Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hurray, oh hurray!

It's Tuesday, so it must be apartment cleaning day. Let me think about that and see how much of it I actually want to do. Is the Queen coming over for a cup of tea? Nope! Well that makes everything a lot easier. That means I only have to do superficial cleaning, or cleaning the French way, as we call it here.

See, my French ancestor's genes do show up in me at times like these when I need them. Jacques La Maitre was his name. Of course, he was a man and what did he know about house cleaning anyway?

My great great grandmother was called Hendrika La Maitre and that's when the name ended in my branch of the family. I never knew her, though I did know her daughter, my great grandmother, very well.

She wore black dresses with a little floral print and little round glasses and her gray hair in a bun. She loved to eat candy and always had a secret stash, which we would try to discover every time we were at her house and beg for. She died when I was seven years old, but I remember her so well, it is as if I knew her my whole life. That's how much of an impression she made on me.

My great grandfather had a head full of white hair and sat in a chair next to his aquarium and his spittoon. He had goldfish in his aquarium and real plants and he used to go to the countryside and catch real waterbugs to feed to his fish. He didn't say much and I never knew him very well, but he was a kind man and wouldn't have hurt a fly. He was a baker and kept the whole street alive during the winter of '44-'45, by baking bread that was made from supplies stolen from the Germans. It's a long heroic story that I'll tell you some other time.

Anyway, it all started with cleaning the apartment, which I do have to do some of, apart from the grocery shopping, and I'm almost getting used to drinking black coffee. The emphasis is on almost, because I know I will be very happy when I have milk in the refrigerator again.

I am getting used to not eating porridge, because I ran out of that 2 days ago and I missed it very much at first, but now I think I'm so much better of not eating it. I was getting an overdose of sugar as a result, because I like my porridge very sweet. For someone who had Type II Diabetes, this is a bad idea, of course. I must remember to check my glucose levels today.

Amazingly enough, the Überhund, who has had his breakfast, is not nudging me to go outside yet. I know he will soon and it isn't raining yet, so I will have to take the opportunity when I can and also do the grocery shopping. I haven't made a list yet, but I've got one in my head and will have written it down in a minute, after I check the master list on the board in the kitchen.

So, you're just getting a very short post from me this morning, but it will have to do. I will write a longer one the next time and bore you with all the minute details of my interesting life.

Have a terrific day. Pray for no rain!



aims said...

I like my porridge (buckwheat actually) sweet too so I started using brown sugar sugartwin (sweetener). It's almost like the real thing Irene.

Mondays are laundry and cleaning day for me. I spent it painting new baseboards - primer coat - and will continue today with the first coat - final coat tomorrow. The bending over is killing me!

Have you seen this man? said...

Like the sound of your Great Grandad - You should write about him some more - I bet there are some interesting tales there!

Hope the day is Sunny!

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Well Aims, now I've stopped eating porridge and there is no need for sugar anymore in my life. Today I started my soup diet and I just had a very filling bowl full.

I am sorry that you are painting baseboards. I bet it hurts your back like crazy. I can feel the pain all the way over here.

This Man, it's just a shame that my father isn't alive anymore to tell the tales, because he was involved also, but the story has been told to me in bits and pieces.

The sky here is gray and gray, and then sometimes it is gray and raining. You have to plan your life around it and not get caught in the middle of it.

Maggie May said...

So far, no rain here!
Hope you are enjoying a rainless day too! X

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Maggie, intermittent small rain showers, gray skies, depressing weather, but I've put on my cheery face.

softinthehead said...

Irene - I just clicked right into your blog instead of just reading you in Google Reader and love love love your header. Makes me want it to be summer, lavender is one of my absolute favourite things. :)

Wisewebwoman said...

I love the lavender header, oh I so want to be in that field!!
Interesting family, Irene - the Master, eh?
Write more of these...

Babaloo said...

Usually Monday is my cleaning day but I left it for Tuesday this week. I did get it done, though.

It's great that you have such vivid memories of your great grandparents. I never knew mine.

Well, if you put lots of sugar in your porridge that kind of defeats the purpose of eating something otherwise healthy, doesn't it? I discovered when I finely slice a small banana into my porridge (before I cook it, so it gets nice and mushy) and add a tablespoon full of raisins I don't need any sugar at all. (Here's hoping that's healthier than the brown sugar I used to have.)

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Mary, I want to be in that field with you and smell all that lovely lavender and then pick some for my sock and underwear drawer.

Oui, We are supposed to be the descendants of the La Maitre family from Caen in Normandy. We have a coat of arms too, which I am not allowed to carry, of course.

Babaloo, I've stopped eating porridge and now eat soup all day long and cream crackers and tinned mackerel and sardines. No more sugar in my life. No more sweetness. The bananas and the raisins are a good idea, though.

Tessa said...

I hope that there will be sweetness in your life always, Irene, even if it's not the sugary kind.

I loved reading about your great-grandmama and her stash of candy. Your great-grandfather sounds as though he was a quiet, kind man who thought deeply about life.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

My first married last name was Sweet, I kid you not. It didn't help though, but I didn't eat a lot of sweets then. That came in a later stage of my life.

My great grandparents were a great source of fun to me. I liked going to visit them in their little house. They were from a different era and connected me to the past. Too bad it's all memories now and everybody is gone.