Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner at Wetcreek

I know, it is supposed to be all about the people, but be honest. Yesterday was all about the food.

No restaurant food today for my nephew W.

And our son J. filled up with home cooking, too.

And then leftovers today! ;)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thank You

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'Thank You,' that would suffice."

 (Thought to be a quote from Meister Eckhart in the early 1300's. Eckhart von Hochheim O.P. (c. 1260 – c. 1327), commonly known as Meister Eckhart[ˈmaɪ̯stɐ ˈɛkʰaʀt], was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic.)

Be thankful and have a great Thanksgiving Day tomorrow!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Girly Car

Last Spring I saw this girly automobile on one of our walks to the grocery store. As usual, I did not have my camera. Seven months later we made the same walk, but this time I remembered to take along my iPhone. 

And here is one of the girliest vehicles I have ever seen. Pink and flowers and EYELASHES! Now! Now! Ain't that SWEET!

What a profile!
And pink piggies for headrests!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Everybody Ride on my Morning Walk

This is the craziest bike traffic sign I have ever seen:

This sign says all bikes have a green light at the same time. Is that not nuts?

If you look carefully, there is even a countdown to disaster.

Would you trust your kiddoes at this stoplight?

Now for the rest of my walk this morning--

A carpet of fallen leaves.

Typical window dressing for at least 40 years.

Underground garbage disposal. Each bag deposit costs Euro 2.50.

 Is this plastic? I won't check!

This is what you get when you charge so much for depositing garbage. Full public trash bins!

Blogger and Pinterest Friends

In case you think this blog post today is a "pity party," get those thoughts out of your head. I am happy with my life. (Even if the workers do not show up to finish our remodeling before we go back home!!!!)

Back in 1979, I chose to turn my life around. I chose to leave my friends and family and most of my worldly belongings behind and begin a new life with my love in a new land.

Since that time my family has grown, but the friend group has stayed pretty thin. My hub had (and still has) some super friends. They became my friends, too. But "real" friends like I think I had back before my hub, I have not found. 

But I am still trying to make and keep friends.

My iPad has been a great medium for being and staying "friendly." Just last evening we Facetimed with our friends A and J, while our friends M and J were visiting us in our newly remodeled apartment. My mom and I were even in the middle of an iMessage chat while we were Facetiming! (I know what you are thinking, but this situation with the technology is rare. I do not walk or drive while texting, and in fact my iPhone is rarely even turned on.)

In the last few months I have made some good Blog and Pinterest friends. Although the whole idea may seem creepy to some folks, I do not feel "creeped" out at all. If I notice something peculiar about a follower (or friend), I know that I have the possibility to block them or stop following them. In other words, I can "unfriend" them. But luckily that has been the exception instead of the case.

Every morning when I turn on my iPad I look forward to seeing if my Wetcreek and Wetcreek Museum blogs have gotten Comments. Then I begin to read the blogs that I follow. I comment when I think I should, and even stop following when I realize I really am not interested in the blog. The texts and projects and photos give me the kind of friendship that I missed for many years. My hub even gets to listen to my recounting of my "blog friends'" stories and lives.

I hope you are not sitting reading this and saying " oh, how sad." Because it isn't sad! I cherish the friends I have made on both Pinterest and Blogger. 

Ideally your friends should live next door or down the street, but mine are right here in my lap. 

On my iPad!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

No Toilet Tomorrow Night!

Last night we almost ate our babi pangang and bami with our fingers out of the plastic containers. You guessed it, we had no access to our kitchen. And guess who forgot to rescue forks, knives, spoons, and plates from our kitchen before the floor guys forbid us to walk across the newly oiled wooden floors!

After picking up our Chinese dinner, we realized that we needed utensils and dinnerware. So back to the grocery store for plasticware it was!

Tonight we are sleeping in the living room. We can still make it through the rubble and dust to our bathroom, but that will not be the case tomorrow night. We will have to play hopscotch with polishing clothes to get to the toilet. 

And we are supposed to have a sleep-over guest. 

Pajama party at our age? Hope she doesn't mind :P

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


When my maternal grandfather passed away on November 11, 1959, I remember the telephone call that my mother received with the sad news. 

She cried. And I cried. 

