Tuesday, September 30, 2014

LL 30 oktober 1979

30 oktober 1979
dinsdag  -  11:40 a.m.

Beste Mother and Daddy,

I slept "in" today just to be lazy. I didn't even get up to fix J's breakfast. I see that he ate a bowl of corn flakes. Since he likes cereal I'm not too ashamed. Last night we carved a jack o'lantern, and I still have yellow fingernails. J. did most of the cutting, and I did the digging out the seeds. We put the lantern in the fridge so he won't rot. Tomorrow night we'll put him outside on the balcony wall with a candle inside. I am enclosing a polaroid photo of me and the pumpkin head. The film was a little old, but you can see our masterpiece.

Photo Source

After the pumpkin business we went to visit friends and stayed until 11:30 p.m. We were both exhausted since we also shopped and cleaned yesterday. Sometimes on Monday J. gets the day off, so we are always busy.

December 20th is the date we have reservations to fly to see you, but as I said we are not 100% sure we can come then. J's boss is upset that the other main worker and J. have both chosen Christmas to take off. We don't want J. to lose his job, so we will change the time if we have to.

I'll stop now and go buy a few groceries. Write when you can.
Love, Linda   

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The End of Six Decades

Most people do not think of their lives in decades. 

But lately I read a blog posting from a guy who said he was in his ninth decade, and then I wondered why don't we all think about our lives and ages in decades?

My hub has a birthday today, and he is in the last year of his sixth decade on this Earth. 

Here is a BIG birthday wish that he will live a healthy and happy seventh, eighth, ninth, and maybe even tenth decade! 

Funny how counting by decades doesn't seem so old ;)

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!
Love you too much, Linda

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rotterdam--Can Cool Be Stolen?

Almost 31 years ago our son was born in Rotterdam. The Love Letters to my parents that I have been publishing here on this blog were written in Rotterdam.

KLM has a new Holland.The Original Cool video. And Rotterdam is the highlight.

Click Here and enjoy a quick trip through Rotterdam.

Monday, September 22, 2014

LL 24 oktober 1979

24 oktober 1979
woensdag middag

Beste Mother and Daddy,

I've got a pumpkin pie in the oven, and it looks like a disaster. I used fresh pumpkin from the S's garden and dark brown sugar. The filling looks brown instead of orange, but maybe it will still taste okay. I want to make a jack o' lantern this week-end to put on our balcony next Wednesday night. Hope I can find a big pumpkin in the market on Saturday.

We got our second car last Saturday, and I drove it back to Rotterdam Monday afternoon. We had a caravan. J. drove his Daf van with a trailer behind it, Mr. S. drove his Mercedes with another trailer, and I brought up the rear in my Daf. Mr. S. came to Rotterdam to haul a huge chest (glass front) back to Olst. In J's old office there was a long table and chairs and this cabinet that no one wanted. I like them so they will be stored for me. With a little elbow grease they will look good in a house.

******How the cabinet might have looked back 35 years ago in 1979.

******How our cabinet looks chockful in our main hallway in 2014 in the US.

******Nice detail on the doors matches a two-sided desk that we also "rescued" before the trashman came by the old office.

******And here is the "Board" table and chairs 35 years later in our Wetcreek kitchen.

I went to my first Dutch class last night (the new course--taped lessons) and to another one today. Today I drove myself and then went on several other errands here in Rotterdam. The traffic isn't too bad at 11:00 a.m. So I had no problem. My biggest driving problem is parking. Everywhere is parallel parking, and I don't know how to do that. Today I parked a block away from the bank because I couldn't park correctly. I don't want to bump anyone or anything.

I haven't worked anymore since two weeks ago, but tomorrow I will go to the school here to observe a class for my independent study through MSU. Jane Gaynard is the teacher, and she called last night to talk about the observation and invited us to a party on Friday night. I am excited to go to be with Americans and Dutch young people. Maybe I can build a fire under J. and get him excited, too.

I have a subscription to McCall's magazine and get an issue in the middle of the month. I received October's today so that isn't too bad for surface mail! This is the 3rd issue I've received (two came together). American magazines are very expensive ($3-7.00 a copy). With the subscription they may be late, but the cost is the same as you would pay.

