[Cooper’s Eyes]: Merry Christmas!

Kestrel is spending Christmas out west with her friend Pip, so it has fallen to me to get out our message of holiday cheer. Happy holidays to all! Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule, Happy winter solstice, Merry Christmas, Merry Krissmiss, Happy Boxing Day, Happy New Year, Happy Omisoka, and so forth.  (My sincerest apologies to any particular holidays I have forgotten!)

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This year, our Roost elected to give Nim a quiet Merry Christmas gift: we took all the Littles from Dolli Lane to our house on Christmas Eve. This accomplished a two-fold gift: we gave peace and quiet to Nim, and we allowed Meikiko to have all her friends over for a sleepover!

To be entirely certain, I’m not sure how we decided who would sleep at which house.  Typically, Falcon and I use the bunks at the White house, Meikiko sleeps in her room, and the other girls snuggle down in the bookcase.  Sometimes, the Hittys will share one of the bunks in the white house, and Baby B will sleep in her crib in Meikiko’s room.  Without really discussing the situation, we held true to our sleeping patterns (because there are not enough beds for everyone in one house or the other).  This meant that Falcon and I were solely responsible for the Littles’ sleepover.  As Kestrel would say, oh gumdrops.

Thankfully, the Hittys were there to help us tuck them all into bed and read them a story (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas seemed very apropos).  Because they were all very anxious for Santa Claus’s visit, they stayed in the room (other than somewhat overly-frequent bathroom trips), though I heard them whispering and chattering long after they should have been in slumberland.

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Once they were all asleep, the rest of us retired as well.  No one wanted to be the cause of a Santa fly-over!

When morning dawned, all the Littles woke with the sun.  They were quite literally buzzing with excitement (I always thought that to be an odd idiom, but after seeing the Littles on Christmas morning, it makes perfect sense!)  Their first stop was in our room.

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A dozen excited voices would be enough to wake the dead.  It was more than enough to get Falcon and me up.  We both sat up so abruptly, we smacked our heads on the ceiling.  But then the floor was so full of bodies, neither of us could get down.  It took a bit of prodding, but we finally got them all to go down to the main room to wait for us.  We both needed a minute to shake the stars away.

While we were getting ready, I confessed to Falcon that I was not sure this had been very well planned or executed.  He seemed much better able to take their exuberance in stride, though.  I’ll have to remember to defer to his caretaking skills in the future, should we find ourselves in a similar situation again.

In the main room, the Littles had dissolved into chaos again.  We had a small tree on display, but Santa did not leave presents around it.  I think they all thought they had been skipped. There weren’t even lumps of coal!

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Oh, poor souls.  We always intended to have Christmas morning together in the bookcase with the rest of the Roost.  Apparently, though, we forgot to tell them.  Oops.  To the other house!  With that, they were cheerful again. We all trooped through the woods, singing carols.  I led the way, and Falcon brought up the rear with Baby Prudence.

At the bookcase house, things were far more festively arranged, with clear signs of Christmas morning (hung stockings, a well-decorated tree with presents beneath, a plate of half-eaten cookies and a mug of cooled tea).  The Littles were back to buzzing with excitement.

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I think we woke Wren, Sparrow, Lark, and Hazel.  They came out, giggling at my bleary-eyed look, and asked how our night had gone.

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I don’t think they expected an answer, for Lark promptly took Baby Prudence out of Falcon’s arms and sat down to play with her while the other Littles explored beneath the tree.

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The tree was full of games, dolls, and other toys to bring joy to a Little’s heart.  They all explored and shared what they found with each other.  Nim has done an excellent job with teaching them that they need to work together with what they have.  There was not a single vein of selfishness amongst the lot!

One toy in particular caught Baby B’s attention: a brightly-colored metal box.  She dragged it over to where she was sitting and worked to get it open.  She started to get frustrated, but Sparrow showed her that the knob on the side of the box could be turned, and the box would play a merry tune.  Baby B recognized the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and she sang and danced along.

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She did not, however, understand fully what the box would do.  At the end, as the weasel pops in the song, a clown popped out of the box.  It sudden appearance startled Baby B, who drew back in alarm.  For a moment, I thought she might start crying, but then she burst into gales of laughter and wanted the box to play again.

