Grammy Happy’s House: Empty (Part 4)


Oh, those stairs…

Lark didn’t wanna go.  She really didn’t wanna go.  She said there were too many stairs, and they were too hard for small dollies (even though we’re kind of bigger dollies).  Small-ish dollies, then.  She sat down at the bottom an’ told me I outta go on without her.


But we’d been through the whole house together.  Didn’t feel right skippin’ it, didn’t feel right leavin’ her behind.  She just hadda come.  I begged her please, pretty please.  I’d get Bean to carry us up.  I just really wanted to finish the adventure together.


At least she got up.  I could see her thinkin’ some bout what she was gonna do.  She kept lookin’ sideways up the stairs.  Then she finally walked over, gave a big sigh, an’ said we outta go.  Yay, Lark!


Goin’ up inna third floor was strange.  It was like alla sound went dead, like your ears were numb, an’ nothin’ inna world could make sound again.  There was a dull weight pressing in an’ wrapping round your whole person.  An’ it was bright, so bright!  Once we were alla way up, I did hear something:  a bug, buzzin’ an’ smackin’ inna window over an’ over.  Bzzz… Whap.  Bzzz…  Whap.  Bzzzz…. Whap.

We sat onna rail an’ looked round the room first.


It was a big room, with windows on all sortsa sides, an’ doors leadin’ inna other places.  There was a big table inna middle, too.  There was a big table off to the side, too. An’ some lost bug, bzzz…whappin’ like it was gonna get him out somehow.


The room was makin’ sounds.  The floor creaked when you walked, but it creaked too when nobody was walkin’ on it.  There were thumps against the wall.  I didn’t think much bout it.  I mean, it’s an old house.  We were at the top of the very old house.  Old places talk to themselves a bit.  All the shimmyin’ an’ shakin’ from down low travels up their ribs an’ out their mouth, sorta like it does with people too, talkin’ with mouths.

We talked bout what we wanna do:  look out some windows, check out the closed doors, peek round for lost things?  The more I talked bout goin’ an’ doin’ an’ movin’, though, the more unsure Lark looked, kinda like she didn’t wanna be there at all.  I figured maybe she just needed to get movin’ some, an’ she’d start feelin’ more comfortable.  So I got her over to a big window.


It was pretty outside.  We started talkin’ bout flowers an’ spring an’ birds.  I said maybe we outta go check what the other windows showed.  We’d just gotten over when there was more bzzzz…whappin’, an’ this giant bee-like bug (but no fuzz!  A mean, angry, bee-like bug with no soft cuddly bee fuzz!) landed right at Lark’s feet.  She kinda sorta screamed.  It took off right quick an’ smacked the window again.  Then there was a moaning creaking sound from behind one door.  Lark was done.  She said we hadda go. Now. There were ghosts, an’ she didn’t wanna deal with no ghost.

I tried to reason with her.  It was pipes.  The house was old.  The bee-bug didn’t hurt us none.  Grammy Happy’s ghost friend, Alma, went with Grammy Happy.  She got invited to leave her house an’ travel west to a new one.  But Lark wouldn’t even look at me.


I thought bout all those closed doors.  I wanted to look in ’em, just to see what there was.  But Lark was well an’ truly sure there was a ghost inna house.  Inna room.  Waiting to pounce an’ do…whatever ghosty things ghosts wanna do.  It wasn’t fair to make her look behind alla doors, or even wait while I looked behind ’em.  I’d seen enough.


C’mon.  Let’s go.

She was better once we were outside.  There was a li’l drizzle, so we got smile-damp, but that was ok.  Birds were singin’ loud inna trees, an’ the ground was covered over in pretty white flowers.  Wren agreed we could make one more stop if it was outside, so we went to visit an old friend.


