Saturday, November 26, 2011

Maggie's Memos: Thanksgiving

Well, wonder of wonders, would you believe that when the time came, it was Tess and I that Mama chose to take to Thanksgiving?  Mama decided not to take everyone, because she still wasn't feeling quite in tip-top shape.  Packing all seven of us would have been too stressful for her.  But she decided that it would be fun to have Tess and I go with her.

Thursday morning, we all piled into the car:  Papa, Mama, their 3 girls, and Tess and I.  It was a pretty chilly morning.  I was glad Mama had given us our jackets! 

Our first stop was the Walmart that's about 1 minute away from our house.  There were a few last-minute things that Papa needed to grab from the store.  Plus, all of us were hungry, and Mama thought it might be a good idea to pick up a snack since we had a long drive ahead of us.  Papa brought back popcorn chicken for Mama's little girls and some popcorn shrimp for the rest of us.  It was really yummy...I wished I didn't have to share with everyone else!

The drive took a long time, although it wasn't as long as the drive to Eureka last summer.  Tess and I took turns looking out the window.

It was fun looking out the windshield, too.  I loved how misty and drizzly it was.  Tess did too.  We're both of the opinion that misty, drizzly days have much more potential than one that's bright and sunny.  I mean, think about it, what gripping story starts with "It was a sunny, cheerful day...."? ;)

Just when we were getting really tired of being in the car, Papa pulled off the road.  We had arrived!!  Sadly, there was no snow, so we would have to stay cooped up in the house the entire time.

While Mama, Papa, and the girls got settled in, Tess and I found an out-of-the-way spot to stand on one of the windowsills.  No one in Papa's family knew that we were really alive, so Mama had warned us ahead of time that we needed to be careful.  That was a bit of a downer...there's nothing worse than having to stand stalk still after being in the car for an hour!! 

At least we had a pretty view!

Papa's mother had prepared raw veggies and her amazing hummus dip (Emma had some of Papa's mother's hummus at Mama's party, and she said it was really good!).  When no one was looking, we snitched some.  I had to agree:  it was pretty good stuff!

Mama came and told us that it would be a while before the food was ready.  She suggested that we read her family's Thanksgiving book while we waited.  It was called "Thanksgiving:  A Time to Remember" by some lady named Barbara Rainey.  I already knew a lot about Thanksgiving from Mama and her girls.  About the Pilgrims coming over from England and having the Thanksgiving feast with the Native Americans and all that.  I wasn't sure I wanted to read a whole book on it, but Tess was interested, and I realized there wasn't much else for us to do without being spotted by the humans.  So, we opened the book and got started.

It was actually a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.  I found myself getting into it in spite of myself!  For instance, did you know that at the first Thanksgiving feast, they didn't just have turkey, but also eels, geese, lobster, partridge, hoecakes (thin slices of bread baked in a fire on the blade of a hoe), shellfish, and fresh grown vegetables and fruit?  The Native Americans also put corn in the hot coals until it popped into popcorn.  Then they drizzled maple syrup over it and formed it into balls.  Doesn't that sound yummy?  I vote for eating popcorn balls on Thanksgiving!  I think I'll skip the eel, though. ;}   

Another part of the book shared a legend about the second winter the Pilgrims spent here in America, from 1621-1622.  Apparently, an unexpected group of 35 new colonists arrived on the English ship, The Fortune, in the month of November.  The corn that the Pilgrims had stored for the winter was not enough to feed the original colonists and the new arrivals.  Everyone got half of their normal daily ration of corn.  The legend was that at one point, food was so scarce, that everyone was limited to just 5 kernels of corn per day!  No one starved apparently.  Still, I'm glad I wasn't there for that second winter!!   

The last chapter of the book suggested a fun Thanksgiving tradition.  In honor of the legend of the 5 corn kernels, everyone at the table is given 5 kernels of corn, a piece of paper, and a pen.  You write down 5 things you're thankful for.  Then, you pass a basket or bowl around the table and put one kernel in the bowl at a time.  As you put the kernel in, you tell everyone the first thing on your list.  The bowl or basket goes around the table 5 times, until everyone has had a chance to share all 5 items on their paper.

I thought this was a great idea.  So often, we get so caught up in eating and watching football at Thanksgiving that we forget the whole point of the holiday:  to thank God for His many blessings.

Tess and I decided we wanted to try the 5 kernel thing, so we asked Mama about it.  Apparently, she and the rest of the humans were planning on doing it, too.  Only, Mama hadn't been able to find any corn kernels, so she brought wooden beads instead.  I...guess that works...sorta. ;) 

The humans were still a long way from being ready, so Tess and I decided to go ahead with our Thanksgiving activity by ourselves. 

