Tag Archives: Cats

Ten Ways in Which I’m Blessed

This week was a tough one. I have been stressed almost constantly over a lot of things. For this reason, I’m extra happy to find out that Finish the Sentence Friday is about blessings this week. It’s supposed to be a joint linky with Tuesday Ten, but I can’t find the Tuesday Ten post on blessings. Maybe it’ll go live next Tuesday. However, let me write a list of ways in which I’m blessed anyway. I hope it’ll cheer me up. Here goes.


  • I have my husband. I’m so glad I met him nine years ago.

  • I have my home in the tiny village.

  • I have my family. My parents are still in good health and my grandma is still alive and relatively well for a 92-year-old too.

  • I have my cat Barry.

  • I don’t have to worry about money most of the time.

  • I am in okay physical health.

  • I have my computer, with which I can connect to the Internet and interact with mostly supportive people.

  • I can write and express myself creatively.

  • I have my faith. Even if no-one else loved me, God does.

  • I am alive. I am not always happy about this, but right now, I try to see it as a blessing.

It was a bit hard to write this list, but I’m so happy I got to do it. I hope you are blessed in many ways too.

Happy List – May 30 to June 5, 2016

I’ve been feeling extremely unmotivated to blog lately. It’s not that I don’t want to, or that there aren’t enough prompts or other ideas to get me started. I just can’t get my fingers moving and actually type that post. I don’t know whether it’s for that reason or in spite of it, but I’ve wanted to restart my Dutch website, blog or both. Of course, I’m uninpsired on that side of the language fence too. Just to get myself back into the swing of things, I’ll just write a list of things I’m happy about this week.



  • I’ve been doing okay in the exercise department. The physical therapist came to my unit on Monday to do exercise with me and I worked out some with the resistance band. On Tuesday, I went to the institution gym and did well there. I’ve also been lifting weights and working out more with the resistance band in my room. Yesterday, I went on the elliptical at home.

  • On a somewhat related note, the physical therapist measured the strength in my hands, believing my left hand would be weaker. Turned out they’re both equally strong (or weak). I didn’t ask whether my strength is much worse than normal people’s. It probably is, but for now, let’s forget that and focus on the fact that my left hand isn’t weaker than the right one.


  • On Wednesday, two student nurses from the locked ward went to the market and there was still room in their car. Since one guy ended up not wanting to go and another woman had just lost her privileges, I was the only one going. We bought fruit for my unit and the locked unit and I got some fish.

  • On Friday, my husband and I went out to buy fries and snacks. Yesterday, my husband made us tortillas. Both times, the food was great.

  • Yesterday, my husband and I went clothes shopping for me. We didn’t find what we’d hoped for, but we did find some great dresses.

  • The weather is good. We were supposed t get thunderstorms all week, but in the institution town we only got one on Tuesday. My husband did get worse thuderstorms. Over the week-end, however, we had beautiful weather at home.

  • Our cat Barry celebrated his third birthday today. My in-laws came and brought an apple pie. Barry himself got some of his favorite food.


What are you happy about this week?

By This Time in Life…

Last week, the Finish the Sentence Friday prompt was: “I thought that by this time in life, I’d…” I discovered it on Thursday already but was busy all week-end traveling to my parents, being at their house and attending a concert and then traveling back. I can’t link up my post anymore, but that doesn’t keep me from writing about the topic.

I have written many posts about my dreams for my adult life. When I was a young teen, I dreamt that by the time I turned thirty, I’d have completed my Master’s degree, gotten a steady job as a high school teacher and become a Mom of three (technically four, because in my dreams one pregnancy would always be with twins). Obviously, this was before the economic meltdown, because I dreamt of being a teacher within a year of earning my Master’s degree. Interestingly, though obviously these three or four children had a Dad, I never imagined meeting the man of my dreams.

Obviously, these dreams were unrealistic, though I held onto some version of them till I landed in a psychiatric crisis and had to be hospitalized. It is once again strange that, even though I met my now husband before being hospitalized, I just thought I’d meet someone “someday” and was busier with thinking up my career than thinking up relationships.

