On still playing with dolls

Browsing for Barbie accessories at Toys R Us, I am reminded that the average Barbie enthusiast is roughly 56 years younger than me. I’m forever waiting for them to take their tiny hands off of Barbie’s bike or her puppy adventure so that I can play.

I’d call this my second childhood, but I didn’t actually play with Barbies in my first childhood. Well, I did, but only on the sly when my Mom wasn’t watching. When she was watching, we played with stuffed animals, building toys, and chemistry sets. Dolls, particularly fashion dolls, weren’t in our toy boxes.

I had a longish fling with Playmobil figures when my son was younger. We pretended they were for him, but we both knew that Legos were his and the Playmobil were mine. Then, he grew up, and I put everything in storage.

Nine months ago, I dragged them out.

playmobile figures


But it still felt as if I were missing . . . something. So, I got a doll. One doll. A small-ish Lottie doll, with a telescope, a blue courduroy jacket, and a tiny map of the stars.


Within 30 days my dining room looked like this


with all manner of dolls, Playmobil figures and Breyer horses bedding down after a long day of adventures.

Proving, once again, that my Mom was probably right about the dangers of bringing dolls, even a single doll, into the house 🙂

(Featured image at the top of this blog is Barbie being comforted by Camellia and Daisy when she realizes she’s generic.)

Finding a familiar for Camellia

When I first told Camellia I was giving her a bluebird as a companion, she laughed. Warmly and sweetly, of course, with her air of sadness, but still, a laugh.

I’m not sure what I was thinking. Maybe of Snow White singing with the bluebirds.

maybe of a lovely bluebird my Aunt Shirley gave me for a wedding present (here it is beside my bed, along with an odd collection of goats and tigers).


Or maybe I was just thinking that I had a handful of tiny ceramic bluebirds I could use.


Whatever I was thinking, Camellia was having none of it. Camellia, most emphatically, is not the “singing with the bluebirds” type. Maybe Daisy, but not Camellia.

After she put her (tiny) foot down, I went in search of a pet she might have with her on the boat.  “A familiar” Camellia corrected me. “Not a pet; A familiar.” Corrected, I went in search of a familiar.

I actually have an animal that would make a great match for her – right size, right attitude – but there was no way it would just happen on her out in the ocean. They do hang out together, though, when she’s not on the set.


A dolphin might find itself near her boat, but it seemed too . . cheerful, I think . . . for Camellia. And whales, even of the smallest variety, were just too darn big to fit in a scene with her. Plus, I rather recall that, when a whale enters a boating story, the boat soon exits.

That was all of the mammals I could imagine she might encounter, and the only reptiles I could think of were sea serpents, which seemed completely wrong, so I circled back to birds.

Traditionally, owls are familiars, especially of characters of Camellia’s sort (more on that in another post). Here’s a crocheted representation of that relationship I found on Flickr.

Wizard and Owl

I don’t really picture owls over the ocean. Do they migrate? I have no idea, but I didn’t think so. (Googling I see that, as expected, owls are not migratory birds, but they do irrupt – an unknown but familiar word which exists in “rupt” class, along with erupt, and interrupt. It means either to enter suddenly or to migrate unexpected (as in owls) in response to a change in their environment). Anyway, it all seemed too improbably, even for a story starring a doll, so no irrupting owls for Camellia.

There are lots of seabirds, but I didn’t even consider them before I settled on the raven. (Parenthetically, again, a pelican would have been lovely. I wonder, though, if pelicans have the same tendency to connect with people that ravens have. No matter, the only pelican I own is roughly 5 times Camellia’s size, so it won’t be appearing with her.)

Anyway, I picked a raven for her, and she’s seemed happy (in her sad way) with the choice.


While Camellia has been waiting in the wings, she’s fallen in love with the broken-eared dogs from Aliexpress. How I’m going to get a dog across the ocean to her, I’ve no idea.