The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for the cold

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.




It doesn’t matter…

Today I’m not living by the clock and paying attention to what time it is. I do things when I feel like them and try to not stick too much to the schedule. True, there is some sort of system, but it isn’t written in stone that I have to do things exactly at a certain time. I’m allowing myself a lot of leeway. I don’t know how I suddenly got that way today, except that I had the day off and all to myself and it seemed perfect for it.

The dog’s been walked and some time soon, when I feel like it, I’ll eat dinner. In the meantime, I’m drinking my umpteenth glass of milk and my stomach appreciates it very much and is happy for it. I could live on cold milk alone, except that I also need other vitamins and minerals. I had a tall glass of orange juice this morning for the vitamin C, but my stomach liked that less. Even so, I’m going to drink a glass of it every day for health reasons. I’ll just have to make it a small glass.

After we had all that rain yesterday, the weather was nice today. We had sunshine all day and the temperature was decent enough. It’s going to get warmer as the week progresses. Tomorrow is a holiday and everyone will have the day off. It will be a perfect excuse to have a lazy day. Yes, another one.  And the weather will be nice again too.

I have to decide what to wear tomorrow and have a good look in my closet. I’ve been wearing the same outfit for a while now and it’s time for something different. I always seem to end up wearing the same basic clothes, the ones I’m most comfortable with. I need to challenge myself a little bit and come up with something really interesting.

I haven’t taken my usual afternoon nap today. I wasn’t really in need of it. In a way, it is good because it means that I’m saving up my sleep for tonight when I need it most. I slept better last night and I slept late this morning. It was wonderful and I was very late getting dressed. I set around in my armchair drinking coffee until I couldn’t postpone taking the dog out any longer. He had been out back, but that’s not the same as going for a walk.

I’ve just made myself some freshly brewed coffee and I’m drinking a cup of that now. I needed a little pick me up. Milk doesn’t have that quality and it doesn’t heat up your bones. I was getting just a bit chilled and the coffee is making me feel warmer. A little bit of sunlight is still shining through the living room windows and it isn’t really all that cold in here. If it were wintertime, I would think it was positively warm. It’s odd how you experience such things at different times of the year.

The coffee is making me feel decidedly better and I feel like I have taken a ‘feel good pill.’ The caffeine really perked me up. Apparently, that was just what I needed. Isn’t it funny how we can artificially make ourselves feel so much better temporarily? Of course, I don’t know if coffee has that effect on you. It always seems to do me a world of good.

The dog is lying on the dining table looking at me very amorously. Every time I look at him, he starts to enthusiastically wag his tail. I think he likes me and wants some attention. I will go sit in my armchair and pet him for a while. I can’t neglect my pets.

Have a good evening. I hope your weather is great.



>Trying not to be too shallow…


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.

>On a cold spring day…


I’m sitting here freezing my buns off. The bedroom window is open and the heater is turned off. I’m airing out the place and stubbornly refuse to change the situation. I should put on more clothes, but I also refuse to do that. I guess I’m being very Calvinistic and must believe in minor suffering. As long as my teeth aren’t chattering, I think I can handle it. On top of everything, I had a glass of cold milk and that made me extra cold. I think I will have a cup of hot coffee next. It’s the most sensible thing to do.

My personal helper was here this morning and together we walked Tyke and did the dishes. Doing the dishes with another person makes them less of a bothersome chore. I had just received approval by mail to have 4 hours a week of personal help for another 5 years. Isn’t that wonderful? Now we won’t have to reapply every year, which is a long drawn out process. This comes at a time of major cut backs when many people have their applications turned down, so I got very lucky.

Getting the approval has taken a lot of stress off my shoulders because I was prepared to get turned down and was worried about opening the envelope when it came in the mail. As a matter of fact, I put it off for a whole day before I dared open it. You can imagine what a relief it was when I saw the year 2016 in the extension box. I suppose somebody is watching over me.

It’s overcast outside and windy. It’s a cold wind and it’s supposed to rain later on. It’s not pleasant to walk the dog. I do think I liked the sunshine better, but I can never make up my mind about these things. Inside it is cozy and I have some of the lights on. I’m glad that the dishes are done, but I still have to hang up the laundry and wash another load. 

