February 2023 Reflections #WBOYC

Hi everyone. It’s the last day of the month and this means I’m reflecting back on the month that was. Like last month, I’m joining What’s Been On Your Calendar? (or #WBOYC for short).

The month of February, overall, was slightly better than the month of January. This was reflected in nineteen (including this one) blog posts in 28 days, compared to only thirteen in 31 days last month. However, it wasn’t “good” by any means.

On the 14th, we were supposed to have a meeting about my care, but this was postponed because my support coordinator was off sick. It has now been set for this coming Thursday but my assigned support staff told me it may need to be postponed again.

The last few weeks were okay care-wise and there were even a few days when I received optimal care by this home’s standards. On Friday, I told my assigned staff I might not want to leave this home after all, which she translated to my having decided I don’t want to leave. On Monday I tried talking to her about improvements that would make my life better here, but this led nowhere. Now I’m pretty sure that, since any attempt on my part to talk about improving my care situation leads to “but you can’t expect continuous one-on-one” before I’ve even stated my wishes, I’ve pretty much lost trust in everyone for good. And just so you know, this wasn’t my first attempt to talk about improving my care.

Craft-wise, I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. I gave up on The Artist’s Way after barely a week and I didn’t expand on my creativity as much as I’d have liked. I was, however, invited to help decide on the monthly theme in the Dutch polymer clay Facebook group, which became “Unicorns” of course. Like I more or less expected, I was the only one contributing, but oh well. At least for once I could participate.

I did read a lot more than I’d expected in the past month. I have been reading more diversely too. This is related to the fact that I had a discussion with my husband a few weeks ago about queer identity.

Also due to said discussion, I decided to finally abandon Christianity. I’ve been struggling with my faith ever since becoming a Jesus follower at the end of 2020 and part of the reason is my queer identity. And just because I’m happily married to a man, doesn’t mean I need to disown that. I could, of course, still call myself a progressive Christ follower, but who would I be kidding then? If the God of the Bible exists, I’m going to be condemned whether I follow Him half-heartedly or not at all.

In the health department, I’ve been doing pretty well. My cardio fitness level is improving and is almost at below-average level rather than low. I also lost 2kg over the month and only need to lose just over 1kg to be at a healthy BMI. I haven’t heard what the institution nurse said yesterday about the cream not working for the burning sensation on my back.

Lastly, I bought a new computer last week, which I’ve now been using for a few days. I’d been dreading Windows 11 for years due to my fear of the unknown I guess, but it works quite similar to Windows 10.

#WeekendCoffeeShare (February 18, 2023)

Hi everyone. I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare today. It’s 5:35PM as I start writing this post. I probably won’t finish it until past seven, when I’ll have my last cup of coffee for the day. Care to join me? We also have pure green tea (so the kind without flavoring). We also probably have lemon-flavored green tea, but I don’t care for that. I did discover a new kind of green tea, Indian chai green, which I do love. It is loose-leaf tea, which I rarely have, but I think this one is quite good. I can brew you a cup of this too. Let’s have a drink and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, first I’d ask about your weather, as I usually do. Ours has been mixed. Early in the week, we got some sunshine, but later, it’s been rainy. The daytime temperature usually rose to about 12°C.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my mother-in-law, my assigned staff and my support coordinator were supposed to have a talk on Tuesday. I wasn’t invited and the goal of the meeting remained unclear to my mother-in-law until the last moment. Then, it was canceled because my support coordinator was off sick. My mother-in-law took the opportunity to make it clear that, if it’s up to me and her, the possibility of me moving out of this care home should be a serious topic of discussion at a rescheduled meeting. She also pointed out that she’d like the behavior specialist present. This meeting, all going well, has now been set for March 2. I’m not sure whether I’ll be allowed to attend too. I think I should, honestly.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that, instead of coming to the meeting, my mother-in-law paid me an extended visit. We drove to Apeldoorn, like we seem to do regularly, and had lunch. Then we went into several shops to buy some little presents for one of my mother-in-law’s coworkers at her volunteer job, who will be going into hospital soon. It was there that I discovered the Indian chai green tea. We also went into a supermarket so that I could buy rolled oats, raw nuts and some other things. I fully intended to make overnight oats with those rolled oats. I did try, but either used too much milk or did something else wrong, because there was a lot of milk that hadn’t been absorbed by the rolled oats.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I did end up crafting a Valentine’s Day present for my husband after all. It’s a polymer clay heart with an arrow in Premo cadmium red with a Fimo Effect metallic gold edge and the arrow is done in Premo white. I textured the back using a ball of tinfoil, which turned out rather ugly – uglier than it would’ve been with visible air bubbles, which texturing aims to prevent. Oh well, that means I learned something.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I weighed myself on Thursday, as I do each week, and I lost another 0.6kg. I have only 2kg to lose to be at a healthy BMI. I am still slightly worried that some physical health condition is causing me to lose weight, because to be honest I’m not minding my diet much at all and I’m not exercising excessively either. However, I did notice that my Apple Watch estimates my cardio fitness level has increased. It’s still “low”, as it’s always been, but is slowly creeping towards “below-average”.

