Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Little VayCay

Abbot and I recently got to go on a small vacation with our maker and her family.  It was a visit to a relative's house.  Abbot wondered what a relative was so I had to explain to him that our maker has what is called a "family" with sisters and brothers.  Aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews, and cousins are also "family".  Then there are family members who are related by marriage, and these are called "the in-laws", probably because they are the opposite of "outlaws", who usually don't like each other in western films.  The concept of "family" is foreign to both Abbot and I, as we do not have and family except each other and our maker.  We were very excited to see what the fuss was about, seeing family members talk and have fun.  Abbot and I had a fun ride to our destination with the sunroof of the car opened up.  I had to hold Abbot down so he didn't soar out of our car and into the car of someone else.

When we arrived there was so much to do at our maker's sister's house.  She took kindly to us and wasn't very embarrassed by us at all.  She let us play games like shuffleboard, foosball, billiards, and cards.  Oh boy, did they play a lot of cards.  Abbot took extremely well to the shuffleboard.  He was high scorer and everyone wanted him on their team.  That little monster smiled all night.  However, he always does.

We even teamed up together once, but we lost to Uncle Bill and Aunt Ann, so Abbot kicked me off his team.  I played with Uncle Bill then, and Abbot played with Aunt Ann, and Abbot emerged a winner.

Foosball was difficult for us since our feet do not touch the floor but we wedged ourselves between the turning sticks and did a pretty good job.  It was hard to master but we got the hang of it.

I was particularly good at this game, guiding the ball with my tiny plastic players.

Abbot became indignant when I beat him a few times so he hopped up on the table and stood in front of the goal, which I told him was not allowed, and not good sportsmanship.  And it wasn't good monstership either.   

Next we tried pool, or "billiards" it is also called.  My maker was not very good at this game and I beat her handily.  Pretty good for a stuffed monster who had never held a pool cue in his existence.  To be fair, I wasn't all that great either, but I looked amazing holding the stick.

I was asked to tend the bar while the other guests played games for a while.  I ate a few too many peanuts and all I can say is they are difficult to open without having fingers.  But I did it, by joe.  My teeth came in handy when we couldn't find the bottle opener.  I think Uncle Bill liked that feature about me.

Of course Abbot and I would never drink alcohol, mostly because we would get wet and it would be bad for our stuffing, but we sure liked pretending to partake in the festivities.  Abbot gargled and giggled like he was inebriated, but he was not.  He legitimately fell off his bar stool only because he was reaching for a falling peanut.  It was a late night of music and yelling and laughing and playing.  We enjoyed it all.

The next morning we got up early to get a ride in the Corvette.  I could not barely see over the steering wheel, so sadly, I was not allowed to drive.  But we went for a nice ride to the beach later in the day.

Even though I tried to convince Auntie Ann I really WAS tall enough to drive, while seated ON the steering wheel, she told us we still could not drive.  Abbot and I didn't have a driver's license.

When we got to the beach the sun was blazing hot.  Abbot and I don't need sunscreen, of course, because we suffer from fading, not tanning.  So, not too much sun for us.  We made sure we turned over every 15 minutes so we'd get equally faded on both sides.  Nothing worse than an uneven fade.

After the beach had warmed us up too much we went for a ride on the boat.  The boat we actually got to drive.  Uncle Bill was a little embarrassed being seen with us, but he was a good host and let us drive, if only to back out of the slip. That was fine with us, though.

Abbot and I waved and wished a bon voyage to all the boaters and passers-by, and after our little ride we collected our belongings and headed back to the relative's house for more cards and games.  My maker has a nice family and I can't wait to go visiting again.  Until next time.
Caruthers

Saturday, July 6, 2013

There are no Fleas at a Flea Market

Abbot and I had not been on an adventure in a long time.  You may blame our maker.  She has been busy.  
Abbot and I have been watching her scurry about the house from our velvet lined bench near the west window of the house.  There we sat all winter, mildly forgotten, save for the small hello we received from time to time.  The long winter filled us all with melancholy, watching snow slowly turn to rain and then nothing else. But today the sun shone and the heat rose from the earth as Abbot and I enjoyed an outing like we had never had before. 
 

