Monday, September 29, 2008

Another sleepless night

and so I am sitting here, trying to think of something to write.
Again it looks like from the two of us, I will have to do the blogging for a while since Jack is over his head covered in work ( Is that a saying in English?)
Did I say jokingly that we would get together if world economy didn't collapse?
Well, maybe I should keep my mouth shut, looks like they are trying a bit too hard to make my words come true.

It is keeping Jack too busy at this moment and I am hoping everything settles down enough for him to feel comfortable coming over. But saying that sounds silly and selfish.
Learning a bit from Jack how the whole money business works (please note that I am saying 'a bit' here, I am not claiming to actually know anything)it is getting scary to watch the developments in the last few weeks.
I find myself sitting for the tv, watching CNN and wishing some people would get their heads out of their butts and start working together on a solution.
The longer this whole thing lasts, the more people will find out it affects us all, not just the people in their suits and big cars that have too much money.

Anyway, it is keeping Jack tied up with his work right now and I am not really sure what to do. Go ahead and get ready for his visit, or keep my excitement under control until I know for sure it goes on.

What I do know is that I have to make sure I get rid of my sore throat. Right now there is some kind of flu or cold going around and I got it this weekend. It is at the point now that we can't even talk over the phone, he wouldn't understand me because my voice is taking a vacation.
That flu also explains my sleepless nights at the moment.

One 'good' thing about it though was that I did get to see a part of the McCain - Obama debate while it was life on tv, so no explanations from all kind of reporters and experts yet but a chance to form my own opinion. Interesting to see how different US politics are from the Dutch way.
I am surprised that Jack and I am actually talking about politics this much. Having him explain how it all works over there makes me think about our system here and teaching me a lot about there.
But I have to say I am sometimes puzzled also.
Especially by how long US citizens can hold on to saying they belong to one party, but will vote for another. I really fail to see the need to be registered as being one or the other if in the end it doesn't say much about the way you vote.
But I guess this is where Americans fall for the trap we call "hokjesgeest". The oh so very Dutch need to put people in little boxes and put a mark on them.

Anyway, I am learning a lot, but mostly that I am not too fond about the 2 party system the US has. Looking at the election thing from over here it looks like one of those shows like Idols.

But I also will admit that I may be awake for the debate between Biden and Palin, just because...

Did I make any sense?
Probably not, but it made me sleepy enough to try to get some sleep.
I'll leave you with a picture I made today.
I bought 2 Hydrangea's for my living room to make it look nice for Jacks visit.
Only later I realized that I will have to hide all sharp objects to make sure Jack doesn't cut them short like he does with the ones in his garden every year.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another step forward

Since sleep seems to be a little problem at the moment, I just as well can up-date you guys about the newest step we are preparing for our journey.
Today Jack let me know he had booked a flight to Amsterdam for the end of next month.
So, when the world economy decides not to collapse, he will be over for a meeting that we will be having with my sons Dad to talk things through and get some questions answered.
Besides this, to us very important, meeting I am also very happy that Jack can come over again, even if it is for just a few days.
Being apart now after having spent so much time together is harder than I thought it would be.
I know, that sounds like it is a surprise to me, but I figured with a lot going on we would both be busy and keeping a clear mind on that this situation is going to end one day.
Well, I am reading into the visa stuff and I am glad Jack can get us some help on that, because my daily life English is not nearly enough to understand the language they use for those formal papers.
If you ask me what papers, vaccinations and health certificates a dog needs to move to the US, or how to find out what type of crate you need to use to fly to the US.
No problem, I can figure all that out without blinking an eye.
But when it comes to stuff that is named K 1 for which you have to file USCIS Form I-129F and two sentences later they start talking about aliens and conditional permanent residence status and a lot more abracadabra, I get lost.
I guess that once started all this it will at some point make sense to me, but right now I only have a general feel for the procedure.

One thing is clear to me though, it is easier to bring dogs to the US, than people.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Living in a fairytale

Nope, don't mean that I am living with my head in the clouds, unaware of what is going on in the world. LOL, sometimes I wish.
But summer nights in Pennsylvania have a little extra that makes it look like you are living in a fairytale world.
When the sun is going down, the lightning bugs wake up and transform the garden in to something so beautiful. At first you see a few little lights rising up from the ground between the trees. But before you know it they are everywhere you look, little glowing lights rising up from the grass.
During our first trips abroad with my parents we saw them in Germany. Also in those days they seemed so amazing, we would take extra walks at night to find them.
To see them this close and in such amounts was wonderful and added something special to every night, so much that I missed them when we were in Cape May.
That and the sound of the cicadas...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's for Dinner?

