Saturday, September 26, 2015


Kid Joey was always on hand when Nana Rose got home from grocery shopping.  She didn't live far from Grandma Crystal's house, and so he, accompanied by his trusty sidekick Kato, his BlueTick Hound buddy, always managed to be there to help haul in the groceries from the back of Nana Rose's ancient little car.  Superheroes were like that.  (Also, Nana Rose always showed her appreciation with milk and cookies - gotta love grandmothers.) 
"This is the last bag, Nana Rose," Kid Joey said, gently placing it on the almost-full kitchen table.  Nana Rose smiled.  He was always so careful about setting things down gently, even though she would grab the eggs and the bread just to make sure they were handled extra carefully. 
"Okay, honey," Nana Rose said, turning toward the cookie jar.  Then she stopped and thought for a moment, and turned around to Kid Joey.  "I got some ice-cream today, would you like that or your usual?"
"Oooh!  Ice-cream, please!" 
"Ice-cream it is!  You want chocolate chip or rum raisin?" 
"What's run raisin?" Kid Joey asked. 
"Rum raisin.  It's hard to explain, so I'll just let you taste it and you can decide." 
Nana Rose pulled the ice-cream out of one of the many bag scattered about the kitchen table, grabbed a spoon out of the drawer, and gave Kid Joey a taste of what he decided was possibly the best ice cream he'd ever tasted.  "I like that!" he exclaimed, nodding. 
Nana Rose smiled.  "It's my favorite too.  Maybe I'll have some with you.  Just give me a minute to put all the refrigerated stuff away and we'll have room enough at the table, or we can take it out on the porch.  Deal?"
"Deal!" Kid Joey said, beginning to hand the cold stuff to Nana Rose.  "Butter, eggs, milk, tomatoes…" he ticked off each item as he handed it to her. 
"Uh-uh.  Tomatoes go on the windowsill, please," Nana Rose interrupted him, and he nodded and lined the tomatoes on the sill so that they would get all the way red.  That's when they made the very best tomato sandwiches, after all, especially with lots of mayonnaise the way Nana Rose made them. 
Then he continued handing her the fridge stuff:  "Cheese, ranch dressing, onions, celery, cream cheese.  That's it, Nana.  The rest is all canned stuff and boxes." 
"I think you're missing the hot dogs…"  Nana Rose said softly, beginning to paw through the bags herself, because she was almost as eager for ice cream as her grandson. 
"Oh.  Here, I'll help you look," Kid Joey rounded to the other side of the table and began searching through bags too.  No hot dogs. 
"Would you go out and look in the trunk of Nana Rose's car and see if they maybe slid out of the bag, please?" she asked, handing Kid Joey the key.  "Please be careful to put the key in your pocket when you get the trunk open, so you don't accidentally lock it inside." 
"Sure, Nana Rose," Kid Joey said, taking the key from her, and heading for the door, always helpful. 

"No hot dogs in there," he said, returning several minutes later and hanging the key on the little hook by the door.  He loved the hook.  It was an elephant, and it's turned up trunk was the hook.  Nana Rose had the neatest stuff all over her house. 
"That's funny.  Maybe the cashier forgot to put them in the bag…or maybe I forgot a bag, but I seem to have everything else," Nana Rose said, turning to the counter where the ice-cream awaited scooping. 

