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.)

The Evening Picnic

image: theguardian.com

image: theguardian.com

Today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo was to write a poem including words from this list of seashell names:

Peruvian Hat, Snout Otter Clam, Strawberry Top, Incised Moon, Sparse Dove, False Cup-and-Saucer, Leather Donax, Shuttlecock Volva, Striped Engina, Tricolor Niso, Triangular Nutmeg, Shoulderblade Sea Cat, Woody Canoebubble, Ghastly Miter, Heavy Bonnet, Tuberculate Emarginula, Lazarus Jewel Box, Unequal Bittersweet, Atlantic Turkey Wing.

So without further ado, I give you:

The Evening Picnic

The Atlantic Engina looked bittersweetly devout
With an incised tricolor miter balanced on its snout.
The Sparse Woody Dove was all about bling,
With jewel box beads glued all over its wings.
The Ghastly Volva with the bonnet on its head,
Looked like a leather Lazarus, arisen from the dead.
On its back the Peruvian Otter happily drank,
Using a cup and saucer, and never sank.
The Sea Cat in the top hat ate a strawberry,
The False Emarginula drank a very small sherry.
While the Donax with the tuberculate shoulderblade,
Took it easy on a niso mat, dozing in the shade.
The Triangular Clam floated on a heavy nutmeg bubble,
While the turkey waved his shuttlecock, looking for trouble.
Meanwhile the canoe moon poured its striped lunar light
Over this unlikely, unequal and unusual sight.

Disorder: With A Wink To William Blake

OCD’s not my personal bugaboo, it just worked for this poem for NaPoWriMo.

image: mnn.com

image: mnn.com

Disorder

Pillows, pillows, teal and red,
Against the headboard of the bed,
How in heaven’s name can I
Keep you in lasting symmetry?

Early morn I cross the gloom
Of our most imperfect room.
Such disorder and such a mess,
What could be worse in my distress?

Each time I see you on the floor
The knife twists in my heart some more.
I must place you as you were before,
Your symmetry I must restore!

Why this tension? Why this pain?
In what furnace was my brain?
Will I always feel this grasp?
Will I e’er my terrors clasp?

When cerebral engines slip their gears,
When neuron flickers spark my fears,
And this imbalance  leads to tears,
Does it really have to be?
Can’t it be cured with therapy?

Pillows, pillows, teal and red,
Against the headboard of the bed,
How in heaven’s name can I
Keep you in lasting symmetry?

 

It’s the Honest Truth

A poem for NaPoWriMo.

earth

The sun revolves around the earth,
Something’s wrong with Obama’s birth,
The dinosaurs missed Noah’s ark, Continue reading

How Do You Write?

A poem in twenty questions for NaPoWriMo.

image: shakespeareforalltime.com

image: shakespeareforalltime.com

Do you pen like William Shakespeare?

Famous tragedies like King Lear?

Or is Hemingway everything under your sun? Continue reading

The Room’s Prayer

Today’s poem for NaPoWriMo

image: authorkevinlewis.com

image: authorkevinlewis.com

Years ago, when B was nine, I wrote this silly poem, framed it and hung it in his room. It didn’t work, but I had fun writing it anyway.

My child,
Who art almighty,
Whom I know by Name.
Please keep me clean,
Please, please, please, please,
On my floor as I am on my ceiling.
Put away daily all your books.
And I’ll forgive you your clothes
As long as you put them where clothes belong.
And bury me not in toy animals,
But deliver me from clutter.
For thine is the neatness,
And the power,
And the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen

What a Difference a Name Makes

image: cafepress.com

image: cafepress.com

I consider myself to be a relatively tolerant, open-minded person. A pacifist, even. Not always in thought, but definitely in actions. I don’t hate much. It’s a toxic attitude to have. Live and let live, I usually say. But nobody’s perfect, not even yours truly. Continue reading

The Hedge

Today’s writing challenge is Fifty. Exactly fifty words. Here are mine.

My mother required a hedge. Hawthorne. All around the large field, for an English look. My father, heart patient, dug, scraped and worked the rocks and clay to plant the shrubs. It killed him, but my mother had her English hedge. A year later she liked another house and moved.