Archive for the ‘Hank and Homer’ Category

Hank and Homer Have a Snow Day

March 11, 2010

(For those that are new to my blog (and are thinking “Why is a 52-year-old-woman playing with stuffed animals?”), you can find the story of Hank and Homer here.)

It’s been a while since you heard from your old friends Hank and Homer, so perhaps you’ve wondered what they were up to. As you know, they love the outdoors, but it’s been a bit cold out for a couple of little fellas like them, so they’ve spent a lot of time snuggled up in the house with their other invertebrate friends (known to the unenlightened as “stuffed” animals).

Although we vertebrates have grown a bit weary of endless snow, there’s nothing Hank and Homer love more than a good ole Snow Day. As soon as the first flakes start falling, Hank and Homer are ready to go!

And so it was last week, when we had several inches of the white stuff. At first, it was falling so hard that they just watched happily from the window. But after it finally stopped, Homer put on his cap and the new matching sweater he got for Christmas. As you know, he’s a bit sensitive about his unfortunate resemblance to Homer Simpson, so he wears his cap and new sweater a lot since they make him look less like that other Homer. He especially loves the fact that his cap and sweater were made from a sock, just like he was!

So after Homer put on his new made-from-a-sock clothes, Hank decided that since he was made from a glove that he should wear a glove hat! So he found a glove in the drawer and put it on. Homer thought Hank looked very much like a chicken with his glove hat and began to make clucking noises. Hank began to cluck, too and to flap his arms about like wings. They got sillier and sillier and louder and louder, but then realized that the snow was melting!

Hank didn’t want to look like a chicken so he took off his glove hat and out they both went. But Hank still felt sad and a little jealous that Homer had such handsome warm clothes and he didn’t.

First up—sledding. They found a shiny bowl in the kitchen cabinet that made a very fine sled. Wheeee…down they slid lickety split! Hank felt a little bit scared but he just held on to his friend Homer and whooped and hollered just like Homer did.

Pretty soon, Big Mama needed the shiny bowl to mix cookies in, so Hank and Homer decided to make snow angels instead. Poor Hank found it hard to make snow angels with his short little legs, so Homer made all his angels for him and pretty soon the yard was full of snow angels. Hank sighed with pleasure, imagining all those snow angels suddenly taking flight. How beautiful that would be! He stood there for a while dreamily pondering that, but was snapped out of his reverie when Homer threw a snowball at him. Thwack! Hank laughed but he really didn’t like playing Snowball Fight. It stung and he was wet and cold and still feeling a little scared from the sledding.

So Hank took the snowball he’d made and started making a snowman. Homer came over to help. Big Mama had given Hank a carrot to use for the snowman’s nose, but Hank put it in the snowman’s hand instead.

“Umm…Hank?” said Homer. “Isn’t the carrot for his nose?”

Hank looked at Homer and rolled his eyes. (Or at least, he rolled them as well as one can roll button eyes).

“Golly, Homer…who would want a carrot for a nose?? This way,” said Hank, “the snowman can feed the carrot to the animals who might be hungry in all this snow!” Then he put a hat on the snowman and wrapped a red scarf around him.

Homer smiled. Sometimes Hank was a little silly, but that was one of the things Homer loved most about him. It was then that Homer realized that Hank was shivering and his black fur was all wet. Homer looked down at his own brand new Christmas sweater, and suddenly knew what he had to do.  It made him sad to see his best friend cold.

So he took off his new sweater and the matching knit cap and put them on his friend Hank.  Hank was thrilled with his warm new clothes.

But then, Hank looked at Homer standing beside the snowman and saw that Homer looked…well… a little naked. And a little cold. And it hit him: That snowman doesn’t need a scarf and hat! Snowmen like being cold so it seems pretty silly, really, to put warm clothes on them!

So Hank unwound the scarf from the snowman’s neck and wrapped it tenderly around his friend Homer. Then he took the hat from the snowman’s head and put it on Homer’s. It gave Homer a jaunty look, and he didn’t look quite so much like Homer Simpson.  Of course, now the snowman looked naked, but at least he wouldn’t melt so fast with those warm clothes off!

Then they heard Big Mama calling from the porch that the cookies were ready. Cookies! Hank and Homer thought that those (and hot chocolate) were the best part of Snow Days. So they went in and ate cookies and drank hot chocolate until they were…well…stuffed. Then it was time for a nap. Hank was warm and cozy in his new sweater and as he snuggled up to Homer, he decided that the best thing about Snow Days wasn’t the sledding or the snow angels or the snowman or even the cookies. No.  The best part was snuggling up with your best friend and knowing that you are safe and cherished and warm and loved. Nothing (not even cookies) was better than that.