Later on, I adjusted to the idea that I would never be a high school teacher, speech-language pathologist, or anything earning me money. I did enter a relationship and get married. Still, I had and to some degree still have a hard time fitting in that one success into my life story. I love my husband and am hopefully going to live with him this summer. Still, once I landed in a psychiatric crisis, I abandoned all my dreams and replaced them with the idea that I’d be in residential care for the rest of my life.

I seriously need to let go of this idea that, if my dreams of a college degree, a job and a child or four can’t come true, I can’t get any sort of meaningful life. Maybe I can’t have the life I imagined for myself. Maybe I won’t ever live in the United States – because that was another dream of mine. I can however have a life with my husband and our two cats in our nice home in the tiny village here in the Netherlands. I really need to work towards that goal.

Gratitude List Once Again

A few days ago, I came across Corinne Rodrigues’ post on The Gratitude Diaries. She wrote this post for her monthly Gratitude Circle and included a gratitude list. Now I know I already did a gratitude list last week, but there’s much more to be grateful for. In this post, I am going to share both things I am grateful for this week and things I’ve been grateful for in general./P>

This week has been pretty good. I didn’t have a lot of energy and have had some health symptoms once again, but other than that, I enjoyed the week. Here are some things I’ve been gratefulf or this week.


  1. I bought two lovely shower gels online. One has a vanilla/coconut smell and the other has a vanilla/honey smell. Can you tell I love vanilla? I have been enjoying using both.
  2. Speaking of showers, I finally got used to the shower at my husband’s and my apartment. We have a thermostat in the institution but don’t in our apartment, so getting the temperature of the water right is a pain. I think I finally figured it out though. I still much prefer a thermostat and haven’t gotten the idea that I want one for our apartment out of my head yet.

  3. When I bought the shower gels, I also bought a fruity facial mask. I haven’t yet used it, because I have yet to ask someone to read the instructions for me.

  4. I found out about FutureLearn by the UK’s Open University and have enjoyed looking at all the free courses they have available. I signed up for one about the science of nutrition, but haven’t yet come far in it.

  5. I have been crocheting at art therapy this week. I used very thick yarn and a huge needle, which helped me feel my way through the project. I created a a flowery type of thing.

  6. I finally got down to buying some new nightwear on Friday. My husband joked that I must like one of the nightgowns, which has “I LOVE SLEEPING” on its front.

  7. I went to our apartment Friday till Saturday. Because I was not feeling very well, my husband went grocery shopping alone. This was the first time that I’d been alone in the apartment since we rented it in 2012. I was fine. Grocery shopping took just over half an hour only, but it’s a start.

  8. Barry, one of our cats, who is quite a bit of a loner, was showing affection to me on Friday. He tolerates being petted by and shows affection towards my husband, but he rarely did so to me. It was so cute!

  9. I had a good meeting with my psychologist on Wendesday. Though not much came from it yet, she’s trying to get informed about my options for outpatient treatment for once I go live with my husband.

This list signifies many things that I’m grateful for in general. For example, I am grateful for our two cats, Harry and Barry, who are way cute (though they can be annoying at times).

I am grateful for the things I can do as well. I’ve been quite productive in the blogging department lately and plan on participatng in an 31-day blogging challenge in October. I am grateful for my ability to be creative, for example my relative success at crocheting in art therapy.

Lastly, I’m just grateful for life in general. I have a great husband, a nice circle of relatives, good staff and a nice apartment. Despite some financial disappointments lately, I’ve been able to make ends meet this month too.

What Katy Said

50 Things That Make Me Happy #50Things

I love listing positives and things that make me happy. Therefore, I was so excited to see the 50 Things That Make Me Happy meme over at Mummy Tries. I wasn’t tagged for it and I am not going to tag anyone because I’m too lazy, so consider yourself tagged if you so wish. Listing 50 things that make me happy may be quite challenging already, but I’m going to give it a try.



  1. Daydreaming about living with my husband. Now that we’re trying to figure out how we can make this happen, I’m so excited.

