The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for early morning

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.






Last night I started rereading ‘The Secret Scripture’ and I’m already halfway through it. Although I know the plot and the ending, I find that reading it the second time allows me to enjoy the beautiful language it is written in and to really let me enjoy all the wonderful details. It reads like very well written poetry and there’s a definite voice in it when the main character speaks. It’s like I’m listening to someone tell a well crafted story. So I’m not at all bored reading it another time, as a matter of fact, I enjoy it more and the story is penetrating better because I do know the outcome and I’m picking up more nuances now.

Rereading this novel is all in an effort to get me excited about reading again. I have not been able to finish any new book I’ve started and thought I had lost my love for reading. Luckily, I’m being proved wrong now and I may for a while reread other novels I’ve enjoyed a lot. They’re all on the bookcase or easily ordered, so that’s no problem. And because I can read them relatively quickly, I feel that I’m actually accomplishing something and have a lot to look forward to.

I even read in bed at the danger of falling asleep with the book in my hands and my reading glasses on my nose. The dog would have demolished both during the night if I had. Luckily, I remembered to put them away before I fell asleep. It was a good way to spend the early hour or two in bed. I don’t really know how long it took me to get sleepy. I was so wrapped up in reading and so comfortable that I lost track of time. I didn’t look at the alarm clock when I shut off the reading light. I very happily went straight to sleep.

I did wake up in a sweat again and had to stand outside by the back door while the dog did his thing out on the patio. It was lovely to be out in the cold night air and cool off. I stood there until I was properly chilled. Now I need my bathrobe because I’m getting a bit cold. That’s a luxurious problem too. I have the choice between being a bit cold and comfortably warm. I do appreciate my privileges.

In the meantime, it has become dawn and the birds are singing their early morning songs. They sound very cheerful and I hope they are not caught unawares by an eager cat. My own cat is sound asleep on the sofa, so at least I know they’re safe from her. It’s time for me to take my medicines and to go back to bed. I will read before I fall asleep again.

I hope you all have a nice Sunday.






In spite of myself…

I very cheerfully keep turning out one post after another despite the fact that I get very few comments. I’ve decided that this is not for the lack of readers, but that it just means that my readers don’t comment. They must be so awestruck by what I’ve written that they don’t know what to say. Isn’t that a satisfactory explanation? It means that I can keep writing and assume that enough of you are reading me to make it worthwhile.

If nothing else, I have something to do on those boring moments when I can reread my own old posts and see how I was doing. That’s always a pleasant occupation because I learn a lot from it and see behavior of myself that’s clearly not always rational and is usually linked to something else that is happening in my life, no matter how subtle it is. I see all the little potholes and bumps in the road and the mental hiccups I have as a result of them. It certainly is educational and always gives me courage to keep writing, even for the lack of comments.

I’m sitting here in the middle of the night, although you could say that it is almost early in the morning. I depends on how optimistic you are. I tend to be optimistic and see this as the beginning of the morning because the early birds will start singing in about another hour, before it even is dawn. Sunrise will be at 5:24 AM this morning, but those birds start singing much earlier. I’m glad that they do because it makes everything sound so much more cheerful.

My new summer cardigan arrived yesterday. I waited for it half of the afternoon and then had enough sense to look in the mailbox where it was. I could finally take the dog for his walk and he was eager to go. The cardigan is lovely and the weather was just right for it. I have enough clothes that will match it and I’m going to wear it often. I do love cardigans as they can complete an outfit perfectly and they are good if the weather is just a bit chilly, but too warm for a jacket.  I got it on sale and saved 25 Euros. That was a good deal, I thought.

I watched ‘Midsomer Murders’ last night and went to bed late. It was a satisfactory episode, as usual. There’s always enough of a twist at the end to  have a surprising outcome. I went to sleep at midnight listening to a discussion on the radio about country music and why it had never caught on in this country. Apparently, a lot of people are not appreciative enough of the real stuff and think of country music as something to line dance to. These are the same sort of people that listen to singers of ‘life songs’ that we call ‘sad rags.’

I’ve switched from coffee to milk and I’m getting tired now. I will have to go back to bed because I’m starting to yawn. It will be lovely to go to sleep again.

