The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Joviality…

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.

Ciao,

Nora

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

An intruder…

I think I detect the presence of an intruder. One I’m not happy with at all. I think it is the ‘Black Dog’ come to make my life a little more miserable. I noticed him first yesterday afternoon when I tried to write a post and found that I couldn’t do it. Try as I might. After that unsuccessful attempt, I walked my own dog and I felt the “Black Dog’ on my heels, following me wherever I went.

I tried to ignore him at first, but realized that was futile and that is was best to recognize his presence. It’s best to face him head on and to not furtively try to escape him. With that realization came a feeling of relief because I felt that I knew my enemy and that I was familiar with the situation. I know what to do. I’ve handled this before.

I feel a huge amount of tiredness and I have an ‘oh, I don’t care attitude,’  but I mustn’t let that get the overhand, of course. I will mollycoddle myself to some extent and be extra kind to myself and go out of my way to do extra nice things that will make me feel good. Everything does seem an effort, though, and I am going to have a hard time fulfilling some of my duties.

I crave chocolate sandwiches and wish I had some real chocolate sprinkles in the cupboard. I have bread in the freezer. That’s something I ought not to do, however. It would be foolish to give into that craving, no matter how comforting it would be. I guess that’s what I want, real comforting food.

What I want more than anything is to be safe and that means being inside the apartment and not going anywhere. It also means that I want to sleep a lot, but that’s not possible because after a while you’ve slept all you can. There’s only a certain amount of that you can do. I do still like being up in the middle of the night, although it’s not the same cheerful experience that is usually is. It’s still of some comfort to me, though.

But I refuse to dwell only on the negative and must find something positive to write about.

Yesterday it actually rained. Several times the heavens opened up and the rain came falling straight down from them. Each time I thought I would have to start building an ark and then just as suddenly the rain stopped and the sun came out again.

Well, I’m sorry, that’s just about as positive as I can get right now. I keep having visions of different kinds of foods in my head that are all unobtainable to me.  I guess that when I get depressed, I think about food a lot.  I not only think about it, I want to eat it too. What I need now is a car and a 24 hour supermarket.

I just ate a bowl of vanilla pudding and that took care of the worst cravings.  My stomach is full now.

I don’t seem to be boiling over with enthusiasm. Everything is on the back burner. I would love to be more lively and a little bit more animated. Instead I feel like a big dull lump. I’m just about as unmovable.

I suppose I will give this another try tomorrow and see how I feel then. Maybe a good night’s rest will help.

Ciao,

Nora

 

 

No rest for the wicked…

I’ve barely slept yet. I decided to go to bed early, but the dog just jumped on the bed and decided to lick me awake very enthusiastically. It turned out that he had to go out back for a piddle an this is a new tactic for waking me up. I must say that I prefer it to being barked awake. This is a much kinder way of being woken up. There’s nothing like being slobbered in the face by a happy puppy. I had to push him off me in order to be able to get up, but he figured that out quickly enough. He’s a pretty hefty dog and hard to move, so it helps if he co-operates. .

Now he’s lying by my feet and he’s sound asleep. Actually, he ‘s lying on top of my feet as is his usual thing to do. He needs to be in the closest contact with me and I can’t move my feet, even though I have to eventually. I’ll get cramp in my legs if I don’t. Other than that, it’s nice and warm to have him lie there. At least I don’t need to wear socks. His body always generates heat.

I don’t know what happened to the cat in all the turmoil. She was lying beside my pillows, but I think maybe she went outside too. I haven’t seen her since and she must be on the prowl. As long as she doesn’t come home with a mouse, it’s okay… No, I just checked. She’s still asleep on the bed. She’s a good loyal cat. She knows when she’s comfortable. Apparently the dog’s antics didn’t bother her one bit. That goes to show you that she is used to quite a bit.

I’m so sleepy headed still. I’m making myself a small pot of freshly brewed coffee. Hopefully that will perk me up for a while. At least until I get ready to go back to bed again. By that time I will be drinking cold milk. I had two glasses of mild orange juice last night and took some antacid tablets and they really helped. I didn’t have my stomach bother me one bit. It is a good solution and I get my vitamin C in too.

Yesterday went well, even the visit with my personal helper did.  She was not so pushy and not micro managing me. Maybe that’s because I’m more assertive. It puts us more on equal footing, which is how it should be. I also found out that she has high blood pressure and that she’s going through the menopause, so I must keep that in mind when dealing with her.

Well, I’ve been sitting here for half an hour now without anything to add so I think I will end this post and go do something else until I’m ready to go back to sleep.

I hope you’re all having a good night.

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

 

 

When I have something to say…

It’s in the middle of the night and I’m sitting here with my cup of coffee and my cigarettes. I don’t actually know if I have something to say, but I’ll give it my best shot. I feel that I have to be somewhat productive in the nighttime, as I always claim that this is when my head is most clear. And it it is, but I just may be short of subjects to write about. Not that many things happen in my life so I always have to think very hard about what I will discuss. The tiniest details matter.

Yesterday went by in a flash just like Saturday did. The day was over before I knew it. Of course, I slept late in the morning and took about an hour to wake up properly in my armchair with several cups of coffee while I watched a literary program on TV. What used to be one of my favorite writers was on, but that was in a former life when my tastes were a little different. However, he discussed a book of travel stories he had written that sounded interesting and I do love travel stories if they are told well and no doubt he did. His name is Cees Nooteboom and he is translated in many languages. I can recommend him heartily. His novel ‘In the Dutch Mountains’ is very good.

My sister called and invited me over, so I had to get ready and walk the dog before I could leave. Luckily, the weather was nice enough, although it wasn’t especially hot. I did have to wear my cardigan, but I also had to wear sunglasses. I rode my bike over there in a stiff breeze, but in my sister’s garden things were pleasant and warm. I drank cappuccinos and had some Italian cookies and we ate a bowl of cherries. I admired the growing things and saw how much good the rain had done to the garden. Some plants had completely perked up and started to flower.

My sister very animatedly told me the complete plot of an Italian movie they had seen and she did such a good job that I feel that I’ve seen the movie, but also that I feel that I want to go see it myself. She’s made me very curious.  The name of the movie is ‘Mine Vaganti.’

When I got home, I watched the last two quarters of the field hockey game for the European championship and the Dutch club won. It wasn’t a very exciting game and they won with a penalty shot. After that, I took the dog for a walk because he had been waiting patiently. It looked like it was going to rain, but it didn’t. It is going to today, however. We’re going to have showers anyway, which is too bad for a holiday. There are several cultural festivals going on around the country and they sure can’t use the rain.

Today will be a nice and quiet day at home. I have nothing special planned and it is a relief to me. I look forward to the peacefulness.

I’m going back to bed.

Have a great day you all.

Ciao,

Nora