Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hebert Bear

Friday I sewed up a batch of Hebert (a bare) Bears to give as gifts for six little great nieces and nephews. Friday they looked like this:

And this morning they looked like this:

What a fun project❣️

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Write Your Name on Your Paper

I would like to have a dollar for every single time I said that in my 37 years of teaching English. I am sure that I would be rich.

Actually, I said, "Write your name on your paper so that when you become rich and famous, I will become rich with your signature." The kids laughed at my idiotic remark, but signed their names. They knew I would never save all of their papers, and they were almost right. I have a HUGE box of reports and other school ephemera ready to be burned this winter. 

But I am reasonably sure that one of Marcus Westberg's treasures with signature is not in my stash. He was one of my shining students back in the mid 1990's (20 years ago!). If I remember correctly, Marcus was such a sharp student that his fifth grade teachers at The American School of The Hague recommended that he jump right over sixth grade, and then he landed in my 7th grade English class. 

Besides remembering Marcus as a conscientious student from Sweden, one of the Scandinavian countries, I had not thought about him in two decades. Until this week I realized that I was following him on Instagram. How that happened, I do not know. But I did let him know that his old English teacher was keeping an eye on him, while he and his wife Kate are keeping a photographer's eye on our beautiful world.

Take a moment to check out Marcus's Instagram (@lifethroughalensphotography) and their website ( here.

Another example of how "rich" teachers can become from the students they had the privilege of teaching.

(Photo source: Marcus Westberg-

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Garden Neglect Results

Who says you can't go off on a six week vacation and expect this bounty when you return? 

No watering happened in my veggie beds the entire time we were away. Here is the result from one self-germinated English cucumber, three ichiban eggplants I planted last May, and two bell pepper plants. While I was worrying if my 350 boxwoods out in the front yard were going to live with only a once a week watering, the veggies were having a ball. And there will be kale stamppot for dinner very soon😍

(And thanks to my sweet neighbor and sweet sister-in-law, the boxwoods seem to have survived, too😘)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Let's get Political

Sorry, Dad☹️ I know that you told me to refrain from talking about sex, religion, and politics with family and friends, but I CAN ask my blog followers to take a few minutes on this Sunday morning to read this letter from Barbara Res. Click Here

Saturday, November 12, 2016

No More Hiding

This sweet blondie with the blue beads

And this portrait of a lovely young lady 

Came out of hiding in a dusty attic yesterday and found our home. 

Last spring while visiting the new City Hall of Deventer, we spied a painting by Paul Bodifee (1866-1938) hanging in one of the rooms. While admiring the painting, an attendant at the grand opening of the City Hall said that his wife had two paintings by the same artist and no one they knew liked the portraits. We said that we were interested, got his e-mail address, and the rest is history.

According to the last owner of these two paintings by Deventer artist Paul Bodifee, the paintings had been hidden away in an attic for almost 30 years. His wife was gifted them by an elderly gentleman moving to a care facility for the elderly back in the late 1980's. As no one really liked the girls, they had been stashed away in the attic.

Now these sweet ladies do not have to hide anymore. 

They have a home❣

Friday, November 11, 2016

Show Some Respect


On November 11, 1916 my father-in-law was born in the beautiful city of Deventer, The Netherlands. 100 years ago!
Almost thirty years of my life I knew Pa, or rather Opa. With all due respect, I guess that I thought I knew him. And he thought that he knew me. But it wasn't until after his death almost seven years ago that I began to know the real man he was.

Over the years that we were family, both he and I shared differing opinions. He once jokingly said to me, "Go home, Yankee!" I immediately let him know that I was not a Yankee, but a "Rebel." And I wasn't going anywhere.

Pa never was quite sure that my decision to go back to teaching when our son was only a couple of months old was the right choice. And then when we decided to place his grand-son and namesake in an American school instead of a Dutch one, he surely cringed at even the thought. What discussions Pa and Ma must have had when J. chose to do his university study in America!

But even with our differences of thought and opinions, I could always count on him to show me respect. Just as he accepted the decisions that I made with my husband for our family, I have learned to accept the decisions that Pa made in his life of 93 years. 

No matter how hard we try, we can never "walk in another person's shoes." But we can respect the steps that they have taken.

(I borrowed from a realtor's website these photos of my father-in-law's childhood home on the Laan van Meerdervoort in The Hague, The Netherlands.) Pa and his family moved here in his first years, so he surely made a few steps in this lovely Dutch house built in 1913.

I can only imagine how this stairwell must have looked in the early 1920's❣

And then the garden where Pa played as a young child.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Room with a View

Almost time to go back home. 
Winter is coming! 
Missing my Flip! 
Missing my walks around the meadow and pond! 
Wondering if my 350 boxwoods made it through the drought of Autumn 2016 ?
Wondering if I should get back to writing my blog (as well as keep up Instagram)?