I’ve closed the bedroom window and turned on the heater and put on a heavy cardigan. I’ve also had a cup of coffee. Common sense did prevail.

I’m very sleepy and need to take a nap. I slept 8 hours last night, but I guess that still wasn’t enough. I have a terrible desire to go to sleep. I think I will go lie down in my bed and get warm and comfortable.

Have a good day!


>The 101st post.


Post 100 went by without me realizing it. I would have had a big celebration with party hats and balloons, but I’m too late now. I could still have a cupcake, but where can you buy just one cupcake? I would have to get at least three and feel obliged to eat them all, or two of them anyway and give the other one to Tyke who doesn’t need one. I’ll have to properly celebrate the 200th post and have people over to share in the fun and buy a real cake. That’s a good plan and gets me off the hook for now.
I just woke up from a nap on my bed. It was very comforting and beneficial. I was feeling cold and fuzzy brained before I took it and now feel restored back to normal, whatever that is by any measure. I think that when you say you feel ‘normal,’ everybody knows what that means. It’s a universally accepted state of being, as opposed to feeling ‘crazy’ which is not okay. Taking a nap can make you feel perfectly normal. In my case it always seems to work well. At any rate, I’m full of good cheer now. 
No doubt I’m full of good cheer because it’s Friday evening and the weekend has officially started. I feel myself bathed in good vibes. I couldn’t feel better if I were going out to the pub tonight with a bevy of my best pals and was going to drink six pale ales. That would be about my limit if I were going to ride my bike home. 
Luckily, I have to do no such thing and I get to stay in the warm apartment and not have to brave the freezing temperatures outside, although a pale ale would taste awfully good right now and I have none in the refrigerator. That is my bad luck and I should plan ahead better. I will ask the Exfactor to pick me up a six-pack the next time he goes grocery shopping. 
The good thing is that it’s nice and warm in here. I aired out the apartment earlier today and pretended that the cold air didn’t bother me. There was very little sunshine on the windows, because the sun is still so low in the sky that I’m plunged in shade in the afternoon. The apartment was aired out, at least to my sense of smell it was, but it sure was chilly in here. I wore almost enough clothes, but Tyke started shivering. 
I quickly closed the windows and turned up the thermostat. I was ready to knit Tyke a sweater. I think he was grateful as it heated up in here. I sure was glad about it. I’m not much of a hero when it comes to extremes of temperatures, unless I’m dressed like Scott on Antarctica. My nose is not sensitive enough to know how it really smells in here now. I’m so used to nicotine. I’m sure only I can live with it or the occasional visitor who also smokes. 
Since I’m not having a cold glass of beer, I’m having a cup of freshly brewed coffee, which is not bad either, although I would have preferred the beer. What a choice that is on a Friday night. Coffee or beer, really! Come to think of it, though, there’s an awful lot of carbonation in beer and no doubt it will make me burp something terrible. That’s something you always have to take into consideration when you have a gastric band. It won’t be so bad when I burp, I will be here on my own anyway, but there may be some discomfort involved. I don’t know if I’m willing to undergo that. Maybe I should let it sit and go flat first.
I’m going to hang up a load of freshly washed laundry before I forget. It will make it smell good in here. At least, that’s my fervent hope. 

