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.

A thankfully quiet week

Sometimes, having nothing to report about is the best thing ever.  Although it’s not very exciting, it’s also not sad or problematic.  I like that.

We did celebrate Mr. Bean’s birthday last weekend, much belated.  He wasn’t here for the actual date, so we were late.  Hey, that rhymed.  The youngest Bean and her two Mini-beans came for the event.  Gifts were opened followed by lunch and cake.

Bean spent two days at two doctor offices and was officially stuck by various blood-letting vampires multiple times.  First visit went well, one stick, three vials and done.  Second visit, two painful sticks by a total incompetent who went through the veins rather than in them (sigh) and then wriggled around trying to strike “oil” without success.  Bean told him she’d wait for the regular vampire.  Miss Janet, Mistress of Needles, struck once painlessly, and went away with her giant vial and the bean went home to nurse the bruises from Wednesday’s visit and the incompetent ones from today. The good news is, no more doctors for at a bit over three months.

On the day between visits to doctors, Bean attended her doll club meeting in Williamsburg.  The little girls, Smidge and Goobie, elected to stay home, as did I.  I’ve never been to doll club, but I have been to last year’s UFDC convention in Washington, DC, where I reported daily on Smidge and the Bean’s doings.  This year, we will be going to the Orlando UFDC convention, but that’s not until late July/August. Still… we look forward to all the events, seminars, workshops, and programs not to mention the exhibits and salesroom.  Whoohoo.

Our guest’s mama will be starting her journey home as of tomorrow.  Of course they drove, so it will take quite a bit of time.  Goobie is looking forward to family again, although she has been an excellent houseguest who we will miss.  Maybe she will come back some time.  We hope so.

Bean is studying her books on Mignonette dolls.  I guess Smidge and I might qualify, except we are resin rather than bisque.  I suppose that makes some difference, but we are small like they are.  Bean says she’s going to start sewing for them.  Hmm.  This is not the first time she’s declared this, so we shall see. They are pretty dog-gone cute.

So that’s all for this week, folks.  See you on the 26th.


Another sad week

Last week, we lost the old apple tree, but this week we lost fur family – Grand-dog Leo Cooper has crossed over the Rainbow to join his canine sister Lucky Cooper and Grandma Copenhaver.  Auntie Glenda says her Grandma is probably trying to catch Leo right now to pop him into a Unicorn outfit, one of her more sinister plans.  I suspect he will love every second.

This loss was much harder on the Bean than she expected since Leo is a Grand-dog, not her dog.  But she was quite emotional for a few days over it all, knowing the right thing to do under his dire circumstance and encouraging Auntie Glenda, but still being ultra sad herself, and we had to support her through it.  Leo was, after all, her first Grand-dog, and when he was still a baby, he flew all the way from Washington State to visit her in Virginia.  I wasn’t even around then, but she said it was pretty wonderful.  A Bijon Frise (words she had to learn to spell and pronounce), Leo was pure white and as bouncy as a rubber snowball, and so friendly you had to watch to be sure he didn’t disappear with a total stranger or lick someone to death.   Fortunately, he could be bribed with food but once the food was gone, he was someone else’s best friend.

To say he was the perfect dog would be to describe his appearance only.  In reality, he was a total scamp.  His mom and dad moved from their apartment to their first home soon after his adoption, and they promptly installed an electric fence.  They soon learned the extra transmitter was useful indoors too – it kept Leo from the counter top where they prepared food, and if properly placed, from the counter and the trash at the same time.  Such a busy boy.

Leo had no fear.  None.  Great Dane? Boxer? Mastiff?  No problem.  They were his best friends and playmates.  It never occurred to him that something much larger could be a danger.  If they were ready to play, so was he.  C’m on, buddies – beat ya to the other end of the yard!  He had a low center of gravity, and he was quick.

No dirty floors at his house.  The crumbs were gone before they even hit the floor.  And just in case, he’d lick the floor too.  Butler service.  And if you harnessed and leashed him, he could be dragged around as a mop, which could be very convenient in a pinch.  When a new baby sister/playmate entered his family last year, little Haley was trained to sit on a rug where she had to wait and watch Leo grab anything that fell from the master chef’s cook-space.  I think they made Haley sit and wait because poor Leo was, by then, pretty much blind and deaf, and he wouldn’t have stood a chance with young, eagle-eyed Haley at the ready.  But even deaf and blind, he could still sense food falling from above, and, after waiting patiently, Haley got her tasty reward.  Good girl, Haley.

