Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Children & Summertime

Daddy Steve: Today's post is not strictly about dolls, but also children and summertime.

Our kitchen wall calendar this year features historic photos of Minneapolis; it's fun to look at pictures of our city from times past.

Kaveh: Look at all the carriages!
Giancarlo: I guess that's why they call them the 'horse & buggy' days.

The photo for June is our favorite.  It features Minnehaha Falls in 1915, looking almost exactly as it does today.  What we find particularly charming are the three young ladies who have waded out into the creek below the falls, probably on a hot summer's day.

Kaveh: That looks like fun!
Giancarlo: It makes me want to take off my shoes and wade in water.

Like Sasha dolls, this picture seems to perfectly capture the essence of childhood in its purest form. Summer begins today in the Northern Hemisphere; we would like to wish everyone a Happy Solstice!

We don't have a creek nearby, so the boys decided to improvise!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Puzzling Mail Call

Daddy John: It's a quiet morning in Gregoropolis, until...

Pete Dakota: Hey guys, we got some mail!  It's from Peggy Sue and Henry!
Stephen Orange: Who are Peggy Sue and Henry?
Benjamin Roy: They're our friends in England; we sent them those postcards and agate from vacation.

BR: It's our turn for postcards!
Stephen: "Appledore."  Is this where they live?
BR: This is a castle in Rochester.  Henry's invited us to come to England sometime and explore castles with him.
Stephen: That would be a grand adventure.  Castles have been around since the 9th century.

Pete: What's this?  It has a picture on one side and writing on the other.

BR: It's a piece of a jigsaw puzzle!  We can put it together by reading the writing.  I'll bet it's a letter from Henry and Peggy Sue.
Stephen: Why don't we try to put it together picture side up, first?  it will be more challenging that way.
Pete: Yeah!  It's a nice day; we can go outside and put it together on the patio.

BR: Where should we start?
Stephen: I always like to start a puzzle by sorting out the border pieces.

Pete: Only a few pieces left!

BR: It's a postcard of a place called "North Devon."  We should ask Daddy John to show us where that is on his map of England.
Stephen: The letter on the back says this is where they went on their vacation.  How interesting!
Pete: This was fun!  I like getting mail like this.

Thank you to Henry and Peggy Sue of Rose Cottage for the cards!

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Daddy Steve: What happened to our chilly spring days?  This weekend the temperature at Gregoropolis hit 92°F (33°C)!  It was definitely time to get the boys into their summer clothes.  I started with Sasha and Miguel.  Earlier this spring I ordered two striped shirts from Ginny--identical patterns in complimentary colorways.


That last part was very important--Sasha can get some charmingly bizarre ideas.  When Miguel came to live with us, he was Sasha's first brother who was roughly his same age-1968.  I think Miguel is probably from earlier in that year, while Sasha is later.

Miguel's arrival; looking a bit grubby and wearing quite possibly the ugliest homemade cardigan ever.

Anyway, Sasha immediately came to the conclusion that they were long-lost twin brothers!  The fact that they don't look too much alike did not deter him.

Miguel is a shy little boy.  He's more than happy to let Sasha take the lead in everything, so he was completely on board with Sasha's twin theory.  Because Miguel is so bashful he doesn't appear in the blog often, which is a shame because he's very handsome and unique.  His eyes have radiating lines in the irises; a style that appeared for only a short time in 1968, and only on Gregors.  His nearly black (and non-falling) hair has a very neat and defined rooted part at the crown; more like the girls have.

¡Ojos hermosos!

Un peinado limpio

Although Sasha and Miguel are definitely fraternal twins, they share the same close bond that twins are noted for having.

Sasha: Hello, twin brother!
Miguel: ¡Hola, mi hermano gemelo!

June is the month of Gemini, The Twins, so Gregoropolis salutes twins everywhere; both actual and honorific.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

All About Lighthouses

Daddy Steve:  Ever since our Lake Superior/North Shore trip last month, the boys have been obsessed with lighthouses.  Children have such strong curiosities, which lead to very deep and intense interests--at least until something new comes along!

Right now, lighthouses are the big thing and they can't read enough about them!

