The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for chores

In the early dawn…

The first birds have just started to sing and their timing is excellent because I’ve gotten up just a while ago and am ready for the day to start. The sun won’t rise for another hour, though, and in the meantime I will sit here with my coffee and cigarettes and write this post. I feel wide awake, but that may be a temporary condition and I may be struck by sleep yet and have to go back to bed later. It all depends on how much I like being up already so early in the morning. It may not turn out to be the great thing that I think it is now.

The Exfactor is going to be here at 10 am to pick up the dog to take him to the dog trim salon to have his fur trimmed. Hopefully it will not be raining then as we are expecting a few showers today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will stay dry this morning, at least until the dog is safely dropped of. It would be hard to trim him if he’s wet.

The Exfactor is doing me an enormous favor by taking the dog there, as it is impossible for me to make the trip there and back twice. I get an enormous lower backache if I try. It’s just too much of an effort for me. The Exfactor does it so much more easily as he does seem to do everything more easily when it comes to physical effort. He’s a wiry and strong man and does things with half as much effort as I do.

As I had planned, I watched the first British thriller last night. I was perfectly set for it and had put on my pajamas and bathrobe so that I would be able to go straight to bed afterwards. I watched the first episode of the series ‘Case Sensitive’ and I must say that it was very good. I didn’t know who had done it until the whole thing began to become unraveled. It had many satisfying surprises in it. I must become used to the investigating duo, but their relationship will evolve as the series evolves. It’s all a matter of chemistry, I’m sure.

Today I’m expecting my new skinny jeans and I’m looking forward to getting them. I took a chance by ordering them a size smaller and I may have to push and shove my way into them and they still may not fit. I won’t know until I actually try them on. I will be keeping them if they are too tight because I know they eventually will fit. It would only be a matter of time until they did. But I’m running way ahead of myself and just have to wait and see. I’m just preparing myself for all the eventualities.

I have to do the dishes and a load of laundry and put away the dry clothes. I also have to order a new supply of medicines. For me this is an eventful day and I look forward to it with some amount of anticipation. Anything out of the ordinary tends to set me wobbling. I must make sure that I stay very grounded. I don’t like for many things to be different. I like plain ordinariness the best.

I’m going to take my medicines and go back to bed for a little while. I can sleep for a few more hours. I’ll have to set the alarm clock so I’ll be up on time.

Have a nice day.





Spending time quietly…

Of course, the darn dog woke me up again and I had to get him quiet as quick as possible. We kept it to one outburst and that was more than enough. It does immediately wake me up out of a sound sleep. I’m as alert as can be and practically jump out of bed. All my senses are at the ready and I can’t go back to sleep once I’ve settled him down. I think my presence reassures him and that’s what makes him relaxed enough to mellow out again. He’s now chewing on his rawhide bone and being totally unaware of everything. That’s how I like that.

I’ve made myself some coffee to clear the cobwebs from my mind. I do want to be able to think clearly when I write a post.

Much to my surprise, I’m now able to get my denim skirt off without undoing the buttons or the zipper. I did it quite by accident the other night like I used to with my other skirts when they got too big on me. I can get it back on the same way. It does save me some work. I had washed it and thought that maybe it was going to be a little tight on me, but I needn’t have worried.

This has prompted me to order some skinny jeans in a smaller size. I can wear them with all sorts of clothes and make many combinations. At least, that’s what I envision in my mind. I do look forward to getting them on Thursday and trying these things out.

I still haven’t been on the bathroom scale first thing in the morning in my underwear. I keep forgetting to get on it before I have eaten anything, but I’ll let how my clothes fit be the indicator. I’m still curious about the weight I’ve lost and I’ll try to remember to weigh myself this morning first thing when I get up again.

I don’t want to seem obsessed with my weight and my clothes, but when you have lost as much weight as I have, it is a big deal. Especially when you come within reach of your goal. I have lost more than 100 lbs. That’s as much as a skinny person. I wouldn’t be able to lift 100 lbs. Just think that I had been carrying all that weight with me. No wonder I had lower back problems.

Today is going to be a splendidly empty day. It will only be filled with laundry and walking the dog and getting the mail out of the mailbox. Isn’t that just great? And I don’t expect any important mail either. I took care of that yesterday and took care of my paperwork too. A lot of that could go into the recycle box.

Tonight starts a month full of British detective series every night. I can’t wait and I’m so thrilled about it. They must have known that I was starved for thrillers. We will have Silent Witness, Frost, Case Sensitive, Lewis and some other newer series. Oh yes, the Swedish Wallander too. My cup runneth over. You know what I will be doing every evening. I will not be bored. Thank goodness for small favors.

I’m getting tired and have to go back to bed. The early birds are singing.

