Friday, February 27

Showers of Blessing

Lingering shower
Rivulets of water roll
steam rising upward

Water for good health
running warm o'er head, skin, heart
Washing tears away

Thoughts never ceasing
but quiet and quieter
while the water flows

Thursday, February 26

Would Smell as Sweet

I am not in Lisbon this week.

As it goes with all best laid plans, something came along to change them.
This time the something is spelled P-N-E-U-M-O-N-I-A and the affected set of lungs belong to A-N-D-R-E-W. Which is to say, we've had a very sick boy on our hands since last Friday. On Saturday we huddled and fuddled and finally decided wellness trumps tourism.

We stayed home.

Thankfully, there is the magical world of A-N-T-I-B-I-O-T-I-C-S and I am happy, nay thrilled, to report that Andrew has rallied and is getting better almost as fast as he descended into rampant-fever-heavy-coughing-ragged-breath-purple-extremity-lethargy hell.
What I mean to say is he's sassy as ever.

And to prove my point, a scene of silliness, conversation in two farts parts:

"Woah, what was that Mom?"

"What was what?"

"What was that I heard? Did you fart Mom?"

"No, baby. Mommies don't fart."

"Yes they do!"

*mama suppresses giggles*
"No, really they don't. I would never."

"You did! You farted!"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

*boy begins to wave hand in front of nose*
"Oh, mom, yes you did. You farted! And it smells disgustin'!"

* the mama sheepishly slinks from room*

Sunday, February 22

Thought Harvest

My dear readers, friends, and lurkers,

I need your help. In recent weeks/months I have received numerous emails in regard to moving, working and living in The Netherlands. And while I am glad to answer any and all queries which come to my inbox I have been thinking a couple of things here.
First, I am behind in getting some of these questions answered.
(That for the sole reason that I am a lazy correspondent and for all my time spent on the computer, not all of it is *ahem* productive time on the computer. So I am late to reply in some instances.)

Second, while I am happy to wax poetic about most any subject, I recognize fully that my take and perspective on this/these particular subject(s) is limited to my personal experiences. Those experiences may not be universal. And it is just ever so possible that my attitude about things is also not the same for every ex-pat or transplant to the continent.

So, to make my point clear here, what I need is a little help from you my friends, my readers and my lurkers. (I know who you are. Okay, not really true, but I do wish I knew who you were as I am relatively certain your presence adds meaning and substance to my blogging life and well, we should know each other better)

What I propose is this. In true kill-two-birds-with-one-stone logic, I would like to answer the email queries by post here at this blog for these kind strangers who have so kindly asked for my input. What I would like then to add to the story of how it goes for me to live, work and adapt to life in The Netherlands (huh, like I haven't told THAT story a thousand times before...) is the story of how it goes for you. You meaning the collective you who read here and live here too. I am appealing to all those who live in the lowlands or any of the neighboring countries.

What I am hoping to offer the kind strangers is a gathering of other kind blogging strangers who can shed some light, share their perspective, give encouragement, fill in the blanks, inspire, deter, or generally answer the questions others have of those of us who have been there, done that.

My post would read something like this:

Jenn goes blah-blah-blah about her life for awhile, attempts to make people laugh, and answers a few questions along the way.
Then, Jenn LINKS to you and suggests (nay, commands) that readers go take a gander at what you have to say and/or contact you directly to get the info they need. Toch?

If you are willing to help me out here, please can you send an email to me at aeinoyou AT yahoo DOT com and leave me either an email address (which I will encrypt) or a blog url (which I will link) to share with the question askers when I post. Your shared stories, experiences and perspective will be meaningful to all, of that I am certain.

Thank you to all of you in my blogging world (lurking and otherwise) for making my life so rich. Thank you for helping me share that wealth.


Jenn in Holland

Saturday, February 21

Get Outta Town!


my own game
click here for the rules.

Out of the circuit and in the sun for the half-term holiday.

Leave your link, your love and your comments here!

Até a vista!

Wednesday, February 18

My Funny Valentine

Romantic getaway weekend in Amsterdam
On a wordless wednesday need I say more?

Tuesday, February 17

Stepping Down

I have commented before on the nature of a Dutch house. The fact that land and space are in short supply and large demand in the lowlands produced and produces a country where skinny and tall is the norm. Second fact on that matter is that the Dutch physique itself fits that same description, but that friends, is commentary for another time.

Let's talk architecture.

Our home sits on a street of homes which look just like ours. Not only does our house resemble every other house on the block, we also share walls on 2 sides with neighbors. Who share walls on 2 sides with their neighbors. Who share walls on two sides with their neighbors. And so on, and so on, and so on. I know you have the picture in your head but just to illuminate, I shall show you. It looks like this:

On the inside our houses diverge from one another, not just in matter of decor but also by means of alteration and remodeling which most if not all the homes on this street have gone through (or are in the midst of even as I type these words). So where my neighbor a few doors down (count that, it's like 6 walls over) has knocked down a wall to make way for a less ship's-gallery-like kitchen, the owners of our home have left narrow kitchen in place but opted for a second (oh! the luxury!) bathroom on the first floor.