Grammy Happy hadda old apple tree.  Maybe crab apple.  Dunno that there’s much difference.  It was a nice old tree, an’ it’d make small apples every fall, an’ it made Grammy Happy happy.  Made lotsa squirrels happy too, an’ I know there were some cats that slept ‘neath its branches, dreamin’ of mice an’ milk.  Sometimes, inna rain, bunnies would go hide in its hollow-out trunk, keepin’ dry.  But the apple tree got old an’ tired, an’ it needed a rest.  So now there’s just a stump.  But I like to think apple-tree’s spirit is still there, waitin’ for a good seed to help it come back so it can make apples again.

After the apple stump, Lark said we outta go smell some flowers too, cuz they were so very pretty.  We stayed there, layin’ inna flowers, til the sky got dark with clouds, an’ we hadda run (cuz we weren’t gonna be smile damp no more. We’d be flat-out soaked!)


It was good, seein’ Grammy’s house again.  I hope it makes other people happy too.  It’s a good house, fulla stories an’ dreams an’ mysteries.





Grammy Happy’s House: Empty (Part 3)

The second floor has lotsa rooms an’ quiet hidey spots an’ nooks an’ crannies.  Little Beans loved playin’ hidey-seek in Grammy Happy’s house.

We found a shelf, with open areas an’ closed off spots, an’ we lay there for a bit, talkin’ bout stuff.  I kept thinkin’ bout how Amalynn an’ me did somethin’ like that offa bunk bed.  Gettin’ alla blood rushed into my head was fun, but we were pretty dizzy when we first got up!


Then Lark saw a door on the shelf.  She went over an’ pushed on it.  She pushed an’ pushed, but it was stuck!  When I pushed on it too with her, it made a low pop sound an’ came open.  We just bout tumbled out, but I grabbed the frame an’ pulled us back in.  Oops!

It was a fun li’l door, though, high up inna shelf.  We could just reach round the frame, so we spent some time goin’ round and round, like we were goin’ through a rotating door (only the door didn’t move).  I dunno why it seemed so silly an’ fun.  It was kind a like spinnin’ round a pole–but a pole that was high up off the ground.


There wasn’t too much to do in some of the other rooms.  They were empty an’ quiet.  Mighty quiet.  We’d go in, poke round a li’l bit, an’ walk back out.  Found another fireplace, though!  It didn’t have the mirrors, but it was pretty anyhow.  I think that was part of Grammy Happy’s old room.  It’d be spiffy, havin’ a fireplace in a bedroom.


One bedroom hadda bed still in it!  I guess nobody needed it?  Lark said sometimes, when a house is gettin’ sold, an’ people are takin’ pictures of the rooms, they wanna bed or some sorta furniture to put round, so it looks prettier an’ stuff.  It was a pretty brass bed.  I bet it’ll look nice in some pictures.

But…it’s a bed.  A big bed.  A big bouncy bed.  I tried to be good, I really did.  But…I just couldn’t resist!  I promise I didn’t leave footprints.


I promise WE didn’t leave footprints!


We bounced an’ bounced an’ bounced, til we fell down in a giggly heap.


Then we poked ’round some, finding things to sit on an’ places to get into.  It was fun!  Big empty houses are great.


We even found a great big cupboard inna bathroom.  It was dark inna corners, an’ I wanted to see what I might maybe find.

There wasn’t too much to find there, though.  I guess it got cleaned out pretty good.  I checked out the corners an’ all, but I couldn’t even find a mouse.  Just some dust an’ a cobweb. An’ a li’l spider.  He didn’t wanna come out with me, though.  An’ Lark didn’t wanna come in (though, for a li’l bit, I thought maybe she might!)  But no.

Not much else onna second floor.  Some stairs goin’ down.


But we weren’t ready for that just yet.  I saw some stairs goin’ UP instead.  The attic.  I’d never been there before!  Attics are creepy cool, an’ I wanna go check it out!  It was gonna be an awfully big climb, though…



Grammy Happy’s House: Empty (part 2)

After the kitchen area, tho, the rest of the house was sorta spooky cuz it looked all sortsa different.  I was takin’ Lark inna Grammy Happy’s office, cuz I wanna show her the cuzzins’ bookcase rooms, but there wasn’t an office. Or a bookcase.  There was just…nothin’.

