Meet the Monkeys of Monkey Creek!

Happy Lunar New Year!

In case you missed the memo, according to the Chinese calendar, today begins the year of the monkey, and you know I’m super excited about it! After all, y’all know I have a slight thing for monkeys, right?

When Todd and I first moved in together we shared a house we called Monkey Creek. Monkey for my current and enduring obsession, and creek for his–now our–last name (which, in Dutch, apparently means “by the creek”). In that house the monkey count was still in the single digits, it was at Monkey Creek II where the most monkeys were acquired.

The Original George. And, yes, he's a monkey wearing a sock monkey hat and cardigan. Like you do.

The Original George. And, yes, he’s a monkey wearing a sock monkey hat and cardigan. Like you do.

You have to understand, though, I was content with a single monkey: The OG–Original George–and wasn’t looking to add more monkeys to the menagerie. But that’s not how these things go, because once you have a favorite something it goes to the top of the list of gift ideas for friends and family. Now our monkey count is hovering around 50 or so (depends on if you only count the plush, or if you count the non-plush figurines; and I’m not going to even try to count the jewelry, pajamas, and other monkey paraphernalia). I thought it would be fun, in light of the Year of the Monkey, to walk you through the monkeys you might find if you were to visit us at Monkey Creek III (aka the Gingerbread Dollhouse).

OG up there hangs out on our coat rack by the front door, keeping watch over the place for us. Let’s see who’s in the living room.

These three (do you see Curious George peeking through my monkey neck pillow?) perch on top of one of the DVD cases.

These three (do you see Curious George peeking through my monkey neck pillow?) perch on top of one of the DVD cases.

Look who escaped being packed up with the rest of the Christmas decorations! He tap dances and shrieks a version of Jingle Bells.

Look who escaped being packed up with the rest of the Christmas decorations! He tap dances and shrieks a version of Jingle Bells.

Just because these monkeys converged on the armchair doesn't mean they won't make room for you, too!

Just because these monkeys converged on the armchair doesn’t mean they won’t make room for you, too!

And these guys are still chilling on the mantle from the holidays. The ones on either end are Nick and Joy from Build-a-Bear--why they didn't stick with the Ns and call her Noel I'll never know. But we call her Noel.

And these guys are still chilling on the mantle from the holidays. The ones on either end are Nick and Joy from Build-a-Bear–why they didn’t stick with the Ns and call her Noel I’ll never know. But we call her Noel.

Naturally I have an assortment in my office (aka The Abyss, which got rearranged and tidied this weekend):

Up on top of the doll shelf, along with Devil Pooh, sit a few of our smaller monkeys.

Up on top of the doll shelf, along with Devil Pooh, sit a few of our smaller monkeys.

And we can't forget this happy dude! He's a puppet I rescued from the clearance bin at Michael's. He currently lives on the top of my easel.

And we can’t forget this happy dude! He’s a puppet I rescued from the clearance bin at Michael’s. He currently lives on the top of my easel.

Some of the non-plush monkeys are on my mantle--first the blingy three wise monkeys and then the penholder that says 'Write No Evil'

Some of the non-plush monkeys are on my mantle–first the blingy three wise monkeys and then the penholder that says ‘Write No Evil’

Chef George, there, was my reward to myself for finishing the cookbook and travels with us to convention appearances as our mascot.

Chef George, there, was my reward to myself for finishing the cookbook and travels with us to convention appearances as our mascot.

While these three cluster on the antique desk Todd and I restored, together, before the wedding.

While these three cluster on the antique desk Todd and I restored, together, before the wedding.

Now, we don’t have any plush monkeys in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean monkeys aren’t represented at all.

We have a number of monkey mugs of various designs.

We have a number of monkey mugs of various designs.

And this guy keeps a nylon scrubbie close at hand.

And this guy keeps a nylon scrubbie close at hand.

And you know that we'll be enjoying our Year of the Monkey supper on the dishes we picked up on our honeymoon.

And you know that we’ll be enjoying our Year of the Monkey supper on the dishes we picked up on our honeymoon.

The dining room is similarly light on monkeys, but we do have a notable hanger-on.

He likes to keep his eye on the 99 Bananas.

He likes to keep his eye on the 99 Bananas.

The library is where a lot of the monkeys will live in perpetuity. The plan is for some stellar floor to ceiling built-ins, eventually, to give breathing room for our books as well as the monkeys.

This coconut monkey tagged along home after our first cruise together in 2009.

This coconut monkey tagged along home after our first cruise together in 2009.

A cheeky little monkey bank serves as a bookend (or, really, a book middle, separating two subjects on one shelf).

A cheeky little monkey bank serves as a bookend (or, really, a book middle, separating two subjects on one shelf).

On a temporary shelving unit with some of my paperbacks are this trip of pint sized monkeys.

On a temporary shelving unit with some of my paperbacks are this trip of pint sized monkeys.

And these guys are hanging out on one of the benches under the window.

And these guys are hanging out on one of the benches under the window.

Another shelf holds a beaded monkey we bought at Animal Kingdom and the little monkey figure I painted at Firefly Pottery.

Another shelf holds a beaded monkey we bought at Animal Kingdom and the little monkey figure I painted at Firefly Pottery.

You’d think that more monkeys would hang out upstairs, them liking heights and whatnot. Until last night, though, the guest room was severely lacking in helper monkeys.

But we had some still in storage from the move, so now they're having a slumber party.

But we had some still in storage from the move, so now they’re having a slumber party.

Even Todd’s office has a token monkey.

We call him Voodoo George... doesn't he just look like he wants to climb a skyscraper or something?

We call him Voodoo George… doesn’t he just look like he wants to climb a skyscraper or something?

Our bedroom, of course, has a decent complement of plush friends.

A perfect pyramid on the mantle. Some of these guys have been known to hop in the bed while I'm in the shower.

A perfect pyramid on the mantle. Some of these guys have been known to hop in the bed while I’m in the shower.

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And the travelling trio–two pillow monkeys (the smaller one Todd won out of a claw machine) and my security monkey, Mindy.

Finally, the upstairs bathroom features this cheeky little monkey.

He wasn't fab at being a toothbrush holder, but he's great at keeping an eye on the room while we're away.

He wasn’t fab at being a toothbrush holder, but he’s great at keeping an eye on the room while we’re away.

Yes, we have a lot of monkeys. I’m sure there are more packed away with Christmas and Halloween decorations, but the George-Borg is strong in this house. Why do we have so many monkeys? Why not? And why do we display them throughout the house? Again, why not? They’re fun, they don’t harm anything, and they make me smile. As long as we keep just this side of “My Strange Obsession” levels, I think we’re okay.

Do you collect anything to the degree (or more) that we do, monkeys? Do you wonder why we’re not on a lunar calendar? I mean, really, 13 4-week months makes a heckuva lot more sense to me than the alternating but not really 30/31 system we’re on.

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