If we were having coffee, lastly I’d share that I didn’t walk as much as I’d have liked over the past week. I signed up for a challenge with other Apple Watch users in an app called Challenges. The challenge ran from Monday through Friday. I started out doing quite well on Monday, starting with a walk to visit the institution’s petting zoo, which is about a 45-minute walk total. My feet hurt terribly after it. During the rest of the week, I didn’t do so well. I ended up 48th out of 88, which I’m okay with all things considered. I’d have liked to be in the top half.

By the way, while at the petting zoo, I took a picture of the goats. I didn’t get to actually pet them.

How have you been?

Acrostic: Unicorns

Uniquely powerful,
naturally talented for magic,
imaginary, but so real,
created for my comfort.

On my journey to find joy,
right there beside me,
neighing happily,
shiny mane, silver hooves, sparkly horns…


I’ve always wanted to create a poem about unicorns. This was harder than I imagined it’d be, honestly. Of course, I usually write free verse, ie. jumbled thoughts randomly spread out over the page, or so it often is in my case. I wanted to do a specific poetry form this time, and even with an acrostic I could’ve gone with just random lines. Which these probably sound as to most more experienced poets, but oh well.

I’m including a picture of my latest polymer clay unicorn, which is just its head, as it’s a charm. The purple turned out much darker than the original color, but it’s still okay.

I’m joining dVerse and EarthWeal for their open link opportunities.

The Wednesday HodgePodge (February 15, 2023)

Hi everyone. I’m once again joining the Wednesday HodgePodge today. Here goes.

1. Pantone’s color of the year for 2023 is Viva Magenta. Etsy’s color(s) of the year are indigo and honeycomb. Your thoughts? Would we find any of these three shades in your home or wardrobe? Is there a room in your house that needs painting this year? Will you do it yourself or hire out?
I don’t care for magenta and have no idea what color honeycomb is. I do love indigo. I do have magenta as a polymer clay color, but use it for mixing my own colors. For instance, I’m pretty sure magenta was in the color recipe for creating indigo I once read (although I’ve never tried it yet).

I have no idea whether any room in my and my husband’s house in Lobith needs painting. If it does, I guess my husband will do it.

2. Something you had to do recently that could be described “as exciting as watching paint dry”?
Try to condition my blue agate polymer clay. Though it was Fimo Soft, it was quite hard and crumbly. Doing the conditioning is a very repetitive process, which can be exciting if it yields results, but this time, it hardly did. I eventually gave up and chose another color.