Hank and Homer-Part 3: A Visit from the Easter Bunny

April 14, 2009

Okay, so I know it’s a bit soon for yet another Hank and Homer tale, but I just couldn’t resist!  [Note to the snarky dude on Twitter who mildly ridiculed my last Hank and Homer post:  No need for snark—-it’s just for fun.  Silly, goofy fun.  Obviously, it’s not everybody’s idea of fun, but it makes the five-year-old in my heart happy.  Silliness can be very therapeutic. You should try it sometime.]


Well, look who I caught in the act!  That most venerable and worthy of rabbits—the famous Easter Bunny!  He hopped by the Doublewide Ranch to see my little friends Hank and Homer because they…believe.  


Hank and Homer really enjoyed their first Easter Egg hunt and had quite a haul!  Here they are counting their eggs.  They loved the bright, happy colors.  But there were a few hiccups along the way when…


…Hank (who is easily distracted) started picking the pretty pink flowers instead of looking for eggs, leaving Homer to find them all.  Then…


…that rascal Homer frightened poor Hank with a very silly Easter bunny disguise.  Of course, they both ended up laughing.  But then…


…Hank was startled again when a bee landed on his head and made a bee-line for his ear! But, luckily,  the little critter bee-haved himself, was quite bee-nign, and was soon bee-gone, but not before creating quite a buzz!  

But sometimes even the best of friends bicker.  And so it was with Hank and Homer…


…when they tussled briefly over the huge egg that they both found hidden in the daffodils.  But Hank and Homer are good eggs, and in the end…


…they found a way to share the big red egg.  At first, they were just being silly, but then Homer got the notion that the egg halves looked like motorcycle helmets and that maybe he and Hank would look really cool on motorcycles.  “Hey, we could hit the highway on Harleys, Hank!” said Homer happily.   But Hank was not so thrilled at the thought (although he did enjoy the alliteration).  He’s the sort of fellow who likes to amble along at an easy pace and and stop and smell the flowers and touch the flowers and pick the flowers and roll in the flowers and sometimes even taste the flowers.  And how would they ever be able to hear the birds singing on a noisy motorcycle?  Also, Hank pointed out (very sensibly he thought) that perhaps driving a motorcycle was not the smartest idea for a couple of invertabrates without opposable thumbs.  (Opposable thumbs are very, very useful!)  Homer had to concede that Hank had a point, but he was a little sad because Homer loves adventure.  And Homer loves roadtrips.

But he loves Hank more.  So Homer agreed that maybe it was adventure enough to climb trees and play with gnomes and ride old Pinky and old Blue.  And adventure enough to ride their imaginary Harleys (very, very quiet Harleys!) down the endless flower-strewn roads of their dreams.

Hank and Homer-Part 2: Hank and Homer’s Odyssey

April 2, 2009


When I wrote about Hank and Homer (who at one time were  gloves and socks) and how they came into being here, you probably thought you’d seen the last of them.  Well, I  can’t help it—–I just love the little fellas.  And not just because I made them.  They make me smile every time I look at them, so if you’re reading this and thinking, “Good Lord, I can’t believe a 51-year-old-woman would be playing with a couple of stuffed animals!” well, I’m afraid you’re on the wrong blog and you should probably go read Nietzsche or something.  Wait a minute, even Nietzsche said, “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.”  Well, there you go.  And, thank God,  my inner child is always ready to play.

Anyway, Hank and Homer are finally starting to feel comfortable around the other invertebrates.  Homer was a little sensitive about his resemblance to Homer Simpson, so I made him a hat (out of a sock!) that I think somewhat mitigates the unfortunate resemblance.  He’s very fond of his new hat, but Hank’s a little jealous.   He wants a hat, too.  They’ve been working a lot on self-improvement (people are always telling them their heads are full of fluff!).  So they’ve been reading the classics.  As you can see, they started on Moby Dick, but then they heard the birds singing outside and saw the flowers waving in the breeze and knew it was time for an adventure! 

First up:  a ride in Mr. Gnome’s wheelbarrow!  For Hank, at least.  Homer just wanted to lie in the creeping phlox and bask in the warm spring sun.



Giddyup, Pinky!  Hank takes a ride on old Pinky, while Homer…


Rides old Blue.

Time for a little tree climbing—- into the flowering pear tree.  There were about ten thousand bees buzzing around the pear tree flowers.  Hank and Homer loved being in the bee-loud tree.  They even found a bird’s nest there!