We felt kinda sorta small.  I did, at least.  I dunno why I thought it’d feel more normal.  But it was all strange.  I guess maybe change’ll do that?  Next stop was inna Hitty room, where alla Hittys lived an’ where Smidge an’ Snip an’ Kele had their Big House.


Nope.  That room was strange, too.  Strange enough that I started lookin’ round the house not for what it was, but what it maybe could be. I wanted to show Lark interesting things bout the house, like how the wallpaper felt kinda sorta like grass (Lark didn’t really wanna climb up high to touch it).

Or how we could peek inna “Mausoleum” where Chase got stuck for so long one time.  Neither of us wanna go into that place, though.  Chase told me enough bout it.

Inna dining room, we had fun lookin’ inna mirror round the fireplace.  I didn’t realize it was a mirror before!  Lark told me a cool story bout a girl who looked inna mirror an’ saw her reflection-self walk away.  She found a way inna mirror world and had some amazin’ adventures with flower-head people an’ a giant talkin’ bunny.


It was a good story, but we hadda keep goin’.  She told me she’d lemme know more bout that world later.

Next stop:  Upstairs.  But how to get there?  Grammy Happy’s has two staircases.  One inna back, an’ one inna front.  We tried the back stairs first.


Oh boy.  It was a big way up.  But we wanna try.  So we got goin’, one step atta time.

We tugged, an’ pulled.  Lark helped me up, then I pulled her up too.  It was hard work.  After one step, we took a break.  When we could breathe ok again, we looked up to see just how much more we hadda climb.





Back stairs didn’t seem like a good idea.  We got told we outta try the front stairs instead.  We tried.  We really did.  But…  So. Many. Stairs!  Please, Bean.  Please help us.


We gotta ride up!  At the top, though, I got all sortsa distracted again.  There was this little path leadin’ beside the wall, out past the stairs an’ over the open area (Bean called it a foyer.  Grammy Happy hadda Krissmiss tree there the year Cooper came.  Alla we sat down beneath the Krissmiss tree an’ had pictures).  I just hadda try walkin’ that path.


Lark wouldn’t come, though.  She said that big long drop looked dangerous.  I told her keep her hand against the wall, an’ it wouldn’t feel so scary.  She tried.  But she only got a couple steps out.  I tried talkin’ her to me, but she couldn’t go no further.  Didn’t wanna leave her behind, so I turned round an’ went back.

Lotsa rooms onna second floor to play in!  But this post’s long enough now, so more bout them next time.


Grammy Happy’s House: Empty (part 1)

Grammy Happy’s big move happened.  She wouldn’t lemme come near her house cuz I might get packed an’ shipped an’ lost inna Pod or somethin’.  I thought bout sneakin’ inna black box with alla cuzzins, but Bean would be sad.  An’ maybe that’s why Grammy Happy said I outta stay away until alla shippers were done an’ shipped.

Bean visited a couple times (SHE didn’t get boxed up or nothin’!) an’ said the house was first messy with boxes, then it was empty.  Alla furniture was gone.  Alla boxes were gone.  Everythin’ got loaded inna truck or donated away or packed inna Grammy Happy’s red car (where cuzzins hid so they wouldn’t get Podded neither).  Then alla people were gone.

An’ now it’s an empty house.

I wanna go see it.  Bean said was ok, so I grabbed Lark an’ dragged her off with me. I told her bout Grammy Happy’s house some, how she hadda ghost, an’ there used to be a Flashlight cat inna house, an’ there was a Henry cat outside, how Smidge had her Big House an’ the Ruruko cuzzins had their bookshelf house, how there were Hittys an’ Crows an’ books all over, how the Mini Beans played out inna yard, an’ all sortsa stuff.

I know Grammy Happy’s tryin’ sell her house now.  An’ when houses are bein’ sold, there’s usually pictures of alla rooms onna Internet.  Maybe Lark an’ me can help Grammy Happy sell her house!  We’re gonna be takin’ pictures an’ stuff.  It’ll be fun.


