#WeekendCoffeeShare (October 17, 2021)

Hi everyone. I’m rather late joining #WeekendCoffeeShare this week and I’m afraid there’s no coffee left. You can help yourself to a soft drink or a glass of water though. I also have chips in my cupboard. After yesterday’s crying fit over there only being the wrong flavor left, I decided to buy some myself. I did ask the staff to put them into a cupboard which they only have the keys to, but I’m pretty sure they’ll love to open it for you. Let’s have a drink and a handful of chips and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee (or a soft drink and chips), I’d share that this week is still quite meh. Early in the week, I was feeling a little more optimistic at the prospect of starting my increased dosage of topiramate soon. I started it on Friday and so far, unfortunately, no change. I am grateful though for no side effects either.

Over the weekend, I’ve really been struggling. I landed in a bit of a crisis earlier this evening, but thankfully pulled myself out of it. I did E-mail my nurse practitioner and CPN at mental health to let them know I’m worried about deteriorating. My husband said I’m not, but the fact that I keep increasing my meds, tells me otherwise

If we were having coffee, I’d moan about my orthopedic footwear after all. The shoes squeak and, though I’m still not in terrible pain, I cannot walk for more than twenty minutes on them without them feeling horribly uncomfortable. Mostly my left foot, the foot on which I wear the AFO, starts to drag. I haven’t heard back from the physical therapist, but am pretty sure she’ll just say I need to push through.

If we were having coffee, I would show you all the soap I made for my assigned staff, the one who’s on sick leave. I heard last Thursday that she’ll remain off work until the middle of November or so due to among other things her needing to use up all her days off for the year or they’ll disappear.

Like I said yesterday, the soap contains vetiver, lavandin and clary sage essential oils. I decided to use a white soap base and no colorants, because I felt the scents would speak for themselves.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would share that my husband came by today. We drove to Subway for lunch. I dutifully wanted to get out my CoronaCheck app, but my husband told me to wait. As he expected, they didn’t ask us for it. The taco beef wrap I chose, was rather boring and I’m pretty sure the mince they put in it was vegetarian rather than beef. Oh well, now at least I know what not to choose next time.

How have you been?

Gratitude List (October 16, 2021) #TToT

Hi everyone. It’s becoming old, but I’m still struggling. I just dragged myself out of a crying fit that started over the wrong flavor chips (yes, seriously). Sometimes I’m a toddler like that. Writing that down made me chuckle in a self-mocking kind of way. I’m still sad though, albeit not about the chips. To cheer myself up, I’m writing a gratitude list. As usual, I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT).

1. I am grateful for nice weather most of the week. We’ve had some showers, but it’s not like it’s been raining all day.

2. I am grateful for special lunches most days of the week. As regular readers will know, I don’t care for the usual slices of bread that make up a normal lunch here. On Wednesday though, my staff and I decided to make a salad. We still had some left for Thursday. Yesterday, the day activities group I would’ve been part of if I didn’t get my day activities in the home, made hamburgers and I could have some too. Yum!

3. I am grateful for even more essential oil inspiration. Of course, I already mentioned last week that I’d signed up for Lea Jacobson’s VIP club for a month. Like I said yesterday, this week, I decided to grant myself access to the essential oil safety files too. The combination of these resources has truly helped me get inspired in the aromatherapy department.

4. I am grateful I have been able to do some DIY skincare product making again. Like I mentioned yesterday, I made a hand cream. Today, I made a melt and pour soap with the same combination of essential oils.

5. I am grateful my now former behavior specialist was happy with her leave-taking gift. I gave her the butterfly soap I posted last week.

6. I am grateful the behavior specialist gave me a “gift” too. It wasn’t a physical present. Instead, she let me listen to a piece of music she’d played on the pan flute. I am not at all musically talented, so I have no way of knowing whether it was good or anything, but I liked it.

7. I am grateful my Fitbit is charging again. I’d had problems with the charger not making contact before, but on Tuesday, it wouldn’t make contact even after cleaning both the Fitbit and the charger. I got a new charger and thankfully, that solved the problem.

8. I am grateful my topiramate, the medication I take for my PTSD symptoms, got upped. I started my new dose yesterday. It’s not yet working, obviously, but I’m hopeful it will start to work soon.

