Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A surprise (or two) for Mae Mulberry!

Mae Mulberry was singing a soothing lullaby while folding some freshly washed laundry. She just loves the smell of freshly laundered linen. Besides the great smells that she was surrounded with she also felt extremely content.

She is expecting her third child. A little girl, who she has hoped for and wished for, for so long. The new baby is due any day now and Mae knows that she should be taking things slow, but she is not one for sitting at home, waiting. The baby will be named Mae Elma Mulberry, but is already called Pumpkin by her parents and siblings, so Mae has a sneaky suspicion it will stay that way.

More reason for her contentedness is that her little laundromat business will have its 10 year anniversary tomorrow. She can't believe that it has been 10 years since she opened the doors. She and the business has grown so much. She remembers the days when she only had one bundle a day to wash. She did it with her hands. If it wasn't for the fact that her grandfather owned the small building and she inherited it from him, when he passed away, she would have never made it, but today her little one man business is doing very well. So well actually that she is considering buying a new state of the art machine, one that can washes and dry. Mainly to celebrate her decade of business but also because she really needs it.

She is aware of the fact that she does the laundry for most of the homes in Sugarbush Valley. Of course many of the women will deny this, when asked. The only woman she has never done any work for is Betty Blackberry, Roxy Renard, Pansy Chestnut, Heidi Mcburrows and Daisy Buttercup. She also knows that the Commune has its own washing machine, but that is about it. The rest of the villagers are clients and regular ones too. Her biggest client being Katrina Whiskers. Katrina is just to much of a perfectionist to have any dirty washing lying around in her house.

Mae is however unsure if she should take the leap. With the new baby on the way one never knows what one will need. Her train of thought was interrupted by a knock on the door. When she looked up, Mayor Trunk was standing in the doorway. "Oh my", she thought, "what is this all about." Savannah usually delivers the dirty washing. She really hope there wasn't any complaints. It was probably Nelson Puddleford, who complained about the hole in his trousers. She quickly gathered her thoughts, and only then noticed that Mayor trunk was accompanied by her husband, Elmar, Slick Slydale and Spencer Maces. What on earth could this be about.

Mae ( looking flustered): Hello Mayor Trunk and the rest of you. To what do I owe this surprise.
Hugo: No need to be so formal Mae, we have a little surprise for you.
Mae: A surprise for me? Elmar what is going on.
Elmar (with a twinkle in his eye): Relax Blossompot. Spencer will you explain?
Spencer (smiling): Sure thing. Well, Mae a while ago Elmar visited my shop and placed a very special order for you, or rather for the Laundromat's 10th anniversary. Though I tried my best, I couldn't fulfill his wishes.
Mae: What are you talking about? What special order?

Elmar: Mae, stop interrupting and just listen.
Slick: I overheard the conversation between Elmar and Spencer and decided to take action. According to me or rather to my wife you and Roxy Renard offers the most indispensable services to the villagers of Sugarbush Valley. I'm sure Velvette will get very depressed if you ever, for whatsoever reason has to close this establishment. So when I overheard that you will soon celebrate the business' 10th anniversary, I went to Hugo to make a proposition. Luckily, as it has always been with me and Hugo, we were on the same page immediately and without much time wasting, the special order was made and delivered to Beechwood Hall.
Mae: Ok now you are just being mean, what are you talking about Slick?

Hugo (formally): Mae, therefore with any further ado the town council of Sugarbush Valley would like to donate a brand new state of the art washer/dryer combo machine to your business, as a small token of our gratefulness for the wonderful service you have delivered to the residents of Sugarbush Valley, the past decade.
Mae (flushing scarlet red): What? Oh my, really! Wow, this is truly unexpected. What can I say?

Elmar: Blossompot, where is your manners, a 'thank you' will be in order.
Mae (even redder): Oh, yes, sorry, of course! Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is just that my shop is so simple and small in the bigger picture that I never in a thousand years expected this.
Spencer: Well may, as Slick pointed out to some of the women in the village your service is indispensable and my Arvey will totally agree.

After unwrapping the washing machine and everyone oohing and aahing about it, the men left, leaving only Elmar behind, who immediately got busy setting up the machine for Mae.

After deciding where to put it in the shop he started to connect the pipes. Mae was so grateful that her husband was a plumber, and knew that she will be able to start using this machine in no time. For the second time that day Mae's train of thought was interrupted, however this time it was not by an adult but rather by a very small person who decided to make its appearance.

Mae (calmly): Uhm Elmar, it is time.
Elmar (laughing): Patience Blossompot, it will soon be time to use this new machine, but I must admit it is a bit trickier to fit this.
Mae (less calm): No Elmar, you misunderstood... IT IS TIME!

Elmar looked up and when he saw his wife's facial expression he immediately understood.

