Friday, September 20, 2013

Stuff of Life: What's Your 'Thing'?

The first I remember were the watermelons. Then the sunflowers and all things Tuscany, and now it's monks. But not just any monks, musician monks. But for me, my mom's "thing" started with watermelons.

My Aunt Dee? I think of crows. Aunt Pam? It used to be piglets. I'm sure she outgrew it eventually, but I can't see a cute pig figurine and not think of Pam. My grandmother? Owls. My Aunt Cheryl? Cardinals. I saw my first cardinal in person this spring when I was walking the kids and I swore it was Chery's way of saying hello to me.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with wolves. Forever. I used to love elephants. Then I moved on to ravens because I lived in Alaska and they were awesome and everywhere and had the greatest legends attached to them. I loved owls for a while. I had a bluebird phase that I'm still dabbling in (I have bluebirds everywhere). There was the St. Jude bug that had me soon after Boy Wonder was born. How many green beaded chaplets can one person own? Well, the answer is seven. In my case, anyway.

I think it's funny how our collections bend, change, and shift over time. Is it a decoration thing? Suddenly we don't like bright colors and we're on the lookout for more subdued shades and more subdued animals who fit the decor scheme. Maybe. A connection to the quality in the animal you connect with? Possibly.

Maybe you woke up and found them painfully adorable? Most likely.

I've shifted as a writer over the past couple years where I went from poet to romance writer to squarely focused on the middle grade age range. And part of that great age group includes novels and stories about animals. Wind in the Willows? One of my favorites. Rats of NIMH? I was a late arrival to it, but now I'm hooked.

This summer I fell in love with an author named Richard Peck and his mousey book "Secrets at Sea." Suddenly, mice are everywhere in literature and I find myself picking up little knick knack mice here and there when I can.

I love mice. Figurine mice, mind you. Real mice make me scream like car alarm and jump from one foot to the other.

They're sweet. They're wise. Unassuming. Easy to care for. And adventurous, if the books I've been reading are to be believed.

Etsy is my addiction and the salve of my procrastinating soul all at the same time. I find mice on Etsy and favorite them in the hopes that some month I'll have hundreds of extra dollars to spend on needle felted mice, porcelain mice, a couple resin mice, but under no circumstances, brass mice. That's just eww.

Here are some vintage (and one new!) mouses from Etsy.

P.S. I think 'mouses' is a much better word than mice. It's true. I said before...what's your 'thing'?

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