We visited the flea market with our maker and met some very unusual friends that came from many places around the country.  Of course Abbot was confused by the concept of a flea market.  He expected it to be full of tiny fleas buying fruit and vegetables.  He had to wonder what we would find at such a place, and why we would even want to venture there.  I told him that was not the nature of a flea market, but he could not get past the idea that there were actually no fleas at a flea market, but I suppose at one time there probably were.  Once we arrived inside the gates Abbot and I were all aflutter at what we saw. 

There were dolls and tools and bottles.  There were statues and plants and furniture.  There was jewelry and clothes and toys.  Buttons, fabric, dishes, pictures, paintings, postcards....and people.  And food!  There was food and all kinds of amazing smells.  We sat atop a swift footed statue.  We played hide and seek with dolls, dashing beneath the tables and around the ankles of the crowd.  Abbot rode a fake horse and even tried on a pair of boots.  I donned a hat and sat at the vanity, pretending to primp for a date. We tried not to get into trouble, and any time we looked like we were going to, our maker put us in our bag for safe keeping.

Hardly anyone laughed at us, which was nice, but there were a lot of interesting characters at the flea market, so we felt we fit right in.  Abbot and I enjoyed perusing the merchandise, and even playing a little dress up.  

Even the mannequin leg was a surprise, protruding from a ceramic golf bag. And why would anyone want to buy just one mannequin leg?  A person needs at least TWO mannequin legs. Three at the most.

Abbot wanted a pet horse and pulled our maker's sleeve for a full hour trying to get her to buy him one, but she did not.  She told Abbot he didn't need a pet horse since he had me.

I tried on some new hair, and even though it tickled my face, and I like being tickled, I decided my own green wooly face was sufficiently appropriate for me.  I'm not sure the vendor agreed.

There seemed to be a cowboy theme to this fair as we saw many pairs of cowboy boots.  Abbot, of course, wanted to take them home, not to wear though, but to sleep in, like a fort....one for his head, one for his feet.

Abbot was in awe when we came upon a booth full of cookie jars.  He immediately removed the lids and dug inside them for cookies. The tsk tsk-ing of the vendor only barely stopped him from tipping the lids, and to his disappointment, there were no cookies inside any of them.  Abbot looked at me, cocked his head in confusion, wondering why anyone would buy a cookie jar with no cookies inside.  I had to tell him I hadn't the faintest idea.  It made no sense to me either.  We leapt from the table before someone tried to open US.

Back in the car our maker let us play inside her purchases, which were two brown suitcases.  She said these were very good cases for two reasons....one, because they didn't smell, and two, they were big enough to put Abbot and I inside if she wanted to take us on a trip someday.  That made me happy.  Abbot, however began to pout.  I looked at him and asked what was wrong, and asked hadn't he had a fun day?  He kicked his little monster foot and said it WAS indeed a great day, but he had really hoped to have seen some fleas.
Until next time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Adventures in Paper Dolls

