Air Trip

Smidge is heading off with the Bean, a Hitty, and two Queen Annes to Arkansas to oversee the birth of a new Queen Anne.

This is an annual spring event as they head to Sky Vue in Winslow.  They have asked me to come along, and I’m considering it, but I worry about the ones who stay behind.  They seem to rely on me, and frankly, if I’m not here, there’s no telling what they might get up to. I have one more day to make up my mind.  The Bean said I should since, come UFDC time, I am required to attend, so I might as well give it a trial run when I’ll only be gone a short time. Hmm, guess I just made up my mind to go along this time.

The new place and all that must be done is beginning to shape up.  The Bean has gas, electric, and water/sewer, the new bamboo flooring has been ordered and hopefully will be delivered shortly after our return, we have new landscapers (Bean loves the name of the company, Sparky Bark), Cali’s Invisible Fence was installed, and she’s on her second week of training. She knows what the flags mean, and if her nose or some other part gets too close, she feels a little tickle (it does not, contrary to popular belief, shock them) or correction as they call it, and she immediately goes the other way.  At home, she has a unit by the back side of the counter with flags all around it, and she avoids it like the plague.  LOL. Bean takes her to the new place daily to walk the perimeter. When we get home from the trip, she will start again and have about a week of this before her, possibly, final training that will teach her to open her doggie door (her collar unlocks it, but she has to learn to push through. They are also installing a new “rock” (a separate device they will wire up to keep her out of a large planting area) and making a loop that prevents her from going directly from the back to the front yard where I won’t be able to see her.  She can still go out the front door, but will be contained even so. It’s a great system that lets her run freely but not get lost or hurt if she made it to the road.

When we return, we have an appointment for someone to come and provide estimates for several things that still need doing, as well as install Central AC.  In the Pacific North West, not a lot of homes have AC because it’s only needed for cooling now and then.  However, the Bean has allergies, and AC also filters the air to keep out the month-long-smoke from fires burning in CA, OR, and B.C.  It made her quite ill last year, an part of the smoke came in during the 90-degree heat wave when windows had to be open with fans running to cool things down. Bean is saving the worst repair for last –  a new roof on the shed whose current shingles outlived their lifespan about 10 years ago, by the looks of things.

So Cali goes to Camp Happy Paws tomorrow, the Bean and we pack, and our flight leaves at 6AM on Sunday morning.  Ugg.  I may have to stay awake all night to be sure that everyone else wakes up!!

I’ll try to keep you posted from AR, but if so, it will NOT be through the column but on my Facebook page,



One more week…

The countdown is on. By next week, we will be the proud owners of a new home here in Washington State. Everyone is all a-twitter. We have not seen the house itself yet, just photos, so it will be exciting for us. We are not certain if the Bean will allow one of us to visit next week or not, but she will tell us all about it. We hope.

She has been on the phone all week, making arrangements for repairs, installations, etc. including the flooring people, a Plumber, the HVAC people, the Invisible Fence people, the utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.), and of course with the real estate agent. She’s also made arrangements for the Pup to spend the night at Camp on Closing day so she can meet with repair people on Friday at the crack of dawn without distractions.

She was happily reminded that Auntie Sara from VA will be on the West Coast the following week. Pinkly is beside herself anxious to know whether Cooper will come with her. She’s smitten, you know…we all know. Sigh. Love is tricky business long distance.

Bean says it was a great relief to have sold our former home and, while she will miss it greatly because it truly felt like home to her, she has moved on and reminded us that we must move on also. The Condo is quite nice, but it didn’t feel much like home since we never got ourselves unpacked.  Our house sat empty. Smidge says she wants to redecorate it – get new furniture and such. Her friend Goobie sent her a lovely hinged photo of the two of them, and she said it was her inspiration for a new décor, though truth be told, she had already begun the renovation by purchasing a new bed for herself.

Smidge on her bed with Goobie gift

She probably thought we wouldn’t notice she had done that, but it’s sitting on the kitchen table, so it’s rather obvious. And she keeps lounging on it with Pinkly and Hitty Jadina. She’s making herself at home without actually having a home right now. Smidge knows how to make do.

