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Green fingers and helping hands  by Dot 11 Review(s)
The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/26/2006
I smiled all the way through this story. Dirt and elflings...always a winning combination. Of course, we could put Elrond in this kiddie category too. He was having as much fun as the twins. And you know, it's funny how they shared the same interests as a certain Nilmandra we all know. There were puppies and fish and dirt to be dug. Could she have been there, the whole litter of pups would have been lounging in her chambers.

Poor little Raunien. My heart went out to him. His life was in such turmoil. He felt so forgotten on his special day. But leave it to the twins to take him in...and the rest of the House of Elrond. The impromptu party was so sweet I got a little teary eyed. Glorfindel was a happy fellow too with his fistful of apple bread.

What a wonderful story, Dot. You did such a nice job. You didn't even miss many of Nilmandra's 'pets'. Just perfect!

Author Reply: Karen! I was only thinking about you this morning. I hope all is well. You missed a hell of a shindig for Nilmandra's birthday.

I'm glad you liked this. It makes me smile that it made you smile :-) Sometimes lighthearted nonsense is called for. I had no room for cats and birds and shrimp but there's always next year! Poor Raunien indeed. But I think he had a nice day and got a good send-off. The House of Elrond are good at taking in strays...

Thank you so much for the review!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/23/2006
I can't make up my mind who I envied more in this story - the twins, having the most perfect little-boy day ever, or Elrond, having the perfect Dad Day. I just loved the descriptions of the twins intently working in the garden, Elrond's patient and amused instruction. And how special that they're doing it all for Celebrian. I love that they refuse to be separated, even the short distance from one end of a furrow to the other. They're quite clever, too, for little ones - I laughed at the remark that Glorfindel and Erestor were good for Elrond. Glorfindel's comment about allowing the garden to be beautiful is so true.

The discussion about fish versus puppies was hysterical - you really worked hard at getting all of Nilmandra's favorite things into this story! The boys are wonderfully distinct in personality. I love how they see everything from a unique perspective. Little Raunien is a sweetheart. My heart ached for him when he said it was his begetting day and his naneth was too busy packing to notice. I don't know why it seems sad for a little boy to go to Valinor, totally aside from the loss of his father, but it does, somehow. I felt a tug of foreshadowing, as if shadow of Celebrian's eventual departure had suddenly fallen over the sunny day. I hope there are enough puppies to go around. This was such a perfect birthday story for Nilmandra - with everything she loves in it.

Author Reply: Thank you, Meckinock! This nearly got posted on LJ instead of here because of its sheer pointlessness but sure, itís just a bit of fun! Iím so pleased that you enjoyed it and Iím especially thrilled that you felt the twins came across well and as two different people. I donít usually write elflings so it was new territory!

The puppies and fish insisted on making an appearance. I think the cats, bird and shrimp are sulking now, thoughÖ

You know, it felt wrong to me too for a child to be going to Valinor Ė possibly because the choice was taken away from him - but I guess children must have if a parent made the decision to go. I donít know, really. And Iím so glad you saw more than fluff in this. Thanks for the review :-) Now, Nilmandra has to get herself some more hobbies before this time next yearÖ

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/23/2006
Wonderful! The gardening and pets (especially fishies/rock) were perfect for the occassion, of course, and that was an adorable conversation. My favorite part of it though was this:

Creating a garden is an expression of hope
You are honouring the earth, sometimes healing it and you are making your mark on it.

Love that.

And little Raunien was so sad--I was so glad to see Elrond and young E2 take care of him on such an important day. I hope a puppy is going to Valinor. This is a wonderful story. I loved it!

And another happy birthday to Nilmandra!

Author Reply: Thanks, Elliska! Iím glad you liked it. Fish, rocks and puppies were really a necessity, werenít they?! And thank you for picking out your favourite lines. I was hoping to get across the fact that for them Ė and especially for Celebrian - it was about more than making it look nice. But not being a gardener myself, I decided that vagueness was the way to go on the actual gardening details!!

I hope a puppy is going to Valinor.

Ooh, I didnít think of that! What a lovely idea :-)

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2006
That was wonderful Dot!

Such a normal happy day in this family and the sudden reminder that there is grief around, too, and too close.

And I was laughing at the live rock, and half expecting a stray cat to jump in, and a messenger arriving from the Havens with a bowl of shrimp courtesy of Cirdan! :-) Great. I loved the children's interactions and the bittersweet feeling.

Author Reply: Thank you, perelleth! My last one was angsty enough that I felt like writing something cheerful Ė and I thought Nilmandra might like something a little light-hearted too. Iím glad, though, that you saw beyond the fluff Ė I was hoping that there was some depth to it too.

half expecting a stray cat to jump in, and a messenger arriving from the Havens with a bowl of shrimp courtesy of Cirdan!

