Holy hot frijoles!

Just last week I was writing about our heat wave.  Now it’s more like a giant heat zone that some might call an oven.  We are baking, broiling, and steaming in Virginia.  I seriously fear my resin self will melt.  I have warned the Ruruko gang to stay indoors since they are not made of such stern stuff as I, and they literally could suffer an actual and potential phychotic melt-down.  It’s bad.  But what do we do?

Our Adventure Bear, Breezy, chose a nice cup in the ice cube tray to hang out.

Breezy in the freezy

The dollie campground was empty today, and only some dry dust blows through.  You can see the heat waves wafting up from the pavement.  The neighbor’s cat, Henry, is surely hiding under a bush somewhere, too hot to even venture over to beg his portion of cat food, always happily dispensed to him by one of the household.  His family is extremely negligent.  The birds don’t have the energy to tweet or chirp.  I personally can hardly type this column with all the stops to wipe up the drips on the keyboard as I sweat it out.  Even sweating makes me sweat.

Whatever were she thinking when Bean decided to attend the UFDC Convention in Orlando.  Didn’t she understand that’s in Florida, home of extreme heat, humidity, and alligators? Baby Bean was actually born there, so she should know how horrid it would be in late July and August. I imagine that we won’t even have to be cooked to become Gator lunch – one foot out of our air-conditioned rental car and we are toast.

But wait.  I just checked that weather internet site and lo!  It’s cooler there than here!!! And it’s not the dust bowl we are but is raining almost daily there to boot.  Can we please, PLEASE leave tomorrow, not two weeks from now? Please???





We’re having a heat wave

Thank goodness I’m resin or I’d melt in this heat.  Yesterday it was 99 here with a heat index in triple digits.  Well, so this is not a fun zone.

The thought of heading south to Orlando in a couple of weeks makes my internal stringing stretch and sag.  I can only imagine how hot it might be there.  Bean used to live there (youngest Bean Sprout was born in Orlando), so she knows and also dreads the humidity that comes with FL heat.  It’s ugly there, although all interiors are AC-equipped at least, some actually to the point of needing coats to survive.  So outside it’s blazing saddles, and indoors it’s a blizzard.  Crazy stuff.

Auntie Bean lives in the Pacific Northwest where nobody seems to have AC in their homes, despite the annual heat wave that last a week or so.  Those people get all excited when they see the sun, but when it lasts more than a week and produces actual heat and not just light, they aren’t so thrilled.  Fortunately, it’s generally a short-lived experience.  My Bean says no heat wave is short enough for her.  She’s a bit on the hot-house delicate side: too hot is no good and too cold is no good.  She prefers “just right.”  Hard to come by here in central Virginia.

So wherever you are this week, and whatever the weather, just be comfy and safe and just warm enough but be chill.


Saying Goodbye

We had to say goodbye to Auntie Glenda, Cousin Pip, and Cousin Amalynn on Wednesday afternoon.  Everyone was pretty sad.  Smidge and Cousin Kestrel went to the airport with our Bean to say goodbye.  Photobombed by Auntie Glenda

When they came back, they told the rest of us all about it.  There were a few tears.  It’s hard to have them for so long and then have to say goodbye to them.  But they’ll be back.  And Smidge and Kestrel will see them again when they go…oh, I shouldn’t tell secrets.

And then Kestrel and Cooper went home with their Bean last night.  Auntie Sara came to pick them up and help move boxes (we are drowning in boxes moved from the cleaned out house).  One house may be cleared out but now our house isn’t.  Ugh.  Anyway, we had to say goodbye again.  More sadness.  We miss them all. When they left, little Riley must have jumped out of the case because Auntie texted in the middle of the night to report him missing.  Bean promised we would care for him, but now Smidge (after being told she could not keep Riley) wants a dog.  Good Grief!


We are trying to sort out boxes and get organized, but that’s not happening very fast.  The house is full and we can barely pick our way through it, much less begin to organize what’s in it.

In three weeks, Bean, Smidge, and I leave for Orlando and this year’s UFDC Convention. We all went last year.  Smidge has a special pouch Bean wears so Smidge can see everything.  She texts me on her “pinkmost cell,” and I report daily on their doings from our Suite.  OK, it’s just a room, but whatever.  I know my fans will want to read all about the doings there, so I’ll keep reminding you.  And in just over a week after our return. a friend from MN will be visiting, and we will all go to a carving here in Virginia.  So much excitement to look forward to.

But we miss Auntie, Pip, Amalynn, Kestrel, and Cooper.