3. Who would you most like to sit beside on a 10-hour flight? Tell us why? Have you ever taken a 10-hour flight?
My husband, of course. If I get bored of him talking about his latest special interest, I can just tell him I’m minding my own business and he won’t be disappointed. Oh wait, you can’t use mobile devices on flights. However, I can sleep on flights. Also, my husband would be the one I’d least easily get bored of sitting next to for ten hours anyway. I’ve never been on that long a flight. My longest (and first) one was 3 1/2 hours from Amsterdam to Moscow in 2000.

4. What’s something you did growing up that would get you into trouble?
Argue with my younger sister, throw temper tantrums, have meltdowns that were perceived as temper tantrums, engage in self-injurious behavior, but also general autistic weirdness. I’d get in trouble almost on a daily basis.

5. According to Google the top searches in 2022 were- Wordle, election results, Betty White, Queen Elizabeth, Bob Saget, Ukraine, Mega Millions, Powerball numbers, Anne Heche, and Jeffrey Dahmer.

Hmmm…what does this say about us? How many of these words did you search last year? What would you guess was your most “googled” word/phrase/question?
I think it just says that we search for what’s in the news currently (mostly). I mean, Ukraine and Queen Elizabeth were and I guess the election results refer to some election somewhere (no idea where). I saw the Jeffrey Dahmer thing too and think it relates to a movie about him which came out last year. Never heard of any of the other things.

I didn’t Google any of these things myself but did click through to the Jeffrey Dahmer Wikipedia article when it was trending on there.

My most searched for phrase on Google, no idea. On YouTube, probably something like “polymer clay unicorn”.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
My husband and I went to Apeldoorn on Sunday. At Hema, which my husband claims is his favorite store, we saw alien-style cookie cutters. My husband suggested they may be useful for polymer clay, if a bit large. I said that if they’d come in a unicorn shape, I’d get them.

Then yesterday when we were on the phone, he told me my Valentine’s present hadn’t yet arrived. I didn’t even really expect one, but I told him his Valentine’s present would soon go into the oven, as I had indeed finally managed to craft something. He then went on to guess (jokingly) that I’d baked him unicorn cookies, a particular brand of cookies that aren’t unicorn-shaped at all but that we keep talking about since I got them in my Christmas hamper. He then told me that, if I’d make cookies with my Valentine’s present, they’d automatically turn into unicorn cookies. So my guess is he found me some unicorn-shaped cutters. How cool!

Crafting Lately: My Latest Polymer Clay Unicorn, Yay!

Hi everyone. Here I am today finally ready to show you all my latest polymer clay unicorn. It wasn’t the last one I started – that would be the one in a lying-down position. Then again, I decided to put the clay for that one back in the packet because I didn’t like how flat its belly had become while lying on my oven-safe mat. This, instead, is the blue unicorn I’ve been talking about for weeks.

I started out by using ultramarine blue Premo for its body and head. Then, I created the legs in the same color, but added metallic silver Fimo Effect for the hooves. I always forget whether I do the mane and tail first or the ears first. This time, I think I initially did its ears first but then decided to do the mane first. These are done in blue agate Fimo Effect, as is its tail. The horn is done in metallic silver once again. Finally, for the eyes, I chose black Fimo Professional. I decided against doing an add-on nose this time, instead asking my staff to create nostrils with a dotting tool.

Usually, I have the mane run all over the unicorn’s back till where I’ll start the tail, but I had too short of a mane for this one. This was a great thing after all, as it gave me a reason to add Hotfix rhinestones to the unicorn’s back. I am so lucky, because someone from the Dutch polymer clay Facebook group sent me some samples and there in fact were blue ones among them.

I baked the unicorn at 130°C for 60 minutes. Possibly because of this, the blue agate Fimo is slightly darker than its original color.

After baking, I had my staff help me paint white dots in the unicorn’s eyes, as I usually do to make them look more alive.

This unicorn is only a slight creative detour from what I usually do, but I loved the entire process. I also am so happy because I did most of the creating independently.