9. I am grateful for time and energy to read again. I have been escaping into an inspirational memoir this afternoon.

10. I am so grateful my staff haven’t given up on me even though I’m often tempted to give up on myself lately.

What have you been grateful for lately?

#WeekendCoffeeShare (October 9, 2021)

Hi everyone on this sunny Saturday. Well, it’s not sunny anymore, as the sun has just set, but it was sunny all afternoon. Today I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare again. I’m in Lobith and I usually have tea in the evenings here, but if you’d like a cup of coffee, I’m sure my husband can make you one too.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that this week was all quite meh. I’ve said this a couple of times already over the past week. It’s all just one endless stream of sadness, triggers and the resulting flashbacks.

I’m pretty sure I’ve decided I’m going to ask my nurse practitioner to up my topiramate on Monday. I hope this means I won’t have to wait for my next weekly med refill on Saturday to get the upped dose. Of course I know meds won’t solve everything, but I can’t think of anything else right now.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I did find some inspiration in the soaping and essential oil departments again. Yesterday, I even managed to make a simple butterfly melt and pour soap.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I also managed to get in more steps this week than last week and that’s not counting tomorrow yet. Okay, last week was quite a bad week in the walking department, but oh well, let’s be thankful for the little things.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my orthopedic footwear finally returned from whoever (Shoe or AFO Guy) was working on it earlier this week. It finally seems to be okay now. Not great, but okay. I have at least been able to walk some 25 minutes on the footwear without too much pain and am pretty sure it needs getting used to as well.

If we were having coffee, I would repeat how grateful I am for all the lovely comments on my blog. Like I mentioned last week, I’m participating in #Blogtober21, though my only goal right now is to publish a blog post everyday. I’m no longer going with prompts. Today, I almost wouldn’t have written a post, as I’m with my husband in Lobith like I said and this usually means I can’t concentrate. However, I didn’t want to break my streak.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would share my husband cooked me a delicious rice and meatballs meal this eveningn. Neither of us was full after it, so we ended up ordering something else afterwards. However, the meal was very tasty!

How have you been?

Crafty Endeavors #WotW

This week was a mixed bag emotionally. I haven’t been as motivated as I was before, but, like I said yesterday, haven’t been depressed either. I have also been quite crafty over the past week. In fact, I have been exploring more creative outlets in a single week than I’ve done in a long while. For this reason, I’m choosing “crafty endeavors” as my word of the week.

Early in the week, I created the polymer clay tricolor “rainbow” pendant I showed you on Wednesday. Like I said, at first it wouldn’t cure in the oven, but eventually it did.

I also created the multicolor, layered heart I posted yesterday. Since my mother-in-law brought me a packet of sanding papers, I have been trying to sand this one a little. I only used grits 120 and 400 to get rid of the worst unevenness, since with it being multilayered, I don’t know how to sand the top two layers.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I have been busy with soap and skincare product making. I made a lavender and clary sage massage oil. Unfortunately, I used up all my lavender essential oil, so I’ve put that on my wishlist to buy when I feel I am allowed to spend money again.

I also created a lavender and rose hand cream and melt and pour soap. In the soap, I used real dried lavender and rose petals.

Lavender and Rose Melt and Pour Soap

I found the recipe here and, though I felt the use of crushed almonds was a bit strange, I just skipped that step. I really liked the soap.

Then yesterday, I showed it in a melt and pour soap making group on Facebook and was told by all of the commenters that most dried herbs and flowers will mold in melt and pour soap. I seriously had no idea! In fact, just a few days earlier, I’d seen another blogger post a recipe for calendula soap. That one is the one herb that won’t mold, but this blogger also included lemongrass. I’ve also seen tons of recipes for melt and pour soap that do include all kinds of dried herbs and flowers, so my next question obviously is how to sift through all the information out there online. In any case, some of the commenters on Facebook said I’m now officially a soaper for having made the same mistake 99% of melt and pour soapers make.

Then on to polymer clay again. On Friday evening, I made a flower. Then I saw an interesting video on YouTube on making polymer clay earrings and wanted to try it. Unfortunately, one of the colors of Fimo I used was way too brittle for in my extruder, so I decided to mix up the two colors. I’d used blossom rose and porcelain. The shade I got was a very light pink which was lovely. Unfortunately, I only had a tiny bit of it.

This evening, I may try more polymer clay, as I haven’t baked the flower yet and want it baked by tomorrow, but I don’t want to run the oven for just one piece.

