Gratitude List (September 30, 2022) #TToT

Good morning everyone! I was up at 7AM today and am ready to blog. Today, I am writing a gratitude list. As usual, I’m joining in with Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT). Here goes.

1. I am grateful I was able to break the cycle of compulsive exercising before it got too bad. Last Saturday, I didn’t meet my exercise goal on my Apple Watch and, now that I didn’t have a perfect month anyway, I was able to let go of the need to meet all my goals everyday and just do what feels good.

2. I am grateful for my health. I’ve been having a sore throat for a week or so. It isn’t bad, just slightly annoying. In this regard, I am grateful I don’t have COVID. And yes, even though I don’t have any other symptoms, I took a test on Sunday just in case.

3. I am grateful for a comforting talk with the manager for my current care home. She was able to answer some of my more important questions about the new care home.

4. I am grateful my husband was content with the new care home and quite happy to see me move in there. In his own words, it is a “significant improvement” over my current care home.

5. I am grateful for muesli rolls. On Tuesday, we couldn’t find anything to eat for lunch that I like, so my staff offered to drive to the supermarket. I chose muesli rolls, which aren’t what I usually have. I am grateful my staff felt that these were within reason so the care facility would pay for them.

6. I am grateful for blueberries. On the same trip to the supermarket, we bought blueberries too. They were still reasonably priced even though I think blueberry season is over here.

7. I am grateful for the support of my staff as I navigate the stress of transferring to the new care home. I still had some worries on Wednesday and even on Thursday after I’d made my decision, but my staff are able to support me through them. So is the behavior specialist.

8. I am grateful my sister reacted positively to me moving to the main institution. She, in fact, said she will now be able to visit more often, as the main institution is close to Apeldoorn, where her in-laws live. She enthusiastically planned a first visit for October 8, the Saturday after I move in.

9. I am grateful for a somewhat relaxed text convo with my mother. I informed her that I’m moving, to which surprisingly she reacted pretty supportively. She did put in a few comments about the possibility that I could learn to walk around grounds on my own (which I might at some point, but it isn’t a given) and that I could help prepare food, but oh well. Both of these comments wouldn’t have bothered me had they not come from her, actually.

10. I am grateful for some weight loss when I stepped onto the scales today. I lost 0.3kg compared to last week, which is pretty much what I’d expected.

What are you grateful for?

Gratitude List (September 16, 2022) #TToT

Hi everyone. Right now I’m very hyper because of some really great news I just received. I’ll get to that at the end of this gratitude list, so you’ll have to be patient (or skip ahead). As usual, I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful with this post. Here goes.

1. I am grateful for my improved physical fitness. My cardio fitness level according to my Apple Watch is still low, but it’s slowly creeping up. My heartrate recovery is within the “good” range though. Granted, the watch only measured it after brisk walks, since I can’t run.

2. I am grateful for eggs. The guy from the care home next door to ours who has chickens near the day center, lets me check for eggs during the weekends when he’s home with his family. On Saturday, I found one. Then today, he gave me one just because he wanted to.

3. I am grateful the orthopedic shoemaker finally gave in and is going to get me completely orthopedic shoes rather than the semi-orthopedic ones I had been struggling with for the past two years. The semi-orthopedic shoes kept giving me blisters even after he adjusted them many times. For the fully orthopedic shoes, the shoemaker’s coming to measure my feet and make an imprint or whatever in early October. From that point on, it may still take six months before I get the actual shoes, but oh well.

4. I am grateful the orthopedic shoemaker finished repairing one of my regular walking shoes. For those who don’t know, the fronts keep getting damaged within weeks due to my drop foot. Now the shoes are at the main institution, where normally only a transportation guy picks them up to bring them to Raalte once a week on Thursday. The staff here are trying to send someone out there to pick them up on Monday.

5. I am grateful I decided to buy an extra pair of walking shoes.

6. I am grateful for new clothes. I went shopping for them on Wednesday. I bought two jeans and a blouse.

7. I am grateful for iOS 16 and WatchOS 9. I decided to update on Wednesday after all. Both have a few bugs, but not that many that they cause serious problems. Particularly, I am grateful that, after all sound disappeared from my Apple Watch after the upgrade, a restart (with sighted assistance) solved the issue. I am also grateful not to have encountered the bug so far that causes VoiceOver to stop working after restarting your iPhone.

