Tuesday, November 30, 2010

En morgen is het 1 december

Yep, voor de verandering weer eens een Hollands blogje. Om in de spirit te komen zeg maar.
En ook omdat ik 2 glazen wijn op heb en het Nederlands me dan nog steeds gemakkelijker af gaat dan het Engels.

Over 23 dagen zet ik voor het eerst sinds meer dan een jaar weer voet op Nederlandse bodem en natuurlijk zorgt dat voor stof tot nadenken.
In hoe verre ben ik al veramerikaanst, gaat mijn familie me betrappen op een aantal Engelse woordjes en zal ik me daar door onsterfelijk belachelijk  maken? Kan ik iedereen en alles zien in die korte tijd.
Maar vooral, zal ik niet teleurgesteld zijn? Dat is namelijk mijn grootste angst, dat ik het niet meer leuk in Nederland zal vinden.

Waarom ik dat denk vraag je?
Easy, ik heb het hier prima naar mijn zin. Zo goed dat ik me af vraag of ik het in NL niet naar mijn zin had. Eerlijk gezegd zit ik nog steeds te wachten op de nadelen van deze oversteek. Maar tot nu toe heb ik nergens spijt van. Mijn zoon doet het geweldig hier, ik heb het naar mijn zin. Moet alleen nu en dan mijn echtgenoot even laten weten dat ik toch echt wel voor mezelf kan zorgen als Nederlandse en dat ik zeer capabel ben om mensen aan te spreken, de telefoon op te pakken en voor mezelf of zo nodig voor mijn zoon op te komen.
Tja, dat zijn van die dingen die even de kop op steken.

Natuurlijk zie ik er naar uit mijn familie weer te zien, zeker na de schrik die mijn Moeder ons bezorgt heeft. Wil hen beide heel graag weer even zien, voelen, horen, aanraken.
LOL, ben zelfs al een lijstje aan het maken van dingen die mee terug moeten.
Van die gekke dingen, zoals zoetjes, die heb ik hier nog niet gevonden en natuurlijk drop, salmiak, dat soort dingen.

Ja, ik verheug me op kerst in Nederland, met mijn ouders, mijn zusters, zwagers en kinderen.
Maar mijn echtgenoot blijft hier, met onze 4 honden en de kerstboom en de open haard.
Mijn zoon gaat mee, maar verblijft bij zijn vader.

ik zou zo blij moeten zijn dat ik de mogelijkheid heb om dit te doen.
Maar is het zo gek dat ik veel liever mijn eigen gezinnetje bij elkaar heb, bij onze eigen boom, met onze eigen open haard en kadootjes om te openen op kerst ochtend?
Samen, met elkaar, mensen en honden?

Nee toch?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our fridge is taken hostage by a giant turkey

There is a huge bag of cornbread stuffing blocking the opening of one of my kitchen closets and I was told that we absolutely have to have pumpkin pie for dessert.

Thursday it's Thanks Giving and I am not cooking. Phew….
Totally going to stay away from the kitchen, as far as possible. Jack can handle the beast and everything that comes with it.
I'll just eat it. Not too much, mind you, don't need to gain more than I already did.
This is a dangerous time of the year, Turkey day is the start of an eating fest that doesn't end before the next year has started.
I had kind of hoped that with losing our Sinterklaas celebration, we would skip some of the eating, but we got TG instead.
Just hope we can hit the gym 3 times a week as we do now, but with the kids having so much time off, I fear the worst.

The holidays also mean that one project has come to a short stop.
Remember the auction I put together? It was a success, in a few hours we raised over 800 dollars that will be donated. It also lead to something else. One of the ladies that encouraged me to do this came with a new initiative. A small group of artists that will jump in when there is an animal emergency. Goal is to organize fast actions/auctions to give some financial first aid.
Seems that I am supposed to be one of those 'artists'
Am curious to see if and how this works out. Might be very interesting and inspiring.
Btw, if you are a creative mind and want to join us, let me know. We are spread all over the US and Canada.

Did you know that I am still very pleasantly surprised when I find out that one of my pictures is somewhere featured? (With me ok-ing it off course)
Yesterday I heard that this picture will be todays picture on Planet Earth Daily Photo
Took this picture last Saturday. We went to the outlets in Gettysburg. ( my favorite place, Eddy Bauer, had a sale and my son needed jeans, again….) And after that we thought we might try to see if we could get a parking spot in town. It was the weekend they remember reading the Gettysburg Address and have a parade. We were in luck, we found a great spot to see the parade.
Thousands of people, volunteers, dressed up in the costumes of the Civil War. Groups representing certain divisions of the armies that were fighting in that time. All replica's that could have been made in that time, so well done.
While I really enjoy seeing the re-enactors, I have to say that I am not always so happy with how serious people take this.
Making a little boy salute all those thousands of volunteers since the little kid was dressed up as a little soldier also does make me cringe a bit.
But to each his own I guess. I didn't grow up with the admiration people here have for people who fight wars.
But the parade was fun to watch and we are certainly planning to visit the reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg next year.

