When I was a kid my mother was against school uniforms.
When I was a kid we emigrated to Australia in a BOAC plane that had to stop three times to refuel.
When I was a kid my parents rented a television for one night. They watched a movie that had something to do with a leaking submarine. Continue reading
Posted in Australia, Education, Elections, Emigration / Immigration, History, Lists, Movies, Society, Technology, Television, Travel, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged Age, Australia, childhood, history, humor, memories, politics, school, society, technology, television, the '60s, the 1960s, Writing prompt Age
Okay, today’s prompt is too good not to link to yesterday’s post!
Posted in Language, Psychology, Technology, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged cons, dubious, gullibility, humor, identity theft, Microsoft support, Paypal, Phone scams, scams, writing prompts
Today’s writing prompt is the perfect excuse to revisit the post about my raft book collection.
I’m not big on collections. I used to be. I had all sorts of collections. If I saw something I liked, I would start a collection. Until I felt that I was surrounding myself with things just for the sake of surrounding myself with things, and I got rid of most of them. Continue reading
Posted in Books, Nature, Sports, Uncategorized, Vacations, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged adventure stories, book collections, books, raft books, rafts, survival stories, writing prompt adrift
(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
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
This post doesn’t live here anymore. It migrated to my other blog:
The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism, where it resides under the title:
“American Democracy Is Only As Strong As Its Separation of Powers”
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Government, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged checks and balances, Democracy, Department of Homeland Security, dictatorship, Government, Muslim ban, president Trump, protests at airports, refugees, replacement, writing prompts
Today’s writing prompt is Graceful.
If there’s ever a word that describes what I am not most completely, it’s graceful. I’m the epitome of the proverbial bull in a china shop. More like a stumbling drunk bull in the British Museum’s Asia section. Watch out folks, here she comes. Hide your valuables! Continue reading
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Language, Psychology, Society, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged clothing, compliments, emigration, etiquette, grace, graceful, immigration, language, make-up, Opinion, psychology, society, writing prompt
Today’s prompt is conveniently Hike.
I’ve been on Pinterest a lot, lately, pinning stuff related to hiking, backpacking and lightweight camping, and Wow! There’s been some improvements these past twenty-five years! The best hack I’ve seen is using a walking stick as a tent pole. Especially since my tent has just one pole, this is perfect. Assuming you use walking sticks, of course.
There is also more stuff out there that looks cute, but that you probably don’t need. Continue reading
Posted in Consumption, Travel, Vacations, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged backpacking, camping, equipment, hacks, hike, hiking, lightweight hiking, outfitting, pinterest, tips, writing prompt
Why Trump is bat-shit crazy? Why people love him? No.
Pinterest! Continue reading
Posted in Consumption, Food, Lists, Technology
Tagged consumer information, DIY, ideas, information sharing, Opinion, organization, Pinteerest, products, recipes, technology
image from offclouds.com
The writing prompt of the week asks what evil means to me.
Well, I don’t believe it’s a thing, something that exists on it’s own. As an atheist/humanist I obviously don’t believe that the devil makes people do things. That would be very convenient, but no, people do bad things because we’re human. We are responsible for our own values and rules and behavior. Continue reading
Posted in History, Psychology, Religion, Society, Violence, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged atheism, Christian values, crime, humanism, information, morality, Racism, society, tolerance, universal values, writing prompts
Setting: The beach at or near Dee Why, New South Wales, Australia. Year: Late 1965 or early 1966. I’m five, I think, and we recently emigrated here from the Netherlands. Continue reading
Today’s writing prompt: Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).
Okay, this is embarrassing, but it definitely is the biggest boo-boo I’ve ever made in this regard. Continue reading
image: Franz Kafka
Kafka, Marx, Orwell, Sade–no reason why I shouldn’t end up on that list. Here’s what I imagine my contribution to Webster’s to be: Continue reading
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Language, Lists, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged DPchallenge, emigration, eponiemen, eponyms, humor, immigration, language, Lists, taal
OCD’s not my personal bugaboo, it just worked for this poem for NaPoWriMo.
