The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for news

Poppies and such…

I’ve decided not to read in bed anymore. It was disturbing my night’s sleep and upsetting my schedule because I got too caught up in the book and didn’t go to sleep when I was supposed to. So now I only read during the day in my armchair whenever I have a spare moment and I do have enough of them. I don’t read non stop because I don’t completely want to lose myself in the book to the exclusion of everything else. It is so easy to lose track of everything and time and forget the world around me. So I do put a limit on how much time I spend reading at one stretch. Every once in a while I have to put down the book and do something completely different.

It’s not like it was in the olden days when I could let myself go and spend a whole afternoon doing nothing but read and completely shut out the world around me. I don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore. I would feel too disconnected. I do feel that I regularly have to stay in touch with reality and be reminded of it and even take part in it. I also have to do the ordinary things like the dishes and walk the dog and watch the news on TV. The last is especially important because it makes me feel connected to the here and now and that’s very important to me.

I suppose that’s why I like listening to the radio so much when I lie in bed at night. The programs deal with current events and I always feel up to date and I hear a lot of the news on the radio. I hear more of the details that I don’t hear on the news on TV.  There are a lot of background stories and interesting guests on the talk shows. The same goes for when I take my nap in the afternoon because I go to sleep listening to political discussions about some current issue. I’m better informed now that I listen to the radio than I was before and all sorts of points of view are represented, though they all are sensible ones and well thought out. There’s no idiotic shouting just to make noise and intimidate. Everything is very civilized.

The fields have been mowed and the wildflowers have been cut down. Except for in the flowerbeds, there are no poppies left. All the chamomile has been cut down too. Now I’ll have to wait a while and see what comes up next. It’s still raining regularly, so hopefully that will help with whatever is going to decide to grow. It’s a shame to see everything gone, but it can’t be helped. Beside the street, on the stretches of grass that have not been mowed, there is wild yarrow growing and I hope to see more of it. There’s always hope for new plants.

Today is going to be a peaceful day. The Exfactor will be here to do the groceries, thank goodness, because I’m almost out of milk. I don’t have any appointments. I didn’t think it was necessary to make one with my psychiatrist and my SPN is on holiday until the 27th.  I will see her next week but I don’t have any pressing problems. I don’t consider the issue of the ‘Black Dog’ serious enough. He is slowly slinking away. I do have to have some amount of self sufficiency and to be able to get myself through these spells. It’s good for my ego if I do. I do have to show some amount of inner strength.

It’s going to rain again today and it will be for the rest of the week. I don’t mind it too much as long as I get the chance to take out the dog regularly. It’s quite cozy inside when it’s raining. I still have the bedroom windows open and it’s not cold inside, though outside it isn’t all that warm. I just have to make sure that I wear enough clothes. My black leather jacket is coming in real handy, although it’s getting a little big on me.

I haven’t been on the bathroom scale, but I think I’m losing weight because my latest skirt is getting a bit big on me, even after I washed it. I’ll have to try and remember to get on the scale when I get up again this morning and I’m in my underwear. That’s always when I weigh the least and that’s the weight I go by. I do want to weigh myself at the most opportune moment.

I’m going back to bed. It will be nice and warm in there under the duvet.

Have a good morning when you get up.

Ciao,

Nora

An honest effort…

I woke up in a sweat with my hair all wet. I don’t know why, it’s not that warm in here and the bedroom window was open. They say it’s good to sleep with a cool head, that you sleep better then. That certainly didn’t apply to me tonight. I had a hot and sweaty head and woke up from it. I felt like laying a bag of frozen peas on it, but it’s cooling off as I sit here now with my cup of coffee and my hair is drying up. I think I will not wear socks when I go back to bed next. Maybe I should go to bed naked.

I took refuge in my bed early tonight because staying up was too much of an effort. The ‘black dog’ was breathing down my neck and making me think unpleasant thoughts that i was not in the mood for thinking. They were totally useless and unnecessary thoughts and served no purpose whatsoever. The only thing they did was get me down. I could think of only one escape and that was safely lying in bed listening to the radio. Luckily, that was almost enough of a diversion until I went to sleep.

Sleep is the only true diversion from my thoughts and when I wake up, I feel better for at least a while afterwards. Such are its restorative powers.

