Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Ari Came for Christmas

She got a day off, so she came to Mom’s house. It was a good thing. No one else could fit into the tiny room under the eavesΒ where Mom put the old play kitchen other than Iris, and Iris was a bit timid to go in there all by herself. But AriΒ makes it a hobby to scrunch herself into small, cave-likeΒ spaces. I went caving with her exactly once. Don’t ask me why huge, empty spaces are called “cavernous.” Cavernous should refer to the type of space that exists between the back of the couch and the wall. The only reason I can think of why large, empty spaces might be called “cavernous” is because when you do actually get to a place where you can stand up in the average cave, it seems delightfully large.


This picture does small justice to the smallness of the space.



Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Cash Register

These cash registers don’t sell so well on eBay. There are a dozen or so listed, with prices everywhere. The coins, however, may go for $5.00 or more each. The cash register was originally sold with six coins. A set of coins may go for nearly forty bucks. A cash register might go for ten. A set of coins with a cash register? Maybe $25.00. Hmm…





We have two, with six coins each.

Now & again, Mom finds an extra coin.

I need to ask where she puts them.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Peg Board

Peg Board-6316

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Zoo Animals

Ari & I played a lot when we were kids. We went through what was probably a very long phase where one of our favorite things to do was to play with zoos. I’m not certain if the animals were a reason to build with unit blocks or if unit blocks were a reason to play with animals, but eventually the two of them became inseparable. We built block zoos and arranged the animals. A few of the animals had names and distinct personalities. They would go off on their own and have adventures outside the zoos.


I remember there was a love affair between a deer named (surprise!) Bambi and a dinosaur/ toad named Green ‘Orts. Bambi cried about everything. Green ‘Orts saved her. I remember there was a tyrannosaurus rex made of Bakelite who was the nurse. She took care of all the injured animals in the zoo. Most of them were also made of Bakelite, including a cow named Nilsie who went from having (possibly) three legs to having no legs over the course of some years. There were two lionesses named Miss In-the-Way. They habitually lay down in front of doorways when ever anyone wanted to go anywhere, and, of course, being lionesses, it was a bit tricky passing them. At first, the hundred-so animals were divided up each time we played with them, but eventually the division of animals was finalized and we kept our animals in separate trucks when we were not using them. The animals had a drawer in whichΒ they were supposed to be stored, but all that was left in the drawer were dead presidents, soldiers, and a few Indians.


Because the animals were so small, they were easy to take places. It was during the time when Dad liked to sailboard. Ari and I would play while he was out in the water. We had a favorite playing tree at Fair Haven Beach on Lake Ontario. It had two extremely thick trunks, one of which was falling over enough that I could walk up it more and more, year after year, until the year they took it down and I was so sad I would not play anywhere near the area anymore. In between the trunks there was a cavity, perfect for making homes for small animals. We took animals there at least once. I would not remember this, exceptβ€”


It was the next year. Ari and I went back to play in the tree. The trunk was more walkable, the cavity was vast. It was the last year of the tree. We were playing in the cavity, and there was Prancy. She was a favorite of mine. She was a white mare. Her black mane and tail blew wild in the breeze, her head was lifted high. And there she was, in the cavity, still there. She had been missing a long time. Her coat was dingyΒ with dirt and there was a slash across her chest. Her flesh dangled, loose. But she still held her head high. Her mane blew in the breeze. We took her home.


Following is a photo of all the animals and people. The seven-pound box sold quickly on eBay. Spread out, they comprise about one square yard. I did not think they would sell, figuring they were too well-loved for anyone else to want, but they sold within a few hours. We put a low price on them. I hope whomever purchases them makes them work hard.




Prancy is visible in the upper-left quadrant, near the top, below a black horse and to the right of a lion who is just below a red milkmaid at the very top of the photo.

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Vintage 1940s Bill Ding Acrobatic Clowns

More from Gramma’s Attic, up for sale on Ebay.

I have no recollection of these.


Bill Ding (small)-6137



Bill Ding (small)-6138



Bill Ding (small)-6139



Bill Ding (small)-6140



Bill Ding (small)-6142

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Vintage 1974 Fisher Price Little People Sesame St. #938

Mom bought me Sesame Street. She bought Dan the castle. We received them on Dan’s birthday in the old house, the one with the big fireplace on the porch. I remember the fireplace and the porch and the receiving of gifts because of the way the boxes lit up in the fireβ€” the explosion of flames at flash-point, encasing the rest of the porch in darkness. I remember drawing pictures by the light of the fire.


Vintage Fisher Price Sesame St. Little People Apartment House



F. P. Sesame St.-6012






F. P. Sesame St.-6020



F. P. Sesame St.-6025



F. P. Sesame St.-6027



Fisher Price Ernie Bert Beds



F. P. Sesame St.-6031



F. P. Sesame St.-6035



F. P. Sesame St.-6037



F. P. Sesame St.-6044



F. P. Sesame St.-6041



I never played with it much. It’s up for sale on eBay.

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

The Mechanic


I completed a big project on my new Elna Lock serger. (More on this later.)

Martin cut a hole in the floor of the kitchen

to install a fan that will bring warm air from the wood stove directly to the upstairs,

thereby bypassing the gaping hole of a front door. (More on this later, too.)

Meanwhile, Iris helped me clean my machine.




Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

We Got Some Snow!

Β Martin blew snow

off the whole neighborhood.



Thursday, December 4th, 2014

A Chaos of Children

I thinkΒ that the proper name for a grouping of children would be a “chaos.”

As in: “There was a small chaos of children at Heather’s house again.”