Patrick: The Cape Hatteras light in North Carolina is the tallest lighthouse in the U.S.; 210 feet (64m) high.
Frank: It looks like a giant candy cane.
Sebastian: Look up German lighthouses now.

All of this lighthouse talk made me think of a book I had as a child; one that I remember being quite fond of.  It was part of a whole series of books on a wide variety of subjects.  After a quick online search, I was able to track down the book.  I found a very inexpensive copy on eBay and ordered it. 

(The Internet is a wonderful thing; you can basically buy back your entire childhood--for a price!)

I have a feeling that many of our U.K. readers will recognize this series.  It's quite an informative little book, with charming illustrations.  It has quickly become a favorite here in Gregoropolis.  The boys have practically memorized the whole thing!

Robin: The Pharos of Alexandria was an ancient lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Emile: Eet ees where 'phare,' ze French word for lighthouse, comes from.
Giancarlo: And the Italian word 'faro,' too.

Blake: The first Eddystone lighthouse off the coast of Devon was built in 1698.
Bowie: That's older than Daddy Steve and Daddy John combined!

Predictably, Mikko and Tyler are drawn to the adventure stories of 'Wreckers' who deliberately lured ships aground to plunder them.

Mikko: Wow, they were just like real pirates!

They also admire the courageous rescue efforts of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Tyler: That sea is really rough! What a brave bunch of lads.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Rolf's New Summer Clothes

Daddy Steve:  With summer just around the corner, I've been busy taking inventory of our summer clothing.  I felt that we were fairly well set with all the boys, except Rolf.   As an early Götz boy, Rolf has what I would call an "old school" look.  I think he's best suited by a slightly more classic wardrobe.

Since he arrived this winter, he's been wearing a corduroy dungaree outfit that looks really very cute on him.  I thought a more summer version would be perfect, specifically one modeled after the original Götz blue denim and red and white gingham shirt combo.

I've always considered that outfit to be a classic.  I explained my idea to Ginny of A Passion For Sasha, and she was happy to take up the challenge.  The new outfit recently arrived, and we're absolutely thrilled with the results.

Rolf: Sehr gut.

Rolf carefully examined the outfit upon opening the box; he is quite the cautious boy.  Eventually he pronounced his approval.

Doesn't he look adorable?  I had requested that Ginny make the dungarees short for summer.

Although they're faithful to the originals, Ginny made some improvements; most notably the straps fasten behind the bib rather than in the front.  It makes for a much neater look.

The outfit pairs well with a vintage duffel coat because it can still be a little chilly during mornings and evenings.

White sandals would probably be the most authentic footwear for this outfit, but Sebastian's dark blue sandals look fine, too.

I sent Ginny some photos of Rolf wearing his new clothes and she asked if she could use them in an Etsy listing (she made an extra outfit to sell).  I said sure, and she later wrote back that the outfit sold within an hour after she added Rolf's picture.  Now Rolf thinks he has a career as a fashion model!

Rolf contemplates his new career.

Giancarlo: Bravo, bambino!  That's the look!
Rolf:  I'm going to be the next Claudia Schiffer.

Extra-special thanks to Ginny of A Passion For Sasha.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Taking Time To Smell The Flowers

Daddy Steve:  One of the best things about spring here in Gregoropolis is when the lilac bush begins to bloom.  There are few flowers that both look and smell so pretty.

Anthony is a very busy boy.  He's always occupied with some project (in addition to looking out for his little brothers).  Nevertheless, he feels it's important to stop and enjoy the beautiful lilac blossoms.

Anthony: They certainly smell nice.

Anthony: Spring lasts such a short time; you have to stop and enjoy it while you can.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Happy Birthday, Kaveh!

Daddy Steve:  Last Saturday was Kaveh's birthday, so the boys threw a party for him.

The boys all decorated and made lovely birthday cards.

Anthony baked a delicious cake.  Frank was completely mesmerized by the cake, but controlled himself.  We thankfully did not have a repeat of Easter.

Frank:  Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaake...

After cake, Kaveh was given his present as everyone sang "Happy Birthday."  The anticipation built as he ripped off the wrapping paper to reveal...

...Classic Thomas and Percy!  For a boy who likes trains, this was Nirvana.

Kaveh:  Thanks, guys!  This was the best birthday ever!