See you next time, I'll tell you about the new hobby I started with Paquita and why I am thinking of adopting another pup.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Is the auction at The Little White Monster and Friends !!!

Please let everyone know, there are some great items to be had, also for non greyhound lovers.
If you are in Europe, you can also bid. To save on shipping I can bring items over to the Netherlands in December and mail it from there!
So let the distance not with hold you from bidding!

Help us help the victims of the cruelty case on the Ebro racetrack in Florida and support the group that tries to rehome all the greyhounds from this track that will no longer race.
GPA EC needs our help, so all greyhounds will find a loving home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A good start of the day ended up being a great week

Remember my last post in which I told you about winning a camera?
Last Sunday we picked it up, it's cute and I am having fun playing with it.
It is also pretty light, which makes it easier to bring with me on hikes. And yes, you guessed it, I am keeping it.

But some more things happened last week.
First of all it was the end of my sons first marking period at highschool and he got his grades.
All A's!!! I am so proud of him. Hard to believe he has been here for only a year eh? But then, his PSSA results in 8th grade were all in the advanced range.
Very proud Mom here as you probably will understand.

And on Friday I started my first Free Style classes with Paquita which was fun.
It is an introduction class of 4 weeks to doggy dancing and I am amazed about how much she still picks up at age 8. But I always knew she is a smart dog.
The group exists of 10 dogs, but only 8 showed up. I was surprised to find out that most dogs didn't respond friendly to other dogs. Which was something I had hoped for. Paquita loves interacting with other dogs. But no such luck.
It was funny to see how diverse the group was, from a big standard poodle and a pittbull to a yorkie and a bulldog.
At the end of the lesson we got our homework. We have to practice our spins, twirls and weaves.

And than the biggest surprise of the week, Jack decided that I will go home for a few days in December together with my son. It is a shame Jack can't come with us, but he has to work and will take care of all 4 dogs.
When he told me I was hesitant, didn't want to be away for X-mas, but we will be back for New Year. So a tree will be set up before we go and I can have a lot of fun decorating.

As you see, a great week.
Hope the rest of the year will be as positive.

As for this week, I hope it ends really well but it started with a horrible cruelty case at the Ebro racetrack for greyhounds.
I am working on an auction to raise money for the surviving Ebro greyhounds and I got some great donations from Greyhounds in Nood Nederland and May Schnabelreiter from www.halsbanden.com.
Both donated a handmade, leather martingale collar specially made for this auction. Also, Melissa from M.Paige Portraits donates a custom drawn pet portrait and a print of one of her drawings.
And there will be prints and other nice stuff.
The auction is this Sunday, it's just one day from 9 AM to 11 PM eastern time.
So you better be fast.
All information and teasers can be fond the next couple of days on Auction at The Little White Monster and Friends
Check it out.
I am thrilled to do it and hope it will be a success, but I need you guys to bid!

If you want to know more about the reason of this auction, check out these newspaper articles.
But be aware, the story is hard and horrible.

Cruelty case at Ebro racetrack

Trainer arrested after at least 20 greyhounds are found dead

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My day couldn't have started better

Usually when I open my mailbox and find a message that says "Congratulations",  I hit the Spam button without opening it.
Not this time, this message came from PennCamera and I had entered one of my pictures in a photo contest.
It was a pet photo contest and since most of my pictures are pet related, I thought I would give it a try.
Not with much hope, since you had to get people to vote and I don't know that many people.
And besides, I never win anyway…

Not this time, my picture of Cara won first prize!

A brand new Olympus EP-L1 camera. Who would have thought that? Now to figure out what the closest shop is. They don't have one close to here so we'll have to figure out what the closest one is and plan a trip.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And suddenly it is November

The transition from summer to fall goes so fast here. One moment I am spending a few days in late September on the beach of Cape May with a friend, wearing flipflops, shorts and a cap and a week later it is suddenly fall.
I am not complaining though, fall is gorgeous here, beautiful colors, blue skies and comfortable temperatures. That is, until the last few days, it is getting colder now, fast.
With fall comes pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving, Halloween and the smell of cinnamon at the entrance of every shop that sells seasonal stuff.
While living in the Netherlands, I loved that smell, but it is so overwhelming here, it irritates my nose and throat within a week after the stuff appeared. Yuck.
One of the fun things of the last week was our pumpkin carving party. With a few neighbors we get together and start carving. It makes for a fun display at Halloween and we get a lot of comments on how great the garden looks.
Yesterday we had 193 kids trick or treating, even more than last year. We barely had enough candy.
I think Halloween is one of my favorite holidays here. It reminds me a bit of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands, but in this case, its ok as a grown up to dress up also. Which I am having a lot of fun with.

Have to go now, need to work all the extra food from this weekend off.
I'll leave you guys with some pictures from the last 3 weeks.