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Archive for June, 2005


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-30-2005

I am very good at the bright side rubbish. Even though I knew that this would be a rather ….tedious vacation, an emotionally demanding one, my bright side was that I could go to Mt.Pleasant , Ohio.

I could look for my missing family.

I could search for Robert Kerlin.

I know now that Mt. Pleasant is out of the question. I won’t be going there, snapping photos. I shall have to write a letter tomorrow, to the head of the local history chapter thanking her for her offer of a guided tour of the cemeteries.

Alas ! We won’t be there !

I know that I can be very shallow. I know THE BIG THINGS which should occupy my mind at this moment.

Very well.


But, oh my, how I want to go to Mt. Pleasant. My gosh, how I want to unravel that tale.

I suppose that there is always next F*cking year.

Moses, Moses, Moses

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-30-2005

I rather half expect to find a plague of locust devouring our garden tomorrow morning.

Yes, I know .

Plan B

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-30-2005

Because of the monsoon, the phones are down. Because of the monsoon, I can hardly connect today.

When I could finally access my email, I found this :


Contact me now. Unable to reach you on Dutch telephone. I am going to Surgery in the Morning.

Septicemia. I know what septicemia is because it felled my Mummy Dearest.

I managed to get the kids on the phone with him, chit chat a bit, say that they loved him.

For that is what he longed to hear.

Before tomorrow, when they cut his leg off.

When I call tomorrow, at about this time, I will get him on the phone, it will be over.

We have three or four days in Boston. My brother Tut has been filled in on the details and we shall hang out together for a while.

His new….girl friend…partner…whatever… has two small children, about 2 and 3.

Is there an aquarium in Boston ?

Anyone want to go and look at sharks ?

Sometimes, just saying f*ck is very comforting.

Alma Mater

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-30-2005

Last night, The Girl’s class gave a goodbye, little hell- hole down the street play. It was quite funny.

As we watched the play, it began to rain.

No, wait : as we watched the play, it began to storm.

No, wait, as we watched the play, a monsoon started.

Sorry if the picture isn’t very clear, but you see, the electricity was out as well ( note small tea lights by the coffee pot).

The Father and I were up until 3, soaking water off of the floor with towels, in the dark, listening to old rock and roll music.

Adjusting The Chanel

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-28-2005

Having spent yesterday huddled under the cloak of my Victoria, Regina, avatar, contemplating dear, wee toenails, I spent today pulling myself into shape.

Yes, it is that time once more.

To top the list, I will be seeing my brother and he will be seeing The Boy and The Baby for the first time.

I will be with Dad.

I will be in Boston for the 4th of July and I just stinkin’ love fireworks. I’ve always wanted to see some really big ones, like you see on TV and now I will.

How much do I love fireworks ?

I’m that background murmur of awww in On The Road

The Coin, The End

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-27-2005

I had planned on saying more about the coin, but life- as it often does- got in the way.

Big photos :

This morning as I was writing a note to Catherine, I decided to call Daddy. As the morning progressed, I had become increasingly more suspicious , why was the Road Trip from Hell back on the agenda, in it’s full glory ? Was this one of Dad’s well, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow acts of reckless behavior ? In the end, if he has what we refer to as a medical crisis while we are on the road, I am the one who will have to solve it.

I called him and within seconds, he told me that they are going to cut his leg off on July 20.

He is behind this decision 100%. He has been in pain for two years now. He has booked a very expensive Harvard tour of Greece for next fall. He is very positive.

While I just sit here like a very small child, the words they are going to cut my Daddy’s leg off repeating non- stop in my head.

He won’t have ten toes any more, to compare the children’s toes with.

On July 20th, they are going to cut my Daddy’s leg off.

I couldn’t take good photos today, especially the back is poor. But I had a tremor in my hands today that just would not stop.

Since I had to up my allergy pills, this happens often.

But the virgin is there after all, isn’t she ?

A Question

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-27-2005

Do most cars in the States have sound systems that will play mp3s ?

With dread in my heart, I learned last night that the road trip from hell is suddenly back on.

And we need music.

The Coin, V

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-25-2005

The coin that I found in the garden seems to be a dutch duit, minted at some time between 1590 and 1607. From what I have read, there were 8 duits in a stuiver, and twenty stuivers in a gulden.

In Schama’s book, An Embarrassment of Riches, there are some comparative prices for the mid- seventeenth century in The Netherlands in the index:

A tank of ale : 1/2 stuiver

12 lb loaf of rye : 6-9 stuivers

Weekly wage of a skilled worker : 2.8 gulden

Small house in town : 300 gulden.

However, within the body of the book, he states that in the mid- 1600′s a skilled artisan ( a ship’s carpenter in Amsterdam ) made 30 stuivers a week and that a three pound loaf of rye bread cost 4.5 stuivers. He mentions that one could buy two small fish for a duit and a new herring for half a stuiver. A chicken cost 11 stuivers, a pound of veal 4 stuivers. He says that fresh fruits and vegetables were abundant and cheap.

And that is what I could find about the duit, and what value it had within the context of it’s time.

The Coin, IV

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-24-2005

If we look at the front of the coin, taking into consideration the two options open to us due to the back of the coin, the curves and angles that we see become clearer.

The front of the coin :

A common element, or symbol in early dutch copper coins, we are told, is the Dutch Garden. Now, I have dug up back yards- or gardens- in New York City, of Dutch settlers of the 1600′s : they truly seem to believe that good walls make good neighbors. The area that I worked in was from the early 1600′s and, I kid you not, it is the same floor plan that you find in your average new area here today in the Netherlands. Including the contentious mutual wall.

So, think Tom Sawyer, think picket fence, and then look at the front of the coin once more :

I am seeing the gate to a picket fence.

If I twist and turn and flip the coin a bit, I can see a vague oval shape, perhaps showing a walled garden :

At this point, given the back of the coin and the Dutch Garden, I don’t have many more options for this coin : I might see a scary lion, but basically, I should be seeing a virgin, sitting in the middle of the garden, wearing a flowing robe, pointing with her right hand to the sky above, for wisdom.

At this point, I can’t see a torso. Oh, all of those curves above our gate might be her legs, covered with the flowing robe, but then, well, she would have to either be sitting on the ground, knees spread apart with her feet tucked together under her bum, or to be sitting with her legs spread very far apart indeed, for a virgin.

Since I can’t see a torso, it just might very well be a swan, all of those curves.

So much for the virgin, tomorrow the traces of text.

Here is what I should be seeing :

The Coin, III

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-24-2005

For those of you who did not go here, the back of the coin probably looked like this ( and these are his graphics) :

This coin ( from what I can gather from my speed study of Dutch numismatics) was minted from 1590 to 1599.

It could also be this :

These coins seemed to have been minted between about 1602 and 1607.

At that is it , folks. There are no other coins which have HOLANDIA split into three lines and that wreath on the outer edge.

Actually, the back already gives us a date for the coin. But I will show you the face as well, once I have time ( The Father is home ! He came home early, and so has been here since the wee hours of the morning.)

So… can you see which back is the same as the back of our coin, grasshopper ?