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Having the Littles over and hosting their Christmas joy was a great deal of fun.  I’m very glad we did it and and very glad that we were able to give Nim some time to rest.  But I think I might need to go hibernate until Groundhog’s Day…

I hope everyone has had a wonderful and joyful holiday season!

-Cooper

Merry Krissmiss!

For Krissmiss, Wren wanted to give Nim a special gift.  She wanted to give Nim a li’l break an’ offered to take the Littles for Krissmiss Eve.  A few stayed with Nim (Rosy an’ one kitty), but we had most of ’em over.  Lotsa floor sleepin’.  Littles don’t mind.  After we fed ’em dinner an’ read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, an’ hung up a couple stockings, everybody got ready for bed.

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We were all cozied up an’ most of the Littles stopped whisperin’ when Meikiko gasped an’ hopped outta bed an’ went runnin’ for the main room.  She forgot to get Santa’s cookies an’ milk ready.  Real quick, she got out some cookies an’ poured a mug of milk an’ set it out onna side table.

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Then back to bed an’ sleep an’ sugarplum fairies an’ eight tiny reindeer an’ kerchiefs an’ alla that.  (I couldn’t get alla them in one picture.  There were just too many!)

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Inna morn, the Littles woke with such a ruckus an’ a bluster, cuz it was Krissmiss an’ all!  Oh my gumdrops!  I never knew Nim hadda handle so much at Dolli Lane.  Halloween ain’t seemin’ so bad now.  We all trooped out to the main room an’ found Santa had visited inna night.

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Oh, the noise! the chaos! the happiness!!  The Littles were all sortsa crazy, divin’ inna things left under the tree.  There was no blood, so we kinda let them have at it.  There were dollies, an’ bears, an’ li’l toys here an’ there.  There was even a picnic basket (which Aqua squealed over, so I think maybe that was her biggest wish-for), an’ a kayak!  I dunno if the Littles keep the kayak, or if maybe that’s for one of us bigger dollies.

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There were some presents left for us bigger kids too, like the kayak.  There was a sewing machine too for Wren an’ a kitty cat that immediately hopped inna Falcon’s lap (it wasn’t a sweet black kitty but a li’l striped orange kitty).   As noise as alla Littles got, though, it was awful fun to watch ’em playin’ with their toys!

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There were some little wrapped gifts too for the Flock of bigger dollies.  I gotta shiny new sword, an’ Wren got a pretty li’l heart box from Nim.  The boys got a fun science kit, an’ a chess game.  Sparrow an’ me asked if they’d teach us to play chess, cuz we dunno how.  Cooper promised he would.  An’ there were some dice for a game.  Sparrow says the game is about tellin’ stories an’ makin’ characters.  We need a book first an’ some pages, but she’s gonna teach us all how to make it happen.  The dice are very pretty an’ green an’ all sortsa different shapes.

I gotta say, it was nice gettin’ an givin’ gifts, but the best part was actually watchin’ alla Littles get so excited an’ happy.  We all kinda got a li’l bit overwhelmed by the Littles an’ their energy, but it was pretty awesome inna end.  If Nim’s ok with lettin’ us host ’em next, year, I hope we getta do it again.  Meikiko was so happy havin’ all sortsa li’l friends over to share the day, an’ it was nice for us too.  Wren hadda really good idea.

I hope alla you hadda really great Krissmiss too, an’ gotta spend time with family an’ friends!

~Kestrel

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Samhain

 

Halloween Eve, after alla Littles were tucked in blankets on the floor an’ cozy, I was lookin’ for monsters out the window (just in case).  I mean, it was Halloween.  It was time for ghosts an’ ghouls an’ monsters an’ evil spirits makin’ tricks.  So it was time for keepin’ watch.

Out the window, I thought I saw a light.  I watched it for a bit.  It kinda came an’ went a little.  Then it was steady.  Hmm.

I checked the Flock.  Asleep, all of ’em.  Falcon sprawled on his back, mouth gaped open an’ snorin’ soft.  Meikiko asleep face down over his stomach.  Cooper inna ball.  Wren an’ Sparrow an’ Nim tucked under their blanket.  All good for now.  But somethin’ might be comin’.