Have a good day, all of you.






The weekend…

I can’t believe today is Saturday and that it’s almost over. It seems to have flown by and I have no idea what happened to the day. I filled it with some chores and walking the dog and watching some cultural television, but I didn’t do anything that took up a lot of my time, yet the day is already coming to an end. It’s kind of a shame, because I feel as though I wasted Saturday and didn’t get a chance to enjoy it properly. I wasn’t paying attention well enough.

Luckily, there are two more free days ahead of me because Monday will be a holiday also. I must make sure I enjoy those days well and really appreciate my freedom. I have to be aware enough. Oh yes, the Exfactor also came by on a lightening quick visit to drink a cup of coffee. I almost forgot about that.

I had a huge stack of dishes to do because I kept putting them off every day and the more I did, the less I wanted to do them. I finally had to face up to them today because I had no clean soup bowls left and nothing else I could eat soup out of. And then, when you actually do the dishes, you realize they are a piece of cake and that you’ve been worried for no reason at all. Doing the dishes is really not such a tough job. You just think they are. After all, I have no pots and pans to scrub and I clean everything under hot water before I actually wash it.

I also changed my bed and I always think ahead of time that it’s a big chore too because of the duvet cover, but it is really easy if you don’t let yourself get frustrated. There’s one way that works for me and if I apply it, that duvet cover is on in no time at all. I just imagine that it’s going to be difficult.  You’d think I’d learn from experience, but apparently I’m a hardheaded woman.

The thing to do, is to have an empty washing machine so you can wash the dirty sheets immediately. I do. I push them in the machine right away and add the washing powder and turn it on. That makes me feel very industrious and organized. I feel like a real housewife then. It solidifies my position. My excuse for existing. As long as the washing machine is churning away, it makes me look good.

Something else that makes me look good is taking the dog for a walk. People always comment on what a good looking dog he is and then want to know his breed. I always feel like a fraud when I say that he’s an American cocker spaniel because the more pictures I see of cockapoos and the more descriptions I read of them, the more convinced I am that he’s one too and I have been for quite some time. I’m going to have the ask the vet when I see him at the end of the month. Maybe he’ll know.

Today we saw a two month old labradoodle. It was adorable and very pretty. It lives in the neighborhood so we can watch it grow up. The owner said that it was supposed to become a medium sized dog. It had the long body of a labrador but the curls of a poodle.

It’s time to eat some dinner. I’m too late. The 8 o’clock news is going to be on.

Have a great evening.



Neither here nor there…

It’s time again to be up in the middle of the night and have my coffee and cigarettes. What else can you expect from me? Did you think I was suddenly going to change my habits? No, of course not. If there’s one thing I am, it’s consistent. I’m as predictable as the Dutch weather. Which, by the way, has been rather predictable lately in its sameness. We’ve only had one odd day of rain and that was an exception.

There are only few exceptions to my daily and nightly routines. Especially my nights are copies of each other. And I like it like that. I like getting up in the middle of the night and having my coffee and writing a post before I’m off to bed again. I also read other people’s blog posts and my emails. It’s a perfect way to spend a few nightly hours.

I like sleeping late in the morning and taking my time waking up in my armchair with several cups of coffee. That way a good portion of the day is already spent. I don’t have to worry about what to do with the first part of the day. Those are the hours I would enjoy being up least of all as I would walk around here like a lost soul and not know what to do with myself. It was different when I was a diligent housewife and had a couple of kids. There weren’t enough hours in the day then.

There’s no need to look back in nostalgia as I’ve entered a different phase in my life now. One that fits the person I am now better. I need more mollycoddling and I make sure I get that. Since there’s no one to take care of me, I have to take care of myself. I do that by being as kind to myself as I can possibly be. I prevent a lot of stressful situations from developing so that I will always steer an even course. I try to avoid potholes and speed bumps along the way, making the road as smooth as possible.

I’m so much wiser now than I’ve ever been and I do a good job taking care of myself, but I’ll never know how good a job I would do taking care of other people now with the wisdom I have gained. Sometimes I’d like to go back in time, knowing what I know now, and I apply it to my life then. But people don’t get second chances. You only get to live your life one time. Everything is a rehearsal. That counts for everybody, there are no exceptions.

Speaking of a routine, yesterday I visited my sister and  we sat in her garden. The weather was nice enough, although it was chilly in the shade later in the afternoon when the sun disappeared behind the house. Her garden is a mixed success. Some plants do very well and some struggle and don’t want to blossom. There’s something lacking in the soil. She has to try and find the plants that do well in it.

