For some time, we have been harboring a secret (and I could hardly contain myself) from Auntie Glenda and Cousin Pip – a new big sister for Pip has been staying at the house for a couple of months.  She told us her name was Amethyst, and she’s a cutie.  She has purple hair, just like Pip, so we knew right away they were destined.  Not even Auntie Glenda knew she was here, so we are all beside ourselves with excitement for this visit. That’s Amethyst in the main photo with all the Ruruko cousins surrounding her. So cute, though she looks a wee bit overwhelmed.

And yesterday, Auntie Glenda and Pip finally came!  They are here for just over a week.  Tomorrow is Auntie Sara’s eldest daughter’s art showcase at her high school (Center for the Arts), something they do twice a year.  My bean made sure Auntie Glenda knew she could come a bit early and get to attend this spring showcase with the rest of the family.  They will all also attend a friend’s wedding in another week.  Lots of doings for Bean, Aunties, little Beans, and Cousins.

And when Auntie Glenda and Pip go home, Cousin Kestrel is going with them for a nice visit until they come back in June.  Kestrel and Amethyst have already met, and they are the same size, so I know they will have fun together and it won’t seem so strange since they’ll be with each other.  And they will have more than a week to get to know and love cousin Pip before they leave.  My bean says she may need to get busy making some sleeping bags for them.  Pip is all out of sorts over where Kestrel will stay since her house is…well, Pip sized rather that Kestrel/Amethyst size.  It’s a good thing that Pip had no idea there would be two bigger girls going home with her or she’d have been a complete mess.  I’m sure this thought will strike her soon, so there may be some sort of melt down.

But for now, we have wonderful visitors and all sorts of fun stuff going on here.

I hope you have fun stuff going on where you are too.

They are home

Smidge, Goobie, and the Bean (doesn’t that sound a bit like a book title or a film?) are home.  I know they were worn out.  Smidge and Goobie didn’t even want to emerge from the Pinkmost Capsule for three days, and the Bean went to bed early and got up late every day.  They seem to be normalizing now, which is somewhat of a relief.

They reported that lots of Spiller and Arrietty dolls as well as a Homily and a Pod were born in Arkansas.  The dolls come from a book series about them, The Borrowers.  They are little people who live in the walls, beneath the floor boards, and anywhere near humans from which they borrow.  No humans?  They must move to find some since they are primarily dependent on the humans’ larders, gardens, and crumbs. Missing something?  It’s been put to good use by the borrowers.

Now the Bean, who mostly finished her Spiller, Spiller

who she’s admired for many years in the form of a head carved by Janet Cordell (see above photo of Janet’s head), is heavily into scavenging the trash, watching the gutters, and saying a lot of “don’t throw that out!”  Bottle caps have become plates, safety pins are towel racks, and all manner of what we once might have called disposable suddenly has its uses.  Bean says her Spiller is not up to par with Janet’s Spiller, but he will be welcomed no matter what. Hopefully, he’ll be finished soon and we can show him off.

Naturally, as you may have guessed, she plans to make her dollhouse sized Borrowers a house, furnished primarily with castoffs borrowed from the human world.  She’s developing a fine collection – a cogwheel for the fireplace, her matchbox dresser, made in Arkansas, and a Champagne cork stool.  She needs to finish carving her Spiller and then get to work carving Homily (the mother), Arrietty (the young daughter), and Pod (the papa).  I do love a new project, as does the Bean, and no doll is complete without a place to sleep.  Happily, these new friends are small enough that Spiller could actually bunk in with me if necessary… and if he wanted to.  I’ll tell him that when next I see him.  He’s a bit elusive, that Spiller, and he’s very much the silent type.

The perfect housemate.






Road trips are always nice, but so is staying home, which I’m doing this time.  Most of the doll siblings and cousins will be here with the old cat (Flashlight as they call her on Facebook, or Wiki-Wiki, her given name).  Only the Bean, Smidge, and her friend Goobie are heading off to Winslow, Arkansas on this trip.

Also this week, though nearly a week ago now, Bean’s best friend’s son shipped out.  Well, plane-d out since he flew, but still he’s gone.  Joined the Navy and is headed for boot camp at Great Lakes Training Center before heading on to Texas in a couple more months.  That was a tough goodbye, but all the littles must grow up, and so he’s off on his Grand Adventure.  We are very happy for him, even though we will miss him.  Bean has known him since he was 6, and he’s 19 now. Time flies. So getting away is good for Bean right now.  Changes are inevitable, and she says one must view these changes as just a new path and a fresh adventure.