My maker has been working on this project a LONG time and I must say I was just ITCHING to get my hands on it. I got to watch her as she drew the master pattern, and then she had several copies made to hand out to her friends. But I finally got MY chance to play with the finished project. What is it, you ask, that has me all a-flutter? Like a butterfly eating butter? My maker made Caruthers and Abbot, the Paper Dolls! Oh what fun to have a paper doll of each Abbot and me! I colored and colored the dolls on the paper, and got to color their clothes! What fun the clothes are! I have overalls, a dress, a snowsuit, hats, purses, flowers, and even underwear! Polka dots, ruffles, buttons and snaps! Abbot has the same types of outfits, of course. I don't say, "Oh BOY," very often, but this occasion called for it. Oh BOY!
Cutting was difficult for Abbot and me because we can't handle the scissors very well. But we found that by collaborating, his two hands and mine, we had enough appendages to make the scissors work. It was a laborious process, and took several days. I believe the weather may have even changed from winter to spring as we cut and assembled our fancy outfits.
Of course, none of my adventures are complete unless Abbot does something irrational. However, he would say that irrationality is a relative thing, but I still tend to think that him trying to fit the clothing to his actual live body was a little far fetched. There were some tears in the paper, and some tears from his eyes involved, but my maker knows that a good cookie will fix just about any sour mood.
Abbot liked his springtime outfit the best. He said he likes the purse and shoes because it reminds him of the purse and shoes he received for his birthday a couple months ago. The flowers, he said, are necessary fluff. Only Abbot would say something like that.
My favorite outfit was the snowsuit, even though winter has packed its bags and gone back to Canada, where my maker hopes it will stay until she's 105 years old. I barely got to wear my boots this year because of the mild winter weather, so these shiny black boots make my tummy feel warm.
With our outfits now colored and cut out I know Abbot and I will spend a many spring day playing with our very own paper dolls. The adventures I see ahead....oh my....like a sailor on the sea. Like a pilot going to far away lands. Like a child in the dirt. Like a princess in a fairy story. Like a couple of monsters and their maker.
Until next time.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Abbot and Pickles

It was a quiet and snow-covered day as Abbot celebrated his second made-day. I like that we are both two years old, the same age again. However, Abbot refuses to recognize numbers when he counts, so when I say we are 2, he says we are green. Or red, or yellow, or blue. Whichever color he is feeling happiest about in the moment. I find his way of counting unusual. But then again, I find many things about him unusual. That's why I like him so much, I must confess.
In honor of this occassion, our maker, who not only made US, made cookies for Abbot's made-day. Abbot and I sad to say, as in the incident of my birthday cake, are now banned from the kitchen any time there is dough involved. I am hoping one day out maker lets us back into the kitchen when dough is involved, as I so much like eating dough and batter, almost as much as I like what comes forth from the oven. Our maker did allow Abbot to be NEAR the cookies as they cooled, which is a good sign.
Abbot actually was allowed to scoop a few cookies from the hot baking sheet, which he did with aplomb....right before his energy caused him to flip a cookie halfway across the room, right into the pocket of our maker's son's coat. Abbot gargled a little, then winked at me. I think it was all a plan.
Abbot posed by his made-day stack of chocolate chip cookies, his OWN stack that no one was allowed to touch. I wasn't sure if he would share his stack, so I made sure I remembered the coat pocket cookie, and hoped he would forget about it. Of course, as the day progressed, that did not happen. He guarded that cookie like a dog guards a bone. Or an elephant guards a peanut.
Our maker bought Abbot a few gifts that she was sure he'd love. One was a cactus. And even though warned about the prickles, Abbot put his arm around his new friend. I asked Abbot what he would name his new friend, and wondered if Abbot would take the pet cactus everywhere he went, as he does with his pet cockroach Stanley 2. Abbot looked quizzical, pondering having to give a name to another friend. "Pickles," he said. "PRickles, you mean, right?"I asked. "No," he said, "Pickles.....my second favorite food. And Stanley is a 'second' too, so that makes sense." Then he asked me, "Why would anyone name a cactus 'PRickles'? Isn't that kind of a mean name?" "Only to you," I said to Abbot.
So, Abbot had to "pet" Pickles.....carefully. He didn't seem to mind the prickles, however.
"I want to take him for a walk!" Abbot exclaimed. Our maker got a pretty ribbon and tied one around Pickles and one around Abbot's arm, but it became apparent that Pickles did not care for the stairs so he was air-lifted by our maker down the stairs.
Abbot also received a pair of fancy shoes and a sparkly black purse, both of which he did not have to name, thank goodness. He said he has big plans for the sparkly purse, but the shoes were not really his style, and a tad uncomfortable for his straight feet. Not wanting to be a slave to fashion, he said our maker could wear them whenever she wanted.
Happy made-day to the most unusual, funny, silly, nonsensical monster I have ever known.
Until next time.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas Cards!

