The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for domestic help

Early bedtime?

Apparently I’m not supposed to go to bed on time at night. It is completely futile that I do because I do nothing but lay there and waste my time trying to fall asleep. It would be wonderful if I dozed off, but I don’t even do such a thing. I’m just wide awake and completely aware of my surroundings. I have silent communications with the dog and the cat who can’t go to sleep either as long as I don’t.  We all toss and turn and switch positions to get the most comfortable we can be, but it is all to no avail until I finally announce that I’m getting up and that sets the troops in action. We all move to the living room where everybody finds their spot.

One of the problems was, that for some reason there was no British thriller on tonight. There’s going to be tomorrow night and the night after that, but none this evening. This p*ssed me off a little bit because I had gotten so used to there always being one. There was other ‘amusement’ on the TV, but it was nothing that I was happy with. As a result, I went to bed early thinking that I would be happy listening to the radio, but it wasn’t so. The subjects that were discussed didn’t interest me all that much and I was just out of sorts. Sleep seemed like a good solution, but it didn’t come, despite my sleeping pills.

I cut my hair today because I decided that it was too long and didn’t make me look good. That’s because I was wearing my glasses and I thought I looked like a very average run of the mill woman without any pizazz. I wanted to do something about that quickly so I grabbed the scissors and started cutting. I did do it very carefully and it turned out alright. At least I have more bounce to my hair now and it is a little perkier. I will have to go to the hairdresser to have it properly evened out in the back, but I can take my time doing that. I’ll see if I can go next week some time.

I was supposed to have a domestic help today, but she never showed up. I will have to call on Monday to find out what happened to her. I still haven’t got my regular Friday domestic help back and I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I haven’t seen her in ages, but I sure do miss her. She does such a nice thorough job of cleaning the place. I hope she’s back on the job soon.

It rained off and on all day and one time the dog and I got rained on when we were out for a walk. It wasn’t too much rain and we didn’t get too wet. We weren’t too far away from home because I had anticipated that it was going to rain. Next week, for a few days, the temperatures are going to be almost tropical and then we’ll have rain again. This crazy Dutch weather!

I’m sitting here dressed very warmly in my gray cardigan. I have the windows closed and the heater turned on because both the dog and I were cold. I will reverse all of that before I go back to bed. I like sleeping better in a cool bedroom. I just didn’t like sitting up feeling cold. I was desirous of warmth and so was the dog because he was shivering. He would after he had all of his curls cut off. He’s almost naked now.

He was sitting in front of the window for a long time this afternoon and I thought maybe he was contemplating his navel because there was nothing to see outside. Maybe he has a rich, secret inner life that requires a lot of pondering, although he’s really not the type for it because he’s way too optimistic and good natured. Maybe he has secret, happy thoughts. I can imagine that.

Sometimes the cat sits beside him and helps him look out the window. They both must be having the same fantasies while they stare into the distance at nothing at all. Not that much happens out in the street. Maybe it’s a form of meditation and it calms them down. Maybe I have animals that are into Buddhism the same as I am.

I think I will go to bed now. I do feel sleepy and I think it’s time. I hope I don’t feel the need to get up again tonight. It would be awfully misguided.

Ciao,

Nora

Freshly brewed coffee…

It is in the middle of the night and I am having a very tasty cup of coffee and a cigarette. Who could possibly ask for more? Yes, I would like a bowl of ice cream, vanilla if you please, but that is just a passing craving that I’ll get over.  I will have a glass of cold milk later on and that will take care of that. Glasses of cold milk are usually the answer to any kind of craving I may have. They are the perfect solution and satisfy me completely.

Yesterday we had a thundershower that brought gentle rain that fell for several hours. It wasn’t a lot of rain and I don’t know if it ended the drought, but it was very pleasant to listen to and very refreshing. It cooled things off a little bit. I fell asleep instantly listening to it when I took my afternoon nap and it was still coming down when I woke up.

I took the dog for a walk in it without wearing a jacket, that’s how gently it came down, and I didn’t mind getting wet. It certainly made everything smell good. Today we are supposed to have some spotty showers and I do hope they come about. I like the rain and we need it. I like going for walks in it, especially when it’s not cold outside.

It can’t ruin my hairdo, as I have such short hair that there’s not much to ruin. All I have to do is let it dry the natural way or rub it dry with a towel depending on how wet it gets. I also imagine that the rain is good for my skin, but I don’t know how true that is. I don’t know how much it’s influenced by air pollution.

