Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tess's Tidbits: Unlikely Roommates

I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful it feels to be blogging again after such a lengthy hiatus.  I hope you will forgive us, dearest readers, for keeping you waiting for so long.  

I realize that you were most likely expecting this post to feature our Three Year Blogoversary giveaway.  I suppose it might have been wise to do that post first, but I felt that we were so disconnected from all of you that we needed to catch up a bit before launching another giveaway.  Maggie agreed with only a bit of protest, especially because she feels our giveaway item is too "girly". ;)

Goodness, where to begin?  I feel as though I could write for hours, although nothing monumental has happened in our lives since we last communicated.  Once Mama got home from vacation, all of her thoughts were on getting her daughters ready for school and preparing herself for her elementary art class.  To be honest, we've been feeling rather neglected.  Most of us are wearing the same things we've worn all summer long.  It is so inconvenient to have one's clothes packed away and to be so dependent on someone else for every little need.  It doesn't bother me as much as some of the others, but I must confess I've missed Mama dreadfully during these past months.  Sometimes I feel that she no longer has the time to devote to us that she once did.

Still, I suppose I mustn't complain.  I've had a splendid time reconnecting with my youngest sister.  Words cannot express how thrilled Hailey and I are to be reunited with her once more. :)  

The only shadow to darken our happiness was this: we'd been wondering how on earth we could fit another sister into our room.  Although we loved having Ella with us, Hailey and I had filled the room to the brim already with our belongings.  It would be extremely difficult to try to fit Ella's doll collection in there, too (yes, Mama kept ahold of Ella's collection). :)

On that note, I must give credit where credit is due.  Just this past week, Mama rearranged some of her other collectible items and made a little half-room for Alice and Ella to share.  I thought it was very nice of her to change things around so much just to make my sister and the Hathaway girls' cousin more comfortable.  You should have seen how many hours she spent moving things this way and that!

In spite of Mama's generosity, I wondered how my sister would do with Alice as a roommate.  The two of them certainly were not the most likely candidates for sharing a living area.  Of course, I was sure Mama knew what she was doing...I hoped.   

When the room was all finished, Ella excitedly brought me up to show it to me.  Hailey and Charlie had already made plans, so Hailey assured Ella that she would come see the room later that day.

"Well, here it is!" Ella said with excitement, waving her arm around the tiny room.  "What do you think?"

I took in every inch of my sister's new abode.  My first thought was how horribly small it was compared to our other rooms, but of course I didn't say anything.  Ella was beaming as if she were giving me a tour of the Taj Mahal.  If she was happy, there was no use in pointing out any flaws.

My eyes roamed across the room.  Mama had certainly done her best to make it a friendly, homey place for them.

Alice's blue dresser and a white shelf were in the corner.  The shelf held Alice's collectibles and her fish tank.  I also noticed that her blue lamp was in just the right spot for reading while sitting on my old sofa.

Next to the white shelf was a sweet little curio full of Ella's dolls.

At the top was Ella's small Wizard of Oz collection.  Some of you may recall that Ella has always enjoyed musicals, especially "Singin' in the Rain".  Well, in her absence she added a new favorite:  "The Wizard of Oz".  She is apparently still hoping to find a "Singin' in the Rain" poster for her room, but she was thrilled when Mama found her a lovely Wizard of Oz poster. :)

I noticed that every nook and cranny of the room seemed to be overflowing with Ella's extra dolls.  I hoped Alice wouldn't mind.

Speaking of my lovely, old sofa, here it is.  I do miss it so, but I'd rather have it put to good use than sitting in Mama's closet like it was before. :} 

The beautiful American Girl Elizabeth doll was a gift to Ella from Hayden.  Some of you might remember that when Ella left us, she gave her Felicity doll to Hailey, and then Hailey gave it to Hayden when she arrived.  Hayden offered to give Ella back her doll when she came home, but Ella insisted that Hayden keep it.  My sister could see how much Hayden loved Felicity.  Hayden was determined to do something special for Ella, so when Mama found this lovely Elizabeth doll at the thrift store, Hayden asked if she could give it to Ella.  Mama agreed, and Ella was thrilled.  Now Ella's doll and Hayden's doll can be best friends, just like they are in the stories. ;)

My thoughts had wandered far during my inspection of the room, and when I turned to Ella, I could see she was waiting for some sort of response.

I gave her a smile and patted her arm.  "I think it's just right," I told her gently.