  2. Coffee!

  3. herbal tea. Since writing this post, I have discovered a few new herbs that I like, such as St John’s wort.

  4. Going for a walk.

  5. Yoga. Unfortunately, I can’t get my instructional DVD working, but I still like what I still know about yoga.

  6. Journaling.

  7. Reading inspirational, helpful and positive books.

  8. Being moderately successful at my attempt at losing weight without much effort. All I basically do is keep from binge eating and exercise some.

  9. Snuggling with my cats. Barry isn’t too much of a snuggler and Harry is quite hyper, but I like them both.

  10. Facebook. I am a big Facebooker, mostly engaging with groups. I haven’t updated my blog’s FB page in forever, but that’s because pages don’t work that well on the (relatively accessible) mobile FB.

  11. Crafting. I haven’t done much of it lately, but since I got complimented on my work by my husband recently, I think of giving it a try again.

  12. Cooking at day activities. I can’t cook independently to save my life, but I can help.

  13. When the head nurse makes us French fries or pancakes.

  14. The fact that I’m getting somewhat fitter. A month ago, I couldn’t even walk to the grocery store without my breathing going fast. Yesterday, I walked for about an hour. I did get tired at the end, but it was rewarding.

  15. Art therapy. I don’t always look forward to it, particularly because it’s in the morning and I’m not a morning person. I do usually like it though.

  16. Music. I recently got a Spotify account and love listening to songs on it. I mostly enjoy country.

  17. Taking a bath or shower.

  18. Nice spring weather. We’ve had some pretty good days lately.

  19. Going to concerts with my family. I wasn’t able to go to Sarah McQuaid’s concert this year because I was ill with the flu. I hope to be able to go next year.

  20. Listening to children’s stories and songs.

  21. Essential oils. I love diffusing them in my AromaStream diffuser.

  22. Hot chocolate. I get a cup each week at art therapy.

  23. Getting some fruits and veggies and nuts out of my parents’ large garden when I visit.

  24. Gardening. I don’t do it often nowadays, but my art therapist offered to get me some herbs in a pot that I could grow.

  25. Shopping online or jus looking at all the lovely stuff I could buy but won’t.

  26. Sleep. My sleep/wake cycle is a bit off though.

  27. When my husband says he loves me.

  28. Planning for possibly going back to distance learning at Open University. It might not work out, but just the idea is nice.

  29. Blogging challenges and writing prompts. I love being able to participate in challenges like the A to Z Challenge, although it’s sometimes frustrating when I have lots of other things to write about.

  30. The singing of birds.

  31. Mindfulness exercises.

  32. Learning about natural health even when I can’t or won’t practise it.

  33. The fact that I have some more energy after starting on vitamin D and iron supplements (and vitamin B12 but that has been discontinued).

  34. Going to church. I don’t go nearly as often as I would like to, but I love it everytime I go.

  35. Reading devotionals and other spiritual writings. I lean towards progressive Christianity in my faith, but also derive meaning from many other traditions.

  36. Reading and writing poetry.

  37. The fact that I overcame most of my classic PTSD symptoms.

  38. Nurturing my inner child(ren).

  39. Having a much better relationship with my parents than I used to have.

  40. The fact that I’m a lot calmer generally and having much fewer meltdowns than I used to.

  41. Black liquorice. I haven’t bought it in a while because it is a binge food for me, but my husband has offered to help me divide it into portions. That way, I will be able to enjoy it in moderation.

  42. Receiving cards and small gifts from people from all over the world whom I’ve met online.

  43. Meeting online friends in real life. I recently traveled to Rotterdam to meet someone I’d known for twelve years but never met in real life.

  44. Hearing my parents tell stories about their life in the countryside. I really hope to live in a rural area someday too. This is weird, because I used to believe I wanted to live in the city.

  45. Going to my favorite restaurant with my husband. When I lived in my old institution, we went there often because it’s in that city. Now we treat ourselves to it on special occasions like our anniversary.