Yesterday was a very non eventful day. You could say that it was a day as I like it. It was a typical low key Sunday. The highlight of the day was the tennis match between Nadal and Federer. I ended up rooting for Federer after all since he was the underdog. Of course, Nadal won.

In the evening, I was sitting slumped in my armchair for a long time and when I got up I had a terrific pain in my back in the usual spot. I had a heck of a time getting up and was like a little old lady when I tried to move around. There’s something to be said for sitting in your chair properly. I took some pain medication and went to bed on my fairly firm mattress and now the pain is gone. That bed of mine is good for my back. It always makes things better.

Today is not my favorite day with both my personal helper and the domestic help going to be here, but I have to see it through, little as I like it. Maybe there will be a day when I will appreciate them better again, especially my personal helper. I think she’s the one I have the most problems with. I don’t like her presence here.

I’ve got to go back to bed for some more hours of sleep. I’ll have to set the alarm clock so I’ll be coherent when the personal helper gets here. She always does expect me to be ready for a conversation the minute she walks in. There’s no gentle prelude.

Have a nice day.

Ciao,

Nora

 

 

Stalking the night…

The first thing I did when I got up tonight, was make myself a wonderful pot of freshly brewed coffee instead of drinking that old heated up in the microwave stuff. That was just about the kindest thing I could have done for myself. I’m enjoying a cup of it now and very nice it tastes too. I thought, why short change myself with bad tasting coffee when with a little more effort I can have the real thing? Sometimes I forget to treat myself with the kindness I deserve. That everybody deserves, so I hope you all treat yourselves well at every opportunity.

When I went on the bathroom scale yesterday morning, I discovered that I had lost another kilo. This leaves me 3.5 kilos short of my latest goal. I’ve already reached two goals and this is my third one. I may set a new goal after I reach this one, it depends on how easily I lose the weight. No doubt I will lose more weight quickly when I cut down on my medicines soon. This particular one is well known for weight gain, so I’m expecting to lose weight as I decrease it. That’s not the reason why I’m cutting down, but it’s a nice benefit of it.

I’m becoming my old skinny self again, someone I haven’t been in a number of years. It’s a great relief to be getting my old body back. Well, of course, it’s been ravaged by time and middle age. It’s not quite the body I used to have. I will need to have some surgery done on my stomach to get rid of excess skin. That’s where most of the weight gain was. I had an apple shape. All of me is skinny now except not quite there in that area.

I had a nice day yesterday, although I didn’t do anything special. I walked the dog a number of times and watched sports on television. I’m becoming a real sports addict and watch a number of them. I even watch field hockey, which I used to think was boring. I do enjoy the tennis at Roland Garros and can watch it for hours if they are good matches. I like to watch Federer play. He’s poetry in motion.

I didn’t get around to reading my book as the animals decided to take up a lot of my time every moment that I sat down in my armchair. There was always one climbing on my lap wanting to be petted. I suppose yesterday was animal bonding day. That’s what Sundays must be for. Every time I gave them a kind look, it was reason for them to come get attention from me.

We all did take a nap in the afternoon and I woke up very groggy and had to be resuscitated with coffee and cigarettes and then a refreshing walk with Tyke, followed by dinner and lots of cold milk for my never ending thirst. I had my pajamas and bathrobe on before I remembered to take out the trash. I watched a quiz show on television and got a lot of the answers right and felt superior. It’s probably different when you actually stand there in front of the cameras and have to give the answers.

I’m not especially looking forward to today. The personal helper and the domestic help will be here. I’m not too thrilled about it. It will be nice to have a clean apartment, but I’m not looking forward to the company. The personal helper wants to micro manage me to pieces and I have to put a halt to it. I will do that today. The domestic help wants to sit and visit too much and I will have to put an end to that also. I do want to be in charge of my own life and my own day and time.

Tomorrow will be a much better day. My time will be my own and I have no appointments, except that the Exfactor is going to be here to do the groceries. You have no idea how much I appreciate my freedom. I need lots of breathing space and room to move around in. Other people can make me feel trapped, especially if I feel they need to be entertained and amused and kept busy.

I’ve got to go back to bed now and get a couple of hours more sleep before the personal helper gets here. I do want to be coherent before she shows up, so I have to set my alarm clock.

