Tag Archives: talking to my toys

Two VERY Special Crochet Hooks


Gentle Readers, you have just got to see the newest hooks I received from Dot Dot Smile!  If you remember, this is the Etsy shop that I ordered the cool clown hook, the awesome clown cow hook, my sweet, sleepy swan hook, and the Dr. Who Tardis knitting needles, which my sister is totally enamored with.

Kellie didn’t let me down this time, either.  This time, I asked for aluminum knitting needles with little turtles on top, for my sister, and Kellie delivered.

turtle needles

Aren’t they the sweetest little turtles?  She even got the flowers on their heads to match the needle color!

I also asked her to try a real challenge…and Kelli said, “Bring it on!”  Working only from pictures I sent to her, Kellie made perfect replicas of my beloved sidekicks, Chauncey and Earl.

Yes!!!  My babies are permanently mirrored in polymer clay.  The details are astounding!

The mini-boys arrived beautifully packaged, as usual…

ce hooks in pkg

Even in the packages, you can see that the details are amazing.  Kellie got the colors down perfectly!

ce hooks long view 01

Chauncey’s grip is fun and care free, just like Chauncey, and Earl’s grip matches all of his colors.

Now, check out the incredible details this lady laid into these art pieces…in clay!  Oh, my gosh, those perfect little toes!!!

ce hooks close up 01

Sizes are clearly marked, and just as much fun as the colors…

ce hooks sizing detail

Lovin’ the sparkle in their tribal blings!

cehooks02 head detail

Chauncey has his cable needle thing, and Earl has his mini crochet hook.  Seriously, the details are stunning.

cehooks01 head detail

Kellie even got their pins!!!

cehooks03 head detail pins

How talented do you have to be to lay a tiny safety pin into the head of a crochet hook, in clay!

Now, you ask, “How do the boys like their, “portraits?”  Well, I introduced them, and they looked at them closely.

ce with ce hooks 01

Then they looked at me and said,  “They’re little US-es!”

ce with ce hooks 02

Earl, a little wary, asked, “We can keep these?”

Chauncey, almost never wary, loudly proclaimed, “MINEMINEMINEMIIIINE!!!!!”

I, in my most indulgent voice, assured them, “Yes, Boys, you can keep them with you.”

Chauncey, who was not expecting this, said, “Really?  For really, we can keep them?”

Like I said, Chauncey is almost never wary.

The party ensued, with lots and lots of running in circles and playing face-splat, bopping up and down, singing, “We can keep them, we can keep them!” and discovering the unparalleled wonders of bubble wrap, which they’re still playing with.

ce playing with poppie paper

I finally got them to calm down, with the promise of wearing their new, “Mini-Us-es” for the camera..and the promise of letting them go back to the, “poppie paper.” 

And here they are, my little side kicks, with their wonderful new hooks.   They’re a portrait in polymer, lovingly crafted by an artist named, Kellie.  

ce with their portrait hooks

The boys hang out now, with the little boys riding their…er…backs?  Heads?  Whatever, they won’t part with them just yet.  I suppose I’ll actually get to crochet something with them one of these days.  

And, Miss Kellie, some day when I have monies, I’m coming in to your shop to go bananas!








Another Generation of Feets Is Born! (Chapter One)


Yes!  Gentle Readers, this post is so special, it gets chapters!  Don’t get that excited, it’s only slated for two chapters…but still, that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?  

Meet our newest little darling, “Lacie Feets!”

Lacie is special on so many levels.  For starters, she’s a miniature!  Without her feet, she measures just three quarters of an inch across.  With her feet, she sits smartly on a finger tip, and almost fits on a quarter.

She’s just a fraction of  Uncles Chauncey and Earl’s size.  Oh, yes, you caught that.  I said, “Uncle.”  You see, Lacie is not a little sister…she’s Chauncey and Earl’s niece!

Every Feets that comes off my hook gets adopted, by someone, somewhere.  Lacie was immediately adopted by another of Chauncey and Earl’s sisters, Little Feets!

Do you remember Little Feets?  She was in Silly Santa’s toy bag this past Christmas, a gift for my sister, “Ahm-Pee Memmie.”

Little Feets is all grown up and has adopted her own Feets daughter, Lacie!

Little Feets is all grown up and has adopted her own Feets daughter, Lacie!

Do you remember how small Little Feets is?  Just about the size of a golf ball, she fit handily into Santa’s toy bag.  So, it was a big surprise when I found out that B.H. Feets is not the only adult member of this family, but that Little had, with Mary’s outstanding parental care and tutelage,  grown up and was ready to adopt her own baby Feets!

All I had to do was make the doll…and get her past Chauncey and Earl.  It turned out that neither was such an easy feat!

I am “of a certain age,”  (53) and my hands are seemingly years older.  So, going into a miniature crochet project was a challenge to start with, as I’m currently working with no less than worsted weight yarn, and prefer super bulky.  My new favorite purchased yarn (my own hand spun wool yarn doesn’t fit into this) is Lion Brand Hometown  USA, a soft, silky #6 ROPE of a yarn that works up like a dream, with a size M or N hook.  That yarn even stands its own against a size P hook!

Lacie used a size B hook, and a #1 yarn, rated “very fine.”  Her hair was even finer, a lace-weight boucle, and her bow was made with a size eight pearl cotton, which is about the same weight as a size ten crochet cotton for making lace…hence her name.

I had no trouble with her head.  That worked up simply and quickly.  Without her hair and feet, Mary commented that she looked like the “Flying Brain” from some obscure fifties horror flick.

lacie and flying brain

Separated at birth????

It was her feet that kept giving me the biggest challenge.  I couldn’t get them to scale!  Her feet kept coming out twice the width of her little head.

Finally, though, Lacie was born, with gorgeous orange hair in a pony tail, wrapped in a yellow lace bow, and ready to meet her uncles.

Here she is, in all of her tiny glory!

Here she is, in all of her tiny glory!

