Pip says the suitcase’ll be ok, so I’m gonna use it. Packin’s tough, though. An’ no fun.


But then Riley came! An’ Wren! An’ that made packin’ not so tough. Wren kept brin’ over different stuff t’ put in, like shirts an’ pants an’ more clothes.

‘Pip’s gonna have a washer machine. An’ I can’t wear more’n one outfit at a time.’

Wren kinda looked away right quick. Then she gave a little smile an’ handed me another shirt. Her eyes were bright. ‘I know,’ she said. ‘But you’ll be far away. I don’t want you to worry or feel unready or anything.’



‘I’m gonna miss you too, Wren. An’ Cooper. An’ Meikiko. An’ Sparrow.’ I didn’t mention Juniper. I wasn’t sure if I’d miss her for real. Juniper’s…different.

Then Riley whimpered an’ pawed my leg, so I scooped her up an’ gave her nose-kisses an’ told her I loved her too.


Cooper’s gonna take care of Riley while I’m gone. She’s a good pup now, walks on her leash an’ doesn’t make messes an’ doesn’t chew shoes. If he needs help, Sparrow’ll be there too (cuz Cooper never had a pet before, so he’s a li’l bit worried). I keep tellin’ him he’ll do fine.

IMG_2567Riley sat near an’ watched. An’ I put all sorts a stuff in the big bag, more stuff’n any dolli needs in a year, much less a month. But Wren said it was important, that I had to. Clothes, shoes, hairbrush, ‘puter, apples (for unicorns!). An’ socks. Sigh. Oh, an’ some puppy treats, cuz Pip’s Bean’s got a puppy!

I need to work on somethin’ for Pip, some sorta thank you gift. Gonna think some more about that. But I won’t write ’bout it, cuz she might maybe be readin’, an’ I wanna make it a surprise!


Once most everything was packed, Wren patted the bed where she was sitting an’ asked me to sit with her. An’ she told me she loved me, an’ she was gonna miss me, an’ I hadda be good good at Pip’s. But if I got sad or anything, I outta call straight away.

I promised her I would. I don’t wanna feel scared or alone. But I think I’ll be ok. It’s like a grand adventure, sorta amazing an’ fantastic.

I decided I’m gonna leave stuffed bunny for Meikiko. I don’t want her to feel sad without it.

I’m gonna to a wedding tomorrow! Then I’ll make sure everything’s all packed tight. I outta remember when we’re leavin’, but I don’t. An’ I know if I ask Wren, she’ll just worry all over again. I’m sure it’s written down here somewhere…


Problems with packing

IMG_2553I’m way excited bout visitin’ Pip in a Washington, but I got started pack for real, not just talkin’ bout it. So I done drag out the suitcase what Grammy Happy given me.  But I think there’s gonna maybe be a problem. Just a li’l problem…

Ain’t there, like, limitations bout what size luggage you can bring?  For sure, her bean’s gonna have a bag she gotta check, an y’ain’t able take more’n one bag.  So alla rest gotta go under seat or maybe inna bin overhead.  I’m thinkin’ this is gonna be too big.

I ain’t gotta ruler, but I gotta Meikiko.  She’s kinda little, but kinda whole-self sized.  I’m thinkin’, if a whole self fits inna bag, it’s too too big.  I called her down and asked her for help.


She brung her Totoro.  I ain’t seen her without it since she gotten it for Yule.  She said she’d help me test the suitcase’s size.

She hopped up onna edge for a good close, look.

I hadda help her, cuz she’s still just a Little, an I wanna see too how big it was.  Then–whoops!–we gotta good measure test.


Hmm.  When she sat up, I hadda ‘nother idea.


Yep.  For sure, it’s too big. Botha we an’ Totoro fit in right good.  Dunno if the lid’d close.  Then again, dunno if I wanna close the lid with botha we inna suitcase.  Maybe we ain’t able get out.  Or maybe somebody think we wanna get ship somewhere an’ mail us off.  Not a good idea.

Pip!  This is too much, right?  I gotta rethink packin’ inna summin else.  Maybe a red bandana onna stick, like a hobo?


Fairy Stones at Fairy Stone State Park


Cooper wanna take me somewhere an’ do somethin’ he like doin’ from when he live with he adopt family.  He wanna go out findin’ rocks.  Cuz it meant I gotta dig inna dirt, I said that sounded grand, an’ off we went to Fairy Stone State Park.  We was lookin’ for fairy stones!