Ella smiled with pleasure.

At that moment, a jolly voice broke into our conversation.  "Hey, you two, how's it going?"

We turned and saw Alice heading our way, a smile on her face and her hand waving in the air.  I noticed that she was wearing her favorite sneakers.  I don't believe I've ever seen her wear anything besides sneakers, to tell the truth.  I'm sure there's some sort of "Doctor Who" connection there, as there usually is, but I'm afraid to ask.  I'd rather not get caught up in another three hour conversation regarding her favorite show. :}

Ella's face lit up at the sight of her roommate.  "Alice, I'm glad you're here!  I have something for you."

And without another word, she suddenly dove behind the couch to retrieve something.  She put something on the couch, out of sight, but when she turned, there was another something in her hands.

"I thought you might like to see my newest doll," she said happily, "especially since you're sort of a Wizard of Oz fan."

"She's a Lalaloopsy that Mama just got for me.  Her name is Dotty Gale Winds, after Dorothy Gale from the story."

She held the little doll out so we could see her.  

Alice smiled politely.  "She's really cute!  Her name reminds me a little bit of DG from 'Tin Man'."

Ella looked even more excited.  "Well, speaking of 'Tin Man', I asked Mama to pick something up for you, too!"

She turned around, put Dotty down, and picked up whatever it was she had deposited on the couch before.  When she turned back to us, she was holding a little metallic silver doll.  She held it out to Alice.

"This is Tinny Ticker from the same series.  She's for you!"

Alice took the doll slowly.  She seemed to be trying to find words to say.  "Wow," she finally stated.  "That's the first time I've seen a girl tin man."

Then she just stood there and stared at Tinny, as if trying to decide what to make of her.

"I...I thought Tinny might be the best choice...since you like 'Tin Man' so much," Ella continued, her voice slightly less enthusiastic.

"Well, you know," Alice stated in her matter-of-fact movie trivia voice (a voice we'd all heard numerous times over the past few weeks), "there really aren't any actual tin men in 'Tin Man'.  It's just what policemen are called in that version."

Ella's face fell.

I wasn't sure what to do.  I knew that saying something to Alice might only make my sister's embarrassment worse, but I also knew that Alice was completely clueless to the fact that she had just hurt Ella's feelings.  

Ella turned abruptly to pick up Dotty again, but not before I noticed her lower lip trembling.  

"If...if you don't want her," Ella said quietly, "I'm sure Mama can find a place for her."

Alice's head shot up, and at last she seemed to grasp what had happened.  An embarrassed look came over her face.  "Oh, no!" she insisted.  "I think she'll look great on my shelf.  Don't mind me...I just go into trivia mode and don't think about how things sound."  

She closed the distance between herself and Ella and put her arm around her.  "Thank you very much, Ella.  Sorry if I made you feel bad.  I like her...honest."

With that, my sister's sunny expression returned, and I felt like I could breathe again.  

In spite of that rocky start, Alice and Ella have gotten along splendidly ever since.  While they may not have much in common, they did discover a few similar interests.  They both love wearing stripes, they both love Fall the best out of all of the seasons, and of course, they both love the Wizard of Oz characters (although Alice prefers "Tin Man" to the original Oz movie).  She's tried getting Ella into Doctor Who, but Mama has informed her that Ella is too young to watch it. which really doesn't make all that much sense.  Ella is eight years old by human standards, but in doll years, we're all adults.  Oh well.  I suppose she'll just have to watch more period dramas with me. ;)

Dotty and Tinny now have special spots in Ella and Alice's room.  Dotty sits next to Ella's Madame Alexander Dorothy doll and her China Doll from "Oz the Great and Powerful".

Tinny's home is on Alice's middle shelf, next to her big M&Ms tin. 

I suppose that's all I have time for at the moment.  The rest of us are well and are looking forward to this new school schedule once Mama finds her routine.  I personally am hoping it will mean that we get to spend a lot more time with her.  I miss our talks and even our photo shoots. :}

Within the next week, we should have our giveaway ready, so be on the lookout for a new post soon! :)


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Maggie's Memos: Three Years...and a Day

Wow, we're really losing it over here.  So apparently yesterday was our three year blogoversary.  Did we have a special post?  Nope.  Anything awesome?  Nada.  Things are getting ridiculously lame over here, and I think it's high time we got our acts together...especially all of the other slackers on this blog who didn't tell me it was our blogoversary!