Of course, she had to be gifted with her bling, a “closey-peen” loop and a “closey-peen” to match.  That is something that the boys insist on, unless the new Feets is slated for a small child or as a doggie toy.  Here’s how it works…if Chauncey and Earl see the black plastic safety eyes, they ask for the bling.  Lacie likes to wrap her pony tail around her feet, to keep warm…and to keep from tripping over her hair!

lacie 01

Chauncey and Earl could not believe how tiny she is.  They looked down at her…

chauncet earl look down at lacie

Then looked up at me…

"Where's the rest of her????"

“Where’s the rest of her????”

Then, moved right in to cuddle and protect their tiny niece.

chauncey earl cuddle lacie

“We’ll never let anything happen to you!”

When they finally looked back up to me, they both said,  “We can keep her.”

chauncey earl look at me we want to keep her


Now, those of you who have been watching Chauncey and Earl for a while, know that Earl’s sensitive nature is worn on his yarn.  He’s a wee bit more conservative than Chauncey, in that he doesn’t just fly into danger without a look, for the sake of an adventure.  He follows his brother.  He absolutely idolizes Chauncey, and with good reason!

Chauncey seems to be a careless dare devil, and in some ways he is…but he does not just jump into danger, without a forward glance.  He looks, and he  quickly think things through.  Why, you ask?

 Because he knows his brother will follow him.  He will not let anything happen to his little brother.

Chauncey wears his heart in his stuffing.  You can’t always see the depth of it.  But let me tell you, folks, my little guy has a heart and a sense of family and responsibility that rivals any super-hero toy out there.  He’s the Buzz Lightyear-Winnie The Pooh-Captain America of the Feets family.

It just happens to be that the Animaniacs are his heroes.

So, I was ready when he put one of his big feets down and declared that he wanted to keep Lacie.  Here’s how it went….

“Chauncey,  Lacie has to go live with her Mommy, she wants to go live with her Mommy,” I said.

“You could be her Mommy,” he argued, ominously close to tears.

“But I’m not,”  I answered, as gently as I could.  My poor little hero’s heart was breaking.  “Lacie was born from my hook, but she has another Mommy ready to adopt her and love her.”

“Me and Earl would love her,”  he said, sniffing.  “We would!”

“Oh, Sweetheart,”  I said, now ominously close to tears, myself.  “I know you love Lacie.  I know you would take awesome care of her.  But Little Feets is her mommy, and they need to be together.”

This brought up a studious glance from Earl, who was quiet up to this point.

“Little Feets,”  Earl started, “She’s the one that went to live with Ahm-Pee Memmie, right?”

“Yes,” I answered.  Lacie is going to live with Auntie Mary and Little Feets.”

“Can we go and see her?”  Chauncey ventured.

“Of course!”  I exclaimed.  I bring you to visit with Nell and Lucky, and Scribbles, don’t I?”


“And didn’t you spend a lot of time Outside last summer with Squeaky Feets and Bug, the dog?”

“Yeaaaaahhhh…”  Suddenly he brightened.  “I remember Bug, the doggie!  He carried Earl around by his head!”

“Yeah!”  Earl chimed in.  “Bug had my whole head in his mouth!  It was kinda gross, but it was fun!”

“Yes, I remember,”  I chuckled.  “I took your picture!”

“Um,”  Chauncey began,  “Can we play with Lacie until she goes to her new house?”

“You most certainly can,” I assured him.  “Relax, play, enjoy each other for a few days, and when it’s time for Lacie to go to Mary’s house, you’ll have plenty of time to say, ‘see you later.’  

“Yeah!”  Chauncey said, brightening.  “See you later is not good-bye!”

“That’s right.  It’s more like, happy trails.”

Hey!”  Chauncey said, now my bright and happy guy again, “Can we go bun-gee jumping?”

“Nooooo,”  I cautioned.  “I think Lacie is way to small just yet for that.”

“Hmmmmm….how about circles and splat?”

“Yes,” I laughed.  “You can all run around in circles and go splat.  Look at her.  It seems she’s built a nest atop Mount Earl!”

He looked, and forgot all about being sad, forgot all about being worried, and jumped in to play, because there was tiny Lacie, sitting sweetly on top of Earl’s head.

lacie on earl's head

Tell me when you want to jump down and I’ll catch you!

Stay tuned!  Next up, Lacie goes home to Mama!

A New, Unusual Feets


Good Evening!

I have a special guest!  Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to our newest Feets family member, “Senor Huevo Feets!”

From his bright, multi-colored hair to his yolk-hued feets, he is every inch adorable and sweet.

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Senor Huevo is a Companion Feets, who has gone to live with a very nice man, to keep him company at the office where he works.  He’s a “Desk Friend,”  as he chooses to put it, and will sit contentedly on his person’s desk, keeping him company through the long day at work.

His human friend has very kindly promised not to eat omelets or egg sandwiches at his desk!

Senor Huevo though that the “closey peen” concept was cool…as long as he has a loop.  He did politely decline having a “Sow-ing peen” put, tribal-style, through his head, something that made him distinctly nervous.

His brothers treated him very gently, as will his person. because, as Chauncey pointed out, “He’s a Eggie and he’ll go SPLAT !”

Just before I very carefully packed him into his travel pouch for his great adventure to his person’s office, I got a picture of him with Chauncey and Earl…who are already asking me when they can go to “Eggie’s office” to visit.

2013-02-18 15.23.17

Soon, Boys!  Soon!

Meet B.H.Feets…and She’s a Grown-Up!


Dearlings, we have a new member of the rapidly-growing Feets family, B.H. Feets!  And, get this…she’s a grown-up!  She’s my first all-grown-up member of the Feets clan.

Right off the hook, she had an air of knowledge about her, one that shone clearly through her beautiful blue eyes.  She has a gentle wisdom and a level of confidence  that only comes through experience, even though she’s a brand new member of the family, and really hasn’t had any life experience.  B.H. is a mature soul.