It was a chilly December morning. Abbot and I had finished our breakfast of pancakes and hot cocoa, and our chores, which consisted of dusting the house. I could never understand why we were summoned to spread dust all about the house, but such is our job. And if you ever visited here you would find that Abbot and I do a splendid job. There is dust EVERYWHERE! My maker, sensing our chill, asked us to follow her to her sewing room where she removed a beautiful box from her shelf. We were excited to see inside and when she opened it we found our lovely winter clothing from last year. How thrilling to put it on again! Then she told us it was time for a Christmas project because Christmas was on it's way. Abbot and I had no idea what it would be, but we watched bubbling over with glee, as she gathered all her supplies and we pulled up our chairs to see what was happening. First, she had a wobbly piece of a white rectangle and she said she was going to carve into it with sharp tools. This was not a job for Abbot and I, but we could watch. We watched her scrape away the rubbery material until what was left behind was an image of a pine tree. A Christmas tree! Now it was our turn to help. My maker let me draw a picture onto another smaller wobbly rectangle and she carved that one too. The next part was even more exciting. She propped us up on the counter top because we were going to do something called block printing. The wobbly thing she just carved was now the block and we would be rolling ink onto it and making a print of the block onto a blank card.
The inks smelled funny to me but my maker loved the smell. But, then again, she likes how Abbot smells when he's wet. I couldn't wait to roll the ink! I had to be very careful not to get the ink on myself, however, it was washable so wouldn't do any harm if I got a few splotches here and there on myself.
My maker squirted some green ink onto a sheet of glass, and added in a little shimmery gold ink to make it sparkle. I rolled the ink onto the glass until it made a sound like sticky tape being removed from a package. Abbot did not like the sound and he tried to cover his ears by pulling his hat down farther, but his hat will only pull down so far. My maker said she needed to take over from here, so Abbot and I watched as she rolled the ink onto the block. The block turned green in all the spaces except where she carved! It looked like a Christmas tree! She then put the blank card carefully on top of the block and rubbed it. She let us help with the rubbing, which Abbot loved so much he pretended to do it all day, long after we were finished with our project.
We made all of these cards and tags from one little block! I drew a snowman on my block and I loved how it looked in GREEN! My maker said we could use these blocks over and over again and make thousands of cards if we wanted!
Then we tried some red ink. Red with a little silver mixed in. We rolled it out and listened for that sound again.
I couldn't decide if I liked the red or the green snowman best, and I wondered about making a blue one, or a white one on black paper. My maker must have heard me because she said, "Maybe next time, Caruthers. Right now I have to make some cookies, wrap some presents, make some monsters, and do some laundry." My maker...she's always so busy. Sometimes TOO busy, but Abbot and I are always happy to watch her on the go.
Have a very Merry Christmas everyone, and Peace and Joy to all of you. I feel warm and full of love all the way down into my tummy. And Abbot....well...his tummy is full of chocolate.
Until next time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Contemplations of a Second MadeDay

