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What I Learned This Week – 2/9/14

This week I learned that my family and I have very different personalities.

We spent a little family time at Build-A-Bear (or cat) Workshop this week. All the animals we picked out are very different. But I think the ones we picked out represent us all very well. It would be fun to psychoanalyze us by our choices. See the picture below…

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son's), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband's)

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son’s), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband’s)

FYI–If I get 20 different people to comment on this post, you will all be rewarded with a video of Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty twerking!!!

Quite the incentive, huh? Send over your friends and family! All are welcome here! (Except Negative Nellies! That is why my mom has no idea about my blog. Shhhhh!)

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Give The Perfect Gift

[Stuffed Animals: #3 in a Series of ?]

For past posts on stuffed animals, or stuffies (as I call them), please visit:

Barfey https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2012/09/13/barfey/

Sleeps With Stuffed Animals https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2012/09/20/1244/

I came up with a great idea the other day as I was cleaning the top of my dresser in the bedroom. As with all my ideas, I am sure someone else has already conceived it and slickly marketed it. But, I will share it with you here anyway.

When you are sick or feeling down, people give you flowers. Flowers either come in a vase you have to try not to spill, or you have to find a vase to put them in. You have to keep them watered. And then they just die anyway. If you are trying to get over someone’s death, doesn’t having to throw away dead flowers just make you think about death and throwing life away and feeling even more depressed? Wouldn’t it be better to have something to hug?

Flowers…such high maintenance


Not to mention people with allergies–keep those flowers away!

People also send fruit bouquets or muffin baskets or popcorn baskets, etc. But people are always watching their calories. And watching their cholesterol. And avoiding gluten. And being scared of nuts. Not to mention steering clear of coconut. Because everyone knows it is so gross. The message: people are particular about what they eat. Food is never a good gift.

Fruit, anyone? Better eat that up fast, because fruit goes bad.


Muffins…carbs, gluten…


Popcorn…fat, sodium, those little things that get stuck in your teeth…


Balloon bouquet? Obviously you don’t know about the rising occurrences of latex allergies in this country.

Balloons…airway constricting,vision getting dim…


So what is a person who wants to send someone a thoughtful, yet impersonal gift to do?

Sample bouquet mock-up from my own collection. Hmmm…how does the name “Pleasantly Plush” sound for my business?

    Send them the STUFFED ANIMAL BOUQUET!*

    That’s right! The stuffed animal bouquet.

    Choose from many different sizes.

    Purchase a big basket full of small animals, or a basket featuring a large animal surrounded by smaller ones.

    Pick a theme, such as Teddy Bears, Dogs, Cats, Favorite Sports Team–or order our variety baskets.

    Choose from Farm, Forest, Jungle, Ocean, Swamp, Safari, or Zoo!

    We can cater to any occasion: birthday, anniversary, wedding, Quinceaños, Bar Mitzvah, federally recognized holidays.

    We can even create a tasteful yet comforting arrangement for funerals. When someone you care about has lost their someone to hug, be sure you provide them with a fuzzy substitute full of childlike wonder to fill in the empty void.

    For a limited time**, you can get a free card when you order any bouquet, handling and delivery fees extra.

Wouldn’t that be so fun to work with stuffed animals all day? And they might go to little sick kids in the hospital and put a big smile on their faces.

But I would have to use quality animals, not just the junk that gets dumped in a claw machine or hangs in the booths at the carnival. That would make my bouquets expensive. I would worry that someone would complain that they didn’t like it. But really, that would be between the gifter and the giftee.

* This company does not actually exist. Although I know it sounds awesome, please do not try to order.
** As long as the make-believe company exists.

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Sleeps With Stuffed Animals

I sleep with a stuffed animal.

Every night.

There. I said it. And I am not ashamed. Although you probably think less of me now.

Old Barfey in the foreground


Growing up, I always slept with stuffed animals. As I grew up, I consistently slept with Old Barfey every night. (For more on Barfey, click here.) Old Barfey was the right size to wrap my arms around and his ground nutshells provided the perfect amount of weight to prevent him from bouncing out of bed in the night. I loved his aged nappy fur. Touching it gave me a sense of security.

As I got older, I feared I would lose Barfey’s nose one night in a freak boating accident. (I kill me.) So, I admit, I took other stuffed animals into my bed. (Is that considered sleeping around? Does that make me a plush slut?) It was hard to find one that was the right size and softness. A stuffy whose quality was good enough that fur wouldn’t fall out instantly. I found that generic animals usually won out over licensed characters. And cuteness in the daytime did not always equal comfort in the night.

I moved out and got my own apartment. Did I still need a stuffed animal to sleep with? Hells ya! It was lonely and creepy in my apartment all alone at night.

Then my boyfriend (now-husband) moved in. It wasn’t so lonely then. But he didn’t find the both of us sleeping in my twin bed comfortable, so for several years we would take turns, one sleeping on the couch and one sleeping in the twin bed. No boyfriend to cuddle = I still needed a stuffed animal.

We bought a Queen size bed. (My boyfriend said we should have gotten a King. There is no way that would have fit in my apartment. We could barely walk around the Queen size.) Guess what? It turns out my boyfriend was not a cuddler. And I usually went to bed before him anyway. So, I still had a stuffed animal.

I tried on and off for a period of time to go to sleep without a stuffed animal. I could. But it took a lot longer to fall asleep and I didn’t sleep as well. I tend to have panic attacks as I am trying to fall asleep. A lack of stuffed animal seemed to make them markedly worse.