“B.H. ‘” stands for “Birmingham.”   I joined a very cool crochet group that meets once a week, and we meet in an vintage building, one that was built when towns named their buildings.  I stitched the lovely B.H. up as a community pincushion, a gift for the group.  Our group meets in the Birmingham building, hence B.H.’s name.  While she loves her given name, she also wondered if it would seem a bit pretentious in a casual group setting.  Initializing her name made her seem more casual, and feel more comfortable.

Needlework groups are great fun.  You’re  in a comfortable setting, with like-minded people, talking stitches and crochet math, asking questions and trading patterns…and it’s a form of therapy, isn’t it?  It is for me, for sure.  When I get hyper

scribble spaz

or tired,


or just have a less-than-perky day, I relax with the hook and yarn, and come up with something productive.  The trials of the day melt away with each stitch formed.  Talking things over with other crocheters once a week just makes it all that much more fun, more relaxing, and more therapeutic.  As if this particular cake needed any icing (seriously, a cake without icing?),  being in a group setting with a bunch of yarn junkies allows me to be completely free with my own yarn addiction.

So, in addition to being a group pincushion, and a grown-up,  B.H. is a “certified” crochet group therapist!  Really, how cool is that?

And now, Dearlings, because they’re hopping up and down and begging for the opportunity to write their own post, I’m turning the post over to our intrepid siblings, Chauncey and Earl,  to introduce their new, “Little-Big” sister to the WordPress world.  I’ll just sit back, spell-check at ready, and watch the fun.  (I’ll be in italics.)

Looong post…the boys get distracted easily…Strap in, Kids!!!


Enter Earl, who will start tonight’s post festivities, as Chauncey is busy, happily running around in a perfect circle on the bed.

Earl:  “Hi, Everybody!  Wendy’s letting us post tonight!  Isn’t that  cool?”

Earl:  “Um…Hey, Chauncey…Um…We’re on…”

Chauncey:  “Is it time to talk to the Word Pressing peoples?”

Earl:  “Yuppers!  Dude, you running around and around like that is making me dizzy.”

Chauncey stopped so abruptly he fell over onto his face.

Chauncey:  “Whoa!  That was cool!  I wanna do it AGAIN!”

Earl:  “That was cool!  Let’s do that after we do our post!”

Chauncey: “YEEE-HAAAA!”

Earl:  “So, anyway, Wendy is letting us have our own post tonight, like BIG guys!”

Chauncey:  “I like bouncing up and down on the kee-bored to make words!”

Earl:  “Me, too!  And Wendy says she likes reading our stuff, and she gets to play lots and lots with something called, “Speel-check.”

Chauncey:  “What’s that?”

Earl:  “Dunno.  Maybe she’ll let us play with spell-check, too!””

Chauncey:  “I bet she will.  She only says, “no” to wrestling on the tee-vee, and M-and-M’s.”

Earl:  “Yeah, that’s ‘cuz she says they both make us crazy.”

“Chauncey:  “Ahm-pee Memmie lets us watch wrestling and gives us M-and-M’s!”

Earl:  “Yeah!  She says she gets to spoil us ‘cuz it’s her Ahm-pee job!”

Chauncey:  “Yeah!  And she says she likes to wind us up like tops right before she goes home!”

Earl:  “I saw tops on the tee-vee yesterday!  We can play tops when we finish with our posting!”

Chauncey:  “We have a new Little-Big sister!”

“Earl:  “Yeah!  She’s our little sister ‘cuz she’s younger than we are.”

Chauncey:  “And she’s our big sister because she’s bigger!  Not older, but really bigger.  And she’s a grown-up!  That makes her older than us even though she got stitched last.  I think I’m confused now…”

Earl:  “Yeah, she’s all grown up, even more grown up than Ruby!”

Chauncey:  “Yeah!  Ruby is a teen-ager, and B.H. is even older than a teen-ager.  She must be really-really old if she’s older than a teen-ager!”

Earl:  “Do you think we’ll ever be grown-ups?”

Chauncey:  “Nope!  Wendy says we’ll be her cool little kids forever and ever and ever!”

Earl:   “Hahaha!!!  Remember when we saw that moo-vee on tee-vee ?”

Chauncey: “Yeah-Yeah!! And then we waited for Wendy to come home and said, “Come play with us, Wendy!  Forever and ever and ever!”

Earl:  “Wooooo!  She got all red and looked at us funny and left the room really fast!”

Chauncey:  “Yup!  And that’s when we learned about Pare-ant-tail Corn-trols” on the tee-vee.  But we still get to watch cartoons!  Did you see in Kid vs. Kat when Kat….”

“Guys.  B.H.?”

Chauncey and Earl:  “B.H!”

Chauncey:  “B.H. is our new Little-Big sister!”

Earl:  “And she’s a peen-koo-sheen, like us!”

Chauncey:  “Yeah!  And she’s some kind of crow-shay thair-ah-peest, too!”

Earl:  “What’s a thair-ah-peest?”

Chauncey:  “Dunno.  Wendy, what’s a thair-ah-peest?”

Me:  “A therapist is a person, or in this case, a Feets, who helps with specific things.  They work with a specific problem, and help it get better.”

Earl:  Oh!  Like when you got a big boo-boo in your hiney and you went to the fizz-ah-kal thair-ah-peest?”

Me:  Exactly!  Actually, it’s my legs, hips, and sacra-illiac joints.   The physical therapist helped make my boo-boos a bit better by giving me exercises and advice, and B.H. will help people make their crochet projects better by providing tools to work with, like stitch markers and other stuff.”

Earl:  “What’s a steech-mar-ker?”

Me:  “You know all those safety pins in B.H’s hair?  They can all be used as stitch markers.  And the little scraps of yarn in her pocketbook can be used for that, too.”

Earl:  “Safe-tee peens?  Oh!  Closey-peens!  WE have closey-peens!  And we have sow-ing needles, too!”

Chauncey:  “We’re peen-koo-sheens, just like B.H.!  And, and, and…WE even have crow-shay-hooks in our hairs!”

