Monday, June 30

Blowing Through

As written on the Parkpop website:

"Whoever says pop music, says The Hague. The Hague has for years been The Netherlands' pop city number one. So every reason for this to be the venue for one of our country's oldest and largest pop festivals"

And who was at Parkpop this year? Oh, just:

Sheryl Crow, Kula Shaker, Mala Vita, Moke, Kleine Jay, Concrete, Jason Mraz, The Hoosiers, Orishas, Maj Farah, Morgan Heritage, Racoon, The Proclaimers, Silkstone, The Opposites, Monte Montgomery and Matt Bianco.

Not bad, eh?

We made our plans weeks ago to attend (especially as my the one and only Jason Mraz would be appearing) and held our breath that the skies would be blue and the day sweet and sunny so we could not only attend, but also enjoy without umbrellas and rain gear.
Everything went according to plan and the only misstep we made was mentioning the day at the park to Andrew a few hours too early upon which announcement he took upon himself the role of cruise director and made personal (multiple) invitations to all family members to attend the special event:

"Hey Dad, are you gonna go to the park with us today?"

"Emma, did you get ready now to go to the park?"

"Ian, you gotta get your socks and shoes on now 'cause we gotta go to the park!'

"Mom, we all gotta go to the park. Now. Okay, Mom?"

And with all that planning on behalf of a five-year-old enthusiast, the afternoon was a delight. We all mounted bicycles (except Andrew who gets the sweet ride on the back of my bike) and kicked off for Zuiderpark. Once there, we laid out our blanket and spread the picnic food around and sat back to love the music, watch the people and dream the afternoon away. (with scent of marijuana in the air, could that be helped? I ask you.)

Better words to explain the event are those first sung (and now covered by Mraz) by Seals and Crofts (circa 1972):

See the curtains hanging in the window
In the evening on a Friday night
A little light shining through the window
Lets me know that everything's all right

Summer breeze, well it makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, it makes me feel fine
Blowing through my…making me feel-right
Making me feel, making me feel fine, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Oh, sweet days are summer, the jasmine’s in bloom
July is dressed up and playing a tune
And when I come home, from a hard day’s work
And you’re waiting there
Oh yes you’re waiting there, without a care in the world
I see the smile a-waiting in the kitchen
a-Food a-cooking and a-plates a-there for two
You, I see the arms that reach out to hold me
In the evening when the day is through

Summer breeze, well it makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, it makes me feel fine
Blowing through my…making me feel-right
Making me feel, making me feel fine, makes me feel right
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

And oh, did I ever feel fine.

SMID's Music Monday
Breezing along with Music Monday today.

Saturday, June 28

Sunday in the Park

my own game
click here for the rules.

Leave word if you're playing.
Leave word if you too love Mraz.
Leave word if you've been by.
Hey, there's a theme here: LEAVE WORD!

In the wordplay today:


Flower Child




Mama Rehema

Thursday, June 26

Random Acts of Thinking

"So, Mom, how do you decide what to blog about everyday?"

"Hmm. I don't know really baby. I guess I just think things and write them down."

"Oh? And then you just put those random thoughts out there for the whole internet to read?"

"Yeah, something like that...."

These are my thoughts. But you really should go read hers.

Tuesday, June 24

It's What's For Dinner

I don't have much to say so it's Wordless (Tuesday).

Friday, June 20

Lang Zal Ze Leven

It wasn't so long ago, but really it feels like forever since we met. And I don't mean forever in that this-administration-meeting-where-we-talk-about-everything-and-accomplish-nothing-is-going-on-FOREVER kind of way. I mean the forever in that I've always had this freckle on my arm kind of way. She might as well be part of me, that's how forever it feels like.

It's actually been about a year since I found her. I linked to her blog via this site (another woman I adore) and once there didn't leave for hours. That could have spooked her really, to have an instantaneous stalker arrive on the scene. But it must not have, because she was willing to establish communication and build a friendship.

Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

She is damn cool.

And so kind.

And witty.

And talented.

And funny.

And quick.

And beautiful.

And smart.

And brave.

And so, so real.

Of course, I am talking about the lovely and wonderful Jami of Not That Different. If you haven't met her yet, I highly recommend you go round her way and introduce yourself. And then spend some time with her wit and her candor. You'll be so glad you did.