Hey, where were you when I was trying to think of something to write?! I couldnít resist the dig about the fish and live rock, though ;-) Thanks so much for the review. Iím really delighted you enjoyed it!

FireReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2006
Now that was indeed a morning well spent. The twins can be so adorable in their enthusiasm and I loved them for taking in Raunien without even thinking about it.

Author Reply: I generally donít write children so Iím really glad you like them. And it just seemed right that they would react in such a selfless manner to Raunien Ė they decided that he shouldnít be alone on his begetting day and that was that! Thank you so much for the review :-)

GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2006
Aww, Dot, that was so cute. Elrond needs more time like that enjoying life. The twins were wonderful, so energetic and you could just see them climbing over each other to get the work done. I had to laugh as how you managed to fit in puppies and fish. Especially Elladan asking who would want to look at a rock. LOL I enjoyed the story a lot. :)

Author Reply: Thanks, Gwynhyffar! Iím delighted that you liked it. I donít normally write children so Iím glad you enjoyed the twins. Puppies and fish were a must for Nilmandra. And I know itís her birthday but who could resist a dig at her about the rock?! Thank you for the review :-)

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2006
This was beautifully written. But my favorite part was when little Raunien appeared. He's such a wonderful character, and he transforms this from an ordinary Elrond-Glorfindel-and-the-twins fluff story into something richer. I like the little bits of sorrow that come through the happiness of the gardening, and the hints that the twins might have seen more and understand more than Elrond might want. Certainly their compassion for their new friend and the ease with which they integrate him into their play speaks very well of them. Underneath all the bouncing and silliness, you can tell that these two kids are really good people. What a wonderful story -- well-written fluff with a pleasantly surprising depth to it.

Author Reply: Thanks, FP. I do love your reviews! Iím glad you liked this. And Iím so happy that you felt there was more to it than just your common fluff. I didnít want to write angst but I didnít want to drown you all in cuteness either! Iím delighted you liked Raunien. I was wondering what Elrond and his sons would do next - and suddenly there was this child peeping around the gate ;-) Thank you so much for such a lovely review.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2006
lOLOLOLOL!!!! Dot, you got all my favorite things! Elrond and Celebrian, elflings, taking in strays, gardening, puppies, fish and live rock (even if all you can do is look at it!). I love it. A calm relaxing day in summer is best spent enjoying good friends, doing a little work in the garden, and watching out for those in need of a little love. You captured a perfect day. Thank you so very much!!

Author Reply: Iím just thrilled to bits that you enjoyed this! I couldnít resist a few digs at you Ė but you donít mind, right?! Elladan just doesnít understand the attraction of live rock. He may need to see a few picturesÖ

I didnít intend writing fluff but in the end I just gave in. Sometimes elflings, puppies and a day in the garden are all we need :-) Iím glad you liked it. I hope your day has been really special!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2006
Dot, that was wonderful! Sentimental sap that I am, I had tears in my eyes at the idea that Raunien was spending this say alone, so alone that he had to confide in strangers that it's his begetting day. Poor thing. I'm glad he had a good day, and while I know change is hard for kids, he'll be happy in the West.

In the meantime,

ďWho would want to look at a rock?Ē Elladan said scornfully.

That made me laugh out loud! Especially that it's energetic Elladan who says it.

An appropriate story for Nilmandra's birthday.

Author Reply: I wouldnít have taken you for a sentimental sap! Iím so glad you enjoyed this. I did tell you that it was about nothing!!

And Iím delighted that you laughed at the part about the rock Ė I just couldnít resist putting that in :-D Thanks for the review!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2006
May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live!

There is something beautifully Irish about the sound of that wish! And it's a good one too. I say ditto, Nilmandra!

Such a gorgeous gentle tale of happy Elrond and the gorgeous little twins - featuring the glory that is Glorfindel and the staunch support that is Erestor, too! And puppies. And fish. And live rock. And a poor little sad elfling for them to support and send happily on his way to Elvenhome.

Even in her absence, you can see clearly how important Celebrian is to all the inhabitants of Imladris - they are all working to make her happy. Even the puppies!

This is a real feel-good story, Dot - and I'm just off to feel good again!

Author Reply: LOL! That blessing is an old one so I canít take credit but I like it and thought it was appropriate!

Iím delighted you enjoyed this. Believe me, Iíd never have imagined that Iíd write elflings and puppies. It really is just fluff - but sometimes a person needs that! Iím very glad that you felt how important Celebrian is to them all because I wanted her presence to be felt even though I focusing on Elrond and their sons. And yes, live rock had to make an appearance!! Thanks for the review :-)

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