beth woolsey

mess maker • magic finder • rule breaker • kindness monger

And The Winner Is…


You Dutch people can get out the vote!  Way to represent.

Carina, congratulations.

The Giant’s Shoe pictured here with your kids Koen and Roos is our contest winner.  (Send your snail mail address to me at, and I have a little something to send you.)

For anyone who wants to know more about the Netherlands, I’m about to educate you with my vast (read: limited and wikipedia-based) knowledge.  Prepare to read corrections in the comments section as my credibility isn’t very, well, credible.

Interesting Fact #1

The Dutch flag looks like this:

Not to be confused with this,

which is the French flag and completely different.

Interesting Fact #2

Lots of people in the Netherlands like football.

No, you silly American readers, not this:

(Yes, Nathan, Jeff, Jen and Other Jeff… you can protest your inclusion on the “silly American readers” list… I know you know right where I’m headed when I say “football.”  I’ll also take this opportunity to express my sincere apologies to any other Americans who understand that a real football is round.)

This kind of football,

with this kind of ball…

Even if you love American football (I admit it – I do – even though my Fantasy Football performance sucky sucked this season), check out this photo (from this article) of Dutch football fans and tell me you don’t want to party in the Netherlands:

These are seriously my kind of peeps.  You know I’m not kidding, and I’d hang out with y’all any time.



Interesting Fact #3

Dutch people, like my boss, eat double salted black licorice.

Probably not all Dutch people do this.

I hope not all Dutch people do this.

Double salted black licorice looks like this:

It’s as bad as regular black licorice, except it’s salted.  Doubly.


Then again, I probably shouldn’t talk.

I spent some of my childhood in the Philippines (whose flag, incidently, looks like this…

… are we all coloring our flags out of the same crayon box, or what?)

In the Philippines, I learned to eat and LOVE salty plums.

Salty plums are, you guessed it, plums.  Except you 1) take all best, most delicious parts out — the juiciness and sweetness, 2) dry them into tiny, hard, sour lumps, and 3) cover them with salt and chili powder.

Mmmmm!  Delicious!

Bite into those babies and your face goes all wonky while you try to deal with the hit of sour and simultaneously not break your teeth on the rock-like pit.

What’s not to love?


Alrighty – that about does it for this winner announcement!

I think I’ve overstayed my welcome.

Maybe it’s time to do some research on world travel.

With 5 kids.

On long, long plane flights.

On second thought, nevermind, World.  You’re safe from us.

For now.

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17 responses to “And The Winner Is…”

  1. Just started reading your blog and started at the very beginning. It’s so fun! And I had to comment on this particular one, even though it’s a pretty old one…because I’m Dutch and it makes me proud to read about my tiny country here!
    So thanks 🙂 !

  2. Okay, I know I’ve said that your lecture was perfect and indeed it was, but some of my colleagues told me to tell you that they were kinda surprised that you left out the windmills and the tulips! So now I’ve told you that and we can all go on with our lives 😉 I told them that you probably left those out because you know that windmills are becoming quite rare in our scenery and that tulips are actually Turkish, so let’s just pretend you already knew that 😉

    • On windmills and tulips… I can’t believe I forgot! That’s definitely stereotypical Holland. The funniest part of forgetting is that we have a string of drive-through coffee places here on the west coast of the USA called Dutch Bros. (Not kidding – Dutch brothers)… and they’re super, hugely popular. Google “dutch bros” so you believe me. I see at least 57,000 Dutch Bros cups every day. Usually 12 or so of them are in my hand. Did you see the cup? With… duh… the windmill and tulips?? And I forgot to mention them. Silly, silly me! Apologies all around to the Dutch bros and sis’s out there.

  3. Okay, I can’t help myself… been trying for days now but: salty plums??? Really??? wow… That’s a very special snack (and this is coming from someone who has been known to dive into a bag of double salted licorice once ever so often 😉 ) By the way, have you ever tried to make them yourself?

    • Yep, really on salty plums. I have friends I grew up with who’ll vouch for salty plums’ deliciousness. We’re all happily wrong together. 🙂

      And, no, I’ve never tried to make them. The smell when you open a bag of them is enough to deter anyone from making it a home-project, I think. It’s a bit overwhelming.


      • I can really see where ‘salty plums’ and ‘overwhelming’ should be in a sentence together… hahaha! 😉

  4. Yeah, so I thought I was enthusiastic. But Carina can do a good job, as well :-).
    Good job on your lesson on the Netherlands! Believe me, I’ve spent a year and a half in the USA, and most Americans know a lot less. But then again, most Dutch people don’t know the difference between Iowa and Idaho either…
    Enjoyed reading your blog. I’ll be back!

    • Thanks, Nic!

      Glad to have you on board my crazy train.

      Of course, now I’m worried about the differences between Iowa and Idaho. (And I once lived in Idaho, so it’s particularly pitiful that I don’t know them already… how many potatoes do they grow in Iowa??)

      Thanks for the comment!


      • We did have A LOT of fun in N.Ireland and the kids keep asking when we go back to play ‘on the rocks’! We keep trying to explain to them that since it’s a 16 hour drive, ehm… not any time soon… They don’t see the problem, really 😉

  5. So I just got home, after extensively thanking my colleagues (up until the point where it started to become rather pathetic, which I took as my cue to go, well ehm… do something else) for voting for me and I’m still beaming 🙂
    As far as corrections on your Dutch lecture (which is HILARIOUS by the way, love the part about the flag, yes the French are very different from us indeed, haha) go: you have to believe me, if there were any un-truths (I know, I know, that’s not a word) in it I really would correct them, but there aren’t any! Yay for you! 🙂
    And we hereby invite you to come party with us, we’ll welcome you with open arms, just throw on something orange and you’ll blend in just fine 😉
    gotta go now, dinner is being served and it’s the Annual Te Witt Pancake Day, so yummy! I’ll send you an email later on.

    • I have to stop commenting on this post (so sorry, it’s the excitement, I can barely contain myself…), because it’s starting to become a bit pathetic too… (just like me harassing my friends&colleagues) So I promise I’ll try to stop now. 😉

    • HOORAY!

      So, if I read that right, not only was my lecture right (and being right is one of my very favorite things in the entire world), I’m also invited to party with the Orange in the Netherlands!

      What a great day!


      • just let us know when you’ll be coming over and we’ll put some extra beers in the fridge and whip out the orange attire and make-up! 😉

  6. I’m at work right now (I know, I know, I think it’s a Saturday and I really think it’s horrible too, believe me… but we’ve got ‘Open Day’ and it’s mandatory… bleh! 🙁 ) so I can’t respond as elaborately I’d like to, but I will, oh I will 🙂
    So I’m off for now, but not after saying YAY for the Dutch (in general and specifically all my friends who voted for me)!!!

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