#WeekendCoffeeShare (February 4, 2023)

Hi everyone. I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare today, even though I’ve long had my last cup of coffee for the day. No soft drinks or vitamin water for me today either. In fact, I actually now realize I forgot to ask my one-on-one staff for chips this evening, which we usually get on Saturdays. Oh well, the scale will thank me (I hope). Let’s have a drink and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, first I’d confess that I still write “2022” rather than “2023” as the title of my coffee share posts and other dated posts regularly. I don’t think I did this for so long during previous years, but “2022” comes out so easily. Oh well.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask about your weather. Ours has been mixed. Early in the week, we had some rain, but later, we’ve had nice winter weather. Daytime temperatures have usually been at about 8°C.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, yesterday, I got in almost two hours of exercise according to my Apple Watch, most walking and a little dancing. “Dancing”, in my book, is usually just walking with some arm swaying to the tune of some upbeat music. I got in over 13K steps. Today, I got in nearly 11K steps too.

If we were having coffee, I would share that, like I said in my post on Wednesday, the home’s kitchen renovations are over with. On Thursday, the living room furniture got moved back to its proper place. I notice I was almost used to the temporary arrangement.

If we were having coffee, I would proudly announce that the theme for this month’s challenge in the Dutch polymer clay Facebook group is unicorns. It was chosen in part by me. I am looking forward to showing the blue unicorn that’s been waiting to be cured in the oven since Tuesday.

After all, like I said last week, someone from that group sent me some Hotfix rhinestones to try to decorate my clay sculptures with. When they arrived on Tuesday, I immediately tried them on the blue unicorn. I can’t wait to show her, the group and the world. Let’s hope the rhinestones won’t fall off.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would tell you that I had another nice visit from my mother-in-law on Tuesday. We went to Burger King to have lunch. Our food was lukewarm by the time it arrived, but that’s almost to be expected with burger chains these days. We also went to an arts and crafts store, but I decided not to buy anything, as I was rather overloaded already.

See, I did it: I created a coffee share post without complaining about my care home situation. It isn’t because it’s better. Well, today is a pretty good day for once. Let’s celebrate that and be thankful. But still all please pray I can get out of here.

January 2023 Reflections #WBOYC

Hi everyone on this final day of January. Last year, I loved looking back on each month as it related to my word of the year. I didn’t choose a word of the year for 2023. Not sure why, but I just couldn’t find one. I however do like these monthly reviews, so I’ll continue them. The monthly word of the year linky has also changed to #WBOYC, which is an acronym for What’s Been On Your Calendar. I’m joining in with this linky today for my monthly reflections.

This month, I started out with mixed feelings of hope and fear for the coming year. Just before New Year’s, my assigned staff had introduced the piece of paper with agreements re my care on it, which was slightly disappointing to me because of it being easy to interpret in multiple ways. As the weeks proceded, I found out that, indeed, it didn’t do much to improve my care. In fact, I still live moment-to-moment, not because I can’t get through each moment due to my mental health, but because the staff and home in general are so unpredictable.

Several weeks ago, I decided I definitely want to find another care home. This, obviously, requires a talk with the behavior specialist and support coordinator, but, so far, my support coordinator hasn’t responded to requests to share when she is available. I have it in my head she’s decided to ignore me until I shut up about wanting to leave. After all, several staff have started to talk nonsense about baby steps towards adjustment, and I’m pretty sure they don’t mean the steps towards adjustment should come from the staff. Even though I do experience good enough days here and there, I won’t shut up though until structural changes mean good enough is going to be the norm, and I’m sure this isn’t going to be here.

In other news, I had three visits from my mother-in-law during the month of January. I also saw my husband almost each week – missed only one because I had a cold.

I started working with the book The Artist’s Way at the end of the month. I’ve only just started with Morning Pages and am taking the program at a slower pace than is recommended, partly because I’m a slow reader and partly because I need to modify the Artist’s Dates to suit my needs. For example, since I don’t handwrite my Morning Pages, I have no reason to give myself a sticker on the envelope each day I completed them, and I can’t use regular stickers anyway. However, I saw 3D unicorn stickers and want to buy those and stick one on my laptop for each day I complete my Morning Pages for a week. Of course, since they are sold online, I may need to have them delivered to my in-laws because my care home’s address isn’t always recognized by delivery people. I’ll get to that tomorrow.

