Train Engine at the Station (Unit Blocks)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Akiva asked Martin to play with blocks. Martin wanted to build something new: I started building parking garages for Akiva’s cars a few years ago, & although it’s not getting old for Akiva, who is four, Martin who is 48, is a bit more ambitious. He took out his phone for inspiration. A few hours later, one engine and one coal car stood on a slightly-elevated track at a train station. Fantastic!





The engineer climbs into the engine.





The rest of the people get off the orange bus. They wait to board the platform.





Slowly, slowly they climb a great staircase where one single rise is higher than their shoulder.





The people at the top of the platform mill about,

discussing where they will sit.





“There is an engine and a coal car,” one person says.

“The engineer won’t let us ride with him, and the conductor won’t let us ride in the coal car!”

“Where does this train go, anyway?” says another person.





An angry mob debarks the platform. One person is trampled in the rush.





Infuriated by the inconvenience, they storm back to their bus.





Still, the train waits at the station. Where does this train go?



On the Playroom Overpass

Sunday, February 9th, 2020


By the time I arrived with my camera,




the shenanigans had been going on for some time.




It was Martin who built the overpass in the playroom,




but I couldn’t make sense of the commotion.




A loaded bus brings some people to the off-ramp side.




They join what is, in my eyes, a sit-in (or lie-in) of sorts, protesting traffic on the bridge.




A woman— played by the dollhouse mama— seems to be in charge.





A swing set is erected on the overpass.




Deals are made, people exchanged.






Abruptly, the mood turns.




The dollhouse mama, whatever her mission had been, is now cast to the shadows.




Traffic is returning to the overpass!




Engines ROAR as the truck ascends the ramp!




People load up the bus to go. Their blankets are hastily removed.




The arc and the swing set are removed; the ATV is loaded on to the car transporter.




Fully loaded, the great truck begins its perilous descent.




Calamity! On the way down, part of the bridge collapses!




The engineer is brought in to administer repairs.




Brrrm brrrm brrrm…




The arc and the controller return to the bridge.




The truck makes its way under the overpass,




circles on the cloverleaf,





and ascends.




*   *   *


Later, we go for a walk in the woods.

Iris takes out a magnifying glass in attempt to determine whether the green on a tree is a moss or a lichen.

She determines it is a lichen.


A Dollhouse on the Shelf

Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

When I was little, I wanted a dollhouse in the bookshelf. I think it was because of the Dollhouse Place. There, they had glass-fronted display cases filled with little dollhouse dioramas. Sofas and chairs, a woman in a kitchen, a man in a bathtub— room after room of people. It was like looking into a glass-fronted apartment house, only one did not have to be afraid of one’s inclination to stare.


In this photograph you will see, on the shelves, the Fisher Price dollhouse. It needs to come off the shelves to be played with. The house opens wide, the garage door opens and closes, and the doorbell rings. To the right of the house is a whole basket full of accessories— a couple of bathroom sets, a few dozen people, six dogs, a knight, king and squire (which are, technically, people), some living room sets, a complete kitchen, a staircase, a handful of beds, some dining tables and chairs, and five cars. Iris used to play with that house a lot. Sadly, my photoblog entries are not indexed for dollhouses, or I could give at least one example. Currently, the accessories for it— especially the cars— are Akiva’s favorite bathtub toys. The Fisher Price houseboat and dinghy live in the bathroom.


In the red storage container to the right of the brown basket are the Creative Playthings wooden dollhouse accessories. In this scene, the papa and the boy are living in the house on the left, in front of Akiva; the mama and the girl are living in the house on the right, in front of Iris. This is my solution to dollhouse on a shelf, and I think it works quite well. There is a connecting door between the two houses and doors to go out the back and sides, but do not let these doors confuse you into thinking that the two apparently linked houses are one house. They are, as the rooms on the selves in the Dollhouse Place, separate apartments.