December 2013

Added on: 12/17/2013 02:12 pm

After a year, an update. 

– We still live in Davis.
It turns out that our initial choice was the very best too. After checking out San Francisco and surrounding area, like Hercules and San Rafael, and visiting lots of other places, we have concluded, there’s no place like… Davis. It’s safe and peaceful, we have enough living space with three bedrooms, 1.5 bathroom, a large kitchen, very large living room and garden, there is beautiful nature, mountains in the near distance, lots of space for me to bike on a flat subsurface, an Army of Love in our garden with a steady growing amount of birds and a small army of Squirrels.

Our feathery buddies in our front- and backyard include:
Anna’s Hummingbird, Scrub Jay, House FinchMourning Dove, Robin, Cedar Waxwing, American Goldfinch, Dark-Eyed JuncoRed-breasted Nuthatch (they sound like Zebra Finches!), Mockingbird, White-crowned Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, Hermit Thrush, Red-shafted Northern Flicker And more!

* I will continue to update this list when I have more names of loyal birdie visitors. 

In Davis, additional: Turkey Vulture

Regular busy birdie day in our backyard (iPad photo), Mourning Dove in bird feeding trough and next to it
Regular squirrel day in our backyard (iPad photos)
Junco in our backyard
Hummingbird in our backyard and on our Hummingbird swing


Anna’s Hummingbird in our front yard
Red-shafted Northern Flicker in our Silk Oak
Squirrel in our backyard
Detail of squirrel in our backyard (all photos by me)

Davis is a perfect starting point for trips to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, San Diego etc.. We have all the stores we need here in a very close proximity and at our doorstep: Trader Joe’s, Co-Op, Wholefood, Grocery Bargain Market, Nugget Market, Costco… and a lot more. Furthermore, UC Davis is all around us: an intelligent, vivid sphere to live in, with fantastic annual events like UC Davis Picnic Day (check out my clips of that on my YT Channel).

– We visited San Diego in the Summer of 2013, and I have to admit that San Diego maybe is even more beautiful than Northern California. We discovered a lot of new birds out there, like the Great Horned Owl. This fantastic bird has filled me with a desire to live there too. So let’s keep that in mind!

– Jeroen has an even better job now, as Programmer V. Before that, he was a Programmer II and he just leaped forward with three steps at a time. In his free time, he has become a real computer game boss, always eager to explore new ways to shape his programming skills.

– I have stopped working at the German Language School in Sacramento.

– We bought a Glock 19 mm, and have practiced thoroughly at the Gun Range in Sacramento. We both like shooting! Did you know all the Glocks, whatever the size, are the same price? At this time: $499 (without tax).

Constantia with her Glock 19

– We have bought an Open Wheeler game seat, because we love to race indoors. My favorite race program is called: Test Drive Unlimited, I really love to race (virtually) on Hawaii and Ibiza in a Bugatti Veyron. That has become my favorite car too. Maybe own one one day?

–  Speaking of Hawaii, we definitely want to go there as soon as time will allow it. Another travel plan consists of the direct California Zephyr train trip from Davis to Chicago (and maybe return by air plane).

– My eye sight continues to get worse (thanks, dad , love you anyway), and I have far worse eyes than any of the other family members including dad Joris: left: -9.25, +2, right: -7.75, +2

– After a very late start (getting my driver’s license in 2009), I am a pretty good driver now and it’s one of my new favorite things to do. I have a lot of catching up to do, here in beautiful America. Everything I missed doing in The Netherlands, I do here in California. Another example is the bath tub: we didn’t have one in Scheveningen, and we do have one here. So for a long time, I often was taking two bath tubs treats on one day. Now, I go in the bath tub once a day, almost always with Epsom Salt, taking facial very aromatic masks etc.. I simply can’t get enough of the bath tub.

– After quite some years not reading that many books (though listening to audiobooks), I have picked up reading, and read a lot now. Always with my contact lenses removed, because of my troublesome multifocal sight, I can’t read with lenses, even when they are multifocal. Without my contact lensens, I have to hold the book really close to my eyes, or wear my old pair of glasses, which still works pretty good.
Since discovering Nelson DeMille, I find it disappointing to read other authors like James Patterson and Mary Higgings Clark, but I do okay Karen Rose (she can write nerve wracking). Nelson DeMille is a great teacher for me, and I absolutely love his wit and very keen, intelligent humor and observations. I ony avoid his latest book “The Quest”  that turns out to be a reprint of a much older book of his, but then with more sex in it; it has very bad reviews, and I don’t want or need my very high opinion of Nelson destroyed by one possible misstep. I can only thank him for fueling the sacred reading light with new oil.
My reading location is foremost: the bath tub.

