Essential Oil Diffuser!

Today we had a Christmas lunch at day activities. It was good. We got a hamburger, salad and ice cream. At the end of the day, we also got our Christmas presents from day activities. It’s a tradition here in the Netherlands that employers give their employees a Christmas package (usually a box with foods and a small gift). Though we aren’t really employees, our day activities gives us a present too. I had been more or less pestering my staff for an essential oil diffuser. A fellow resident at the care facility got one as a St. Nicholas present on December 5. I have at least one and probably two at home already, but they work with a fan and hardly give off any scent. The one my fellow resident got, works with water. You add a cup of water and a few drops of essential oil to it and then it somehow heats the water or otherwise diffuses the oil. I had had such a diffuser a few years back but that one had a lot of safety warnings on it and my husband was pretty sure I’d harm myself using it, so I returned that one to the shop.

Anyway, we did get the essential oil diffuser! It’s a cheap one from something similar to the Dollar Store, but I love it. Right now, it’s diffusing a bit of vanilla fragrance oil that I borrowed from the fellow resident, as I don’t have my EOs with me here yet. Its scent is a lot stronger than what came off the fan-based diffusers. I checked and it doesn’t seem like this diffuser is actually heating the water. Don’t know how else it produces the smell, but oh well. This particular diffuser also has lights in it that change color and it actually releases a bit of mist. I can’t see the colors, of course. I’m curious to know what this diffuser will do when I diffuse eucalyptus essential oil. I tried this in the fan-based one and hardly smelled it, even though eucalyptus is supposed to be a really strong scent. This diffuser has only a small water reservoir, so you can only add five or so drops of EO. This means I can hardly make any blends, but who cares? Maybe I’ll figure out blending tiny amounts anyway.

Saying Goodbye at Day Activities Again

I contemplated for a bit what to title this post. Seriously, I don’t hope next year will see yet another goodbye from day activities. I really hope I will be able to stay at the day center in Raalte much longer than I did at the one I left last year and this one. I know, I didn’t have to leave this center because the team or management no longer wanted me. I’m so glad I left knowing that the reason was mostly down to my own choice and circumstances.

So today I had my leave-taking party at day activities. First, we had French fries with a snack for lunch. I loved them. Most times I’ve gotten a choice of snacks, it was just between the two most commonly-eaten Dutch snacks. I told the staff I wanted a type of spicy snack called “mexicano” and suggested another client, who is non-verbal but about whom we know that she likes spicy food, might like it too. She definitely enjoyed it.

Then when having coffee break in the afternoon, I presented my group with “stroopwafels”, a type of Dutch caramel-filled waffle. I also gave each of the staff a small handmade soap. The staff gave me a large stuffed panda bear.

Then some clients and staff from other groups visited to say goodbye. I got a lovely huge card, the size of a small painting you can hang on the wall, from another group. It had a greeting in wooden tactile letters stuck on it. I also got chocolates. Another group gave me a card and two huge chocolate bars. Now my attempt at losing weight when I go to the care facility will have to be postponed a little

I do not know whether the clients on my own group will notice I’m gone. I guess they will, but most probably don’t have the words to ask about me. People from other groups have definitely been asking about me leaving for a while now and some say they’ll miss me. I will for sure miss them too.

#WeekendCoffeeShare (June 30, 2019)

Hi all and welcome to another post in the #WeekendCoffeeShare. This week has been mostly good. I just had a cup of green tea once again, so have a cup with me and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee or green tea, I’d share that this past Thursday was my birthday. I turned 33. I usually look forward to my birthdays, even though my wishlist is usually rather useless to my family. I love the gifts they give me anyway.

I had almost a full birthday week really, as I had visitors each day from Thursday up till today.

On Thursday, my parents visited and we had dinner at a restaurant called Paddy’s. I expected Irish traditionals, but the music that was played was 1980s Dutch pop. I liked the food though. I had a burger. My father had a lamb’s stew and my mother and husband had fish.

On Friday, I celebrated my birthday at day activities and my parents-in-law visited. I got a lovely sensory soft toy. It can, like the sensory cat I got from my sister two years ago, be warmed in the microwave and then smells of lavender.

Yesterday, my sister and brother-in-law visited. My sister is 30 weeks pregnant tomorrow, so I just had to feel the bump. They gave me new sandals.

Today, my two sisters-in-law visited. They brought me lovely smelling body care supplies. One of them had also made a cheesecake, which was yummy!

If we were having coffee, I’d also share that all the visitors have been looking at the information for the houses we might be offering to buy. Other than the one we saw last week, we visited another house and two apartments this past week. We’re still undecided as to which to place an offer to, if any, and of course, this is none of my blog readers’ business.

If we were having coffee, I’d also share that I met with a care consultant for Visio, one of the two blindness agencies, last Wednesday. This did lead to a little argument with my husband, as he thought I may want to live in their facility that’s nearly two hours away. I did decide then that, even though my husband wants the best for me, being close enough that he can visit each week-end, is more important to me than finding a good placement.

If we were having coffee, lastly I’d share that the oak processionary is no joke. When I first heard of it in the late 1990s, I didn’t worry. Neither did I earlier this summer when I heard it was in my area. I thought people were overreacting to it. Well, now that I have a terribly itchy rash all over my body, I can say it’s serious.