My sewing machine works well, and I even repaired Mrs. S's machine last week-end. Anyway I made a purple plaid wool skirt and vest last week. I must shop for a sweater to wear with it. The wool will feel good since it is colder now. I have the heater set on 68 F (20 C) inside today, and I'm comfortable. Last night the temperature was around 45 F (8 C) when I went to my Dutch class. J. was freezing, but I was too nervous to be cold.

Well, I finally got a letter from Jeanie. She had written a long letter in July but didn't mail it. So last week I received two thick letters. She is still having stepson troubles, but that is no new news. I haven't heard from anyone else. I suppose everyone is busy. We still don't have plane reservations, but J. isn't unduly worried. He says there are still places available on Braniff flights. I trust him, but I'm getting anxious to travel again.

Mother, I don't know what I want for Christmas. I need a warm coat so maybe you can help me buy that. Everything I see here is ugly or too expensive. I think I can wear my raincoat (all weather quilt lined) and fur coat until I come home at Christmas. We might even find a nice one in the after-Christmas sales in Alex.

Tell S. I check my mailbox every day for photgraphs and a nice letter! Write again when you have time. --When you get this you'll have "mucho" time!!
Love, Linda


[I'm partying at Vintage Inspiration Party @ http://mysalvagedtreasures.blogspot.com and Ivy and Elephants @ http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com]

Fall May Finally Be Falling

My wise mom always says, "October can have 100 F days. " And some years she is right, but I hope not this one.

I NEED to get out in the yard and attack these weeds called Chamberbitter.

Photo Source - Chamberbitter

Everything is green around here this year because of the frequent and plentiful rains, and the weeds have taken over anything my lawn mowing hub could not mow. So I'll be out early tomorrow (weatherman says temps in the low 60's F) ripping out as many unwanted plants as I can while it is cool and not so sunny.

I just hope OFF keeps the mosquitoes away so I won't have to wear my bug net over my cap. That thing is suffocating and so annoyingly dark that I can almost not see where I am walking.

Friday, September 19, 2014

LL 16 oktober dinsdag

16 oktober

Dear Mother and Daddy,

I just returned from the City Hall where I registered as a resident of Rotterdam. I have to do that in order to get my Dutch drivers permit. It takes them several days to process everything so I have to go back on Monday to complete my registration. I had to show my passport and birth certificate plus fill out forms. One begins to feel like a criminal.

I also bought a skirt pattern so I'll try to sew a little later this evening. I can buy Butterick and Vogue patterns in English, but I miss Simplicity and McCall's. When I am at home, I'll pick up a few basic patterns so I won't have to search here. Shopping today was like Christmas. The schools have a holiday (Autumn-one week) and every mother was shopping with her pack of kids.

I enjoyed the long conversation Sunday, but that may be the last one. Since the office has moved to Delft we don't have too many opportunities to go to the office when it is closed. J. has worn himself ragged with this move. Last night he was asleep before 9:00 p.m., and that is a rarity.

I am enclosing a recipe for a coffee cake that I made yesterday morning and J. can't get enough of. It is really good and you might want to try it, too.

Raisin Orange Bread

Oven 325 F

Combine 1 1/2 cups raisins (I used tiny currants) and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to boil. Cool to room temperature. Mix 1 slightly beaten egg, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salad oil, and 1 tablespoon grated orange peel. (The peel makes the delicious taste!) Stir in raisin mixture. Sift together 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon soda; add, beating well.
Pour into greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Bake at 325 F about 60 minutes. (It is good warm and cold --Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)

Photo Source http://vicco.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/raisin-bread-orange-300x201.jpg

I got a haircut last week, and my hair is in better shape. But the cut wasn't so great. Maybe I am just not used to combing it yet. It is the first time in a year and a half that I haven't had any curls. My curling iron is getting a workout.

Well, the sun is disappearing so I had better run mail this before the raindrops fall. I'll write and let you know about the car I will get this weekend. Wish me luck in driving.

Take care and write when you can.
Love, Linda

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Comments Are Welcome

I recently noticed that some blogs I have been reading had "closed comments" on some days. I can understand that there might be days that you don't want your email box to be full, but I always find messages, especially blog comments, are like little reassurances that someone is checking in on you and really cares.

