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Archive for February, 2002

Teckels ( Again)

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-28-2002

I’ve secretly rather hoped that someone would ask me why I disliked Teckels so much. I hoped it would be someone who loved Teckels, because only they would understand the reason. Some naughty person who comes here has visited, which showed up in their stats and they came here for a visit. Hi, Nicole !

Before we bought this house, we lived in an apartment in Tilburg. We had great neighbors, Pieter and Ine. We had our first dog, Humphry ( a Newf, of course) and they had Nuppers, a little wire haired Teckel who never got her wired hair. All of us were just out of graduate school, had very little money and no jobs. We used to go places and walk our dogs together. In fact, we used to come to this town about once a month and let our dogs run around on the dikes and shit all over the place. Or we would go to the dunes and let the dogs run around and shit all over the place.

The inevitable happened : people started getting jobs. Pieter started working for philips, The Father started his business and then Ine was offered a job at Randstadt. Only I was left at home during the day. They asked me if I would mind taking Nuppers out for a walk in the afternoon along with Humph and I agreed. I did this for about 2 years. ( It probably was only 6 months, but it seems like I did it forever).

Things went well at first. I would come into their apartment and Nuppers would come running for her walk. She would do her doodle and then we would come home again. And then one day she decided that she really didn’t want to go for a walk. I would arrive and she would not come running. She would be sitting on her chair with a ‘Make me’ look on her face. So I would pick her up off of the chair put her leash on and then she would come trotting after me.This got progressively worse. I would put on her leash and she would sit there on the floor with a ‘Make me’ look on her face. I would carry her down the stairs put her down and she would sit there with a ‘Make me’ look on her face. I would carry her out to the grass and she would sit there with a ‘Make me’ look on her face. It took a few months to reach this point, where I was carrying this Teckel around under my arm, trying to get her to walk on her own while trying to manage a 60 kg Newf at the same time.The day came when I would come into the apartment, go to her chair and say ” Come on, you little rodent” and she would look at me with eyes that said ” Make me, you vile foreigner”. Finally, one day I took Pieter and Ine aside and said “I don’t really think Nuppers needs an afternoon walk anymore.” They gave me a nice set of books as a thank you.

Why don’t I like Teckels ? I have never encountered a more obstinate beast. When a Teckel has decided something, nothing on God’s good earth can change their minds.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-28-2002

photo : Willem Mieras

I’ve spent the last few days going over 8 chicken-in-every-pot booklets. Local elections are coming up, and I am trying to find a political party which says that within three days after the election, they will move the nursery school back down the street where it belongs. So far, I’ve had no luck, but perhaps there is a radical splinter group that will unexpectedly shove a booklet in our mail slot and make my life so much easier.

National elections are coming up soon as well, and have been highly colored by the presence of Pim Fortuyn . Love him or hate him, everyone seems to be reacting quite strongly to the man and his opinions . And that is about all I have to say about Pim Fortuyn, as many of his comments are about foreigners in the Netherlands and of course, that’s what I am. ( Here I have to mention that since the day I came here , people have very kindly pointed out to me that I am not ‘that’ kind of foreigner. ‘There there, Mummy Dearest. They don’t mean you’. )

Km 4

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-27-2002


( huff, puff, hark, gasp, drip,drip,drip…)

See The Dutch Water Line. a slow, painfully slow site with nice pictures and a simple explanation of the fortified town in English.

More Imperial Teckels

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-26-2002

I finally finished that Mayerling book. Rudolph was an avid huntsman, and I read the inventory of the possessions he left behind ( Why did I read that ? Why do I read reports of what goes into people’s garbage cans ? ) .As well as leaving his bloodhounds and teckels to impecunious huntsmen, he leaves them his owls . Owls ? Do hunters use owls to hunt with ? To do what, catch mice or am I truly so ignorant. ( Maybe to catch rabbits ?)

Mr. Henk

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-26-2002

Since last week, Mr. Henk is back working at our place. Mr. Jo usually brings Henk in when there is scutt work to be done : large amounts of rubble to be produced or moved, scrap lumber to be sawed into fireplace sized pieces or cleaning. Mr. Henk excels at cleaning. I often compare him to a 6′ 6 Juffrouw Mier. Yes, I would guess Henk is about 6′ 6, and he isn’t that bad looking . If I had to think of someone familiar that he looked like, I would have to say a more handsome, beardless Lincoln ( or is handsome Lincoln another oxymoron ?). His best feature is his thick silver hair, his worst are his teeth, as for some reason he rarely puts them in when he is working here. But you get used to it. He gives the overall impression of having the IQ of a broom handle, but The Father ( having sat with the lads a few times for a cup of coffee) assures me that he actually has a very sharp wit . I have to take The Father’s word on this one. He is also very kind : while we were in the States, he actually made a special trip here to make sure the cats had food and water.

