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Archive for the ‘iJuli in Holland’ Category

This is how I adjust, a nice cup of coffee and cake! I love the baked goods I can get in the store so much that I don’t really bother with baking. The first time I bought this cake I thought it was an individual piece and put the entire thing on my plate. Björn raised an eyebrow at it and asked erm are you planning to eat ALL of that? I said well yes unless you want a bite. He said noo you go ahead.

Needless to say a few bites in and I knew this was not meant to be eaten by one person! Delicious and rich, a few bites is plenty.

I am having a little trouble getting used to the cold. It was really hot when I left Dallas, so the wind and rain are a change. I also forgot Emma’s sweaters (along with her leash and harness) so she is not liking it either.

I also did not notice that my laptop has a grounded plug so does not work in a normal adapter, which I also forgot. Poor Björn had to drive to Zeist Saturday and search all over, he found one and when he got it home we discovered the grounded plug. That leaves me with a 13 pound paperweight.

The reason I came over so unorganized is that I waited until Friday morning to go get Emma’s papers. It was really my only chance since three people are sharing my car. Over a course of nearly 4 hours the vet argued with me over what I needed, I tried to tell her what they actually ask for at customs and she tried to tell me what some woman in Austin told her. I ended up just coming with what I had as she refused to give me anything, we will see if they get me back into the US or not.

So overall things are going well and it is a bright, sunny day today!

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This week I will direct you to this article by Mark Bittman. I was struck by the same statement Michelle Obama made, “You can begin in your own cupboard,” she said, “by eliminating processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables.”
I also have to say that all this organic stuff bothers me, I have never purchased an organic product deliberately and I won’t. To me it just seems like marketing. Many farmers actually are natural or organic or whatever but apparantly you have to pay to get a certification which seems like such bullshit. An apple from an orchard rather than an apple flavored treat has to always be better right?
I am glad the White House chefs Cristeta Comerford and Sam Kass have made the decision to put a garden on the grounds. I do not really see it making any sweeping changes in the economy which is where I would prefer the Obama White House were focused. I am not really concerned about the freshness of their vegetables.

I have made a commitment to myself to stop buying processed foods. Back when my kids were small and I struggled financially I never went into the center aisles of the grocery, only around the outside as all I could afford were meat, dairy and produce. Now it has shifted, those items are practically cost prohibitive and you can get 4 boxes of mac and cheese for $1. A gallon of milk is $4 and yogurt that used to be 4/$1 are now nearly $1 apiece. Some things are cheap like white rice but brown rice is 4x the price, plain white pasta is cheap but the whole wheat or high protein kind is ridiculously high. I am all for eating better but I am surely not going to make my own pasta, I do not have time for that anymore but then again maybe homemade pasta should be a treat, maybe a person really should only have something like that once a week or month instead of 3-4 times from a box.
In Holland we eat a vegetable and a small serving of meat all week long for dinner, lunch is bread with one thin slice of meat or cheese or peanut butter and maybe soup, breakfast is grains of some sort. Only on Sunday do we have something special . I never eat like that in Texas. I try sometimes but I never last long.

I think I might try to stop saying “I don’t have time” I really don’t have time to recover from a stroke either.

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Doing a little blog-housecleaning and saw this. I don’t know why I never posted as I obviously finished it!

Smoke: No.
Cuss: Yeah, more than I should.
Sing: not really although I can.
Favorite tourist sight in the Netherlands: I guess Palais Het Loo was one of the highlights but it may have just been the overall day. I did think Madurodam was charming. Slot Zeist in this photo is a real favorite too as I love Zeist. I like the things that are every day like shopkeepers scrubbing the front of their shops and all the flowers and how clean everything is.
Learned another language: I have learned bits and bobs of several.

First time you used a computer: probably around 1987.
Take a shower everyday: shower or a bath.

Outgoing or not: If I am comfortable I am outgoing.
Do you think you’ve been in love: Yes.

Favorite only Dutch TV show: I don’t know the names but I like the one where they do the home redo.

Want to go to college: No, I think I have had all the college I want.

Liked high school: Loved it.

Want to get married: Not sure, it doesn’t seem practical to marry B as I don’t really need to be a citizen of the Nl but I would like everything that goes with it.

Favorite thing to see on the roadside in the Netherlands: there is a house in Zeist that has a moat-like thing and there are ducks in it, so charming. I like to see the small ponies with the long hair and the reindeer.
Believe in yourself: Apparantly not as much as I should.

First impression of the Netherlands: Flying in the first time it was how populated it seemed to be and the orange awnings, on the ground I thought it was quite organized and efficient.
Get motion sickness: No.

