Du-rman? Germa-tch?

Du-rman? Germa-tch?

This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to write about your heritage. Are you Irish and ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow? Are you Italian or Greek or English? Tell us about your ethnic background and culture and how the traditions of your heritage fit into your lifestyle.

Well… that’s a mouth full, isn’t it? So much to think about!

My heritage is most interesting – my maternal roots are German and my paternal roots are Dutch – although, that is not hard to figure out – I was born in Zeeland, Michigan and grew up in Holland, Michigan and lived there most of my adult life!

However, some interesting facts to share:

My maiden name is Sloothaak and while there are a few of us in West Michigan, in the Netherland’s there are oodles and oodles of them! It was most enjoyable to look in the phone directory and see pages and pages and pages of my maiden name! And, in Dutch my name translates literally to “Ditch Hook” – or, really Ditch Digger. I had much fun with this – I mean really, how great is it that your claim to fame is digging ditches to keep the sewage off the streets… seriously. I am not kidding. You have my ancestors to thank if your ancestors did not have to walk in the sh*t (although, I take no responsibility for the smell!) Oh, and the pronunciation? Slōt-hăk not Slow-thack as many pronounced it in Holland – imagine my joy that in hearing those in the Netherland’s pronounce it perfectly!

My maternal grandparents have interesting history. My Grandpa was the Valedictorian of his high school class; however, his family did not have enough money to send him to college. He worked in a silk stocking mill (yes, he was a machine knitter!!) and he was also a union organizer. When he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in his 40’s he could no longer work, but he was the most wonderful Grandpa! He daily tried to “beat the Chinaman” playing Solitaire. He was an avid reader and a bird lover who could identify birds from their call alone! He could recite Carl Sandburg and Joyce Kilmer poetry – his favorites were Fog and Trees.

My maternal grandmother was a spitfire, truly! When my grandpa was unable to work, she went to Beauty School and became a hairdresser to support her family, she was good at this though – she had to quit school in the 5th grade when her step-mother died and as the oldest, she became the caretaker for her 5 siblings. She was also an amazing cook, she sewed, and canned, and made Sauerkraut in the garage. She learned to drive late in her life when it became necessary. She was my favorite person in all the world and I miss her so much every single day, but my life is so full of what she taught me – she was absolutely the biggest influence on my life today!

So, where do these influences show up today in my life? I simply love tulips and Holland Michigan does them well, but seeing the fields in the Netherlands was equally stunning. I also love a good Saucijzebroodjes (that is Pig in the Blanket for those that don’t know Dutch) and Hempel’s Pastry made the best! I have my well worn Eet Smakelijk Cookbook.

I also am a good Lutheran (well, as good as a Lutheran can be, you know Martin Luther did say ‘sin, and sin boldly’ and believe me I do!) I love Knödel (and my nana made the best!) While I do not make Sauerkraut in the garage, I do love it! And don’t forget the Bratwurst! However, the best nod to my heritage is my indomitable spirit that won’t give up. (In other words, I am as bull-headed as any German you might have ever met! LOL)

There you have it, a brief glimpse into the heritage of me! What things did your heritage give you?

If you want to see what others shared today, you can do so here. And, if you would like to take this Think Write Thursday journey with Carole and I, you can sign up here! We would love to have you join us!

When Bullying Hits Home

When Bullying Hits Home

This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to tell a story about bullying. A time you witnessed it and stepped up or maybe a time you witnessed and did nothing. Or, if you haven’t had a personal experience with bullying, feel free to write a fiction piece on this topic.

Some weeks I would like to say – who the heck picked this, but yeah – that would be me, so I apologize in advance for such a challenging topic!

I think we would all like to say that if we viewed a person being bullied that we would step up and speak out. We would like to, but this is not always the case. However, recently in Olanthe, KS an incident occurred of harassment occurred and a bystander stood up for those being bullied, sadly he was injured in the incident that left one victim injured also, and one victim was killed. Still – someone stood up for what was right – even with peril to his life.

However, I have no such noble tale to tell regarding my heroics in standing up to a bully. Rather I found this quote by Michael M. Honda most appropriate:

Everyone in America likely has a bullying story, whether as the victim, bully or as a witness.

Let that sink in a minute… yeah, bullying is all inclusive…

Now I will share my story:

Most of my childhood I shared a bedroom with my younger sister, and we shared a double bed. Not so bad, really… unless one of you is a bed-wetter. My sister, sadly, wet the bed for years – really…years. However, thankfully, she does NOT read this blog! However, I am quite certain that I did not help at all in her bed-wetting issues, and perhaps I even made things worse.

I am ashamed to admit this today, but I delighted in scaring my sister with tales of the “monsters that lived under the bed, and if you could avoid them – the ones in the closet never, ever miss,” and delight I did. The more she was scared the happier I was.

Perhaps her wetting the bed was my just reward for being such a truly horrid child. I am most certain I deserved it, yet my sister, miraculously, does not hold my pathetic behavior against me – although we do not talk about the night terrors I gave her. Perhaps it is time that we do – a conversation that begins with my sincere apologies for my horrid behavior.

I am no longer that horrid little girl and I have grown to be a vocal advocate for bullying where and when I see it. I debated with my self about turning off comments for this post – but, I opted to leave them open. This post was not written to garner your sympathy, and as Mary said it is amazing the things we share here – if she could share her closet, I could do no less than share this story.

Today the final line from my Lenten devotion hit home… ‘is there a task that God has put on your heart?’ Yes, indeed there is.

If you would like read more Think Write Thursday posts from today you will find them here. If you would like to join Carole and me in our Think Write Thursday journey – we would love to have you join us! You can sign up here.