It wasn’t too different at first.  We went inna kitchen, an’ the big table was still there, an’ the fridge, an’ the stove, an’ the counters, an’ the sink…  Some stuff was gone, like her plants an’ window hangings an’ stuff inna cupboards, but some other stuff was there too, like rolls an’ rolls of packin’ tape!

We peek-a-boo’d in an’ outta the rolls for a bit, but we didn’t wanna make a mess, so there wasn’t much to do with ’em.  I wanted Lark to squeeze inna hole, then I’d roll her round the counter, but she got worried the roll’d go off the counter an’ she’d splat onna ground.  I peeked off the counter at the hard tile floor.  She was probably right.  We didn’t do that.

Instead, we found hooks! An’ went swingin’!  Well…I went swingin’.  Lark just kinda hung around an’ watched me be a crazy dollie.

Kitchen003  Kitchen004

I think Lark thinks I’m kinda crazy now…

The next room–the sunroom–had furniture too, so it didn’t seem so strange.  We hadda walk down inna room, an’ it had a metal handrail an’ stairs.  I climbed all over the stair rail an’ slid down an’ stuff.  It was super fun!



Lark stayed down near the bottom, cuz heights aren’t really her thing.  Not yet. I’m gonna get her up high soon, so she can have fun.  But she said she wanna stay lower down first, so she can watch an’ look.  Lark likes to write an’ think more’n’ play hard an’ high.  She’s a good writer.  She says she’s gonna work with me soon so I can write better.  She likes my blog, but she says its fulla strange spellings an’ mistakes an’ stuff.  I might let her teach me more.  I like Lark.


Ooh, she gave me a good word for what we’re doin’.  We’re bein “realtors.” Those’re the people that go around, sellin’  houses after someone’s left it (or sometimes if someone’s still in it).  She says realtors get money for the work they do!  I like fightin’ monsters, but nobody pays much for monster fightin’.  Maybe I outta be a realtor!

When I said that, Lark laughed.  Dunno why.

Grammy Happy’s house is big.  I’m gonna do this in parts.

More soon!


[Cooper’s Eyes]: Mini IQ Test


I am borrowing Kestrel’s account again.  I have found this interesting little IQ test of three questions called a “Cognitive Reflection Test” (CRT).  It was created to test a person’s analytical problem solving and ability to resist their impulsive responses.   One source indicated that, during the initial creation of the CRT, only 17% of students studying at the top universities in the world (like Harvard and Yale) were able to answer all three questions correctly.  I will include the answers below for those who are curious.  Try not to peek!


1. The Bat and Ball Problem

A bat and a ball together cost $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2. The Widget-Making Machine Problem

If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3. The Size-Double Lily Pad Patch Problem

There is a patch of lily pads in a lake. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half the lake?













The Answers

1. The ball costs 5 cents. You probably guessed 10 cents, didn’t you? No judgment. A ball that costs 5 cents plus a bat that costs $1.05 will set you back $1.10. And $1.05 is exactly $1 more expensive than 5 cents. A Princeton studyfound that people who answered 10 cents were significantly less patient than those who got it correct.

2. It would take 100 machines 5 minutes to make 100 widgets. Your gut might tell you the answer is 100 minutes. From the question, we know that it takes 5 minutes for 1 machine to make 1 widget. Thus, it would take 5 minutes for 100 machines to make 100 widgets. (Check out a similar, if not more difficult problem, here.)

3. The lily pads would cover half the lake in 47 days. You might have guessed 24 days. It seems intuitive to halve the number of days because you’re halving the size of the lilypad patch. But if the area of the lake covered in lilypads doubles every day, it would only take one day for it to go from being half covered to fully covered. Take one day away from 48 days and you’re left with 47. (We have a similar problem here, too.)