Two years ago, Smidge was on the receiving end of one of Leo’s more playful whims, although she doesn’t describe it as playful when she tells the story…over and over.  I’ve now committed it to memory.  She was sitting comfortably outside on a table right between Auntie Glenda and our Bean when, out of nowhere, Leo lunged forth and grabbed her.  And in a grand display of his speed, he was g.o.n.e. in a flash.  And so was Smidge.  Thinking he’d gotten away with his sneaky maneuver (Auntie G & Bean were too shocked to move), he paused a bit.  Then there was screaming and the men pounced.  Until the screams, Leo had just enough cocky spirit to believe he was home free and had relaxed his grip on poor Smidge.  But when the men went after him, he repositioned her in his mouth and sped off.  A warning from Auntie G made everyone stay still because she said he thought that having them chase him was a game … and he was winning.  Finally, he was coaxed into giving up his prize.  Poor drooled-upon Smidge was most unhappy and quite wet.  There was momentary panic when they discovered one foot (still in its shoe) was missing, but where he’d paused, they found her foot (they are magnetic and meant to come off, though only intentionally).  She was relieved by the reattachment but insisted that she needed new hairs.  I don’t think she ever wore the old hair again.

Leo once managed to get his head stuck in a cracker box (he wanted a snack and helped himself), and his favorite foods were peanut butter and cheese.  Actually, most foods were his favorite.  He liked his eats.  His favorite place was the back of the sofa where he could look out the window at the wildlife.  His least favorite thing was the driveway alarm that made him hunger to destroy any approaching UPS driver and his truck.

Early in his formal training, it became obvious that Leo was not to be the under-dog but the Alpha.  The trainer actually tried to teach Auntie Glenda and Uncle GT to growl at him in an attempt to teach him that he was not the boss, they were.  It didn’t work.

At some point Leo lost his ability to control his bladder and tended to pee pretty much everywhere, including on you if you happened to be in the vicinity of his travels, so he was aquired a selection of belly bands with a sort of diaper liner to prevent any dribbles.  He looked quite fashionable in his myriad of colored fabric bands that stood out in stark contrast to his white fur.  But he was quite good about holding still long enough Velcro one on or to take one off before going outside or getting into his crate.

Was he a problem dog.  Well, yes he was.  He could be quite annoying.  Was he loved?  Absolutely.  Always.  Even when he misbehaved or whined incessantly because he thought all humans were meant to give him constant attention and so whined when they didn’t, he was loved.  He had only to cock his head to one side and fix his watery black-olive eyes on you, and you melted.  All of his quirks made up the super dog that he was, for good or bad, just like people.  None of us is perfect; we are who we are, he was who he was.  We are loved for who we are and in spite of who we are, and so was Leo.

Leo Cooper, you live on in our memories: we will never forget.

And all the boys flocked ’round…

She had been here so long, we thought she belonged here.  But for a couple of days after Amethyst was finally presented to Auntie Glenda and Pip, she became known as “New Girl” because, as it turned out, Pip’s middle name is Amethyst (total destiny, right?), yet there was concern about them having the same name.  In Auntie Glenda’s mind, she simply couldn’t embrace having two girls with the same name, even if it was a first name for one and a middle name for the other.  *sigh*

So New Girl hung out for a while with all the other big kids.  We all cheered when, eventually, she got a first name – Amalynn – before becoming Amalynn Amethyst Cooper-Herbert, sharing her middle and last names with her small sister Pip Amethyst Cooper-Herbert.  Moving along…no confusion there.

Anyway, we noticed that all the boys gravitated to her (well not me: I am above all that stuff).  Again, as before, when it was just Chase and Rebel, it became all the bigger boys – Chase, Rebel, Jaxson, and Cooper – each hovering around her chair.  Now to tell the truth, I’m not positive that Amalynn herself was the attraction – it might have been the purple chair – but they certainly surrounded her in a way that made us believe she had some sort of magnetic quality.


The girls also clustered around her too. What did she have that nobody else had?  Hmm…purple hair and a purple chair.  Check. When the visitors – Kestrel, Wren, and Cooper (plus some others whose names I can’t keep straight) – left, our girls disbursed, leaving the three remaining boys to keep watch…a very close watch. In fact, Amalynn looks intimidated and ready to run if any one of them made a false move.

Three keep watch...a close watch

And so the three hovered around.


Until… Monday afternoon, Auntie Glenda, Pip, her bestie Kestrel, and Amalynn all boarded a plane bound for Washington State.  Then this.

Gone Girl

Our three big boys were dumbfounded.  Amalynn of the purple hair and her purple chair…all was gone.  To this day, they continue to stand around the place where Amalynn’s chair used to be, as if by doing so they will somehow invoke her return.  They are stalwart and patient.  They are…   well, probably.

They will apparently remain standing there in place for as long as it takes…or until something else more exciting happens.

Something always happens around here.


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?