Monday, June 30, 2008

And than there were...15

finally it feels like it is going fast now.
Must be because the little princess is keeping me busy.
School for my son has ended and he is spending this week with his Dad. And it was time for school to end. The poor kid was so tired, they had so many activities. He couldn't keep up without getting into a bad mood anymore. Next week he will be home and we can start preparing for our trip.
Not that he will like it, it will mean buying shorts and footwear. That will be one spoiled day. But at least we won't have to go to the city for it, we have a wonderful camping shop here that sells great footwear for the summer and I have already found some that he will have to get. He just won't like them, since it isn't like his normal pair of sneakers. Nothing harder than to get a young boy out of his normal clothes.

Last week his Dad signed the permission for him to go again. He never makes a point of it, but it keeps being a pain to have to ask and be grateful every time to take your own kid with you to where you want.
But not doing it is no option, if immigration is asking for the permission and you can't show, you are lucky if you are only sent back.
And the risk of them asking is getting bigger every time.
He is officially taller than I am now and is really becoming his own person. And he doesn't look like me or his Dad anymore.

The little princess is doing fine, she is very playful, which Paquita likes a lot.
And also she is housebroken now, which is hardly ever a problem with these dogs, they just have to get the picture.
A small problem is going to be the fact that she developed separation anxiety pretty fast. We have to work on that the next two weeks.
For the rest she is sweet and loving to cuddle already.

Oh, and we are going to get summer temperatures this week, around 30 degrees, how is that for preparation?

Friday, June 27, 2008


I have had greyhounds and galgo's for close to nine years now but I never had heard the Greyhound Scream of Death. Maybe because I tend to adopt or foster the older dogs, I don't really know. But this morning I heard it.
And yes, it makes your blood go cold in your veins and your toes curl.
All it took was for my little princess to slip away on the kitchen floor and hit her paw against the fridge.
Man, you wake up fast when a dog screams like that, I really expected for her leg to be broken.

Thinking back, I should have made a picture, she was sitting down, on her tail, paw up and screaming her little head off.

The moment I saw that, little warning bells went off in my head, so I stroked her head until she was quiet, asked her if she was ok and walked away deciding to see what happens.
By this time I hardly could keep back my laughing knowing I had heard the GSoD for the first time, but probably not the last.

I know, she hurt herself, but the moment I realized that she screamed too loud, I decided to walk away after she stopped screaming and wait and see if she would walk on it. The first meters she put her paw down very carefully, had it up while standing.
But soon she was back on all four.
Unless she saw me looking, than the paw went up.

I think my little princess is a dramaqueen

Thursday, June 26, 2008

and this is why...

I needed a new dog:

Paquita is happy again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My new Spanish Princess

Guess it is time to introduce her finally.
Sunday I brought home Cara. She is a Galgo Espagnol and arrived sunday morning really early after a long trip from Spain.
That wasn't going to be all, later that day we had to travel another 5 hours by train and bus to get home, since we were in Limburg, the other side of the country.
But I am very happy to say that Paquita is eating again and even tried to play today.
She got very lonely after Tom and Isa passed away and Reza left to her new home.
When I found out she got really depressed, I went looking for another dog.
It had to be a galgo or greyhound off course.

On the Scooby website I found Paloma, 3 years old, not too scared and a gentle dog.
Sounded like a good match for Paquita.

Turned out she is a bit younger. Just a tiny bit...
Her passport says 9 months, but we guess she is about 15 months old.
LOL, after Paquita I swore, never again a puppy.
Technically Cara (which is her name now) isn't a puppy, but behavior wise....
I think we are in for some fun, just hope she won't eat my books or other stuff.

Anyway, here she is:

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Yes, there are 25 full days left before we will be getting on the plane that should bring us to the US.
Going to be 25 long days, mainly because I want to be there so much.
Not that I should complain, there is a lot going on that should make time fly.

I made a list that is hanging on the fridge right now.
Terrified I may forget something since everything is packed together in the last few weeks. School ends for my son so there is a lot of activities going on there, things are arranged for the new school, the 10th anniversary of the GINN reunion this weekend, maybe picking up a dog, buying stuff for the new school, clothes for my son for this summer (are teenagers on steroids? They grow so fast it is scary), getting the house cleaned up, making sure we have everything for the trip packed and oh, there seems to be a birthday somewhere in between also.
LOL, better skip that one,think I will just stay 43 for one more year.

And this is only from my side of the pond, Jack has his own hectic life rightnow.
A birthday somewhere in between also.

So, adding one and one together, it seems that time would be flying.
Strangely enough it is not. It feels like time is dragging on.
Feels like it will be ages until we will be close again.
But that is probably just me being impatient. Very, very impatient.

And guess what, when we are finally together, than time will fly...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Go Orange!!!

Maybe the drink of the Netherlands right now should be Orange Crush!