Later in the afternoon Kid Joey sat on the front steps playing with his Matchbox cars, as the sun peeked in and out of the cottony clouds in the sky over Knight Island. 
He looked down and noticed that the water bowl for the kitty that lived under the steps was empty and took it over to the hose to fill it.  Poor thing must be thirsty, he thought, though he knew she wouldn't have been for long because Nana Rose made sure everything in and around her house was well nourished and never thirsty or wanting for anything if she could help it…came from growing up poor during the Great Pression, she always said.  He couldn't figure out why it was so great if everybody was poor and hungry. 
He figured Nana Rose would fill him in on the details sooner or later, and focused on sitting the bowl down in the grass by the back steps without spilling it. 
When he bent over, he could see into the cellar window.  On the shelf next to the window sat the outside cat, Shelly (named because she used to bat clam shells that Nana Rose decorated her flowerbeds with, around in the yard), who was skinny again. 
"Nana Rose!  Nana Rose!" Kid Joey bolted up the steps and into the kitchen.
"What's all the commotion about, Joey?"  Nana Rose asked, turning toward him. 
"You have to feed Shelly right away!  Did you see how skinny she is?" 
Nana Rose sniffed a little laugh out her nose, smiling, and said, "That's not why she's skinny, honey.  I knew she wandered off somewhere to have her kittens; so she's back, huh?"    
"Kittens!!  And you didn't tell me?"  Kid Joey's eyes widened in surprise. 
"I'm sorry, honey.  We would have told you, but we haven't seen her for weeks.  We thought she was over in the barn across the back field.  She goes there for weeks at a time in the winter, and we thought she went there to have her kittens."  Nana Rose led the way down the steps. 
Kid Joey never used to like the basement before this year.  He'd always thought it was kindof spooky down there, with the big ol' furnace, and closets where monsters could hide - of course, since Rosie's friend Gary the Gargoyle had moved in with them, and she took him absolutely everywhere with them, no mean monsters had the guts to hang around.  Gary was not the prettiest of Rosie's friends by a long shot, but he sure knew how to handle those monsters!  He just stood tall, squinched up his face as ugly as he could make it, let out a howling roar, and scared the holy crap out of any meanies around.  Scared 'em so bad they never came back! 
Anyway, by the time they reached the bottom of the stairs, all monster thoughts were gone.  No monsters lived in Nana Rose's basement anyway, just kittens.  Kittens!  And their skinny mommy. 
"So that's where you went!" Nana Rose whispered as she found Shelly and her kitties on the shelf by the window in a box with old clothes in it Nana Rose had been saving up to donate to the community center.  "Looks like these old clothes came in handy after all.  Hey!"
"Awww!" Kid Joey said at the same time, and was startled at the sharp whisper from his grandmother.  Then he almost laughed. 
"You little thief!  Look, Joey!" 
Halfway under Shelly's butt, with a kitten beginning to bat at it, was a chewed open hot dog package, completely empty and licked clean. 
Kid Joey laughed softly, picking up a kitten heavy with hot dog cologne and hugging it.  "Well, I guess the great hot dog mystery is solved!"  

The End

To Joey - Love you to pieces!  Hugs! 