Naturally, while you're there you can wish her a Happy Birthday. Because, yes, that's right, my dear friend, Jami is celebrating her birthday today!

Were it possible I would most like to be at her party tonight to watch her blow out 60 candles. Also, I would be very willing to propose 60 toasts in her honor. And I would most definitely be up for planting 60 kisses upon her lovely cheeks.

But, alas, I can't be there, so all I've got is this quiet venue from which to shout:


While we are on the subject of birthdays, I would like to mention this little project. Alex Elliot of Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting is hosting a carnival at her place. The theme is birth-days and it's the opportunity of a lifetime to share the birth stories you've always wanted to tell. Whether they are first hand, second generation or made-up tales of glory, the venue is open for all who have a story to share. Even if you're not a blogger but you have something to say, please write it up and I will post it here for you. Me, I am a little torn about what I might share: Will it be the birth of my favorite cat? The stories of my children's births? The adventure of my own birth wherein I had my first haircut even before I was born?
As always, I'll have something to say. I hope you'll come by to hear it.

Birth Days

Wednesday, June 18

Abraham De Lacy Giuseppe Casey

Three little kittens One Jenn in Holland,
They lost their mittens, She lost her watch (from Ireland),
And they she began to cry,
Oh, mother Donnie dear,
We I sadly fear
Our My mittens watch (from Ireland) we I have lost.
What! Lost your
mittens watch (from Ireland)?
You naughty kittens Oh, man, what a bummer!
Then you shall have no pie. I will buy you another one.
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
You shall have no pie. It's okay, I'll buy you a new watch.

The three little kittens, One Jenn in Holland
They She found their her mittens watch (from Ireland),
they she began to cry,
mother Donnie dear,
See here, see here,
Our My mittens watch (from Ireland) we I have found!
What! Found your
mittens watch?
You darling kittens Cool!
Then you shall have some pie. I guess I am off the hook!
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow
You shall have some pie. But... I'll buy you something else.

Top cat Don, got some lovin' for that kind of talk.
I'm just sayin'.


Monday, June 16

Filling in the Blanks

SMID's Music Monday

I have a ruminating song line in my head. Looped forever and forever (okay for like 2 days now) is the first line of Sarah McLaughlin's ANGEL:

Spend all your time waiting...

A line that apparently won't leave me until I sort something from brain to fingertips and get my thoughts to line up across the screen. Here goes.

I love that song in it's total, but it's this first introduction line that has me captured.

Spend all your time waiting...

The lyrics go on to talk about waiting for a second chance, a release and some esoteric reference to escaping a dark hotel room in exchange for being in the arms of an angel. A lovely, lovely tune with a singer that is unmatched. In my attempt to order these thoughts and make them presentable I thought I might be able to use the whole of the lyric and connect it somehow with my ideas, but alas that's just not gonna fly. Therefore, you shall have to cope with my prose rather than Sarah's luscious poetry. Deal.

Let's consider this please.


All the time.

Are we?

For what?

Friday last, I sat in a restaurant not far from my home waiting for a friend to arrive. It wasn't a long wait, but there was enough space between my arrival and hers that I got stuck on this thought of waiting. All the time.

I spend a good deal of time waiting in my life. I wait for trams, buses, or trains to arrive. I wait for the mail to come. I wait for the end of the school day. I wait for holiday breaks. I wait, I wait, and I wait for small things and large. We all do, and there is some level of waiting which is not only expected, it is inevitable. But here is the concept which has held my thoughts: What am I doing with that waiting? How do I fill that wait time?

When teaching young pre-schoolers I often sing this little song (yes, I am indeed a brilliant lyricist, please prepare to be amazed):

I know it's hard to wait, it's hard to wait
I know it's hard to wait, it's hard to wait
I know it's hard to wait, but it's gonna be just great
I know it's hard to wait, hard to wait!

Which (obviously) makes the time passage between putting on your shoes and being able to launch yourself outdoors to play so much more pleasurable. And endurable. Really.

Established as inevitable, the query of what I do with my wait time and whether it is wasted time really has me thinking. And as you, my friends and readers, now know, I spend a lot of time in my head. But before I bore you wax poetic further with my thoughts on this topic, I would love to hear yours.

What do you do with your wait time?
Has waiting for something over-occupied you unduly?
Do you suppose there is integrity in waiting it out?
Are you waiting for life to begin or are you living it now?