I wasn’t as crafty as I’d like to have been, but did slightly expand my horizons where it came to polymer clay, in that yesterday I started on a unicorn in a lying-down position and today I tried to decorate my latest standard, sitting unicorn with Hotfix rhinestones.

I didn’t write as many blog posts as I’d hoped during January. Of course, there was #JusJoJan, but even when the prompts did speak to me, I often didn’t write. I am still considering participating in #Write28Days in February, but honestly haven’t written anything for it. Not that I had any of the previous years I took part either, but then I was more motivated.

I did for the umpteenth time revive my Instagram account. This time, I’m actually finding some joy in it, because I actually find that I can interact with some people on there.

In the health department, January was a true mixed bag. I did get moving sufficiently, particularly walking, but healthy eating was a huge struggle. Over the month, I maintained my weight, so still 3kg to lose for me to be at a healthy BMI.

Lastly, I did attend the cerebral palsy online meeting for the provinces of Gelderland and Utrecht this evening. It was good. There will be a live meeting in March, so I’m hoping to go there too.

#WeekendCoffeeShare (January 28, 2023)

Hi everyone on this last Saturday of January. I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare today. It’s 9PM here, so I already had my last cup of coffee for the day about two hours ago. I also tasted a new drink I think I like: vitamin water. I am not under the impression that there’s all that many vitamins in it, but who cares? Anyway, let’s have a drink and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, I’d start out by asking about your weather. Ours has been cold, with daytime temperatures barely above freezing point. It’s not been raining or snowing though and today in fact it was quite sunny.

If we were having coffee, I would ask how you all are doing. I’m still struggling in my care home. Last week (or the week before, I can’t remember), I hit another low point and my mother-in-law sent an E-mail to the behavior specialist telling her I basically don’t want to stay here. The behavior specialist was going to try to schedule a meeting between me, my mother-in-law, her, my assigned staff and the support coordinator, but I haven’t heard anything so far.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve finally been working with polymer clay again. It’s been a while. On Wednesday, I created a bull’s eye cane. That was too frustrating for me and I nearly gave up on polymer clay altogether because of it. Thankfully, in the Dutch polymer clay group as well as an unrelated FB support group, people encouraged me to continue with what I can do well, which is sculpting. This helped me to get moving and create yet another unicorn. Oh well, it’s the same style as all my other unicorns, but I intend to decorate it with Hotfix rhinestones.

I originally intended to go to a store for Hotfix products near here with my mother-in-law on Tuesday. Then someone from the Dutch polymer clay Facebook group offered to send me some samples to try. That’s so kind of her!

If we were having coffee, lastly I’d share that I haven’t had a healthy dinner all week. The reason is the fact that the care home’s kitchen is being renovated and so we can’t use it at all. The only day I had the option of a healthy dinner was today, but I can’t stand soup and certainly not pea soup. For clarity’s sake, there is a kitchen the staff can use at the day center, but all week except today they for whatever reason chose easy-to-whip-up but unhealthy alternatives such as pizza delivery, microwave pancakes or bread with Russian salad.

How have you been?

#WeekendCoffeeShare (January 8, 2023)

Hi everyone. I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare today, even though I already had my last cup of coffee for the day. I’m going to have a glass of water with my evening meds probably while in the middle of this post. Want a drink too? Maybe I can convince the staff to get you a diet soda. I can’t stand them myself and we rarely have Dubbelfrisss, my favorite drink that isn’t water, coffee or green tea, here. Anyway, let’s (pretend to) have a drink and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my New Year’s went okay. I went to Lobith. Like I think I mentioned, my husband ordered a waffle maker, so that we could have our own, homemade waffles. Not all turned out as they should, but we had enough of the ones that did turn out good. We spent the evening on the couch watching semi-random YouTube videos, as neither of us wanted to watch the annual New Year’s comedy performance. According to my husband, YouTube decided what we were watching, as he probably had autoplay on. By 11:30PM, both of us were too tired to wait for the clock to strike midnight and we didn’t fancy neighbors coming by to greet us either, so we went to bed.