Elmar (anxiously): Oh ... uhm... oops ... aah, really. Uhm, ok good. Lets go, luckily Dr Fisher is just next door.
Mae: Elmar you don't understand, I can't walk. She is coming NOW! Go and call Schroeder!

Within seconds Elmar was out the door. Mae was on the verge of panicking, as she realised that she is alone, and what if Elmar doesn't return in time. Luckily at that precise moment her daughter Candy, came into the shop.

Candy: Hi Mommy, how are things ... uhm ... Mommy are you ok?
Mae: Yes dear I'm fine, but listen, I need your help and I don't need you to panic! Can you do that for me?
Candy: I guess, what is going on?
Mae: Little Pumpkin is coming.
Candy: Oh really, joy! Lets go then!
Mae: No my dear, I'm not able to walk, Daddy has already gone to call Dr Fisher.

Candy: Should I be worried? What can I do, tell me Mommy!
Mae: No need to worry. Firstly fill a few buckets with extremely hot water, let the tap run until the water is very hot! Then on the shelf over there is clean linen, put a few on the floor, and then just a towel or two to support my head and back.
Candy: Done and done.
Mae: Thanks Candy.

At that moment Elmar and Schroeder came through the door. Without asking to many question, Schroeder kneeled next to Mae and within what felt like seconds Mae Elma Mulberry, aka Pumpkin, came into the world. Mae felt a calmness she has never experienced before and she realised just how blessed she is. After a thorough inspection and with a feeling of true satisfaction that mother and baby were fine,  Schroeder left.

Elmar, Mae and Candy couldn't stop looking at little Pumpkin and made remarks about just how small and cute all her body parts were. Mae looked up form her baby and was glad to see that Ike finally managed to find his way to the shop.

Mae: Ike, come in and meet your new baby sister.
Ike: What do you mean? Did I miss her grand entrance into the world?
Mae: Unfortunately yes, but she doesn't mind, look how cute she is!
Ike: I got lost again, I followed a blue bird from school into the forest to find out where they like to nest, for my school project, but when I looked up again I wasn't sure where I was. Luckily Mr Digger Mcburrows was nearby and he showed me the way.
Elmar: Don't worry Ike, one day everything will fall into place we are just glad that you are here now and could join in our happiness.
Ike (blushing): I guess thanks dad!

Mae looked at her family, then her eye caught her new machine and finally she looked at little Pumpkin in her arms. And she thought, "How lucky am I!" And for the third time that day her train of thought was interrupted, but this time by a tiredness she could no longer fight off.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The twins!

Hornbull Buttercup was enjoying his first cup of coffee of the day, while admiring the sunrise. He loved being a farmer and being surrounded by all this beauty.

His mind started to wonder, today he and his wife, Daisy, will be getting new twin babies. He is very excited about their arrival, but their is so many things that must be done first. He must saw some wood for the fire place and wood burning stove.

He needs to load the wagon with all the fresh produce that must be delivered to various shops in town.

Also the fresh milk and dairy products that Daisy made yesterday, must also be loaded and delivered to various places. He is not sure if he will manage everything before they have to leave.

As he was about to start with his daily chores, Daisy and little Cheddar came out.
Hornbull: Hi Daisy, everything okay? Should we leave earlier?
Daisy: No everything is fine, I just wanted to ask you a little favor, dear.
Hornbull: Anything, what is it?

Daisy: I will not have time to put my seedlings in the ground before we leave and I really want you to tidy up this mess around the trellis. I don't want to bring my new babies home to this mess.
Hornbull (feeling agitated): I also have lots to do and I'm sure it will be fine if we plant the seedlings tomorrow. Furthermore I'm sure the twins will not notice the mess.
Daisy (raising her eyebrow): And what will the guests say if they see the place like this? They will think we are unable to look after our own children.
Hornbull: How on earth ... uhm ... nevermind. I will do it for you, my love!

Daisy: Oh thank you, I knew I could count on you, you are my saviour. I'm going in to go and get ready for our trip.
Hornbull: It is my pleasure, maybe send the kids out to come and help. Paddock can help me and Annabell can look after Cheddar.

Hornbull knew he didn't had a choice other than to give in to his wife's demands but now he spend 15 minutes of his precious time debating about stupid seedlings and he got and extra chore to do. Luckily Paddock came out to assist his father. But of Annabell their was still no sign and out of the corner of his eye he could see that Cheddar is already planning all kinds of mischief. Hornbull adores his three children, but Cheddar is always the one that gets him worked up most. He just hopes that the twins will be less trouble, as if!

He gave Paddock some instructions and finally Annabell appeared.
Hornbull: Thank you Annabell for finally deciding to come and help me, please watch Cheddar, I think he is about to hurt himself with that rake.
Annabell: Daddy he will not listen to me and I'm scared of rakes.
Hornbull: Annabell, please. I really need your help now, we have lots to do. Why don't you take him to play on his baby slide.
Annabell: I guess that is a good idea, but actually I'm afraid of slides too.
Hornbull: Really you are? Lucky for you, you don't have to slide, just watch Cheddar.
Annabell: Ok daddy.