Pillows, pillows, teal and red,
Against the headboard of the bed, Continue reading
Posted in Creative writing, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged Creative writing, gedichten, geestelijke gezondheid, humor, mental health, NaPoWriMo, OCD, poems, poetry, The Tiger, William Blake, writing prompts
A poem in twenty questions for NaPoWriMo.
Do you pen like William Shakespeare?
Famous tragedies like King Lear?
Or is Hemingway everything under your sun? Continue reading
Posted in Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged boeken, books, Creative writing, DPchallenge, gedichten, humor, Literature, literatuur, NaPoWriMo, poems, poetry, schrijven, twenty questions
Today’s poem for NaPoWriMo
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.
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.
Posted in Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged DPchallenge, gedichten, humor, kids' rooms, kinderkamers, messiness, NaPoWriMo, poems, poetry, prayer, rommel
The daily writing challenge: write about the earliest memories of the house you lived in.
We lived in the Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat in Amsterdam. I was about two–it must’ve been 1963. Continue reading
On the third day of my road trip away from Las Vegas, I came to this little crossroads in New Mexico called Loving, near the border with Texas. On the other side of the road from these poor things was a warehouse, and not much else. Continue reading
Posted in Creative writing, Photography, Travel, Vacations, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged abandoned buildings, fiction, humor, intimidation, Loving New Mexico, photography, travel, writing prompts
The daily prompt: take the third headline from a website you visit regularly for the news and write.
Well, I went to BBC’s UK & World News, and this was the third headline:
Topless Skyscraper Photos Spark Suit
“Look up there!”
“What is it?”
“It’s a shiny rocket!”
“It’s a giant penis!”
“No, it’s a topless skyscraper!”
Where’s my phone? I’ve got to take a picture of this! Then sell it to CNN! I’m going to be rich, rich, RICH, I tell you–aah-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!!!!
“Oh my God! Quick, somebody get that building a suit!”
A few days ago the Daily Writing Prompt was to write about one of my fears. Well, jeez, where to start? So I skipped that one. Then I read the post a blogging friend wrote. See, I should be that flexible. If you can’t choose which one fear to write about, just change the prompt. Duh. Except I didn’t think of that. Continue reading
I’ve been blogging for about three years now, so this is the third time I’ve been made aware of NaBloPoMo–National Blog Posting Month.
It’s always hard to decide whether or not to join. Continue reading
My oh my, what a prompt! My attempt may be seen below.
“May I have this dance, my dear, dear M?”
“Miss B, of course, how magnanimous of you, my word, my goodness, you most certainly may!”
“Minuet or Mashed Potato?”
Methinks you should read on!
image from 123thearts.com
Daily prompt: Talents I’d like to have, but don’t. Well, jeez. Where to begin.The thing about talents is that they are per definition great to have. So I’d want them all–why not? Okay, okay, I suppose the idea is to force me to choose the most important one. Well, I’m not going to. I’ll give you my top ten. Number one being the most important, but the others are close followers.
Check them out…
So the Daily Prompt told me to grab the nearest book and find the tenth word, then Google Image that word and write about whatever comes to mind. So I thought, whatever. But then I did it.
image from classicaustraliantv.com
WordPress just wrote about blog events, so I checked some of them out. Some are questionnaires or challenges and some are writing prompts.
This is the introduction to the Daily Passion Prompt:
The daily prompt for today is to describe my own Groundhog Day.
I don’t know. It would be easier to describe a day that I didn’t mess up, put my foot in it, or otherwise wish I could do over. But I already wrote that post.
So what would I do over?
image from fashionrat.com
Well, this is an interesting writing prompt. “Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.”
As it happens, my top three posts today are “Nomadic Retirement: The American Way“, “The Gap” and “To Kill a Mountain Lion . . . With a Spatula“. Continue reading
Posted in Dreams, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged Austin, Bakersfield women, Black Friday, chicken-fried steak, cockroaches, Congress Avenue Bridge, corrupt school superintendents, cougars, DPchallenge, dreams, eating out, Florida racists, humor, Leslie, Midwest, mountain lions, restaurants, retirement, Rio Grande Valley, RV's, sequoias, South Dakota, spatulas, travel, Walmart, Zetas
(Response to Daily Prompt “There’s No Place Like Home”.)