When you have nothing and it is Tuesday

When you have nothing and it is Tuesday

Perhaps a throwback to Carole’s 10 on Tuesday with ten random thoughts courtesy from my brain!

  1. This head cold has totally derailed my night time reading – I have not even tried to read a single word. However, I feel I have turned a corner and perhaps tonight will be the night that before bed reading resumes… I have my fingers crossed.
  2. I made great strides on my catch-up list yesterday, which means my list for today is only semi-daunting! At this rate, my Wednesday list should be back to normal.
  3. I am almost finished listening to Orwell’s 1984 and wow. Just wow.
  4. This website has brought new clarity and understanding to my thought process.
  5. My forsythias are opening, the red-winged blackbirds have returned, and there is joy in my heart that the weather was mild again this morning.
  6. Amazon Prime Exercise Videos have not been a rousing success – I am blaming this waning but damned cold.
  7. However, Lenten meditations are – and have even offered a few moments respite from thinking about my foggy head.
  8. I jumped on the Helical Stripe Bandwagon last week – Birthday Socks have begun. A word about Helical Stripes – WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE???? Yes, they are that good.
  9. My concern level for the number of projects in the works is growing – there are way more of them than there are of me!
  10. Tomorrow is International Women’s Strike Day…I love this statement: “Some of us are striking, marching, rallying, and boycotting. Some of us wish we could. Everyone, everywhere can join the PUSSYHAT GLOBAL VIRTUAL MARCH!” YES!!! You can participate virtually! Really. It’s a wear, declare, and share kind of day – so, put some red on and your pussyhat, make a little sign about where you are from or what you are for, and take a selfie!! Share it on your social media and tag it #pussyhatglobal All the details are on Pussyhat Project.

There you have my Tuesday, Gentle Reader. Oh, and dust off your Pussyhat’s for tomorrow!

Hello, March

Hello, March

While I am not witty like Emily Dickinson, I would like to give you a very warm welcome!

I am not certain if you are entering like a lamb or a lion – and really, how many days does one have to determine these animal like qualities? Yesterday it was warm, blustery, and rainy – today you mock us with pellets of snow. Do we get a few days to determine if you are a gentle lamb or a roaring lion?

Really, inquiring minds want to know!

However, you usher in a busy month:

There is March Madness, and
Springing ahead clocks…
Saint Patrick’s Day,
a doctors appointment(!!)
and who can forget the first day of spring!
There is even a wedding, which quite frankly has me a little worried. A size too small dress and a stagnating scale are stressing me out, let me tell you!
Oh… and there are new exercise videos courtesy of Amazon Prime, these are hopefully going to alleviate my stress and that damned stagnating scale!

Happy March Everyone – what is on your plate for this month!

With Joy

With Joy

As I close the door on February – a blessedly short month that was not short on joy.

There was an abundance of joy over the past month.

Joy in the lengthening days – over the month we have gained 64 more minutes of daylight!

Joy in the stunning lack of winter – out of the 28 days, we were above the historical average 21 days during the month. (Although, this joy is tempered by the obvious nod to Global Warming)

Joy in the books read and listened to during the month: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (I gave this book 5 Stars), I am No One by Patrick Flanery (3 Stars), and Into the Woods by Tana French (4 Stars) – only 3 books this month, but they were most enjoyable!

Joy in my continued stitching – this has been truly the thing that has been bringing the most joy! Through these moments of stitches, I have opened the door to my creativity. It is an incredible feeling – this unleashed creativity. Today I will fill in the final stitches for this month and this morning offered a beautiful sunrise that will be reflected in my stitches.

Joy in letters, written and received. It was my inaugural participation in MoL, and while my involvement was not perfect it was incredibly joy-filled!

There was joy in flowers and laughter and yes, even weight loss plateaus.

I hope that February was joy-filled for you as well!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

A Movie You Cannot Refuse…

A Movie You Cannot Refuse…

This week’s prompt for Think Write Thursday is to write about the movie you can quote the most. This may or may not be your favorite moving but you all know what we mean, right? What’s that movie, the one that once you start quoting from (probably with your friends) and you just can’t stop? Share some of your favorite quotes and tell us why you think it’s just so darn quotable.

First up, let’s cue up some music shall we?

Perhaps the best movie series ever and one I have watched dozens of times – although, the book is excellent – overall the series of movies did well to portray the saga told by Mario Puzo in his book by the same name. And, talk about a plethora of movie quotes! The Godfather is one that delivers!

My favorite quote of all is one from Don Corleone: I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.

But really, Don Corleone gives some of the best lines ever:

  • You can act like a man! What’s the matter with you?
  • A man who never spends time with his family can never be a real man.
  • Consigliere of mine, I think you should tell your don what everyone seems to know.
  • Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this justice a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.

Peter Clemenza also gives some great lines:

  • Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.
  • He’s thinking of going to the mattresses already.

Sal Tessio gets one of the most famous quotes:

  • …Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.

Michael Corleone’s growth over the course of the movie is dramatic, and he gives some chilling quotes:

  • Fredo, you’re my older brother and I love you. But, don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again.
  • What’s the Turk paying you to set up my father, Captain?
  • It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.
  • You have to answer for Santino, Carlo.
  • Only don’t tell me you’re innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry.
  • Just lie here, Pop. I’ll take care of you now. I’m with you now. I’m with you.

And, his power culminates so incredibly in the famous Baptism Scene:

There you have it – my all-time favorite and most quotable movie, ever. Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have a bit of watching to do!

If you would like to join Carole and me for Think Write Thursday’s, we would love to have you – please sign up here!

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