“The Doll House”

by ESP on February 23, 2014 · 4 comments

Okay now that that is out of my system, and the tune now firmly stuck inside your head,

I will begin.


I have resorted to singing Saruman’s tune every time he sticks his face into mine and pushes his front tooth toward me at an alarming angle, he knows it bothers me…



la-la-loooo, la-la-loooo…etc, etc.”

The tune (like his tooth) seems oddly fitting.



She had been looking forward to this day for a long time, it was her birthday and we were going on a road-trip to Houston to visit the American Girl doll store (or ‘AG doll place’ if you are YouTube hip).


I really had no idea what to expect,


I had heard talk of a hair salon and restaurant,


but I had no inclination it was where you took ‘your dolls’ for a makeover and a spot of lunch.

I contemplated the long list of $20 doll hair services, then glanced over and saw the tiny salon seats and I must have immediately glazed over. The next thing I knew I was being dragged over to one of the large doll cabinets – she had located the new doll that she had been coveting,

doll #33 apparently.


#33 was quickly renamed Avery, Edith, Ruby, whatever…and she immediately became part of the family.


I was just happy she was new and did not require any hair services…at least this time.


We stayed overnight at a friend’s apartment on the 24th floor (thanks B) in downtown Houston.

It was an initial shock to the sensory system stepping out onto the elevated patio.


You can see from my white knuckles how comfortable I am with heights.

Back on the ground:


Birthday dessert,


then to bed…

for we rise at daybreak.

night time


Back in the Patch:


I found this poor anole floating upside-down in my stock tank and quickly netted him out.


A few minutes in the sun and it took off into some gopher plants,


that are flowering right now.


A couple more Quince went into the Patch this weekend along with another hardy red oleander and some pink jasmine.

I would usually wait a few more weeks to make sure the temperatures were not going to dip again but with an 80 degree day this past weekend, well I broke down and swung the steed immediately into the local nursery.


African hosta is also on the move:


Along with datura,


and the mountain laurels.


The hell strip is also gearing up for some spring color courtesy of poppies and larkspur.


Oh and I almost forgot,

third and final place for the ‘most aesthetically unpleasing plant after a freeze award’


has been awarded to this buckled, oozing brown aloe…



and well done!

Stay Tuned for:


“Running up that Hill



All material © 2014 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
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1 Diana/SharingNaturesGarden February 27, 2014 at 6:58 am

I remember the American Girl doll phase – what an amazing concept and a ton of products! My Japanese quince is blooming its fool head off right now – I love it. And it bloomed a few other (albeit stressful) times last summer, too. Most of my agaves were hard hit this winter, including the giant franzosini, which got a bad haircut in the hopes it will have many more large leaves and cover up the pineapple-looking base that’s now hideous. I’m sure you could find some appropriate space alien look-alike photo to go with it!

Hi Diana.
American Girl dolls rope girls in with their hair, detailed outfits and accessories…braces? Really?
They are also extremely adept at emptying the contents of the adult wallet. I wonder just how long this phase will last? :-)
Yes tough winter in the garden, and it just keeps going. My agaves have also taken a beating, the tough ones are displaying pale battle scars and the more tender…well, they have just gone “blah…buurp…fizzz” and collapsed onto watery-filled limbs…


2 TexasDeb February 27, 2014 at 7:29 am

I recall when Austin’s garden spaces were dominated by oleanders. My father loved the ease of coaxing them into bloom and had three different colors in a hedgerow along the side of his lake property. They were as ubiquitous as crape myrtles around these parts, with good reason. Are you leading their comeback?

Hi TD.
There are still quite a few dotted around in random spots on the east-side. I have tried different colors but none seem to grow as fast and be as hardy as the Nerium oleander ‘Hardy Red’.
I like to get one into a design whenever I can, conditions and poisoning concerns permitting. The pink oleanders are now all brown after the frosts but the reds still look unscathed.

3 Tina February 27, 2014 at 8:55 am

I love your posts. I’ve never commented, but I I couldn’t resist this time. Dolls, rescued anole, cute kids, mushy aloe and beautiful quince. What’s not to love? Hope the frost didn’t mess with you and yours this morning.

Hi Tina and thanks for dropping in and commenting…and we are still getting frosts!
The quince is really quincing now..
I feel a late winter moan coming on.

4 Katina March 9, 2014 at 8:51 pm

So let me get this straight. There’s a place where you can take your dolls to have them all doo-ded up? And you pay for this pleasure? Wow.

Quince is on my list of ‘plants I want that I have no place for’ Sigh…I’ll just have to covet everyone else’s.

Hi Katina.
Yes the American Girl store is where you can purchase dolls and random accessories like 3ft teepees (complete with unrealistic LED fire naturally) and yes, inside the store is a hair salon and a restaurant, all for the dolls…and shoppers!
The store in NY is insane.

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