Earl:  “Can we have scrapping yarns, too?”

Me:  “Absolutely!”

Chauncey:  “I want TWO scrapping yarns!”

Me:  “I’ll give you both two scraps of yarn, right now, and perhaps our readers will forgive the diversion.”

“Earl:  “They will.  Our readers are the best!”

Me:  “Look, I even got you new needles for your hair, and these cool bamboo stitch markers!”

Chauncey:  “Neato!  Do we still get scrapping yarns?”

Me:  “Of course.  Here you go, two scraps each.  I’m going to use your safety pins to hold them so they don’t get lost.”

Chauncey:  “That’s ‘cuz we don’ have a pockie-book, like B.H.”

Earl:  “Steech-mar-kers in steech-mar-kers!'”

Chauncey:  “This feels niiiice!”

Earl:  ” I like these bamboo sticks!  Ooooo, these are your special hand-spinned woolly scrapping yarns!”

Me:  “Only the best for you, my boys.”

Chauncey:  “Lookie!  We’re crow-shay-inng wif our feets!”


Chauncey and Earl:  ” We could be crow-shay their-ah-peests!!!”

Me:  “Yes.  Yes, you could.”

Readers, we have to take a short break now, as both of my little boys are spinning and running around in circles….


Me:  Well, boys, now that you’re all tuckered out from running and spinning, would you like to show everyone your pictures of B.H?”

Earl:  “Yeah.  We’re tuck-kerd out.”

Chauncey:  “Yup.  Plum tuck-kerd!”

Earl:  “Does anyone say that any more?”

Chauncey:  “I just did!  Hey!  I found the pee-chers of B.H.!”

Earl!  “Cool!  Which one first!”

Chauncey:  “I like this one!  She just came off Wendy’s hook, and we gave her a big sow-ing peen and closey-peens for her hairs!”

2013-02-07 02.31.23

“Earl:  “I love her eyes, they’re so pretty!  And here’s where Wendy put her green peace sign!”

2013-02-07 02.35.35

Chauncey:  “What’s that all about, anyway?”

Earl:  “Wendy says that a long, long time ago, she went for a ride with Unkka Eddie and Ahm-pee Leez, and Ahm-pee Leez threw a piece of paper out of the car,  and Wendy made Ahm-Pee Leez go out of the car an’ get it, ‘cuz that was lee-tuh-reeng, and lee-tuh-reeng is bad.”

Chauncey:  “Uh-Ohhhhh….”

Earl:  “An’ Unkka Eddie said Ahm-Pee Leez shouldn’t do that in front of Mizz Green Peace.”

Chauncey:  “Who’s Mizz Green Peace?”

Earl:  “Wendy!  So now she puts green peace signs on everything.”

Chauncey!  Oh.  Cool!  Sometimes the peoples can get confusing….”

Earl:  “Yeah.  But I like the green peace signs!”

Cauncey and Earl:  “Wendy!  Can WE have green peace signs?”

Me:  “I’ll work on that, sure!  We can hang them off your pins.”

Chauncey and Earl:  “Yaaaaaay!”

Earl:  “Which peecher is next?”

Chauncey:  “Ummmm…Oh!  Here’s one with her pockey-book!”

2013-02-07 02.33.23

Earl:  “Good one!  And here’s one that shows the cool tools she carries in her pockey book!”

2013-02-07 02.34.05

Chauncey:  “And this one shows her cro-shay thair-ah-peest card!”

2013-02-07 02.36.13

Earl:  “And here’s what being a crow-shay-thair-ah-peest is all about!”

2013-02-07 02.36.46

Chauncey:  “And this shows she has all her cool stuff.”

2013-02-07 02.37.14

Earl:  “Not ALL her cool stuff!  In this one she has US!”

2013-02-07 09.52.03

Chauncey and Earl:  “We love our Little-Big sister!”

B.H.:  “I love you, too, boys.”

Chauncey:  “Can we fall on our faces some more?”

“Actually, Gentlemen, there’s one more picture to take tonight.  Why not hop into your photo nest and let me fix you up?”

Chauncey and Earl:  “K.  Wait!  Is that????  WE GOT GREEN PEACE SIIIIIIGNS!!!!!”


Stay tuned!

Meet Ruby and Blueberry Feets!


The Feets are flying off the hooks!  Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to two new members of the Feets family, Ruby and her little brother, Blueberry.

Little Blueberry Feets is a “Good Luck” Feets!  Yes, they are all “Good Luck” feets, but Blueberry’s whole way of life is to bring good luck to a garden.  This time, it will be “Unkka Mike’s” garden, a very special garden, indeed!

Blueberry is mostly green,


Save the blueberries growing between the leaves in his hair.  



He’s very sweet, and a little on the quiet side, like Earl, and he has a way about him, a patient wisdom that shines in his black button eyes, which comes from being close to plants, and to the Earth.  

Now, Ruby, on the other hand, takes a little more after her big brother, Chauncey, in her verve and vigor.  She isn’t as hyper, but just as energetic, just as happy, and just as sweet.

Ruby is, as all Feets family members truly are, a “Companion Feets.”  Ruby, like the young woman she went to live with, is a “Tee-Nay-Jar!”

She’s unique, from her big blue eyes to her long red hair with blond highlights, tied in a swinging pony tail at the top of her head.  Ruby is mostly shades of pink and red, save the black scrunchie she ties her hair up with.  She even has red-painted toes in her vivid purple feet!


Ruby asked for two “closey peens,”  which balance out prettily, like ear rings..sort of…Feets are all about feet and don’t have ears.  And, she has an added safety pin in her pony tail, homage to Chauncey’s tribal needle-through-the-head thing.  She thought that the “Chauncey Needle” was “Uber,”  but asked that I refrain from driving a needle through her skull.

I know that Ruby looks like, and perhaps even seems like, a  bit of a Diva, but she really isn’t. She’s kind and generous, polite and energetic, and made sure that little Blueberry’s aesthetic needs, his safety-pin decoration, were met first.  She cuddled her little green brother,


to make sure he was feeling safe and loved.  Then, she cuddled with her big brothers, too,


to assure them that all is well, that she and Blueberry were going to live with great people, who would love and care for them,  “the same way that Wendy cares for you!”

