Morning Math: The Worst Math of the Day

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

There were two lines at the Tim Hortons kiosk - one for those ordering bacon, bagels and specialty drinks - and another for the rest of us.

As the young man behind the counter handed me my tea, I began digging through the giant expanse that is my purse. Gloves. Princess stickers. Altoids. Chocolate bar wrappers…

I was one customer away from my place at the cash register when I remembered the leftover taxi fare change in my pocket.

When I looked over the railing, I could see that it was turning into a busy morning in the hospital so I was glad to have arrived early. I was tired, but anxious to find out if my mom would be able to come home after a frightening 38 hours involving a blood transfusion.

“One fifty-five, please.”

The girl behind the counter watched my money land on the counter. She began to scoop it up and then, she stared at me.

Why are Dutch Moeders so Damn Happy?

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

I'm a Dutch girl. And so, when my editor at The Yummy Mummy Club recently asked if I would share my feelings on a Washington Post article suggesting that my people (specifically Dutch moms) are the most relaxed in the world.

I did, and here's how it went...

I’m five years-old and I’m in a small a town in northeastern Netherlands, visiting family with my parents. 

It’s late afternoon and some neighbourhood kids are riding bicycles on the paths that run beside my aunt’s house. I ask my uncle if he has any spare fietsen (bikes) in the schuur (shed) behind his garden. He does, but they are all too large, except for one that – if modified – should do the trick. He and my father make some adjustments while my mother and her sister enjoy a relaxing cup of tea. Moments later, I pedal past the house, sitting on a bed pillow strapped to the seat post of a too-large Dutch bike.

You can read the rest (and I hope you do) at:

You better watch out...

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

When I was a teenager, I worked in a record store located in the downtown core of a rapidly growing city. Beside the store was a run-down hotel where lived an assortment of characters – many of whom had an appreciation for Elvis Presley music and heavy metal t-shirts.

I still remember the time an exotic dancer came in to purchase a Metallica shirt. She asked if she could try it on. We had no change room so I suggested instead that she buy it and return it if it wasn’t a good fit. Instead, she removed her sweater – the only piece of clothing separating her bare skin from the patrons in the crowded store - and proceeded to don the t-shirt. It fit – thank God, much to the dismay of several young boys who had been flipping through the vinyl.

It wasn’t the only time I saw someone naked at the record store.

One evening, a man in an oversize Santa suit came into the store. Not a completely unusual event – we usually saw several folks in St. Nick costumes throughout the month of December – and occasionally other times of the year as well. Remember the exotic dancer?

This particular gentleman was built right for the part. The beard was his own and his belly needed no additional padding. Even so, he swam in the outfit as he wandered through the aisles… the pungent aroma of sweat and booze filling the air. Customers came and went as the man stumbled past the brand new compact disc displays, back towards the cassette tapes and classical vinyl. Then, it happened. Santa’s slacks fell down. I called my supervisor from the back of the store to offer assistance.

These would have helped - tremendously.
My boss suggested to the man that he perhaps head home for a rest. The man obliged, pulled his pants up and wandered out of the store. When he stepped onto the sidewalk, he tripped and went down, white butt up, red pants down, but not before at least a dozen full-sized vinyl records flew out from under his coat. The store manager and I couldn’t believe our eyes. Santa had been shoplifting and we were all too focused on his nudity to notice. Clever bugger.

In keeping with the season – and my story - here are some unique works of art inspired by Santa. You’re welcome. 

First, here's a lovely starfish ornament, painted by Jen in Oklahoma City. I hope she made sure the starfish was - y'know, deceased - before drying it in the oven, unlike some friends of mine who's house smelled like charred fish for a week.

Here, Santa looks a little skinny - and kind of scared.

Then,  there's this solid, glittery fellow created by Donna Curtin from New York...

Now that’s a jollier Santa.

Meanwhile, nothing says Christmas like a mooning Santa ornament. Am I right? Dee from Arlington Texas made this little wonder. I think Dee from Arlington, Texas and I could become fast friends.

I include this one because it helps to illustrate my tale. 
This is a little what it looked like that night at the record store.

Oh wait, here's a clearer view. That's better.
And if that's not wicked enough for you. Check out what else Dee has up her sleeve. Mrs Claus - not you too?! Oh my. Dee also makes flowers and pooping reindeer, but that's another story.

Who's naughty? We're naughty.
And finally, Sudarsan Pattnaik from India creates insanely amazing sculptures made of sand. Here is his take on the jolly old elf. He looks pretty relaxed, yes?

The largest sand Santa in the world. I hope he's just resting...

No, really.