I had two cappuccinos and a beer, although I didn’t really need the beer. It was more out of habit that I drank it. It wasn’t really the day for it. When I got home, I immediately made myself some coffee to get over the effect of the beer and felt better. Then I drank a tall glass of milk and walked the dog.  That sobered me up completely.  I think it needs to be hot weather to have a cold beer and that you shouldn’t just have one because you usually do.  It tends to become too much of a habit then.

I trimmed the hair around the dog’s eyes so he could see properly again and have a good outlook. It does make a difference. He’s very good about having this done and sits perfectly still. It’s easier to keep his eyes clean also when the hair is trimmed. I always imagine that he’s greatly relieved after I’ve done this.

Today is Friday and really the semi start of the weekend. I didn’t get any of my chores done yesterday, so I will have to do them today. There aren’t that many and I have enough time before the domestic help gets here. First I’m going back to bed. The early birds have started to sing and it is time.

I hope you’ll all have a good day and that you enjoyed your holiday.








>A repeat performance…


It’s in the middle of the night of Thursday going on Friday. Actually, it’s officially Friday already, so I will stick to that. It’s a much more optimistic point of view. The fact is that I like it being Friday instead of Thursday because it’s almost the weekend. I will do a few chores in the morning before the domestic help gets here and then I will be home free. And then, ha ha (laughing wickedly), I will have the weekend all to myself to do with as I please. 
No doubt I’ll fill it with all sorts of interesting things to do such as take naps and watch TV and walk the dog and sit and meditate in my armchair. That is if everything goes well. If I can sustain the mood I’m in. That’s the crucial ingredient. I must be well tempered. That means keeping my mood as balanced as I can get.
At least I can treat myself to a pleasant night sat behind the computer with a nice cup of coffee. That’s one way to get into a good mood. Nobody can take that away from me. I will have the agreeable experience of it and I’m enjoying that a lot. 
There’s no real reason why I should enjoy it this night more than others, because I do enjoy them regularly anyway. Except last night when I was in a minor mood and nothing came of writing a post, but there have to be exceptions to the rule.
There’s no need to over analyze this. Everybody has their ups and downs and I’m no different. Some nights you are full of goodwill and some nights you had better go back to bed, even if it means having a somewhat sleepless night until the morning when you properly fall asleep. 
It’s with some amount of contentment that I sit here now and write down whatever enters my head, although I do try to make rhyme and reason of it. I don’t want to sound completely like a ship set adrift. I do want to make some sense. 
No doubt the coffee is keeping me on the straight and narrow. It does have the tendency to keep my mind focused. At least it prevents me from drifting away from the subject at hand too much. 
But what was the subject at hand? It seems to me that I had not quite chosen one. I think I was just rambling on in a general sort of way and was not really focused on anything in specific. Maybe it’s impossible for me to do that right now. There’s nothing really pressing on my mind.

All I know is that I have to do the dishes this morning and do a load of laundry and dry it outside on the clothes lines. That will give me a good reason to change the bed again tonight and I can’t do that often enough for my taste. The weather is going to be beautiful today and there will be no excuse not to hang the laundry outside. It should be dry in no time because it will be most pleasant out there.
Those are the calls of duty which I’m at liberty to ignore right now because it’s not the right time to give heed to them. I’ve got some sleeping left to do first. It’s with some reluctance that I’m going to go back to bed because I’m not nearly ready to. 
It’s too bad that reality always creeps into your middle of the night musings. It’s that sense of responsibility that calls you back to order. It’s too bad that it’s so exaggerated. I wish I had a little less of it. 
If you’re still up, I hope you’re having a good evening. If you’re asleep, I hope you’ll have a good morning. 

>Late night thoughts…


My sister had given me a package of organically grown coffee and I made a pot of it just now, but I have to say that I don’t like the taste of it very much. I made it just as strong as I made the regular coffee, but it doesn’t pack a punch. You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth and I will finish it all up, although it is with a bit of resistance. Maybe I will get used to the taste of it after a few pots, but organically grown is not necessarily better.
It was coffee she no longer used because she has a complicated Krupp machine now that makes all sorts of coffee and grinds whole beans. Before that, I never thought I had a decent cup of coffee at her house, but I thought she was just not very good at making coffee. Now I understand why that was. She made the coffee too weak and it was organic. Another mystery solved. 
Her Italian friend tweaked the Krupp machine yesterday and fixed me a most excellent cappuccino in a tall glass that I really savored, so I know now to always have him make my cappuccinos. It must be because he’s Italian that he knows how to fix them so well. The milk was foamed to perfection.