Ruby is very, very cool.


Next up, you’ll meet yet another new member of the Feets family…and this one is a Grown-Up!

Stay tuned….




Introducing Amanda Grace Feets!


I hope that this new post finds everyone enjoying the new year so far!

I’m still stitching like crazy, as usual.  My hands are almost never idle.  (They’re idle when I’m sleeping!)  I’m not in flat-out-get-it-DONE! mode, but comfortably stitching away at a wool scarf, very simple, in extended single crochet, that I’m trying to decide…to felt or not to felt?  I’m thinking, I’ll make the scarf and consult my Muse.

In the mean time, I am delighted to introduce you to my newest member of the Feets family, Amanda Grace Feets!

She’s tiny.  She fits easily into the palm of my hand.  She is not, however, delicate.  She came off the hook, openly and lovingly welcomed by her two brothers, Chauncey and Earl, and immediately started asking for a pin to wear, like her big brothers.

Here’s how it went….

“Welcome to the world, little sweetheart!”  I exclaimed.

“Hi!”  answered the new little toy.  “Where am I?”

“You’re in my house,”  I answered.  “You just now came off the hook.  May I call you, Amanda Grace?”

She thought that over a few seconds, and answered, “Sure!  I like that name!  Um…WHAT am I?”

“You’re a toy,” I replied.  “You’re a very special kind of toy, from a big family called, The Feets Family.”

“Family….” she mused.  “Does that mean there are more like me?”

“You bet!  You have two brothers living here, with me, and other brothers and sisters living with their people.”

“Or DOGS!” came the exclamation from the other side of the room.  “Some of our brothers and sisters live with DOGGIES!”

“And that,” I offered, would be your oldest brother, Chauncey.  He’s hopping up and down on his feets waiting to meet you.  Would you like to meet your brothers?”

“You bet!” she shouted, and started hopping up and down on her feets, too!

Chauncey and Earl were overjoyed with their new baby sister.  They instantly loaned her some of their pins to wear!  Then, they asked me if she would be living with us.

“Well, Guys,” I started, “She can!  If you all really want that to happen, it can happen.  Amanda Grace, however, is slated to go and live with a very nice lady named, Audrey.”

“Okay,” Earl offered.  “But can we talk about that first?  Maybe take a vote?”

Earl is very Democratic.

“Of course!” I answered.  This is a total Democracy, you can vote on anything you like!”

“Wendy is a Lee-Bray-Yell Deem-O-Kraf, like me,”  Earl proudly explained.

I didn’t even try to correct his syntax.  He gets the gist.  And he’s a Liberal.  So, it’s okay.

“And we’re peen-koo-sheens!”  Chauncey chimed in, in his big-boy voice.

“And Amy-Goo-Roomiez, too!”  Earl added.

Now, I had all three of them bouncing up and down on their big feets.  Even Earl, who is usually more reserved, jumped feets first into the excitement.

“So,” Amanda started, “Who is Aww-Dree?”

“Well,” I answered,  “Audrey is Christoper’s lady friend.”

“Who is Kissofair?”  she interrupted.

“Christopher is my son,” I answered.

“And he’s really COOL!”  Chauncey jumped in.

“YEAH,”  Earl shouted.  “He has toys, too!”

” ‘Cept he calls them, ‘Ax-shun Feen-gerz,’  Chauncey mused.”

“Yeah,” Earl agreed.  “He calls them Ax-shun Feen-gerz, but they’re still toys.”

“Yes, they are still toys,”  I said.  “Anyway, Audrey is Christopher’s special friend, and she’s very sweet and nice, and she’s totally into toys, like you.”

“She likes toyz?  Will she like ME?”  asked Amanda Grace.

“Yes, she sure does!  And I’m willing to bet that you will make each other very, very happy.”

“Hmmmm…Can I have a loopy thing like my brothers, and a closey-peen?”

Wow, the things these guys come up with!  What Amanda Grace was talking about was the safety pin and loop that her brothers have.  That started, at my sister’s request, as an alternative to sticking safety pins into their heads.  Mary didn’t mind the sewing needles..they are pin cushions, after all…but the safety pins sticking out of their wee heads grossed her out as total toy torture.  Now, the safety pin loop has grown into a Feets punk element that Chauncey insists all of his little brothers and sisters have.  This time, I didn’t have to wait for Chauncey’s input.  Amanda Grace was not satisfied coming off the hook as she was, and asserted herself for her own loop and pin.

I had that little request fulfilled in short order, and she preened for her brothers, showing off her new safety pin.  

They played for a while, playing word games, watching TV, and talking over what they wanted to do about Amanda Grace’s future.  Finally, they came to me, as a group, to disclose their vote.

“I think I’d like to go and live with Miss Aww-Dree,”  Amanda Grace proclaimed.  “I’d like to see more of the world!”

“And we voted with her,” Earl chimed in.  “We put it to a Deem-O-Kraf-fix vote, and we voted Yoo-Mam-Ah-Moosley to give Amanda Grace what she wants, to see more of the world.”

Chauncey, somewhat contemplative and ever-protective, asked, “If Amanda Grace wants to, can she come back home?”

I, of course, melted.

“Of course she can,”  I soothed.  “Amanda Grace, you can always come home if you want to, for a visit, or to stay.  It will always be your choice.”

Well!  That said, they got all excited again, and started hopping up and down on their big feets, chattering about Amanda Grace’s upcoming adventure.  They finally quieted down, after several hours of planning, and went off into their little toy slumber.

Amanda Grace stayed with us for several days.  When it was time to go, she went without a single fear.  Chris escorted her to Audrey’s house, and I was told the next that that she was welcomed with open arms, that Audrey fell immediately in love with her new yarn friend, and Amanda Grace, with her new human friend.