Dave sleeping with a borrowed friend


We moved into our house in 2004 and got a dog. Finally, I thought, I can snuggle with my canine. Dave is furry and orange and beautiful. But my husband instituted a “no dog on the bed” rule. Which stayed in place about 15 months, until my husband got a dog of his own. Two dogs, guess which one sleeps on the bed most nights–my husband’s dog, Parker. He is all legs and he snores. Although I must say, he comes in handy come wintertime. Parker is a short-hair Pointer, so he shares his heat better than Dave, who is a fluffy Lab-Chow mix. She keeps her heat to herself.

Parker Pointer


But even with a snoring Pointer next to me, I find that I still sleep better with a stuffed animal in my arms. My current favorites are larger than I would have chosen as a kid. There are two Build-A-Bears, a Stitch, A Ty Panda Bear (Beckett, created exclusively for Borders), and Max, from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. My asbestos friend bought me Max while I was in the hospital having my son. I had told her I needed a stuffy to sleep with while I was there. He didn’t help that much. I really didn’t get much sleep while in the hospital anyway.

Current Selection: Adult-Sized


So, there. I have admitted that I am a grown woman who sleeps with stuffed animals. What is there to be ashamed of? So I find comfort in a pile of fur and plastic pellets? A bundle of plush and polyester fiberfill? Isn’t that better than resorting to sleeping pills or alcohol? Isn’t it better than being the crazy cat lady and having a house that smells like ammonia?

Everyone, find a stuffed animal that meets your particular needs and snuggle up with it tonight and see if you don’t sleep better. Plus, you could have fun going to Build-A-Bear! But make sure you take a small child with you, for cover:)

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Pharmacy Giraffe

Posted on

The Pharmacy Giraffe. I call him Giraffey.

When I was growing up, I lived within walking distance of a pharmacy. I would go there to buy candy. I would go there to buy poster board for school projects. I would go there to buy my mom Christmas stocking stuffers. I would go there for something to do. When I was a little older, I went there with my asbestos friend to look at the teen magazines, which once in a while we actually purchased. You would think they would have been grateful for my business. No. Instead they watched me like a hawk every time I was in the store, apparently expecting me to steal something.

[NOTE: Now, I know you are thinking, “A whole blog post about a stuffed giraffe? Really?” But if you hang in until the end, it has sort of a nice ending.]

The pharmacy had one corner of the store with gifty items. Figurines. Stuffed animals. And the largest stuffed giraffe I had ever seen in my life. I used to hug his neck every time I went in. I dreamed of taking him home with me. He was for sale, but I think his purpose in the store was more to draw the children over to that area. Which he did very well. I remember the price tag on him being $500. Someone else told me $2000. Either way, no one ever bought him.

I grew up and moved away. The pharmacy was bought by new owners and moved to a new location. I remember going in to the new pharmacy once and thinking how sterile, bare it looked. And I was sad to find there was no giraffe there.
A number of years later, after my asbestos friend had left town and moved back, she convinced me to ride on a Noah’s Ark-themed float for her church for the town festival [She is always tricking me into doing things like that. She is a bad influence.]. Anyway, I met her pastor, who was dressed up like Noah. And looked about nineteen. And his wife, who looked more like Mary looking for a manger than Noah’s wife [She was pregnant at the time].

As you may have guessed, they had animals on the float. Wood-cut outs, along with stuffed animals. The best one, if you asked me, was the stuffed giraffe. I told my asbestos friend that it reminded me of the giraffe from the pharmacy. She replied that it was the very same one. It made the eight year old in me a little excited. It rained that day and he got a little wet, but it didn’t seem to cause him too much damage.

Three years later, I was pregnant with my son. I saw a stuffed giraffe at work. I decided right then and there that my child’s room would not be complete without one. I hoped to get it for free or discounted through work, as that was a big benefit of working there. But I didn’t really want to spend the money. The giraffe work was selling was also way smaller than the one I was used to from my childhood.

When I mentioned this to my asbestos friend, as I do with all my obsessions, she told me that the pharmacy giraffe that had rode on the church float was still sitting in the church basement. It had flooded down there and he had gotten a little wet, but it didn’t seem to cause him too much damage. After a quick call, she confirmed that the previous owner no longer wanted it. But, the previous owner said it was CURSED!

From what I remember, as the story goes, the previous owner bought the giraffe at auction when the pharmacy closed for her mother. But apparently the mother said it was too big and didn’t want it. The previous owner had tried to get rid of the giraffe several times. But, apparently, every time someone tried to take him out of the Blissfield village limits, they would experience car trouble, or some other kind of incident.

I took my chances with the curse and hauled him home. Not a single terrible fate befell me. That tells me it was fate. I was destined to own him.

Once I got him home, that was not the end of the story. Do you remember how I said I used to always go in to the pharmacy and hug his neck? Well, I was not the only one. And it appeared that most people chose to rub his nose, because there was not much left of it. It was time for another one of my unusual sewing projects (ex. Werecart). I spent a Sunday very carefully reconstructing his nose, knowing that if I screwed it up I would be destroying a cherished part of Blissfield history of my generation. Even with all that pressure, it came out quite good.

Before


After


I truly believe the Law of Attraction is how the giraffe came into my possession. I wanted him so badly back then and truly believed he should be mine that it became reality. I can no longer ever deny The Secret of the Law of Attraction. Of course, once I put a bed and a crib and shelf and a dresser in my son’s room, it because clear that there was no room for a giraffe as well. So, he happily hangs out in my dining room for now. And maybe the old ladies at the pharmacy knew something I didn’t. I do have something from that store that I didn’t pay for after all:)

The End


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