My given name isn't exactly unique but neither is it one that I run into all that often. I have a few years more than a handful of decades behind me and I've met fewer than two handfuls of others who share my name. And most of those have been in the past almost-five years since I've begun blogging. This post is about my favourite namesake.
Hilary of Crazy as a Loom is a most creative and talented woman. She weaves deliciously colourful rugs, place mats, chair pads, dish towels and so much more on a growing collection of beautiful antique looms - most of which she rescues and restores in order to give them a new lease on life. Similarly, she frequently rescues feral cats, gets them spayed and finds homes for their litters of kittens when she can. Sometimes that home is her own. She has a huge heart.
Her house is a refuge to several wonderful cats, her sweet canine boy, Roy and all those pet looms. Her octogenarian mom also lives with her and her husband. Hilary takes long walks with Roy, she weaves, creates potholder kits, holds weekend workshops, travels with her daughters, enjoys the heck out of her grandkidlets, cooks up a storm, rescues strays and sells her wares. Take a good look around her website. She has many wonderful items for sale. How she finds time to blog, I'll never know but I'm sure glad she does or we never would have "met."
Recently, Hilary started up a new product line of the most colourful, whimsical sock monkeys I've ever seen. I knew upon sight that these little critters would be in high demand. There was one stumbling block though - Hilary was hard pressed to come up with a merchandising name for her newest creation. She put out a call for help on her blog, asking her loyal readers to suggest a name with which to market her monkeys.
I enjoy wordplay and soon got busy writing up a list of potential names for the sock monkeys. Some were tongue-in-cheek but a few of them had possible merit. It turned out that Hilary liked my ideas and chose two of them - one for the actual name and one for a product description. Each monkey is now being sold as a "Prime Mate® - A Real Chimp off the Old Sock."
All of this leads up to introducing you to my newly-adopted Prime Mate®, Whitman. As a thank you for helping to provide a suitable name, Hilary allowed me the pick of the litter. One cheeky little guy wore an identifying tag with the number eight written on it. He was the one who stole my heart and before long, he was packed up and on his way to Canada.
Meet Whitman - so named for the number eight which he still wore on his sleeve upon his arrival. Eight in French is "huit." The almost silent H means that it's pronounced "whit" to our mostly-English ears. I was born and raised in Montreal, so my background still dictated that little bit of French to me when it came to naming my new Prime Mate®.
I'd like to assure Hilary that he has been very entertaining since his arrival north of the border.
On the day he arrived, Whitman got into my Girls' Night Out. It's only about 5% alcohol but in retrospect, it was a bit much for a little sock monkey. He started saying things like "Let's go oot and spend all our loonies and twonies on a two-four of fifty, eh?"* Yeah, it was a little annoying but I humoUred him with an extra U.
* Translation: Lets go out and spend all our money (dollars and two dollar coins) on a pack of twenty four Labatt 50 beer.
Monkeys gone wild!
Needless to say, we didn't go oot and aboot. He just kind of passed oot early and so I tucked him in for the night. Boy did that monkey snore!
In case you were wondering (and I'm sure you were), his bed linens are really two lovely dish towels that Hilary wove and kindly sent to me the previous month for winning a caption contest on her blog. She asked me to chose between the white with blue, and the blue with white. Since they were equally attractive to me, I was going to tell her to decide for me but I worried that she would think I was hinting for her to send both. I selected white. She sent both, anyway. She's a generous lady, my namesake.
The next morning, Whitman was mildly hungover and more than a little embarrassed. He offered a heartfelt apology and a pink carnation. Apology accepted.
Did you know that he is an avid reader? He doesn't even move his lips
when he reads. He says he's determined to work his way through my pile
of recent yard sale finds.
All in all, life with Whitman is pretty good. He's a good listener - never talks too much. He's usually happy to share a drink or two, even if he does go a little overboard sometimes. He always has a ready smile and so far, he's never once left the toilet seat up. And on those rare occasions when there's a bit of friction between us, I do exactly what I do with Frank...
I send him out fishing.