I wrote out my list fairly quickly.  I wondered what Tess would write on hers.

Being the highly impatient person that I am, I had a hard time waiting for her to finish, so I took a quick sneak peek at her paper.  I rolled my eyes at the cutesy hearts she'd drawn at the top of her page.  That's so Tess!!  All girly. :}  Yikes...and her last two things were "Jane Austen" and "Fancy Dresses"!  To each her own, I guess.  I think it's safe to say that neither one of those will ever make my Thanksgiving list! ;)

When Tess was finished, she picked up her first bead, put it in the bowl, and read the first item on her list.  She was thankful for friends and family.

It was my turn next.  I put my bead in and said that I was thankful for Tess and Rachel.  Tess blushed, but I could tell she was pleased to be mentioned by name.

We continued this until we'd gone through our whole list.  It was pretty fun.  Tess shyly suggested that maybe we should try this next year with the rest of our friends.  I thought it was a great idea.

I was starting to get pretty hungry, but Mama said that it wasn't quite time to eat yet.  Tess went over and started re-reading some of the Thanksgiving book, but I was bored with reading. 

Then I noticed the puzzle sitting out on the hearth (and no, there wasn't a fire going!).  I love doing puzzles!  I figured if I was careful enough, no one would notice me there.  When I got closer, I saw that it was pretty challenging, but that was just fine with me.  The harder the challenge, the more thrilling it was to complete!  I was able to put a few pieces together, but it was slow going (especially since I was trying to remain unnoticed by the other humans).

I was a little bit startled when Papa's father came over and sat down next to me to work on the puzzle.  I froze in my spot, hoping he hadn't seen me move.  He didn't say anything if he did, but simply started putting pieces together beside me.  Then, without batting an eyelash, he picked up a couple of pieces that I'd been working on, fit them together, and showed them to me.  I wasn't sure if he was really trying to help or just teasing.  Most grownups besides Mama didn't even notice I existed.  And how was I supposed to respond?  If he didn't realize I was alive, I didn't want to startle him by thanking him for his help. 

I hesitated for a moment before deciding that my normal smile would be the best response.  That way he would know I wasn't being rude, but he also wouldn't be scared out of his wits by an unexpected response.  It must have been the right decision, because he added the pieces to the puzzle and continued working quietly beside me. 

I didn't dare to move after that.  Thankfully, Mama noticed my predicament and came and got me.  She placed me next to Tess and asked me to "please attempt to stay out of trouble".  Tess hid a smile, but not before I saw it. 

Just when I thought I would die of starvation, Mama told us that the food was ready.  Of course, then she explained that we'd have to wait until the humans had eaten.  There wasn't enough room at the table for all of us.  Hmph.  Nice manners, Mama.  Why did you even tell us about the food if we couldn't eat it yet?

I decided to go with her so that I could at least look at it!

Isn't that a beautiful turkey?  I couldn't wait to taste it!

One interesting thing that Papa's sister did was mash sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.  Almost everyone on that side of the family (and Mama too) is trying to eat low glycemic foods, so sweet potatoes were a better choice.  I didn't really mind them, but I definitely prefer real potatoes.  And I did not like mashed sweet potatoes with gravy!  Sweet and salty together just isn't my thing.

After what seemed like an eternity, it was finally our turn to eat.  Papa's sister had these plates that were just our size, which made eating our meal much easier! 

We both loved the food.  Tess especially enjoyed the salad and the homemade whole wheat roll.

My favorite parts were the turkey and dressing.  Yum! :)

We finished our meal with generous helpings of dessert.

Tess opted for this delicious homemade pumpkin pie.

I'm a big fan of pumpkin pie myself, but I really wanted to try this apple crumble dessert.  It was really tasty!  Mama said it was from a low glycemic recipe.  Whatever.  As long as it tastes good, I don't care what it is.  That's one of the advantages of being a doll and not a human:  you don't have to worry so much about nutritional value and all that. ;)

It was a great visit overall.  We stayed really late and then drove back in the cold, dark rain.  I don't remember much of the trip home, because I fell asleep within minutes. 

One thing I realized over Thanksgiving was how much I missed spending time with Tess.  She's made a few hinting comments about missing me over the past few weeks, but I didn't think about it myself until today.  We haven't really been moving in the same circles lately...pretty much since Rachel came back from Eureka with me.  Rachel and I really connected, but I guess I've kinda been leaving Tess out of things.  Not intentionally or anything.  Still, it's something I'd like to change.  I mean, Tess and I are about as different as different can be, but we go way back.  She'll always be special to me.  She's always there for me, quietly waiting in the background, always supportive and loving. 