Also on the horizon is the Spring (Vernal) Equinox when day and night are balanced, 12 hours each. This occurs here at 2:58 pm PDT on Wednesday, March 20. This is a time of  “new beginnings,” and it is most auspicious that it will occur right before the new house closes the following day. We welcome spring after the worst winter in our recent memory, and certainly we experienced the most snowfall totals the Pacific Northwest has had in decades.

The Vernal Equinox warms not only the soil, but our hearts as well. We look forward to the new season and what it will bring to us.

We just hope that, before the Summer Solstice, we are moved…and unpacked!

Our Week and Weather in review

First we had sun. Then we had snow. Then we had rain, Then we had more snow. Then we had hail. Now we are back to sun. That is all.

Bye-bye to Noble House.  We shall miss her, our first home. That happened yesterday.

We are organizing here at the condo, sorting through stuff in drawers, the garage, etc. Bean says learning to organize is important, so although we don’t love the process, we are doing it all the same.

We suffered a small setback in moving to the new house.  The bamboo flooring the Bean is having laid in the new house probably has to be ordered since it’s unlikely they will have that much flooring in their warehouse.  Then it needs to be delivered, “forted” (something about opening all boxes and laying it out so air circulates), and acclimated to the house for two weeks prior to being laid. And someone has to rip out the carpet. That means it’s gonna take a lot of time. There will be no sudden moves in our future, and so we are likely to live on the windowsill in the condo until May. Sigh. We aren’t homeless, but we do seem live in limbo.

Shout-out to our friend Goobie Scopel whose Papa’s health is finally improving. We love and miss you, Goobs. smiley-waving-hand-18806318

Two weeks to house closing. We shall carry on.


Friday again?

Probably everyone has noticed how time seems to sometimes move quickly and yet, at other times, it seems to stand still? Such an odd phenomenon. Even odder is when it seems to do both at the same time!

Suddenly, it’s March, but still cold like winter here in the PNW. We have consistently been about 10 degrees below normal, and we can only hope it will be more typical soon. We are in many ways shocked that in less than a week, our old house in VA will close and we will no more own it. It was a lovely home, the only one we had ever known, so it’s sad to have to say goodbye. Farewell Noble house. We will miss you but cherish the memories. We hope your new family loves you as we did.


Even more shocking in some ways is that we moved here nearly a year ago. That long ago? It feels like yesterday and forever ago, all at the same time.  And then about a month ago, Bean announced we were moving again. What? We haven’t finished unpacking yet! Are we on some moving merry-go-round?

So now we are in moving limbo.  There is nowhere in our smallish condo to put packed boxes (the reason all the unpacked boxes are in the garage and ready to move on) so we can’t really pack or ferry things to the new house, which is so close we could be neighbors to ourselves. And we don’t close on that house for another three weeks. Why is it that a mere three weeks suddenly feels like forever.

And it gets worse.  Bean is having the 2nd floor carpet ripped out and replaced with bamboo flooring, so even after we close, we can’t move ourselves or our stuff in. And two weeks after we close, Smidge and Bean head off on a carving trip. Oh my. I don’t think the Rurukos, Taelyn, Kele, and myself will be able to move things in their absence. So more limbo. We are now at a total standstill with time stopped while we wait.

Time is not on our side – or then again, we seem to have more of it than we need. Sigh.

A week without snow

We are extremely grateful that most of our snow is gone.  There are some remaining bits here and there, but it’s mostly gone from the patio (Uncle GT shoveled a lot). The road through the complex still has piles of the stuff, but we don’t have to look at it unless we go out, so we pretend it’s gone.