>Unbelievably so…


Optimistically speaking, it is early in the morning and if it were summertime, the sun would be coming up now. That’s how I excuse my early presence here. I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and I’ve just answered my emails and let Tyke out back. It was a little bit cold out there and I stood by the back door in my tank top and pajama bottoms. It was very refreshing, but now I’ve put on my bathrobe. I’m not that hardy. I did have goosebumps.
Since it’s Sunday today, it is officially a day of rest, although you may say that I’ve had one of those yesterday too. I know I did, but it wasn’t official, I was sort of cheating then. Yesterday was a wasted day and I bow my head in shame when I think back on it. It was a day that I have nothing to show for and that is not something I’m proud of. The day slipped through my fingers like loose sand at the beach. I somehow, despite all the rest I’m supposed to get, hope to make up for it today and make it a worthwhile day. How I propose to do this is a mystery to me yet, but hopefully I’ll think of something. 
Actually, what I forgot to do yesterday was plain enjoy myself. I was rather uptight all day long and didn’t really relax. I didn’t even take the time to just sit in my armchair to enjoy the solitude. The times that I could have, I turned on the television and watched programs that I wasn’t really interested in. I think I felt uptight because I had cut down on my anti-depressives, and despite my resolve not to let that bother me, I think it did subconsciously influence me, as if I was expecting something to go wrong. I was just a bit on edge. 
Nothing really went wrong and at the end of the day I felt fine. When I went to bed I was perfectly normal and in a good enough state of mind. I really think that I had worried for nothing, even though it was only on a subconscious level and with hindsight. I misjudge the power of the pills, although at the same time I don’t underestimate them. I do know they play an important part in the workings of my psyche, but I know that it’s not so bad that I can’t reduce them safely up to a point. I suppose I should say that I underestimate the strength of my own psyche and the fact that I am capable of dealing with my feelings. 
You do learn something new every day and you’re never too old to learn, or maybe they are the same lessons you learn over and over again, just in a slightly different form so you don’t forget them. There does seem to be a lot of repeat, but that maybe due to my foolhardiness. It’s very well possible that all people are foolhardy and that we’re all learning the same lessons over and over again. Maybe they don’t really stick until we get older and they are engraved well enough into our brains. 
It’s been a pleasure to sit here and write this, but I do think that I have to go back to bed and sleep some more. It’s not nearly time to start the day. I am starting to yawn and that is a sure sign that I’m not done sleeping yet. It will be nice to get back into bed for a few more hours. 
Have a good day, all of you. Or a good night if you’re about to. 

>Slowly but surely…


My coffee tastes very good this morning and I can’t get enough of it. It is making me as perky as a butterfly on a sunny spring day. Well, you can see where my thoughts are. They are certainly not stuck in the wintertime. They long for another season. Because it’s January I do dare to long for the springtime. I look forward to it as something that’s going to happen in the not too unforeseeable future. I am an optimist, no matter what the weather is still going to bring us. Which will be rain this weekend and that is a heck of a lot better than snow or sleet. 
I even dared sleep with my bedroom window open last night. That’s because it really wasn’t that cold outside. Cold is all very relative. It just depends on what you’ve gotten used to. It’s no longer freezing, so any kind of temperature is nice. It feels healthier to sleep with the window open, all that fresh air must be good for something. I imagine it’s better for my braincells. I will have better dreams because of it, though I don’t really remember the ones I had last night. They must not have been that impressive.
I ate carrots and peas for dinner last night and they were so good that I ate my fill of them. I was truly full when I had to stop eating and I had to give the last of the carrots to Tyke who devoured them with a lot of appetite. I had forgotten how much fun it was to eat a big spoonful of peas. To really stuff your mouth with them and slowly chew them. It was heavenly. I have more left for tonight and it’s something to look forward to. It’s the little pleasures in life that make it fun. Peas and carrots can make you very happy. 
I watched a Dutch police series and it was as bad as they always are. A lot of drama and action and very little substance. I don’t know why I bother, except that this one is filmed locally so it is interesting to see all the familiar places. The only problem is that nobody in the series speaks with a local accent, because they all come from the west of the country and that does make it lose some of its credibility. I don’t know if that holds true for British series as well. 
I didn’t go to bed too late last night. There was nothing else on television that I wanted to watch, as is usual for Friday nights. I can’t get excited about many of the programs that are on, but that’s why the television has an off button. I won’t sit there and mindlessly watch whatever is on. I’m not hooked on it. 
Today is Saturday and the first official day of the weekend, although it really started yesterday afternoon after the domestic help left. I’m looking forward to the lazy days that are ahead of me. I will hang out in my bathrobe for a while this morning and be slow to get the show on the road. There is no time clock to punch and nobody will show up here. I get to have my privacy all to myself. 
There will be speed skating on today and I will watch that. Our best skater is not competing, so now it’s up to the other guys. They will get a chance to prove their worth. They’re up against some tough competition. They’re skating the 10K today and that’s a tough race. I’m curious to see how well we will do. It will be a relaxing way to spend the afternoon, for me at any rate. Not for them.
Have a good day!