I hope you’ll all have a nice day.

Ciao,

Nora

>A repeat performance…

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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. 
Ciao,
Nora

>If I go slowly, I will surely get there…

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If I start writing this post slowly now and take my time, it will be tomorrow by the time I’m done. All I have to do is not be in a rush and I really do think that’s the most comfortable way to write anyway. Since I seldom consciously allow myself that luxury, I will take full advantage of it and go as slowly as I can. I will even repeat myself if that is necessary to prolong the process. In the meantime, I will make myself some coffee to make the whole experience as holistic as possible. 
I should find some food to eat too, but I will postpone that for a while. It is hard to eat and write at the same time, besides that, you get crumbs in the keyboard. My domestic help is good about getting those out, but I’m afraid that in her enthusiasm she will one day shake loose the keys. 
I have already slept, having gone to bed early, but it was inevitable that I’d wake up again after a few hours. I will go back to sleep eventually, but not until I’ve gone through the lengthy process of getting into the proper mood again. I’ve got to get to the point that I’ll look forward to going to bed and that it’s the only place where I want to be. Luckily, I’m already yawning, so hopefully it won’t take too long. 
I stood by the back door a while ago to let out the dog and inhaled the fresh night air and now the smell of it is embedded in my system. It’s like it’s penetrated my pajamas because I keep smelling it, but I’m sure it’s just my imagination. It’s  as if I’ve got freshly laundered clothes on and I’ve been washed in spring rain. It’s very pleasant and all I can think is that it must be an imaginary olfactory experience I’m having.  I’m sure I don’t really smell like this. And by the way, no washing powder or shower gel comes close to smelling this way. 
The wind has stopped blowing so hard. It was a cold wind that was blowing from the north east and it is slowly going to start blowing from the south which will make things warmer by the weekend. I’m looking forward to that. It does mean that I can hang the laundry outside to dry because there is no rain in the forecast. Things should dry pretty quickly. 
I’ve got groceries in the house again because the Exfactor did them yesterday. I was completely out of milk and to me that is very serious. That means I can’t drink tall glasses of it and I have to put powdered creamer in my coffee. I still had other supplies so I wasn’t completely destitute. There was enough left to eat. I suppose I care most about the milk. I forgot to ask the Exfactor to buy some ice cream, so It mustn’t have been very important. I’ll try to remember next time because in the middle of the night like this, I feel like having a bowl of it. 
I just had a bowl of chocolate pudding and that prevented me from getting any crumbs into the keyboard. It was very good and filling. I forgot all about having that in the refrigerator. There’s nothing like sleeping on a full stomach, so I suppose I should think about going to bed. It is tomorrow now, after all. 
I hope you’ll all sleep tightly.
Ciao,
Nora