The Bean is busy making list upon list of people to call, furniture placements, repairs to be done, etc. Moving is a pain. She’s shipping Cali off to Doggie Daycare (Camp Happy Paws) tomorrow so she can sort out the garage and whatever else she has energy to get done. The boxes out there used to reach to the ceiling, so she’s probably unpacked more than a third of them.  However, there are still a ton left that will just get moved as is.  Most are books and dolls.  Of course Smidge, the Ruruko family, and myself (along with all the Hittys) were in a witness protection program that allowed us to travel with the Bean and come out of hibernation immediately upon arrival in WA.  The rest… well, not so lucky.  The Dewees Cochrans also made it out of their giant suitcase and bubble wrap, as did a couple of My Size Barbies, who were very vocal and had to be removed from their boxes to stop their howling. Now we are all moving again before we even found all our furniture and other stuff, not to mention the rest of the dollies. It’s exciting, but also a bit depressing.  Bean promises this move will be better and we will get our stuff back sooner by moving than by staying since the boxes with out stuff (Smidge is constantly whining about her large pink clothing case which has yet to be located) will all be in the same room on the same house level as our house! Yay!! Promising, but this is still in the future since the closing won’t occur until almost the end of March.

Bean says maybe we will be out of the condo and into the house by the end of April. She emphasizes the word “maybe.”

Is that like “maybe no more snow this season”?


Tuesday, week 2

This all started on Sunday, Feb 3, and four storms later, here we are.  It was bad,  The bean shoveled daily for Cali, sometime three times a day. It didn’t stop here until Tuesday afternoon, February 12 (this week’s main photo). Truthfully, we thought it would never end. And now we are wondering if it will ever melt.

They have plows in Washington, but they don’t plow any secondary roads, and our condo complex does not plow the road running through it.  We were (and are still) in the deep. Everywhere it’s white, with touches or pavement or colors of vehicles peeking through.  We can now see Ruby, but not even the truck near her has gone anywhere since this mess.  They are parked in the “shallow” zone.  A few more feet further back it’s much deeper,

valentine's day

It was 44 and sunny today, for which we are grateful. It will, hopefully enforce the melt-down.  The roof rained so much today that Cali, who does not like rain, thought that her formerly white space was better than rain. We had to carry her past the waterfall. The gutter was open and gurgling, but there was so much snow on the dark roof that was trying hard to melt that there was no place for all the water to go quickly, so it just poured off the edge.

We are hoping that it will all melt and we can feel normal again.

Did I mention the snow?

So this is winter in the PNW.  We had, in our hood, about 11 inches between Sunday night and waking up on Monday.  What a load. And now, just five days later, another storm is on us with more cold stuff.  And if you can believe it, a third snow is expected in another 2-3 days.  It just keeps happening.  I’m starting to dislike it more here than in VA.

We expected it more in VA, but here we thought a few inches, some rain, some cold, more rain…  It’s not working out the way we hoped.

We are very proud of Cali Pup, however. She sort of disappeared in the first snow, so Bean shoveled her a path on the patio (second snow covered that, so she has already re-shoveled it).  Being on the smallish side, Cali gets cold quickly, but Bean hustles her along and won’t let her stay out more than 10-215 minutes.  Truth is, I suspect it’s as much for the Bean’s comfort as Pup’s that she makes her come inside quickly. She has done very well (Pup) with it.  She’s managed to ferret out the tiny twigs (sticks to her) and baby cedar cones she loves to crunch down beneath the white stuff.  She also sampled the snow (Bean grimaced) in a hopefully clean spot.  She’s no longer discriminating – the entire patio is now her “spot” so we’ll definitely be shoveling, even after the snow is gone. It just started an hour ago, so there is more to come (6″-10″). And there is plenty still left behind!!

Snow 2

Just wanted to let you all know we were alive, but cold and a wee bit snowy.

Maybe it’s Christmas somewhere. 🙂

Good Grief

OK, y’all remember we moved to the Pacific North West just last April.  Bean has yet to unpack all the dolls in hibernation in boxes or our furniture, though we do have the empty house. Mostly we hang on a window ledge.  We’re kind of addicted to the PacMan game Auntie Sue Thueson gave us for Christmas.

And then Bean dropped the bomb on us.  We are moving again!  WHAT!!!!????