Overall, despite this week not feeling as good as the past few weeks, I’ve done really well.

How would you sum up your week?

Word of the Week linky

#WeekendCoffeeShare (August 20, 2021)

Hi everyone! Today is a mixed bag weather-wise. We’ve had some rain and some sunshine and the temperature rose to 20°C. It’s okay given that I’ve resigned to the idea that summer is over already.

Today I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare. Of course, being that it’s past 8PM, I’ve already had all my coffee for the day. My Senseo coffee maker’s loose parts are also in the dishwasher and I won’t be able to make you a Senseo anymore from now on. More on that later. The staff will probably make you one if you ask though.

If we were having coffee (or any other drink), I’d share that indeed, like I shared earlier, my mood seems to have deflated a little, but I can’t quite say I’m depressed or sad. I just feel a little less inspired and motivated and a little more irritable and anxious than I was over the past couple of weeks. It’s okay though. I’m pretty sure that even this little low won’t mean all my elation over the past month or so was for nothing.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve still managed to be quite creative over the past week. Early in the week and today, I did some polymer clay. I created the “rainbow” pendant I showed you all on Wednesday, as well as a pretty useless layered heart.

Layered, Multicolor Polymer Clay Heart

I say it is useless because it has neither a hole for a jumpring or ribbon in it, nor an eyepin attached. It is also too large for an earring. I might be able to make a brooch out of it someday.

I have also been doing some soap and skincare product making over the past few days.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that yesterday when making some soap, the microwave I normally use for melting my soap and other skincare ingredients, malfunctioned. This microwave used to be used by the sleeping shift, who had their room next to the entrance to my care home. However, they no longer use this, so the microwave won’t be replaced.

I’ve had a microwave for my room on my wishlist for several months, but was going to delay actually buying one for a while still. Until this one failed, that is. My husband tried talking me out of buying a microwave and that’s where the Senseo comes in. He said I don’t have space for a microwave in my room, but I will if I do away with the coffee maker. So he proposed he give me the microwave from Lobith, since he hardly uses it, and I give him my Senseo. I’m fine with that, since I rarely if ever actually use the Senseo. In fact, I just discovered that the unopened packet of coffee pods I had in my kitchen drawer had an expiration date of July 2020. I hereby apologize for having virtually poisoned all my Coffee Share guests with moldy coffee. The Senseo, I’m hoping, is still in pretty good condition.

How have you been?

#WeekendCoffeeShare (August 14, 2021)

Hi everyone on this beautiful Saturday! The weather is much better than I’d expected yesterday that it’d be. It’s partly cloudy but warm and dry. I like it.

Today, I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare again. I just had my afternoon coffee, as seems common when I write these posts. However, I’m pretty sure there’s still some coffee left. Let’s have a drink and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, firstly I’d share that I finally went to Lobith last weekend. It was good being there. As I mentioned yesterday, we got pizza (takeout). Other than that, we just chillaxed. Is that even a word?

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I texted my sister on Monday. She’d called me last week because her daughter had been referred to the orthopedic doctor for a leg length difference (her left leg is shorter than her right leg). Apparently, my niece also used her left leg less than her right. My sister wanted to know about the reasons I wear (or should wear) an AFO. I explained about the fact that I had a brain bleed and it’s from that, without mentioning cerebral palsy of course as my parents never mentioned that to me even though I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s called.

As it turns out, my niece has mild hip dysplasia and will be seen by a child orthopedic specialist in Amsterdam someday. Please all pray that the wait won’t be too long. My niece is nearly two-years-old, so it’s pretty late for corrective wear or so I’ve been told.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been doing quite well over the past week. I have mostly felt able to cope with my current situation okay. On Thursday, a fellow client was screaming for almost an hour on end. She does this every once in a while, yet for the first time I didn’t have an impulse to run away. I did get a little threatening towards the client, but the staff were able to calm me down.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I have been rather crafty of late again. I didn’t finish many projects, but I did practise polymer clay a lot. I also did make a melt and pour soap and massage oil for my friend who lives a few care homes down the road from me. It was her birthday yesterday. I came by at around 10:30AM to give her her presents and was invited to sit down in her garden for coffee and apple crumble. This was really nice.

