The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for Sundays


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.







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.



>Forget me quicklies…


I have yet to pick out a book from the bookcase that will grab my attention long enough for me to start reading it and finish it. I’m thinking about choosing the thriller by Mankell because his books usually fascinated me the most in the past. I’m a little bit worried that I’ll start reading it and lose interest somewhere one third through it as I have with every book that I’ve tried to read lately.
I must make a decision, though, and choose one because now I’m not reading at all and I see it as an intellectual waste of time. My mind is not being challenged and that is not good. I waste it watching dumb programs on television instead and that is mind numbing. There’s no excuse for it, except that I am mentally lazy. It will lead to early dementia at this rate. 
Just to make sure I don’t change my mind, I’ve already put the book on my sidebar. Now I’ll be forced to read it. That will be something I’ll do later this night then, while I wait to get sleepy again. It will be one way to keep me out of trouble. I will sit in my armchair and read until the birds start to chirp before dawn. Then I will be off to bed to get my beauty sleep. Hopefully, I will have dealt with one gruesome murder by that time. 
My hair is squeaky clean and it’s got a dent in it from me laying on it. I’ll have to wash it again to get rid of the dent or look lopsided.  It’s possible that if I’m up long enough, it will settle back down again. I keep pushing the hair in place. Maybe that will work. Where there’s a dent, there’s a bump and the one thing will have to be replaced by the other. It’s the drawback of having squeaky clean and very fine hair. 
I’m sitting here in my pajamas, at least, what functions as my pajamas. I’ve got on an oversized T-shirt that is from when I was a lot heavier. Two of me could just about fit in it now. It slides off my shoulders continually making it look like I’m trying to be sexy. Yes really, all on my own. These T-shirts are very comfortable to sleep in, but they are huge. I can’t believe I used to be that big. I pretend that was a completely different person in a completely different era and that it has nothing to do with me now. 
I did just now have to put on my bathrobe because I got a bit chilly. It still cools off during the night even though the daytimes are nice and warm. I do have the bedroom windows open. This all in effort to air out the place. My bathrobe is equally big on me and very comfortable. I fit in it time and a half. I washed it often enough, but it didn’t really shrink. 
I had my two obligatory cups of coffee and didn’t even finish the second one. Apparently I was not really in need of it. I feel surprisingly awake without it and don’t have any cobwebs in my mind. I’ve switched to a glass of cold milk and very nice it tastes too. I’m thinking very clearly without being overly optimistic and I think I have both feet firmly planted on the ground. This is not a night for hypo-mania. I’m as cool as a cucumber and I don’t mean the temperature. 
I suppose I will now start reading my book. I’m not nearly ready to go back to bed. I’m not sleepy yet and can stay up for a while longer. I hope you’re all enjoying your night. Sunday is coming up and it will be a day of rest and we must enjoy that. I’m sure some of you will be occupied with all sorts of chores, though. 

>My morning coffee…


For a change I slept through the night again and I’m much pleased. It always feels like such an accomplishment when I do. Going back to bed after I’ve let the dog out back in the middle of the night is quite an achievement, especially if I’m grumpy when I do and I really want a cup of coffee and a cigarette. I was able to resist the urge and go back to sleep. 
It is raining as I write this and as you know, I don’t mind that one bit. I’m very warm and cozy inside by the light of the desk lamp with my bathrobe on. I can think of worse things that could happen. Rain is not one of them. The dog is not nearly ready to go out and is sound asleep on the sofa. We can wait to go for a walk until this shower is over. Besides, we need the rain on our dusty and dry earth. I hope things get good and wet. 
I looked through the shelves in my closet yesterday and found many clothes that were to big. They were added to the already large stacks of other clothes that I had already taken out. I found some things that would fit and washed them and they are hanging on the drying rack in the bathroom. 
I’ve really decimated my wardrobe. It’s sad when you see what’s left over. I shouldn’t complain, though. There’s enough left to put together lots of outfits for now and I only have to worry about what I’m going to do in the wintertime. I’ll have to get some warmer clothes before that time. Not much, but something anyway. 
I’ll no doubt lose more weight before that time, so no action is required on my part now. I want to lose 5 kilos, but at the moment I’m not losing any weight. I’ll probably have to decrease one of my medications if I want to and that’s going to happen some time in the near future according to my psychiatrist. As soon as I’m stable enough, we’re going to give it a try. 
I’ve been stable for about two weeks now and that’s not a very long time yet. I’m grateful for it, though. It’s so much easier not to have those terrible ups and downs anymore. Those are the hardest things to deal with. It’s the unpredictability of the moods that makes it so difficult. It’s great when everything is on an even keel again and I’m pretty much stable throughout the day. 
I watched the Eurovision Song Festival last night and listened to many mediocre songs. The songs I really liked didn’t get the votes I hoped for. A typical song festival song won. That was predictable, of course. It is said, though, that the song festival does more for European cohesion than politics ever could. That’s something anyway. You wouldn’t think so with all the Eastern European countries voting for their neighboring countries. 
Tonight is the football match for the national championship. It will be very exciting to watch. I’m for FC Twenthe, of course. I couldn’t be for Ajax. I have to be for the Saxons with their familiar accent. It’s in the genetics. I’ll either watch it on television or listen to it on the radio with the danger that I’ll fall asleep during it. I still have to make a decision about that. It depends on how late I want to stay up. 
The sun just came out and it’s a good time to end this epistle. I’ll have to take the dog out shortly. I still need to take a shower and wash my hair before I’m presentable.
Have a good day all of you.