I am grateful for all the new features with WatchOS 9. I love sleep phases and heartrate recovery like I mentioned. I also love that the Translate app on iOS is now available in Dutch too.

8. I am grateful I am doing pretty well on the fitness challenge I participate in this week. I have consistently maintained a position in the upper mid range, around 25th out of 107 participants.

9. I am grateful for a great weight loss result today. I lost another 0.9kg. Last week, I’d lost the same amount. I’m now 66.5kg, which is pretty awesome considering when I came to the care facility I was almost 10kg heavier and I’ve lost over 5kg since starting my food plan in January. I do realize I need to make sure I’m not overdoing it with exercising or I’ll gain all the weight back once the weather’s not so good anymore and subsequently I’ll lose my motivation to walk.

10. I am grateful for some sunshine today. We had rain too, for which I’m also grateful, but I’m happy I could go for some walks outside in the sun.

11. And now on to the great news… I am grateful the main institution home I’m on the waiting list for has a room for me real soon. I will be orienting on Wednesday and the Monday after and, if then I decide I want to move there, moving date has been set for October 5! Remember it’s up to me and, if I don’t want to move there, no-one is kicking me out of here. This is all causing a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts. After all, the only other time I ever requested to move myself, I had to decide within the day of a place having been found and it was the worst decision I ever made. Thankfully, my husband is coming to the second orientation visit with me and my staff will come with me on both visits. Now I’m going to write out some questions I have for the home.

What are you grateful for?

Gratitude List (September 2, 2022) #TToT

Hi everyone. I’m feeling really thankful for a lot of things today. What better time than now to write a gratitude post? Of course, I say that when I’m feeling down in the dumps too. In my opinion, it’s always a good time for a gratitude post. Anyway, I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT) as always. Here goes.

1. I am grateful for a good weekend with my husband. We had pizza delivered, which was delicious. We each ordered a salad too, but I decided to eat my pizza first then was full so we had to throw the salad away. I felt a bit guilty about it because of food waste, but, as my dietitian says it, I’m not a replacement for the trash. In other words, just because something gets thrown out if I don’t eat it, doesn’t mean I need to eat it. I shouldn’t have ordered it and I know that for the next time.

2. I’m grateful for my health. Like I mentioned on Wednesday, I had a health scare earlier this week, but it was nothing, for which I’m so grateful.

3. I am grateful for my husband’s good health too. He tested positive for COVID earlier this week but I am so grateful he isn’t very ill with it.

4. I am grateful for no COVID symptoms in myself so far. Let’s hope I won’t get it.

5. I am grateful for my Apple Watch. It truly motivates me to stay physically active. I must admit I do need to watch out that it doesn’t become an obsession though.

6. I am grateful for the care facility’s new side-by-side bike. This is like a tandem bike but, rather than one person riding the bike sitting behind the person steering it, the person on one side has the controls. I just went for a 5.7km ride on it and, for whatever reason, my Apple Watch counted the full 27 minutes as exercise. Granted, I had started a workout manually, so it may not have caught it had I not done this, but well.

7. I am grateful for French fries on Wednesday as a treat from the old student staff who had her last shift. I am also grateful I took the opportunity to sneak to the living room to ask for a second helping, which I then decided to eat while sitting on the couch. It was fun being surrounded by my fellow residents once again, which is a rarity nowadays since I get one-on-one support.

8. I am grateful for a maintain in the weight department this week. I am also grateful the dietitian is mostly satisfied with how I’m doing, although she does worry slightly about the possibility that exercise might become an obsession.

9. I am grateful for Simple Radio, an app on my iPhone (and Apple Watch) that lets me listen to any radio station. I mostly like 1000Schlager Web Radio at this point, because I love the upbeat German songs to dance to.

10. Last but not least, and I initially wasn’t sure I was going to share this in my gratitude post or wait for #WeekendCoffeeShare, but I am so grateful that I just need to share: I am number one on the wait list for a home at the main institution for my care agency. They’re currently in the process of finding a new home for one of the current residents. According to the behavior specialist, it might go quickly but might still take six months before this has happened and as a result I can start the process of orienting there. Six months, in my book, is still super quickly. You all will have to wait for my coffee share post tomorrow for more details, but I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Mostly grateful though.

What are you grateful for?