A few more smiles

Bean was goin’ back to Grammy Happy’s to help with more sortin’ an’ stuff. Cooper’n me asked if we could go too. We wanna see the big box where Smidge’s Big House got packed, cuz it looked pretty cool on Facebook. An’ I know Cooper was kinda hopin’ He might maybe see Pinkly again.

Oh my gumdrops! The house box was huge! We were checkin’ it out when Grammy Happy undid the hibernatin’ box, an’ alla cuzzins an’ friends came out! You shoulda seen Cooper. His whole face lit up bright like sun comin’ outta clouds.

We all sat up onna big box, chattin’ an’ smilin’ an’ laughin’. There was a whole big crew of us, lined up an’ hangin’ out. Beans did their beamy things, an’ we did our Dollie things.


An’ it was super sweet that Cooper an’ Pinkly got a li’l more time together. They sat together an’ talked an’ held hands sn’ Stuff. I know Cooper was sad bout sayin’ goodbye, but he was smilin’ too.  We all were.

Love you all!


Sayin’ goodbye

3819A1C6-750C-4231-BB57-2CAADE39E844I don’t like it. At all.

We gotta find a solution, one so we don’t need “goodbye” no more. Just “I’ll see ya tomorrow” an’ a jaunty li’l wave. But goodbye? No. It’s gotta be black-lined outta dictionaries cross the globe. Or at least the ones I can find.

Grammy Happy told Cooper an’ me we had to go. Dollies were gettin’ packed the next day, bein’ Hibernated in boxes so they could be shipped cross America to Washington, where Grammy Happy’s gonna go live. It sounds kinda like Postal, but maybe safer (or maybe not), with a bigger ticket, an’ more direct. The only boxes inna truck are Grammy Happy’s. But things still might get broke or lost or somethin’.

Grammy Happy’s goin’ carvin’ first in Arkansas, tho, an’ she’s takin’ alla Hittys there with her in her car (not onna big not-Postal Bus Truck). Smidge an’ Snip an’ Pinkly an’ alla other cuzzins too.  I thought it’d be nice to go back an’ say hi to Mr. Glenn an’ Miss Janice an’ teachers Adonai an’ Janet, an’ I figured somebody’d Send us home sometime onna Postal, an’ it’d be super awesome nice too to see Pip an’ Amalynn again in Washington. I even sorta kinda tried to make Bean forget us, but it didn’t quite work.

I got worried. What if we got packed inna box that wasn’t fully dollies an’ put onna big not-Postal Bus Truck? They were sayin’ boxes onna truck would get packed inna pods instead of houses, an’ those things might stay in pods for years an’ years, an’ I didn’t wanna be hibernated inna box inna pod for years! It’d be like bein’ a pea. Or an Alien. Or a Gremerlin. No an’ no an’ no again.

So I was good. I did the good Dollie thing an’ yelled at Bean so she’d remember us (I could see her lookin’ at us, so I knew she was givin’ us time to think about what sort of adventure we wanted). An’ we said proper goodbyes, with lotsa hugs an’ sniffles an’ stuff. Sigh.

Hugs to Goobie.


Hugs to Snip.


Hugs to dear sweet Smidge, my tiny Pinkmost cuzzin.


An’ Cooper hadda say bye to Pinkly. Poor Cooper. I think he really likes her. He asked if she knew how to play chess. I think he’s tryin’ find a way to play chess cross states. It’s a very slow game.


So,…yea. I don’t wanna say goodbye no more. We outta all live in one big house, or a neighborhood of houses, or somethin’. Me an’ Cooper an’ Smidge an’ Snip an’ Kele an’ Pinkly an’ alla cuzzins an’ Pip an’ Amalynn an’ Wren an’ Lark an’ Sparrow an’ Falcon an’ Meikiko an’ alla Littles an’ Voir an’ Kylie an’ Tiny an’ Small an’ alla Dollies I’m maybe forgettin’ who have a big place in our so big, kinda broken hearts. Alla ones we love an’ don’t wanna be without ever again. It’d be nice.

Love you all. I’ll see you again as soon as I can.