Mr. Jo has been telling us along that Mr. Henk can’t paint worth shit, but we thought, what is so complicated about painting a ceiling ? And we want a bit of tempo in this whole kitchen nonsense, so last week Henk started painting the ceiling. It’s a beamed ceiling and we are using an oxblood colored semi-gloss paint. Actually, it isn’t really house paint, it’s ‘stuff’ that you paint on iron to prevent rusting mixed with a varnish. It’s cheaper, and Mr.Jo is very careful about how much we are spending ( quite frankly, he thinks we are spending too much and has been dropping none-too-subtle comments about it recently. Just what I need, a nagging craftsman to share my waking hours with.)

I discovered for myself last week that Mr. Henk indeed can’t paint for shit. It seems he only has to look at a can of paint, and drips and spills occur. Every day at 5, when they leave, I’ve had to run into the kitchen and wipe it down with those handy-dandy house wipes which are so convenient. If you catch the spills soon enough, they come off. Last week, I walked into the kitchen, and there were massive spills on the counter tops ( they were supposed to be covered in plastic I provided). I went over to Jo and said, in my friendliest voice, “Don’t you think that that is a bit much ?”. I think if Jo had a cap on, he would have started thrashing Henk with it at that moment.

But it seems Henk just can’t help it. Yesterday they came in at 9, as usual, had their coffee and began working.At around 10, I went in to get something and there was Henk, the entire top of his head covered with paint, just soaked with paint. I still can’t figure out how he got that much paint on his head, it couldn’t have been just a brushing up against the ceiling, his head must have been wedged in ( firmly) between the beams. He said it would wash out, but Jo and I agreed that the only way that paint was coming off was if he went to Mr.Jerry’s and had his hair shaved off.

Mr.Henk is also very chatty. Whenever I appear, he has some pleasantry to pass on. It was hard to keep a straight face yesterday, exchanging chit-chat with a man with red paint all over the crown of his head, casually puffing a cigarette.

Where is She ?

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-25-2002


I am busy wallowing in self pity ( oh, woe is me !). If I were to do this correctly, I would have someone like Dan Fogelberg weeping in the background, but I have reached an age when even admitting that I know who Dan Fogelberg is is rather embarrassing, let alone actually having a CD of his in my home.

It’s very cold and rainy outside. I keep getting the chills. When they put in the new boiler and heating system last week, something went wrong. On Friday , around 5 minutes after they left, we could really smell gas upstairs in the attic.So we opened the windows and turned the heat down very low. So the house is cold. Rumor has it that they will darken my doorstep today to correct this.

Last week, The Father ripped a muscle in his leg, so I spent the weekend jumping up and down, doing things for him. I guess that I jumped up one time too many : after I brought the vacuum cleaner up to the attic, I quite simply couldn’t breathe. I harked and gasped and hacked for about 5 minutes until it seemed I could breathe right again. That was Sunday morning and I’ve just felt grim since then.

Shortly before my attempt at an Olympic record in vacuum cleaner totting, I was sitting in the kitchen, sucking on a cup of coffee ( which is the sensible thing to do on Sundays) and talking with the beloved companion. I asked him if he too had the impression that for the last 2 months we had been telling ourselves that the kitchen would be done in two weeks. He had to agree, this was the case. We finally said aloud what we both know to be true : Mr. Jo will probably be here for another year. I don’t know how I will do it, although I know I will – what are the options ?

This is an appropriate day for ‘comfort food’. I am going to indulge myself with my favorite comfort food. What could it be ? Gourmet chocolates, fresh pastries ? What, oh what exotic fare ? Cream of Tomato soup, with fake oyster crackers ( I haven’t had an oyster cracker in about 18 years. I crumple up cream crackers and am convinced it is the same flavor). I am looking forward to it. Very much.

Here is how Dan looks today , for those of you who remember Dan :



Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-22-2002

Since the 2002 Weblog Awards, there seem to be a lot of articles about weblogging turning up . I have to admit, I’ve been reading them with interest, and have been thinking about weblogging quite a bit this week, in between hacking and dripping with the cold that almost everyone seems to have.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but I have noticed that a number of people whose sites I normally visit are a bit jumpy about their stats. Well, here is why your stats are down : everyone is sick and in bed. Except for stay at home moms. They are just sick.

I have also noticed that it seems hard for Blogs of Note once they have slipped off of the list. I can’t find Love’s a Drug anywhere. Is being a ‘Blog of Note’ the kiss of death ?

And, of course, I had to wonder why I have started this. Actually, I know why I have started this : it was a direct reaction to September 11, when I suddenly felt very foreign in the little corner of cyber- space I usually occupied. So a better question would be why do I continue this ? This was actually a soul searching question. And I have found my answer.

When The Girl was born, I kept a written account of every precious fart that left her body. The Boy and The Baby were lucky if I got around to changing their diapers. So this is an account of precious farts being emitted in Brabant.

My mother died when she was 48. I wish I had her account of precious farts she had gotten a whiff of.

Toys For Boys

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-22-2002

The Discriminating General offers an interesting collection of accoutrements for the adult who still plays ‘soldiers’.

Funny German

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-22-2002

Is that an oxymoron ? ihr-seid-nicht-dabei ( you won’t be there) is a funny German site, dedicated to rubbing in the fact that the Netherlands will not be a part of the World Cup 2002. The Oranje Shoot is quite a hoot.

( found via Dutch in Denmark)

Euro Art

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-21-2002


Ted’s work.