So Nice to be Home

I have realized there is something very comforting about being home after a visit away.  It is nice to see close family again and to be in familiar places.  It’s nice to get up in the middle of the night and, without even turning on the lights, find your way through the dark to the bathroom, knowing to avoid the edge of the sock basket and the corner of the table.

I don’t want to write much, but I did want to share our house with you.  It’s a nice house, a bit bigger than where we lived during the winter (but then, our family’s a bit bigger too). But still not big enough for a dog, Wren says.  We’ll get there someday. I know we will. Wren is not quite as stubborn as me.  More patient, yes.  But not nearly as stubborn.

My favorite part of the house is our bench.  Wren calls it the gathering area.  We all sit around it to do things like tell stories and play games.  Sometimes, Wren reads to us all.  Right now, we’re reading Watership Down.  I don’t know if she stopped while I was away or not.  I like hearing about Fiver and Hazel (rabbit-Hazel, not my friend-Hazel) and Bigwig. Some parts of the story are a little scary, but that makes it more fun.  The bench is also where we sometimes work with the computer.

.WrenKestrel_Bench

Another favorite area is our kitchen stove, though that’s more favorited in the winter, when it’s cool, and less favorited during the summer, when it’s hot.  During summer, we try not to burn it much at all, and usually we eat things fresh from the garden.  But it’s always useful to be able to make a nice cup of tea.  Or boil some eggs.  Or corn.  Mmm.  I love fresh corn on the cob. Soon, the corn will be ready to pick…

Stove_Closup

There are other places to the house too, like the sitting corner (where I surprised Juniper with the violin) and the art corner.  Those are places we all go to do things like think or read on our own or do art of some sort.  Not great art, like Pip does, but little art like sketches and simple paintings.  Sometimes, I’ll take the easel and paints outside to work in the sunlight or to paint a flower or something.  But that’s not easy if it’s raining.  (by the way, I realized after taking these pictures that you can see a corner of the sock basket too…Wren must have folded the socks, though, because I can’t see them poking their way out.  That means I’m safe until next laundry day!)

The last thing to share is our bedroom.  Right now, it only has one bed, and we all cozy up in it, but we’re trying to see if we can’t get something like bunk beds.  That would make more room for all of us each night.  Meikiko kicks in her sleep, and Juniper gets as hot as a furnace.  But it’s nice being all together.  The monsters don’t seem so scary then.  And, while I like Watership Down, some of those bunnies sure seem a bit like monsters.  I wouldn’t want to run into a General Woundwort myself!

Bedroom

You see the pink elephant pillows?  When Wren heard that I’d made some for Pip and Smidge, she got busy straight away to make some for us, too.  They’re really soft.  I feel bad that the ones I made my friends wern’t so nice, but Wren says that she’s sure Pip and Smidge like them a lot.  Sometimes, things that aren’t so perfect are more than perfect because they’re made with love.  She has a good point. The art that Pip helped me make probably isn’t going to win any awards, but I love it a whole bunch.

Anyhow, that’s our house for now.  We want to add things like an actual dining room, and a second bedroom, and maybe a whole room for doing art (rather than just a corner), but that’s where we live for right now.  It’s cozy. And happy. And home.  As neat and beautiful as Snip’s breadbox house was, it was Somewhere Else.  I’m glad to be home.

Wren’s calling us all to the bench.  She’s going to read some more about the rabbits before we go to bed.  I’ll catch up with you all later!

~Kestrel

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Doll Art

I went back to Snip’s house!  I was Too Tall again, so I thought Very Small instead.  Pip and Smidge were there, too, so we spent some giggly time together while Snip worked on his writing.

It was tons of fun.  We played hide and seek, hopscotch, simon says.  We even found some paper and pencil and played tic tac toe.  Snip broke away from his computer then, saying he knew a special trick to win always. And he did!  If he didn’t win outright, he tied the games.  I couldn’t figure it out, though.  He promised he’d show me the next time I came over.  Until then, I’ll play with Wren to get better.

I wanted to find a way to tell them thank you for having me over.  I found some pink fabric with gray elephants.  Pip had told me she liked elephants, and Smidge loved pink, so it seemed like a good combination.  Usually Wren does most of the sewing in the house, but I thought I’d be brave and try it myself.

Wren does it better.  I don’t know where she learned.  I made some straight lines around the edges, and turned the pillow, and stuffed it with stuffing.  The pillows should be grateful that they’re rectangles and not blobs!

They turned out ok, I think.  Especially since I’m not the best person at sewing.  But both Pip and Smidge really liked their pillows, so that made me happy.  I think I made them a bit big (I forgot to think the proper Smallish Thoughts), but that just means they’re extra squishy, like a good friend.

PresentingPillows

Pip had a great idea.  She wanted to show me how to do Art (since she works in an Art Studio, I thought it would be awesome to learn from a real artist).  She had some special paper that she called “Sun Paper,” and she said we could make Shadow Art.  I was puzzled by the whole idea, but I went along with it.

We gathered some stuff to use as the background pieces, like ferns and flowers.  Pip talked about creating focal points and using the space on the page to create energy by drawing the eye.  I didn’t follow half of it, but I sure had fun running around outside, picking leaves and things.  I left the arranging to her. That seemed like the hard part.

The paper was in a special protective sleeve.  We couldn’t take it out until the very last minute, or the picture wouldn’t work.  It would get too exposed by the sun?  Whatever that meant.  Once we took the paper out of its protective sleeve, Pip quickly put the leaves and flowers and things into place on the background, then she said that we had to lie on the paper too!!  So we splatted ourselves on the page, curling into the strangest positions.  Then we had to hold very, VERY still.  For five minutes.

SunArt01

Five minutes might not sound that long, but it is truly a Very Long Time when you are baking in the sun.  It was sooooo hot!  My nose itched.  Sweat dripped into my eye.  I couldn’t scratch.  I couldn’t wipe my face. And when my leg fell asleep and went to prickles, I couldn’t do anything.  It was torture!  I thought I’d never stand it.

Then Smidge cried out “Time!” (from where she was standing in the shade! such a smart girl) and we could move.  Thank goodness.  We peeled ourselves off the page.  But the art wasn’t done.  We still had to soak the picture in lemon water for a minute more, then we laid it out to dry on the flat ground.  I wanted to soak myself in that lemon water.  It looked so nice.  But I waited.

SunArt03

The picture turned out so good, we wanted to do another (so we’d both have one).  Smidge was smart and said no thanks again. She helped us with keeping our timing straight.  Because waiting for five minutes was even harder this time.  I felt practically faint part-way through!  This time, when five minutes ended, Smidge offered to do the lemon rinse for us.  Pip and I stumbled inside and threw ourselves on the nearest soft thing (which happened to be the pink elephant pillows I had just made!)  We were completely exhausted.

Exhausted-after-art

The second picture was, believe it or not, even cooler than the first!  I think we both got the hang of how to lie on the paper to make the shadow stay.  Plus, we were so tired that neither of us fidgeted.  It was fun making art with Pip.  Next time, though, I think we should use maybe a little less sun.  Pip agreed.

SunArt02

Too soon, the weekend was over, and I had to head back to my house.  I wanted to be with Wren and the others, but I knew I’d miss my three new friends.  Pip said she was going back to her Far Away home, too, with her Bean.  I can still go to Snip’s house to hang out with Snip and Smidge, but it’ll be harder to hang out with Pip.  She said something about using a Face Book to stay in touch?  It’s a computer thing, I think.  I’ll ask Vega or Hazel about it.

Saying goodbye is never easy. Love you so much, my three little friends.

~Kestrel