Okay, I'm starting to get all sappy here.  I guess I just want to make sure that I include Tess a little more in the future.  She's a pretty special friend, even if she does use big words, draw hearts on her papers, and memorize Jane Austen books.  I'm really thankful for her, and I want to make sure she knows it. :)

Well, that's about it.  I hope all of you enjoyed a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  Talk to you again soon!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Maggie's Memos: A Few Updates

Hey everyone, it's me, Maggie. 

So apparently I've been relegated to the position of "doll who gets to write the boring update posts that no one else wants to take care of".  I'm apparently not important enough to have my picture on the header, or even have a picture in my post.  Not to mention the fact that guest posters make comments about how scary I am.  Whatever.  I can take it.

We just wanted to let you know what's been going on with us over here.  Things have been really crazy lately.  Mama did something to her clavicle this week (I think it's the chest bone or something like's affecting her shoulder and collar bone, too), so she's supposed to be taking it easy.  Nothing really serious, so don't panic, everybody.  Typing, housecleaning and all that is pretty difficult, but she's being stubborn and trying to do stuff anyway.  Apparently I'm not the only one with a stubborn streak around here. ;) 

Our posts have been rather sporadic because a certain fashion doll who now has her own blog (finally!!) has been hogging the computer and typing like crazy.  She says she's trying to get caught up with her life story so that she can be completely caught up with current time.  I can't believe you guys are still reading about her.  All that mush and singing and drama.  Gag me.  And, sigh, once again I've been instructed to put a link to her most recent post.  Really?  I thought we were going to be done with this once she got her own blog!  As much as it annoys me, I'll put a link HERE.  I wouldn't want to start World War III or anything with my fellow (more sympathetic) dolls.

Anyway, we 18 inchers are currently trying to plan a movie marathon night with all of us.  It should be interesting considering the variety of tastes we have.  Disney meets Captain America?  Hmmm...I have a feeling some of us may skip out on the movies we're not interested in.  We'll be doing other things, too, though, like eating popcorn and playing games, so there should be something for everyone. :)

As you all know, this week is Thanksgiving.  Mama and her family are going out of town to celebrate Thanksgiving with Papa's sister and her family.  Mama's still trying to decide which ones of us will be going with her.  I think it's pretty likely that the Hathaway sisters will be the favored ones (surprise, surprise).  Although at one point, Mama was actually talking about trying to take all 7 of us, because the place they're going has some amazing spots for pics, and there might be snow.  I cannot even imagine being crammed into a tote with the other 6 simply to take 20 gazillion pictures in the freezing cold.  Yay.  You know, sometimes the length Mama goes to get a few good blog headers really scares me!

Once we know more, we'll keep you guys posted.  Hopefully we'll have a real post coming up soon (one that actually included me would be nice...I'm just sayin'!).  Talk to you all later!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Guest Post by Hayden: A Trip to Mimi's

Hello everyone, Hayden here!  Mama and her girls spent the night at Mimi's house last week, and Mama chose me out of all of the dolls to go too! :D  I was just going to tell my sister Emma about my stay and have her do a post about it, but then Emma thought it would be fun to let me do a special guest post.  Tess thought it was a great idea.  Maggie took a little more convincing (okay, she totally scares me!!), but they finally persuaded her to let me have a go at it.  So here goes nothing! :) 

I was so excited to go with Mama.  This was my first family trip with her, and I had no idea what to expect.  Emma and Charlie assured me that I'd have a great time.  I packed some clothes in the backpack I borrowed from my sisters, grabbed my stuffed horse, Chester, and said goodbye to my sisters.

I spent a lot of time in the car waiting.  First, Mama had to go pick up her older 2 girls from school, and then they had to do a Christmas practice at the church.  But finally, it was time to go to Mimi's house!

When we first got there, I got to meet Jo, one of Mimi's dolls.  She looked really cute in her 50s poodle skirt.  Mimi's whole kitchen has a kind of 50s theme.  Everything is pink and light green, and she has lots of old antique dishes and kitchen items.  It was pretty amazing.

Next, I got to go see my cousin Piper in her new room.  I got to meet a new friend, too.  Piper will always be special to me because she's the very first doll I met at Mama's house.  She was so kind and welcoming when I was feeling shy and new.  Today was no different. 

She greeted me warmly and immediately introduced me to her new friend, Kailani.  She was from Hawaii.

Kailani and I exchanged pleasantries.  She told me that Piper had mentioned my sisters and I often.  I really liked Kailani's voice.  It was low and silky, and made me think of sand and surf and hula dancing.