What’s beeen up with you lately?

Ten of The Most Memorable Gifts I Ever Received

Originally, I wanted to post about the lovely box filled with snacks and gifts I received for Christmas at day activities earlier this week. It’s a tradition here that employers give their employees such a box for Christmas. Of course, day activities isn’t a real job, but we get a Christmas box anyway. Ours was even more special, since it had been partly personalized for each of us by our staff. Maybe I could devote a post to this box, but then I remembered that Finish the Sentence Friday is about gifts too. I am twisting the prompt a little and not just writing about the gifts I received as a child or for Christmas specifically. After all, like I may’ve said before, Christmas isn’t as important a gift-giving celebration as St. Nicholas on December 5. Besides, I don’t always remember which gifts I got for St. Nick and which for my birthday. For this reason, I’m creating a list of the most memorable gifts I received throughout my life.

1. Wally, the stuffed whale. I got her when I came home from the NICU at three months of age. I slept with her till I was nineteen. Yes, I slept with stuffed animals that long! In fact, I still do. Now I don’t sleep with Wally anymore, but I still own her.

2. Roza, my favorite doll. No, Rosa isn’t spelled with a z in Dutch, but I had no idea. I got her from my paternal grandma for my third birthday. She had bought her in Berlin and we joked about the German word for “doll”, which is similar to the Dutch word for “poop”. Roza remained my favorite doll throughout childhood. When I was seven, I was interviewed for a Dutch magazine for blind children and said that my memory from three years back was tha tit was the year after getting my favorite doll.

3. A Barbie doll I got for my eleventh birthday. The reason this one is so memorable is the fact that my mother regretted giving it to me. She felt it wasn’t “age-appropriate” and I might need to go residential at the school for the blind if I didn’t catch up with my age peers socially and emotionally. I need a separate post to explain the (lack of) logic behind this reasoning.

4. Deodorant. I got this for my fourteenth birthday from my sister. No, not in a package that had other toiletries in it. Just a deodorant stick. She clearly wanted to send me a message. I didn’t get it.

5. A coffee maker. I got it for St. Nicholas when I was 20. I was going to live independently the next year and needed a coffee maker then. My husband is happy he didn’t drink coffee when I still had the apartment I used that coffee maker in, as it quickly got very moldy and dirty from lack of cleaning, as did the rest of the apartment.

6. A Planxty CD. This was the gift my husband gave me for the first birthday after we’d started dating in 2008. I only played it when my husband was there, as I really didn’t like it. Then again, he didn’t like my first gift for him, which was a book of previously unpublished philosophical works.

7. A liquorice “cake”. My husband and I got it for our wedding from my staff at the psychiatric resocialization ward in 2011.

8. The sensory cat soft toy I got for my birthday last year. It can be put in the microwave and then gives off heat and a lovely lavender scent.

9. Rainbow/Sofie, the stuffed unicorn I got from my previous day activities when I left there. She’s truly so cool! She has two names, because two readers of my blog each came up with an equally good one.

10. A weighted unicorn soft toy. Finally, I have to include something from this year’s Christmas box. It is, interestingly, another stuffed unicorn. This one is weighted as to provide sensory benefits. I’m having another contest to name her, like I did with Rainbow/Sofie.

What gifts will you always remember having received?

Saying Goodbye at Day Activities

Today was my last day at my now old day activities. It was a good day. My assigned support worker wasn’t on my group today but she was in the building. Yesterday already, another support worker I like came for a cup of coffee on her day off so she could still say goodbye to me, as she doesn’t work Fridays either.

First, I had a cup of hot chocolate. I usually drink coffee but wanted a treat. Don’t tell me it’s summer and hot chocolate isn’t a summer drink, because I just loved the sweetness. Then, like most mornings, I went for a walk with one of the staff. It was lovely walking by the river.

As the other clients arrived, we had coffee and fruit. The people on my group are all profoundly intellectually disabled, so they probably don’t understand that I’m leaving. As such, I didn’t make a big deal out of it at my group.

I had decided to go make ham and cheese sandwiches at the group my assigned support worker worked at today. They make ham and cheese sandwiches each Friday and I’ve participated a few times before. First, however, I gave each of the staff at day activities a tiny handmade soap that’s shaped like an apple.

When we were making the sandwiches, the people from the industrial group that I originally started day activities at, came over. They handed me a card and a Winnie the Pooh coloring page that a woman I’m close with had colored. Unlike the people at my group, they and particularly this woman did understand that I was leaving.

Then, they gave me some gifts the staff had bought for me. I got a smoothie cup with a straw, because I love making smoothies and milkshakes. I also got a lovely unicorn soft toy. It is white with a lilac tail and rainbow-colored hair. I sleep with like six stuffed animals in my bed and have two more in my favorite chair in the living room. Now the unicorn has joined those two. I challenge my readers to think up a name for her.

Lastly, I got a lovely set of body care products. They are a body scrub, a body butter and body mist. I have a huge collection of body care products already, but these truly smell awesome!

Leave-taking is bittersweet, but I truly hope to have a good time at my new day activities and to not have to say goodbye there within at least a couple years.