Yeah, I know.  Whassa fairy stone?  I asked same thing.  There’s a legen bout some fairies what lived round there inna woods, an’ when they hear bout some guy who died, they cried so much it made li’l cross stones inna earth, an’ people walk round an’ find ’em still.  In true, it’s a kinda rock called staurolite. Cooper say it gets made way down deep inna earth, an’ it sits down there for long long time, til the earth gets all rocky an’ up-heavy an’ makes some mountains, an’ then the fairy stones come up too.  Maybe he could tell more bout the rocks for real, but that’s what I remember.  I like the fairy story.

Atta park, we ain’t ‘lowed t’ use no tools or nothin’.  We hadda dig with we hands an’ fingers, pushin’ dirt round a bit.  Cuz it’d rained some, the park guide said that’d make it easier, an we outta look up near some tree roots cuz somehow trees make ’em come up better?  I guess maybe trees like fairies, an’ they wanna…mmm…I guess trees like fairies?

CooperKestrel Prep Phase 01 ruruko

We hadda li’l talk bout how to dog, an’ whatta look for, an’ Cooper showed me some other rocks round there so I’d know what I wasn’t lookin’ for.  I kinda listened, but it was nice lookin’ round atta forest, listenin’ to alla birds an’ watchin’ butterflies an’ all.

CooperKestrel Prep Phase 05 ruruko

Then he got down an’ showed me how we outta be diggin’ an’ lookin’ inna dirt.  So I got down too an’ poked round through sticks an’ old leaves an’ such.

CooperKestrel Searching 01 ruruko

When I look up, I seen a spider crawlin’ cross Cooper’s back.  He ain’t too keen onna creepy crawlies, but when I try’n coax it offa he back, he got all suspicious an’ made me tell he what was happenin’.  An’…oh…I tell he I wasn’t gonna repeat what happen then, but it made me laugh an’ laugh, til I gotta stich uppa m’side!

(shhh…don’t tell he I shared this picture. whole forest sure did turn when he hear what was crawlin’ onna he!!)

Cooper Searching 02 ruruko

After that, he says that weren’t a good spot at all, not at all.  I was still laughin’.  But we move on a bit.  Was awful nice: warm, sunny, li’l breezy.  We was outside, an’ spring was for sure inna air.

After a bit, we came to a hill an hadda climb up.

Cuz I gotten up first (I was wearin’ m’ hikin boots, after all, an Cooper just had he sneaks), I try’n help he up by talkin’ an’ reachin’ m’hand down.  An’ both we gots uppa hill after a bit, an’ started lookin’ again for fairy stones.  We found some, too!  They was neat, sorta geometric-shaped things all cover up by dirt.  An’ I find some strange strange thing.  They was pokin outta tree root, like they was the root itself, but they ain’t the tree root atall, cuz…well…cuz they’s stone, an’ trees ain’t stone.

When I showed it to Cooper, he said maybe it was stone-wood, called petrified wood.  What?  When inna world did a tree ever become a stone!?  But he said was for true, it happen alla time.  Lotsa stones is made outta dirt an’ wood an’ things what gotten trap down inna earth an’ gotten pressed or heated or dried out or somethin’, an’ time turn ’em from good clean dirt or tree inna stone.

Oh gumdrops.  My head hurt, tryin’ make sense outta what he say.  Even though it weren’t a fairy stone, I keep my stone tree piece.

That got me thinkin’ bout trees, though, an I unfocus from what Cooper wanna do.  See, there was this tree, an’ I wanna climb it some…  I try’n’ get Cooper climb with me, but he say no no no, he wanna stay safe onna ground, lookin’ for he stone.

Tree CooperKestrel 01 ruruko

Ok by me!  I climb uppa tree!

An’ climbin’…

Tree Kestrel Climbing 04 ruruko

After a bit, I stopped an’ sat an’ just looked ’round.

It was awful pretty.  I could see some water off a ways, an’ Cooper down inna dirt, lookin’ for he rocks.  There was a pair of hawks inna tree, buildin’ they nest cuz they was gonna lay eggs an’ have chicks.  They were awful pretty hawks, all soft brown an’ white banded on they wings an’ chest an’ tail.

I kinda forgot bout searchin’ for fairy stone, it was so nice up inna tree.  There was squirrels an’ chipmunks an’ lizards, an’ flowery trees, an new-grow leaves, an’ alla world smell fresh an green.  It was warm, an’ I wanna taken nap, but I knew I’d fall outta tree for sure, an’ that didn’t seem like too good an idea.  So no nappin’.  Just watchin’.