Princess Rosie and Sir Joey Owl

Princess Rosie Rules

By Terri DelCampo

One rainy, chilly day in Rosieland, the inside weather was almost as nasty as the outside weather, and Princess Rosie's mood matched it. 
Queen Mommy and Princess Rosie faced off in the family room of the palace, the floor covered in Princess Rosie's toys. 
Sir Joey Owl had come to visit, but Queen Mommy made him wait upstairs in the kitchen with a worm or two for a snack, while she led her daughter into the family room, where they now stood glaring at each other, Princess Rosie about to lose her temper completely, and Queen Mommy standing firm knowing she was right.
The thing about losing your temper, is that whoever you lose it in front of only becomes more convinced that they are right, because anger usually says that you're upset because you can't think of a reason why you're right and they're wrong, so you lose the argument. 
And Princess Rosie on this day was proving that theory. 
"Princess Rosie, you know the Princess Rosie Rules.  Before you play with a friend in the palace today, you must clean up the toys you had been playing with before.  We have no servants in this palace, young princess!  Do not mistake me for your maid."  Queen Mommy made her point very calmly and quietly for she knew the rules were on her side. 
Princess Rosie, however, was angry, tears or rage in her eyes at the unfairness.  "You're being mean to Sir Joey Owl!  He's all by himself in the palace kitchen!  It's rude!" she said, stomping her foot to show her displeasure. 
"Yes, perhaps all of that is true, but it isn't me who's being mean, it's you.  These toys have been all over the floor all morning.  You have been watching your shows, pulling more and more toys out to play with, and not putting anything back.  You know the rule, and for that matter, so does Sir Joey Owl."
"Can he help me clean up?" Princess Rosie suggested.
"Now who's being mean?  Did he make this horrible mess?" Queen Mommy answered.
"No.  But why can't he come down and play and then help me clean up when we're done?" Princess Rosie tried.  Queen Mommy just looked at her. 
"Because that's not the rule.  How would you like it if he treated you like that?  Just invited you to play with his toys so you'd have to clean up a whole day's worth of mess because he was too lazy to clean up after himself?"
Princess Rosie was beginning to see the point, but that just made her angrier, because she could see there was no way out.  "But we're only going to play with all this stuff again when he comes downstairs!"
Queen Mommy shook her head sadly, "I have never ever seen Sir Joey Owl play with your dolls.  He can't even lift them and fly.  Please clean up this mess and hurry up.  Sir Joey Owl is waiting."
"I hate rules!  I am Princess Rosie of Rosieland!  I should make my own rules anyway!"  Princess Rosie collapsed on the sofa, hurting her face on a blocks she'd been playing with earlier, and began to cry big angry tears. 
Queen Mommy started to ignore the comment and walk away, but she decided to try and talk to Princess Rosie and make her understand. 
Queen Mommy took her arm and cleared away enough toys to give her a spot to sit on the sofa next to Princess Rosie. 
Princess Rosie moved away from her mother, but Queen Mommy reached over and lifted Princess Rosie onto her lap.  Princess Rosie hung her head, and tried not to listen to her mommy at first, but Queen Mommy's voice was soft and soothing, and soon Princess Rosie couldn't help but hear. 
"Princess Rosie, do you know what consideration means?" Queen Mommy began.  When Princess Rosie didn't respond, Queen Mommy continued anyway.  "It means that you give a thought to how others will feel about things that you do and say.  It means you treat other people the way you want to be treated.  And it's the most important of all the Princess Rosie Rules.  It's the most important rule in the whole wide world, because it tries to make people do the right thing and think of others as they go about living their own lives."
"But my toys aren't hurting anybody!  They're here and handy for everybody to play with!" Princess Rosie said loudly, her anger not quite gone.  "And what about making Sir Joey Owl stay all by himself in the kitchen?  I wouldn't like to be treated that way!"
"That's why I told you an hour ago, and an hour before that to start cleaning up your toys.  Sir Joey Owl comes over to the palace almost every day at the same time, and I knew he would be here soon, the first time I told you to start cleaning up.  You didn't listen, Princess Rosie, and now your friend is paying the price."
"I'm a princess!  Why can't I make my own rules?" Princess Rosie frowned, trying to wiggle out of her Royal Duties. 
"Because, though you're a princess, you are very young and have not built up enough wisdom yet.  There are many things you have not learned or begun to understand about the world and life.  King Daddy and Queen Mommy have learned a lot about life and we are trying to teach you all that we've learned so that you grow up to be a wise and caring grown-up princess, and someday a queen.  Once you are all grown up and have learned everything King Daddy and Queen Mommy have to teach you, then and only then will you be able to make rules.  And you will have children of your own who will no doubt be unhappy with them and stubborn." Queen Mommy smiled, lifting Princess Rosie's hair off of her neck, and then hugging her.  And you will look at your beautiful daughter or son and remember this talk, and think to yourself that it would have been so much easier to just follow the rules and not lose your temper. "Queen Mommy said softly, kissing Princess Rosie's cheek. 
Princess Rosie sat for a moment, then picked up a toy from the sofa, then another and another, filling her little arms. 
"Here," Queen Mommy said, reaching for the toy basket sitting near her feet.  "Toss them in, and hurry up.  If you promise to follow the rules from now on, I'll help you now.  I'll hold the basket near you while you pick everything up.  Sir Joey Owl's been waiting a long time."
Princess Rosie leapt from the sofa and starting throwing toys into the basket.  Queen Mommy followed her around, and even picked up a toy or two to help her daughter even more.  Because, if she had a big chore to do, she would appreciate the help. 
Soon all the toys were in the basket and Princess Rosie ran for the stairs. 
"Just a moment!" Queen Mommy said, and Princess Rosie stopped on the bottom step.  Queen Mommy walked over to her.  "I want you to remember this talk, we had, Princess Rosie.  It's very important.  When you're playing with Sir Joey Owl today, I want you to tell him about the most important rule, treat others the way you would like to be treated.  I'll bet you his mommy and daddy have told him about that rule. 
And when you're playing, I want you to think about every little thing you do, and how it affects each other, and your families and other friends.  Promise?"  Queen Mommy said.
"Promise," Princess Rosie said.  She turned back to the stairs, but then, thinking, turned back toward Queen Mommy. 
"I'm sorry I left my toys all over the floor.  You or King Daddy might have tripped," Princess Rosie said, not angry anymore. 
"It's good that you are trying to understand the reasons for each Princess Rosie Rule.  You are growing up, and trying hard to learn.  I'm proud of you, and I love you very much, Princess Rosie." Queen Mommy said, and gave Princess Rosie a huge queenly hug. 
Princess Rosie hugged her mommy right back, and kissed her cheek for good measure too, then hurried to the kitchen where Sir Joey Owl had finished his worm snack and was trying to wash the plate. 
Because his mommy had taught him to treat others as he would like to be treated. 

The End.

Love you more, Rosie!!  :)