Annoying Things Enneagram Type Fours Do and Say

Hi everyone. I badly want to write, but am feeling a bit melancholic and yet not interested in writing a long navel-gazing post. Instead, I am going to reflect on the annoying things enneagram type Fours say and do. I saw this video a couple of weeks ago on YouTube. Watch it too if you’d like.

1. Fours are prone to melancholy. Oh, wait, I just said that. It can indeed turn to melodrama if it lasts too long, with me crying for no apparent reason or dwelling on negativity forever.

2. Fours struggle with dissatisfaction in their lives. The YouTuber here says that in relationships this can particularly be an issue, because Fours keep looking for the ideal soulmate that probably just doesn’t exist. I have never looked beyond my husband for a better, more perfect partner. Maybe this means my husband already is my perfect soulmate. Still, I can relate to this thing, as I always look to improve my life by improving my external circumstances rather than myself.

3. Envy. Yes, so yes. I always envy people who live in better external circumstances than me. I don’t tend to show it outwardly towards the person I’m envious of, but it’s there nonetheless.

4. Manipulativeness. Well, uhm, yes. I just told my nurse practitioner on Monday about a recent situation in which I was acting confused, but it was probably manipulation. I will go a long way to maintain relationships.

5. Fours may disappear and go radio silent for days. This is the only one out of this list I cannot relate to. In fact, though I do really try to push some people away by running off or ignoring them, this rarely lasts longer than an hour or so.

6. Fours have a hard time being around overly happy people. Or just generally people who are happier than me, in my case. I can’t stand people trying to distract me when I’m down and I usually can’t stand overly cheery people at all. I blame sensory overload, but maybe that’s not entirely true.

7. Fours want to be seen as special or different. Well, duh! I always look for ways to stand out, be it positively or negatively (usually the latter, honestly). In this sense, my parents were probably right when they told my psychiatrist that I’d been looking for ways in which I was different (other than blindness) ever since childhood. Honestly, though I do see the annoying aspects of the other things listed above, I don’t even fully see how this one is annoying. Well, maybe it can be seen as us Fours putting ourselves above everyone else. I’m not sure.

Gratitude List (August 12, 2022) #TToT

Hi everyone. I want to write a gratitude post this evening. As usual, I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT). Here are my gratefuls.

1. I am grateful for my husband’s new car. Last week Sunday, he came by for a visit and drove me to Subway for lunch in it. It’s a Fiat Panda. I remember those as really small and uncomfortable cars, as my parents had one from the mid-1980s back when my sister and I were children. This one’s a 2010 model though and much better.

2. I am grateful I was able to finish the necklace for the woman in the nearby care home who has her birthday tomorrow. The Fimo beads did get a little discolored, even the white ones that I’d cured at 110°C. Oh well, according to my husband, the colors do fit nicely together.

3. I am grateful I actually got the money back from the pasta machine I’d ordered and then returned. I wanted to spend it on polymer clay supplies I do want at that same store this evening, but then somehow our Internet broke down.

4. I am grateful for Internet access on my iPhone, so that I wasn’t completely cut off when the care facility’s WiFi broke down.

5. I am grateful the WiFi is back up for now. After all, blogging on my iPhone is still a pain.

6. I am so grateful my one-on-one shift today got sorted eventually. The care home is so short-staffed that no-one could initially be found to work my shift. They finally found a solution that was far from ideal, for the person doing my shift and me, but we got through it.

7. I am grateful for ice cream cones. Like I said on Wednesday, a staff bought them for me when we were at the supermarket. We still had some left today, so I got one again.

8. I am grateful for a tiny bit of weight loss regardless. I didn’t really mind my diet over the past week and it was too hot for exercise, but still I lost 0.2kg.

9. I am grateful getting blood drawn wasn’t painful yesterday. I went to the doctor last week because my IBS-related symptoms seem to be increasing and changing. The doctor ordered bloodwork just to be sure it’s nothing else and I had to have it drawn yesterday. I have really thin veins, so usually it’s real trouble, but not this time.

10. I am grateful for books, music, YouTube videos and podcasts to entertain and inspire me.

What are you grateful for?

Gratitude List (July 31, 2022) #TToT

Hi all on this last day of July! Today I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT) for a gratitude list. I’m rather late to the party, but better late than never, huh? Here goes.

1. I am grateful for some good phone talks with the care facility’s behavior specialist this week. She gave me some useful advice on how to handle my frustration with respect to my recent care review with her and my nurse practitioner from mental health.

