Friday, December 25, 2009

With Love From Caruthers

Merry Christmas to one and all! I am full of the spirit of Christmas on this morning! The Christmas tree is decorated and I snuck down the stairs early this morning to view the tree before anyone else woke up. It was a most magical moment! I climbed atop the piles of presents and stared at the twinkling lights. Oh, it was so beautiful in the dim morning light. I wanted to just lose myself inside the branches, lose myself in the magic of it all! I feel like one of the small children I met when i visited Santa. My eyes wide in amazement, full of hope and joy, for reasons I can't explain. It's just a good, happy feeling.
The family here is very tired after spending the late night hours in church, where they attended a Christmas Mass. I did not get to attend the service, but it's OK. My maker explained to me that some folks may not understand what I am and why I am here. They might make silly remarks and she wanted to protect me. However, given all my maker told me about church, I was under the impression that all were welcome. Even a monster like me. It makes me a little sad that there could be some people who may not like me. I wonder why? I look a little strange, but my heart is open and love is spilling over.
And so the family here is still asleep this Christmas morning. I am so excited for them to open their gifts. I am not sure if there will be anything for me under that tree, but, as I've said before, I am so happy just to be here, be a part of this human family and the whole human world, what more do I need? I have chocolate and cookies in my belly, a warm house, wonderful friends who care about me, a soft place to sit, and so much to do and see! Life is exciting. Even the smallest of outings can be an adventure. I intend to look upon it in that manner.....always.
Until next time.

A post script to April, my favorite admirer: You have been an inspiration to me! Thank you for reading all about my adventures and for all your timely advice! I take everything you say to heart. I just love to read your comments. It is friends like you that make this blog worth while! Merry Christmas! With love, from Caruthers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cookies, Presents, and Lights!

Just a few days before Christmas and there was still so much to do! I discovered that there are more sweets in the world than just chocolates and candy canes! There are these yummy concoctions called cookies! And not just any kind of cookie, but cookies that are made only at Christmas time! My maker started a batch of what she calls snowballs. They are a butter cookie with a powdered sugar coating, and when they're finished they look like tiny snowballs! I tried not to get my hands in the dough because I knew that would send me to the big bad washing machine. However, when my maker left the room for a minute, I grabbed a bit of the dough and shoved it in my mouth. It was so good! It certainly didn't taste like snow. In fact, if snow tasted like cookies I think there would be a lot less of it lying on the ground. My maker and I also made toffee bars, and sugar cookies in the shape of Christmas trees, which made me wonder......what is a Christmas tree and why don't we have one yet?
While we were waiting for cookies to bake my maker gathered an armload of boxes and colored paper and sat me on the floor to help her with the next project. I learned that inside all the boxes she set on the floor were gifts for her family. I was thrilled and amazed. Imagine getting so many gifts! I wondered what the reason was for all the gifts. My maker must have heard me because she told me that the reason we give gifts at Christmas time has a little to do with both that baby, Jesus, and that man in the red suit, Santa. I learned that Jesus was a gift to our world from God. God just made his very own son and set him on the earth, just as any other human being comes to the world. He gave Jesus to a young woman named Mary and her husband-to-be Joseph, so they could take care of him. He was a very special baby because he was part of God. A very special gift to a weary world. Santa, on the other hand, was a saint that lived a long time ago. St. Nicholas he was. On Christmas he would go to the houses that had children and leave them coins and fruit in their stockings that dried by the fireplace. He wanted it to be a secret so that tax collectors wouldn't find the money and take it away. I just thought these stories were fascinating. There are so many good stories and traditions related to Christmas. No wonder it is such an adored holiday. Wrapping presents was the most fun of all because I knew when the packages were opened there would be more smiling faces than just mine on Christmas morning.

I was SO excited to finally learn what a Christmas Tree was! When my maker's husband brought an actual TREE into the house I was very excited! It was an evergreen tree, with short spikey leaves. They placed the tree in a holder so it would stand up straight and tall. Then my maker brought another armload of boxes into the room. I thought she was going to wrap more presents. She must have heard me because she told me that the boxes contained Christmas lights, and decorations for the tree called ornaments. I couldn't wait to see what was inside those boxes! First we had to put the lights on. I wanted to help so badly. My maker said I should not touch anything because everything was very fragile. But when she left the room to get an extension chord, I couldn't help myself. I just had to see those colored lights! I plugged them into the wall and before I knew it, the lights were wrapped around me like ribbons on a present. I thought I'd be in trouble for touching them, but my maker just laughed when she saw me. I smiled too. Later we will break into those boxes of ornaments and place them on the tree. But this day had been long, and rest was needed.
Until next time!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Lights and Concerts