Family is for loving.

I can see what from where?

It was a busy and difficult week plus, and I was too tired to post last Friday.  The things that go wrong with clearing out a house often have zippo to do with cleaning out a house.  On their first dump run, the men were forced to call roadside assistance to tow the pickup from the dump! They had turned it off when dumping and it wouldn’t start, an ongoing problem since before Ruby three years ago.  They had to push She, Who Shall Not Be Named (pickup’s name) out of the dump because the dump was locking the gate.  Then the scheduled tow never came, so a second tow was dispatched. Three hours later, the Bean collected them from the fix-it shop.

Without the pickup, they decided to rent a moving truck from U-Haul.  There was heated discussion regarding what they needed to rent. Young Mr. GT thought another pickup would do; Mr. Happy said a panel van was more than adequate and covered in case of (and there was much of it) rain; but my Bean insisted that they should get a real moving truck of the smallish variety – 10 ft. – because it not only gave them cover, but they didn’t have to crouch over inside.  They only difference was a slightly higher mileage fee per mile.  They caved: Bean won. Turned out that the greater capacity because of the height also meant fewer trips to the dump, to the house, or to Auntie Sara’s house with some things we’d been saving for her were fewer and fuller.  My bean is so smart.

But on day one or two of the rental truck, Mr. Happy had to call roadside assistance again.  He’d locked the keys in the rental.  And then the next day – or was it the same day? – the days blur somewhat, Ruby suffered from a stutter and go problem.  She just refused to go without a series of stop and go bucking at a stoplight.  The next day, Mr. Happy took her to the repair shop but they said she had to go to the Ford dealer.  So off they went, Mr. Happy driving Ruby with Young Mr. GT following in the newly fixed pickup, She, and her long overdue new fuel pump.  They made it about half way before Ruby simply stopped and refused to go.  Hello, roadside assistance?  We need a tow.  This one came in only 30 minutes. Whew.

Much time was spent on waiting for roadside assistance and less on the actual business of sorting, dumping, gifting to Goodwill, or moving items, but much was accomplished with the help of Young Mr. GT, Auntie Glenda, and Mr. Happy.  I think the Bean directed traffic.  It’s not quite done, but there will be some re-directing and shifting of “stuff” on Monday after a suitable recovery period.  Bean suffered a bent knee issue and back problems during the week, and she’s still trying to get over that.  But they claim they can see Russia from their back yard.  Not sure what that means.

So until next week, I’ll be outside with my binoculars, looking for Russia. They say it’s out there.


And the son is here

He’s Bean’s boy, and he just flew out from Washington State.  He’s going to help Bean and Mr. Bean clear out the spare house and help them get it ready for sale.  Very exciting, and most kind of him since it will be a lot of work and effort on everyone’s part.  The Bean is positively grateful.  She and Boy will begin tomorrow, but will do only a small bit before choosing other options for the day.

So, as of today, we have Bean, Bean Boy, and Auntie Glenda (who calls Bean Boy Mr. GT and Dear and sweet things).  Of course Pip and Amalynn are both here, and Cousin Kestrel has stayed on as well.  We have a full house… almost.  Tomorrow, Mr. Bean (sometimes called Mr. Happy) will be here and everyone will stay for more than a week to help the clean out of the old house.

We are lucky to have them all – Bean says we may need a whole army for that old house.  Auntie Glenda will be here until July 5, and that’s nice, but we will lose the menfolk sooner.  Sad.  We try to be grateful for the time we get with them.

I may have to start working on sorting my stuff too.  Sigh.

A small doll’s work is never really done.


Laissez-faire, lazy, or just right?

Auntie Glenda popped in for four days before she and Pip headed off to visit relatives and friends on Monday.  They will be back in a week (Sunday), but until then, she left Amalynn and Kestral behind, so we have company, assuming Auntie Sara doesn’t come over and gather them up to take with her.

There are plenty of beds in the dorm for them to stay, but the girls are concerned about the lack of proper bedding.  They have managed thus far, but would prefer that the Bean take them shopping for fabrics so they can do it up right.  So far, they’ve gotten no attention from the Bean, who is in cleaning mode (sort of) and refused to stop what she’s doing for fear she’ll never get back to it.  Cleaning is not her thing.  Actually, cleaning is the wrong word.