A few pictures from my MadeDay. I have a lot of thoughts to share, but first I want to show my wonderful cake that my maker made. Abbot and I were shunned from the kitchen after Abbot almost fell into the mixing bowl. We were told to go sit and watch television until the cake was made. We kept sneaking back into the kitchen, however, to take peeks. I don't think my maker saw us. And can I just say how unfair it was that she got to lick the bowl?
After the cake was complete Abbot and I were told to stay away from it until after dinner, but we couldn't help sticking our "fingers" in the frosting and having a taste. Abbot kept licking and licking, leaving one side of the cake bald. It was tricky to fix it back up before my maker noticed. Let it be a lesson to her not to leave a yummy chocolate cake unattended with 2 chocolate hungry monsters in the house. There should be a warning label.
It was all I could do to have my picture taken on my second MadeDay without stuffing my entire face into the delicious cake.
Abbot had to wash himself clean of evidence before this was taken. There was a lot of soap and water involved, and a smallish scrub brush pandered from the family dog, who keeps close tabs on its location. We had to force a deal with the dog, but I think it was worth it. Other than his ears being a little crinkly, and a LOT of gargling that had to be subdued while washing his belly, Abbot looks pretty fresh and clean.
So, having been in existence for 2 years, and observing what goes on around me in this world I have to say most of what I see is good.....happiness, kindness, and friendliness are three of the greatest virtues in this world. There is also a lot of bad. Selfishness, greed, and anger are the three most common vices of which I have been witness. There is also plenty of struggle within the human condition, a lot of which I do not understand. I think it should be so easy to be happy all the time....surrounded by friends.......it seems so simple. But oftentimes the things that are most simple take the most amount of work. This has been a difficult concept for me to understand, but I think it is because humans think an awful lot. And thinking is not necessarily a bad thing, but they seem to be preoccupied with protecting themselves and the things they hold dear, that they lose sight of what is simple. And what is so clear to one human often is not so clear to another. I suppose if everyone was of like mind life COULD be simpler, but that is just not the case. And, after some contemplation, I think maybe it is best not all humans think alike, because the world would look as if it was painted all one color. Colors are what make life enjoyable. Just open a fresh box of colored pencils or Crayolas and watch yourself smile. Colors are the creativity and laughter and makers of diverse, new ideas. So, what IS the secret then, to simplicity? And WHY can't life be simpler? No one really knows. My maker doesn't know. But maybe, just maybe while we're trying to figure it out, we should marvel in all the colors, even the dark ones....the dark ones that trap us and make us feel sad.....because when you rub at them a little, and tickle them, eventually new colors emerge from underneath. I like being green, and I like that Abbot is green, but I wouldn't want everyone to be like me. I want to see and enjoy all the colors. Because THAT seems simple.
Until next time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Showtime!