2. I am grateful my nurse practitioner gave the get-go for me to lower my antipsychotic again. Next week, I’ll be starting with the slightly decreased dose.

3. I am grateful for a nice visit from my sister and her family. I am so grateful Janneke, my oldest niece, was really friendly with me. I tried to show her how to make a play-doh unicorn, but she may still be a bit young for that and/or I wasn’t engaging enough.

4. I am grateful I got to hold Wolke, my youngest niece, who is just two-months-old.

5. I am grateful for the belated birthday gifts my sister and her family brought me. I got four sets of cutters and a set of texture sheets to use with my polymer clay.

6. I am grateful for a delicious salami pizza with added olives and red peppers. Yum! We ordered pizza (and fries for Janneke) last Monday when my sister and her family were here.

7. I am grateful for a good visit from my mother-in-law on Friday too. We went out to have lunch, which was delicious.

8. I am grateful for no mosquitoes last night or the night before. This hopefully means my anti-mosquito device, that I’d bought last Friday when in town with my mother-in-law, is working. Either that or none had been in my room at all. I don’t really care which, as long as the critters aren’t bothering me.

9. I am grateful my pasta machine isn’t broken after all. I had experienced it’d crumble several colors of polymer clay. Even after a deep clean session, it still did this, so I thought it must be broken. Thankfully, one of the most knowledgeable people in the Dutch polymer clay Facebook group took a look at a picture I’d taken and said it wasn’t broken. Apparently it’s the clay.

10. I am grateful the new pasta machine I impulsively ordered online when thinking the current one was broken, can be returned. I will probably ask my staff to drive me to the PostNL pick-up point tomorrow. When I have my refund, I’m going to order supplies I really do need from that same store I now ordered the pasta machine from.

What are you grateful for?

Gratitude List (July 15, 2022) #TToT

Hi everyone. I am struggling a little, but trying to stay positive. As such, I want to write a gratitude list again. I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful as usual. Here goes.

1. I am grateful for ice cream. Last Sunday, the local Rotary Club sent out some people to do a performance on care facility grounds, like singing and acting and all. I didn’t like that, but they also sent an ice cream truck. I loved the stracciatella and vanilla ice cream, even though I normally don’t care for chocolate.

2. I am grateful I was able to bring a huge smile to my old assigned staff’s face when I gave her the polymer clay hedgehog I’d crafted for her.

3. I am grateful for nice, warm enough but not too hot weather this week.

4. I am grateful my physical fitness level is pretty much back to where I’d like it to be. I have been walking a lot over the past week. Not reaching 10K steps most days – just once, last Saturday, in fact -, but I’m so glad I’m walking longer distances again.

5. I am grateful for my husband’s creative pep talks. Earlier in the week, I had almost lost my polymer clay mojo because I kept doing my flat projects wrong. Then when I’d found a way to bake them without them bending upward or getting air bubbles at the back – by baking them or cardboard -, someone I consider a polymer clay expert claimed that would cause me problems. That discouraged me a lot, but my husband said not to listen to just one person and to do what works for me.

6. Speaking of which, I am so grateful at least that one little piece of polymer clay – a random cookie cutter star – turned out pretty good.

7. I am grateful I didn’t cry when my old assigned staff officially left yesterday.

8. I am grateful for a really nice card from her too. It has a small lucky doll inside of it, because she wishes me good luck.

9. I am grateful for my new stuffed dolphin. When my old assigned staff put me to bed yesterday, I grabbed ahold of my favorite stuffed animal, the lemur, and she commented I could seek comfort with him when I miss her. She had considered buying me a soft toy as a goodbye present, but she reasoned I have quite many already. This got me thinking and, within an hour, I’d ordered this stuffed dolphin off Bol.com, to be delivered today. It’s a little smaller than I’d expected, but actually it’s the perfect size for me to hold it when trying to sleep.

10. I am grateful that Seeing AI, the image description app on my iPhone, guessed my age in the above photo as 27. 😁 Not that I really care, but I just noticed and thought this’d make for a fun last item on my thankful list.

What are you thankful for?

My Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

Hi everyone. Today in his provocative question, Fandango asks us about our favorite ice cream. He asks us to be as specific as possible, since, in another recent informal survey, the top three favorites were plain vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. I like vanilla, but it’s not my favorite at all and I honestly don’t care for chocolate or strawberry ice cream. In fact, just yesterday, when I had bought cookie crumble ice cream and hadn’t realized that the cookie crumbles in it came from American-style chocolate chip cookies, I threw my bowl of ice cream away and got the other flavor I’d bought. Which is my second favorite. Anyway, today, let me list some of my favorite ice cream flavors.

1. Stroopwafel. Stroopwafels are like butterscotch waffles. I love love love ice cream with pieces of that in it. With respect to specific brands, I’ll go for my local farm, since the supermarket somehow doesn’t sell it.

2. Caramel-pecan-vanilla ice cream by Hertog. This is vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and small chunks of pecans in it. This was the ice cream I ended up getting yesterday.

3. Caramel-sea salt. This one again comes from my local farm. The farm doesn’t sell stroopwafel ice cream in small one-portion containers, so I got this instead. At this farm, you can usually select a flavor for each scoop you choose, so I might choose vanilla for the other.

These are about the only flavors of ice cream I enjoy, besides plain vanilla or whipped cream (which tastes basically the same as vanilla only slightly creamier). I really don’t understand how someone likes fruit-flavored ice cream. Oh wait, I do like banana-flavored ice cream, but that doesn’t taste fruity. Then again, I don’t care for popsicles either.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

Five Favorite Summer Drinks #5Things

Hi everyone. I’m joining the #5Things challenge once again. This week’s topic is favorite summer drinks. Now I must say I’m not a person who loves a variety of drinks even generally, so this was a hard topic. I mean, I don’t care for lemonade, slush or juice, let alone soda or other fizzy drinks. Here is my attempt at coming up with five summer drinks I will have anyway.

1. Milkshakes. I particularly love banana and vanilla flavored milkshakes.

2. Water with fruit infusions. I love it with strawberries, cucumber, cherries, and lots of other fruits. When I tried to put some orange into my fruit infusion bottle recently, somehow some of the orange got into the actual water, which I didn’t like.

3. Iced coffee. I don’t have this often, as it is usually high in calories, but I do love iced coffee at times.

4. Smoothies. I love creating all kinds of fruit and vegetable smoothies particularly in summer, when there’s a greater variety of fruit available. Of course, I’ll still use frozen berries, as they are less expensive than the fresh kind.

5. Plain, cold water. I usually have two bottles of water in the fridge that I drink from when I want water. Especially in summer, water straight from the tap doesn’t get nearly cold enough for my liking. Out of all the things I drink, water is probably my most frequently consumed.

Things I Can Do to Improve My Physical Fitness

I had an intensely frustrating physical therapy appointment this morning. I told the physical therapist that, despite the semi-orthopedic shoes and the ankle-foot orthosis, I still walk with a drop foot after roughly 20 minutes of walking. She is going to bring my shoes and the AFO to the orthopedic shoemaker and the guy in charge of the AFO yet again, but I’m skeptical there’ll be a solution. I feel very frustrated that, a year to eighteen months ago, I could easily walk for an hour several times a day and now I struggle to walk for fifteen minutes. That, my staff later countered, may be related to my lack of physical fitness too. In other words, I need to build up stamina again. Now that I have nothing better to share, I am going to list ways in which I can improve my level of physical fitness.

1. Go on the elliptical for ten to fifteen minutes at a time three times a week. I used to try to go on the elliptical for 25 minutes at a time and aim for five times a week, but that’s not realistic right now. Besides, I hate that thing with a passion, so making myself go on it five times a week right away is guaranteed to fail.

2. Go for daily walks again. I have been avoiding walks because of the pain the AFO causes me as well as the hassle involved in trying to judge the weather, whether I need to wear sunscreen, etc. I really need to make daily walking a habit again, even if it’s only a ten-minute walk around the day center.

3. Throw a ball. This doesn’t necessarily strengthen my legs and it isn’t quite cardio level either, but any movement counts.

4. Weight training. I really need to get into the habit of doing weight lifting again, if only three rounds of ten a few times a week. This is arm training, since I cannot really do core training at all, but again, it will help me get to a higher physical fitness level.

5. Doing the exercises I originally did with the physical therapist for my back. I am not sure why I list these, but they can’t hurt.

Ultimately, I would really like to go to a gym at some point. The day center has a stationary bike too, but I’m not sure I can use that.

Do you have any suggestions as to ways for me to practise physical exercise?