America is full of nomads, aka retirees. They live in RVs, some moving around from one beautiful spot to another, others staying in one place.
What’s the attraction?
Posted in Healthcare, Housing, Society, Transportation, Travel, Vacations, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged America, DPchallenge, housing, recreation, retirement, RV's, society, There's No Place Like Home, travel, vacations, writing prompts
I’ve been feeling kind of truculent lately, so let’s see if a list of five things I can’t stand will get it out of my system.
Let me begin with drivers behind me–when I’m up front at a stoplight, waiting to turn left at an unprotected left turn–honking for me to go ahead and make the turn already. Continue reading
Posted in Consumption, Lists, Neither Here Nor There, Religion, Society
Tagged animals, Boston bombing, community, disasters, ducks, hangers, Lists, Opinion, religion, traffic, victims
Evolution of X just had a post about her memories of 1978. She invited readers to do the same.
So, let’s see. Not in chronological order: Continue reading
Posted in Books, Emigration / Immigration, High School, History, Holland, Lists, Movies, Music, Society, Writing
Tagged 1970s, emigration, Gerrie Knetemann, high school history, immigration, memories, movies, music, Peace Treaty, World CUp Soccer 1978, Writing
This post doesn’t live here anymore. It emigrated to my other blog:
The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism,
where it resides under the title:
“Paquette and the Nazis: or: Books and Babies, the Stuff of Nightmares”
Posted in Books, World War Two, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged dreams, Holocaust, Les Miserables, motherhood, nightmares, persecution, The Hunchback of the Notre Dame, Victor Hugo, World War Two, writing prompt 1984, WWII
As I was going through recipes for Thanksgiving, I came across a small list from almost nineteen years ago. I always come across this list around this time of year, because I keep it in my recipe book. Which, the last couple of years, I only open around this time of year. Continue reading
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Lists, Travel
Tagged benodigdheden, cadeaus, Christmas, community, emigratie, emigration, gifts, immigration, kerstmis, Lists, necessities, Thanksgiving
The prompt: Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.
The book: The Talisman by Stephen Kind and Peter Straub.
— Continue reading
The homeless can always use help, but winters are especially hard. So here’s a list of things that are easy and inexpensive and can make a big difference for someone trying to stay warm and dry out there. Continue reading
Posted in homeless, Lists
Tagged Amerika, Christmas, daklozen, feestdagen, helping the homeless, Holidays, homeless, Lists, society, Thanksgiving, thuislozen
This week’s Writing Challenge was to write about the picture below.
Oh Jeez, where the heck did you ever find that photo? Really? All these years? Continue reading
When I hear a song I haven’t heard for a while, I immediately remember where I first heard it, or where I bought it, or which hangout played it a lot. . .
I thought I’d share some of them.
1. Morning Town Ride by The Seekers Continue reading
Posted in Austin, Holland, Lists, Music, Vacations
Tagged angie, close your eyes, i don't wanna miss a thing, Lists, memories, morning town ride, music, no waman no cry, question, recreation, ring my bell, songs, the rose, the sting, tubular bells
When I was a little girl, and my parents told me to do something, or not do something, there were no ifs, ands or buts about it. BUT I did sometimes do this game with my father:
“Daarom waarom daarom.”
“Waarom daarom waarom daarom?”
Etc., until I lost count.
Now I do the same with my kids:
“Why because because?”
“Because because because.”
“Why because because because?”
“Because because because because.”
“Why because because because because?”
“Because because because because, because.”
“Why because because because because because?”
“Because because because because because because.”
“Why because because because because because because?”
“Because because because because because because because.”
Etc., until someone loses count. I just thought I’d share that, if for no other reason than that it looks neat. But also because I took the daily writing challenge of a few days ago, which was to pick a random word and Google it on Images, and pick the eleventh image to write about. I picked a random word with my eyes closed. It was “because”. The eleventh image on Google Images was the one pictured above. My post about politeness came about the same way. It’s a pretty cool way to come up with ideas.
