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Archive for the ‘Family & Friends’ Category

A few days ago I wrote of the challenges many of us face being sandwiched between generations. Just like everyone else, we expats do our best to care for, raise and guide our TCK children to adulthood(and beyond) while also staying connected to and supporting our aging parents. We just sometimes have a few wrenches thrown in due to our lack […]

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Recently I caught up with a couple expat friends, enjoying koffie while sharing the latest on comings and goings. Spring is in the air, along with blooming trees, blossoming flowers and plants, and the necessary but dreaded pollen. Students are getting antsy, ready to break free of their daily grind (oh, if they only knew!) of classes, course […]

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I did something last night that was bad. Very, very bad. I knew it was wrong at the time, yet I still went ahead and did it anyway. What is it that has me feeling so uneasy, so guilty, so… naughty? Husband, Daughter and I brought her laptop to the dinner table last night and […]

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You know what I realized yesterday? Humor is funny. Really funny. Let me rephrase that. I’m not talking about dark humor, sick humor, mean-spirited at the expense of someone else humor. I’m referring to your all-purpose humor. The good kind that makes you smile or giggle or even laugh out loud. It feels good. Humor has […]

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  Imagine my surprise when I learned that I’d been the recipient of the ‘Versatile Blogger Award,’ bestowed upon me not once but twice (!) this past week from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Many thanks to the talented duo Expatlogue in Canada and Unexpected Traveller in Belgium. No, you don’t receive a vast sum of money or a […]

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Those of you who are kind enough to follow along here know that just before Christmas I learned of a dear friend who had emergency surgery in early December to remove a brain tumor. It’s been 18 months since I last saw her, and a good six months or more until I get another chance. […]

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  If you’ve come looking for a succinct list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re in the wrong place. I wish I could be of more help, but unfortunately I’m not quite there yet. Believe it or not, this is actually one of my favorite times of the year because to my mind, it truly is a […]

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  Earlier this week we had a wonderful celebration of sorts. Despite being late December, we weren’t celebrating the Dutch Second Christmas (Tweede Kerstdaag) or the British Boxing Day. Instead, we were celebrating the end of Bryan and Danielle’s (current) adventure in Nederland. I first heard from Danielle back in the summer when she contacted me […]

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  It’s Christmas Eve day. The aroma of my Jamie Oliver-inspired gravy wafts gently throughout rooms regaled in ornaments, decorations, pine boughs and tiny lights. Another half hour and I’ll start lighting some candles. Carols are playing softly in the background while Daughter and Husband work diligently on a holiday puzzle. But this is not the […]

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    It’s been a fairly typical ten days for Yours Truly’s family here in Nederland in the run-up to Christmas and New Year’s. By that I mean lots going on: some of it getting done, some on its way to completion and woefully behind on a fair bit as well. Given that Christmas comes on the […]

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    It’s always interesting trying to explain the important holidays of your culture to others.   Some carry over easily, such as religious holidays like Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah and Ramadan, even if the specific ways in which they are personally celebrated differ a bit from country to country.   Many countries recognize various aspects of society on […]

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‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley’ Poet Robert Burns’ famous quote basically means that even the best laid plans can head south, go awry, fall to pieces. Recently I’ve been reminded of this sage advice. While (almost) nothing goes on my schedule that I don’t agree to, I do not completely control […]

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The following is a guest post from my lovely friend and fellow co-author of Turning Points: 25 Inspiring Stories From Women Entrepreneurs Who Have Turned Their Careers and Their Lives Around (Kate Cobb, editor, Summertime Publishing, 2011), Sarah Koblow. Sarah lives with her family in Doha, Qatar and blogs at Count Only Sunny Hours. You can catch […]

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Have I ever mentioned that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year? Outrageous costumes, pumpkins, witches, trick-or-treating, chocolate, candy corn, ringing doorbells, accumulating a candy haul of momentous proportions, little boys and girls proudly displaying their costumes, bobbing for apples, dried cornstalks, dressing up, jack-o-lanterns, deciding who you want to ‘be’, parties, […]

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I’ve had the lyrics from that Bob Dylan song swirling around in my head these past few days. Have you ever felt that change is in the air? I don’t mean piddly little stuff. I’m talking about momentous change. The kind of feeling like you’re standing on a precipice: nothing but open air in front of you and rocks […]

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I was typing furiously when my cell phone rang. Glancing down at its screen, I saw that it was Husband calling. That’s odd. I thought he was downstairs. Despite being in the middle of a particularly tricky scene in my novel, I reached for the phone. Husband and I have never been the kind of […]

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Anyone who tries to tell you that expat life is a piece of cake, with everyone living the high life and doing whatever they please wherever they want to, is sadly misinformed. The truth is, living abroad is a lot like living in your home/birth/passport country. Except for the whole cross-cultural aspect to it, and the […]

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Today is starting out as one of those rainy, overcast summer days, meaning only one thing. Time for more ‘Further North’. In honor of the extra daylight we celebrate here in The Netherlands during the summer months, I had decided a few weeks ago to write about visiting some of the places that enjoy even longer days. By […]

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Okay, I’m going to do my very best not to whine today. Or at least not whine very much. I get that when it’s back-to-school time, I have to get up earlier. At o’dark thirty, to be precise. That school began on the 17th of August is neither fair nor pleasant, but I roll with it. Throwing […]

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Last week Daughter and I went on a road trip for back-to-school clothes. The destination? We wanted a fun place with great shopping where we could spend the day together. Somewhere to enjoy a nice lunch in a quaint restaurant on a quiet sidestreet. And a place where we could check out a beautiful cathedral and medieval […]

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