When my maker told me she was taking me to see some Christmas decorations and lights I was not nearly ready for I what I would see. In the car we drove past many houses covered with twinkling lights and displays. My favorite yards had what I came to learn was a manger scene. The scene is The Nativity, and it depicts the birth of Jesus Christ who lived long ago. Some people believe he still lives today. This is a concept I am trying to understand. I asked my maker to tell me all she knew about this Jesus person and she did. Hearing her explain this religion to me only prompted more questions. She said that is normal, and many people who believe in God and Jesus continue to have questions. However there is this thing called FAITH that helps them believe, even when everything seems unexplainable. So, after listening to my maker's commentary of the birth of Jesus, and viewing the many Nativities in folks' yards, I have come to realize that this whole Christmas season also has something to do with a baby named Jesus. I hope to find out more about that.
After pressing my nose to the glass of the car window for an hour, gazing at all the beautiful lights and colors , my maker actually let me get out and sit in the snow (again) and pose with the decorations. It was so dark outside, almost black, for there was no moon, but the lights in this one yard were bright enough to cheer up even the grumpiest of souls. I felt so honored to sit down amidst these time-honored traditions on display for the world to see.

I also had the pleasure of attending a local symphony concert. I sat in the balcony of the concert hall in the music building of one of our state universities. The music was brilliant and relaxing and I felt like I was in a dream. Most of the music, my maker told me, was traditional Christmas hymns and caroles sung at Christmas time. I enjoyed themes from The Nutcracker Suite, which I hope to hear again, and the Toy Symphony, a piece written for children at Christmas time. A nice young cellist paid me a visit at intermission, asked me if I was enjoying the concert, tickled my belly, and told me to have a Merry Christmas. Everyone I've met so far in my life has been so friendly toward me. I asked my maker why this was so. She said it must be because I am always smiling. "Sometimes life is hard, Caruthers," she said, "but a smile makes everyone feel better."

Christmas is less than a week away. My maker says there is still a lot for me to do and see. My eyes and ears are open. Until next time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Visit With Santa Claus

When my maker told me she was taking me to see Santa Claus I did not know what to think. "What is a Santa Claus?" I thought. But she told me Santa Claus isn't a "what" but a "who". "Who is he then?" I thought. She must have heard me because she told me the story of Santa, how he is all-knowing, loving, giving, and viewed as the Father of Christmas. He is a saint in the Catholic faith, and he's been around for hundreds of years. The first thing I thought was that he must be very old. Now, I am not all that familiar with how the human world works, but I have noticed that people look different, depending on how long they've been on the earth. Some are very small and can barely speak or walk. The taller ones come in all shapes and sizes. And then some that have been here a very long time, tend to have lines on their skin, gray or white hairs, and they walk a bit slower than the others. I've heard them talking to people on the street about how the world was when they were younger. Which brings me back to Santa Claus, who must be very feeble having been around for so long.
I waited at his door. He had specific hours he was going to be in his cottage. I was told he has a lot of cottages around the world, just like this one, and he can only stop by for a short amount of time. He's busy seeing all the children of the world and asking them what they'd like for Christmas. I was first in line on this day and I must admit, I was a bit scared. I had never seen Santa before, nor did I know what he would look like. There are other men I've seen around, and most of them wear blue jeans and a shirt. Would Santa look like the other men I've seen or would he look different? There had to be something special about him, I thought, to garner him so much attention at Christmas. And as I am not yet sure what Christmas is all about, I am searching for clues that will help me figure it out. My maker says she'll tell me more, but I'd like to see if I can decipher it on my own.
When I first saw Santa I marveled at his facial hair. It felt a little itchy on my skin. He had so much! And it was white as snow! He must have been old to have hair that white! It was hard to see if he had lines on his skin. I expected him to be breakable. Maybe he had some secret to staying young, like a magical facial cream, or a special diet? He smelled of cookies and he was all soft and warm. My body just settled right into his lap. His suit was made of a dark red velvet, and the jingle bells draped across his knee belonged to one of his reindeer, he told me. How I wanted to shake those bells! And see his reindeer! Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I was unsure what I should say. I already have everything I need in my very own family. I whispered something into Santa's ear, and he must have heard me because he gave me a candy cane. He must be all-knowing if he knows I like candy! But as for what I'd like for Christmas, I am not sure I know. I'll have to think about that.
After Santa tickled my belly and shook my hand, off I went with my candy cane and a smile on my face. There were some little girls waiting for their turn to sit on Santa's lap. They had anxious and excited eyes, and sweet little cherry colored cheeks. I looked at them, and they at me, and I wondered what they would be whispering in Santa's ear.
Until next time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow Isn't Anything Like Marshmallows