When I climb down, Cooper was finishin’ up he findin’ trip an’ packin’ rocks inna bag.  We haul it back down the mountain an’ headed home, where we gotta show alla fairy stone to we friend.  Wren got alla big-eye when we came in with red dirt an’ rocks, cuz it mussed up her clean floor, but I’ll get sweepin’ soon.




While we was talkin’, off inna corner, I seen Juniper watchin’ we right close, like we got somethin’ special she wana be parta.  Or like we got somethin’ she thinks she wanna have?  But she ain’t come no closer.


I hadda good time with Cooper inna woods.  We’re gonna go out again sometime soon, maybe try’n find somethin’ else inna dirt.


Preparin’ for travel (not quite packin’, but close)

Wren says I outta make a list of stuffs I needs for when I go ‘n’ visit Pip.  So I wanna start makin’ list now, an’ check off what I got an what more I need.  An’ maybe, if I forgotten somethin’, I’ve got time t’ remember, or someone what’s readin’ this can nudge me li’l bit an’ say “Hey, maybe you outta put this thing onna you list too…”  Cuz I ain’t never travel far away afore without me Dolli family.  ‘Cept maybe when I gone where it been hot hot hot an’ met Pip an’ Smidge an’ Snip an’ made friends…  But that was a quick short trip, an’ I gotten home afore I realize there was anythin’ I outta be missin’.

But this trip, I’m older, an’ I’m gonna be takin’ longer away.  I gotsta be more responsible.   Least we ain’t gotta worry bout monsters no more.

So…a list…

  1. Train Riley inna bein’ good good dog, so she’s easy t’ care for
  2. Travel box
  3. Suitcase
  4. A dress (Wren say I gotta have a dress in case Pip wanna do somethin’ fancy)
  5. Underwear
  6. Pajamas
  7. Some clothes–pants an’ shirts an’ shorts
  8. Hairbrush
  9. Sleepin’ bag
  10. Pillow
  11. Toothbrush an’ toothpaste
  12. ‘Puter
  13. Stuffed animal
  14. Present for Pip (Wren says it’s important cuz Pip’s gonna be hostin’ me an’ it’d be rude to show up empty-handed an’ all)
  15. Weapon (for fightin’ off monsters, in case Pip’s got ’em too)
  16. Doggy treats (cuz Pip’s gotta dog too, I think?)
  17. Coat or sweater in case it gets cold
  18. Regular shoes
  19. Boots
  20. Hat
  21. Apples (cuz there’s unicorns at Pip’s, an’ I wanna pet a unicorn!! They like apples, right? Or d’you think sugar’d be better?)

So…that’s it for now.  I’m sure there’ll be more afore I go.  But it’s a start.  I gotta hope my travel box’s big enough now.  Sheesh.  Never thought I’d be worryin’ bout that!

An’ I gotta hope Riley’s ok while I’m gone…  Maybe Nim’ll care for her, so she can play with alla Littles?  But that’s more work for Nim…

It’ll all get sorted soon enough, I’m sure!  If I forgotten anything, lemme know!


Riley Training: Treat Testing

Riley sure hadda lotta interest inna treats Sparrow made, so I hoped they’d help her focus onna walkin’ like a good pup instead of pullin’ way.  Fingers crossed, right?

So, here’s a picture of me tryin’ get Riley to listen when I ain’t got no treats or nothin’:


It weren’t good.  She ain’t listen none, she pulled ‘way onna leash, she ain’t got no interest inna walkin’ with me.  She wanna go one way, an’ she think I better run ‘long with she, or it weren’t gonna work.  An’ maybe that’d work if Riley was boss, or if I ain’t supposed to be trainin’ her up to be a good pup.  But lettin’ Riley be boss weren’t what Wren mean.

But then I pull a secret weapon outta me pocket an’ unwrap it an’ just hold it.  I was hopin’ Riley’d smell the treat an do again what she done when Sparrow was makin’ em:  focus.  I was hopin’ maybe she’d follow treat, an’ that’d make her follow me, an it’d work for teachin’ her to listen what I say and learn for be a good dog.

An’, sure enough, she immediately lookit me.  She given a little whimper-bark an’ come close an’ sit atta my feet.


I given her a little bit, so she’d know it tasted good an’ realize maybe she wanna get some more.  Then I put the rest inna pocket.  She tried a li’l jump-up, cuz she wanna more treat, but she listen when I say no!