If we were having coffee, lastly I’d share that tomorrow, I’m going to Ikea with my one-on-one to buy some new furniture for my room. My dining/crafting table is rather wobbly on its legs, so I want a new one. I also want a new second chair for my staff. My staff currently sit on a very clunky office chair with armrests, which for this reason can’t be pushed under the table. I want one similar to my own chair. I’m pretty sure I’ll be successful at finding both a desk or table and a chair. I’m also going to look at a mini fridge, as you may remember I wanted to buy one for in my room too. I don’t intend on actually buying it at Ikea, but I want to take a look at what it’s like so that I know if I have the right picture in my mind. Then I want to order it online next month when I get some extra money with my benefits.

How have you been?

Gratitude List (August 13, 2021) #TToT

Hi everyone on this beautiful Friday the thirteenth. I am not particularly superstitious about this date, even though I used to have really bad superstitions related to other dates.

This day is going quite well, so I thought I’d do a gratitude list. Of course, it doesn’t have to go well to do one, but well. As usual, I’m joining in with Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT). I am also joining Thankful Thursday a day late, since the linky is still open.

1. I am grateful to have been able to see my husband again over the weekend. I was finally able to go to Lobith after over a month of not going there for various reasons.

2. I am grateful for pizza. My husband and I went to New York Pizza, which appears to be a Dutch-only pizza company that supposedly serves NY-style pizzas. I am pretty sure people from New York would laugh at it, but I loved my Tex Mex chicken pizza. Oh, I guess people from Texas and Mexico would laugh at that one too.

3. I am grateful for a proper delivery of the polymer clay things I ordered from someone on Facebook last Friday. I have so far only used the cookie cutters, but they’re great.

4. I am grateful the package from Facebook contained black and dolphin grey clay. With luck, I may be able to combine these to make an actual tabby cat, like Barry, my husband’s and my cat.

5. I am grateful for my staff’s Atlas pasta machine. The staff gave it to me at least to use for as long as I want. I did tell her she won’t be able to make pasta with it anymore now that I’ve used it for polymer clay, but that was okay. The thing works pretty well. She already gave it to me last week, but I am so grateful I got to properly work it this past week.

6. I am grateful I ordered five different sizes of ziploc bags in one package rather than several separately, because I never considered that I’d in fact need the largest size for my bigger packages of polymer clay. I am still able to use the smaller sizes for jewelry-making supplies.

7. I am grateful my creative juices are still flowing steadily. I haven’t actually finished any projects in the past week, but I am making progress. That’s a win and something to be thankful for as well. Oh, now that I’m thinking of it, I did finish a soap, but that was an easy-peasy one.

8. I am grateful the weather has been quite good over the past week. It’s been mostly dry, warm and sunny with a few clouds. I am so thankful it is still summer clothes weather.

9. I am grateful my foot is allowing me to go on slightly longer walks again. It still hurts, but not as bad as it used to.

10. I am grateful for a holiday greeting card from my day activities staff. So thoughtful!

What have you been grateful for?

PoCoLo

Gratitude List (July 18, 2021) #TToT

Hi all on this beautiful Sunday. I used to have this rule that I had to write my gratitude posts on Friday or they didn’t “count”. Then I would allow myself to post on Saturdays too. Now it’s Sunday. I think it shows I’m pretty rigid with my rules of what is the “right time” for a certain post. I mean, the Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT) linky is open till Tuesday and even if it wasn’t, that wouldn’t be a reason not to publish a gratitude post. Gratitude is always useful, so…

1. I am grateful my family and friends are still healthy and haven’t contracted COVID. Many are fully vaccinated by now too.

2. I am grateful I don’t live in the flooded area of the country, let alone in Germany or Belgium, where the flooding has been much worse. There’s been a lot of outrage at the way the Dutch handle the flood, but I think they’re handling it as well as they can. I am grateful we’ve not had any deaths due to it so far.

3. I am grateful for a sunny day here. Several, in fact. Since last Friday, the rain is pretty much gone out of this area of the country and we’re having warm summer weather.

4. I am grateful my GP took my abdominal issues seriously. Like I mentioned on Friday, I am back on a higher dose of magnesium. Here’s hoping this will work.

5. I am grateful I am still pretty motivated for creative endeavors. I’ve been making some jewelry, lip balm, as well as a melt and pour soap this evening.

6. I am grateful for the ability to online window shop without actually buying anything. I have so much I want to buy once my benefits arrive, but I’m glad I’ve restrained myself from spending any more money until then at least.

