and be free of worries. It will give me a Zen like environment free to contemplate my navel in.
Speaking of that, I haven’t taken the opportunity to contemplate my navel in a while and miss the exercise. Maybe that’s what’s missing in my life. I need to get back to my armchair to meditate in. Providing the pesky dog doesn’t bother me with requests for games with his ball and petting sessions and wanting to climb  on my lap to embrace me and lick my face. And that’s not even speaking of the cat who will want to get her time in also and infest my clothes with cat hair. The next time I will get a black cat to match my clothes. 
I’ve just about had all the coffee I want and have switched to cold milk. It does perk me up too with its nice chilled effect. It’s the nicest thing next to an ice cream sundae. Every glass is a treat. 
I’ve got to plan my day. The domestic help is coming because it’s Friday again, much to my surprise. But then it always is, isn’t it? I’m never prepared for Fridays. They always sort of sneak up on me. The week goes by in a whirl and then suddenly it’s the weekend and I always have mixed feelings about it. I wish I could get my head straight about that,
I’m not going to go and find the warmth and safety of my bed. I will stay up and start the day when the sun comes up. I will have to save whatever sleep I didn’t get until tonight.
Have a happy day!
Ciao,
Nora