Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity

That was a slogan for a pancake combination at the International House of Pancakes. I don’t think I have ever eaten it but I give the marketing people full credit for coming up with a word combination that sticks in your head once you hear it! It is not in reference to me. Instead it refers to the newly washed Henry and George. I took them to the park first this afternoon and they rolled in everything including someone’s leftover bbq. So, when we walked in the door, it was only a matter of moments before the dog shampoo was bubbling away in the tub. George seemed to think he was swimming since he sat down in the water while Henry was getting washed first. You have to wash Henry first because he is shorter and the water comes up much higher on him. Henry is also not a big fan of water so I find it is kindest to scrub him first.

Dylan comes tomorrow so it is important for the boys to be at their cleanest since not everyone loves the smell of small dogs. If everything goes as expected, I will pick him up tomorrow evening from Centraal Station and we will go out for Indonesian food. If it doesn’t go as expected, I will have packed my flexbility as we say.

Yesterday the temperature reached 89 degrees. That was a sweaty bike ride home from Schiphol! I had a couple of bottles of water with me, which was smart thinking. I also had a headwind, of course. It was a hair band bike commute yesterday. In the morning, I listened to Guns ‘n’Roses greatest hits album and on the way home Poison’s. Something about warm weather inspires me to listen to 80’s hair bands. I am sure there is a psychological diagnosis in there somewhere!

It has been a busy week. On Tuesday, I met Joanne at Centraal at 1045 with instructions to be surprised. For my birthday, she took me to the Tong Tong Festival in Den Haag. This is a huge all things Indonesian exhibition. It was amazing! From the music to the food to the books. I met someone from the organization that works with survivors of the camps. I had wanted to get my mom a meeting with them but we were never able to do so. However, they are also willing to do family research so I am going to start that request too.

We bought sarongs – Joanne even bought two and I talked her into buying more super cute clothes. She can carry them off since she is super tall and slim, so all kinds of things look great on her. She just usually has to be pushed into committing to make the purchase. It is kind of like watching someone buy cheese, the same sort of vicarious thrill 😉 We had a really good time. Spending time with her always makes me laugh because she has no idea how funny she is. She bought some special beans that STINK. And I mean even through the plastic wrap. You don’t eat them per se, you use them to flavor another dish. The fun part of the beans was on the train back, it was very full. Joanne and I were sitting across from each other and her seatmate got this look on her face everytime she got a whiff of the beans. She eventually left – not sure if it was the train or just to sit somewhere else!

Wednesday we had the ECG for the cats. I have written about the policy here is that you are helping with your pets, you don’t just hand them off to the vet and wait. For both cats, I had to help with the process. The good news is that neither of them have an actual cardiac illness. In Moortje’s case, it is a side effect from the kidney problems. In Lientje’s case it is a birth defect most likely. Their hearts are not a separate issue which was a relief to hear. However, both of them tend to run now when I come near them because they don’t like getting their medicine two times per day. It also doesn’t work if I try to sneak it into their food. Sometimes you just have to live with the fact that you are not liked because you are doing the right thing. However, they both still come looking for attention at bedtime, so I guess I am not completely outside the ring of forgiveness. We have a followup in a month to see if Moortje’s blood pressure comes down.

At our birthday party last week, one of my colleagues gave me two books. The first was a 1965 copy of Simon Carmiggelt’s book Kroeglopen (Bar walking) that has beer and coffee stains on the front cover, actual rings. He was a very prolific Dutch columnist and his writing is pretty legendary. The book is a series of short stories about people that he comes across in various bars. It is important to call out the difference between a kroeg and a bar. A hotel has a bar, or a restaurant. A kroeg is more of a living room. It’s old and dark and might serve food but probably serves mostly bitterballen and fried stuff. Different kinds of people are attracted to bars versus those who go to kroegs. Kroegs normally have a cat – which lately the health inspectors are trying to fight. I was really pleased by the gift. From another coworker, I got a collection of necessary items like a light saber bubble wand, a monster truck tire swim float, fun things like that.

I have been trying to read only Dutch books this week which has been slow going. Helaas, it is not going to get any faster if I don’t do any reading so there you have it.

The washing machine is calling!

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