>Being perfectly normal early in the morning…

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Being perfectly normal doesn’t happen very often anymore, so I do have to give it a special mention. Besides, I don’t know how long the feeling is going to last. It may be very fleeting, but I hope it is solidly settled into my psyche for the rest of the day. I certainly welcome it and am very happy with it. It’s been a long time since I have felt this way. 
I never know what ingredients make up the feeling and I hope to keep getting them right as I guess at them. I’m drinking coffee and have read other people’s blog posts. They were for the most part cheerful, even the ones that were more introspective. Maybe that was just the take I had on them from my own point of view which is more rose colored. 
I’ve had at least 5 hours of sleep, that’s pretty good by my standards. I had a very nice phone conversation with my daughter last night. I think that put some weight into the balance. It was about a positive subject and one I could advise her on using all my maternal instincts which are intact and alive and well. You never do stop being good at that, do you? It doesn’t matter what age you are or what age your daughter is.
I’m seeing my psychiatrist today for the second time this week and I’m going to set something straight which has been bothering me very much. It’s a problem I had which I’ve since resolved and I want to help it out of this world and never talk about it again. It’s an embarrassment to me now to even think about it. I will make short shrift of it. It’s a reflection of how low I can get and had gotten. 
Being sound of mind has improved my point of view of life in general and my life in specific and suddenly everything looks a lot brighter than it did. All the little details that seemed so complicated now all look resolvable. I can’t say that the world’s problems seem less big by comparison, but I’m less burdened by them, if only in the smallest degree. Maybe my shoulders have become a bit stronger. 
I’ve always remained a realist about them anyway and never did think there was an easy solution or a solution at all. It’s easier to look at my own life and take care of the details there. All I can do is manage my own life well. 
It’s with some amount of relief that I start the day. Feeling unburdened for the most part has improved the way I’ll enter the fray. It’s not much of a fray anyway. At least, I don’t look at it that way. Except for some minor complications, it all seems rather simple. All I have to do is stay as honest and as upfront as I can be and do my best. With a little bit of goodwill and a continuing good outlook, I ought to be able to do that.
And I still say, thank god it’s Friday. The week has lasted long enough and it has been intense enough with lots of conflicting emotions that I’m more than ready for two days of nothingness. Of only watching cultural television and walking the dog and taking naps. And worrying about nothing else but which clothes I’m going to wear depending on the weather. That’s as complicated as it’s going to get. That’s just about the level of excitement I’m willing to handle. 
No doubt I’ll find some interesting elements to add to the mixture as I go along. One thing I have thought is that maybe I’m not really enjoying the book I’m reading and that I ought to start reading a different one, although I’m always loathe to leave a book unfinished. This one is not grabbing me, though. I don’t really care enough about how it’s going to end and I have been uninterested in reading it. I’m two thirds of the way through it and, although I like the characters, I don’t care what happens to them. So I may be looking for a different book. 
I’ve got to take my medicines and check my emails. It’s not quite time to get the day started. It is rather early still. I’ll have to do some chores because the domestic help is going to be here today and I don’t want her to walk into a messy apartment. I do still have my housewifely pride. 
I hope you’ll all have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Trying not to be too shallow…

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It’s the same setting as it usually is: the middle of the night and me in it with a cup of coffee and lots of silence. I wouldn’t want to change anything about the formula, though it does become very repetitive as a description of my situation. I could just leave it out and not even describe it, but that does not seem right somehow. I do want to give you some idea of the circumstances I find myself writing under. I need it as a preamble to the rest of the story, although that is a very simple one. 
I spent a good deal of the day sleeping. I slept the whole morning after I went back to bed after being up half the night. I didn’t get up until it was almost noon. I didn’t feel bad about this and certainly didn’t feel as if I had wasted half of the day. I like sleeping because I don’t do enough of it at night, so whatever sleep I get in the morning is most welcome. 
I spent a long time drinking coffee before I felt I could function and get dressed and walk the dog. By that time, he was more than ready to go and his patience had worn thin. He had been out back for a piddle, but that’s not the same thing as going for a walk. 
I dressed warm, because it was a cold and dreary day. I wore a double layer of clothes and my jacket and a scarf, although the last item may have een a bit overdone. I was very nice and warm anyway and not bothered in the least by the chilly wind. I had vowed not to feel cold anymore after the weather had been so beautiful, so I’m taking all these measures not to. 
Call me a spoiled Western European woman, but I don’t want to be cold anymore after this winter and having felt the premature warmth of the early spring. So, when the sun didn’t appear to warm up the living room through the windows, and the temperature in the apartment stayed low, I closed the bedroom window and turned on the heater even though I was also wearing my warm, woolly cardigan.
It continued to be a dreary day and later in the afternoon, being overcome by the need to hibernate, I went to bed and took a long nap. It was ever so warm and comfortable and when I got up, the apartment was a very pleasant temperature. 
I had a cup of coffee to clear the last of the sleep from my mind and ate most of a bowl of chicken soup with pasta and shared what was leftover with the dog. Later in the evening I had chocolate pudding and a tall glass of milk. 
I watched the news, which was not that uplifting as news nowadays isn’t. A policeman had been shot dead with his own gun. There were wild west scenes as the gunman exchanged fire with other policemen and the gunman was wounded. Needless to say, the police will be the subject of much scrutiny. Isn’t that always the way it goes. The gunman had earlier murdered a woman and was on the run. It sounds to me like he ought to be the subject of much scrutiny.
I tried to watch more television, but I really wanted to go to bed. I postponed it as long as I could, but finally just went. I laid in bed for a while listening to the radio before I turned the light off and pulled the duvet over me. I was asleep in the shortest amount of time and slept for 4 hours until I got up again.
Now I am getting sleepy again and I’m yawning. I will have to go back to bed. The domestic help is going to be here today and I have to get up on time. I can’t sleep until noon. 
I hope you’ll all have a nice day.
Ciao,
Nora