I don't know what it is about the fall that I love more: the leaves falling like little pieces of heaven or accompanying my maker on her trips to annual fall art shows. Though I am merely less than 2 years old, and haven't experienced a whole lot, even my second romp at The Country Living Fair in Columbus, OH, was more than I could ask for. Add my dear friend Abbot and I always know I'm in for a great adventure. So much to do and see. My maker, however protective of Abbot and I, allows us a little scurrying when we are there. She worries, but we always come back to her side. We posed for this photo by the antiquated outhouse. I had to explain this concept to Abbot, who understands very little when it comes to humans, and with a wide toothy grin he understood that an outhouse was not really a house at all....not a very nice place to PLAY.
My maker brought her wares, rather her folksy dollies that look surprisingly like Abbot and I, to this show to sell under the Earth Angels Toys Tent of Delights. I liked being under a tent because it reminds me of all I've read about camping. And I reiterate "READ ABOUT CAMPING" because my maker and nature don't always get along. Ahhhhh, to go camping. I wonder if I will ever get a chance? The Earth Angels Tent of Delights was brimming with customers and laughter. No one left the tent without a smile.
Abbot and I escaped any time we could. The Tent of Delights was indeed delightful, but we longed to stretch our legs and imaginations. We stopped at the infamous pumpkin pile and tried to blend in. We sat very very still until an unsuspecting child came to pose for a photo, then we wiggled, jumped, or otherwise maneuvered our way into a photo whenever we could. I wonder if anyone noticed? However, our fun came to a halt when Abbot, finding sitting still too tedious, tried to slide down the pile only to bring a tumbling of gourds behind him. You can bet we ran from there, lickety split.
We found a booth chock full of skirts. Perfect to hide behind. I boosted Abbot up onto the hanging rack, then climbed aboard myself, clipping us onto a hanger. Being such bright and colorful monsters, we blended right in with these colorful skirts. The owner eventually found us when Abbot sneezed on a customer who was thumbing through the rack. There was a faint scream by the customer, then a scowl as she walked away. The skirt booth owner approached to see what the ruckus was all about and found Abbot and I clipped onto the hanger. I have to say it hurt after she took me down, and my ears were blue all day. We told her how much we loved her skirts and wanted to wrap ourselves in the colors. We didn't want to tell her we were hiding because of the Pumpkin Incident of 2011. She placed us on the chair and showered us with lovely skirts that reminded me of a rainbow I had once seen.
Then she took a picture with us. She told us her name was Teri and we could visit whenever we wanted. I brought my maker over there later that day and she bought 2 skirts. Now when I am lonely for Teri's handiwork I can wrap myself again in one of Teri's skirts. Rather, two.
Abbot's tummy was a-growling after a while. We didn't have any money though and couldn't bother our maker to get some. We had to rely on free samples. It didn't take me long to find the hot fudge booth. Katie's famous hot fudge was just what the doctor ordered, had there been a monster doctor present. Abbot climbed the table amidst crowd of people. He grabbed a pretzel and started dipping. One, two, three, four times per pretzel. I told him his behavior was rude, that quadruple dipping is never allowed, and he needed to share with the other people, but his frenzy took hold of him as he cradled the entire cup and then began drinking it straight. It wasn't nice of him, but, knowing my maker's love of hot fudge, I knew she'd be proud.
Having had our fill of chocolate, and wiping our mouths on some nice woman's pink skirt, we smelled a most heavenly smell coming from a booth where there were cinnamon rolls, breads, cookies, and, well, after that we didn't care. Abbot, again, the little gargling troll that he is, climbed atop the table full of cinnamon rolls and grabbed a plastic knife. He tried to pry open a package until I weaseled the knife from his hand. Abbot continued to smother the plastic package, smelling, crushing, and even licking it. I told him we simply could not buy an entire tray of cinnamon rolls, especially if we had no money. The vendors there were so kind, however, that they let us take that package, no questions asked.
We were so sorry for our poor behavior, and so grateful for their generosity, we took a photo by their billboard. The Homestead Bakery from Illinois. Hey, that's the state where I'm from!
The following weekend we were off again to The Country Folk Art Fest in St. Charles, Illinois. There Abbot and I met quite a few new artists and got to pose with them and their art. There were painters and sculptors and papier mache artists. We had a lot of fun getting to know them, and they were all very kind to us....well, most of the time. They didn't appreciate us playing hide and seek under their tables, or pulling on their tablecloths or their pants. They didn't appreciate us playing statue tag on their tables, or eating a fresh frosted brownie and then fondling their creations. We didn't make everyone angry, though.
Joanna liked us very much. She even talked to us and treated us like friends. I'd never eat a frosted brownie at her table. Abbot, well, he's eat a brownie anywhere.
She let me sit next to a beautiful star named Gretel. Gretel gave me a piece of paper with a 10 digit number written on it, but I am not sure what that means. I wonder if it's her distance in light years from the sun, or her gravitational mass times one to the power of 12? I may never know.
Mystelle did gorgeous paintings of faces and figures. She was the happiest soul at the show. I loved her radiant smile and wished I had as many teeth as her. She made me happy just looking at her.
Alan and Donna made whimsical figures out of gourds. Yes! Gourds! They were bright and shiny and most had faces as silly as Abbot's. What fun I had looking at them, and talking to them! One wouldn't think gourds have stories, but do they ever. This alien one in particular. Not only could he keep an entire stash of chocolate safe from predators like Abbot, but he spun some wild tales about his days in the Intergalactic Navy, circa 2279.
Ed was a funny man. I dare say he was almost as funny as Abbot. He made wood sculptures that looked like real humans. They were pretty amazing. Some of them had strange legs and bodies. Some had regular bodies and simple faces. And some frightened me , which I guess was his intention. His attention to detail was second to none, and I must say I longed for a pair of those wooden shoes. The fact that he couldn't get my name right, he kept calling me Smuthers, didn't alter my fondness for him. I thought of it as a term of endearment. And whether he'll admit it or not, I know he liked me too.
Until next time....or next show.