I was an elementary school student and knew my Papaw well and was so sad that he had passed away. But I think I cried because I was sad for my mother. She had lost her father, and we lived far away from her family.

On Sunday during the Jewish tour, I felt some of the same compassionate feelings when our guide mentioned the families who during WWII were taken from their homes and later put to death.

And then what about the compassionate feelings that we all have about the thousands of men, women, and children who are suffering from the devastating typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines?
These people need more than compassionate thoughts and prayers. 

They need help!

Not Quite Finished

Countdown time. We have one week to finish up what we can here at the Beltway Apartment. 

Our "jack of all trades" says he can come finish up his job on the 25th of November, but we will be back at home on November 21st. So I am not sure if those jobs will be"finished" until Spring 2014 :(. 

But the wooden floor guys showed up at 11:00 AM today and say they will be finished by Friday. We may be sleeping in our bed in the living room sometime this week, but at least maybe that flooring job will be done. We had already cleared out the living/dining and kitchen for the painters a couple of weeks ago, and it was still virtually empty. So ripping out the blue/green carpet should be easy.

With an empty room and no curtains and time on my hands, I started getting ideas. The bare windows looking out on the beautiful old city and the balcony were just too bare and sterile. So two weeks ago I decided that we needed simple curtains to "frame" the huge windows. What better curtains than "Lenda" from Ikea! They are the same curtains/drapes that we have in our home in the US. 

Last night I almost finished hemming these new curtains, except I ran out of iron-on hem tape. I have ordered 5 more meters from the Hema (free next day delivery!), which should be delivered sometime today.

Just like everything else these last five weeks.

Not quite "finished."

Oh, well (deep sigh).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Deventer Tribute to Opa

The 11th of the 11th!

The beginning of Carnival in Europe and the birthdate of my dear deceased father-in-law in 1916 here in Deventer.

These photos made yesterday with my iPhone camera on our Etty Hilllesum (Jewish) tour of Deventer are a tribute to Opa who was born 97 years ago today.

I am pretty sure this could have been his life motto. He was always ready for the "fun" part. Not so sure about the rule part, since he was a "stickler" for some rules.

Nederland without bikes? Never!

A rhino on the church yard, must be The Netherlands!

The lovely brick house is an old city farmhouse. I must do some research about when city farmers finally gave up herding their farm animals through the city streets.

Pristine painted windows and doors in the oldest part of the city.

Shadows show the gables on both sides of the street in the Bergquartier.

Almost the same shot, but notice the house on the right was built in 1629. That is about the time my ancestors became Americans. And yes, some of them were Dutch!

Opa's son (my hub) giving me his own tour of the city where he too was born.

Have to read about this parrot in a cage above a door. (Not real, of course!)

The sign says Evangelical Church, but it is the Jewish Synagogue. One of the few synagogues in Moorish style perhaps influenced by Spanish Jews.

City gate restored in the 1990's.

City square is bare on Sundays, but full to the hilt on Market Days. Waag ( weight house ) in the background. If you look carefully, you can see the bridge used in the movie "A Bridge Too Far."

Another city square view. Note right corner people sitting in the sunshine having coffee or whatever in the sunshine.

Inside the Jewish synagogue. The lamp is the oldest surviving original element from the original temple.

Not great photography, but you get the idea. Jewish women worshipped in the upper lofts separated from the men.

Old gable peeks out between the new structures.

Anno 1639!!!! Ijssel valei gable style.

At one time there were three synagogues in Deventer. This one is now an Everything for 14 Euros store. And the Star of David is a reasonably new symbol for Jewish people. (More about that later.)

Look carefully for the Stokvis ( remember I wrote about wanting to cook that expensive fish last Spring) hanging from the hoist on this house.

Speaking of hoists, this one is even covered. 

That was our tour. 

(Wonder if Opa ever heard of Etty Hillesum? More about her later, too.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Non-bitter Brusselslof/witlof (Endive)

My Dutch father-in-law grew white endive spears (Brusselslof/witlof) in the dark crawl space under the foyer of his house in Olst. It was really amusing to see all of those little veggie soldiers standing to attention in tidy rows when Pa shined his flashlight on them to show us. He was proud of his crop, and we were glad for the future side dish.
(Borrowed photo)

Here is my witlof side dish for tonight's dinner:

All ready for a 5 minute "meltdown" in a warm oven.