Not too long ago I read that one blogger felt that those of us who comment are often "stalking" her blog and others.That was quite disturbing, since I never would have even met the lovely blogging friends I have if I hadn't looked around at blogs and made comments.

As many bloggers do, I started my blog for me. If someone else out in the World Wide Web is interested in my drivel, good on you! And if you feel like commenting, I may comment back. Or I may just enjoy the remark and click to something else on my iPad.

But comments are always welcome here at Wetcreek Blog and  Here at Wetcreek Museum and Here @At Vintageous Blog

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LL 11 oktober 1979

11 oktober 1979

Dear Mother and Daddy,

I'm by myself tonight for a few hours, so I thought I'd write and brag a little. I got my final grade for my MSU class today, and it's an "A" (4.0). I will complete an independent study by November and most probably get another A since it is a Pass/Fail kind of course. That will give me a total of 6 credits to add to the 18 I already have. I will take 6 more hours next spring so I will have the 30 hours beyond a Bachelors Degree that I need to get a job in the Hague. It will boost up my salary a few hundred dollars a year, too. In November I will start "bugging" the directors and principals about a job for the spring or next year.

I went to Delft with J. today to shop and see his new office.  While I was at the office I tried to call you at 8:10 a.m. your time. No one was home. I then called Mammaw and really surprised her. I got to talk to Aunt Vernona, too. No one else was at home. Where did they get the idea I am in Switzerland?

I didn't go to my Dutch class tonight. It is too difficult, so tomorrow I will go to get my refund and enroll somewhere else. I'm going to try to get in a day (afternoon) class. I don't like to be out at night alone.

We will stay here this week-end since J. has to help get the new office organized. Next week-end (Oct. 19-21) we will go to Olst to get my car. Next week I have to study Dutch driving rules. They are somewhat different. Ex. Cars coming from the right, always have the right of way.

This is old O.V.E. paper. They have changed their name to Travel Trend so the paper is useless. I'll cut off the top and have good airmail paper.

I'll close and watch T.V. a while. Write when you can. Mother, thanks for sending my financial news.
Love, Linda

(I tried to Google my husband's former workplace and could find virtually nothing in the original name Nederlandse Vereniging "Ouders, Familieleden en Vrienden van Emigranten OVE." But I did find the following ad of the company after the name was changed to Weerzien Overzee in an ANWB [the Dutch equivalent of AAA] magazine published in the late 1980's. For 20 guilders ($10) per year, the 30,000 + members could expect cheap airfares, contact persons to guide them throughout their flight/trip,free travel insurance, and travel bags, baggage straps, etc.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

And Is This Fall, Y'all?

I think we had FALL yesterday and today.

But tomorrow looks like it will be SUMMER again.

Glad I got the sidewalk to the side door weeded. Now maybe we can edge the yard side with baby boxwoods that I started from cuttings back in April.

And we used our Flymo grass mower today around the agaves. Next time we use it, I'll take photos. It is a handy little orange machine.  My niece's husband thought we were vacuuming the grass.

Photo Source

Flymo like the one we have.

Our own little Hovercraft for doing the small mowing jobs. 

Now I am just waiting for the robot kind ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The "Eyes" Have It!

No posting or blogging today. 
The nasty mosquitoes got me near my right eye this time. Swollen eye like a boxer! 
I'll be wearing a net over a hat the next time I'm outside. 
Have a good weekend! 
Avoid the mosquitoes of late summer! 
Oh, and I saw some lovebugs, too.

Friday, September 12, 2014

No Eggs, No Sugar, No Butter/Oil, No Flour, No Salt Cookies

Sometimes you just want something to snack on. Like a cookie!
Today my blog friend Diana Nana Diana Blogspot published her Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe, and this evening I tried it with what I had in house. I will call my version the 5 No's Cookies.

This is what my cookies look like:

Maybe I should add another No. 

No Beauties!

