The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for self sufficiency

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.




>…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. 

>Are you sleeping?


It’s Friday afternoon and time to start celebrating the weekend. I don’t do this with a cold beer, because I don’t have any of those in the refrigerator. Instead, I’m having a cup of coffee and it tastes good too, though a beer might have tasted better and put me in a really good mood. I’m actually in a good enough mood all by myself, so that cup of coffee will have to do. I may even get really radical and have a glass of juice in a while. I won’t put any vodka in it, although I still have half a bottle left. It will just have to linger on the shelf longer for a really special occasion, though I can’t think of one right of the top of my head. Maybe I’ll save it for world peace. 
The weekend ought to be very relaxed. The weather will be decent enough to take Tyke for many walks and I will be able to sleep late if I feel like it, which I usually do. That is only logical when you consider that I do my best sleeping in the mornings. I seem to be on a different time schedule than the rest of the country. There will be interesting things to watch on television and lots of good stuff to listen to on the radio. There will also be lots of opportunity to sit in my armchair and do nothing but daydream, which is becoming a favorite activity of mine and which I can  heartily recommend. It’s very nice to sit in silence and to let your thoughts wander amongst gentle subjects. Very often I pet Tyke while I am sunk in thought and Gandhi lies on my lap. We do have our bonding moments. 
Today is the day that I cut my anti-depressives back by a third. I’m not worried about this and I assume it will be fine. Once my psychiatrist explained to me that you really aren’t hooked on this kind of medicine, I stopped worrying about it. You do get hooked on things like tranquilizers, but I’ve always been able to get off those pretty easily. You aren’t physically hooked on anti-depressives. You do use them as a mental crutch, so depending on your life circumstances, you may still need a crutch, but it can be something else. It can be an insight that you have gained into your own situation or psyche.
The sun is starting to set and it is getting dark in here. I have to switch some lamps on. It is also time to close the bedroom windows and turn on the heater. I am starting to feel a little bit cold.  The sky has been cloudy all day and it’s going to rain tonight. I should be able to walk Tyke one more time without getting wet. If we do get wet, I have a towel to rub him dry with hanging over the bathroom radiator and he’s very good about having that done. As a matter of fact, I think he enjoys it. Those are the little pleasures in life for him. He’s just like a little kid and easy to please. 
I hope you all have a good evening.

>A cow jumped over the moon…


I just had to mightily entertain Tyke for a while. He decided that he was bored and that he needed lots of attention. I must have petted him for half an hour, at least, that’s what my arm feels like. I think he’s been sufficiently entertained now, but you never know. He’s like a little kid on any Sunday afternoon. There’s nobody to play with and there’s nothing on television. It’s too bad that I can’t read him stories. 
I made myself a pot of coffee and sat in my armchair for a long time doing absolutely nothing but letting my mind wander. That’s a good thing to do on a Sunday. It’s a good day for contemplation. You just have to make sure that you don’t get carried away with it, so you mustn’t think too deeply. They have to be light and entertaining thoughts as much as possible. You mustn’t start thinking that you have problems, because they are nearly nonexistent in the grander scheme of things. 
It’s a good idea to look around you and to see how other people live their lives and how they deal with the problems that come their way. You find out that you don’t do too badly. As a matter of fact, you may be surprised at how well you do. It’s a good time to throw overboard your own mythology and to start believing in yourself. It’s good to know that you aren’t one extreme or the other, but something in the middle where it is comfortable to be.
The afternoon is coming to an end and so is the weekend. It’s been a nice time off with not much to show for it, but then that wasn’t my intention. Every day that is successful is one I strike up for posterity. To have as many successful days as possible at the end will be my legacy. I don’t aim to leave behind much more than that. Happiness is my goal, the form of which I’ll recognize if I’m open minded enough. 
Tyke’s sound asleep by my feet. I hardly know where to put them. I’m sitting here with twisted legs so as to not step on him. He likes to get as close as possible. Gandhi is asleep on the red fleece blanket on the sofa. That’s been her spot all weekend. I’m going to fix dinner, I’m hungry. Some rice will do nicely. 
Have a good evening!

>Time to write!