Yup.  Mr. is finally retiring this year, and this condo is not big enough for him and little ol’ me. So they decided to buy a house.  Fortunately, it’s nearby (only .7 miles and quite literally down the road), so this move involves three guys and a truck…and the Bean’s car.  LOL.

Bean is delighted and claims it was her foresight and cleverness that prevented her from  unpacking all those boxes that still fill the garage, and I quote, “Look how much is already packed up and ready to go. Major timesaver!”  There is that.

In other good news, we will have a lot more space to spread out in the new place, Cali puppy will have a big yard to run in, and the Bean and Mister will also have plenty of space.  Smidge is eyeing the big rock pictured in the back yard. I suspect she sees it as a challenge or a new place to put a tent for camping

Meanwhile, the Beans allowed the Richmond house listing to expire so the they could do some work inside before relisting. An in a bizarre twist, they received an offer on the expired listing the same day they made an offer on the new house here. This week, inspections on the two homes also took place on the same date.  Like I said, bizarre.  Closing in VA is early March, and closing out here is late March.  Bean says her head spins with signing all the electronic documents associated with a home sale and a purchase.

We are grateful that the only thing we have to do is jump in capsules and consign our PacMan machine to transport.

On the road again…just can’t wait to get on the road again….

Virtual convention & then some

Sorry to miss last week, but the Bean refused to let me use the computer so that she would have any reduced bandwidth while she watched every minute of the Virtual Doll Convention, hosted by Rachel Hoffman.  There were  constant “oohs” and “aahs” and “I’ve got to see that again!” Apparently, there were amazing workshops, programs, sales, films, interviews, and even a banquet. If we needed the Bean to stay out of our business, this provided us with the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately we didn’t plan for this very well.

But she says one of her favorite best moments was “meeting” Izannah Walker doll maker, Paula Walton, a fellow convention attendee.  Bean has always admired the early dolls, many of cloth and often primitive, but especially those produced by the hands of women, some small cottage industries. Izannah Walker created these neat dolls of cloth with heads molded of pressed linen, probably with a lot of paste in between layers. She patented them, sewed them, painted them with oils, dressed them up, and sold them.  And now Paula is one of those women who recreates Izannah Walker’s techniques and dolls.

Bean and she became FB friends, and Bean found the website and blog with all the eye candy, and she was totally hooked when she got to the kit form, then stymied by reading that one needed experience painting with oils. Oops.  Lots of painting experience on porcelain and wood, but only with fired on paints or acrylics. Fortunately, Paula (for an addition fee) paints the kit heads for buyers, letting them do the rest of the doll.  Now the kit dolls aren’t the pressed cloth head ones, but rather are molded paper mache.  Still, it’s really close when viewed, and for now, Bean is very happy, waiting for her painted head and the patterns to arrive.  Which will be weeks from now.  We may need to find ways to entertain her.

The weather was nice this past week, though sometimes cloudy with rain. The puppy is a pain – Bean takes her out faithfully, yet housetraining seems to be beyond them. Today, she took her out 6 times before 1:30, and still the dog seems to prefer to put her little packages on the rug. Bean is not happy. She says it’s good that Cali is so cute: it’s all that is keeping her alive after these incidents.

Good thing we dollies are already trained.


Cold and rainy comes with the territory, but slow and unwilling …

It’s no fun at all having to go outside with a dog that diddles about and can’t make up her mind and is completely, utterly, and totally distracted by everything and everyone. Bean says she barks at other dogs, but only till she meets them.  People she likes.  Mostly she barks at the air and signposts.  Weird.

And so naturally, it is miserable out with the cold, wind, and rain.  When said puppy takes 50 minutes to decided, choses no, then comes back to do it on the rug, the Bean is wet, cold, and ultra unhappy. She resolved to be ultra vigilant, and it’s been much better since she decided to use the patio instead of walking. This has made a big difference in the housebreaking and for the Bean’s state of mind.  Cali still suffers greatly from separation anxiety, but she’s making improvements, so we will accept the small successes.

We follow Cali’s progress with great interest since progress makes the Bean happy. We like her that way.