And here is the recipe:

5 No's Cookies

2 large ripe bananas ( mine were frozen)
1 1/3 cups old fashioned oatmeal (any kind should work)
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon real vanilla flavoring
1/3 cup coconut
A handful of pecan halves

Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Mash the ripe bananas.( I thawed mine 20 seconds at a time in the microwave until they were "mashable.")
Mix the mashed bananas with the rest of the ingredients.
Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. (I used my silicone mat on the metal cookie sheet.)
I baked the cookies first for 10 minutes, then decided to add 3 minutes. So total 13 minutes in the oven.
Let cookies cool before munching.
Recipe makes 20+ small cookie balls. Dough does not spread, but it may fall apart. Depends on how long you bake the cookies.

You can always add 1/3 cup chocolate chips for extra yumminess.

(And I do KNOW that the coconut is sweetened and there is salt and oil in the PB.)

LL 7 oktober 1979 and Shelfie #11

7 oktober
8:10 p.m.

Dear Mother and Daddy,
While I'm taking a study break, I'll write you a few lines. I just received a call to substitute for a 6th grade English class in the Middle School in the Hague for tomorrow. I did the same thing last Wednesday and substituted in the Rotterdam school on Friday. So I am busy and making $35 each day I work. J. will drive me there tomorrow, and I have my M.S.U. class that night. So I 'll be tired when I arrive home at 7:30 tomorrow night.

My university class is called Evaluation of Educational Programs. It will be over Wednesday night, but I still have to turn in a paper in November. I made 29 of 32 points on the test (an A) last Wednesday night. I have a take-home test to complete by Wednesday, so I plan to do well on that, too. The class is not so interesting, but I've managed.

I am pretty sure we'll buy me a car in two weeks. We looked at a DAF ( beige with black seats) yesterday and it looks good--a'72 or '73 model for 1,250 guilders or about $600. If we buy it, I'll drive it home two weeks from today.

Mother, if you can, we would like you to get the following for us. Pay yourself from my checking account.

For J.-light blue dress Levi's (1pair) or the like
          waist 38
          length 36
          maybe a couple (2) of good cheap shirts (long or short sleeve--he likes short 
          sleeves) size 16 1/2 with long sleeve length
For Me-Levi's or Wranglers
          (2 pair--size 11 or 28-29 waist)
          underpants--size 5=5 pair
          camisoles-warm ones but not expensive
          Skim Milk Cleaner> Charles Revson
          Skim Milk Toner
              2 bottles of each. They are white bottles with blue print.
          Maybe a slip (full) if you see a nice one.
That's All I Can Think Of

How was the week-end with the kiddos? I was glad that S. and W. answered the phone. 4 months is a long time to not hear their voices. By the way, Daddy, I'm still waiting for your letter. And next time I call I hope to talk to you, too.

We fried chicken this evening before I called home. I had baked a coconut pie this afternoon so we had a pretty decent dinner with a big green salad. We really eat very well. Last Wednesday night we went to Amsterdam to the Mexican restaurant. We waited 1 1/2 hours, but the nachos and tacos were worth the wait. It cost only $17 for us both, and that is cheap here.

Well, I'll go and get my books together for substituting. Tell everyone hello, and I'll let you know when we'll be able to come home for Christmas. If there is something you want me to bring (Delft china, good cheese, wooden shoes [ha]), please let me know. I'll write again this week-end.

Shelfie #11

Love, Linda

Blog Party:
 Ivy and Elephants

Thursday, September 11, 2014

His Frugal Face is The Frugal Grace of the Blog

It isn't strange that the way most bloggers "meet" new followers ( blog friends) is by checking in on commenter's blogposts. Sometimes the commenter has no personal blog, but does follow other blogs. That happened to me yesterday. When I thought I was clicking on what I thought was a commenter's blogspot, it was actually someone else's blog.

And that someone passed away back in the spring of this year. Since the now deceased gentleman had an interesting past, according to his profile, I decided to read his blog posts. I would like to share this post with you, since it involves an assignment made by a junior high English teacher. 

Enjoy, since it seems that Hank enjoyed writing it. I am not sure if his teacher appreciated his writing talent.

Hank Swain's blogpost from October 2010

Miss Essie and her saving grace

Miss Essie was my eighth grade teacher. She was shaped like a pear with the stem attached. Her hair was in a bun and she wore gold-rimmed glasses. I liked her for she demanded from students the most she could get out of them. She also had a rear view mirror concealed in her bun so she could detect our mischief even when she faced the blackboard.

At the beginning of the year she announced that we were going to learn a new word once a week to improve our vocabulary. After stating the new word she would give us the rest of the period to write a short story in which we were to use the word as many times as we could manage. She said with this practice the word would be in our vocabulary as long as we lived. On this particular day she chose the word frugal, which she said meant to save.

This is the story I turned in but I will not share with you the grade I received.

Many years ago a beautiful young maiden was taking a morning walk along the shores of a lake near a castle. As the morning warmed she decided to wade out into the lake to cool off. She lifted the billowing long skirt and walked slowly into the lake. The cool water felt so soothing she kept walking with her arms out-stretched until the skirt floated up to them.

She stumbled on something sending her off balance and into the water. The skirt kept her from swimming to shore and she shouted, “Oh frugal me, frugal me, please frugal me I’m drowning.”

Now a young prince happened to be taking a morning stroll to the lake from his castle and heard her screams. He ran to the lake edge, swam out and frugaled her right in the water. He carried her to the beach where she clung to him thanking him again and again for frugaling her.

The handsome young prince took her to his castle and with his mother’s help and the application of many towels was able to frugal her from her wet clothing. His kindness created an instant bond between them and they fell in love, had a storybook wedding, and lived happily ever after.

The prince, however, despite of his good fortune, felt something was missing in his life. The satisfaction he felt after first frugaling his wife in the lake led him to wonder if he might have a talent for frugaling. While walking along the lake one morning he experienced an epiphany that affirmed his instincts. He did indeed have a gift for frugaling. How could he use this gift for the good of humanity?

He did what any up-standing prince would do. He was led to the financial markets. He established the Princely Frugaling and Loan Bank. This enabled him to accept the frugalings of hundreds in his realm plus paying them interest for the privilege. His bank prospered and his stature rose as a benign ruler.

Well, Miss Essie was right. The word has stayed with me to this day and I am in my 10th decade. Although Miss Essie taught me to frugal in eighth grade, I didn’t fugal very much until my early twenties for I had little with which to frugal. Eventually, like the prince, I met a beautiful young maiden who was a committed frugaler and we married. My wife and I have always been good frugalers. Just because you reach retirement, is no reason to give up frugaling. One is never too old to enjoy the rewards of aggressive frugallling. It’s a great habit to establish when you are young. Then there is that true old saying “There is no frugaler like an old frugaler.”

My friends, this is my story I turned in to Miss Essie as I can best recall. There is actually more to the story but I frugaled it and sent it to Paul Harvey for his radio segment “The rest of the story.” Unfortunately, Paul Harvey died before it aired. I have always wondered if he read it and if he was a frugaler. If he did, I’m sure he would have remembered it the rest of his life but not as long as I have.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

LL October 1, 1979

October 1, 1979

Dear Mother and Daddy,

J. was called in to work this morning, so I decided to get up and get a few things done before a friend picks me up to drive to class in The Hague. I have an exam in the Michigan State class on Wednesday night, and this whole week is super busy. I've studied a little, but I will do more.

I tried to call you yesterday several times, but I guess you were at S's. Our time has gone back to regular time (we are 8 hours ahead of you now). It is 9:00 a.m. here now and 1:00 a.m. in Alex. I will try to call again sometime this week.

We are making our Christmas plans this week. We may fly to Toronto, then to Dallas. J. wants to rent a car in Dallas and drive to Alex. He can get a special deal, and he wants to see as much as he can in the 2 weeks we are there. He can get an auto for $150 a week with unlimited mileage. The only expense will be the gas.

We may go to Olst this week-end to see about a small Daf (automatic transmission) car for me. It is used and relatively cheap. I'm not excited about Dutch traffic, but it would be good to have my own wheels.

Mother, I'm glad that you told me about my retirement arriving. How much is it? With the dollar going down everyday, it is worth hardly anything here. When I opened my bank account, I received 2.05 guilders for every dollar. Now I can get only 1.90 guilders for every dollar. 15 Dutch cents per dollar is serious.