Smidge and Goobie have been poring over clothing, with Goobie trying on Smidge’s left-overs, the things that are NOT pink, so totally unwearable in Smidge’s mind.  Goobie seems to enjoy her new borrowed clothing.  It’s very handy to have a friend who is just your size with some spares. They finally found a few things that Smidge agreed to loan out (the tricky part), and they finished packing their things yesterday.  They had to leave the kittens at home (Happy insisted, telling them they weren’t allowed where they were going), and I promised to take care of them.  The bigger ones will care for the trees, watering and singing to them.  Auntie Sara will take care of Flashlight and keep a watch on things.

I’m rather looking forward to this quiet time to relax.  There always seems to be a lot of hustle and bustle since the Bean is always engaged in some project or having friends over or getting phone calls, and Smidge is….well, she’s Smidge.  Anyway, some peace and quiet will do me good and regenerate my spirit every bit as much as a vacation to Arkansas, so I’m very content to sit at home on my Stay-cation.

A Stay-cation means I don’t work, so that’s what I’ll be doing next week – not working.  Bean laughed at that and says that because she’s an online tutor for the university, her work travels with her and she never really gets a break from it. I sympathize, but I’m secretly glad my work doesn’t follow me, or stick too closely to me.

So safe passage to Bean, Smidge, and Goobie.  I’ll be home, chilling.  See you all in two weeks on the 14th.

Ho hum, where’s the paper and my slippers?


Yup, we are making our lists and checking them twice.  It’s time for a road trip!

Smidge, Goobie, and probably not me (I haven’t decided if I’m going yet, but I can still write my column with info the Bean sends to me) will be headed to Arkansas via rental car exactly one week from tomorrow.  The fact that a full week of time exists prior to departure means nothing to Smidge.  She made the Bean pull out her giant box of clothing to see if there would be anything suitable for Goobie to borrow, since she arrived with nothing but her … well, with what she had on.

Smidge’s Giant Pink Box with a top loading compartment and three drawers inside is filled to the brim with tiny pink clothing for her highness.  First of all, it means that everything inside is pink and Smidge approved, so the contents are (naturally) entirely unsuitable for her friend Goobie, who is simply not a pink gal: second, it means that “suitable for Smidge” suggests that there will be no sharing, no matter how good a friend Goobie might be.  Hmm.  I have offered Goobie a spare sleeping bag.

Fortunately, the Bean noticed a “discard” box nearby, and in it were all the things Smidge possessed which she had, for some reason (as in “not pink”), rejected.  So they dug around until they found a couple of things for poor Goobie to wear, along with her one outfit and her nightgown.

They are also making lists of important items, printing directions, updating the GPS, and packing up a first aid kit since Smidge is nurse in charge on the adventure.  She will take at least one uniform, of course.  She feels she must, at the least, look official.  Since they are attending a wood-carving workshop, it’s practically a guarantee that some blood will be spilled.  She’s gathering Band-Aids, ointments, some more serious wrap-around bandages, and a few soothing items (dolls and such) for victims to hold for comfort while they are being attended to medically.  Smidge says these things are bound to happen, so she wants to be fully prepared at the nursing station.

Hopefully, this will all fit in the rental car with room to spare since Bean is picking up her friend and roommate at the airport on the way there.  Smidge is not a light packer…I shall attempt to supervise and help her condense.

Only one week. Are you making your list? Checking it twice? When in doubt, follow Smidge’s advice.

Bring everything:  leave nothing behind and nothing to chance!



I’ve looked for it everywhere, but it’s gone.  I checked under the bed, behind the chair, and on top of the bookcase, but it just isn’t there.  I asked the cat if she saw it and she simply looked at me sadly and walked away.  So when I say it’s gone, it’s gone.

My bean says this has happened to her too.  She’s lost it, or at least lost track of it. Sometimes it seemed to be a productive loss, and at others, it was more like accidentally putting out the sterling silver for the trash man.  He takes it, and then it’s too late: it’s just gone, never to be recovered.

Sure, you can go to the dump and dig through the rubble, and good luck with that. Some things can be located and retrieved, but not this. Never this.

We all claim to value it highly, but then we waste it, as if there will always be some endless supply of it, which is to say that really, it’s not at all valuable.  And of course that isn’t true.  It’s the essence of everything, but all things have an end.

Farewell to yesterday’s time, lost and gone forever.

I’m sorry I didn’t remember to even say goodbye.

