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Archive for April, 2005

Ready, Set…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-30-2005

Well, we are all packed. No, that isn’t quite true : we are as packed as we are going to get. I hate packing. What we find we have forgotten and actually need, we will buy.

After all, we are not going to Siberia, are we ? Not leaving for years and years, never to drink in the sweet vision of home once more, to return and find 12 Oaks gone, forever, are we ?

It’s a week.

All of our must- haves fit into two suitcases. Having read – yesterday- that the area produces utterly charming red ware, I am pushing for a third suitcase ( but, but, what if we should buy something ? ).

The laptop ?

Still haven’t decided that one yet.




Told you. Haven’t decided that one yet.

The Fish

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-30-2005

There is some sort of plague in one of the fish tanks and most of our fish have died. With most of them, it took a number of days for them to finally bite the big one, but bite they did.

The first sign that they had contracted the plague was the inability to navigate properly. After a few days of swimming upside down, sideways, they would weaken, and simply lie on the bottom of the tank, seemingly gasping for whatever a fish gasps for. After a few days of gasping, they were dead.

Only once did I interfere : when the other fish started nibbling on a still gasping fish, I pulled him out of the water.

It was over quickly.

I , of course, felt like Ivan the Terrible.

I have since read that the most humane way to kill a fish is to dunk it in a bowl of ice water. And when the latest fish started swimming upside down, I filled an ice tray with water and put it in the freezer.

Every morning for the last ten days, I have expected to find him dead, but he just wouldn’t give up. And I wasn’t strong enough to put him out of his misery, and believe me, that was one miserable looking fish.

But he was just fighting so.stinkin’.hard. So hard that I did a partial water replacement yesterday and – although it has not done one iota of good in the past- dosed the tank with magic potions, cure- alls for whatever ails fish.

Last night, before I turned off the tank light, I checked in on him. I could hardly see his gills moving, but move they did. And his color was terrible, dark and matte.

You know where this is going, don’t you ? The moral of this story is not one that I necessarily agree with at all times, but of course, when my eyes scanned the floor of the tank this morning, I couldn’t find him. I searched the surface, looking for a floater.

It took me quite a while to find him, for he was swimming around in a perfectly normal fashion, looking hungry as hell.

He seems to have fought the good fight and to have won.

April 30

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-29-2005

Tomorrow is my Mother’s birthday. It is hard to decide what tense to use. Yes, she is dead, but then again, she was born, did have a birthday. So I don’t really feel all comfy saying that tomorrow would have been her birthday.

After all, she was born on April 30, no question about that.

She died 20 days after her 48th birthday.

This year, I will turn 48, and while I don’t have any fears of dying at 48- like Ma-a-a-ah- I do find myself very aware of the fact that, should I actually reach that point in time- I will be moving farther along in life than she ever did.

I know that after she died, my father found some odd comfort in saying that she had lost interest in many things. What she lost interest in was in traveling. She never lost interest in me. In fact, a few weeks after she died- if she hadn’t gone and done that- she would have been living a hop, skip and a jump away from me, in Germany.

She loved me and she loved my brother and she loved her garden. And she loved my father.

In that odd way that life is, The Girl- named after her- smells justs like her.

That is a disarming thing to drift past your nose, early in the morning. Scent is the most seductive and elusive of memories.

At least for me.

My mother was a bright, good, polish girl who hooked up with Fonzie. One day, far in the future, he would go to Harvard, but when they met, he was A Rebel Without A Cause all over.

And my parents never forgot that.

They gave me one rule : don’t get caught.

And I never did.

How they could have stood in the background and allowed me to do what I did is now beyond my comprehension. I Knew that they loathed some of my beaus, and yet, those same fellows were welcomed in our home. They never interfered with my love life, ever, even though I knew at times that they wondered what one earth…

But, jeepers, creepers, it made them the best parents around.

They never forgot what it was like to be young .

Oh Me, Oh My…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-29-2005

He still hasn’t answered my email. Although I have since found the details for our trip.

The Girl left a message for him on his phone today and he has not called back.

A small bubble is forming and rising to the surface :

Daddy !

Oh, Me !

Oh, My!

Oh, Yes…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-29-2005

Happy Birthday, you !

The Question

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-29-2005

Tonight at dinner, The Father popped The Big Question :

The Father : Should I bring my laptop ?

Mummy Dearest : Oh, it’s probably really expensive to hook up at the hotel.

The Father : No, prices are pretty reasonable theses days.

I still haven’t decided what to do, but sent myself a copy of my bookmarks.

Just in case.

The Rest

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-28-2005

Of The McMuffin Meme :

Your favorite virtue
Courage, in every form, both physical and intellectual. There are no cowards in my world, only f**king cowards.