  46. All kinds of animals. I used to care for guinea pigs and rabbits at my old institution and go to a horse staple to care for a pony.

  47. Making my own smoothies.

  48. Long summmer evenings spent outdoors.

  49. My birthday. I used to dread it but now look forward to it.

  50. Putting on make-up – or rather, having someone else put make-up on me. I don’t get it done often, but when I do, I like it.

Wow, this was a little hard sometimes, but I am so much happier having written this list! It truly cheered me up. Have a nice week everyone!

You Baby Me Mummy
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Mami 2 Five

List of Things I Love #TuesdayTen

Today on Tuesday Ten and this week on the Spin Cycle, “love” is the theme. Not romantic love, as both hosts felt this was too cliche. The theme is rather simply listing things you love.

I need some positive vibes at this momemnt, because I’m frustrated. My psychologist is on maternity leave and this essentially means no therapy for four months. The psychiatric resident who is now my treatment provider, focuses on distraction. This isn’t great when I’ve been doing it for months (because I got this psychologist only a while ago and she didn’t want to start working on stuff till she’s back from leave). Then again, for now it might just help me to focus on things that make life positive. Therefore, I’m going to parttake in this challenge and list ten things I love.

1. Country music. Particularly, I like German country, such as Tom Astor and Truck Stop. I just had 14 Tage auf dem Brenner by Tom Astor on repeat on YouTube (only a few times or it’d cost me too much data), and am now listening to the rest of his music on my computer. I just happen to like the YouTube version of 14 Tage auf dem Brenner more than the one on my computer.

2. Juvenile fiction. The last book I finished is A Different Me by Deborah Blumenthal (see my review). To my surprise, Blumenthal saw my review without me having notified her, and she appreciated it. I have two more eBooks in the teen fiction category on my reading list, one of which I unfortunately still can’t load (and the Kobo contact form sucks). The other sounds like something I will probably love.

3. My lavender-scented shower gel. I bought it at a discount supermarket so there’s probably not a trace of lavender in it, but I love the smell.

4. Black liquorice. For those Dutch people who know me, I don’t need to say more. I unfortunately have never been able to convey my love for the taste to someone outside of the Netherlands. Like, when I went to Russia in 2000, I brought a bag of liquorice and other typically-Dutch candy for the family I’d be staying with, and I was the one eating it. Worse yet, I don’t even see black liquorice in supermarkets in Germany. It’s a shame! I particularly love the sweet kind. Don’t care for the salty kind that much.

5. Pepperoni pizza. Now that we’re talking food anyway, this has to be my favorite pizza. I love it even more when it’s homemade. My father used to make great pizza when my sister and I were little. Of course, we got to top our pizza slices ourselves.

6. My stuffed animals. I have a stufed whale that I’ve had since I came home from the neonatal unit, and a stuffed cat that I got for my high school graduation. I can’t find the whale right now, but the cat oversees my pillow.

7. The real life, flesh-and-blood cats. My husband has two cats at his apartment, Harry and Barry. Though they can be a bit annoying at times (and that’s a huge understatement), they are still lovely. I actually have thought about doing some cat posts here on the blog, but I don’t have any pictures of the cats and honestly wouldn’t know what to write about them.

8. My AromaStream essential oil diffuser. Probably mentioned this one in another Tuesday Ten post or something, but I truly love it. I am not too big of a believer in aromatherapy, though I believe in it a bit. Then again, even just having a nice scent in the room can be comforting.

9. Coffee. I have been drinking coffee since I was about six. For a special treat, I particularly love cinnamon coffee. Simply add a sniff of ground cinnamon to the ground coffee (one teaspoon for twelve cups of coffee) in the basket of an automatic drip coffeemaker. To make it extra special, you can serve the cinnamon coffee with a cinnamon stick and whipped cream sprinkled lightly with ground cinnamon. If you just serve the cinnamon coffee as is, the cinnamon taste isn’t overpowering.

10. All my craft supplies. I haven’t used them in a while, but still love looking through my stash. Yeah, I’m a bit of a hoarder.

The Golden Spoons