Monday, June 9, 2008

We turned the country orange

at least, for now.
For the Dutch, soccer is the game. And it shows.
For some reason totally sane people turn into madmen as soon as there are European or World Championships.
And even if I might have chosen to ignore the whole thing, today there was no avoiding it.
Tonight the Netherlands played their first game in the European Championships against Italy. Streets turn orange because of the decorations that are put up everywhere.
Every shop gives away little 'have to have it's' or sell every possible item in the color orange.
And you know what, at a certain point it gets to you, everywhere you look you see something in that terrible bright color.
And that moment you have to choices, accept it and go along with it, or go crazy and move to Iceland.
I choose the first option, I am actually enjoying the whole mood.
I won't go as far as actually sit down and watch the game, but when I was walking Paquita this evening and I suddenly heard the whole town cheering I knew 'we' scored.
I enjoyed the kids getting out on their bikes during the break, shouting and singing about us being the champions.
And yes, we won, big time, 3-0. Next time the Dutch have to play is Friday.
Against the French if I am right, might be a hard game.
But until than I will enjoy the crazyness.
Maybe I should dig up that orange doggy t-shirt?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Wild, Wild West.

One thing I wish we did here that I saw was common in the Netherlands was provide animal parks for the local village and towns people. I always enjoyed our doggie walks that went past the local animal park where Petra lives. While we do not have those, I think from what I saw and have heard, we have more wildlife roaming around in the wild and they can be seen often in the area.

We both like being outdoors and here in Pennsylvania we have massive areas that are wild and natural. Places to see all kinds of birds, reptiles and mammals that may be new to Petra and her son. We have already decided that we will take hikes and enjoy the wilderness around where I live so I thought I would show some pictures of some of the critters we should see as we take our nature walks.
First I thought I would show you some of the animals that I see regularly in my own yard and neighborhood and follow up with some that we should have a good chance of seeing on our walks in the woods.
From my own house walking the dogs, I see: Rabbits, skunks, squirills and groundhogs.

On our walks in the woods we should have a good chance of seeing: Deer, fox, bears, opossum, raccoons and porcupines.

There are many more that we may see and of course many birds and reptiles that are very common but hopefully we can see some of these mammals and Petra will have her camera ready. LOL

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And than this happens...

until this morning I liked Jacks post.
Being a woman I started out thinking Hillary might be interesting, soon enough she reminded me of the way women can fight, mean, mean mean.
Believe me, I recognize it when I see it, grew up with three sisters.
Anyway, The US may have done a huge step as you said Jack, in the mean time they did a step back also in the world of free travel between countries.

Until now a visit for 90 days or less to the US could be done on a visa waiver that you would fill in during your travel to the US. Mind you, I never heard Jack about having to do the same coming here...
Well, they still avoid calling it a visa, but yesterday Michael Chertoff announced that from next year on, we (the non-americans) have to register ourselves electronically 3 days before we travel. That way they can do back ground checks and make sure no terrorists enter the country. Ok, seen what happened, I can see that a country does things to make sure that doesn't happen again. But this is close to having to go to for a visa.
This on top of the way you are made feel when entering the country makes it harder and harder to feel welcome in the US as a tourist and innocent visitor.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Am Proud Tonight

As most of you probably know we are in an election year where we will finally gey rid of, in my opinion, the worst President in the history of this country. We have done more in the past 8 years to hurt our relationships with our friends abroad than in any period in history. While no one knows if the next President can repair that damage, one thing is very clear over here. There is a growing feeling that everything about how we have approached things both here and abroad needs to change, and change in a big way.

Why am I proud tonight? Well because with all of our problems we are on the verge of nominating the first African-American for the highest position in this country and I believe he has a very good chance of winning in November.

We still have very real problems with racial equality but I think tonight we are making a huge step in seeing all people as one and that all people have the opportunity in this country to reach for anything they set their sights on.

ArchBishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa put it this way today: "You've got all of that going against you, (racial tensions) and yet you produce (Obama). Where else in the world would you ever have had anything like that? I mean an African-American being not just a credible candidate but one who has galvanized -- I mean, the number of young people who have come out and said, "Yes, we think it is actually possible to have a different kind of society." Only here."

I hope his words are right and I hope that we repair the damage with our friends all over the world. We are over here, afterall, all immigrants from somewhere.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Petra knows that I love history, one of the reasons I love going to the Netherlands so much. While we are still a young country I none the less enjoy sharing our history as well so please forgive me if I always throw in a little bit here and there. LOL

I will be picking Petra and her son up at the Philadelphia International airport. Philly, as we call it, is the 6 th largest city in the US and played a very important role in the founding of this nation. The city proper has 1 1/2 million inhabitants and counting the surrounding suburbs the population swells to nearly 6 million. One of the first sights that we will see after leaving the airport is the Philly skyline on our 2 hour ride back to home.

Philadelphia was origionally settled by the Swedes and the Dutch and was the first Capital of the US after the Declaration of Independence was written here at Independence Hall marking the breakaway from Great Britain.

I'm not sure if there will be interest in visiting a large US city during our holiday but one spot that is always interesting to see is the group of museums located in an attractive part of the city.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the best in the US and has extensive collections including paintings and ceramics from the Netherlands. Some of the artists are well known to everyone.

One thing that Petra will notice on our trip home though is that shortly after you leave the city surroundings the landscape opens up to farms and forest covered hills for the rest of the journey. It is quite a contrast to the skyscrapers and busy streets.