Your favorite qualities in a man
Courage, acceptance of self and the ability to accept responsibility for one’s actions, thoughts, nature with equanimity. As a partner, I prefer doers, not dreamers or drifters.

Your favorite qualities in a woman
Intelligence, humor and being shorter than I am doesn’t hurt.

Your biggest flaw
I can walk away from anything or anybody. I should, perhaps, learn how to stick around and talk things over.

Your favorite occupation
Mindless, repetitive work, which allows my mind to drift about without guilt. As long as it isn’t housework.

Your chief characteristic

Your idea of happiness
I’m still waiting for that trust fund to appear.

Your idea of misery
To have no dreams

Your favorite color and flower
My favorite color is yellow, favorite flower changes. Right now, I’m quite fond of Lilies of the Valley

If not yourself, who would you be
Howard Carter.

Where would you like to live
Right where I am, I would just like all of our neighbors to move and leave me their yards.

Your favorite prose authors
Zola, Conrad, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Vonnegut, Wharton.

Your favorite poets
No favorite poets here. Dr. Seuss ?

Your favorite painters and composers
The Pre-Raphaelites, Mahler,Dylan.

Your favorite heroes in real life
Flinders Petrie, Raoul Wallenberg, Patton, Gandhi.

Your favorite heroines in real life
Isabella of Castile, Zelda Fitzgerald, Miep Gies.

Your favorite heroes in fiction
Scrooge, Lord Jim, Billy Budd, Jude Fawley.

Your favorite heroines in fiction
I can’t help it, flawed though she is, I have always had a soft spot for Emma Bovary. And as I grow older, I am more aware of Ms.Melly’s sterling qualities, grace under pressure and that sort of thing.

Your favorite food and drink
Broiled scallops , fizzy water during the day, Jenever ( young) now and then.

Your favorite names
The Girl and The Boy and The Baby. Well, what did you expect ?

Your pet aversion
I loathe parasites, of all sorts.

What characters in history do you most dislike
Joseph Goebbels, for using words to deceive on such a scale. Mengele, for what he did to children. And right now, a certain modern day historical figure makes me.just.gag . WOMD my ass..

What is your present state of mind
I’m jumpy about the upcoming trip and so looking about for distractions.

For what fault have you most toleration

Your favorite motto
Living well is the best revenge.

How would you like to die
I have no idea. Maybe alone, in a cave, so that those who care for me won’t have to sit through it.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-28-2005

This morning, as I worked on the second couch, I went over The McMuffin Meme , wondering what my answers would be.

And surprised myself by what quality I find most important in a man. Old fashioned to the point of early paleolithic, I could not live with any man who did not possess that quality.

So, I have one answer down.

Now, if I could just come up with answers for the other questions….

Uh, Gee…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-27-2005

I am in rare form these days, more absent minded than usual. Yesterday, I realized, well, shucks, of course the kids have grown since last summer : their swim suits and beach slippers ( read : flip- flops ) no longer fit. And so I headed off for The Big City this morning, to fill my packs with booty.

I wasn’t in the mood for it at all and the horrendous crowds sauntering about town and clogging the sidewalks, the steaming , crawling lines in H&M, the shuffle and bustle of it all nearly spoiled my trip. But finding the goods easily pleased me. I bought until I couldn’t carry one more square inch of must haves. In fact, I might just have passed that limit , for I kept dribbling parcels and plastic bags onto the side walk and eventually lost The Girl’s new bathing suit.

Once home, The Baby and I went out into the garden, and as she sang- over and over and over again- a song about a frog reaching froghood, I planted the camellias. And fussed over their leaves, the tinge of brown on the edge of their petals. Oh, you poor , wee dears : how’s tricks ? Am I killing you off ?

As I start to weed the other side of the path, The Baby keeps calling out that I am digging up carrots ! Carrots !

Roots, Baby, those are roots ( although some did really look like carrots, orange and all).

At about four, The Girl joins us and we weed together, me showing The Baby a few examples of what are weeds and how to pluck them out so that the roots come as well.

She admires the carrots that she finds very much indeed.

We find two bunches of chives- no, I haven’t a clue- maybe from the same place that that pot plant came from, a few years back. I break a few spears off and, holding them under her nose, ask The Baby what they smell like.

Onions !

Clever girl.

This, that and the other thing and I decide to post here, show off the hotel that Dad has found for us in Portugal.

For mere pence, no doubt.

And realize that I haven’t a clue as to where- exactly- we are going.

Dad shall love my email, for it simply reinforces my reputation for being scatterbrained.

But I do believe that we are going here

It looks oddly familiar, like at one point in time, yes, I did have a vague clue as to where- exactly- we are going.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-27-2005

It was surprisingly simple to fix the blog. MT 2.5 uses a MySQL data base and so I simply went to the data base and tossed out the offending pings right at the source.

Took about 2 minutes to do. All solutions should be so easy.