I also blame Mama.  She's been hogging the computer all week.  I keep begging her for a computer just for us so we don't have to keep competing with her computer time.

Anyway, Happy Blogoversary to us.  Tess and I are off to make a new header, and then we'll figure out something awesome and astounding to post this week in celebration of our milestone. :}



Update:  Celebratory Header achieved.  Here's a copy of our old header so Tess can get all sentimental and weepy when she reads through our old posts. ;)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Breaking News with...Emma? An Interview with Alice

Um, hi everyone.  I know you're used to hearing "Breaking News with Maggie", but since Alice didn't want to write her own post about her vacation, she decided an interview would be better, and I knew that Maggie would want to do a "Breaking News" post, but I felt that Alice would feel more comfortable with me since I'm her cousin, and Maggie was...sort of...okay with me taking her place just this there you are.  (Sorry about the run-on sentence...I get super wordy when I'm apologizing.) :}

So, now that that's over, welcome to "Breaking News with Emma"!  I'm Emma Hathaway, and today I'm interviewing my cousin, Miss Alice Ellison.  She's going to tell us all about her recent vacation to the coast with Mama's family.

E:  Thanks for joining me, Miss Ellison.

A:  Um, you can call me Alice.

E:  Sorry, but Maggie was very specific that if she let me take over, I had to do the interview properly.

A:  Oh...uh...okay.  Does that mean I have to call you "Miss Hathaway"?  

E:  That would probably be best.  You know how Maggie gets...

A: (laughing nervously) 'Nuff said!  Miss Hathaway it is.

E:  So, Miss Ellison, could you tell us about your trip?  

A:  Sure...what do you want to know?

E:  Oh, I guess you need more specific questions, don't you?  Hmm, this interviewing stuff is tougher than I thought!  Uh, what did you do first?

A:  Well, first we drove for a REALLY long time.  

Here I am in the truck, ready to go! :)

I didn't think we'd EVER get there.  If only Mama had access to the TARDIS.  It would have been a lot quicker. ;)

E:  Um...right.  So, did you make any stops on the way?

A:  One stop for food.  I shared something called a "burrito supreme" with's apparently one of her favorites, and I can see why.  It was so yummy!

E:  Yum!  I've had one of those, too.  Did you make any other stops?

A:  A couple of bathroom stops for the humans (isn't it nice to be a doll and not have to worry about that?).  But mostly we just drove...

...and ate...

...and listened to music and Adventures in Odyssey episodes...and drove some more.  It was really hard to sit that long.  

E:  Oh, I've been meaning to ask, and that picture of you with the Chex Mix reminded me.  I noticed that in several pictures there was this little pink thing with wild hair with you.  Do you know what that was?

A:  You mean this little thing in this picture here?

E:  Exactly.  What is that?

A:  It's Mama's new Zelf.  They're kind of like those Russ Trolls from a while back, only posable and cuter.  This one is named Buttershy, and she was so cute that Mama decided to take her on the trip with us.  She doesn't say much, but she kept hiding and hanging out with me.  She ended up photobombing a lot of the pictures. :}  I think she's here you want to meet her?

E:  Sure.

A:  (calling softly behind her)  It's all right, Buttershy.  Come on out.

E:  (cooing) Aw, she's really cute!

A: (smiling) I think so, too.  She's a great traveling companion.  Just watch your food.  She has a huge appetite, and she doesn't always remember to ask before she "shares" with you. ;)

E:  Well, I guess we should get back to the actual interview.  So, Alice, when you...

A: (interrupting quietly) Aren't you supposed to call me "Miss Ellison"?  

E:  (flustered) Oh, right, sorry...

Miss Ellison, when you got there, what happened first?

A:  Mama just dropped me off in the hallway and told me I'd find one of my sisters in the back room.  I was really nervous and wished that Mama had stayed with me to make introductions.  But I knew I couldn't wait for her to hold my hand.  She was busy unpacking.  So, I gripped the strap of my bag and headed into the room with my head held high.  I pretended I was a companion for the Tenth Doctor and needed to make this acquaintance for the good of the entire universe. 

It didn't take me long to find my first sister.  She was perched on top of a sofa.  The instant I climbed up and saw her, I knew she had to be Piper.  Looking at her was like looking in a mirror. 

She seemed happy to see me.  I mean, she smiled and waved and all, but it wasn't like she was bouncing off the walls with excitement or anything.