Yes, my friends and readers, these are the things I think about.

Please, wait no longer. I have managed to begin a blogroll on my sidebar. (Yes, I am a little slow on the uptake.) The first blog on that list belongs to my darling daughter, Emma. Show the girl a little love won't you? Pop on over, leave her a comment. She deserves it. She's a good one, that kid. Tell her I sent you.

Sunday, June 15

Counting Thoughts

I am often in my head. Most times that is decent company but the trouble with staying there (inside myself, keeping thoughts to myself) is that what I think has transpired in real life has actually only happened in my thoughts.
[Now is the time you may find yourself quickly moving to the next blog to read as you may believe that I just divulged the sure fact that I hear voices in my head....]

Point of fact. Recently I got a great e-mail from my sister in law announcing that after more than a year of wading through paperwork, meetings, and scrutinizing home visits the three children she and my brother brought into their home (yes, en masse to join the 2 boys already there) were OFFICIALLY ADOPTED and legally theirs! Of course, I read that email, jumped for joy, cried tears of gratitude, and shouted out loud in celebration. But that email? I never answered it.
I don't know, maybe I think that since I had such a giant celebration (in my head) she would somehow discern across the pond just how happy I was?


My sister sent a wonderful set of new DVD's for Andrew's birthday last month. We did a happy dance in the living room together over his new Bob the Builder movie and shouted "thank you Aunt Mindy!" a hundred times. But did I tell her that they had arrived? Did I send a thank you email, or make a gratitude phone call? That would be a resounding no.


There is the email that came in from my cousin about my nephew with important news. In my head I had a long conversation with Heather, expressing my empathy and discussing the possibilities for these little men in our lives with "problems". But the arrow indicator proving that I made a return response by email? Doesn't exist.

Repeat this story a thousand times over in the last several months and you will begin to get the picture of just how bad at this outside expression thing I am becoming.

I should do something about that. Out loud, I mean.

I have long held that people are the important things in life. The connections we build and sustain is, in my opinion, what creates a rich and wonderful life. Like nurturing a plant in the garden, relationships need care and attention. And yeah, sometimes space. I recognize that with too much attention a plant can suffer, drown even. So with that analogy I am banking on the idea that my family and friend relationships (which I have failed to nurture--outside of my head--of late) are as resilient as my orchid plant from last year's Mother's day (which, by the way, was a bare stick until last week):

Hold on my friends, a return response is coming. First though, I have to entertain those voices...

Saturday, June 14

Another Win


my own game
click here for the rules.

Hup Holland!
Euro Cup 2008
NL v Italy 3-0
NL v France 4-1

You feel like shouting too? Leave a comment and join the HOERA! Leave your link if your playing.

Friday, June 13

Tell Me a Story

I have a question.

If the truth will hurt, meaning that being transparently open about a situation may lead to disappointment, hurt feelings, tears, withdrawal, anger or *gasp* confrontation, do you avoid telling the truth?

I believe that I am a lover of truth (0r at least openness). Even if hearing it will do any and all of the above. But I am not sure that I tell the truth (or offer transparency) in every situation.

Do you?

Monday, June 9

Athletic Supporter

It's that time of year! Rather, it's that time which comes once every four years (or every two years if you count on that alternating schedule with the World Cup--which we do) for football fans around the continent.

Yes, friends, it is Euro Cup summer.

Even if you've witnessed madness before, still you wouldn't believe the madness that a cup championship brings to this country. The Dutch do love their football.

Of course here I am referring to that game which is actually played with the FEET and a round ball--NOT the one where big boys pad up and knock each other down over a smallish-eggish-shaped ball. Y'know, the game with far too many complicated rules? Give me a soccer match any day. Straightforward hustle and real athleticism. And yeah, really, really good looking guys who play the game... Ah, me.

Wait, am I off topic here?

Voetbal is all the rage here in my adopted country. Store fronts are decorated in orange paraphanalia. People are walking the streets clad in orange t-shirts, hats and other accoutrement. The commercials on TV are full of rah-rah Football fun.

It's fever.

Football fever.

And it is contagious.

Because: "There is no team like the best team
which is our team right here
we will show you we're the best team
in the very little league The European Cup this year
And in no time we'll be big time
Like the big league baseball football stars
For all we have to do is win just one more all our games
And the championship is ours! "*

Join me now and chant along with the song on every Nederlander's lips:

*apologies to Charlie BrownClark Guesser

for liberties taken with the lyrics for T-E-A-M

SMID's Music Monday
More music links at Soccer Mom in Denial.

