The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for the Exfactor

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.

Ciao,

Nora

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Awake, am I…?

I would really and truly be sound asleep still if the dog had not woken me up, of that I am convinced. He did have to start barking and in my sleep I thought I had to remove something from his throat to make the barking stop. That’s until I woke up and I realized that was not possible and he just wanted to tell me that he had to go out back for a piddle.

Darn dog. He does have bad timing. I considered going back to bed, but then decided to stay up for a while and have my coffee and write this post. It’s good to sit here half asleep in a stupor and to try to make sense. It’s a bit of a challenge that I’m willing to take on. I do like that half awake state of being I’m in anyway. I feel sort of dopey and it’s very pleasant to force myself into the mental activity that I’m almost not up to.

No doubt I’ll be better up to it once the coffee starts working and that will be a whole different experience too. You see how I like to play with the different states of my mind and live vicariously through all of them. As long as I’m good natured, I see no problem. And good natured  I am, make no mistake about it.  As a rule, I’m not foul mooded when I wake up.

Yesterday was a fine day. It went by quickly and I enjoyed t well enough. The Exfactor was here to do the groceries and he stopped by the pet shop to buy the dog another rubber toy. It was a great success. It is a rooster instead of a rabbit like he had the last time and he’s very busy chewing it to pieces. I don’t know how long it will last, but he’s having a very good time with it.

Thank goodness there’s milk again and I can have tall glasses of it. That’s what I missed most of all. All the rest of the groceries I didn’t care about.  Not that they weren’t necessary, of course. I’ve stopped eating chocolate pudding and now have vanilla pudding instead. I thought it might be a little lower in calories. I eat the same amount every day, so maybe I will see the difference on the bathroom scale. I keep forgetting to get on it first thing in the morning in my underwear, so I don’t know exactly what I weigh now.

My psychiatrist called me and had expected me to have reduced the anti-psychotics by half a milligram starting last Friday. I had to be honest with him and tell him that I had reduced them with a full milligram two weeks ago. He was not that happy with me for taking such a chance and for not informing him earlier that I had done so. Luckily, it had a good outcome, but it very easily also could not have had. He is trying to instill in me the precariousness of my situation and the danger of slipping into an instable mood. I’m not to undertake these actions on my own.

I’m going to stay on the dose that I am on now for a while and make sure I’m completely stable. In a few months we’ll try to reduce it more. I really feel good and have no problems with my moods. I’m not going up and down and generally feel the same every day. I’m quite content with how I feel and have no complaints. I would always like to feel this good. I think what I did was the right thing. I did it instinctively and I don’t feel like I’ve made a mistake. I would have gone back to the original dose if there had been a problem.

This morning at 9 o’clock my personal helper is going to be here because she couldn’t be here on Monday. I’m looking forward to it with mixed feelings. She can help me do the dishes, so that’s good. We can walk the dog together. I don’t know what else to do with her except pass the time as well as possible.

We’re supposed to have spotty showers today, but the temperatures are going to be good. It’s not at all going to be cold. I’m looking forward to the day because, except for my personal helper, the rest of the day will be very uneventful. That’s just the way I like it. I don’t really enjoy being up that early in the morning, I like sleeping later than that, but I’ll take my usual nap in the afternoon to make up for it.

I’ve got my clothes picked out and they are very comfortable and just right for this kind of weather. I’ve been wearing my high tops because it’s so nice to walk in them and they’re easy to get on. My hair has been especially no nonsense and I’ve had to do hardly anything to it in the morning. I just run my fingers through it and it’s in place. I guess it’s just the right length now.

I suppose I’ll go back to bed for a few hours. I can get a little bit of sleep yet.

I hope you’ll all have a nice day.

Ciao,

Nora

Can’t get my act together…

I laid in bed for two hours and couldn’t fall asleep. I tried my best by listening to the radio and being relaxed, but sleep would not come. I finally said, “The heck with that,” and got up and made myself some coffee. Now I will sit here until I get good and tired, although I am somewhat in a slightly sleep induced state of mind now. It just wasn’t enough to make me fall asleep. I had too many thoughts going through my head and the radio only distracted me more.

It must have been the subject matters that were discussed because they were all about problem areas in the world and what should be done about them and I felt very frustrated in not being able to do anything at all except being very well informed and knowing what I’m talking about. It might have been better to put on a CD by Erica Satie and have listened to his very soothing piano music. He was considered eccentric in his day and age, but I think he is perfect for this century.

I watched and listened to a repeat of the Prinsengracht concert this afternoon of 2010 and it was very lovely. The 30th one will be held this year and it is always a big happening that everyone looks forward to. There’s always a big soloist and a good soprano who sings arias. It’s held on a podium in a canal in the middle of Amsterdam surrounded by people in boats and on the docks and bridges. It’s got a good atmosphere and is a fine evening. There’s a sing along at the end. Young and old go to watch it. It gets you in a fine mood.

We had a brief shower this past evening when I was lying in bed. It sounded very cozy and I hoped it would last a while, but it was over in a few minutes. That was a short lived joy. It barely got the ground wet and didn’t amount to much. That was the rain that was predicted. It should have been a few showers like there are supposed to be today but I won’t hold my breath for them. We here in the very southern part of the country don’t always get the rain that is predicted. A lot of it passes by to the north of us.

I’ve run out of milk and have had to drink orange juice. Since this does not agree with my stomach so well, I’ve had to take stomach tablets that reduce the acid. Luckily, they work. I won’t get new milk until this morning when the Exfactor will get the groceries. I hope he doesn’t get here too late. Doing without milk is difficult. It’s such a soothing beverage for me.

Yesterday was the last day off. Today is not a holiday anymore, but not a lot is going to be happening. It will be a rather peaceful day and only my psychiatrist is going to call me to inquire about my state of mind. I will be able to tell him that it is good after having reduced the medication.  It’s the anti-psychotics that I’ve reduced and I feel fine. I did that two weeks ago and have had no bad effects from it. i have to reduce them one more milligram.

I’ve got to think about the clothes I’m going to wear tomorrow. It’s going to be cloudy but not too cold. Still, I’ll want to wear a cardigan. I want to wear my red one for the cheerfulness of it. I have to think about the rest of the clothes I want to wear with it. Or maybe I’ll pick something completely different. It depends on what skirt I can find to fit me. I washed the one that’s my favorite and it’s not dry yet. The possibilities dazzle my mind.

I’ve got to go back to sleep now and make sure I get up on time in the morning. I can’t stay in bed endlessly, much as I’d like to. Sometimes I do have to act like a responsible person and get up before I’m ready to. It’s really not as painful as I make it sound. It just hurts a little bit.

Have a good morning when you get up.

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

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.

Ciao,

Nora