The Exfactor was here yesterday and he bought me a loaf of sliced white bread and a box of dark chocolate sprinkles. Now, when I have a craving, I have a slice of bread with that on it and I feel so good. It’s like manna from heaven. It satisfies my deepest longings. That’s the craving I always get when the ‘black dog’ is visiting. At least the gastric band limits how many of these slices of bread I can eat. I’m not a lost cause altogether.

There’s a part of me that wants to be upbeat and happy and that wants to fight against the downbeat and dark side of me. That must be because it’s the middle of the night and there’s room for both of them. It would be the only time that there were. I don’t feel this way during the day.

I just let the dog out back and stood outside by the back door. It was so nice and cool out there. It was very refreshing. I feel properly chilled now and am going to have to put on my bathrobe. There was moonshine with just a few clouds and no wind, just cold night air. It would have been nice to have gone for a walk in it, but I’m too chicken to do it.

In spite of everything, yesterday went by quickly. There was some respite in the form of television, but I was put off by what I saw on the news and the weekly chat with the prime minister who’s as slippery as an eel. My toes curl when I listen to him talk. He’s so very much not my favorite person. I wouldn’t shake his hand if I met him.

There’s a lot of nonsense on television in the summer season which has already started. It’s when you have to push the off button and refuse to watch it. It’s the negative aspect of summertime.

I’m going to have to go back to bed.  I’m not really ready to, but I don’t know what else to do. There’s no other sort of trouble I can get into. I’m going to have to be well behaved.

Ciao,

Nora

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Ciao,

Nora

Not a worry in the world…

I’m lying, of course. I have worries just like everybody else, but at this moment I’m in total denial and am planning to be for the rest of the day. The day isn’t going to last that much longer and I’m not going to waste it being worried about anything. You do have to pick the right time to do that. It’s better to do it earlier in the day when you have a chance to actually do something about it. Worrying at the end of the day is not necessary.

I’m glad that it is the end of the afternoon. All I have left to do is walk the dog and it is still dry outside. Earlier there was a huge thundershower and the rain came pouring down hard. That had been forecast and it turned out they were right. Luckily, the dog and I were inside and so was the cat. We missed the whole deluge and were completely safe and dry, but it is said that this rain has still not ended the drought. We need more of it.

The water level in the rivers is below normal and as a result the temperatures are higher and as a result of that the fish are dying. They need to be moved to deeper and cooler places. Some of these fish are enormous. An angler would love to catch one.

It has just started raining again, foiling my plans to take the dog out. It will have to wait a while. The dog is sitting in front of the window, watching it come down. He must understand that we can’t go out now. Do dogs get these kinds of things? Oh, it’s thundering and lightening again too. Well, that will take a while.

The cat is lying very cozily beside my pillows on the bed. She’s smart. She’s figured out very well that this is not a day to go outside. Everywhere she’d go, she’d encounter wet things and you know how cats feel about that. The dog just wanted to go outside. Luckily, he was mostly protected by the overhanging branches of the trees, but he got dripped on anyway. I think curiosity took him outside because he only halfheartedly piddled against a bush.

I’m drinking a glass of cold milk which is giving me lots of energy and renewed vigor. It was just what I needed. It’s making me feel like a million bucks. I already had a cup of coffee so my mind was sharp, or so I thought, but it was really the milk that I needed.  Isn’t it amazing what a cold beverage can do for you? A nutritious one anyway. I’m sure I would not feel the same way with a cold Coke. Besides, it would make me burp something awful.

Today it was cold enough to wear a pair of trousers. I could put my Capri leggings in the laundry. I’m wearing my harem trousers which have the benefit that it doesn’t matter if they are a little big on me. They are roomy anyway and very comfortable. They are my favorite pair to wear.  My new cardigan matches them.

It’s still raining and I have to watch the 6 o’clock news. The dog will have to be patient.

Have a good evening.

Ciao,

Nora

 

 

 

Just take some pills…

I just woke up from an afternoon nap and for a change I’m not feeling all that great. I’m grouchy and grumpy and basically in a bad mood. To take care of this, I’ve made myself a fresh pot of coffee and I’m now drinking my second cup. I hope that it will improve my outlook.  I don’t like myself this way, but as I drink the coffee, I see little glimmers of light and I think there will be improvement soon.