Nelson DeMille’s books and audiobooks (iPad photo)

– The weather in Northern California is ab-so-lute-ly amazing. Every day is a sunny day, with endless blue skies. First, I had to get used to that every-day-is-a-holiday feeling because of the sun here. Now we are used to it, and when there are a couple of clouds, we consider it ‘bad weather’ and stay inside. Yes, you get spoiled very fast.

– I laugh up my sleeve diabolically (yes, I know I’m bad) when acknowledging some Dutch stuff, like the terrible weather, the terrible incestuous bad TV shows, the problem with ‘bontkraagjes’ (though that object itself isn’t funny at all), or the fact that they consider an Euro Jackpot of 10 million to be large. (we have a Mega Millions Jackpot today (December 17)  of $636 million) .
Everything seems so small now in The Netherlands. Of course, we have some good memories there, but we are very happy to be future USA citizens (we plan to become US citizens in 2016, and I will vote for Hillary Clinton then).
I do have to admit, I reclaimed some European food stuff, like Bertolli pasta sauce, things they don’t make that well here in the US. Once in a while, I order something at the Dutch Store in Michigan. Why not have the best of both worlds, huh? But the US has a lot to offer for us vegans, like a very good range of vegan pizzas and marshmallows.
A little late (but better late than never) I discovered Trader Joe’s, and they have the good bread here (without the unhealthy long list of ingredients of average US bread), containing no sugar or high fructose corn syrup (this is an ingredient I have learned to avoid). Much like the great German bread in fact. Trader Joe’s is truly a perfect store with good prices for very good and pure food.

At Trader Joe’s they have American ánd European food of high quality and good price – Belgian Endive

– We love the TV Show Shark Tank.

– I have truly discovered e-Bay and Amazon (and more of course),  and order a lot of necessities and not-necessities online; only food I buy in our direct surrounding area, but even some food products I buy online. Stuff from all over the United States of America is shipped to our J Street in Davis.

– Yes, I still have frequent out-of-body experiences (and related experiences), and lately, all the more. I am very thankful for that, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

– In January 2014, Jeroen and I will be been married for 9 years already and even years longer than that together.

Jeroen and me, me reading the iPad book and he controlling the computer game – iPad photo by reversing camera (and with help of mirror)

– I have biked a lot, it keeps me in an overall good shape, both physically and mentally. More than 12242 km (7606 miles) since February 17, 2011.

– Emigrating was a little easier for Jeroen than it was for me; of course, he’s younger and I think age is of importance (let’s be real). In retrospect, I can see that I was a little more fearful than he was, but it turned out that the fear was unnecessary. I felt a little bit of the outsider the first year in Davis. Jeroen quickly found his way around; I took a little longer to drive without the TomTom and feel assured to do so. That kind of stuff.
Everything is different here, and people are different. There is a lot more reason to smile here, and so people do, and I had to refind my lighter self, but I think I am getting there real fine.

Furthermore, there was some adjusting for me to do regarding the very warm nights in the Summer and some chilly nights in the Winter (we have a wooden house here, with a different heating system than in The Netherlands), but I have adjusted to that with a great – made in Texas – bed fan in the Summer, and a ‘new’ body that adjusted to Californian standards. Actually, the Summer of 2013 wasn’t nearly as hot as the Summer of 2012, and the bed fan wasn’t needed that desperately. Jeroen didn’t have a problem with Californian temperatures, not even with the hot nights.
There were some challenges concerning cockroaches in our backyard in the Summer, but that ‘problem’ too, I have addressed. You just have to keep your garden very clean and remove bird and squirrel food every evening very conscientiously.  It wasn’t difficult, we just had to learn.

Summarized, immigrating does require flexibility, but if you have that, it is very rewarding and an immense boost for your body, brain and spirit (assuming you have made the right choice like we did, choosing the country and State that’s right for you).

My happy feet while writing this
Great Horned Owl

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