My 1st Dutch lesson last Thursday was fine. I can't speak so well, but I do read a little and can understand much that is spoken. Mrs. S. expects me to speak fluent Dutch right now. Well, she will have to wait.

Well, I'll close and go down to the kitchen to eat. I must prepare J. something for dinner since I will be here late, and he has a meeting tonight. Wonder if he will eat tuna salad?

Tell everyone hello. By the way, tell Kathy that J. has no brothers. Sorry!

Write when you have a few extra minutes.
Love, Linda

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Shelfie # 10--oops!

My camera is set for quick shots by simply touching the screen. 

This photo is definitely an OOPS!

Yesterday as I set my freshly charged camera onto the breakfast table, I shot a "selfie" and our lovely old Dutch lamp that we bought 20 odd years ago for way too much money at a so-called antique shop near Bunschoten. 

No shelves in this "shelfie," but three of the five windows in our breakfast nook. In the late afternoons, this is the warmest and sunniest place inside our house.

Enjoy the last warm and sunny days of summer! 
It still ain't Fall down here, Y'all!

Friday, September 5, 2014

I Am a Rotten Cook. Just Ask My Son.

Last Saturday's supper was not a success! My hub and I eat just about anything I throw in and out of a pan or pot. Crawfish jambalaya, sauted kale, and boiled sweet potatoes were not what our visiting son had in mind for a delicious meal. Oh, well, he got a frozen Sam's Club pizza and salad buffet Sunday night and was happy again.

But I try! Sometimes too hard. 

Speaking of trying, today while straining my Greek yoghurt, I decided to try to make Ricotta Cheese from the extra creamy leftover whey. 

Simple recipe (kitchen chemistry, Mr. B). 
Just bring leftover whey to a boil, add a tablespoon of white vinegar, pour hot liquid through a clean white linen dishtowel in a strainer over a bowl.
Let the substance cool on the towel after all liquid has strained off. 

And "bob's your uncle!" 

Except this is all you get when using almost 1 1/2 quarts (1 1/2 liters) of yoghurt whey!

And I don't even like or ever buy Ricotta Cheese!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bear's Paws, Boxer's Eye, and Yearnings for Fall

Which came first? The chicken egg, the mosquito, or the allergy? 

Several years ago it was determined by an allergy check- up that I should be careful about eating eggs. When we have asparagus and boiled eggs for dinner, I usually take an anti-histamine tablet before we eat. Then at least I do not end up with swollen lips or nose.

Last Sunday I made a great salad buffet and pizza for our main meal. Trying to make the buffet as authentic as possible, I boiled a few eggs and added that bowl to the selection of toppings. As I finished up the leftovers of the salad fixings, I said to my guys that I really should not overdo the eggs because of my allergy. But I just munched away ignoring the fact that I should probably swallow a Benedryl tablet.

Later that afternoon while on our daily walk with Flip, a pesky mosquito or maybe a horse fly attacked me. I think I got a few bites on my knuckles (while wearing a long-sleeved shirt in 100 F temps!!) and my forehead (while wearing a cap with a bill!!). At any rate, by the time I got back home I was scratching like crazy.

When I woke up early Tuesday morning to go take my mom to the hospital for some tests, I looked like the one who needed medical care. My hands were swollen to the size of bear's paws, and my left eyelid was so puffy that it looked like Botox Gone Wrong. I popped a Dutch anti-histamine pill and went on my way. I looked like the devil, but I felt fine.

Yesterday my Botoxed eyelid was almost back to normal, and today I don't have bear paws. Yesterday at lunch I took a Benedryl tablet just for good measure, since I was getting sick of the fat hands.

Now the big question is "Was it the eggs, or the insect bites, or a combination of the two?"

No matter. I have new anti-histamine tablets ready for my next egg indulgence or insect attack.

And the yearnings? To get outside and work in the yard! 

It ain't Fall, Y'all!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

LL 24 september 1979

24 september 1979

Dear Mother and Daddy,

It is 7:30 p.m., and I'm sitting in an empty train car waiting to leave The Hague station for home. I stayed late after class tonight to learn how to do an independent study. So the "kitchen is closed," and we'll have Chinese food when J. picks me up.

