The Magic of a Mouse House

buttercup the mouse

One of my earliest childhood memories is peering into a hole of a mouse house in the large baseboard of the library.

I was probably in Kindergarten, and our class was visiting the downtown Nashville Library. I remember nothing else except the grand scale of the baseboard, and the tiny magical mouse house in the wall.

I just knew a real mouse lived in there and had a little room with tiny objects repurposed as furniture. I thought what a great life that mouse must have to live in this library.

That memory came rushing back to me last week when I took my youngest, Ellenor, to visit the downtown Nashville Library.

buttercup the mouse house

This library was built in 2001, and one of the features they brought to the new building was Buttercup the Mouse House. However, they also built Buttercup a second home (pictured below).

buttercup the mouse house nashville library

The children’s floor got a revamp two years ago and both houses were preserved. There is a prominent “mail” slot at the main desk, where children can write to the mouse, and she’ll write back.

I emailed the director of children’s department when I got home because I couldn’t find any back story on the mouse house online, and she (like a champ!) sent me a scan of an old Tennessean article, written by the late Gail Kerr.


Buttercup & the Mouse House were creations of Tom Tichenor, a local legend known for his marionette creations and shows featured by the Nashville Puppet Library. Tichenor was only 15 when he staged his first puppet show at the library in 1938 and he continued to over the span of 50 years.

The article doesn’t mention when the mouse house was first installed, and the rock-star children’s dept director said she would continue to investigate, but the article does mention the house being older than 50 years and moving into the Ben West Library in 1963.

I love the magic and imagination that surrounds this sweet little house that has delighted generations of children – my own included.

And I’m thankful for the gem of a gift that our Nashville Public Library is.

perfectly imperfect

perfectly imperfect

by mama


Is your nose too big? Are your freckles too small?

Do you smack your food loudly? Do you feel too tall?


You, my friend, are perfectly imperfect.


Take, for instance, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

It’s a crooked work of art – just like the smile on the Mona Lisa!


Everything about you is rare, valuable and prized.

You, my dear, don’t ever need a disguise.


You are never too much. You are never too little.

You are just right. Hey – that even goes for your giggle.


“A beautiful thing is never perfect,” a old proverb goes.

Scars tell stories. Just ask Dad – he knows!


Perfect things are a bore.

It’s your birthmarks and googily parts that I adore.


Forgetful, shy, loud or clumsy …

We all do things that are sometimes funny.


You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed.

We are all perfectly imperfect, just like this.



Ellenor’s 1 Year Book

One of the benefits of blogging regularly about your children is that you have details documented that you can’t ever hope to recall by simply relying on your memory. So when the second child syndrome hits and you haven’t updated your baby blog in more than a year and you want to create a photo memory book like you did for your first child, you’re …. well, how do they say it …. out of luck. Thankfully there’s digital copies of every photo ever taken, and plenty of info to mine from on social media. So I was able to piece together Ellenor’s first year on earth in photo book form. Here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Turn your favorite photos into a photo book at

Ellenor at 8 Months

Our sweet Ellenor is flying through her first year. She’s got one tooth breaking through the gum. She’s still rolling (instead of crawling) but getting stronger by the day. She’s just as sweet as she’s always been and cries when Mommy leaves the room. She eats baby food 2-3 times a day and drinks about 4 6oz. bottles of formula a day. Her sister can make her laugh harder than anyone else. It’s really something to see. She enjoys her baby toys and loves music! Any time she hears it she’ll start rocking back and forth and moving her legs.