If we were having coffee, I would share that the first week of the new year has been hard. The home has been short-staffed and many of my fellow residents have been struggling with post-holiday dysregulation. For these reasons and probably others, I am experiencing a lot of disruptions to my care again. I have had quite a few meltdowns lately. I haven’t been as severely self-harming as I was back in late October and November, but quite honestly I’m feeling almost as desperate and the only reason I’m not feeling exactly as desperate is the fact that at least on paper my care is still kind of okay.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would share that my youngest sister-in-law turned 30 yesterday. I am thankful I was able to craft a polymer clay horse for her. Well, not anything like an actual, anatomically correct horse; really just a unicorn like the ones I usually craft but without a horn. My sister-in-law’s real, living horse is called Wolympia, so I called the polymer clay one Polympia. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture before giving it to my husband to give to her.

How have you been?

2022: The Year in Review

Hi everyone. It’s the last day of the year, so in keeping with my tradition, I thought I’d do a review of the past year.

I started 2022 by reviewing the forms for my extra care funding application – my extra care had just been re-approved for two years at the end of 2021 – with the behavior specialist. “Extra care” is what I usually refer to as “one-on-one” here, but I’m told by several staff that it’s not technically one-on-one if it’s not full-time one-on-one. Whether that’s true, I don’t know. I made some suggestions for when the application had to be submitted again in two years’ time. With how much has changed over 2022, I doubt any of it will be relevant anymore.

I also started the year with a healthier food plan and by seeing a dietitian. Over the course of the next nine months, I lost about 4-5kg and, like I had hoped, got to a relatively stress-free food plan. I did, towards late summer, start overexercising a little, but I attribute that to the newness of my Apple Watch.

By April, things started to shift a little, as I officially voiced my wish to explore the possibility of my moving to the main institution or another care agency with an institutional setting. The behavior specialist and I created a housing profile with my needs and wants on it and the behavior specialist gave it to the care consultant.

As it turned out, he only got applications sent out to the main institution and to one other agency, an agency in elder care. The reason was the fact that said agency operates an assisted living facility for blind or visually impaired older adults. With the fact that my long-term care funding is blindness-based, it makes some sense, but the place isn’t suitable at all.

I did get to meet the behavior specialist and two support coordinators for the main institution. As it turned out, they did find a place they considered suitable, ie. my current care home. I moved in early October to what from the care agency’s website looked like my dream home. It quickly turned into a nightmare though.

Thankfully, during the timeframe of late November till late December, some things got settled. I’m still finding I feel very easily frustrated with some things in my home and I’m swinging between letting them go (which is very hard for me) and mentioning them (which may come across as me sweating the small stuff).

For one thing, I lost another 6kg during these three months that I’ve now been here. I know I am still overweight by a few kilograms, so in this sense it’s okay, but it does create some difficulties relating to my disordered eating habits. I’d really like to get in touch with the dietitian again.

In other health-related news, I got some med tweaks in 2022. First, I started pregabalin I think in February. Then, in April, I took my first step lowering my antipsychotic dosage.

I also found out during the summer that my kidney function was mildly decreased. I had it retested about two weeks ago and, though it decreased a tiny bit further, this could be because I have a UTI.

Let me also share about my creative endeavors of the year. I did a ton of polymer clay crafting and really loved it. When I moved to my current care home, I for a while had to let go of this hobby, but now I’m trying to slowly reinvent my creative self.

Lastly, faith-wise, I remain a struggling new believer. I am really hoping and praying that God will lead me further on the right path towards Him in 2023.