Hi There!

(For my Dutch-English translating and proofreading business, please go to D-E Translating. You can also go to my D-E Translating WordPress site. Thank you.)

Welcome to my blog.

I’m an energetic, slim, reasonably pretty thirty-year-old. However, I reside in a rather shocking, obese, aching, apathetic 53-year-old body. I love living in Austin but I’m chock-full of criticism of America in general. The Rockies bring me to tears, but so does the health care system. I’ve adopted Thanksgiving, but not the Pledge of Allegiance. If I seem elated and unbearably grouchy in sometimes schizophrenically quick succession, this is why.

I love the usual: my husband, my children, my friends and our pets. I hate heat; stupidity; bone spurs; spiders; and walking, cycling and stair-stepping in place.

I collect raft books and I’ve developed a weird obsession with the bottoms of bridges.

When I lived in the Netherlands, twenty years ago, I loved hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end, and I walked and cycled everywhere. Now that I live in a pretty darn hot part of the US, with kids that have to be driven everywhere by car, I love reminiscing about hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end and walking and cycling everywhere…

My blog is a crazy—some might say completely unhinged–collection of posts about any of the above-mentioned issues and then some. Nothing is sacred. I blatantly ignore all American no-nos. Which means I talk politics, religion, I don’t idolize  teachers and I swear (but not that much).

As you read my posts you might laugh, seethe, weep or shrug your shoulders. If you like a post, great. Let me know. If you hate a post, great, let me know. I’d like to think I’m always right, but don’t let that stop you from telling me if you disagree. We Dutch love a good argument.

If you want to know more about how I ended up in America and an overview of how that’s been, visit my About page.

Otherwise, have at it!

(In my posts, I refer to my husband as T, my 17-year-old son as B, and my 14-year-old daughter as R.)

Tiny Texas Tornado

tornado 1Well, here’s another thing you don’t have in the Netherlands. Tornadoes.

We have plenty of tornadoes in Texas, but usually further north, where the land is flatter. Once every few years we get a tornado warning, but I’ve only taken the kids into the closet twice. Once in the Rio Grande Valley, when R was still a baby and our cats were outside pets, which was fortunate, since our centrally located closet was tiny. And of course nothing happened. Continue reading

Authority Is Saying You’re Sorry

Barbara Backer-Gray:

I’m going to put my two cents in tomorrow. Or rather my one cent, because half of what I think of the whole Ferguson thing is right here already.

Originally posted on ipledgeafallegiance:

I’ve been following the recent troubles in Ferguson, Missouri as I am sure many of you have and no matter who has come to speak before the public, whether it has been the police chief or Governor or any other representative of the local government, I have yet to hear anyone say, “I’m sorry” or “We’re sorry”…Have you?

Saying that you are sorry is at least a good place to start, especially when you represent or speak on behalf of government forces who are empowered to “Serve and Protect” the public good…and even more so when you claim that those forces need to be heavily armed in order to properly do their job, with weapons and equipment that are paid for with monies of the people, by the people and for the people that you have sworn to serve.

But instead we have heard everything but sorry. When a man…

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Rated Hardly R At All

jellies 6I think it’s time for a sequel to my post Rated R, where I literally translated some Dutch swear words and phrases into English. So here are several words I used when I was a kid in the early seventies. They’re not as R-rated as the first post. I found these “retro swear words” on this site. Continue reading

Coleslaw: Improved

coleslawLate 1960s Australia. My mother adds a recipe to her limited repertoire–she discovers coleslaw. Continue reading

No Way–Okay–Every Day

cokesThis morning I read a BBC article about Coca Cola. This reminded me of conversations T and I had when we were living together in the Netherlands.

Being American, he drank Coke. Continue reading

The Rains of Castamere

Barbara Backer-Gray:

Good point. American motivation for going to war is often a series of one-liners.

Originally posted on Carrying the Gun:

"When I go home people'll ask me, 'Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? What, you some kinda war junkie?' You know what I'll say? I won't say a goddamn word. Why? They won't understand. They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand that it's about the men next to you, and that's it. That's all it is." -- Black Hawk Down (2001)

“When I go home people’ll ask me, ‘Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? What, you some kinda war junkie?’ You know what I’ll say? I won’t say a goddamn word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand that it’s about the men next to you, and that’s it. That’s all it is.” — Black Hawk Down (2001)

Doctrine Man posted the above photo and quote from Black Hawk Down yesterday as part of this weekend’s steady stream of Memorial Day related posts to counteract a supposed disinterested public while also helping us lose ourselves in a “twilight of sentimentality and nostalgia.”

The quote is a variation of the answer to “why we fight” that usually boils down to doing it “for your battle buddies on your left and right.” That is, today, the reason we go to war is simply to…

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Agile Eyebrow Envy

agile eyebrowsOh, to be able to raise one eyebrow!

My best friend can do it. My daughter can do it. Steven Colbert can do it with both eyebrows in faster succession than even my daughter can. Continue reading