This is good, right?  It seemed good.  When I backed up li’l bit, Riley come right with me.  So then I walked forward, an’ Riley walk right with me!! I was so so excited!  Riley trainin’ was alla sudden a success, an’ all cuz we gots a treat.  I didn’ wanna trust it too much, in case maybe it’d stop after a li’l bit, but it looked good so far.


So I figured we’d take it for a test walk.  We went down lane, an inna grass, an’ wander bout a bit.  I kept tellin’ Riley she’s a good girl, an’ feedin’ her li’l bits of bone treat, an’ she kept trottin’ along with me, lookin’ hopeful bout what was inna pocket.

An’ Riley done her doggy things, too, like sniffin’ stuff an’ scratchin’ li’l bit atta dirt.  We even went out inna forest, walkin’ through trees. An’ it was nice, havin’ a pup that listen an’ follow an’ stuff.  I ain’t gotta worry bout her yankin’ round onna leash.  Though, when she seen a squirrel, she sure try’n’ chase it!  I told her no no, an’ after she come back an’ follow again for a li’l bit, I given her last bitta she treat.  Figured that was a good time for headin’ home.


When bone run out, she kept on bein’ good girl, I guess cuz she ain’t known it was gone, or maybe she could still smell crumbs inna pocket an’ hoped maybe she’d get a li’l more.  However it work inna she mind, when we gotten home, I straight went to the stash Sparrow made up an’ taken out a li’l brown circle treat an’ given it to Riley, cuz she sure been a good good girl!

I wonder how much good Wren want.  Is walkin’ onna leash enough?  Or does she gotta learn stuff too like no an’ sit an’ stay?

We’ll figger it out tomorrow.  Today, we done good!!


Training Riley: An Idea

Research is tough, ‘specially without Vega to help onna Internet or someone who likes readin’ lots.  But I gots ideas, an’ when Wren pass by again, I ask her to stop an’ talk bout it some.  Cuz alla it costs some money, an’ Wren’s got a better brain for money-things’n me.


Sparrow came too, an’ she was pettin’ Riley for to keep her quiet.

So I told Wren bout clickers, an’ bout trainin’ collars, an’ bout special leashes we might could maybe use.  But alla it cost too much.  “No, no, Kestrel,” she said. “You have to train Riley using your own smarts.  We can’t afford to spend a lot of money on this.”  So I guess trainin’ classes is out, cuz they cost lots an lots of money.  But if I hadda class, an’ Riley hadda class, we’d know what we needa do for to train her inna bein’ better pup.  But when I tell Wren this, she just says we ain’t got enuff money for alla that.

So I asks her how much we do have, cuz maybe we could go inna town an’ buy somethin’ simple like trainin’ treats, but that didn’t go well neither.

Riley got all worried, an’ she come up for to distract me.


An’ alla sudden, I realize Sparrow’s gone, but Wren’s still goin’ on bout costs an’ smarts, an’ I ain’t got much mind for figger out where she gone.  I can’t blame her, tho, tryin’ get away from what Wren an’ me’s talkin’ bout.  Arguin’, really.

Riley helped me figger out where Sparrow’d gone.  She was whole-nose focus onna what Sparrow was doin’, she gone all quiet.  She wasn’t even wigglin’ or nothin’.


She did get down tho with a soft li’l whine an’ went an’ sat at Sparrow’s feet, watchin’ what she been doin’.



Sparrow ain’t notice yet she gots an audience.  She was just busy over there, mixin’ stuff together inna bowl, Riley watchin’ her like some hawk. So then I asked Sparrow what she was doin’.

“Making puppy treats,” she said.  “We had some extra apples and sweet potatoes, and those are good for puppies.  They really like pumpkin, but we don’t have any pumpkins right now.  These should be good, though.”  Then she looked at Wren, kinda panicked, an’ asked if it was ok she used bitsa extra foods ’round the house.  Wren just nodded, her mouth kinda open.  I don’ think she was expectin’ this.


She spoon out stuff onna baking tray, some tiny tiny bits an’ some she shape inna bone-shapes.  I ain’t known Sparrow liked cookin’, but she’s really good.  Least, she’s good at makin’ puppy treats.  Riley sure seemed to think so.




When Sparrow put her tray onna stove, Riley whined li’l bit more, cuz we could smell ’em bakin’, an’ she thought they smelled mighty good.


An’ we waited for alla treats to be done cookin’.   Sparrow done gotta good good idea!  I just hope it helps with Riley’s trainin’.