I hope you’ll all have a good day.





In the safety of the night…

I’m writing this in the safety of the night with the aid of my cup of coffee and my cigarettes. Life wouldn’t be complete without them. Without my addictions that one day I will get over. I am sure of that. When I’m an old lady I will drink decaffeinated coffee and smoke smokeless cigarettes, the kind that work on loadable batteries. I just haven’t quite figured out the timing yet.

Anyway, I’m sitting here in the safety of the night, very cozily by the light of the desk lamp. I’ve got my pajamas and my socks on and the reason I’ve got my socks on, is because I’ve gotten into the habit of richly anointing my feet with well scented lotion every night before I go to bed. I not only anoint my feet, but my legs and arms and hands as well, especially the rough patches. I go to sleep slippery and smelling very nicely.

It’s become a regular ritual that I look forward to and thanks to a good friend, who spoiled me with some big tubes of very good scented lotions, I won’t run out very soon. After that, I have a whole big bottle of baby lotion. I didn’t realize it was such fun to spoil myself this way. My feet especially seem to benefit from this treatment as the roughness is getting a lot better and they are slowly turning smoother. I will have lily white soft feet yet.

So, I am taking care of my feminine duties after all and turning into a real woman. It comes with age, I think. I realized I have to take care of this middle aged body and help it along a little bit. Facial creme is next. Plain soap and water won’t do anymore. I’ll soon get wrinkles and I’ll have to start that battle. But I’m not going out and buying some expensive product that has some sort of expensive ingredient. I will get the plainest creme I can find.

As I’m writing this at a snail’s pace, it is slowly turning into morning and before long  the early birds are going to sing. Actually, I think I already hear the first ones.  They always make me feel that I should be in a rush and finish writing because I ought to get back to bed to get some more sleep. I’ve already switched to drinking milk and have left the coffee far behind me. Coffee is okay for the first two cups, but after that I’ve had enough. I’m always more than wide awake by then and ready to settle down again.

I’ll take my medicines and go back to bed. The Exfactor is going to be here some time later this morning to do the groceries. I want to be up and dressed before he gets here. We’ve been separated 3 years this month and it is unseemly to be seen in my pajamas by him. Besides, I don’t look my best in them.

I hope you’ll all have a good day. It’s going to be cloudy and cool here.



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.








>…and then it was morning.


I’m sitting here with my third cup of coffee and it tastes very good. Thankfully, the Exfactor did the groceries yesterday and the cupboards and the refrigerator are filled with food again and I have milk! I don’t need to use powdered creamer in my coffee anymore. What a relief and therefor I’m enjoying every cup that I drink. 
I do know a good thing when I have it and I’m grateful for it, but I have to plan my milk consumption better. I have to not be so greedy at the start and save some for later. I run out the day before the groceries are done. If I’m careful, I should be able to make the milk last longer, but I love it so much. A glass of cold milk is one of the best treats of my day. 
I slept well and had an interesting dream in which I met a new man and I explained to him what it was like to be hypo-manic. As I did, the world around us changed into Technicolor shades of green and blue and yellow as if we were taking drugs and it was a surreal experience. Things were very beautiful and I guess that’s the point I was trying to make. 
I told him to take me out of my environment so I would no longer be mad. It was my environment that was making me so. He was a very normal man, as normal as they come. He was almost unrecognizable to me because of it. I guess I only recognize crazy people, or people who come with an instruction booklet. 
Yesterday, as I sat in the hairdresser’s chair in front of the mirror, I saw my scarred arms in the glaring light of the shop. It was very confrontational and I saw what other people see every day. My arms had gotten tanned and my scars were white. It looked very awful and I thought it was hard to go through life with arms looking like that. Luckily, I am normally not aware of them and don’t pay attention to them and I don’t think of what other people see.I think that’s for the best. Oblivion is a good thing. 
I saw my SPN in the afternoon and she told me that she’s going to be my SPN for only several more months. Her job is going to be moved to another city to which it will be impossible for me to commute. I have not yet reacted on a gut level to this news and have only taken it in as an abstract sort of knowledge. No doubt it will sink in later when I’m fully aware. I feel now that I have to detach myself from her emotionally and the sooner I start, the better.
I have to become more self sufficient  and self reliant. At least I’ll still have my psychiatrist, although he’s less good for the emotional issues. I’ll have to have less of those and concentrate more on the practical matters. My SPN is going on vacation in the month of June, so I’ll get ample opportunity to practice being self reliant then. 
The first birds have started to sing as it is now early in the morning. Sunrise won’t be for another hour. It’s supposed to be a pleasant and not too hot day today. I will interpret that in the best possible way and figure out which clothes to wear. I suppose I will start with layers and peel those off as the day progresses. 
Nobody is coming to the apartment today and I have no appointments. It will be a day to do chores and walk the dog as many times as possible. I hope the cat doesn’t bring another mouse home like she did yesterday. That’s turning into a bad habit of hers. The dog thinks it’s great fun, but I don’t think so. 
I hope you’ll all have a great day, dressed in the clothes you like with the kind of weather you want. And if you’re about to go to bed, sleep tight. 