The variations are endless I suppose, but the one place where no alteration is possible and no alternative available is the staircases.

I tell you now, my dear readers and friends, Dutch stairs are a wonder to behold. Narrow, steep and windy are adjectives which fit but only for lack of better, wilder, more apt terms to describe the narrow, steep, windy things.

When we first moved to Holland, our youngest, Andrew, was just 2 years old. The sight of the steep, narrow, windy stairs in our first home in Leiden was enough to make me throw up in my mouth just a little. Steep. Steep. Steep. Oh, shit. Teaching him to ascend and descend with care and caution was the first item of adjusting to Dutch living on my list. Andrew quickly mastered the mostly crawl on the way up and the bum-slide-bump on the way back down. And while he tumbled down those steps at least once, he is not the family member who holds the record for most stair mishaps.

No, that would be me.

After our first year in Leiden, we gathered our things and moved to The Hague (but not before moving all of our accumulated THINGS to a friend's home while we transitioned, and hauled all of those possessions up TWO sets of steep, narrow, windy stairs to the second floor of her home). Our house hunt in The Hague consisted of one single element for me. On sight of stairs alone I chose a house. Well, almost.

Nearly impossible (especially as a family of five) to find a place to live WITHOUT stairs, I adjusted my standards and the OKAY TO MOVE IN list included places that at least had a hand rail next to steep, narrow and windy. Staircases which literally resembled ladders were out. Definitively.

So, we chose a home which, yes, has stairs. But steep, narrow and windy as they are, they are captured between 2 walls and sport a handrail for nearly the entire run.

Still, I've managed to fall down them more often than any other. Which is what I did just now as I was heading to check my e-mail. Thus, the birth of this post.

I think it's time I adopt the bum-slide-bump.

Monday, February 16

Opening to Speak

Funny Valentine
Perhaps my fav'rite love song
For now and ever

Sinatra sang it
Ella, Chaka, Barbra too
(zillions of others!)

"Looks are laughable
and unphotographable"
Surely, strange love words

"But don't change a hair~
Stay little valentine stay"
Stunning sentiment

With ev'ry clear note
I hear love and devotion;
lifetime commitment

Captured by the thought
Of each day for Valentine
A forever love

SMID's Music Monday

Music Monday hosted by SMID

Sunday, February 15

Saying it in 5-7-5

my own game
click here for the rules.

You haiku too? Come join the fun.
Link it up if you're playing my game. (even when I don't)

1. goofball

2. Soccer Mom in Denial

3. Ambassador

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Saturday, February 7

Just Drawn That Way


my own game
click here for the rules.

Playing too? Leave your link here.

Comments always welcome

(also: embraced, cherished and adored)

1. Goofball

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Friday, February 6

So Far Away

contemplating this:
time; distance; friends; connections
and furthermore, love.

Wednesday, February 4

Book Report

Wonderful words to contemplate on a
or any day.

Monday, February 2

Show and Tell

Possibly the cleverest thing I have seen in a very long time. I simply had to share! Pour yourself a cuppa and press the play button. I believe you too will be carried away.



Sun been down for days--A pretty flower in a vase--A slipper by the fireplace--A cello lying in its case--Soon she's down the stairs--Her morning elegance she wears--The sound of water makes her dream--Awoken by a cloud of steam--She pours a daydream in a cup--A spoon of sugar sweetens up--And She fights for her life--As she puts on her coat--And she fights for her life on the train--She looks at the rain--As it pours--And she fights for her life--As she goes in a store--With a thought she has caught--By a thread--She pays for the bread--And She goes...

Nobody knows

Sun been down for days--A winter melody she plays--The thunder makes her contemplate--She hears a noise behind the gate--Perhaps a letter with a dove--Perhaps a stranger she could love--And She fights for her life--As she puts on her coat--And she fights for her life on the train--She looks at the rain--As it pours--And she fights for her life--As she goes in a store--With a thought she has caught--By a thread--She pays for the bread--And She goes...

Nobody knows

And She fights for her life--As she puts on her coat--And she fights for her life on the train--She looks at the rain--As it pours--And she fights for her life--Where people are pleasantly strange--And counting the change--And She goes...

Nobody knows

SMID's Music Monday

Sunday, February 1

Sporting Braids

Which is to say: It's SuperBowl Sunday, folks. And as we all know what a ginormous American Football fan I am I would like to use this platform to say the following.


How do you say?


All bets are on.