Tag Archives: Verenigde Staten

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.)

Wil-who-mus?

When I was in school, it seemed that only private religious schools made the kids learn the Dutch national anthem. The rest of us  never learned, and so we didn’t get much further than the first two lines, and nobody cared.

Continue reading

Food Poisoning

This is an almost 20-minute video, but the information Robyn O’Brien gives is important to know. Coming from Holland seventeen years ago, I felt like almost everybody here is allergic to something. My husband would jokingly say, “Oh sure, the Dutch are never allergic,” thinking it was just another of my everything’s-better-in-Holland observations, but seriously, there didn’t seem half as many people allergic to stuff in Holland as there are in America. Now it turns out this might be true. So there, hubby! Continue reading

Home Is Where the Cup Holder Is

I’m sitting in the passenger seat of my Honda Odyssey minivan, with my feet up on the dashboard. I’m parked in front of the theater in the east side of town, where my 11-year-old daughter has her acting class every Thursday evening from 6 – 8:30 p.m. It takes us about an hour to get there because it’s rush hour, so my daughter took her laptop with her to work on a “book” she’s writing while we’re driving. Now I’m using it while I wait for her to be done. Continue reading

Watch Out For Inflation

Notes From a University Student 11

Pieter Breugel The Tower of Babel

 Not everything related to education here can be easily translated into Dutch. To American standards I’m studying at a university, but to Dutch standards that’s a rather big word.

Let me explain.

Magner Come Lowdy

Notes From a University Student 7

Continue reading

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Notes From a University Student  6

Illustration Kate Greenaway

One of the first days on my job as librarian at that small high school, I was sitting behind my desk, sorting catalog cards – yes, cards in 1995!—and some students were sitting at a table near me, showing each other pictures.

One girl who couldn’t have been more than fifteen asked me if I wanted to see pictures of her son. I started to laugh, and then remembered that America has a problem with teen pregnancies. I quickly turned it into a cough. She wasn’t joking.

To put it in perspective: