Friday, March 31, 2017

Searching For Signs Of Spring

Daddy Steve:  Spring officially started almost two weeks ago, but here in Gregoropolis you would be hard pressed to find sign of it.

Yesterday Blake and Sebastian ventured out in the yard to explore.  So far there's not much to see, although they found that the sedum was just beginning to poke out of the ground.

Sebastian:  It looks like a tiny cabbage.

Over the winter, the squirrels (Daddy Steve's arch-enemies) made a shambles of the burlap we cover the boxwood with to protect it.  Actually, it was such a mild winter that it probably wasn't even necessary.  Still, those squirrels....

Blake:  Those squirrels certainly make a mess!

The Apollo statue is still covered with his plastic tarp.

Sebastian:  He's looking rather stern.
Blake:  I suppose it's not very dignified spending the whole winter wrapped in plastic.

Last stop on the backyard recon was the magnolia tree we planted just last spring.  We're really hoping that those velvety buds turn into beautiful flowers.

Blake wanted to search for twigs to use as Harry Potter magic wands, but the boys decided it would be better to wait until warmer and drier weather.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Case of the Worrys

Daddy John:  A nice day for a change, so I sent Benjamin Roy out to take Annabelle for a walk.  They were both getting a touch of cabin fever.

I was surprised not to see Peter tagging along; usually he and BR are joined at the hip (and he adores Annabelle).  I found him upstairs, sitting in the blue chair and staring out the window.

Daddy John:  Hey buddy, what's going on?
Pete Dakota:  Hi, Daddy John.  I was thinking about some stuff.  Can I ask you something important?

Pete Dakota:  Is a new boy coming to live with us?
Daddy John:  Yes, he is.  How did you know that?
Pete Dakota:  I guessed when you said on the postcard that there was a surprise.  And I overheard you and Daddy Steve talking about him.
Daddy John:  Well, that'll teach me little pitchers have big ears.  I was going to talk with you and BR about him tonight, actually.  Pete, are you worried about the new boy?

Pete Dakota:  A little.
Daddy John:  Why, buddy?
Pete Dakota: (whispering) What if BR likes him better than me?
Daddy John:  Oh, Pete...that's never going to happen.  You and BR are best friends and I doubt anything could separate you two.  I know if you always treat BR with kindness and respect like you always do --and he does the same to you--nothing bad will ever happen.  Yes, things are going to change when Stephen Orange gets here, but only for the better.
Pete Dakota:  That's his name?  Stephen Orange?  Almost like Daddy Steve's.
Daddy John:  That's right, their names are similar.  Remember how nervous BR was when he joined our family?  And how you two got along right away?  I know you will all get along and be friends.
Pete Dakota:  Do you really think so?
Daddy John:  I know it.  In fact, you know what might help break the ice?
Pete Dakota:  What?
Daddy John:  Well, Stephen Orange really likes animals and he especially likes mysterious animals.  I bet if you showed him your book about the Loch Ness Monster, he'd really like that.

Pete Dakota:  Oh, that's a neat idea.  I'd like that, too.
Daddy John: Good.  Feel better?
Pete Dakota:  Yes, I do.  A little.  When does he come?
Daddy John: Not for a couple weeks yet.  Shall we go find BR and Annabelle and tell them about him?
Peter Dakota:  Okay.  Then I'd better find my book and have it ready.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Daddy John:  It's Girl Scout cookie season here and we indulged.

Pete Dakota:  Yay!  My favorite!
Benjamin Roy:  Thanks, Daddy John!
Frank:  What do you mean I can't eat them all now?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Doll for Patrick

Daddy Steve:  Patrick is a very studious boy.  He's always on a quest for more knowledge.  Lately, he had been reading all of our favorite blogs very intently.

Patrick:  So, what's everybody up to now?

After some careful consideration, he approached me with a request.

Patrick:  I think I should like to have a doll of my own.
Daddy Steve:  Oh?
Patrick:  Yes.  If I had a doll, I could read to him and teach him all sorts of things.  We could take tea together and have interesting conversations.  He would be my special friend.  After all, Sasha has his teddy; I know they have long discussions.