If it comes to food I am not that adventurous. And until recent seafood was a big no no.
But after I started living alone I decided to see if I could get used to a few things and found out that the deep fried stuff isn't so bad.
Even introduced Jack to Kibbeling and he is hooked now.
For me it got so bad that I allow myself a 'gebakken visje' once a month.
This is deep fried fish made very tasty with a special seasoning.

So Jack thought I might be ready to try a few things in Cape May, because it is a fishing harbor after all.
Now, eating seafood was mostly a no because of the taste, but I have to admit, it can't be that much fun to eat something that is looking back at you.
And when Jack came up with pictures like this one, I had more than my share of doubts.

But we agreed, I would at least give it a try.
Little did I know that the way it worked, Calamari would be the first thing to try.
All deep fried, but still...
It didn't taste that bad and I could eat the rings again, but those tentacles, brrrrr.
After that it was the Kibbeling look a like, but that was kind of tasteless.
Jack also made me try something called clam strips. They tasted good also, but I am not sure I want to know what it exactly is.

Guess I will never be a real seafood eater if I look at my Moms face when I say I had fish and she tells me it doesn't count because it was deep fried.
Oh well, who knows, Jack threatened to get us lobster next time, does that count?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The way 'home' smells...

after weeks of rain, the weather is looking not to bad for a change.
That means my laundry can hang outside to dry and I can even wear capri's.
Today I grabbed a t-shirt with it that I had taken with me on the last trip.
And as soon as I pulled it over my head I was back. It smelled different than my other clothes, it smelled like sunshine and even a faint smell of the chlorine that makes the water taste so awful there.
I also smelled the detergent Jack buys at the Giant.

So today I am back for a little.
Remembering the look on Jacks face when I wanted a line to dry my clothes outside.
No one does that over there except for the Amish who have the most ingenious clothe lines. The search for 'knijpers' clothe pins, was interesting. I bet they have them over there, but all we found were some really old fashioned wooden pins.
I really should have taken a picture of those.
On the line, we had to compromise, I really wanted it out, in the wind, Jack wanted it out of sight. It ended up in the back of the yard, between the trees, enough shade but also in the wind and hardly visible from the road.
We Dutch may not hang our dirty laundry outside to dry, the Americans don't hang any laundry outside.
Still, they miss out on a really good experience, like getting into a bed with freshly washed and wind dried sheets at night.

Or like me today, wearing a shirt that smells like Pennsylvanian summer wind.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ride' em Cowboy

Well maybe we didn't ride them like real cowboys but one thing we did toward the end of the vacation was go to Gettysburg and take a trail ride through a part of the battlefield.

We all were looking forward to doing this and at the end of the day I think we could all say that it was a great time.

The weather was almost perfect. A little hot but a nice breeze and the sky was just amazing. I think the horses were a little bigger than we thought they would be but I'm sure they have made this ride so many times that they could do it in their sleep. None the less, I think maybe Petra and her son were a little bit nervous to start.

It was great. We had a full hour out in the National Park and by the end of the ride I think Petra and her son were comfortable enough that we will definietly ride again.

The only unexpected thing that happened was that as we were returning to the stables we had to ride a short distance along a busy road and Petra's horse decided to stop the whole line of us behind her so he could take a big pee that seemed to last for hours. I'm sure the tourists driving by found that amusing. LOL

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A journey about to start

When we chose this title we hoped we had picked the right one.
And after traveling back and forth several times last year, we could say we are way beyond the starting part.

But there are other meanings hiding behind it, one of them was that we hoped to start the journey towards a life together.
The last few months we have been looking into how to make that happen and yesterday we took a big step into the journey of getting together for the rest of our lives.
What we did up to now was finding out what papers we needed.
Until now all we needed was a passport and permission for my son to leave the country for a short period of time.

Now we want to start a journey that asks for a lot more...

The most important step I took last night, sharing our plans with my sons father.
Asking him to think about everything and than hopefully give us permission for my son to live with us.

For Jack and me it is another start in our journey together.
And from now on we hope to keep you up to date with how far we are into this journey.

Feels like I should add a picture.
How about a beautiful memory from our last trip?