Tag Archives: Tuesday Ten

Coffee #TuesdayTen

Today is International Coffee Day. In honor of this celebration, the Tuesday Ten hosts ask about our morning routine, whether we drink coffee or not. I am twistng this idea a bit and sharing ten truths about my coffee-drinking habits throughout the day. I remember sharing some of these before, probably when International Coffee Day came around last year, but some items will be new.


  • I started drinking coffee when I was aroudn six-years-old. In pictures of me drinking coffee, I look really disgusted. I still have a disgusted look on my face when I drink coffee, even though I like it.

  • I like my coffee black and quite strong, though the coffee my husband makes is a little too strong for my taste. Some people on my unit also make incredibly strong coffee.

  • Last week was one of the first times I drank cappuccino. I must say I loved it!

  • My husband and I have a Senseo coffee maker, which means I can finally get a regular cuppa rather than my husband's strong brew that I mentioned above. It also means that I can make my own coffee. I used to be able to operate a regular coffee brewing machine, but getting the amount of water and coffee right is a bit hard.

  • I don’t drink nearly as much coffee now as I used to. We have specific coffee times on our unit at 10AM, 4:30PM and 7:30PM. I usually skip at least one of these because I’m in bed. Guess I need to drag myself out and get a cuppa.

  • On the unit, we are allowed to get up by 7AM and make coffee then as well. Usually, some is still left by the time I get up at around 8:30. I like to start my day with a cup of coffee and a bowl of yoghurt with muesli.

  • Because the afternoon is so long without coffee, being that we can’t have it till 4:30PM, I sometimes go to day activities just to get a cuppa. Many people do. It isn’t that, at day activities, we can get unlimited coffee, but at least we aren’t stuck with the fixed coffee moments.

  • Speaking of day activities, most people look forward to Friday at 3PM, when we are allowed cappuccino or hot chocolate instead of regular coffee. There’s an automated coffeee machine upstairs from day activities where the administration probably get their hot chocolate, cappuccino and coffee all the time, but the activity staff got complaints that we’re drinking too much of it. That’s why we only get hot chocolate or cappuccino on Friday afternoons.

  • I do get hot chocolate most weeks on Thursday morning when I go to art therapy. That is, if there’s cocoa in the machine there, which often there isn’t.

  • I truly find that coffee keeps me awake. This is probably why I am most awake in the evenings, because I rarely skip my 7:30PM coffee. Then again, whether I drink coffee in the evening or not doesn’t seem to influence whether I can sleep at night.

The Golden Spoons
Everyday Gyaan

Top Ten Favorite Foods (If Calories Were No Issue) #TuesdayTen

This week, #TuesdayTen is all about our favorite comfort foods in honor of National Junk Food Day. What would be the top ten foods you could consume forever if calories and nutrients weren’t an issue? This may seem like just a fun question to ponder, but it could give us insight into why we eat what we eat.

I for one don’t have that much of a sweet tooth. I don’t like cake or pie, except for homemade apple pie. I am very critical when it comes to eating cookies. Chocolate would probably be way down my list, if it’s in the top ten at all. Yet with certain sweets, such as winegums, I can consume a whole bag in half an hour. I just did.

Here is my top ten list of foods I could consume endlessly.



  1. Black liquorice, the sweet kind. This has to be at the top of my list because I consume it more than any other confort food. American readers of this blog have told me that, in the U.S., black liquorice is usually what’s left over when the rest is eaten. In the Netherlands, there are basically two kinds of black liquorice: the swet kind and the salty kind. Give me the sweet ones, and especially those with real sugar in them. My husband has a box of sugar-free, sweet black liquorice in the car, but I don’t particularly care for it.

  2. French fries. Oh, how I love fries. More so do I love the snacks that come with them. I actually searched to find out whether there is an English name for “frikandel”, one of my favorite snacks, but there isn’t. The spicey minced meat we call Mexicano however has to be my all-time favorite snack with fries.

  3. Pizza. My husband said he only wants to go to the American-style pizza place about a fifteen minutes’ drive away “once in a while”. When I asked him what this meant, he said it meant once a year. There is an Italian restaurant at a five minutes’ walking distance from our apartment and we buy refrigerated pizzas regularly, but they aren’t as good (or as large and filled!) as the ones there.

  4. Mexican food. I love anything spicey and I love tacos, burritos and what have you. They however are quite hard to eat for me, as I tend to spill my food all over the place.

  5. Pasta. Macaroni specifically, that is. I don’t particularly care for spaghetti even though it’s technically the same substance. Give me some delicious macaroni with lots of peppers, onions and garlic any day though.

  6. Chicken. Any meal can be made more delicious with some chicken added to it. Yesterday, my husband and I bought some vegetarian fake chicken (my husband has gone vegetarian again). My husband commented that it may taste even better than real chicken. Though the fake chicken wasn’t bad, I had to disagree.

