Category Archives: words

Words that stick to me today

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Ours to define and enjoy are words from Marianna Crane from Nursing Stories in her blog today titled Getting the message the Second Time Around.  The whole piece struck a chord with me, and my first early morning thought was those words will stick with me today. 

Marianna Crane:

Like me, has been a nurse for over forty years.

Like me she is retired.

She has been honoured by Intely Care for having one of the top ten nursing blogs.

She is an active champion of nurses still in the field.

Even if you are not a nurse, her blog is an interesting place to visit.

Perhaps you too will come across some words that stick to you. Today’s wisdom is based on Twyla Tharp’s book, Keep it Moving 

Then of course my next stick to me words were in a book. Today, I picked up from the library JB’s suggestion from this blog the other day, The Mist by Ragnar Jonasson. And like her, I have picked it up and won’t be putting it down easily.

So I bid you adieu and I am off to read more words that stick with me

Don’t think much of going Dutch

Yesterday I was thinking about inviting an old friend to come to town and go out for a dinner.

At the same time I thought I must make a point up front that we would go dutch. And then my thoughts ambled about in my head and I found myself thinking what a nice turn of phrase it was and wondering where that phrase originated.

Well, it was a rather sad finding. I was going to write that I was sorry I searched, but truth be told I am glad I did. If one can be glad about disappointment, but as uncomfortable as it turned out to be, it is, I think, necessary.

So read on for some interesting facts.

And perhaps rather than suggesting we go out I will make dinner.

Why Do we Call it “Going Dutch” When People On a Date Pay Their Own Way?


When friends go out to dinner together, unless it is a special occasion where previous arrangements have been made, it is customary, and considered proper, for everyone to pay their own way. When a male and female go on a date, it was long customary for the man to pay.

Although this social tradition has been challenged and such hard and fast rules about male versus female behavior are softening, we still often use the term “Going Dutch” when both people agree to pay for their own meal, or for whatever other expenses ensue. “Let’s go Dutch,” we say, and by this, it is understood that both people will pay their own way. Even when groups of friends go on an outing, this phrase is sometimes used. An older version that we do not hear very often anymore is “Dutch treat.” Even less known is a “Dutch date.” What is the origin of this idiom?

Watch the video below for the audiovisual version of this article. Or, View it on Youtube.

The origin of “going Dutch” or a “Dutch treat” comes from a British slur towards the Dutch, and is derived from a stereotype of Dutch people as being stingy or cheap. Thus, a Dutch treat was no treat at all. This, and undoubtedly many other examples of British animosity toward the Dutch began in the seventeenth century, when Dutch merchants were hugely important in European trade and there were disputes over lucrative sea routes between the two countries. Holland, especially, with the important trade city of Amsterdam, was an economic and maritime powerhouse. However, since this power was not based on land or military might, was quite new, and the Dutch Republic was divided both socially and politically, the British had no reason not to challenge their commercial might. Thus began a series of three wars, beginning in 1652, called the Anglo-Dutch wars. These conflicts, which ended in 1674, were based primarily on commercial jealousy

During this period in England, there as a lot of anti-Dutch propaganda. Some of speech against the Dutch, published in pamphlets, poems, books, were quite vile, making the insult of the Dutch treat seem mild by comparison. One poem referred to Holland as the “indigested vomit of the sea” while a pamphlet claimed the Dutch were “First Bread and Descended from a Horse-Turd.”

Beside the still used going Dutch expression, from this period we also get Dutch widowDutch uncleDutch auction, and Dutch courage. The terms bumpkin and nitwit also derive from this conflict. 1

Since the Anglo-Dutch wars ended so long ago, most of us never really knew of any sort of animosity between the British and the Dutch. We say “let’s go Dutch,” simply because it is a shorthand and, unfortunately, traditional way of expressing the intention that all parties will pay their own way. We mean it quite innocently and most of us probably never really gave it much thought, let alone thought it might be a negative and insulting expression

So I am off to ponder innocent words that might not be

Don’t some mothers ‘av ‘em.”

Well this whole thing of course is Bryan Thomas’ fault.  Here I am working hard to close down my computer for the night and after quickly packing in some work I need done for tomorrow.  Procrastination? You bet.  Love it! Own it!

Then before the big shut down I peek at my email.  Why there is one from the Intrepid Optimist, the previously mentioned Mr. Thomas.  Oh please I beg my pretending Mom in my head, just a peek.  I am then made to suffer a lecture about how one I look I am lost to the world of Useful Things.  No NO I persist.  Just a pleasant short read to tickle my brain.

Also I must admit I have already taken my sleeping pill so typing is like slogging fingers through very thick fog are frequently required me to repair and repeat until I get the damn thing right.  Because his title is Lack of Consideration found here  got me thinking about how entertaining a blog on insults – only the very best ones- would be fun to right. I will  think tomorrow, I say to my self, but suddenly WHAM! one the best from the past comes to mind. And….yeah….I have to do it TONIGHT.

The only hope is that it will be very short, because what came to mind is no biggie.  I have a very very loved and cherished Aunt.  Actually a Great Aunt.  When I was young, much much much younger my family disowned me for a time – not long you understand – I mean how could their lives possibly go on forever sans moi.  Anyway in that time Uncle Jack and Auntie Fran took me under their wing, loved me without judgement and to this day I am most devoted to them.  Dear Jackie Bugs as Frannie used to call him left us 12 or 13 years ago and Frannie has carried on with great dignity, and pain, and between the two of us we keep wonderful stories about Jack and thereby keeping him somewhat alive.  But this is not about them sort of.

Jack and Fran and I and whatever husband of the moment I was with socialize frequently.  One day they drove from Toronto to our house in Cambridge.  “Ah” she said in her formal Australian speech style, “Your Uncle Jackie parked in a lot on the way up here to pick something up.  When we returned to the car there was a note on the windshield.  Someone had not been happy with his parking skills.  I thought the note was a perfect scolding.  It read:


See?  Nothing to go to war or even scuffles for …point made.  And a chuckle.

So you are right my fine Intrepid Optimist friend……Don’t some mothers ‘av ‘em?


It is What it is OR Is it?

It is What it Is


Is it?

Lately it seems I am hearing the statement, IT IS WHAT IT IS more frequently than ever before.  Perhaps I am just sensitive to it because for some reason it rubs me the wrong way.  People interviewed on TV are saying it, people around me are saying it.  Something about it just doesn’t sound right.  So I have to ask why.

I guess most would mean it to sound like a situation or circumstance is real, and there is merit in that but somehow it is, to me, an incomplete thought.

This is what I hear when that sentence is spoken:

It is what it is – finality

It is what it is – therefore nothing can be done about it

It is what it is – so suck it up

It is what it is – nothing can change it

It is what it is – and like the proverbial leopard unable to change its spots neither can we change this

It is what it is – so give up

It is what it is – accept it

This is what I want to hear when that sentence is spoken:

It is what it is – but what can it be?

It is what it is – but how can we change it?

It is what it is – and we will change it.

It is what it is – but we still have hope

It is what it is – but nothing is impossible

It is what it is – but we will not stop trying to improve it.

It is what it is – and we will change it!