Afraid of the dark: Sometimes.

Afraid of spiders: Well sort of, terrified to be bitten as around here we have deadly brown recluse.
Afraid of heights: No.
Most unusual thing about the Netherlands: The many people on bikes.

Think you’re attractive: Yes, well I can be lol.

Think you’re a health freak: Only in my mind.

Politically, you are: I used to think I was liberal but a lot of liberal stuff pisses me off these days.
One thing you’d change about the Netherlands: I don’t know, maybe wish for the government to continue to get their immigration issues under control while they still can.

Your profession should’ve been: Physician or some sort of scientist.

Get along with your parent(s): Gah.

Furthest east you’ve been: hmm don’t know maybe Aspen?

Favorite Dutch cheese: Jong hahah I don’t know, I love all the types of cheese I normally eat in Texas, my God, the Mozarella is so heavenly and the Parmesan is so salty and delicious, I can taste it right now. I really should look to see where it is made. I eat a LOT of cheese in Holland and a lot of tomatoes.

Like thunderstorms: Not when I am working and afraid to lose my connection.

One thing you’d love to learn to do: Control my diet.

Play an instrument: A few but not well.

Ever read a Dutch novel in full, without help: uh No, I can barely ready one in French.

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Serious Eats has an article about this. I was first excited and then thought no, it won’t be the same, won’t taste as good so why even try? I have said here before that the mushroom pizza may be my favorite food in the Netherlands along with the cheese. Well and maybe the chili spice. Look, it is even on sale this week at my Plus!

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Barack Obama’s wax dopelganger took office in several European capitals -five days before the real-life Obama takes over in Washington. In the Window of Madame Tussauds’ in Amsterdam, a smiling Obama took George W Bush’s place as well.
The sculptors at the Tussauds Studio’s immediately started to work on realising this figure as soon as Obama’s victory was announced. Madame Tussauds is located on Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam, approximately a ten minute walk from Central Station.
Madame Tussauds is open daily from 10:00 am – 5.30 pm. Please take a look at their calendar for opening times during holidays. Madame Tussauds Amsterdam is also open in the evenings until 12:00 midnight for special groups with a reservation.
View Source: http://www.madametussauds.nl/english/index.html

*from Holland.com

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I used to just throw some crap in a bag, run out the door, hop on my jet, watch a few movies that I wanted to see anyway, eat some fab BA food and boo-ya, 12 or so hours later I was ringing the bell on B’s flat. If I forgot anything I would just pick it up at HEMA or Kruidvat. Not this time, with the dollar as weak as it is I will be stocking up on that crap here. Paying the equivalent of $15 for shampoo, conditioner and what would have been a 50 cent shower puff nearly killed me in April.

I am sure I will not be as fabulously organized as I want to be but there are a few things I really want to remember. I drink a lot and I try not to drink sodas or anything carbonated too often and water gets sooo old. I can make iced tea but mine is never as good as Sonic’s so I drink a lot of KoolAid or other powdered drink mixes that are sweetened with Splenda or something. You know, I never even noticed if we have Splenda in the Nl, I am sure there is something like that. I would love to take a Sun Tea jar but that seems a little crazy even though I found one for $7. Maybe I will, I really love tea and B drinks waaay too much Pepsi.

The other thing I don’t like to buy in the Nl is shoes. I have a hard time finding shoes that are comfortable and cute so I will be taking several pairs. I usually take three but this time I am taking a lot more. B jokes that he will need to buy the flat next door to hold my clothes. That would be true if I brought them all. I am so used to having tons of clothes, shoes and bags, it is going to be really hard to change.

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I am getting ready to go back to Holland again. Bigger step this time. I am going to give up my flat here and put my things into storage. Then Ems and I will pack up all our girlie stuff and head over. Gah. Am I really doing this? I think I am actually. I mean I have been over there like a bazillion times and stayed up to a month but this time it is bigger.

There is a lot to think about but over the last seven years we have sorted through most of it. He is sure, it is me that is holding back but then nothing really changes for him except that I am there. I know that is a big change but he is just giving up some space, I have to leave my whole life here behind. It is weird to think about the things that I will miss but the world seems much smaller than it did when I took my first trip. Flying direct to Schiphol on KLM has made such a huge difference.

When I was there in April we had enough time to get mad at each other and then get over it. I think that really made us closer because we did really have some problems but we got past it. It isn’t like I can never come back home, I will be back for Thanksgiving and he says he will come along. The good thing about that is that I can then take SIX full bags back with me by using his allowance also. Just my winter coats would take up an entire bag. I know I have to really pare it down because we will not have near the room in our flat that I have now. The rooms are quite large but there is no real storage.

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