Sasha:  Come along, Teddy.  Daddy John asked us to fold the tea towels.  I will show you how.

Patrick:  Kaveh talks to his trains.

Kaveh:  Choo-choo, Bash!

Being the goodhearted parent that I am, I readily agreed.  So, we started looking for a doll.

Patrick:  He must be a friendly fellow, with a good personality.  Oh, and red hair would be nice, too.

After a fair amount of searching, we thought we had found the perfect one.  We ordered him and waited.  And waited.  Patrick can be quite impatient, although he tries hard not to be.  The other boys were sympathetic.

Patrick:  Argh!  He's never going to come!
Kaveh:  It's hard to wait for things.
Rolf:  Ja, ja.  Especially vhen you're small.  It makes the vait seem so much bigger.
Bowie:  I certainly thought I'd never get my guitar.

Finally, a few days later...

Giancarlo:  Hey Patrick!  You have a package!

Patrick quickly tore open that package and...

Patrick:  Oh boy!

I think we all know that feeling.

Patrick loves his new doll.  He's named him 'Herbert' and together they do all of the things Patrick imagined they would.

Special note: Herbert is an Erna Meyer doll and I think he looks exactly like a Course doll.  He's designed for 1/12 scale dollhouses.  In Sasha scale, however, we think he's perfect!

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Postcard and A Surprise

Pete Dakota:  Hey, Benjamin!  We got a postcard from Daddy John while he's on his business trip!
Benjamin Roy:  That's good timing; he comes home today, too!  What does the postcard say?

Hi Benjamin Roy & Peter--
I miss you both very much!  My trip to Atlanta has kept me very busy, but I did manage to visit the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola museum.  I hope you're being good boys for Daddy Steve while I'm away.  I will see you soon!  When I get back, there's going to be a surprise for all of us!
Love, Daddy John

Benjamin Roy: What do you think the surprise is? Do you think it has anything to do with the package that came in the mail the other day?

Pete Dakota:  Do you think he will be home soon?  I don't see him anywhere.
Benjamin Roy:  Daddy Steve said his plane will land soon, so I guess it will still be just a little bit before he gets home.

Pete Dakota:  I hope it's soon. I sure miss him.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tea Time

Daddy Steve:  For quite some time now, Emile and Robin have been clamoring for a proper tea set.  They say that having tea is a time-honored activity for dolls (and teddy bears).

Robin: I believe it was A. A. Milne who said "A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards."

We already have some nice mugs which are fine for hot cocoa, but apparently not tea.  Or so I've been informed.

Emile:  Hmph.  Mugs, indeed!  >sniff<

After seeing all the lovely china our friends in Sasha Village have, I knew the boys could not be put off any longer.  So, we started searching on that magical genie, eBay.  The boys also requested that the new tea set not be too 'girly looking.'

Because Daddy Steve never does anything halfway (and to Daddy John's chagrin), we ended up with four sets.  

The first set we found was decorated with hunting scenes; it was about as manly a tea set as one is likely to find!

Tally ho!

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bit larger than anticipated.  It's even a little too big for Anthony.

Anthony: Good heavens!  If I drink all of this, I'll never get to sleep tonight!

The second set was new, but had a nice antique look to it.  We liked the colors and the shape of the tea pot.

Robin:  Shall I be mother?

Tea set number 3 was older and had a very toy-ish look.  Daddy Steve remembered sets just like this one from his childhood.  You could find them in any dime store.  Emile liked the bird decorations because they reminded him of the springtime.

Emile:  J'aime le printemps.

Tea set  number 4 turned out to be everyone's favorite.  You can't go wrong with classic Delftware!  Miguel particularly liked it as he is very fond of windmills.

Miguel:  It's just like the one in Don Quixote.

Robin and Emile are now quite happy with their accoutrements of gracious living.

Robin:  Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.* 
Emile:  Indeed, mon ami.

*Chaim Potok