The correct word should be organizing.  I must say that she is mentally organized – about as mentally organized as they come – but she can’t keep the physical stuff arranged properly or neatly to save her life.  That means she sort of knows where stuff might be, but not exactly where.  It’s like living in a puzzle house where mysteries abound.  It taxes her mentally to try to pull it together to create the perfect system that she imagines, but once she’s worked up her courage to attempt it, she doesn’t want to stop for fear she’ll never …. Yeah, that.  So far she’s “never.”  But that does not deter her from trying.

During Tuesday’s archeological dig, she unearthed an old Chinese fortune – you know, from inside a fortune cookie – that she’d saved.  It teaches you Chinese on one side with lucky numbers and pronounces your fortune on the other.  Her Chinese word was “chéngzi” meaning “orange” (not terribly  useful since it’s one of her least favorite colors), but her favorite/lucky number was among those listed – 37 – don’t ask.

The fortune itself is quite profound and reads, “Grand adventures await those who are willing to turn the corner.”  She quite likes it, and from afar, Auntie Glenda suggested a fortune keeper pendant to hold it.  She sent a link, but it was too costly (are you sitting down?) at over $100.00!  Bean did some sleuthing, and she found one for much less.  She’s trying to decide…  Deciding and organizing are not always her strong suits. OK, she decided.  Let’s see – $103.99 v. $15.98 including shipping.  That was easy.  Done.  Ordered.

She made a list of stuff to do while Auntie Glenda and Pip were away, and by the early afternoon on Tuesday, she’d managed to accomplish the things from Monday’s list and even part of Tuesday’s.  She believes in her list, so she’s temporarily content.  Unfortunately, her enthusiasm faded quickly.

So now it’s Friday and the list still looms rather large.  She took a day off to go sew with her Doll Club people, but Mr. Happy is arriving tonight, and a Hitty Club member plus Auntie Glenda and Pip will be here by Sunday with Hitty Club happening here on Monday. The house isn’t entirely clean, the food is not prepared, and things are not … well, not quite.

Yet the Bean persists in having fun rather than fussing over her list.  The list is still there and she’ll still accomplish much of it, but she is of the opinion that the food will be prepped, the house will be semi-clean though probably not organized, and her friends won’t care what her house looks like because they don’t come to critique her house.

Good thinking, Bean.

Life is about turning those corners.






Stuff is not always where it ought to be

This week, the Bean is making yet another stab at organizing.  This is something that rarely works, either permanently or completely.  It’s always incomplete and short-lived.  She generally mutters that she simply has too much stuff, but I attribute this to her creative tendencies – creative people are rarely tidy people, though there are exceptions. We don’t know any of those people, but we’re certain there are some.

The process of organizing also seems to create a need to finish projects, find missing items, and do many things totally divorced from organizing.  So naturally, Bean has been engaged in all these things simultaneously and has proven herself successful at virtually none.

We have Hitty Club coming up in a few weeks, and another member left in my Bean’s care the “project parts” for our next meeting.  They are kits for a cute little wooden doll for our Hittys (since Hitty is just over 6″ herself, you know her dolly is tiny).  It’s Bean’s job to figure out the best method of assembly (no, the kit was not terribly helpful with instructions) and gather supplies with which to do so, and it’s her friend’s job to put together a little dress pattern for the dollies to wear so the members can finish the assembly and dress their new cuties.

Some time ago, another Hitty friend told Bean about a great little tool that she decided would be just perfect for cutting apart the arm pieces for the dolls.  And that she needs it, the tool can’t be found.  Neither can the pair of eyes she had waiting to be inserted into a blind doll that’s been seeking vision. So a good deal of the week has been spent searching for these items, one of which was in her hands less than a week ago and the other only a few weeks prior to that.  Where have the missing items gone?

Bean’s friend, Julie Old Crow, has a theory she calls The Fifteen Minute Rule. The Elves whose job it is to forward everything into future time took an overly long coffee and cake break and missed some things … in this case, Bean’s things.  And then along came the Borrowers.  Now I can see how a couple of them might really like the missing tool, but we have no idea what they plan to do with a pair of blown glass doll eyes.  The entire thing is a mystery of sorts, but we believe in the Crow’s Rule, so we wait.

We were hoping that there would soon be a universal shift and the missing items would simply reappear, making us believe (yet again) that they were there the entire time and their absence would be our fault for not seeing them right there in the first place. Sadly, we have no Lost & Found department, and though we checked under the television and in the sandpile, our missing items were not in either place, so we continue our wait.

We exerted great patience over a period of over a week, and today, both missing items have reappeared. We think it might have been because the Bean cleaned her glasses.

Or the Elves’ coffee break finally ended.