Look!  The dandelions are back!  Time to make a wish.  Hank wished for a hat just like Homer’s.


But all that activity and fresh air makes little invertebrates kind of tired.  So back inside they went to watch the NCAA tournament on TV.  Sure, Hank and Homer’s TV is a little small and old, but watching the Tar Heels play basketball is exciting no matter how you’re watching it!  Go Heels!


Not that they watch much TV.  They’d rather read.  After they finish Moby Dick, Homer is thinking about reading another book he heard was really good, if a mite long.  He really likes the name of the author—- Homer.  And he finds the title very exciting—-The Odyssey  (he does like a good adventure tale!)   Hank’s not so sure that these classics are all they’re cracked up to be.  But he’ll read The Odyssey if that’s what Homer wants because he likes to make him happy.   Because they’re best buddies.  And they always will be.

Sock and Glove and Grace and Love

February 20, 2009



Meet Hank.  He’s the newest member of our household.  And like a mother who’s just brought her first baby home from the hospital, I can’t stop looking at the little guy.  After all, it’s a wee bit like birthing a baby…because I made him.


Okay, maybe those of you to whom this sort of thing comes easily are wondering what the big deal is.  After all, you make stuff that’s much harder and way yonder better all the time.  I know…I’ve seen and admired all that gorgeous stuff on your blogs. 


But, see, I’m not so talented in that way.  Wait…that’s an understatement.  It would be more accurate to say that I am utterly miserable and piteously wretched when it comes to arts and crafts.  If you were being kind, you might say that I am “domestically challenged.”  So I’ve developed an inordinate and irrational fear of  attempting any sort of handiwork.


I feel quite overwhelmed when I look at craft project books because they all look so intimidating and complex.  Pages and pages of instructions.  Arcane words and phrases. I even bought one of those Klutz books for kids—to learn to knit.  I thought maybe even I could handle instructions geared to kids.  But I’m afraid I never got past “casting on”.  (Or was that casting off?)


Anyway, before Christmas, I was looking at my Amazon Recommendations and saw a book with the straightforward and not-so-intimidating title of Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori.  I was enchanted by the very cute and compelling little critter on the front. So I bought it.  And true to its title, it turned out to be a book about making your own cute and compelling little critters—out of socks and gloves.


And here’s what I love about it:   First of all, the instructions are as straightforward and unintimidating as the title.  So, right away, I felt like maybe, just maybe, I could actually pull this off.  Plus, there was nothing fancy to buy.  I just used a pair of plain brown jersey work gloves.   (Because they were less than a buck. It might be easier, though, to use the knit gloves she recommends).   Also, I loved the way even the animals she made had imperfections, so that I didn’t feel like it would be a travesty if mine weren’t perfect.  And, as you can see, they’re not.  In fact—uneven stitches, ragged edges, hanging threads—they’re all there, plain as day.  But that’s okay—I have a few hanging threads and ragged edges myself. 🙂


But after a while, Hank got lonely.  He was a little shy around the other stuffed…I mean, invertebrate…animals that have lived here since our children were small.  They were all storebought and finely stitched in China and Taiwan, with fancy plastic eyes and soft polyester fur. He was afraid they’d look down on him, with all his flaws and blemishes.  So, I decided to make him a friend.  A little sock friend. 




Meet Homer, the sock monkey.  Yeah, I know Homer is an odd name for a monkey, but, for some reason, he reminded me of Homer Simpson.  Or, even worse, maybe a cross between Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown.  Can you see it?  And yet, somehow, he’s really cute!  Homer and Hank became fast friends and love to hang out together.  Here they are looking at the pretty green tulip shoots starting to emerge out back.  They can’t wait for spring. 



Now those of you for whom handiwork comes easy may think me silly, but after I finished Hank and Homer, I was so excited and happy that I almost cried.  Because I’ve failed so dismally at this kind of thing in the past and I didn’t think I could do it.  Because I, with my many imperfections and inadequacies and self-doubt, managed to overcome my fear of failure to make something I felt proud of, even if it wasn’t perfect. Because even with their many imperfections, Hank and Homer were utterly adorable and lovable.  And I thought about how even I, with all my flaws and blemishes, am adored and loved by our Heavenly Father and by all those who see me rightly.  Those that look past all those imperfections and see what is essential and true. 


Who would have thought I’d find grace in a little brown glove dog and a sock monkey who looks like Homer Simpson?  Grace is always there—in the most unexpected places.  Sometimes, we just have to make sure we recognize it in whatever form it takes.  Whatever ragged, frayed, uneven, and imperfect forms it takes.