  7. Cheese twists. I don’t know whether this snack is well-known in English-speaking countries even though in the Netherlands it has this English name.

  8. Croissants. I buy them almost every week at the bakery stand when it opens near the town store on Friday mornings.

  9. Winegums. Mentioned them before. I get nauseated from eating a whole bag of them, but it doesn’t keep me from repeating the same offense on my body over and over again.

  10. Seasonal candy. Maybe it’s because they’re seasonal, but even now in July I crave cinnamon star cookies. I didn’t find them last year and you bet I’ll be on the hunt for them early this year. In general, I love most St. Nicholas and Christmas candies, though I don’t like almod pastry and don’t really care for chocolate letters.

The Golden Spoons

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

What I’d Put in a Time Capsule #TuesdayTen

As Lisa of The Golden Spoons writes, in December of 2014, a time capsule was found in Boston, which dates back to 1795. I also heard that in 1938, people created a similar time capsule (I don’t know whether it’s been opened yet). In 1998, people all over the Netherlands wrote letters to the future, a selection of which was published in a book and the rest of which will be opened in 2098.

Lisa asks what we would put in a time capsule if we could create one. The big problem is that technolgy advances so fast that the technology of today will be useless by 2235. So I’d have to resort back to low-tech stuff because they probably wouldn’t be able to open the text file in which I write my post now. So here goes what I’d put in.


  1. A letter. I’d have to print it out because today’s Microsoft Office can’t even read documents from 1995, so I bet the technology of 2235 will have big problems with the old-fashioned typing I do, as I said. Like Lisa, I would write who I am and explain about the contents of the box.

  2. A copy of my blog. I don’t know whether I even want to include my old blog. You know, the one I always just refer to as “the old blog” and refuse to ever link to even though it’s still online. Maybe I would.

  3. My old diaries. I’m afraid they have been typed in that 1995 MS Word format that Word 2013 can’t read (they date back to 1999 but I was really old-fashioend in terms of technology), so a print copy would have to do then. It’s going to be a big time capsule. I won’t ever publish my diaries online (well, except for that one entry I published for a writing prompt a while back), but I don’t care what the people of 2235 think of me. My diaries are written in Dutch.

  4. Music. I only have a small selection of recent songs and they are not a representation of what’s hot today, but well.

  5. A picture of myself just so people know my face. Not that anyone on my blog knows except if they find me on social media, as I still haven’t gotten my husband to send me a recent pic of myself, but well.


  6. A Braille letter typed by hand. Knowledge of the Braille alphabet is declining among blind people with the advancement of text-to-speech technology, so who knows whether it still exists by 2235.

  7. A Braille display, for the same reason as above but it’s actually current technolgoy.

  8. My list of medications. I wouldn’t be able to include the medicine itself as it’d go off, but I’d love to educate the people of 2235 about what nut cases like me get prescribed today. I bet they’d laugh their butts off.

  9. My phone. Not that it’s particularly hot in 2015, as I have had a Samsung E1130 since probably 2011, but well.

  10. Money. I’d be curious to know whether the Euro still exists by 2235 – or even 2035, but I may find that one out as I will probably still be alive by then.

The Golden Spoons

Random Questions #TuesdayTen

Today for Tuesday Ten, people are answering ten random questions from the 100 random questions list. I love these questions. Would love to answer them all, but it’s Tuesday Ten and besides I’m too lazy, so here are ten.

8. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? I last went outside to go to my husband’s car so he could take me to our home. This was at around 3:15 this afternoon.

10. Do you remember your dreams? Usually, yes, but I don’t always realize they were dreams. Sometimes I dream that I checked my E-mail and then when I really do check my E-mail, I’m surprised at the number of new messages. Yes, I do dream about checking my E-mail!

17. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? I’d love to live in the United States just so that most people I know online would live in my country. The health care system in the U.S. sucks though, so I guess I’d go for the UK.

27. Type of music you like most. Country.

36. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? No, but to my defense it has fifteen strophes. In school, most people learn the first and sixth strophe. I can however barely remember the first as I write this.

58. Do you believe in love at first sight? No. It took me almost eight months to decide I wanted to be in a relationship with my now husband. I do believe people can be attracted to someone at first sight, but love is something much deeper than sexual attraction.

73. What do you do most when you are bored? I’d like to come up with something that doesn’t make me sound like the laziest creature on the planet. Go on the computer, read, listen to music… Truth is however most of the time I go into bed and sleep.

