Thursday, April 24, 2008

Raggedy Andy

I will preface this post by saying that everywhere I take Jellybean, he seems to win friends and influence people. When I brought him to my workplace, this was no exception, especially since I work with mostly women. Jellybean flirts with the school secretary and cuddles when my principal holds him. He usually kicks with excitement and smiles when anyone pays him even a modest amount of attention.

Today I was minding my own business at work when the nurse called me to her office. She had a gift for Jellybean that she'd been meaning to give me the past couple of weeks. I sat down to open it and found this:

Call me a total sap, but it brought tears to my eyes. First of all, this is a very extravagant gift. The nurse hand-made this Andy doll for me from a Mc Call's pattern she found in her mother-in-law's old things. She called Mc Call's and found out that the pattern came from somewhere in the 1920's, which was not long after the birth of Raggedy Andy. Once Nurse Virginia realized that I knew the value of Andy, she began showing me all the things she had done in the process of making him, right down to her initials and date sewn in on his keester. She only charges $50 for these dolls, which is a huge underestimation of the time and care she puts into these dolls. For that reason, she usually just ends up making them as gifts.

Secondly, only a certain generation can appreciate the history of a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll. I told Virginia about my Raggedy Ann doll that was dirty and worn from me dragging her all over the place when I was a little girl. To go along with my doll, my mother had made ceramic plaques of Ann and Andy for my brother's and my room when we were little. Unfortunately, both the doll and the plaques are long gone.

Jellybean now has a historical timepiece that I can share with him to accompany my tales from my own childhood - a gift that is precious and invaluable.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Today was our first visit to Filoli. It's a historical mansion and gardens halfway between San Jose and San Francisco. Since there are 16 acres of gardens and a huge mansion, I should not feel at all bad that I couldn't see it all in 2 hours. The name of the place is quite unique and is a combination of letters from the estate owner's favorite quote: "Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life".

My goal was to visit Filoli before the tulips died because I had always wanted to go to Marysville, WA for the tulip festival when I lived in the Seattle area, and I never made it there. Luckily, the roses will be in bloom by the time of my next visit in early June, when I will bring my mom.

The admission is $12 per adult (babies are free), which seemed a bit steep until you set foot on the place. I can only imagine the staff it takes to maintain the grounds and keep the displays in the mansion clean and in order.

I was very glad I went, and I'd recommend it for a nice Sunday outing. I give it a rating of 8 out of 10 dancing feet.