So I stepped out inna night.  It was cool, but not cold.  I was barefoot, feet soft-swishin’ through the leaves an’ silent-steppin’ on pine needles.  The moon was a tiny sliver, but the light ahead was steady gettin’ brighter.  Looked like fire.  I started thinkin’ bout alla fire monsters: dragons, phoenix, hellhound, salamander?  But no, not a monster.  Just a fire.  An there were people sittin’ by it.

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Juniper an’ the witch.  They said this was how we all outta celebrate Halloween.  Only they didn’ call it Halloween.  They called it “Samhain” (I hadda look it up later, cuz it didn’t sound nothin’ like how it’s spelled).  They asked me to sit with ’em.  They were gonna sit all night with their fire cuz it was a way to honor dead spirits an’ cuz it was a good time for powerful magic an’ a time when doors inna other worlds might open for a bit.

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It was nice, sittin’ with them.  I didn’t see any doors openin’, an’ I didn’t see any magic happenin’, but it felt special, like first snow inna night, when snowflakes are driftin’ down through trees an’ it’s so quiet you might be the only soul inna world.  I kinda fell asleep sometime inna night.  When I woke up, it was mornin’, the fire was out, an’ both witch an Juniper were gone.  The house was quiet still an’ everybody safe.  No monsters.  So maybe keepin’ watch by a fire kept alla monsters away?

I dunno where the Witch an’ Juniper went.  Maybe a magic door really did open an’ they slipped through.  I don’t mind not goin’.  I wouldn’t wanna leave the others behind.  But I hope those two are doin’ ok, wherever they got to.

~Kestrel

Halloween Party!

I’m late with my writing, but I promise I didn’t forget.

The day of Halloween, Wren showed us all what she’d been workin’ on.  She an’ Sparrow didn’t wanna dress up in costumes, but they both had pretty Halloweeny dresses, hers with cobwebs an’ Sparrows with bones (an’ paws, but don’t mind alla paws.  They’re just there for extra cute).

Cooper an’ me gotta be Victorian steampunk monster hunters!!  I’m super excited.  I love our hats, an’ our capes, an’ I get to carry a sword.  So if anybody comes playin’ tricks, or if any monsters come inna house, I can take care of ’em right quick.

An’ Falcon an’ Meikiko got costumes, too.  Theirs match up too!  Lately, Meikiko’s been watchin’ a show about a girl that fights crime.  Her name’s Ladybug Girl.  An’ she has a friend who fights crime too.  They’re friends as super heroes, but they dunno each other in real life.  His name is Cat Noir.  Wren made Meikiko a ladybug costume (kinda different from what Ladybug Girl wears, but Meikiko liked it better) an’ made Falcon a black cat costume!  When Falcon said the other day that he thought we outta get a black cat, it made me giggle.

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We finished putting out alla decorations, movin’ the pumpkins around, an’ gettin’ cobwebs set up.  Before long, there was a knock, an’ the Littles arrived!  They came in, some walkin’ with a friend, some walkin’ alone: Aqua an’ Rosy an’ Poppy an’ three kittens, an’ a couple girls I dunno, an Nim an’ a baby.  Our whole room was filled up!  Vega an’ Hazel an’ the other new girls didn’t come, an’ I’m kinda glad, cuz I dunno if there’d be room for everybody.  I mean…wow!

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(Wren says next year, we gotta find somewhere else for a party)

I think it surprised the rest of the flock, too, cuz Falcon’s eyes got kinda big, an’ Sparrow just kept blinkin’.  An’ yea, it’s a lot.  Alla Littles make a big crowd.  But they’re fun, an’ happy, an’ it was good to see ’em all here again.

An’ then the party began!

The Littles kinda did their own thing.  Poppy was dressed up like a DJ an’ had a radio, so she played alla music for the night.  She had spooky sounds an’ good dance music an’ all sortsa fun stuff for a party night.

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The Kittens got inna mischief fast, messin’ round with Mr. Bones inna corner.

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There was apple bobbin’, an’ Meikiko helped the new girl nab her apple before she got one for herself, too (I dunno why we didn’t put water inna bowl first).

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An’ New Girl an’ the baby played ball with an eye, pushin’ it back an’ forth a bit.

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After a bit, I noticed that lotsa the big kids were missin’.  First I missed the boys, then I didn’ know where Sparrow’d gone, then Wren was gone too…  Wren leavin’ surprised me.  But the Littles were bein’ awful noisy.  They were havin’ fun, but it was noisy fun.  I looked over at Nim an’ asked if she knew where the others got to.

She didn’ know.  I didn’t know either.  But we giggled an’ slipped off, lookin’ for the others.  The Littles’d be ok, Nim said.  They did all sortsa stuff on their own without gettin’ hurt too bad.  We’d cleared out alla sharp swords (I put ’em inna closet before the party), an’ we’d moved the rocks away.

We found the others hidin’ inna bedroom.  Cooper an’ Falcon were playin’ dinosaurs, an’ Wren an’ Sparrow were talkin’ onna bed about just how many Littles were inna other room.  Nim joined the girls, an’ I sat down with Riley to cuddle.  Even the bunnies were hidin’ out.

Out inna main room, tho, the party raged on.  New girl found some rock candy.  The kittens got mixed up with a ouija board.  Rosy an’ Aqua started makin’ some witchy brew (I cleaned it up after–man, was it nasty!).  An’ the baby was playin’ with a pumpkin, kinda suckin’ on her thumb too.

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The kittens even started a game of monster tag!  I could hear ’em runnin’ round.

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There was only the tiniest bit of danger, when Aqua got ahold of a sword.  I dunno if it’s the one Cooper was usin’, or if I left mine behind.  But she got it, an’ she brandished it, an’ things were lookin’ kinda scary.

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Meikiko stepped in real quick, tho, an’ told em they hadda put it down cuz a sword’s not a toy.  Not that kinda sword.  I was a bad dolli for not makin’ sure alla swords were picked up afore I snuck off.  I’m glad everybody was ok.  Go Meikiko!  Ladybug Girl to the rescue!

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But they all got worn out.  Nim said they would.  We found ’em sitting quiet, kinda lookin’ sorta dazed.  The baby was asleep, curled up round a pumpkin.

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We spread out some blankets an’ set out pillows an’ made ’em all comfortable.  It was too late to be trekkin’ alla Littles back through the woods to Dolli Lane.  So we hadda sleep over with a lotta little friends.  It was kinda hard to tiptoe round ’em all, but they were safe an’ warm.  It was a good night.

Hope everybody else had a fun, happy Halloween too!

~Kestrel

Workin’, workin’, workin’

September’s here.  School’s here. Wren’s sayin’ we gotta all go learn stuff, like numbers an’ readin’ an’ history.  Sometimes, we go help Nim with alla Littles an’ their learnin’.  It’s easier’n tryin’ make sense outta what she’s showin’ me!  Areas of circles an’ calculatin’ interest an’ balancin’ books!  Gumdrops!  All I wanna do is fight monsters.  They don’t care if I gave ’em the right tip or not.

But I like readin’, an I like helpin’ Littles with their learnin’.  It’s fun.  Cooper an’ Falcon are teachin’ ’em all about science.  Right now, they got ’em out inna woods, lookin’ for different kinds of seeds so they can talk ’bout how plants live through winter even though they look all dead.  I gotta smart brother.  Thank goodness!  Maybe he can help me with alla stuff Wren’s stuffin’ at me.

(Falcon did say there’s stuff called physics that might help with fightin’…  It’s gotta lotta numbers in it, tho, so he wants me to keep learnin’ ’em.  Grr.)

Anyhow, sorry I’ve been so quiet!  Our schedules are all a-flux.  Hopin’ soon maybe I can catch some time for pictures too.

~Kestrel

Eclipse Viewing

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There was an eclipse!  The itty bitty moon covered up the great big sun inna middle of the day.  Wow.  Some places, the moon blocked out the whole sun, an’ it got dark as night. Pip an’ Auntie Glenda went to a place called Salem where they could see it happen.  Round here, we got somethin’ Cooper called a partial eclipse, which meant the moon only covered up some of the sun, but it didn’t get night-dark.