76. What did you want to be when you grew up? A writer or a teacher.

85. What kind of books do you like to read? Autobiographies, true stories (mostly from doctors), and juvenine fiction.

99. What is most important in life? Happiness, oh duh.

The Golden Spoons

Ten Things About My Husband #TuesdayTen

This week’s Tuesday Ten is all about friendship, in honor of National Friendship Day. Lisa of The Golden Spoons explains the origins of National Friendship Day. Like most holidays, it’s higly commercialized. Unlike others, it actually originated as a commercial celebration, having been invented by Hallmark. It’s apparently formally recognized by the United Nations now.

Like Lisa, I am quite introverted. I don’t have anyy good friends, unless you count my husband. My problems with friendship usually come down to reciprocity, or the lack thereof. I either share too little, ask too little about the other person, or I pour my heart out too soon.

Consequently, I, too, will have my husband as my best friend. It’s not that he doesn’t have to put up with my lack of reciprocal interaction, but apparently, he loves me anyway. Here are ten things I love about him.


  1. He is patient. He kept coming to the locked psychiatric unit when I was there and we weren’t officially in a relationship yet. He patiently waited for me to answer that I loved him too.

  2. He is funny. Usually. Sometimes though, his politically incorrect jokes drive me batty.

  3. When he’s determined to do something, he goes for it. He’s sometimes frustrated when I give up too quickly in his opinion.

  4. He plays and dances with me when one of my inner children is out.

  5. He handles my mentally ill moments really well.

  6. He is usually honest but gentle.

  7. He has a lot of knowledge and is a great debater.

  8. He helps me out when it’s noisy or I can’t communicate clearly for another reason.

  9. He loves me in spite of all my quirks.

  10. He can usually fix my computer. 😉

The Golden Spoons

Ways to Unwind #TuesdayTen

Yesterday, my psychologist, the staff and I had a meeting to discuss how we could better cooperate. It was a good meeting, but still I was a bit anxious beforehand. We discussed ways in which we could keep the lines of communication open instead of getting stuck on negativity, and how the staff could help me prevent piling up stress. I do have a crisis prevention plan, but it is pretty useless once I’m already in the dark orange or red state. So preventing me from getting this stressed is key.

Today’s Tuesday Ten theme comes in a timely manner. It is Nationnal Hammock Day (in the U.S.). Having lay in a hammock a handful times on vacation, I can totally attest to its relaxing effects. Then again, we don’t have one ready here to lie in when I’m stressed, so I have to come up with other ways to relax. Here are ten:


  1. Writing. Writing has always been an activity I used to unwind. I was an avid storywriter in my teens, but unfortunately lost that skill. Since I got an Internet connection, I started writing for a wider audience. It can be stressful when I “have to” write a blog post, but it can be deeply relaxing when I write from my muse. I also continued writing for just me until I few years back, and really need to start the offline journal again.

  2. Some crafts. Like with writing, crafting can be frustrating. However, crafts that I find easy such as stringing beads on a wire or basic looming are quite a good way to focus my attention on something else while not needing so much concentration that it becomes frustrating.

  3. Fidgeting. I used to be reprimanded a lot for playing with my hair or fidgeting in other ways. I’ve basically stopped caring and my parents are not here to dictate that I cannot fidget anyway. I love playing with my handmde jewelry.

  4. Coffee. Okay, I know that caffeine isn’t supposed to be good when you want to relax, but I consider drinking a nice cuppa quite relaxing.

  5. Herbal tea. For a bit of balance when I’ve drunk too much coffee. Particularly chamomile tea has relaxing properties, but I usually blend different herbs because the act of brewing my own tea is relaxing in itself.

  6. Music. I don’t tend to listen to music while doing other things, such as writing. When I do listen to music, I usually “dance” to it as I listen to the lyrics. I find this quite a help in thinking without getting stressed.

  7. Talking it out. I find that talking about what makes me stressed helps when I worry a lot. I also find that a chat about something that interests me also helps me refocus my attention.

  8. Taking a shower or bath. I love bathing, and can’t fathom that I’ve never used the bathtub on my ward in over a year of being here. A hot shower (except when it’s hot outside like now) usually does the trick too.

  9. The Internet. I love to unwind online. I’m not sure whether it’s a blessing or a curse that most online games are not accessible to my screen reader. I however like playing mindless word games on Internet forums, too.

  10. Spending time outside. I practically cannot take walks outside on my own, but the nurses sometimes take me on walks. We also have a nice garden that I like to sit in when the weather is nice.


The Golden Spoons

Songs That Have Had Meaning in My Life #TuesdayTen

Today’s Tuesday ten theme is “songs stuck in your head”. Lisa of The Golden Spoons twisted the theme to songs that describe motherhood. I am going to participate in this week’s Tuesdya ten with some of the songs that have been important in my life over time. YouTube is blocked on my computer for now to save on bandwidth, so you’ll have to look up the songs yourself.