As we speak a mixture of Dutch and English and Italian when we are together, we are all starting to understand each other in these languages. We switch from one to another without realizing that we do, although I’m very limited in Italian. I did guess the correct word for pillow, which is ‘il cushino.’  
We sat in the garden in the sunshine and as I sat with my back towards the sunlight, I’ve got a tan line there and on my shoulders. My dress was low cut in the back. The fence blocked the cool wind that was blowing and it was lovely. We moved our chairs as the shade of the house moved across the garden. 
On the fields by my apartment, the dandelions have all gone to seed, but the daisies are still blooming. There is also purple clover now and there are yellow buttercups all over. I’ve even see the first pink poppies. It is a joy to walk the dog and to discover the new wildflowers. There are some other very small ones in different colors, but they are so little, that they hardly show up. There are bees buzzing around now too, but luckily I have no fear of them. I’ve never been stung by one. 
All in all, it was a wonderful lazy day yesterday as Sundays should be. It was truly a day of rest and I didn’t even get around to doing the dishes that I should have done. I was also going to change my bed, but I didn’t get around to that either. Those will be jobs for today. That’s what Mondays are for, after all. I do have a clean set of sheets and pillow cases. It’s the pillow cases that I always run out of. I have to get more of those with four pillows on my bed.
I’m truly thankful for the mood I find myself in. It’s neither high nor low, but nicely in between. I guess I’m doing something right. If only I could figure out what the magic ingredients are, I would keep adding them every day. I would subtract whatever did not fit into the picture. It’s such a relief to be balanced. I’d wish for it every day. I suppose that would bring me the greatest happiness. 
I’ve had a glass of milk, but the taste of that coffee is still in the back of my mouth. It really isn’t very good. I think that maybe I will just keep it for emergencies. There’s no sense in drinking something against your will. That’s not what life is all about. You always need to find the most enjoyable experience as long as you don’t hurt anyone with it. I’m sure my sister won’t mind if I don’t like her coffee. I don’t think she was too thrilled about it herself, but bought it out of a sense of responsibility. She had a wacky little coffeemaker when she moved to her new house until the Krupp machine arrived.
I’ve got to think about going to bed, although I’m not nearly ready to. I’m enjoying the peace of the nighttime too much. 
I hope you’re all sleeping tightly or are about to. 

>The silence of midnight…


I’ve already been asleep, but an untimely need to go to the toilet woke me up and needless to say, I can’t go back to sleep afterwards because I’m wide awake by the time I’ve done that and let the dog out back. There’s no need in me to go back to bed and get cozy under the duvet and continue sleeping. I’m as alert as if I’ve slept for hours and I’m ready to be up and do a days worth of work. 
Of course, later on I will get tired again and go back to sleep, but that will be after I’ve been up for a long while and have generally made a nuisance out of myself in some way by changing my blog templates or doing other silly things such as leave many comments and write many emails that are maybe unnecessary and uncalled for. Sometimes I will take any opportunity to make a noise and have an opinion, although I think all of them are actually well grounded and well meant. I don’t make empty noises. 
Yesterday was a Saturday like many others. I didn’t exactly outperform myself. I laid as low as I possibly could with the exception that I walked the dog at regular times. Most of the time I sat in my armchair and watched television because I was trying to not turn on the computer. I’m trying to drop that bad habit during the day because I turn it on when I am bored and write posts out of boredom and that has to be the worst reason to write posts.
Luckily, there are cultural programs on  television on Saturday although some of them are of dubious quality, but I suffer through those. I pretend to watch those for anthropological reasons to see what interests the common masses. The Dutch language hit parade is not something that normally turns me on. That’s worthy of a whole study in itself. It’s a strange phenomenon that is almost totally devoid of quality. I’m always pleasantly surprised when there’s at least one halfway decent song on that does not make my toes curl in my shoes. 
I was trying to get through the day with the least amount of aggravation. Sometimes I appreciate the weekends and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes they are just long boring days to get through, especially when all my chores are done. For some reason, I’m all caught up. I don’t know how that happened either. Normally I save up some things to do.  I even trimmed the fur around the dog’s eyes so he would be able to see well again. It grows very quickly and he peeks through it. 
I appreciate the fact that I don’t have any chores to do to speak of, but I have to find more interesting ways to keep myself occupied besides laying low and watching television. I think it was the mood I was in today that was the cause of that and the news of the major incident of the lone gunman who killed and wounded so many people in that shopping mall in Alphen aan de Rijn. 
It was on the news immediately in the afternoon and on for the rest of the day as more information came in. It was not something to make you feel very cheerful because things like this don’t happen here and it was quite shocking. We know that children were shot, but the authorities won’t yet tell us if they are amongst the people who were killed. I wasn’t going to mention it at all, but it’s bothering me more than I realized. I suppose we will find out more in the morning. 
I suppose on that sad note I will leave you as there is nothing to add. 
Sleep tight.