 Oven Witlof (Endive) with Ham and Cheese

2 spears of witlof per person
2 thin slices of ham per person
2 slices of good Dutch Gouda cheese per person
Butter for greasing the inside of the casserole dish

Preheat the oven to 375F or 200C.

Wash the witlof spears with lukewarm water, otherwise they will be bitter. (I sliced each spear lengthwise, but you can leave them whole.) Then cut off the end and remove ugly outside leaves. Mine had no ugly, brown leaves even after a week in the fridge!

Very important::::::: cut out the center hard white stem. It can be very bitter and ruin your dish. Cut it out and throw it away.

Next boil the witlof spears in salty water for about 20 minutes. Then carefully drain each stem without tearing it apart.

Wrap each spear (or half spear) first in a ham slice and then in a slice of cheese.

Be sure the oven casserole dish is buttered, and then line up the "wrapped" witlof spears any way you want as long as they are close together.

Place in the preheated oven and let the cheese get good and golden brown in about 5 minutes.

Delicious Oven Witlof is ready in 30 minutes!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Anno 1654 De Roskam in Gorssel

Yesterday we visited a few antique and souvenir shops in Gorssel, Overijssel, The Netherlands. Most prices were much too expensive for our taste, but at least I can say I have looked around in those shops. I saw a few interesting ideas, but kept my wallet in my purse.

One shop had nice hats and caps, and my hub found a new corduroy cap (with earmuffs) to wear here in this cold country. So we did support the Dutch economy, a bit.

While we were out in the rainy drizzle, we decided to have a late lunch. We ate at an anno 1654 hotel/restaurant called De Roskam.

(Photo from hotel website)

 Hub chose a cup of French onion soup, potato and meat kroketten/croquettes on white bread, and a cup of coffee. I just stayed with the krokketen on brown bread and mineral water.

When researching this blog post, I found this miserable English translation about De Roskam. Read it and chuckle. Hope this was a translation app and not a lovely Dutch person who "thinks" they know English. ;) Linda


All of the mid-17th century in De Roskam donated wine. An account of that time is before the evidence. It was then lifted the glass to the decision just taken to increase. Church tower with ten foot

In 1751 Aeltjen Aelbers widow bequeathed "the house in the village Gorssel, where the Roskam whereabouts" to her servant William van der Meij and his wife. After De Roskam generations remained in the possession of the same family. Operating a tavern with lodging and livery was apparently not profitable enough to support a family.Therefore had around the 19th century the then owner, Willem van der Meij, also a coal trading and an insurance agency. Son Jan was crazy about cars and the livery was taxi. Jan was also during the prewar years commander of the local fire brigade. The fire alarm call came to him in De Roskam stream, where a siren firefighters were alerted. 

The button for the siren was-of course-operated from the same Roskam. At Roskam a significant piece of land, which over the years was partly crammed heard. A portion of this land was made available free for buildings with a public function. Thus the town Gorsselse not coincidentally right next to De Roskam. 

Early thirties was also put down a station on a plot of Roskam. There was at that time a steam between Zutphen and Deventer. The tram line was short-lived, but the station, known as the Tram House, still stands a stone's throw behind De Roskam. 

The renovation since 2004 has ensured that the hotel is a landmark has remained an essential function in the Gorsselse village community. Well may be said: "De Roskam, for over 350 years a warm welcome." 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Accidents--Fear of Falling

Oops! I tried to be a painter with my nervous ladder fear and arthritic right shoulder. Bad decision!

3/4 of our expensive door frame paint soaked into the hall carpet.

And some went on the newly painted wall.

Most went on my knit pants and my old Birkenstock Boston house shoes which were immediately deposited into the garbage.

But we finished the new (old) door frame.

(Shadow on door is the ladder my hub set up to keep me off of the paint puddles.)

No workmen this week! :((((((((
New floor next week! ;))))))
Home again on November 20!
Job accomplished? 
My doubts!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Storm

No hurricane this time, but we had a storm today outside the Beltway Apartment.

This was the view a couple of weeks ago:

Here is the view we had this afternoon:

And this:

And this hail:

And this:

And this: