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Archive for September, 2002

Household Hints by Mummy Dearest, # 4

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-29-2002

Today I came up with a great idea for keeping the living room tidy. Instead of calling out ‘Girl, put your shoes away’, ‘Boy, what is this doing here ?’, I now call out for the owner of the offending article. I then carry the offending article to the kitchen as the owner watches and throw it out of the back door. More often then not, I comment that I hope one of the cats comes and pukes all over it.

This is working remarkably well.

The Rider-Waite Deck

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-28-2002

Which tarot card are you?

I was over at Molly’s , saw this and couldn’t resist. I have always loved the Rider-Waite deck.

I used to do readings back in High School. It was something to do, it passed the time. I usually did them during my Chemistry class, when we had to work in our study groups. My group included me – of course, the football team’s quarterback ( who looked like he stepped out of a Fitzgerald novel), the co-captain of the hockey team ( who did not look like he stepped out of a Fitzgerald novel) and another member of the hockey team. I aced the class, but I sometimes wonder how they did.

Quiet On The Set !!

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-27-2002

And they meant me ! I went out this morning, as usual to do my shopping. The weekend is coming up and it is time to load up on milk, juice and a bottle of wine for Mums here. When I came to the corner of our street, I saw that they were setting up to film a scene near the Apothecary shop on the corner. No problems, I’m just surprised at how long they have been in town. The last time it was only for a day or two.

I went to the grocery store, where they were really hooting it up. They had set up chairs for the older people by the lunch meat counter, people were drinking coffee, eating cake and Henk was taking photos. It was so busy , I was able to slink through the store without really being noticed, which is what I wanted. Oh, if they had stopped me, I would have paused, drank coffee, nibbled cake and had a rather vacuously pleasant smile on my face, but I am really not good at that sort of thing, so I was glad to be out on the cobblestones again.

A stop at the bakery and then The Baby and I headed home. As I turned down our street, a very blond woman called out to me “Quiet! We are filming”. So I stopped the buggy mid-street. Well of course, they had to re-take the scene about 5 times- first an airplane flew overhead, then a woman with clacking high heels walked out of City Hall and onto the street. “Quiet” the Blond called out. The woman in the high heels froze, and then tried to cross the street sans clacking- you know, making a feeble attempt to tip-toe in high heels. ” Quiet ! ”

There was a maroon business-mobile ( you now, one of those pricey German cars people in business usually have, explaining the expense away by saying ‘I spend so much time in the car, I need a comfortable seat’), with a rather handsome 50 -ish man sitting in it. His door was open. After I had been standing there silently, obediently for about 10 minutes, he spoke to me, saying that I could go. I leaned over to him and said ‘ I can go around the church, you know. My house is right there.’ He remarked upon what a lovely street we had. They were still filming, though, and the Blond really looked like she would crack me over the head with that long microphone if we disobeyed her, so I just stood there for a few more minutes, until they finished the scene.

Standing on our stoop, I saw men standing by the other end of our street, blocking it off. I hope – for their sakes- that they finish filming before 11.45, as that is when all of the children come home for lunch and no way the Blond will be able to keep them quiet. I know that I can’t.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-27-2002

I saw the first pepernoten the other day at the store. Oh, they called them ‘Kruidnoten’, but they can’t fool me, those were pepernoten, and that means it isn’t too long before the good old Sint returns to the Netherlands.

I can hardly wait to see my favorite – a Zwarte Piet marching band .


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-27-2002

The Father just called. I really miss him. Since he has been gone, I feel like my brain is about as active and attractive as a bowl of oatmeal.It’s not that I haven’t talked to anyone since he left 2 weeks ago, no, not that at all. You see, while The Father lives here, in this house, he doesn’t really live here, in this town the way that I do. Every day I chit chat with a number of people. They are very nice, very kind to me. And I’m very nice right back. I feel just like Belle when she is going to the bookstore (“Bonjour !”) And that is what I miss. I miss just sitting back in my couch, putting my feet up and being bitchy with The Father about certain things.

Like this week I finally figured out something that had been bothering me about this one woman. Now to be fair, I’ve never quite warmed up to this woman and I really don’t know why. I tell The Father it is because her ‘G’s’ are so hard that spittle flies through the air when she is speaking, but that is just a rather flip and easy answer. Haven’t you ever met someone and just didn’t like them, for no reason at all ? Well, that’s how I feel about her. I am sure that she is actually a very nice person . Kind to her dog and all that, perhaps active in the local charities.

It has always caught my eye that she has an unusual way of holding herself, the way she stands. But I could never quite figure out what was odd about it, or rather what struck me as odd about it. Biking home the other day from The Baby’s school, I passed her as she stood- with that odd way of hers- by the side of the street. She was just standing there, but her feet were spread widely apart, her feet firmly on the ground. In fact, so firmly that I could almost imagine all of her toes curled under and gripping the earth. And that’s when it hit me – she is always standing like she is on the deck of a boat, a boat out at sea, a boat waiting for the big one to hit. Now, this being a small town and all, I happen to know that she does indeed have a boat, but this just screams ‘affectation’ to me. You know why ? Well, I am going to tell you why.

Remember Mr.Jo, the carpenter who has secretly moved into our home ? Well, Mr. Jo was a carpenter in the Merchant Marine for like 20 years, at sea for months at a time. He has a boat now of his own, which he spends weekends and holidays on, a sea. And I have yet, in the-oh -13 years that I have known him ever, and I repeat ever seen Mr.Jo walk around our home as though he expected the floor to shift, the big one to hit at any moment, curling his toes into the floor and gripping for dear life.

Yes, I miss The Father.

The Friday Five

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-27-2002

1. What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind?
I like the evenings, when the house is quiet. Have a glass of wine, sew a little, sometimes listening to the TV, sometimes not and then reading for awhile.

2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands?
As I am always home, anytime that I am returning home involves errands and usually children. So first, I sit the child on the toilet or make lunch or whatever Murf the Serf type thing it takes to get everyone set and settled. Then, depending upon how many kids are here, I either referee, do some menial chore or do something behind the computer.

3. What are your favorite aroma therapeutic smells?
As I am allergic to any and all perfumes, the thought alone makes me itch.

4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself?
For relaxation I prefer to be by myself.

5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don’t?
I can spend hours with the kids or by myself walking along the dikes looking for old bits of pottery, broken pipe stems, whatever the changing of the seasons has turned up.

via : the friday five

Little Town , Part 3

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-26-2002

Yesterday was a study day for the teachers and so The Boy and The Girl had the day off. In the morning The Girl and I biked The Baby to school. Truth be told, I don’t really like biking with The Girl. I’m no Armstrong but sometimes The Girl bikes so slow that I feel like a large quarter, balancing on it’s rim. But it was something to do. That is the kind of day yesterday was : a find-something-to-do kind of day.

In the afternoon we had the party at the grocery to go to, so we did some shopping on our way. I want a new little book to put all of my computer ‘stuff’ in, you know, all of those passwords and color codes and important addresses. What I would like is a small , loose-leaf type book about the size of a paperback with address tabs. So we went to the bookstore. While I was browsing around, the woman in the store came up to The Girl. On Monday, The Girl had come to the bookstore to buy the third Harry Potter book. It was out of stock and so The Girl ordered herself a copy. The woman now came up to Girl to tell her that her book was in. She also told Girl that next week was ‘Children’s Book Week’ and that if she waited one week to buy her Harry Potter book, then she would get a free book ( that is part of ‘Children’s Book Week’ here, you buy a book during that week and you get a special book as well, free). If The Girl wanted, she said, she could set the book aside, reserve it for her until next week, and then The Girl would get the free book as well. Would Girl like her to do that for her ? The Girl replied yes.

You know, this woman once asked me, in all seriousness, if our extremely shy 2 year old, The Girl, was autistic. But hey, I don’t hold any grudges.

So we went to the party. They had drinks and favors and balloons for the children and had set up games in the aisles. There were other children there as well and everyone had fun.

And it was something to do.

Little Town, Part 2

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-26-2002

I started going to the glasbak on Thursdays because Thursday afternoon is Market Day here, so I would dump the bottles and then go to the Market, usually to buy candy for the kids, cheese and fish. Lately, though, I have decided that I prefer to dump bottles in the morning and then combine that with a stop at the butcher shop. But still, Thursday is dump-the-bottles day. That is how I am. If you ever study the history of ceramics, you learn about vestigial elements, how a lug handle , through time, looses its function but still, the potter puts a small, squiggly element on each side of his pot as decoration : a vestigial lug handle. I am cursed with vestigial behavior.

Today, though, was the one time out of ten that the container for green glass was empty, so we dumped our bottles and continued on to the grocery store. I go to the grocery store every day. We always need milk, juice, coke, spa, bulky, heavy things and the buggy can only carry so much. I also wanted to thank Henk for yesterday. The family that owns the store gave a party yesterday for the children in town to celebrate the fact that this week, 55 years ago, they started the store. They don’t have to do things like that, but they do and so I always say how nice these things were and thank them.

So The Baby and I entered the store and there was Henk and so I said my piece. He then said that Friday was my day. My day ? Seems on Friday they will be having coffee and cake for the adults. I wonder if I can skip shopping on Friday ?

They also bring in a rather ferocious looking Sinter Klaas in December. The kids can sit on his lap and Henk takes photos of them. He is a very talented photographer . He has taken some beautiful pictures of our town and during the Christmas season he has the peaceful snowy ones made into holiday cards that you can purchase. That is where I get my Christmas cards.

And I always send them out too late.

Little Town, Part 1

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-26-2002

Today is Thursday so today The Baby and I went to the glasbak. We always go to the glasbak on Thursdays, that’s how I am. Rain or shine ( and today it is rain) we go to the glasbak to dump our bottles ( mostly green wine bottles ) in the glasbak for recycling on Thursdays. And most of the time the container for the green glass in the glasbak is simply stuffed. I most certainly am not going to walk all of the way across town back to our house to return the bottles to our pantry. Nope, I put the bottles in the container for brown glass. And I look around first to make sure that no one can see me doing so.

You might suggest, well, why not go on another day of the week ? Well, it makes no difference. 9 out of 10 times that you go to our glasbak, the container for the wine bottles is overflowing. I sometimes wonder if the restaurants dump their bottles here as well, or is our town made up of 1100 winos ?

Little Town, Part 4

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-26-2002

The Baby is almost 3. She is at that age where they like to hear the same thing, over and over, ad nauseam. Same story over and over and- if you are a crappy mother like me- same movie over and over. Recently Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” has been playing a lot here. That is ok with me, I like the music to that one fine, especially Gaston’s Song. It was The Girl’s favorite film for a long time as well. The Boy preferred “The Lion King”.

The Baby has picked up some of the lyrics to the songs and often sings them : “I want much more than this provincial life”. And I suppose that one day all three kids will feel the same way about our town but for me this is the town that I wish I had grown up in.