E:  That's Piper for you.  She's pretty subdued. 

A:  She was really nice, though.  I introduced myself and sat next to her.  Our conversation was slow at first...she didn't seem to be much of a talker.  But eventually we figured out what to say and soon we were chatting as if we'd known each other all of our lives.  I think it was a bit surreal for both of us to be talking to an identical representation of ourselves. :}

After a while, she told me that she could take me to our little sister, Ruthie.   

We found her in one of the guest rooms, reading a book.  I found out this week that my little sister is a HUGE reader.  She was always sneaking a human book away to look at.

Piper introduced me in a soft voice, and Ruthie instantly set aside her book and invited us to sit with her.

Ruthie was a much better conversationalist than Piper, so the three of us got on quite well.  I think it was a relief for Piper to not have to carry the conversation.  She contributed when she felt like it, but she was perfectly happy to sit and listen to the two of us jabber back and forth. 

E:  What did you think of them?

A:  I really liked them both.      

Ruthie is sweet and sincere and a complete bookworm.  She's really old-fashioned, too.  I think she and Tess would get along well together.  And she looks an awful lot like you,, Miss Hathaway.

Piper is a little more solemn at first, but once you get to know her she really opens up and you see her kind, thoughtful personality come through.  She likes to ponder things and she seems to feel things deeply.  I think she'd make a great poet.

They both accepted me as their sister with no trouble at all.  I'm happy to be part of such a great family.  Of course, I was a little bit bummed that they aren't into Doctor Who either.  Piper has at least heard of it.  I guess another of Mimi's dolls is a Doctor Who fan.  But Ruthie didn't even know what Doctor who was.  Of course, after spending a week with me, she knows way more than she probably ever wanted to! ;) 

Here's a picture that Mama took of the three of us together.  

After our visit, I moved back to the room where Mama, Papa and the two youngest girls would be staying.  I got to share space with Belle and her family, who were also on vacation with us.

E:  So, aside from visiting with your sisters, what sorts of things did you get to do?

A:  Oh, tons of things!  One of my favorite things we got to do was go to the beach.  I got to see two different beaches on different days.  The first beach we went to was Trinidad Beach:

Isn't it great?  The day we went, (Saturday, I believe) the weather was just perfect!  The tide was in pretty high, though, so we had to stay out of the water.

That didn't matter, though, because there were tons of rocks to climb.  

I made a big discovery on this trip.  I love climbing things, especially rocks!  And it turns out I'm pretty good at it, too.  I managed to get higher than either of my sisters on this rock.

When they finally gave up, I came down and joined them.  And of course, Mama took a picture.  I sure see what you mean now about how much she loves her camera! ;)

On the way down, we went around to the front side of the rock.

There was this really cool little cave that Piper and Ruthie were checking out...

...but I just wanted to climb some more!

When we were done climbing for the day, Mama took this picture of us in the shade of the huge rock.

Um, we obviously had a problem all looking at the camera...but in our defense, it was a pretty bright day, even in the shade. :}

After we finished climbing, we took off our sweatshirts and jackets and ran towards the water, just for the sheer joy of feeling the sand crunch beneath our feet.  

Of course, we didn't go all the way down to the water.  We remembered Mama warning us that we couldn't go in because the waves were so strong.  This beach also has a steep slant to it, so once the waves knock you down, it can be easy to get pulled under.  

Mama must have taken this one while we were watching the waves.  They were so beautiful, all green and gray and blue...and the sound!  I've never heard such a beautiful, crashing noise in all my life.  I think I could live there. 

The other beach we went to was Moonstone Beach.  It's one of Mama's family's favorite beaches over there.  We were there on Monday, so this was our last big beach trip before we headed back home on Wednesday.  

Here we are, looking out at the waves.  Oh, and I'll let you in on a little secret.  You can see Papa and the three human girls walking off waayyy in the distance, on the left side of the picture.

Ruthie and Piper decided that they just wanted to sunbathe on this trip, but I wanted to explore.  The great thing about this beach is that it's really flat, so it's a much better beach for playing in the water.  The big waves are also really far out when the tide is down, so all you get on the beach are these mild, gentle waves and a little stream for kids to play in (it was more like a river for dolls, though...a little too deep for me).  Here I am enjoying the soft waves.

There's nothing like cool saltwater pulling at your feet and the cry of gulls in the air.