I'd heard a little bit about Kailani from Emma.  Apparently, Kailani was a special doll that Mama and Grandmama gave to Mimi for her birthday.  Mimi had really wanted a Kanani doll to come live with her.  I can understand why...I knew a lot of Kananis at American Girl.  They were so beautiful, and most of them were really nice.  I guess Mama and Grandmama couldn't get a Kanani, so they gave Kailani a makeover and a new home.  She used to be a Josefina with a bad haircut and loose limbs.  She doesn't remember anything about her old life, though, so I wouldn't suggest bringing it up if you meet her. 

Another fun doll I got to meet was Zaara.  I guess she's named after a character from one of Mama and Mimi's favorite Bollywood movies.  Piper is really into Bollywood, so she's thrilled to be in the same room with Zaara...even though she's not the Zaara from the movie.  I've never seen a Bollywood movie before, so I can't really judge.  Of course, as soon as Emma reads this post, I'm sure she'll make me watch one! ;)

I stayed and visited with Piper, Kailani and Zaara for a while.  When the little girls were done with their dinner, Mama brought us some of the leftovers to enjoy in Piper's room. 

Later, after Mama's girls went to bed, I got changed into my new jammies from Grandmama and wandered out to the living room.  I invited Piper and Kailani to come too, but they decided to stay in their room.  They'd had a really big day, I guess.  I wasn't about to miss out on my very first movie, though!!  Especially since Mimi has a big screen TV!  Emma watched a movie here the last time she came, and she said it was AMAZING!  We ended up watching "13 Going on 30".  Well, I watched almost all of it.  Mama didn't let me watch a few parts that she said were not appropriate.  (By the way, Mama wanted me to mention that she cannot recommend "13 Going on 30" even though it's fun and has a great message, because of a few suggestive scenes and some swearing.  She said it would be a really good movie with one of those "Clear Play" thingees that take out some of the bad stuff.  I'm not really sure what she's talking about, but hopefully you will.)  I enjoyed the parts I did see, and I also enjoyed the Nabisco Sweet and Salty snack mixes that Mimi and Mama shared with me. :D

We stayed up entirely too late!  It was almost midnight by the time our movie ended...I was sooo tired!

Chester and I fell asleep right away and slept long and hard. :)

The next morning, Mimi fixed us some delicious Macadamia nut pancakes (the mix was imported from Hawaii!).  I had homemade pear butter on mine.  It was so delicious!!  I could have eaten 10 of them, but I restrained myself.

YUMM!! :D  It was really nice that Mimi had a fork and a plate just my size!

After breakfast, Mama put me on the windowsill of the dining room window so that I could see Mimi's beautiful yard.  All of the fall colors were so lovely!

I hoped we would get a chance to go play outside!

Thankfully, Mama's girls wanted to go outside too, so I got my wish. :)  Well, sort of.  I didn't really play much, because Mama wanted to take about a bazillion pictures of me.  Hayden standing in the tree.  Hayden sitting in the tree.  Hayden standing next to the shrub...and so on.  It was sorta fun, but I would have liked to just be able to play instead.  Of course, I'm not really supposed to do that in front of Mama's girls, I guess.   They don't know we're alive.  I don't see what the big deal is.  It's not like they would tell anyone, and even if they did, people would just think they were using their imaginations.  I watched them play with Mimi in the yard, and they seemed really sweet!  I think we should let them in on the secret.  What do you think?

Even though I got a little bit tired of the pictures, one thing I love to do is use my imagination.  So, while Mama took picture after picture, I just imagined I was someone else in the middle of a story. 

Like here, I imagined I was climbing Mount Everest...and I made it to the top! :)

And here, I pretended I was a wood sprite in an enchanted wood, resting after a long day of gathering roots and berries (what exactly does a wood sprite do, anyway?).

While Mama was taking this picture, I imagined I was a princess, sitting by a dry riverbed.  There had been a famine in the land for 3 years, and it was up to me to figure out how to undo the dry spell that had fallen over my kingdom.

Towards the end of the photo shoot, Mama did let me climb around a little bit, especially since her girls were in another part of the yard.  I had a lot of fun climbing this old fallen tree trunk.  I pretended I was Maid Marion in Sherwood Forest, searching for Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

There were a lot of other pictures that Mama took, but to add more to this post would be a bit embarrassing.  I think Mama was planning to put a lot of them on her Never Grow Up blog, so you can check there if you want to see the rest. :)

Soon after the photo shoot, it was time to go home.  I got a chance to visit with Piper, Kailani, and Zaara a little bit longer while Mama packed up all of her things, and then we were off for home. 

I really enjoyed my visit, but it was nice to be home again.  Home.  Yes, this really is starting to feel like my home now.  I was hoping it would. 

Well, thanks for listening to my rambling post.  And thank you, Tess and Maggie, for letting me be a part of your blog. :)