>Late night thoughts…


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

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

>Fooling my brain….


I’m up again during the night and taking advantage of the fact that I feel as good as I do. I’ve had two cups of coffee that have helped me straighten out my brain and helped me think straight and I will switch to a nice glass of cold milk next. I’m in as much anticipation of that as a kid is of an ice cream cone. That’s how much I like cold milk. The fact that it’s nutritious is an added extra, although I would not drink it if it were just empty calories.
Yesterday, I dealt with my ever increasing stress by taking 20 mg Temazepam at regular intervals and it calmed me down very well. It really took the edge off and made me not suffer from my own nerves so much. I’m planning on doing that again today the moment the stress starts to hit again. It’s such a relief to feel it almost completely disappear and to be able to sit in silence and tranquility. And most importantly, to be able to walk the dog with a peaceful heart, as that had become an almost unbearable chore. 
I’m to the point now that I will do whatever I can to get peace of mind as the stress is something I find I can not cope with. It eats me up. If I were a candidate for ulcers, I would have a couple of them now. It causes a tremendous amount of anxiety that I can not live with and that makes me neurotic in all areas of my life. It influences my thought processes and forces me to make the wrong decisions.
At any rate, I’m sitting here now feeling fairly normal and I’m making myself some more coffee to fight off the feelings of sleep. It is Sunday today and there is time enough to go to bed. I don’t quite want the night to end yet. I want to enjoy it as long as possible because it’s the longest stretch that I feel good without taking any medication. 
I made the coffee strong and it tastes very good. It is almost as good as having  an espresso. It puts hair on your chest, whether you want it or not. It’s pure indulgence and to get the most effect out of a cup. I’ll have to drink it as quickly as I can while it is still fresh in the can. That’s when it tastes best. There’s nothing worse than overheated coffee. I’m already working on my second cup, granted that my cup is not a mug by any standard. It’s got my name on it so I know who I am. That could be confusing so early in the morning. 
I wish I had the kind of courage I have at night during the day. Life would be so much simpler. 
It’s going to be another warm summer day in April today without any rain, although we need it badly. Next week the weather is going to change completely and we will have lower temperatures and rain, which will be more normal for the time of year. It will mean dressing in layers again. I’m more than willing to do this because walking around skimpily dressed is not something I’m all that comfortable with. I’m not all that happy when it’s too warm. I like moderate temperatures, I don’t mind when it’s not all that hot. 
The farmers need the rain for their crops and nature needs the rain too as there are now fire danger zones. The traditional Easter Bonfires have to be canceled because there’s to much danger of a wildfire breaking out. They are a tradition that goes back thousands of years, so it’s a big deal when they are canceled.
I’m not having any chocolate for Easter, not even one tiny little milk chocolate egg. It’s for the best because I don’t need the calories and if faced with a whole basket of them, I would feel compelled to eat every one of them. I know no measure when it comes to chocolate. It’s best when I don’t have any around. To me it’s just another weekend with an extra day off on Monday which we call Second Easter Day. It’s an extra long weekend, that’s nice. 
I will mess around with my blog templates next. I’m not quite happy with what I’ve got now and I have time to do something about them now. I’m full of caffeine, after all. 
I hope you will all have a good Easter Sunday.

>While I’m at it…


Seeing as though I’m up still and completely calmed down by the extra anti-psychotic tablet I took, I’ll take advantage of the quiet, peaceful feeling and write another post. My state of mind has improved tremendously since I’ve taken the tablet and I feel ever so much better and able to express myself in a much more normal way. I felt sort of flighty before and somewhat angst ridden, but that feeling is gone and now I feel tranquil. 
I think I do have to take advantage of every good moment and not spend it sleeping. There’s time enough for that, as it is early in the night still and tomorrow is Sunday and nobody will be waiting for me to get up on time. Well, there usually isn’t, is there? Not even on weekdays, come to think of it. I do have the luxury of sleeping late very often and I do take advantage of it, but I feel less guilty about it on the weekends. On the weekends, I’m my own mistress and I don’t have to keep up appearances. 
I don’t know who I’m keeping up appearances for, but I suppose it’s for the neighbors, as I feel the social control is very high. I do always feel as though my every move is being watched and that much gossiping is going on. That’s why I always dress with care when I go out, while sometimes I really don’t want to give a hoot. I’m already the odd woman out, being a Hollander and not speaking the local language. Being a woman on my own is an extra disadvantage. 
Well, that’s neither here nor there, you do get used to that and inside you don’t notice it. I think that’s why I like rainy days and everybody is inside minding their own business. There’s a lot of freedom in being the only one out on the street. Of course, I do mind when It’s raining cats and dogs. Even I can’t handle that and don’t venture outside, but an ordinary rainy day with showers is just fine, although I know there’s still a lot of peeking through curtains going on. 
Hey, I don’t want to discuss this subject at all, but it has to do with the loss of privacy and I guess that’s high on my mind. It subconsciously puts pressure on you and causes a constant level of stress. It’s what happens when you live in an overcrowded country. I would like to live someplace where there is lots of personal space and not so much social control. I wouldn’t have such tight muscles in my neck and shoulders so often. 
I’ve been playing with my templates and I don’t know if I’m done yet. I may experiment some more. I have nothing better to do at the moment. I’m not quite ready to go to bed. 
Sleep tight, all you people.