 It’s early in the morning and I’m completely awake and ready to go and tackle anything that’s worth tackling. I’ve had my second cup of coffee and barely had any cobwebs in my mind when I woke up. I’m just about to pour my third cup and have a good sit down here. My sore upper back is still sore, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was yesterday. At least the sharp pain is gone and it is now a dull ache. I think one more painkiller ought to do the trick.
I’ve visited Facebook and did the necessary socializing there. I don’t do a lot of it, but mainly keep in touch with family and relatives and the friends that are ‘real’ friends. People who care and keep in touch one way or the other. I do appreciate that, those little tokens of affection. A person needs all the strokes they can get. I think that’s what this socializing is all about. Mutual strokes. I must get better at it myself. I do think it teaches you to be less self centered. 
I’ve got to go see my SPN today and I’m more than ready to. I want to continue the work that I was doing on my first marriage, but I think I made a lot of headway already. I think I can come to a rounding off now, unless I’m very mistaken and there’s a lot more beneath the surface. We will see. Whatever I have done so far has helped me tremendously and I can tell that by the nature of my dreams. They are far less sad and frustrating and are taking a far different turn. I’m even starting to dream about the Exfactor now. Maybe that marriage will be next on the program, although I feel less traumatized by it. I think that maybe the Exfactor got traumatized in it more than I did. I must find out about that. 
Since today is Wednesday, my appointment with my SPN is the only one in my agenda. I will not be seeing anyone else. I will have to do some laundry and straighten out my desk. I need to go through the paperwork that’s stacked on it and see what can go. There are many odds and ends lying there that need to be organized and looked at and put a way or tossed out. I also have to try and get the speakers to work on my computer, but how I’m going to do that is not clear to me yet. I will have to fiddle around with them. That’s all I can do. I’m not a technical wonder. I never was taught anything about electronics and computers. Maybe common sense will apply. I do have that for practical things. 
My head is on awfully straight this morning, but I lack an enormous amount of  imagination. I seem to be all business. I can’t stand it when I’m like that. When I’m only efficient and not imaginative at the same time. I suppose I’m going to tackle everything head on today, without any complicated emotions. Well, I will have my moments of clarity, I suppose, when I’m no nonsense and get straight down to business. Maybe I better take advantage of it. I may get things done that have been lying by the wayside. I guess everybody has days like that in their life when they have good sobering thoughts and get their act together. 

I thought I had temporarily misplaced my dog, but he blended in so well with the interior of the living room that I overlooked him and I just discovered him. He was so quietly asleep and not even snoring. He’s always so close to me that I worry if I don’t see him. He’s not like Jesker who would go off on his own and go to sleep in another room. 

I had trouble seeing through my glasses, until I took them off and saw that they were very dirty, so I took a bottle of window cleaner and got them completely clean and suddenly I could see again. What a difference that made. Everything got sharper contours. Leave it to me to be so absentminded as to not have noticed that earlier. I even do amaze myself at times. My right eye is fuzzy, though, and it needs correcting. 

Right, it’s time to take my medicines and get dressed. I need to take Tyke for a walk. The early morning calls me. It’s cold out there.