Looks like BFFs forever!!!  (and a baby brother or sister on the hook for Chauncey and Earl…)

chauncey earl amanda grace

Gyro-Gyro With Chauncey and Earl


I have always been a Diner waitress, by trade.  I’ve been doing it for somewhere between thirty five and…oh, about a hundred and twelve years now.  Being a Diner waitress means working with Greeks.

Greeks.  Are.  COOL.

Several years ago, one cook I worked with, whose nickname was Taso, had a cool saying, “Gyro-Gyro,”  (pronounced, “Yeero-Yeero”) meaning that time of the day where he would take a walk through his neighborhood in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, knocking on doors, saying, hello, visiting with and talking to his neighbors.   This was a custom that he brought from his home land, his village of Salonika, in Greece.  

We, of course, have the same sort of customs, calling this evening walk through our neighborhoods, “visiting,” or just “going for a walk.”  Whatever you call it, going through your neighborhood on a daily basis to wave to friends, perhaps to sit and chat for a minute, is a wonderful time of the day.  It’s the thing that cements small towns, or makes big towns more cozy.

Sadly, Taso has passed.   However, the memory of his love for going “Gyro-Gyro” will continue.  I was reminded of this special person when I brought my stuffies out into my neighborhood with my little cell phone camera, to take a walk through part of my garden, and the gardens of a couple of neighbors…to visit, to say hello, to bond over the plants…and to give Chauncey and Earl their very own garden walk-through.

Or, as they put it, their very own, “Uber-Cool Ultimately Awesome Garden Tour!”

I’m butting out now.  I’m turning the page over to my little heroes,  conversations and all.

Come on…take a little “Gyro-Gyro” with Chauncey and Earl!



Wasn’t that fun?  We still have yet to have a “Gyro-Gyro” through J.R’s garden, across the street, but we will, soon.

Aaaaand, since these pictures were taken, Chauncey and Earl welcomed a new little sister into the world, “Chooie!”  Chooie is a Chew Toy.  You see, Earl, much as he loved riding around in “Bug,” the dog’s,  mouth, can not go to live with Bug.  Earl has, “sharp things,” meaning, he has pins, needles, and little button eyes.  All of these things are a hazard to Bug, so Chooie came about, sans sharp things.  You will meet her very soon…as soon as we can get her out of Bug’s mouth, that is.  Doreen tells me that Bug carries chooie around, chases her, drops her into his bed at night to sleep next to her…the one thing that Bug does not do with Chooie…is chew.

Road Trip!


It has been a while!  I’ve been a little under the weather, but on the mend, and finally ready to share Chauncey and Earl’s recent road trip, to a very special garden.

The little stuffies went to visit “Unka Mike!”

Oh, weren’t they excited!  They’d heard all about my gardening mentor, but hadn’t met him.  So, in a seedling swap, a Gold Bar Melon seedling for Mike, and a yearling banana tree for me, the boys got to take a ride in the car, meet “Unka Mike,” and visit his delightful garden.  They got to meet his garden buddies, too!  Even “Ahm-pee Memmie” came along, and helped take their pictures!

As soon as we got there, they wanted OUT of their travel box.  We sat them on the front steps of the house, so they could take a gander at the neighborhood.

Unable to contain themselves, they jumped right into a rousing game of “Tuja  Commando,”  which they enjoyed immensely.  The trees are really BIG!  Like a whole forest!

They did admit, however, that the Tujas, while awesomely rad, weren’t as awesomely rad as their Reggie.   And now they want to know if Reggie can come with them next time.  Tough to explain to them that, with Reggie  now almost three feet tall and flowering, he should stay home.   The car is not a good place for a very pregnant parsley.

They went from the Tujas to a beautiful ornamental grass that Mike has growing, that he says is from California.  It looks like it’s from California!  It’s soft and wild, almost sun-blond, and the mulch he has around it made my buddies look like they were relaxing on a remote beach cove somewhere in Laguna.

I think I leave the TV on too much for background noise.  They pick things up, these guys.  Chauncey hollered out, in his usual bold stance, “Dude!  We’re Cali- Dreamin’!”  I could swear I heard Earl humming a few bars of “Little Deuce Coupe.”

Next, they checked out a Deep Place.  A well?  I’ll have to ask Mike.  They really, really wanted to find out what was down there…

“Wat down there???”

They changed their minds about actually exploring the Deep Place when they couldn’t find the bottom.

“Can you see where it goes?”


“Wanna go look?”


“Maybe next time we come, we’ll bungee jump it!”


Yeah…kid fears don’t last long with these two.

Around the back of the house, the first thing they spotted was Mike’s Magic Stick Tree.  What a marvelous, mystical topiary!  Its origins are shrouded in rainbow mists,  kept secret by generations of fairies and garden gnomes, its hue an eye-popping, Happy-Hippie yellow.  The “Kids” went for a swing in its branches.


Uncle Mike showed them a great plant, an Elephant Ear Sting Ray.  It’s a tropical plant that I know will thrive in his garden, despite being in Connecticut.   


Once the still-potted “Steeng-Raaaay” was put aside, they were able to see, and marvel at,  the stone garden cat.  Chauncey tried to get the kitty to rub him, like our Brenda does, but the cat was elusive, totally into being a cat.  She is a beauty!  

“Dees a kitty like Bren-Dah?”


Uncle Mike also has a magic flamingo in his garden.  I know, it seems like just another St. Petersburg special, but…this one moves.  You never know where the flamingo will be,  from day to day!  There’s a day care/ pre-school just around the corner from Mike’s magic garden, and the children there walk around the block once a week or so, just to see where the flamingo is on that particular day.  Waldo has nothing on this handsome pink Phoenicopterus.  The boys, of course, had to go for a ride.  


 A little tuckered out from their tree swinging and bird riding, they took a break in another soft ornamental grass, loving the feel of the blades against their yarns.


 And the, break over, they took off, energized, looking for their next exploration.  They met a hedgehog!


They have no clue of what a hedgehog is, they just thought it was cool.


