Thursday, April 29, 2010

GIG (Going Insane over Greyhounds?)

That is my version, officially it is Greyhounds in Gettysburg.
A yearly event that takes place the last weekend of April.
Last year I was here for a visit and we went to Gettysburg for a day. But I have to admit that I was too shy to talk to people that time, worried about my accent. And…it felt weird going without dogs.

This year, my accent wasn't a problem, because we were bringing Cara , aka the Little White Monster and Paquita. And I knew they would get all attention.
The Little White Monster visiting GIG didn't go unnoticed thanks to the members of Greytalk.
And it turned out to be two great days, talking to other greyhound owners, meeting with several people who we only had met on line up to now.  Some of them we had talked to for years through this board.
The girls got a lot of attention and off course new collars. It is unknown to me to have so much greyhound stuff to choose from, 40 vendors!!! So now I have 2 new Fast Jack shirts next to the hooded sweatshirt that once belonged to Jack, the girls have new collars from Around the Hounds. We found the perfect little greyhound for our x-mas tree at ClayGreys (you'll have to google it and I promise it is worth it)
And a greyhound shaped cookie cutter, so every visitor of the GINN reunion can buy greyhound shaped cookies once I sent it off to Lucia.
But the best part was the hounds, so many greyhounds in all forms and shapes. But also, Spanish Galgo's.
Besides my girls, there were , as far as I know 8 other Spanish rescue's. Some from the same shelter as my girls come from. This also meant I slipped back into giving advice and tips on these special hounds.
Which, I have to admit felt pretty good.

We had such a good time, next year we'll rent a hotel room in Gettysburg so we won't miss out on the fun at night.
Anyway, time for pics.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feeling quite fancy now

Cause I went out, for breakfast.
And I had 2 blueberry pancakes with syrup.

Which probably means I will have to repeat my 11 mile bikeride from yesterday. But it may have to wait until tomorrow, since a certain part of my anatomy is still sore from yesterdays ride.
You know, in itself 11 miles isn't that much, I used to do those on a daily base in the Netherlands.
But  I had 8 bikeless months and they have hills here.
And I finally understand why you would have so many gears, because you need them here.
Will take me while to get used to the uphill rides, they are hard, but than, I can use the work out.

Cause over here, they go out for lunch or breakfast.
And that is fun, certainly if a neighbor who you say hi to when she walks by suddenly asks you if you want to join them. Them being a group of ladies from the neighborhood.
I don't recall being invited like that in the Netherlands, ever.  Or being invited to go shopping by someone you just met.  And maybe it is just this neighborhood, but I am still surprised about how friendly everyone is here. It is not that people aren't friendly in the Netherlands, but people here seem more open and easier with contacting a new person in the neighborhood.
So, I went out for breakfast with 4 other ladies.

And now I am feeling quite fancy, since we didn't even think about doing that in the Netherlands.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What I really missed here

was my bike. All my life I used it to get anywhere I had or wanted to be. Not only riding because I had to, also on my semi-race bike just for fun.
I did it for so long, around 100 km per week, that my body actually needs it to keep it's weight.
Guess what happens when that suddenly is gone and instead all these new foods that you have to taste show up?
Right, almost a US pound a month, that is what happens.
And that has to end, rather sooner than later. Better get a bike now than have to buy more clothes another size bigger than I had to do last week.

So today, all three of us got in the car to Shippensburg. There is this barn filled with bikes, a young Mennonite sells and repairs them. It reminded me of those small town bike shops in the Netherlands, you hardly can walk between the rows of bikes and you wonder how on earth they can get out the one you are interested in.
But he managed without getting that dreaded chain reaction in which the whole row falls over.

There is a difference in the types of bikes here compared to the many choices you have in the Netherlands, you roughly have 3 choices, the mountain bike, the race bike or the one in between. Not many citybikes like we know, the ones you use to haul a weeks supply of groceries from the centre of town to your home.
And to be honest, I wouldn't want to try it, too many hills and highways here for that.
And, when you are lucky, the bike comes with a bell, or a lock, or lights, or a little rack to carry your bag.
Bikes are bare here, very naked from what I am used to.
Very used to the safety rules in the Netherlands I couldn't help but wonder if you are actually allowed  on the road on these bikes.
But yes, you are. Because first of all, you certainly don't want to ride anywhere near dark. No one will listen to that bell anyway and since you just ride your bike for fun here, why would you need a rack on your bike.
As for the lock, they rather steal cars here. Or very expensive bikes.
And these aren't, not for Dutch standards. They are actually amazingly cheap for Dutch standards and are good quality bikes.

We could take my sons bike home right away, Jacks had to be assembled and mine does get a little rack.
Just for old times sake, so I can peddle up to the Giant if I feel the need to go for a few groceries.
For the rest, I'll have to start mapping out some routes and get back into biking, but this time, also up hill...

Yes, he is wearing a cowboy hat while riding his bike. Guess that shows how well adjusted he already is ;-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

About spring and the hard part of living on the other side of the ocean

Lets just start with the hard part. One of the things that you never ever can imagine before you make the big step of moving to another country is that at some point you really want to be with your family on the other side.
Last week and now is one of those times for me.
Thursday my Mom was admitted to hospital to have surgery. We knew it was coming and we talked it through, if needed, I could be there one the first plane. But we would do that in case of emergency. My parents promised not to hesitate but let me know if and when.

Even though things looked good at first, it didn't go great and she ended up being operated twice within 12 hours.
Because of the time difference I only heard about it the next day and it looked much better after that. My sisters could visit and I get reports from one of my sisters twice a day.
Yesterday turned out to be another bad day, but again I heard the next day.
I know they are keeping a really good eye on her. My Dad is there and the rest of the family visits when they can.
But it doesn't feel right not to be able to give her a hug and tell her that she really needs to get better now.
Sending a card just isn't the same…

What I can do is take pictures for her of how Spring is in Pennsylvania knowing that she will enjoy them.
It feels good to know that both my parents were here and will recognize the things I took pictures of.
The quality won't be as good as normal since my Nikon broke down and is MIA now for almost two weeks.
Anyway, Spring hit hard here, really hard, like 30 degrees celsius hard for several days in a row. Which means that we have been wearing shorts now for almost two weeks.
Actually, my legs have more color already than they have in the Netherlands in July.

Spring here is pink and white.
A few yellow spots maybe from the daffodils, but mainly pink from the Redbud trees, the crabapples and cherryblossom trees, the white is from the appletrees and another tree that seems to be in every other garden here.
Also spring marks the beginning of fishing season.
Last weekend Jack took me to Boiling Springs to see how crazy that can be. They put out trout in the little lake there and that first Sunday tons of little boats are on it, packed like pickled herring in a jar. On the sides people stand so close together that I am surprised no one gets hurt by hooks, fishing lines or fish pulled out the water so fast they go flying.

Anyway, I'll post some of the pics here, hope you enjoy them also.

There will be a blog entry later today.