No Snow Needed

A brisk sunny March Sunday afternoon in the backyard. James was going work on converting the shed into a gardening greenhouse. The kids had fun playing together. Michael pulled the little blue sled with a delighted Charlie- back and forth, back and forth across the seeded lawn.

Maura climbed around and swung upside down on Charlie’s climbing apparatus. She tried pulling Charlie but too heavy.

Charlie and the Jack-in-the-Box

Jen H. Challenges bloggers to tell a story visually. Here’s a seven photo series telling the story of Charlie learning to manage the springy Curious George monkey- in-the-box. My favorite the last picture. I wonder what he was saying to the monkey.


Hopscotch. Laura bought sidewalk chalk and I tried to remember how to draw out the squares. Hopping on one foot was tricky for Charlie. The rock Maura chose to throw into a square rarely stayed in the box on one turn, rolling out into unmarked territory. I remember some hopscotch boards painted on asphalt in elementary school but can’t remember seeing kids using them when I had lunch duty years ago. Four square, yes. Hopscotch , no. Do kids play Hopscotch in 2018?

Chex Mix Making

A few alterations to the original recipe but Wednesday night Laura guided Charlie and Maura in the holiday tradition of making Chex Mix. One site says “it’s been a party staple for 50 years”. I can tell you the original recipe was not on the boxes we had this year. Boo.

Baked at 250 F for an hour stirring every 15 minutes. What could be bad about it with all that melted butter and savory salt? Hmmmm

After the Mix making the two cousins played in Charlie’s new train tent. Crawling between the red and blue and back again. Then the added collapsible tunnel component.

A fun night.

Charlie said ” I love this game”

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

Paper Dolls Found in Downtown Pittsburgh

The other day I took a bus downtown (Senior Citizen perk= free bus pass) and went to S.W, Randall Toys Store on Smithfield Street.  I climbed to the the doll floor on three, looking for a fresh doll outfit for a 14 year old doll when I came upon a two sided display of a variety of paper dolls.

I remember cutting out paper dolls when I was young. So careful not to ruin them and cut off the little white tabs you needed to fold over to hold the clothes onto the doll. Sometimes tape was involved.

A looooong time ago.  I had no idea all these different paper dolls were available in 20I asked the sales clerk if I could photograph them and she said sure but now I’m wishing I opened them up and peeked inside and photographed the dolls and clothes.  Going to have to plan a return trip downtown.

I considered buying a book of them- many choices.  Wondered who is playing with paperdolls nowadays.

Do kids even know about paper dolls? I talked with a friend today and she said she cut out magazine fashion and made up clothes out of the magazines. I relied on the printed and dotted lines to cut around.  I can picture a little doll with a full white slip on- waiting to be dressed.  Modest!