Then, the found an egg.


“Is this a hejjog eggie?  I know wat a eggie is!  I saw it on the TV!  Wat happens if we sit on it?  Do we get a hejjog?  If we do, can we KEEP it?”


Sadly, no hedgehog hatched from the egg…but you never know, in Mike’s garden!

 Having quickly discovered that there would be no hedgehog hatch-ling, they scampered off the investigate “The Slabs.”   Now, to the untrained eye, these are slabs of rock,  neatly piled and waiting for something else to do. 

But…I told ya, this botanical genius that is Mike can make rocks grow….

Be it sculpture or phenomenon, The Slabs are seriously cool, and the boys loved sitting atop them. 


After sunning themselves among The Slabs, Chauncey and Earl found another Deep Place.  This time, they could see the bottom, and didn’t wait for the safety (huh?) of their bungee cord to jump right in.

But then, they couldn’t get out.

I was appalled at the trepidation that skittered across poor Chauncey’s face.  He’s fearless!  Then again, none of us is truly fearless,  and Chauncey seems to have a small issue with Deep Places.  So, we snapped their picture, and got them right out of there.

Next time we visit, we’ll bring the bungee.

“We can get out now.” 

Safely removed from the Deep Place, Chauncey quickly recovered.  Earl wasn’t worried.  He knew his big brother would protect him!  We wrapped up our visit to Uncle Mike’s garden just sitting and relaxing at the table, enjoying some heat and sun.  We had chairs.  They had a tool to sit on.  They pretended it was a couch.

It was a wonderful day, filled with surprises!  Aaaaand, “Unka Mike” said he would like to take them on other adventures, to other gardens, later in the summer!  I’ll get him for that.  They’re still chattering about it, asking, “When?  When?  Wheeeeeen????”

Stay tuned!!!! 


Gardening With My Toys


The garden is coming along, a little slowly.  It’s been pretty incredible during the day around here, but chilly at night, so everything slows down.  I did not have good luck with my sugar snap peas, so I dug up the refused-to-germinate seeds, amended the Pro Mix with composted soil and manure, and started again.  Twice.  The same thing happened with the radishes, so I planted a new row, just for kicks, in the raised bed.  The radishes are up, and the new crop of peas, this time, “Sugar Ann” bush peas, are showing signs.  It’s probably too late for the peas, but…had to try, right?  I’m stubborn as a mule that way.

I had help today.  My two little crochet buddies came out with me, for Earl’s very first trip into the garden, and we had a ball.  Me, with my camera, they, with their…crochet toy-ness, and Reggie…always Reggie, with his style and grace.

Here’s how it went….

The first stop little Earl had to make was to the porch rail for his close up.  What a sweetie!  He’s not as boisterous as Chauncey is, but he’s just as “game.”   His big brother is his hero.

“I’m a Peen-Koo-sheen, just like my big brother!”

From there we went back Inside, so they could hang out with the new baby seedlings that keep warm on the mats, under the lights.  Lots of different kinds of tomatoes, several varieties of hot peppers, one white cucumber,  a Sugar Baby watermelon, as well as several Gold Bar Melon seedlings are out there.  I also started some parsley and sage.   Earl, who had not yet been to see the garlics for his name, thought the baby plants were cool.

“They’re babies!  Just like me!”

Chauncey was grooving on the lights being low enough to swing on.

Back Outside we went,  where Chauncey made a bee line for Reggie, who was waiting with open stems.  The Garlics, always humming their strange song, welcomed the little one, and named him, Earl.

The Garlics, as you can see, are doing very well.  Nice, thick stalks.

And Reggie…my sweet Reggie…is going to seed.  We’re calling it his “special time.”  He’s about to have babies!

I do not have the heart to tell Chauncey that this means we’re about to lose Reggie.  Some times, I don’t have the heart to reconcile myself with it, even though I know…so we’re calling it,  Reggie’s Special Time, for now.  It is a happy time!  We’ll lose Reggie, but there will be little Reggie seeds…descendants.  A new generation.  And, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Reggie knows.  He’s fine.  He’s happy.  Reggie, being tuned into that whole circle of life thing, is just happy that he found a home, a place where he wasn’t tossed at the end of the season, where he would live to go to seed, and have his seeds collected and given a chance.  I am in the fabulous position of seeing it through, seeing this marvelous plant live through his season,  and being given the opportunity to bring a new generation of this plant into the world.  I’m lucky to have Mike, my good friend, to walk me through the seed collecting process.  With his help, I’ll be able to save every precious seed, share them start them, grow them.

We’ll lose Reggie, but he will have a solid legacy.

Look at those tall, thick seed stalks, the thickness and richness of that foliage.  Isn’t he magnificent?  I counted a dozen of those thick seed stalks, and there are more forming.  Reggie is totally into getting his seed on!

This is exactly what Mike described to me, that these seed heads would look like Queen Ann’s Lace.  Beautiful!

Thick, deep green foliage…Reggie is purely diggin’ being out in the sun.

Chauncey and I introduced him to Earl,

who immediately hopped up into Reggie’s dreads to play a game of Parsley Commando, Chauncey’s favorite game.  Don’t let the parsley fool you.  He loves these little guys.  Even when Chauncey is hollering and jumping up and down, he’s happy to have them.

He did, however, promptly kick them out of the planter with a laughing, “Go play!”

So, play we did!

Chauncey and Earl hung out with the Garlics for a time, humming along with their strange song.

The spinach, which is doing very well to date,

Is always one of Chauncey’s favorite places to play.

“We love the Speen-Yach!!!!!”

It was a super-special draw for little Earl, who has discovered that, if he holds himself just so, he can grow with his “speen-yach”  buddies!


They moved on to a raised bed that looks empty…

Where they wanted to know, “If you plant us like the speen-yaches, will WE grow?”

“Sorry, Guys…you’ll only get your feets dirty.”

Well…Chauncey likes his new blue feets way too much to risk them on anything less than a sure bet, so…off we went to play somewhere else.