Mail call

So I was inside and Smidge and Goobie were in the sunroom, singing to their trees, when the postal carrier rang the bell yesterday.  There was a small box, bigger than me, so Happy brought it in.  It had her name in the address, but Goobie and Smidge’s names were in red on the outside with a heart and arrow through it between them.  WP_20170310_004

But it wasn’t addressed to them, so I asked and Happy said I could open it.  There were two lumpy bags inside, addressed to them, so I set them aside.  But there were other things too, hard and flat, and five of them.  I unwrapped them one by one.WP_20170310_005

Lots of paper (I kinda made a mess) but eventually, I had unwrapped a really cool card table and chairs, totally meant for me.  I mean, the chairs had red seats and backs, and the table had a red felt top.  Everyone knows I like red.  Mine for sure, and Happy agreed.WP_20170310_010

So I rearranged my Breadbox, hauling the hammock up to the sun deck (no small feat), and installed the table and chairs on my patio.   Perfect fit.  And then I borrowed two decks of cards from Smidge, who never uses them anyway, even though she’s had them for a year and a half!  She kept them in a basket under the bottom bunk of the Glamper.  What a waste of perfectly good cards.  She’s never even opened them, so I figured it was long past time to put them to use.

She found out.  Smidge knows everything.  Why she is so selfish with something she has never used is beyond me, but she took great exception to my taking without asking, which is a fair complaint.  So I said I was sorry I got a bit overenthusiastic and took them without asking, and could I please borrow them since she wasn’t using them.  She said no!  And that’s when a huge argument ensued, and Happy had to come to break it up and see what was going on.  We told her.

Our Bean quite reasonably pointed out that I would not harm the cards, which were meant to be played with; Smidge hadn’t even opened the boxes since she found them in her Flamingo Stocking at Krismiss in 2015; and there was no good reason she shouldn’t share things with her cousin.  Smidge is normally a most reasonable individual, and I guess she was just mad about what I’d done without asking, and really I don’t blame her.

Anyways, Smidge accepted my most sincere apology, and I invited Goobie and her to come to the Breadbox for a few games later.  They said no at first, but then Happy said they needed to get in more (don’t Beans usually tell us to get out more?) and not spend all their time with the trees, which she said would be just fine without them 24/7.  So they said yes.

Now, I have to go home and sweep up.  Company is coming, and we’re gonna have fun.

Lesson: Don’t take things that don’t belong to you without permission.


Singing to the trees

This is Goobie’s second week with us, and she managed to interest Smidge in some gardening.  Happy got a plant wish-book in the mail this past week, and while it’s rather large for them, they somehow managed to handle it.

Their interest was so strong that she felt compelled to purchase a living plant for each of them – young Bay Laurel trees.  Smidge named hers Bay and Goobie named hers Laurel.  After admiring them near the Glamper and Sweet shop, they read the tag and learned that they like full sun.  So they somehow dragged the container with the two trees in it out to the sunroom so they could have sunlight whenever they wanted it.  Then Auntie Glenda told them she talks to her plants; never ones to just do anything part way, Smidge and Goobie decided to sing to their trees.

Therein lies another tale, a tale of Wassailing the Apple tree.  There are two types of Wassailing, the kind where peasants go door-to-door and the houses they visit would bring out food and drink in exchange for their good blessings and good will.  You’ve all probably sung the song, “Here We Come a Wassailing.”  The other sort of wassailing refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year. Now our poor old apple tree, yes we have only one rather than a full orchard, apparently needed more Wassailing that the Bean gave it after we moved to this house, but the first year Bean and friends did it right, under the full moon on Epiphany, singing their hearts out for the tree and chanting,

Here’s to thee, old apple tree,
That blooms well, bears well.
Hats full, caps full,
Three bushel bags full,
An’ all under one tree.
Hurrah! Hurrah!

It did bear fruit for a several years after that, but basically, it’s now dead and about to fall over.  And it’s all because they only Wassailed it one year. Bean needs better friends and some motivation.

So, this is the lesson we all must learn: sing to your trees, people.  If you want them to thrive, sing. This is why Goobie and Smidge are singing daily to their Bay Laurel trees. These two dedicated gardeners have been most attentive to the trees, refusing to leave their sides.  Worried about them standing about for so long, Happy brought out the folding chairs from the Glamper for them.  They chose “My Little Nut Tree” as this week’s song.

I hab a widdle nut tree,
Nutin wud it bare,
But a silvr nutmeg
An a goldn pair.

The King of Spain’s dawtur
Cum ta visit me,
An all fur da sak
Ob ma widdle nut tree.

Sing, most sincerely. Everyone, sing.

But could you perhaps find a new song for next week?  Please