Hornbull and Paddock started to load the wagon. First all the dairy products and then the vegetables. Hornbull was considering to stop his vegetable deliveries and only plant for own use. He makes enough to live comfortably off the milk and dairy products' income, and he knew Bob Blackberry's market provided more than enough fresh produce for the whole village.

Finally all the dairy products where loaded.

Paddock quickly helped him to sort the vegetables and but it into suitable containers.

It was also then loaded. Finally the wagon was loaded and ready. Hornbull was wondering if their will be enough space for the rest of the family to sit though.

 Next he moved on to the wood. Paddock offered to fetch the horse in the barn. Hornbull was relieved to see that Cheddar was enjoying himself and the slide and the Annabell was quite content watching her brother.

Just as Hornbull was done sawing the wood, Paddock appeared with Moon, the horse.
Paddock: I fed him and gave him some water, daddy, so he is ready for the trip too.
Hornbull: Thank you son, that was good thinking.

Hornbull send Annabell and Cheddar inside to go and get ready for their trip. Now he only had one more chore to finish and he asked Paddock for help.
Hornbull: So son your mother want us to tidy this mess up, beautify the trellis and plant the seedlings. Are you ready for it.
Paddock: Sure dad, I'll move all the equipment while you plant the seedlings. I'm not totally sure how to do that, but I will love to watch and learn.
Hornbull. Great idea and it is really easy.

In no time they were done and Hornbull had to admit, with everything in its place, things looked better.
Hornbull: There, done! Ok son, you water the seedlings. We must water them daily and in no time they will start to flower.
Paddock: I can't wait. It looks really good dad, mommy will love it.

As if she knew they were talking about her, Daisy appeared.
Daisy: Oh how wonderful, this looks great. And so tidy. Thank you Hornbull and Paddock.
Paddock: I love helping dad, mommy and I'm glad you like it, now we just have to wait for flowers.
Hornbull: My pleasure dear, and I'm glad you are happy.

Daisy: You are truly my night in shining armour, thanks for saving the day.
Hornbull (looking perplexed): I don't know about saving the day, but well ... uhm ... yes. So are you ready to go and fetch our babies.
Daisy: Oh yes of course I am.

Hornbull and Paddock quickly freshen up and in no time they were off  to the village of Sugarbush Valley.

They first stopped by Cedar Terrace 1 to drop off Paddock and Annabell. They will be staying there for the time being. It was like a bee's nest with  children everywhere. The Chiffon siblings were there too, and Pippa informed them that Delia also asked if her children may spend the day too.

After a quick chat Hornbull, Daisy and Cheddar was on their way. First they will make the necessary deliveries and then they will go and find he twins. Pippa waived them good bye. The children immediately started playing together.

After a morning filled with fun and a lovely lunch, the children were exhausted and literally passed out. Pippa was relived as this gave Dorothy some time to pamper her. She was in desperate need of some grooming.
Pippa: Thank you Dorothy for the hair cut and styling. This is exactly what I needed.
Dorothy: My pleasure, I like to pamper you. You do so much for me.

The two was still talking, when they heard Hornbull's wagon nearing.
Pippa: Wow that was quick, I didn't expect them till much later!
They got up and went out.

To their surprise the wagon was loaded with people.
Hornbull (explaining): As we left, we bumped into the Chiffons. Along the way we passed Hubert and Hatty, who was accompanied by Schroeder and Isabel, so I offered them all a lift.
Pippa: This is wonderful, but don't tell me, were they all collecting their new babies.
Gordon: Yes we were, can you believe it.

Soon there was a buzz outside Cedar Terrace. Everyone was talking at the same time . Hornbull and Daisy introduced their twins Dolly and Fennel.
Dorothy: But were is all the other babies. You know how I feel about babies, please don't hide them from me.

All burst out laughing and showed Dorothy the babies on the wagon. They were introduced as Austin and Nigella Chiffon, Eddie and Michelle Fisher and Jethro and Cordelia Huckleberry. Everyone was fussing about the cute babies and how adorable they were.

Soon it was time for the Huckleberries and Fishers to leave. They thanked Hornbull for the ride and left.

The sleeping children were awaken by the noise and came down to see what the fuss was about. Annabell fell instantly in love with her new brother and sister and Karen just wanted to hold her new siblings but couldn't decide who to pick up first. Even Paddock told his dad how cute the babies are. Just David was a bit taken aback by all the babies.

After some time and numerous compliments and cuddles it was time to head home. Hornbull again offered a ride to the Chiffons as their house was on the way.
Hornbull: Bye Pippa and Dorothy, children. Thanks for watching the children and see you soon.
Pippa: Bye bye, come again soon. And good luck with the first night.
Gordon: Don't remind me, bye!