They helped me thin out my radish row!

“Ray-Deeshes?  Hey!  We can help you with the Ray-Deeshes!”

From there they checked out the container of bunching onions, just starting to pop.

“Wat dees Ahn-Jeens?  Are they like Ray-Deeshes and Speen-Yaches?”

I explained that the three plants, when they’re picked and washed, and put all together in a salad with tomatoes, are delicious, that humans eat them.  Thankfully, this did not freak them out.  I told them that some of the little baby plants, Inside, were “Toe-May-Toes,” as they put it, and they got all excited that the little plants would get bigger and bigger and have red and yellow and green and pink and orange fruits.  They can’t wait!

We went around the side of the house, where the little wild flowers growing in the lawn caught their attention.  They just had to snuggle up to the bright blooms!


 I didn’t have the heart to explain to Earl that Dandelions are weeds, on the digging block.


 Further up in the yard,  they discovered even more cool flowers to kick back in!  Feelin’ Groovy,  soakin’ up the rays….


 They stopped at one of my neighbor’s planters to make friends with the little Dutch girl who lives in there.  They have yet to meet Lola, but that’s coming.


 And paused to contemplate the wonders of the garden, on Lola’s gazing ball.  Earl thought it would be way too cool to sing like the Garlics.



 They checked out the cool new blueberry plants waiting to be planted.



 And while Chauncey pondered a cauliflower seedling,

“Wat dees gonna be?”


 Earl’s eye caught the brigh yellow bag of “secret ingredient.”



 I had to ask him how he knows what “Dookie” is…he answered, “We saw the Tee-Vee!”

“Yeah!”  Chauncey chimed in.  “You can do it!  We can help!”

Okay!  I guess they caught a Home Depot Dookie ad.  Good thing I stick to cartoons and hockey….

Finally, time to toss a little water around.  Chauncey is always game for a new adventure, and very helpful, too.  He watered my corn!


 Of course, he got muddy and wet.  If you play in the garden and you don’t get muddy and wet, you didn’t do it right!  So, muddy, wet, blissfully happy, they followed me Inside, to the bathroom, where they relinquished their pins and needles for that most wonderful of wonderful things…a BATH!

And, oh, didn’t they love the bath.  I let them play in there for a long time.

“If we had noses, these bubbles would tickle them!” 


 They loved getting rinsed and wadded up into a clean, warm towel.


And it was Chauncey…it’s always Chauncey…who figured out,

“Hey!  We can get all dry really fast in Reggie’s Summer Machine!”

Earl, being Earl, did not hesitate.

They hopped and chattered all the way out onto the front porch, excited to take a ride in the Summer Machine.

“You have to tell Reggie we’re gonna ride in his Summer Machine!”

I really didn’t have to.  The deep, smooth, almost maniacal laughter coming from Outside told me that he heard them. 


Kids…do not try this at home.


 All clean, all dry, ready to go back to watching TV, swapping pins and needles…being brothers.

“We Bros, yo!” 


 I can’t wait to see these guys around tomatoes and dahlias.  Stay tuned!



Sculpey Hooks and Chauncey’s New Little Brother!


I love crochet!  I love making toys, especially.  Such darling little personalities. 

I love crochet hooks.  I collect them like crazy.  Some day, I’ll show them off a bit.  Lately, my hands get tired, so…I really need to have fatigue handles on my hooks.  I have a wonderful set of Susan Bates aluminum hooks with bamboo handles, and they are the ones I reach for, time and time again.  Sometimes, though, you like to mix things up, you know?  Plus, I have a bunch of hooks without handles…so I made some.   

I used Sculpey eraser maker clay, the kind you fashion into 3D shapes, then bake, to make play erasers.  They really make crappy erasers…but they make wonderful crochet hook handles!  Just a shade softer than regular Sculpey baking clay, and plenty colorful.  The eraser clay is a lot softer, too, and easier to work with.  I had handles finished and going into the oven in less than an hour, and I really took my time and played with the clay.  

I got my hooks settled into a glass baking dish, and baked them according to directions.  The directions call for something like twenty minutes per 1/4 inch thickness of the finished piece.  My hooks had just about 1/4 inch around each hook, so I have them twenty minutes, at 225 degrees, Farenheight.

They came out perfect!


From the left, the first two are steel hooks, sizes 00 and 0.  From there, we start at aluminum hooks, sizes B-K (with the D hook missing).  The big blue one is a J hook, which used to be a double ended hook, and the last three on the right are special hooks for making bullion stitches.  

Now, onto the newest member of my little crochet family!  

Remember Chauncey Feets, mt resident “Peen-Kooshin?”  All he wanted was a little brother.  Well, finally…has it been two weeks already?  Finally, Chauncey got his little brother.  

And, as per Reggie Parsley’s promise, he even got to pick out the colors.

It was…a challenge.

He hopped all over my yarn stash, and, of course, he absolutely loooooved and had to have…every color he hit on.  We agreed on a bright yellow for his new little brother, then went a little nuts picking colors from there.

He liked the blue…



 And the Red…



 And yet another shade of blue…


 And the Mexicana print and the orange!


 You know he had to have purple….


You know, of course, that he wanted new feets to match his little brother’s feets.  He went with the light blue.  What can I say?   Little guy’s got a thing for blue!

Chauncey Feets finally has his darling little brother.  He sports his very own “Ahm-pee Memmie” safety pin loop, just like his big brother.  And, Chauncey insisted that he have dreads, “just like Reggie!”  He keeps his dreads in little buns…and sticks pins in them.  They have been inseparable, watching the TV, where they learn entirely too much.  They love hockey.  Ready for this?  They want to know if I can make them sticks and pucks.  I’ll look into that.

Chauncey loves his new, matching “feets.”


They have been all through the garden.  First stop?  Reggie and the Garlics, of course!

The Garlics did their weird humming thing, and our new little guy got his name.


Welcome to the family, Earl!!!!!


Stay tuned for their latest garden adventure…it was a gas!