>My pesky dog…


It’s in the very early hours of Saturday morning and my dog is being a pain in the neck. I don’t know what he wants and so far I’ve given him a milk bone and a rawhide chewy but still he’s not happy and keeps pestering me. He’s already been out back, but it is possible that he needs to go there again. It will be with great reluctance that I get up and try that again. I never know how quickly I can get him back inside. Maybe I best ignore him. 
That’s not at all how I wanted to start of this post. I wanted it to have a serene beginning and not a frustrated one. Now I feel that I have to start all over and get into the proper mood. It’s hard when a pup is begging by your side for I know not what. I’ll have to figure out a way to find my equilibrium and peacefulness in spite of him and hope he goes to lie down by my feet and falls asleep soon…he has just done that, so there is hope for me yet.

I do have to get up and get myself a cup of coffee because I’m thirsty and in need of some caffeine. I hope I don’t upset the careful balance we’ve achieved. I’ve already had to make cigarettes and frustrated the dog because I wouldn’t let him on the dining table. I didn’t want him looking out the window in the middle of the night where he would see imaginary danger and start to bark. That’s the last thing I wanted him to do. Yes, my dog comes with an instruction booklet too. It has to be applied on a daily basis. 
Since today is Saturday, it is my day off, but I do have to hang another load of laundry to dry outside. Yesterday’s load  was dry in no time at all and I’ve got very clean smelling sheets and pillowcases. Today I’ll be hanging up a load of clothes and it will be nice to have them smelling equally good. I have to take advantage of this weekend’s weather to do as much laundry as I can, because on Monday it may rain, so I thought I’d dive into my closet and pull out some clothes to wash. 
We’re having a bit of a heatwave this weekend and today the temperature is going to be 28C, which is unheard of for the time of year. I’m not complaining and in the apartment it is still relatively cool, especially the back of it where it will be nice to go lie down for a nap in the afternoon. I’m already looking forward to the day and can’t wait for the warm sunshine to walk the dog in. As long as it doesn’t get too hot, I’ll be alright, if dressed appropriately. I’m sure I’ll find something that’s just right. 
I’m expecting the Exfactor in the morning who’s going to bring me some cat food that I’m almost out of. I had forgotten to put it on the grocery list on Tuesday. The cat does eat a lot, although she doesn’t get any fatter. She’s a slim cat and dainty. She does beg by her bowl for food every day and will even eat dog food if I don’t fill her bowl on time. That is, if the dog lets her because he can be quite moody about that. Some days he cares more than others. 
It’s with some amount of relief that I’m going back to bed in a little while because I haven’t slept enough yet. I’m yawning and looking forward to going back to bed for a few more hours of sleep. 
I’ve got to make an appointment with my hairdresser soon. My hair is out of control and I can’t do a thing with it. It is too long. I’ll call today, but I’m sure I won’t be able to get in today. It will probably be sometime next week. You always quite suddenly have desperate hair from one day to the next. With me it happened yesterday. I washed it and it went flat and unmanageable. I look like a hillbilly. 
I’m off. I hope you’ll all have a good Saturday no matter what your weather is like, but I wish you lots of sunshine.