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 54-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 18-year-old son as B, and my 15-year-old daughter as R.)

Photo Challenge: Doors

This week’s photo challenge is doors.




Uh, Independence From What?

When I saw this video on  Facebook, it didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me, although I suppose it shouldn’t have, were a lot of the comments blaming the GOP and the Koch Brothers.

To all of you out there blaming bad American education, especially bad history education on the Koch Brothers: Give me a break! You are no better than the folks who automatically blame everything on Obama. American education has always been bad. Just look at the ages of the interviewees. The Koch Brothers haven’t been around for that long.

My grandfather’s second wife, who was born around 1905, told me that when she was in high school in the Netherlands–at the highest level of high school, called gymnasium–one of her teachers went to a conference about colleges or something in America; I’m not sure about the particulars. In any case, that high school teacher came back and told his class that he had visited several American “universities” and all he could say was that even the worst students in his class could have easily taught there.

That must have been around 1920.

And when I was a high school librarian and a college student in the Rio Grande Valley, Clinton was president. If you want to know what education was like then, read the series on my Education page.

Thoughts While Waiting for a Locksmith

car keysI locked myself out of my car at a convenient store a while ago, for the umpteenth time. I used the store’s phone to call a locksmith and, pacing back and forth outside during the first hour (long story), I found myself having thoughts more or less along these lines:

This could take a while Ice cream No! How can I occupy my mind Like how would I prevent going crazy in a tiny cell for twenty-five years I could recite all the children’s books and poems I know by heart Which ones do I know again Goodnight Moon, um, what else, what else I wonder if pacing back and forth ew dead roach in a tiny cell all day for twenty-five years would improve my focus Goodnight Moon–do I even know that one word for word Let’s see Goodnight room, goodnight how much weight would I lose pacing back and forth all day in a tiny cell for twenty-five years Focus! I could try and remember everything that happens in my favorite children’s books and pretend I’m telling the story to someone Would I need to raise my heart rate in order to lose weight Ice cream No! Let’s see what books would be suitable Little House in the Big Woods–no The Hundred and One  Dalmations, um Perhaps sitting down would help my focus more Well, even if I can only think of The Hundred and One Dalmations, it should take me at least a few years to perfect it So, the Dearlys lived in London, in a house with a mews Or was it on the mews Depends on what a mews is, really Or a mew. Why have I never oh my god, I’d hate to be that guy’s wife He has “Asshole” written all over him Anyway, the Dearlys Mr Dearly did something wonderful for the government, something what if my credit card is maxed I wonder if the locksmith accepts checks I’m thirsty It’s getting hot Ice cream No!…

Yeah, I’d definitely go stark raving mad if I were stuck in a tiny cell for twenty-five years. So I suppose I’ll just have to behave myself.

U.S. Police likely to kill more than 1100 people by the end of 2015

Barbara Backer-Gray:

garrettI’m glad someone is doing this. The statistics, if accurate, are disturbing.

Originally posted on Bisknell Reports:

Analysis of The Guardian’s “The Counted” project at the midpoint of the year reveals a number of horrifying statistics.

The Counted is a project by the Guardian – and you – working to count the number of people killed by police and other law enforcement agencies in the United States throughout 2015, to monitor their demographics and to tell the stories of how they died.”


The running total currently stands at 547 people who have lost their lives at the hands of the police, although this total usually lags behind by a couple of days as it takes time to gather facts and validate them.

However, based on the current terrifying average of 3 people killed per day, I estimate that the total will be around 553, with the final total for the year likely to reach a staggering 1106.

To put that into perspective, this is nearly as many…

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The Confederate Flag — You Are Only Just Noticing?


I took this picture in 2013 in a tourist shop in Missouri, intending to use it in a post about the confederate flag at some point.

The past couple of days I have come across several posts, reactions to posts, Facebook rantings by relatives even, about the fact that Americans are engrossed in two issues at the moment: the confederate flag and gay marriage. But especially our focus on the confederate flag “all of a sudden” irritates some. Continue reading

Islamic Fundamentalists, Fundamentally Islamic?

tunisian gunmanA good post about the question whether or not Jihadists are Muslims or not, whether Islam is per definition a peaceful religion or not.


Gay marriage, the Supreme Court, and progressive Christianity

Barbara Backer-Gray:

RFKPersonally, I don’t feel the need to look to a bronze age anthology for moral guidance, but for those who do, here’s an excellent post. Rev. Paul Bern points out how Christians have always picked and chosen what to use, and that there is plenty in the Bible that supports marriage equality.

Originally posted on Second American Revolution Blog:

Sorting Out the Gay Marriage Controversy

by Rev. Paul J. Bern


This past week’s Supreme Court decision in favor of legalizing gay marriage has by no means settled this controversy. Growing up in the Catholic church and recalling my years in Catholic school, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree will wind up in hell for eternity. You might say that my childhood church community’s approach to the taboo topic of homosexuality was riddled with self-serving double standards and condemnation. Although I offer no argument that the sins of the city-state of Sodom and Gomorrah cried to heaven for justice, I do question whether the sin that cried to heaven was simply homosexuality. A reading of the biblical text shows the sin of Sodom was not its permission of homosexuality but its inhospitality to Lot’s visitors, who…

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