Is there anything more lovely than snow in December? Giant white flakes floating like feathers to the ground. The chill of the air. The crunching sound beneath my makers boots. The silence like a blanket thrown over the world. With the darkness encroaching I felt almost like I was in another world when my maker took me outside today to experience snow. I had my nose pressed to the window ever since it started snowing yesterday. I tried to imagine just what it would feel like. Would it be soft as feathers? Would it hurt like pebbles when it touched my nose? Would it taste like chocolate, or lima beans? And as it piled up on the ground I didn't know what would happen if someone walked on it. Then I saw my maker's dog eagerly run about in it, roll in it, stuff his nose into it as if looking for a hidden treat. I saw the prints left behind by the dog's feet, and I saw how happy he was. So today I begged my maker for a little outdoor time, even as she squawked about me getting wet. I assured her it wouldn't be for long. I only wanted to feel it on myself.
She took me outside as the evening arrived. It was a little dark, but I wasn't too scared. I have discovered that darkness is a part of every day, and when my maker is around how could I be frightened? She set me out against a pine tree and the prairie garden on a little red checkered napkin. The napkin didn't keep me warm, nor did it protect my sitting area from getting damp, but don't tell her that. She may never let me outside again! I sat for a few minutes while the snow fell around me and onto me. I liked it. It tickled. I wanted to roll in it and stuff my nose beneath it. It was quiet as it fell except for the faint sounds it made as it rested on me. My imagination was almost correct. The only thing that was missing was the taste. I expected marshmallow or frosting. It was neither. HOW do I know about marshmallow and frosting? How do you think I know? But despite the lack of taste, I wasn't disappointed.
Until next time.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Heart on a Thread

OOps. As you can see i got into the chocolates again. I was very careful not to get any chocolate on myself. I was sitting here by the computer while my maker was paying the bills for the farm. My maker's husband is a farmer and he grows corn and soybeans. While he is busy in the fields harvesting, my maker takes care of the bookwork for the farm. She assures me that she does not do any of the marketing, as she does not feel secure in that respect. It takes a lot of smarts to market grain, she told me. It can be risky. I'll say. She left me for 2 minutes to go get some envelopes and I could not resist those chocolates. When she returned and saw those empty wrappers she didn't seem too happy with me. "Oh, Caruthers...." was all she said.
Later in the day we were back in the Creature Factory as my maker worked on this dog necklace for a customer. A customer named Karlene sent a photo of her dog for my maker to recreate into a necklace. I think he's fabulous and I wish I could keep him around my neck. It would be like a friend who never leaves me and lays right against my heart. I can't think of a better thing to have in this world. The dog is named Jack and I think he will be leaving me soon. Is it hard for me to keep losing these friends? Would it be better to not have known them at all? I am not sure. Sometimes it makes me sad, but then I think of all the possibilities of new friends and meeting them all. It makes me excited to be alive, if that is what I am. Every day is a new experience. At least I like to think of it that way. I think Jack will be happy where he's going. He will lay against Karlene's heart and make her happy.
Until next time!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday Night at the Creature Factory

Last night I spent some time in the room in which I was maker's sewing room. I spend a lot of time in there, actually. I have made myself a bed on the piles of sweater fabrics and I like to sit there and just look around and listen. My maker plays some music while she's working. I can't say I always like what she plays. Most of it I like, though. Some of it is scary. Because I was just sitting there thinking, I asked my maker to take a couple photos of me I could write about. She heard me say I'd like to chat it up with the snowman necklaces that were sitting in a jar on the shelf. She moved me over to them and I had a nice conversation with this one, Sweetie, who was just a delightful creature. Sweetie has not been around for very long either. She said that creatures like us come and go rather quickly. It made me think of my dog friend from a couple weeks ago who went to a country of which I've never heard. It was nice meeting him, and Sweetie, but I wonder if all the friends I make will be taken away from me. It makes me sad. Both Sweetie and i sat fascinated as my maker traced her hand, cut out the shape from a thick red sweater and made mittens. Then she picked through pieces of wool and made a face on the mittens. It was silly when she finished, but she said they are very warm. She made them for a friend who would like to give them to her daughter for Christmas. What is Christmas? I asked. My maker just smiled and said, "You'll see." This is a large box filled with fabrics where I spend most of my time. I don't mind, though, because it is softer than any other place I've sat. It makes me sleepy. Especially last night as my maker worked and I watched. Sweetie had had enough stimulation and requested that I leave her to sleep. I couldn't not oblige her. She was so nice to speak to me. I took my place, then, here on the fabric pile and sang softly to myself. My maker's CD had ended and she did not start another one. She's very funny when her music is playing. She sings loudly, and then sometimes, not very loud at all. She concentrates on what she's doing, then all of a sudden swoops me into her arms to dance.
I like it here.
Until next time.