Puppets Need a Human

Puppets need a human (or two) to come to life. One to operate and even better with one to appreciate the effort of the puppeteer.

This puppet looks like a giftwrapped present. Surprise! It’s a furry puppy. Like a manual Jack-in-the-box without the organ grinder music. This particular puppet was Michael’s (12) and he’s passed it on to cousin Charlie (2 1/2).

Laura surprised Charlie.

Then Charlie gave the puppy a kiss.

Figuring out how it works

Games Families Play

Do you have boxes of board games in your home? Or have electronics taken precedent?

This week I’m visiting family in Ohio and we’ve been playing board games. Some take hours and hours. The card games aren’t included in this picture but UNO is the most popular around here. Maura and I’ve played a few rounds. I heard the four grandkids were playing Life before Christmas.

Does anyone in your household seek world domination- or scarf up real estate, utilities and railroads, add houses and hotels?

On my mother’s side my Uncle John was very good at chess and my Uncle Robert was good at backgammon and Royalty. Both of their families are good game players. I think my family missed that game playing gene although we had Flinch. I looked up the vintage card game Flinch and it’s pricey on eBay.

Different ages prefer certain games and there are a few games I find difficult to stick with and finish to the win. If I were photographing games at my house you’d see Scrabble and Jenga, Boggle, Pictionary, Mille Bornes and Monopoly.

Good sportsmanship and learning to lose gracefully is an ongoing effort.

Following the rules, taking turns, paying attention are essential ingredients.

The new Risk has been trending at Mark and Erika’s house this week. I’ve been watching Ticket to Ride tutorials on YouTube to teach the grandchildren how to play.

At Laura and James’ house the selection is colorful and fun. Charlie is 2 1/2 so it’s Hi Ho Cherrio! Or these two games photographed by Laura today. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel GameCharlie and the squirrel grab acorns. Goodnight Moon Counting Game

Since 1930, A Children’s Classic

The Little Engine That Could.  There have been lots of different editions but this one that Maura is reading to her cousin Charlie is the  Complete and Original.  The author name is a pseudonym as I looked up the Watty Piper.   Lots of discussion about the origin of The Little Engine That Could story  in this throughly researched article by Roy E  Plotnick-  University of Illinois in Chicago

There’s an abridged version and a board book one out in  bookstores now and the illustrations have been updated?jazzed up.  (Not necessarily for the better in my opinion_ Guess I’m “Old School”.

Charlie loves trains and he likes the flow of language in the story……”I think I can, I think I can,  I think I can,” and the rhythm of “I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could,  I remember my mother reading it to me.

E.T. on the Christmas Tree

I saw E.T. the Extra Terrestrial on Mark and Erika’s tree.

He’s a crocheted finger puppet from when my kids were young.

I have a fondness for this creature. Sewed a Halloween Costume in the 80’s and posed with a wax likeness out the Wax Museum on my recent Berlin trip.

November 2017 Berlin Germany in front of the Wax Museum

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Halloween Costume 1983  Mark and Matthew in Grafenwoehr Germany

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there’s a post of E.T. In Zagreb last Spring

Zero Nutritional Value

It might even be in the negative column for nutrition. Those maraschino cherries alone, with the preservatives and dye, could do you in but I remember this colorful combination from childhood. Bright green lime, white pears, red cherries. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon to cut the intense sweetness!

My mother always made this Christmas Jello. She’d buy a large green labeled can of Bartlett pear halves. She’d put a cherry in each indentation and hope they didn’t float away.

I don’t even know anyone who makes Jello anymore. Well, maybe a strawberry pretzel salad at a shower or potluck or picnic buffet?

For Easter she’d put together the yellow lemon Jello with grated carrots and a can of crushed pineapple to which she added a pinch of salt.

Because the green, white and red one reminded me of my growing up, I had my granddaughter Anna help put it together and it graced our Christmas dinner table at my son and daughter-in-law’s home.

Long Winter’s Night

Relaxing by the fire Christmas night. The first day of Christmas. One day seems sufficient.

Grandson Charlie turned 2 1/2 on Christmas Day. He and his family came Christmas afternoon for dinner. We had a nice time together.

Airedales Amplify Festiveness

Exuberant, energetic and humorous.

The dogs, that is! They were even excited there was a layer of snow outside.

How did we get their attention toward the lens for this photo?

My son put two dog treats on top of my head!

It worked.

Crazy fun.

Henry on the left Josie on the right

you can see them eyeing those treats on my head. The kids thought it was pretty funny, too

(And not to forget the grandkids Jack Anna Maura and Michael). A merry Christmas Eve.

A new favorite for the end of 2017

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/2017-favorites/

Lights in the Darkness

Left Pittsburgh Saturday morning and drove into wet snow in Ohio. Michael, Jack and Maura had fun in the city but were excited to be back home, too.

Tonight after supper, Erika drove the kids and me around several neighborhoods to see the lights. They looked cheerful.

Here are a couple of lights to counteract the darkness of winter. The one house had cars lined up to see the homeowner’s efforts.

Every 8 Minutes It Goes from Day to Night

Westview and Kennywood and
Luna Park. A mixture of iconic symbols of several area parks

The lighting changes to make it night.  The lights come on. You can see people inside of the buildings and it absolutely twinkles.

This is the train display at the Carnegie Science Center.  It’s there ALL year long, not just the holiday and there are over 100 animations in it.  There’s even a woman rocking on a porch in a rocking chair and a tiny cat whose tail swishes out of the way of the rocker every time it rocks!

We got the grand tour and two volunteers were kind enough to describe some details and answer questions the kids had about the buildings, planes and trains.

Maura Jack and Michael with Andrew who helped create many parts of the display.

Mr. Gracey knows a LOT about trains and the details of this display.  He used a flashlight and an laser pointer to draw our attention to different buildings and landmarks. The church is a replica of Ebenezer Baptist Church which burned down in 2004.  The two firefighters badges are inside the model of the church.  “Battalion Chief Charles Brace and Master Firefighter Richard Stafanakis were killed in a fire that also left a total of 29 other firefighters injured.”

Mr. Gracey mentioned that he plays St. Nicholas four times a year.  I believe it. 

There are six trains going throughout the display. That’s Forbes Field on the left.

You can see a building(red roof ) being moved

Family Photo Session – a 2017 Favorite

The Weekly Photo Challenge -Post your favorite 2017 photo.

Here’s one that comes to mind.

Thanks Jenn for allowing me to post your family photo. I know we did get you all together but this one is a standout for me!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/2017-favorites/