J. received his card last week and barely let me see it. He read your note and said that you had decided to quit work, Mom. Well, I wish we could change places. I'm meeting all of the principals trying to line up something either for Spring or next year. I never knew that I would miss work so much.

Daddy, J. said he enjoyed talking to you on the phone. He wanted to talk longer, but he said you rushed him a little. He was calling from his office, so it costs us nothing. It is only when I call from home that it is so expensive.

My Dutch lessons begin Thursday evening, and that is J's birthday. But since my university class in the Hague is cancelled, I'll be able to cook a nice dinner and have cake and ice cream. We had a meringue and custard cake (tart) at his parents' on Saturday evening. We were celebrating A. and J's birthdays. Also, it was a farewell dinner for his parents. They left yesterday for 3 weeks in Italy. 

We will make reservations this week for our plane trip to Alexandria at Christmas. I think we will stay 2 weeks with you and visit Baton Rouge and Arkansas, too. We'll probably rent a car (J. gets a discount, I think) to do our traveling.

Well, the train's moving and I'm jiggling. Write when you can. I will see you in less than 3 months.

Love, Linda
P.S. Start looking for my retirement check in the mail and put it in savings for me.
P.P.S. We found a MEXICAN RESTAURANT in Amsterdam!!

Cafe Pacifico
(photo source--http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/05/a1/d8/bd/cafe-pacifico.jpg)

 I found this info on their website [http://restaurant-pacifico.nl] : "The Pacifico launched in Amsterdam in 1976,is the first Mexican & Argentinian restaurant in the Nederlands and is still going strong. Situated on Amsterdam's Warmoesstraat between Central Station and De Wallen (the city's premium Red Light area), The menu offers a fine selection of Mexican & Argentinian dishes, all prepared from fresh ingredients, and served at reasonable prices. Here you can enjoy the best Mexican and Argentinian delicacies such as fajitas, tacos, nachos, guacamole and the special Argentinian steak BBQ. As well as the main restaurant there is also a bar area where one may enjoy an excellent selection of wines, beers, spirits, and some super cocktails.Soon we will open the Pub Salsa Pacifico where you can have fun with friends after dinner, you can enjoy our special cocktails." 

{I'm Blog Partying @ Ivy and Elephants [http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com/2014/09/] 
@ The Brambleberry Cottage  [http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com]

Monday, September 1, 2014

LL 17 september 1979

17 september 1997

Dear Mother and Daddy,

Well, I have been here three months, but it will take the same number of years to really be part of everything here. I think Americans really appreciate the U.S. when they stay away for a few months. Life is relatively simple and uncomplicated for me, and I'm thankful I'm taking the Michigan State course. I travel and am with other Americans, so Mondays and Thursdays are special.

Today I will go early to The Hague to meet with my teacher. I have to discuss an independent study project with him. So I'll leave here around 1:00 p.m. It takes me 1 1/2 hours to go from my apartment to the school (2 bus rides + 1 train). It gives me a chance to "people" watch.

I will begin Dutch lessons on Thursday-Sept. 27. (7:15 pm-8:45 pm-- one day a week for 24 weeks). So my Thursdays will be full of lessons. I had to take a Dutch test last Thursday to determine my class placement. I choked when I saw it, but at least I was admitted.

Last Wednesday I waited for 4 hours in a line at the Police Station to register as a new resident. I will have to go back in December to show work papers or marriage certificate. 

The weather is sunny but getting cooler. We have low 50's at night and low 70's in the day. As long as the sun shines, I love it. We walked to town last Saturday afternoon to search for an English dictionary (I forgot to bring one). The weather was nice, and after 5:00 the streets were about empty. All stores close at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Friday night we went to a wedding party (not the wedding). The people drank coffee, sherry, whiskey, wine, beer, and still were going strong when we left at 10:30 p.m. The wedding cake was different, but delicious. The crowd sang to the new couple, and everyone danced in a chain-like dance. Very interesting, but not for me! I like quiet receptions.

Well, take care and write when you can.
Love, Linda

(Note: A great example of the Dutch Polonaise dance is @ http://youtu.be/5a7bDq_kX6U.)