  1. The Dubliners – Molly Malone. This was one of the songs we learned during our only English lesson in fourth grade – back then, Dutch students didn’t start regular English lessons till sixth grade. I was touched by the sadness in the song. When my parents, sister and I went to see a folk band at Vlieland (an island we used to go on vacation), I spoke to the band members at the end of the performance and they played this song for me.

  2. Johnny Austerlitz – Oh Waterlooplein. This was one of the first songs I learned when joining a children’s choir at age ten. Waterlooplein is a place in Amsterdam where people used to sell their used stuff. When I went there myself in a few years after learning this song, the things sold at Waterlooplein were mostly new and expensive, and the nostalgia sung about in the song was far gone.

  3. ABBA – One of Us. This song was on the first CD I bought myself in around 1998 (and yeah, I really didn’t have a CD player prior to that). I loved the lyrics, which I only partly understood, and I used to dance to this song a lot in my room.

  4. De Kast – In de Wolken. This song was played at the school-leaving ceremony at the end of my seventh grade year. The ceremony was mostly intended for high school graduates, but since I was leaving special ed, I felt touched too.

  5. MIKA – Relax, Take It Easy. When I was taken to the police station for wandering in the week preceding my crisis in 2007, I remember this song was playing. It felt as though the song was on repeat everytime I was at this police station during that week.

  6. Amy Macdonald – Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll. I don’t really have any interesting tale to tell about this song, but I like it in a similar way that I used to like the ABBA song.

  7. Tom Lehrer – Send th Marines. My husband introduced me to Tom Lehrer in like 2009. While the first song I heard was Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, I like this one better.

  8. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive. I had to include a song whose lyrics would make sense to other people. Most of the songs I mentioned above had some meaning to me in terms of the lyrics, but usually I didn’t understand half of the words.

  9. Natalie Grant – Held. This contemporary Christian song is my fvorite in its genre. I love the strong message in the lyrics.

  10. Truck Stop – Take It Easy, Altes Haus. The song currently stuck in my head.

Ten Patches This Autistic Person Could Use

The Golden Spoons

This is my first time participating in the Tuesday Ten. I’ve been wanting to for a while, but usually I found other things to blog about on Tuesday. Either that, or I simply forgot. The theme for this week is “I need a patch for that”, because this is the weird holdiay celebration tomorrow. Lisa of The Golden Spoons, one of the hosts, wrote ten patches every mother needs. I got thinking about that. I’m not a Mom, so I can’t really expand on those. Then I got thinking: what would I like patches for? And here’s a list of pathes this autistic person would need. Some of them can be seen as “cures” for certain symptoms of autism, while others are work-around patches and still others are patches for the social stigma and misunderstanding I encoutner.


  1. An anti-overload patch. Even though traditional autistic advocates say they would never take medication to hear or feel less, I certainly would. The thing about a patch, however, is that I can put it on and take it off again, unlike the daily medication I currently take for overload-caused irritability.

  2. An energy patch. Stole this one from Lisa, but I too think I could benefit from it. Living as an autistic can be quite exhausting, after all.

  3. A tolerance patch. To put on others when they have a strikingly intolerant attitude. Mostly staff, that is, so I don’t know how I’d get them to put it on, given that their attitude would prevent them from seeing they need it.

  4. A translation patch. I usually misunderstand people and, rather than putting on a “communicate like a neurotypical” patch, I’d like a translator that sits between me and the neurotypical.

  5. An easy text-to-speech patch. While we’re communicating anyway, I’d like to be able to write rather than speak. While text-to-speech apps are already available, I’d like one that I can easily use and that doesn’t make me look like a weirdo. I’d also like it to translate from speech to text (or braille, in my case). I’ve honestly been thinking of wanting a Communicator, which is a device used by deafblind people, but they’re very expensive and I’m not eligible for funds. i’m verbal, after all.

  6. A patience patch. Again, this one is stolen from Lisa, and I’d like to put it on others again, though I could myself use some patience at times.

  7. A perseveration patch. The good thing about patches again is the ability to put them on and take them off. Today, I’ve been looking everywhere for some perseveration, while at other times, I’m totally immersed in my special interest.

  8. An antidepressant patch. I don’t suffer from clinical depression, but I do have days when I’m very depressed. Again, like the anti-overload patch, this would seem like a better alternative to my current daily antidepressant.

  9. A patchwork weighted blanket: Lisa said patches can be any sort, so patchwork quilts are included. I’ve always wanted a weighted blanket, but never took the effort to find myself one.

  10. An executive functioning patch: something like an anti-procrastination patch, but it’ll also break down difficult tasks into smaller, easy-to-follow steps.

Note that every autistic person is different. This is why I referred to “this autistic person” in my post title rather than “every autistic person”. If you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person, after all. If you’d like to contribute what patches you could use in life, write a list of ten and hop over to Lisa’s blog to submit it.