Ah, it was wonderful, being Freshly Pressed. But it has its downside as well.
Before Being Freshly Pressed (BFP), I was perfectly content with my 72 followers, which meant that about an average of one new reader per week was joining. I was proud of my stats, which showed that my record number of visits in one day was 139. People from an average of ten countries visited my blog each day, and I enjoyed seeing them on Feedjit. Continue reading
What an honor! Thank you WordPress. And thanks to everyone who visits my blog. I suddenly got so many likes and responses today that it will take me a while to visit all y’all’s blogs, but I will try. How exciting!
One of my blogging friends–Fork in My Eye, go visit her–wrote a post about first lines of her favorite books and invited others to do the same. So here’s mine. My favorite books in English, that is. Some of them. And literature. I’ll do another list with books from other languages, and also one from popular fiction. I’m not going to tell you which books the lines–and one paragraph, you’ll see why–are from. Some are obvious because a name gives it away. Let me know which ones you recognize. No looking them up, though. That would be cheating. Continue reading
Although I’ve lived here for 18 years now, and although there are a lot of things I’ve gotten used to and in some cases even adopted, there are some things that, by now it’s safe to say, I’ll never get used to. Here are ten of them.
1. Bobby socks for men. Yep, men here (including T) often wear socks that barely show above the shoe, just like girl bobby socks in the fifties. The only difference is the absence of pompoms. I know they’re considered perfectly normal here, but to me they will always look ridiculous. Sorry, guys. Continue reading
Posted in Education, Food, Healthcare, History, Language, Lists, Media, Society
Tagged ankle socks, atheism, creationism, Dutch apple pie, emigration, Fox News, geography, Glenn Beck, humor, immigration, Lists, obesity, The Flintstones
Here’s another Neither Here Nor There post.
I just felt like doing another list.
1. Being Dutch and marrying a South Texan whom I met in Scotland. Continue reading
photo by Multiple Bleiben
I ate some terrible stuff in the Netherlands. Some of it tasty but super unhealthy, and some of it tasted terrible as well. The terrible tasting stuff was mostly food I had as a kid, when I had no choice. Ugh! Continue reading
1. Chicken-fried steak with gravy: ground, fried beef that is kind of grayish, with gravy that is also grayish.
2. Donuts: fried cake rings.
3. Pork rinds: fried pork fat, eaten as chips. Continue reading
Posted in Consumption, Eating out, Emigration / Immigration, Food, Lists
Tagged afschuwelijk Amerikaans eten, emigration, food, gross American food, ice cream with bacon, immigration, Lists, pork brains in milk gravy, pork rinds, prairie oysters
I miss lots of Dutch foods, but here are the top five American foods that make up for them. Continue reading
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Food, Lists
Tagged American food, bagels and lox, collard greens, Dutch food, emigration, food, French Silk, immigration, Lists, mustard greens, Pho, pumpkin seeds, recipes
One of the Mindbump prompts was: What makes your blog different from any others?
Well, I regularly google to see if I can find any other individual Dutch bloggers in America writing about being Dutch here, and I have yet to find a single one. I just can’t believe it! There are tons of Americans in Holland blogging about their expat experiences, and I know there have to be way more Dutch people in America than Americans in Holland, so where are you guys? Continue reading
Going for endless road trips without even leaving the country
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Lists, Society
Tagged Austin, emigration, homeschooling, immigration, Lists, North American wildlife, road trips, Rocky Mountains, Texas Hill Country
photo: Autumn Arnold, Peanut Cheese
Not worrying about money, or getting fired, or getting sick, or not being able to retire, or how to pay for the kids’ colleges.
- Having all my friends within visiting distance.
- Having seven weeks paid vacation plus vacation pay (like a thirteenth month’s salary).
- Going to the doctor or hospital without my wallet.
- Walking around the Saturday market and buying big, beautiful bunches of flowers that last for weeks and only cost a few euros.
