Monday, May 25, 2020

Remembering Survivors

Sometimes it is okay to remember those who fought the fight but came back home. As I know of no one on any sides of my family who died while serving their country, today I am remembering those that survived.  
Over the weekend I found my paternal grandfather’s draft registration. Not in my collection of family ephemera, but on the World Wide Web. I actually found it several years ago, but I did not stop to read it.  This time I noticed that JAC was 33 years old when he registered on September 12, 1918. As I know that WWI ended on November 11, 1918, I then searched the Internet to discover why he had signed up so late in the war. Simple answer was that my grandad (a young farmer and father of six children😳) was drafted. September 12 was the final date of the draft for all American men from age 18-45.  If he had not registered, he would have been labeled a “slacker” and perhaps even detained. 
Now the question is: What did my grandfather do after this? As far as I know, nothing. Five years later my own father was born as child number nine. And my dad and several brothers served our military services during WWII, but they all survived. 
That is why today I remember not only those who gave their lives for our country, but I also cherish the lives of those that came back alive.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Getting Political

When I started this blog back in 2012, I never ever intended it to be political. Times have changed, and so have I.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Where We Were At

Living the country life has been our life since 1988. And keeping up property has never been an easy task for either of us city folks. 
My Dutch husband lived and studied in Rotterdam, one of the largest harbors in the world, and I came from a 40,000 population Louisiana city to join him in 1979. 
Almost 10 years later we bought a really old Dutch farmhouse and took on the task of renovating it into our home for the three of us. Most of the reno was done by “professionals” using our plans, but the job took about eight years of our lives and much of our salaries and our nerves to complete. When we (it) were finished, we were proud and content that we had done what we could to preserve a piece of Dutch history and make a home that we thought would be our “forever”home. Of course, we added our special color schemes and updated insulation standards to meet most needs, but we left much of the character and charm of a Dutch farmhouse from a whole other time period.
When we moved into the farmhouse, the house was connected to the animal/cow stall and actually still housed a few cows until the farmer could move them to their new dwelling on the other side of the village Zoeterwoude . We left the house connected that way, but we gutted the stall (stinky😷) and transformed it into our great room. 
The working farmer who sold the one acre plot and farmhouse and sheds to us had lived there with his wife and three children and many cows.They had only one toilet which was located in the hall connecting the stall with the house, and there was only one shower stall next door to that. That was it for bathrooms! Downstairs there was a small kitchen with meagre appliances and a cramped space for a table and chairs, a minuscule living room, a “master”🙄 bedroom and a very tiny bedroom and closet. In the beginning the tight space was quite cozy, but we jumped right in and started making changes. 
One of the first things we did was to add a complete bathroom upstairs, since there were three tiny bedrooms up there situated over the living quarters downstairs. Even though we had to climb up a very steep and narrow wooden staircase to get up to those bedrooms, at least we had room for storage and the occasional visitor.
Also, another upgrade was a heating system in the house. The large space heater in the tiny living room just did not keep out the damp and cold. When the new heating apparatus got going, then the house began drying out. And so did the stink. Or maybe I just got used to it.🤷🏼‍♀️ Linda

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Babies with “Hidden Issues”

Recently I came across a newspaper article about “ drug babies.” I am sure that there are kinder words used to describe babies of mothers (and even fathers) who used drugs before and during pregnancy. But as a non-smoker, usually teetotaler, and a non-pill popper, I will perhaps be humanely incorrect and write about my first awareness of “drug babies.”

As a resident and an assistant to the nurse in the Methodist Home Hospital in the summer of 1970, I often overheard conversations about the health of resident mothers and even of their babies. One situation comes to my mind after all these almost 50 years of a very young mother who gave birth to a child that summer. The nurse casually mentioned that the mother had been on drugs, which I just assumed was marijuana. That was about as much as I as a north Louisiana girl knew about drug use. Anyway, the nurse seemed more concerned about the newborn baby, since the child showed definite signs of drug withdrawal. I remember that she said that the child twitched and seemed very irritated and nervous.

I still don’t know too much about drug abuse and pregnancy, but I have the feeling that there must be more incidences of adoption of babies with “hidden issues” than we will ever know. 

As crude as it might seem, when you adopt a pet you get more information about the parents than when you adopt a human child. 

Is that still the case?
☹️Linda

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Boerenkool (Kale) Stamppot Recipe

I just found my blogpost for the dinner I prepared tonight. Click to see my recipe and great food photography: Boerenkool Stamppot recipe click here.

😋😋Linda

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Calling All Chapman Family Artists

It has been four years since my mom passed away and that I found the following poem in her souvenir and paperwork. Still no artistic niece or nephew has come forward with a title or illustration for Mom’s cute poem. Let’s try again:

A poem by Virginia Darline Ridge Chapman (1925-2015)

(No Title)

Mama and Papa Turtle were sitting on a log.
They were enjoying the sunshine when up jumped a Frog.

The Frog croaked, "Move over and give me some sun!"
"No," said Papa Turtle, "that wouldn't be much fun."
"We've saved this place for a friend or two-
"We didn't save this place just for you!"

The Frog was unhappy so he took a big leap.
He jumped so high and landed so deep.
He landed upon a big lily pad.
He looked around and was so very sad.

The Turtles looked over and saw him sitting there.
They felt very sorry that they didn't share
Their log with a frog in the bog.

"Come back over," Papa Turtle invited.
"Okay, I will," the Frog said all excited.

They became good friends and enjoyed the sun.
And then it was fun for everyone.

❤️Linda

Monday, October 14, 2019

Love Letter #1 (Rerun)

Let’s start from the very beginning (again😬) of my love letters to my American family in 1979. I will include a link for you to click. Easy Peasy😉 Not sure if I am digging these up again for my followers or for me. Whatever 🤷🏼‍♀️!

Love Letter #1 (Click this.)

😘Linda