7. I am grateful for grilled hamburgers with cheddar cheese. We had those for lunch on Thursday.

8. I am grateful for a short chat with a woman from the care home a few doors next to mine. I mentioned her before, we used to talk a lot at day activities and she’s even had coffee in my room one time. Now due to COVID, we can only meet outside. I am however grateful I got to chat to her again and she’s well.

9. I am grateful my husband came by today. I hadn’t seen him in two weeks, as he had to work last week Saturday. Today, we went to Subway to have lunch.

10. I am grateful I found the Bible reading plan I’m currently following. It’s called “Hope Heals in the Midst of Suffering”. I can totally relate to the plan’s author’s experiences and they are so validating!

What are you grateful for?

#WeekendCoffeeShare (May 2, 2021)

Hi everyone on this first Sunday of May. I still honestly can’t believe it’s May already, but it is. Today I’m joining in with #WeekendCoffeeShare. It’s still early in the afternoon, but I didn’t want to be very late with my submission. I’m having my afternoon coffee in a bit, so if you’d like one too, that’s okay. Let’s have a coffee and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week was a mixed bag weather-wise. We’ve had sunshine, clouds, wind and rain. The temperatures are still below normal though.

If we were having coffee, I’d be excited to share that, on Tuesday, I went to a playground in a neighboring village with my one-on-one staff. It was King’s Day, so we had the day off from day activities, but I had a lot of fun anyway. The playground had a trampoline, a seesaw and several swings. My husband wondered why I had my shoes on while jumping on the trampoline, but this was apparently allowed.

Me on the trampoline.

If we were having coffee, I’d also share that, on Thursday, I revived my Instagram account. That is, I had posted exactly one photo some four years ago and had deleted that a few months back. On Thursday, as you can see, I uploaded a photo of a soap I’d made with my one-on-one last week. I am not yet certain I will really be posting to my Instagram more often, as I don’t think my pics are really Instagram-worthy, but well. I had fun making the soap and wanted to show it somewhere.

Speaking of soap making though, I’m planning on making a lip balm real soon. I also found out early this week that I will be able to make shampoo bars after all, since it doesn’t require saponification with lye. Now the stuff that is used to make shampoo, is quite concentrated too, but I think I may give it a try after all.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the physical therapist once again urged me to wear my AFO after all. It still hurts and, to be honest, I feel as though she dismisses my pain. Then again, I understand the need for the AFO. Let’s just hope my semi-orthopedic shoes will be here soon. I doubt it though.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the manager came by on Thursday to inform me that the opening for a new staff had finally been filled. The new staff will start orienting at my home tomorrow. At first, she will not be working with me, but eventually she might.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would share that I spent the weekend in Lobith with my husband. We had delicious meatballs for dinner yesterday. We also had rice and cucumber. In the evening, my husband gave me a picky eater test he’d found online to see if I had a high score. I scored eleven points, he scored six. Then again, I probably was a little strict on myself, as I said for example that I wouldn’t eat celery. This morning, it was in a salad we had for breakfast and, while I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it either. There are only a few foods I definitely will not eat. That being said though, the list of foods I’d rather avoid, is quite long.

How have you been?

Useful Resources for Aromatherapy #AtoZChallenge

Hi and welcome to my letter U post in the #AtoZChallenge on essential oils. I’ve been debating a lot what to cover for this letter, but eventually decided to do a quick post on resources for doing your own aromatherapy.

I use a number of books for my information on aromatherapy. However, the Internet is also rich with resources. First up is AromaWeb. This is one of the most reliable sources on essential oils and aromatherapy online. There are essential oil profiles and there’s information on safety, but there are also recipes for your own aromatherapy products. This site usually comes up first when I search for general essential oil information.

Next is Loving Essential Oils. This is mostly a site full of recipes for diffuser blends and other DIY products with essential oils. I also think they sell aromatherapy supplies. When I search for diffuser blends, this site usually pops up first.

I also like to get my diffuser recipes from One Essential Community. They also offer many different DIY recipes with essential oils.

Last, I want to recommend EOCalc.com. This site has never popped up in Google searches that I did before, but it was recommended in a Facebook natural soap making community. I have so far never used my essential oils in soap and I am not sure this site is useful for melt and pour soap makers like me. However, this site has a wealth of essential oil blends. I just convert the percentages to drops and then use the recipe for my diffuser.