Friday, August 31, 2018

A Style Icon

Robin (whispering): Remember, girls like it when you compliment them on their appearance.
John Martin Okay, yeah.

Robin: Good afternoon, Holly Belle.  How are you today?
Holly Belle: Couldn't be better.  And yourself?
Robin: Oh, we're fine.  <ahem>
John Martin: Oh! Yes. Well.  Hi, Holly Belle.  Gee, that's a lovely dress you're wearing.

Holly Belle: Oooh, why thank you, John Martin!  Actually, I've had this old thing for simply ages.  Practically forever, now that I think about it.  Daddy Steve wanted me to wear it so he could take some pictures.  He says it's an 'eye tonic' look.

John Martin: Um, what?
Robin: Ah, I wonder if he meant that it's iconic.
Holly Belle: Hmmm, maybe. certainly doesn't soothe my eyes.

Holly Belle: You, however, are very easy on the eyes, John Martin!
John Martin: >Gulp!<
Robin: Oh, boy...

Daddy Steve:  And with that turn of events, we leave you with a picture of Holly Belle wearing a newly arrived dress from A Passion For Sasha; her bribe for agreeing to wear her old dress.

Holly Belle: 'Bribe' is such a coarse word.  I prefer the term 'cooperation.'

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pete The Painter

Daddy John:  Kaveh has his trains, Bowie has his music, Stephen Orange has his marine biology.  Many of the Gregoropolis boys have their hobbies/interests, but Pete Dakota can't seem to find his.

Oh, he makes a good research assistant when I'm working on my genealogy projects and he did express interest in his Scottish heritage a while ago, but he hasn't found anything that 'sticks' (his words).

Until today.

Pete has decided to try his hand at painting!

Pete Dakota:  I am a painter!

Pete determined he should first learn about different artists and styles before taking brush in hand.  So we created a mini-gallery and did an art crawl.  He started with the masters and the classics.

Pete Dakota: Daddy John, what does "pointillism" mean?
Daddy John: That piece, when viewed close-up, is actually made up many, many tiny painted dots.  When you stand far away, the whole picture is revealed.
Pete: Hmmmmm....

We then moved on to more modern artists like Mark Rothko and comic book legend Jack Kirby.

Pete: Are you sure this one hasn't been hung upside down?

Then we got to Daddy John's favorite, the Ecuadorian artist Gonzalo Endara Crow and his protégé, Marcos Alquinga.

Pete: I like the bright colors and flying trains!
Daddy John: That style is called 'magical realism.'

Finally it was time to put brush to canvas.  Pete got out his painting smock (thank you, Aunt Cheryl Conrad!), laid out his supplies, and set up his easel.  He stared at his canvas and let out a big sigh...

Daddy John: What's wrong, buddy?
Pete: I don't know what to paint!

Friday, August 17, 2018

We All Scream (For Ice Cream)

Daddy Steve: It's hot summer day here at Gregoropolis...

Frank: I got hot playing outside.
Luke: Me, too.

Luke: What are you doing?
Frank: Trying to cool off!

Frank: I think some ice cream would taste good right now.
Luke: Shouldn't we ask Daddy Steve or Daddy John first?
Frank: Oh, we don't want to bother them.

Frank: Mmmmmm, chocolate!
Luke: Actually, I like Neapolitan.
Frank: This is the exact same, just without strawberry or vanilla.
Luke: Welllll, I guess you're right.

Frank: Another scoop?
Luke: Yes, definitely.

Frank: That still doesn't seem like very much.
Luke: Maybe just one more...

Frank: Gee, there's not much left.  We should just finish it off.
Luke: That would be the responsible thing to do.

Frank: Uuuuffff....I'm stuffed.
Luke: Me too.  That was a lot of ice cream.

Anthony: Hello boys.  I've been to the store and got us a little treat--ice cream!  And it's Neapolitan, your favorite!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Back Home Again

Daddy Steve:  Everyone here at Gregoropolis is happy because Daddies John and Steve are back home again after a week-long trip to southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Daddy John is fascinated with genealogy and wanted to do some research on his colonial ancestors.  This meant spending a lot of time at libraries and historical societies, as well as exploring some very old cemeteries. 

We didn't take any of the kids along as we thought they would find it boring (frankly, Daddy Steve found it a little boring at times-but Daddy John had a good time).  The big payoff is that we discovered where Daddy John's 7x great-grandfather was buried in 1730.  It was a little Quaker burial ground in a small village.

Of course, we had to bring back some presents for the kids.  We did have one free day when we went to Newport, RI and toured some of the amazing Gilded Age mansions, such as Cornelius Vanderbilt's home The Breakers.  The rooms were all very grand, but the most interesting was the enormous kitchen with its dozens of gleaming copper pots and pans hanging from the ceiling.  At the gift shop, I bought some miniature copper cookware that was perfectly Sasha-sized.

Emile: Fine copper cookware is an important part of any great French chef's batterie de cuisine!

A stop for supplies at a local Target yielded these little storage units, which are perfect for the boys' bedroom.  Maybe it will encourage them to tidy up after themselves.  Or not.

I haven't bought much in the way of toys for the girls, so I really had to get something for them.  Thank goodness for airport gift shops!  I picked up this Peppa Pig figure at Logan Airport in Boston.

The girls were thrilled with Peppa, and promptly organized a welcome tea party in her honor.

Even Rhoda agreed to attend, although she added her own, unique style to the occasion.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Summer Pleasures

Daddy Steve: Here in Minnesota, where we live, winter lasts a long time.  Through the months of cold and darkness we wait for summer's return.  We wait and wait and wait.

Giancarlo: I don't think summer will ever come.

Strangely enough, when summer does finally arrive, we find ourselves wondering why we were ever so keen on it in the first place.

Ezra: It's too hot out here!
Holly Belle: The humidity is making my hair very unmanageable!
Emile: Ze mozquitoes!  Zey bite and bite!
Rolf:  >Achoo!<  Ach! Der pollen makes me sneeze!

It seems as though we're never completely happy with summer.

Sebastian: Drat!
Daphne: Phooey!
Robin: Why did it have to rain? Our picnic is ruined!

Giancarlo: Why is it so dry?  Our plants are wilting!

Even though it seldom suits us, the summer still seems to go by much too quickly.

Anthony: I'll never get these home repairs done by fall!

Tyler: Oh no!  School starts in just one month!
Mikko: Yikes!

John Martin: You can tell the sun is setting a little earlier.
Duncan: >Sigh<

As usual, Kaveh offers some words of wisdom.

Kaveh: Like all important things, we want our summer to be perfect.  We want every day to be the ideal summer day.  Of course, reality is never perfect.  We can't truly enjoy summer until we embrace that imperfection.

Miguel: Take a deep breath, relax, and let go.
Sasha: Enjoy the rest of your summer!