I’ve also taken my evening dose of medicines. When all else fails, there are always the medicines to take. A couple of pills will always bring relief. I can count on that. Such is my faith in them.

Of course, it helps if you sit down and write about what is happening to you. If you put it in words, you are bound to feel better. I am a great believer in that. The moment I put down that I’m in a bad mood, I am less so. The sheer act of making it public makes me feel better. At least it’s not a dark secret I’m carrying around with me. I publicly announce that I’m a grouch and a grump.

I do dislike pretending I’m cheerful when I’m not. I think people ought to be allowed to be grumpy when they feel like it. As long as they don’t make any casualties it should be okay. You have to get over your grumpiness in your own time and at your own rate. As long as you make an effort and don’t get stuck in it. It is always my intention to get over it as quickly as I can.

There, I’m over it now and can be normal again, whatever is meant by that. I can think straight anyway. And as I write that, the sun is coming out again. That is a welcome sight, as it has been playing peekaboo behind the clouds all day. And we still haven’t got any rain. It’s useless trying to wish for any, we’re just not going to get it.

Maybe that is just as well because I still have to take the dog out for a walk and I certainly don’t want to get rained on. The dog is lying by my feet waiting very patiently for me to take him. I should say that he is impatient. Every once in a while he jumps up against me and looks at me with begging eyes. I’m so cruel to make him wait.

I better go get my shoes and jacket on and take him out. I’ve missed the 6 o’clock news as it is. It will be nice to get some fresh air and  exercise. After that I can get my pajamas and bathrobe on and vegetate in front of the television.

I hope you’re all having a good weekend.

Ciao,

Nora

>Kindheartedness…

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I suppose that’s best to describe the benign feelings I have right now about the world  in general, though not about all things in specific, but I’ll not let myself be bothered about them right now. I want to have nothing but benign feelings, pushing away the effects of the less happy news items I watched on television last night. If they are all true, they make me feel very jaded indeed and I want none of that right now. 
I do want to enjoy my few hours of peace and quiet in the darkness and silence of the night and believe in the general goodness of mankind, though it is hard to pull the wool over my own eyes. It requires a state of oblivion that even I don’t know I’m capable of. I’m going to give it my best try, though. 
The face of one man is etched in my mind right now and that is the face of Dominic Strauss-Kahn and I wonder how he is doing in his single prison cell on Wicker Island. I want the allegations to not be true, but I’m afraid they are and I’m ever so sorry about that. It bothers me to no end that a man in his position would steep so low.  I suppose I feel an enormous amount of disappointment. This isn’t about having extra-marital affairs anymore. This is about rape and it’s very serious. 
Enough said about that. I have to find something equally true and honest in its place. Something to offset it. Something of beauty and elegance. That’s hard to come by in this world. I suppose I’m looking for a hero and I can’t find one at this moment. I need a Nelson Mandela.
I suppose that I don’t feel as benign as I thought I did, though I wish to. I worry about men in power abusing their privilege. It’s been shown that the brain activity of people in power changes and that they take bigger chances and do things ordinary people would not. They are risk takers. This goes for women in power as well as men. Women are more subtle, though. They don’t have a penis in their pants with which they have to assert themselves. 
I’ll gently return to the night and it’s peacefulness. If I sit here so silently, it’s hard to imagine that there’s a big complicated world out there. I can make my own world as small as I like. I can make it as small as the light of my desk lamp reaches. I can forget about yesterday and the day that is to come. All I have to do in a while is go back to bed and sleep. I don’t even have to dream about unpleasant things, at least, I hope not. 
On another subject, the book I’m reading, ‘Loot and other stories,’ is not fascinating me at all, but then again, not many books are lately and I never seem to be able to finish one. I will have to go in search of another book that will hopefully grab my attention well enough. I do still have enough to choose from on the bookcase. It’s a shame to leave all these books unread, but maybe some day in the future I will go back and finish them.
Today actually brings nothing complicated with it. It is a day of no consequence at all. I can make it as simple as I want and I am grateful for that. I will do some simple chores and generally take care of my mental health, which has for the most part been good. I’m not going from one extreme mood to the other, but am mostly positioned somewhere in the middle range. You have no idea what a relief that is. I’m not in the bouncy castle.
I hope you’re all having a good night and that you’ll have a good morning when you get up. We’re actually going to have good weather. 
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