There were all sorts of rocks and caves to explore on Moonstone Beach, so I had a great time! :)

This cave has water dripping from it, like a natural shower or something.

And, of course, I found lots more rocks to climb: 

The view of the sea was perfect from here.

There was lots to enjoy on the walk back, too.  The beach is so pretty.

E:  Did you get to do anything else?

A:  Yep!  On the same day we went to Moonstone, we stopped by Mama's family's favorite little souvenir shop, WindanSea.  It has shells and all sorts of little goodies, very affordable for young ones like Mama's daughters.

Mama took a couple of pictures of us outside of the shop:

One day, when Mama's family planned to go out again, it was especially gray and overcast, so Ruthie, Piper and I decided to stay at the house.  We decided it would be much more fun to stay in our pjs and watch movies and eat snacks than be dragged around in the cold weather. :)

I was thrilled to discover that Mimi had bought a copy of Doctor Who Season 7 Part 1 at the local Costco.  It wasn't necessarily the best place to start my sisters, but I convinced them to watch anyway.  It didn't take much persuasion on Piper's part, at least.  She'd been curious to find out more about the show since she'd heard her friend talking about it.  

(Mama wanted me to be sure to mention that while it was okay for us as 12 and 14 year old dolls to watch this show, she personally wouldn't fully recommend it to 12 or 14 year old humans.  It is a little scary and intense in some parts and has some mild content and innuendo.  I think it's been explained before that as dolls we just have ages assigned to us.  We're much older in doll years than humans 12 or 14 year olds are.)

Anyway, we raided all of the human snacks, piled up on a spare bed, plugged in Grandmama's mini DVD player, and started to watch. 

The six episodes went by way too fast!  

I was thrilled that Ruthie and Piper seemed to be getting into the shows so much.  I had to stop it every once in a while and explain some backstory, of course, but they still seemed to like it. 

I don't think they were very happy with me after watching "The Angels Take Manhattan", though.  

We went through so many tissues!! 

When it was over, we sat and talked for a while in the big, empty house.  I summed up some of the other seasons for them and tried to end things on a happier note.  Ruthie thought that Doctor Who was okay, but she wasn't necessarily interested in seeing more.  Piper, however, was hooked.  She was looking forward to trying other seasons at Mimi's house.

At last, we talked ourselves to sleep and crashed for the rest of the afternoon.

We slept so long that we didn't wake up until the next morning.  Thankfully, there were some extra pancakes waiting for us.  Yummy! :)

E:  So what was your favorite part of the trip?  

A:  Well, aside from the trips to the beach and the Doctor Who marathon, I did really like the carousel.

E:  The carousel?

A:  There's a carousel at a car sales lot there in Eureka that Mama's family always stops at on the way home.  It's become a tradition of theirs.  This year, I got to ride it too.

Here I am by the carousel with Mama's daughters' dolls.

Here I am on my carousel horse.

All of the horses that have names have them painted on the backs of their saddles.  My horse was Smokey.

I really loved riding him.  It was so fun going up and down and all around.

Of course, the part of the trip I didn't like was saying goodbye to Piper and Ruthie, which happened just before the carousel.  We'd had such a wonderful week together.  It was the perfect way to start our relationship.  Somehow, it felt like things wouldn't be the same once we left.

But at least I knew I would see them again when we got back home...the next time I make it to Grandmama or Mimi's houses, that is.

E:  Did you get any souvenirs from your trip?  That's always my favorite part!

A:  A few.  Grandmama found me this pine cone that was just my size: 

There was also this really cool toy store that had a ton of Iwako erasers.  I chose this alligator...or is it a crocodile?  I can never tell the difference!  I just thought he was cute. ;) 

And then Mama found me this cute little California tin at a Walgreen's over there.  

It opens up so I can store all of my little treasures inside. :) 

Oh, and one last thing.  On Mama's blog, there were several people who mentioned that I should get another fish and name her "Rose", since I had Martha and Donna.  So while I was over there, I picked out this special little fish (in the middle of the tank here).  Now the Tenth Doctor's three main companions are together. :) 

E:  Well, it sounds like you had a really great trip, Alice...uh...I mean...Miss Ellison.  Thank you for telling us a bit about it.

A:  You're welcome.  Thanks for having me. :)

E:  Until next time, this is Emma Hathaway, signing off.

P.S.  Did I do an okay job, Maggie?  I hope so!