>Doo Wah Diddy…


I’m not quite awake yet, but pretending to be. I’m waiting for the coffee to get done and in the meantime, I’m having some milk. I tried to drink some juice, but my stomach violently protested and didn’t want it. It was too acid, even the mild kind. I will not make that mistake again. 
I’m sure it has been the cause of the acid reflux I have been having at night. I had not put one and one together, but now I see the link. As a reaction to that, I have been sleeping on my back and not on my side anymore, because that seems to make it worse. It’s as though things get squashed and my esophagus doesn’t seem to like that.
I’m having my coffee now and a pleasure it is indeed. I expect to be fully functioning any minute. The coffee is mild too, because I don’t make it as strong anymore, and I drink it with plenty of milk. It’s not a cafe au lait, but it’s getting close to it. It does make me burp, but nearly anything does nowadays, so that’s nothing unusual. I think I have to invest in a bottle of Maalox. The pharmaceutical industry must be doing alright. It may be something to invest my precious money in. 
It was cold during the night, but I had the thermostat set low and the heater did not go on. It’s still warm enough in the apartment, despite the cold outside. As a matter of fact, I was very warm under my duvet and woke up sweating, and on top of that, Tyke climbed  on my chest so I could hardly breath, but he saw it as a moment of complete togetherness. That’s when I thought I had better get up. Gandhi was lying beside my head and things were getting a little bit too cozy. The animals do pick their opportune moments to show their love and affection. I’ve never had it so good.
When I got up, Tyke wanted to go outside, but I know he only wants to go hang out there and sniff around and not come back in for a long time, so I completely ignored him and he laid down on the sofa, slightly miffed. He and Gandhi are curled up together being peaceful now. I don’t know how long my peace and quiet are going to last. 
Today is actually the day I’m going to see my SPN, it was not yesterday like I thought. I had the day wrong in my memory and had to check my agenda to find out. Probably it is better that I see her today, because yesterday was not such a successful day and I wasted a lot of it doing absolutely nothing but feel low and uneasy. It was one of those days in which I very much doubted my own capacity to make it through life successfully and when my belief in myself was very low. 
I suppose that everybody has days like that and that you just have to get through them in the best possible way and go to sleep and hope that the following day will be better. It proved to be right and I do feel better this morning and it is only with uneasiness that I look back at yesterday. It’s such an awful thing to doubt your own mind and your capacity to think straight. 
All you have to do really is take the day off and not do anything important. Take a mental health day, like I would allow my kids to have when they were young and had a not so great day. That was a day to be relieved of your responsibilities and to get treated extra special. It’s something you can do for yourself without feeling all sorts of guilt and remorse. I seem to have a problem with that, as if I need someone’s permission to do it. Everybody needs a mental health day now and then. You do recuperate from them. 
I have more zest in life today and look forward to it. That means Tyke will get more of his regular walks and I will get out of my bathrobe quicker. All the things I worried about yesterday, I will not worry about today. Those were spooks in my head. 
The fact that I have very clean hair helps a lot too. And the fact that it is so very blond is another pleasant addition. It’s probably getting more gray, but it seems like it is very blond. The gray hair is very finely sprinkled throughout and doesn’t really show up. I don’t have a thing to worry about yet and I’m going to let it all happen naturally. I’m not going to reach for the hair dye.
I have to get dressed now and walk Tyke in the cold morning air. It’s 37F outside and foggy. Time for warm clothes. 
Have a good day!



I’ve just made a fresh pot of coffee and it is very good. As a matter of fact, it is delicious, even if I do say so myself. This makes me more determined to always make a pot of coffee myself and to not leave it in the less competent hands of someone else. 

If you want things done right, you have to do them your own way and not assume someone else will do them like you want them done, because you will be disappointed. If you’re going to stand there and give exact instructions, you may as well do them yourself. 
If you know how to do something well, like take care of yourself, then do it and don’t expect the other person to. Not if you have to tell them how. They will be incompetent and you will get a second rate job and nobody will be happy, because you will let your displeasure show and they will feel bad. 
The tip about grinding the coffee fine was lesson number one, this was lesson number two. 
So, I’m enjoying my coffee very much. Actually, I’m enjoying my evening very much and I’m already looking forward to bedtime. I’m postponing it as long as possible, but the idea that I’m going in the foreseeable future is making me happy. I think that very shortly I will put on my pajamas and be ready up to that point at least. 
It is possible for me to sleep late in the morning and if I’m lucky, I will do just that, although it is just as possible that I will wake up in the middle of the night and sit behind this computer. I always imagine that I need a large princess bed with a thick downy mattress and a thick downy duvet and very many big downy pillows and very expensive sheets to sleep well. A bed which you sink into and hardly are able to get out of. A bed that imprisons you with luxury and sleep. 
Instead I sleep on my single bed with the relatively hard mattress and the not so thick duvet and the inexpensive sheets on the not so fluffy pillows with the dog nearly on top of me. So you see what the problem is, don’t you? I need a softer dog. 
Tyke ate an extra helping of food tonight. He was begging by his bowl, the poor thing. Now he’s very happily lying on the ground by my feet digesting his food. I think he will be comatose for a while. I guess he wants to fatten up for winter too. Maybe he’s getting ready to go into a hibernation mode. It would get a lot more quiet around here if he did. I don’t think I would like it very much. I would miss his shenanigans and his noisy little growls. 

I think I will put on my pajamas and the television and relax and be an armchair potato for a while. It will be a pleasure to sit and do nothing and have my mind distracted.

I hope you all have a terrific evening!