(Support the play... see the players. Click the button! It can transport you.)

Saturday, June 7

When the Moon Hits Your Eye


my own game
click here for the rules.

Say you love me. Say it. Now. I mean it.

Then tell me you've played the game and I shall link ya later!

Oh, yeah. They love me:





JAMI (who loves me, and I love her. That's AMORE!)

Thursday, June 5

Making Lemonade

It has been THAT kind of a day. The kind of day where you'd like to chuck the entire PC straight through the window with one hand, whilst sharpening a fork with the other, priming to launch it into a co-worker's eye.

I didn't do it.
I'm just sayin'.

I don't like days like this and lately they seem to be running in constant relentless march one after the other. That's a rhythm that can really wear a person down. So in desperate need to keep my perspective at the glass half full level, I set forth these observations. Surely, the 'tude tune-up will have an impact.

First, to the woman on the phone who lied to me profusely, I shall not think of you as a HEINOUS HABITUAL LIAR, rather, from henceforth I will refer to you as SHE WHO CAN SPIN A MAGICAL YARN. I like to imagine you can knit full body warmers with your words.
I would like to order one in pink, please.

Next, to the teacher who dropped the ball (pun intended) and left it to me to clean up the mess: I will further refer to this incident as the time I really learned to bounce.
It was a great trip. Do it again, won't you?

Further, to the overwrought supervisor who shut down access to the "smoking patch" behind the school after what appears to be a breach of security I say thanks. Yes, thanks to you I have half a dozen overwrought smokers visiting me to ask just where they can go now for a bit of inhalation-relaxation. Without your influence I would not be seeing these people (and their doe-like eyes) and we would have missed these bonding moments.

Following, this is for the smokers on staff who are whining. I embrace your very squeaky wheelishness and say to you worry not, you will have your grease!

Onward now to the parents who just can't seem to read the well-structured-painstakingly-analyzed-overly-corrected-for-EAL-usage papers and documents I send home with dates and times specific for school activities I will share with you my happy secret:

Reading glasses save lives. Yours may be next.

But not to be shortsighted here, in future I will use LARGE PRINT on my flyers. And I will happily dot the i's with hearts, just for you all. Because, the truth is, I HEART YOU.

I have been thinking, perhaps I can use the opportunities created for me daily--to answer to same questions from the same people about the same things--to practice my dialects on the English. I have oft been accused of sounding like a Brit. Maybe this is my moment to move from Dick van Dyke cockney to posh Londoner... Yes, this is an opportunity for growth, not a pestering, annoying, altogether unbearable occurence. This. Is. Acting.

Hear me speak:
The letterhead is in the file room.
Did you turn the computer on?
There are pencils in the supply cabinet.
Sorry, I don't have any plastic cups here at my desk.
Did you press print?
Nope, no footballs in the office.
The paper supply is in the storeroom.
Yes, what can I do for you?

Finally, to those who call my office at 5:30 p.m. and then grumble over the fact that no one is in, I would like to kindly point out that it turns out the earth is indeed NOT flat and it is the SUN at the center of the universe.

There now, don't we all feel better?

Monday, June 2

Pocket Full

So accustomed am I to the fact that Andrew's repetoire in music includes Sing by Annie Lennox, One Little Slip by Barenaked Ladies and every word to the opening number from RENT, I stopped still in my tracks yesterday as he belted out (while simultaneously swaying on a blue rocking horse) the children's song "Ring Around the Rosies" with perfect clarity.

I wasn't the only one who found it shocking. Emma said "Wow, where did he learn that? I didn't know he knew that! Did you know he knew that?" and basically took the words right out of my mouth.

Just goes to show what they learn when you're not looking.

Speaking of learning, Emma is working diligently on mastering the lyrics to this song:

And as soon as she gets her daddy to accompany on the guitar, I promise to expose them both with a video blog post right here.

Oh, yeah. I would.

SMID's Music Monday
More music links at Soccer Mom in Denial.

(Click the button. It'll take you there!)

Sunday, June 1

Celebrating Spring

April showers bring May flowers.
Looking Into presents it all in the first week of June.
Come. Take a look.

Flower Power at Looking Into