But it DID get dark.  An’ chilly!  It was awful strange, standin’ out inna field, watchin’ it get darker an’ darker.  There were some clouds, too, an’ I was worried that’d mean we couldn’t see the shadow in our box, but it worked out ok.  We saw the shadow of the moon slidin’ over the bright of the sun!  Cooper said we shouldn’t ever look straight at the eclipse, or it’d hurt our eyes a lot (an’ maybe make us blind).  I don’t wanna be blind.  It’s hard fightin’ monsters when you can’t see ’em.

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We talked bout eclipses, an’ how they work, an’ why they’re special.  Long time ago, people thought maybe an eclipse meant somethin’ awful was gonna happen, but now we know it’s just cuz the moon’s spinnin’ an’ the earth’s spinnin’ lined up with the sun an’ made something neat happen.  But there’s somethin’ sorta magical about it, too.  I bet the Witch at Dolli Lane was watchin’ it too!  (Meikiko an’ Falcon took the other box over there so the Littles could watch the eclipse)

It took a li’l bit to figure out how to use the box.  I kept coverin’ the hole with my head or my hair or somethin’, an’ Cooper kept tryin’ move me around to help me make it work.  He’d look inna box, turn li’l bit, say “Ooh, it’s there!” Then I’d take it an’ try, but I couldn’t find the sun anywhere.

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But it worked after a li’l bit, an’ I got to see the sun an’ shadow too!  Wow.

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An’ there it was!  It worked!

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Some people had glasses with special lenses that let them look atta sun without hurtin’ their eyes, but I thought our box was pretty special.  No hurt eyes, either!  Cuz some companies made bad glasses, an’ people might’ve gotten hurt tryin’ to see this special thing, an’ that doesn’t seem very nice at all.

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After it covered up, the moon slid back off the sun.  It took a while for alla sun to come back out–bout three hours–but it was super neat to sit through.  I tried to get Wren to come out an’ watch, but she said that was ok.  An’ Sparrow stayed an’ kept her company.  Juniper kinda vanished, but I’m sure she’ll be back.

Hope alla you enjoyed the eclipse too!

~Kestrel

Cooper’s Eyes: Legos

Kestrel, since you’re away, I thought I might try my hand at recording things of interest that we’re doing around the house.  This one involved something I think you too would like a great deal: Legos.

I had never heard of these before.  They are small plastic bricks used to build, construct, and create.  They are truly amazing.  Sparrow said there was a basket of them at the side door this morning with a note from Vega, saying that the government sent some to Dolli Lane and that Nim wanted to share them with us because the Littles enjoyed them so.  (no, she did not send everything they have, so thankfully they are still entertained)

The bricks stack on top of each other and latch together fairly tightly.  It’s akin to building with blocks, but the blocks don’t tumble apart if you touch them the wrong way.  At first, I had to stop and look at them, considering what to do with them.

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But then Meikiko came over with a brick and suggested that we build a house.

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There was a doll made of the same material, and Meikiko has her Totoro figure, so making a house was logical a idea.  So we each picked up some different pieces and started building it up.

Sparrow was less invested in the construction phase.  She was fascinated by the doll figure.  (I did not mention to her that it had a face on the back of its head as well.  I was concerned that might be upsetting.  I don’t think she has noticed yet.  I would rather not  be the one to bring it to her attention.)

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I was still busy working over the finer points of the house when Meikiko decided that no, we were most definitely done, and it was time to play.  Sparrow had set the Lego figure in the house area, and that was enough invitation for the both of them.

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I watched while Meikiko and Sparrow worked with the figures, moving them in and out of the house area.  I wish we had more bricks, though: the walls were fairly short, and I could see definite possibilities for making Lego-based furniture for the dolls.  Perhaps another time.

These toys seem like something you would greatly enjoy, Kestrel.  We’ll probably return these bricks to Dolli Lane, but I’m sure Nim would loan us some more when you get back from Washington State (or we can go over there and play with the Littles).  In the meantime, I hope you and Pip are having a good time!  We do miss you and Riley around here, but I know we’ll see you again soon.  Please say hello to Pip and Amalynn and Auntie Glenda for us.

~Cooper