Hi There!

(For my Dutch-English translating and proofreading business, please 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 55-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, willful ignorance, bone spurs, spiders, and walking or cycling 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-three 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 who 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 debate.

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 19-year-old son as B, and my 17-year-old daughter as R.)

My Magnificent Salad of the Moment

saladMy mother’s idea of a salad was a floppy lettuce with one sliced tomato and one sliced hard-boiled egg. Salad dressing was mayonnaise and oil. So I like my salads to have plenty of ingredients and per definition no lettuce.

Lately I’ve been making the following salad a lot. It’s a big, beautiful jolt of healthfulness and tasty, too. I’ll make a huge bowl full and we all have it whenever during the day, until it’s gone and I make it again. And it’s not getting old yet. I chop up almost everything that needs chopping entirely and keep what I don’t use in fridge containers for the next time. For example, I’ll chop up a whole bunch of celery, even though I only need a handful for one salad. That way I only have to do a lot of chopping once every three salads or so.

I was talking with someone about life recently, and he pointed out that there’s no recipe for life, no certain amounts of the right ingredients for being successful–you just have to make it up as you go along. Well, that’s actually how I’ve always approached recipes. So no exact amounts of the ingredients here, and you can do lots of variations.

1 box or bag arugula (or arugula and spinach mix)
1 handful coleslaw
1 handful chopped celery
1 handful carrot sticks
1 handful chopped spring onions
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 chopped avocado
1 can black beans (or chickpeas, or navy beans, or kidney beans…)
1 handful slivered almonds (or pine nuts, or pecans, or sunflower seeds…)
1 chopped apple (or mango, or jicama, or mandarin orange sections…)
Some curry
Some herbes de Provence
Some flax seed powder (in case you don’t feel healthy enough yet)
A good extra virgin olive oil (or walnut oil…), about 4 or 5 times around the bowl
Lemon juice, also about 4 or 5 times around the bowl

Stir it all up and enjoy. Or do it with kale, and cherry tomatoes… In other words, just make a salad, with lots of ingredients!

Get Real, America!

sean spicer

Image: cnn.com

This week White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer uttered what may be the most offensive garbage yet, claiming that Bashar al-Assad is worse than Hitler, because even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons, at least not on his own people and not in their cities and villages. Continue reading

Belated Note to Self

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(It’s April, so it’s National Poetry Writing Month. One prompt I saw this morning was to find a picture of your younger self and write a poem describing the mood and telling your younger self something about the future. I had just the thing already on my mind.) Continue reading

Famine, War and Love: a Novel

famine, war and love

Image: amazon.com

A reader of my blog recently published a novel and he has been kind enough to send me a signed copy!

The story makes the connection between the famines of Ireland in the nineteenth century, the Netherlands during the Hunger Winter of 1944-1945 under German occupation, and Ethiopia in the early 1980s,  thus bringing into view the universality of the effects of hunger, war and displacement. Continue reading

Breastfeeding My Babies

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Breakfast in Central Park, May 1998

Yesterday I was reading something that reminded me how much I loved breastfeeding. I’ve been meaning to write about it for years, and I keep forgetting. It’s one of the best things–if not the best thing–I’ve ever done. Talk about having a purpose! My very body was keeping this brand-new little human alive and thriving. Continue reading

A Visit to the Gandhi Bazar

janakisToday I rediscovered the Gandhi Bazar, an Indian grocery store I frequented ten years ago, when we lived in an appartment nearby. (For Austinites, it’s on the corner of Brodie and William Cannon, catty-corner to HEB.) I love going to Asian grocery stores–they smell wonderful and everything is strange, except for the occasional item we used to have in Australia, like the proper Ovaltine or rusk. Such is the Commonwealth. Continue reading

Wish

This week’s photo challenge is “Wish“. I took this picture on the Brooklyn Bridge in the summer of 2014.

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