Barbie-sized things.

One of my absolute favorite things about growing up is how much my mother humored me and fostered my crazy imagination. I'm sure every day was something new for her - "Oh dear, what has Christine come up with now?"

"Hello, Dawn," I would say as I descended the stairwell into the dining room. That was how my mom knew that I was no longer Christine but my imaginary alter-ego named "Kim." She would carry on a conversation with Kim as if it was nothing out of the ordinary. Mysteriously, Kim would always ask questions about me such as, "So, has Christine been doing on her chores? Has she been good lately?" and then disappear before my mom could lift her head up from the vegetables she was slicing for dinner.

This explains a lot.

There was also the instrument I invented called the "Konoto," which was really just a hardcover "I Can Read" book with "strings" drawn on the cover and then held in my arms like an autoharp. {Do you remember "I Can Read" books? Oh how I loved Frog And Toad!}

But some of my most memorable "toys" were all the everyday items that were "Barbie-sized." That means they were just the right dimension to be life-sized in Barbie world. For example, the little plastic white stand that sat in the middle of a hot cheesy pizza from Rocco's. These, of course, became Barbie end tables for my living room setup where a hot pink and black zebra-print scarf was the rug. And how about the wooden toothpicks with red, yellow, green, or blue fuzzy tips that held sandwiches together at 42 Main Delicatessen? Barbie torches, or sparklers for a 4th of July celebration, of course.

Now, as a grown-up, I'm proud to announce that I have Barbie-sized produce in my garden! Teeny inch-long squash, and baby green tomatoes that will soon be juicy and bright red and difficult to hold in one palm. My favorite of all has to be the baby pea pods. You can stare and stare at the vine for several minutes before you see them, and then all of a sudden your eyes adjust, and you realize that adorable mini pea pods are hanging everywhere! We are definitely going to get more than a single cucumber this year; in fact I'll soon show you what we've already harvested. In the meantime, I'm enjoying each and every stage of growing things.

It's not easy to tell in the photos, but not a single one of these veggies is more than an inch long...

yellow squash - if you click to enlarge it, you can see that the surface is fuzzy!


pea pod



green bell pepper

sweet peas - these aren't technically veggies but they remind me of four little girls in dresses on their way to kindergarten

On with the imagination! We are never too old, I say.