- Traveling by train. Relaxing and looking out the window with a cup of Earl Grey tea instead of sitting in traffic.
- Taking the ferry to England and hitchhiking to the Cairngorms or the Lake District or wherever, and hiking around, camping in the wild.
- Cycling for the purpose of getting somewhere.
- Sleeping with the windows open (scorpions would crawl in if I did that here).
- Watching a decent documentary on TV without having to subscribe to HBO.
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Healthcare, Holland, Lists, Travel, Vacations
Tagged cycling, Dutch food markets, emigration, hiking in Britain, immigration, Lists, public transportation, seven-week vacations, universal healthcare
photo: lhwilkinson (flickr)
I’m so nervous. It’s 1933 and I’m about to interview Adolf Hitler. I have written him a letter telling him that I work for a Dutch newspaper, how much I admire him, and that I’d love to interview him. Continue reading
Isn’t it amazing how smells can evoke memories? The first time I remember experiencing this was when I lived in Australia.
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Nature, Vacations, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged Cairngorms, emigration, hiking in Britain, immigration, memories of grass, reuk en herinnering, scent association, smells and memories
photo: Tammy Green (Flickr)
My favorite restaurant in my hometown? Hmm, my hometown. That’s tricky. I was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, lived in Amsterdam, them Australia for five years, then several towns in the Netherlands again before emigrating to America. So let me take as my hometown Amersfoort, the last town I lived in the Netherlands, and the town where I lived the longest. As an immigrant, the first place there that comes to mind is the pancake house. Continue reading
What would I do if I were president for a day? There are tremendous limits to what a president can do, let alone in one day. If I were president for a day, the most I could hope to get out of it would be really good room service from the White House chef, and shooting some hoops in the White House basketball court. Here’s a more useful question: What would I change if I were an absolute monarch for a day, and after that the country went back to being a democracy forever? Continue reading
Posted in US Politics, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged American, Amerika, Amerikaans, campaign financing, geld en politiek, money, multi-party system, Opinion, parlementair, parliamentary, politics, politiek, president for a day, Proportional Representation, verkiezingen
photo: coda (Flickr)
One of my earliest memories is being put down for a nap in my little bedroom at the top of the stairs in Amsterdam. I lay there, not sleepy at all, and began to notice these little glowing pinpricks appearing and disappearing in a narrow shaft of light coming from an opening between the drawn curtains. Continue reading
If I could go to dinner anywhere in the world tonight, where would I go? And with whom and what would I eat? Well, since I’m in my Dutch immigrant blog mode, I think I’d beam myself up and over to Holland, to the Saturday market in Amersfoort or Utrecht or Amsterdam. Yeah, I know it’s only Thursday, but it’s Saturday there whenever I want it to be. If I can beam myself anywhere, it can also be any time.
Posted in Eating out, Emigration / Immigration, Food, Holland, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged America, Amerika, DPchallenge, Dutch, eetgewoonten, emigration, food, food markets, haring, immigration, Nederlands, Netherlands, salt herring, traditional, United States
Being from the Netherlands, I speak four languages. Or at least, I did. Dutch was my mother tongue. English, French and German were taught from seventh grade onward. I lived in Australia from age 4 to 10, so I was excused from English class. I only had to take the exams each year.
Don’t worry,this post continues in English…
When I was around 11 years old, I had this occurring dream for a while where I was in an empty room in a kind of prairie landscape. No house around the room, just the room, like a cube with a door in it. I know this because at the same time as being inside the room, I could also see the whole thing from a distance. Quite surreal. Continue reading
No, really. This post is rated R. So go away, kiddos. Continue reading
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
I’m an atheist, so my favorite movie quote is “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” from the Wizard of Oz.
One thing that comes with America being The Greatest Country in the World is that everything has to be an American invention. Even when it’s not. Even when it was invented decades ago, half a century ago, a century ago, in another country.
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Lists, Technology
Tagged American superiority, animal overpasses, emigration, front-loading washing machines, immigration, inventing the wheel, inventions, Lists, Maria Montessori, tankless water heaters