Reading Oz

"Tell me something about yourself and the country you came from," said the Scarecrow, when she had finished her dinner. So she told him all about Kansas, and how gray everything was there, and how the cyclone had carried her to this queer Land of Oz. 

 The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said, "I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas." 

 "That is because you have no brains" answered the girl. "No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."

                    ~ Chapter Four, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

This is what we read Thursday night, and we shall read more this weekend.  Little Sis is so happy it's her turn.  (And if you want a chuckle, go here and read the Scarecrow's reply.  It's funnier if you live in Kansas.)

Merry Weekend!  Read something wonderful!

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Thankful Thursday

It is a Facebook tradition to list one thing you are thankful for every day in November.  This year, in lieu of daily FB posts, I plan to use the blog each Thursday in November to post photos of those little blessings in my life.

I am thankful for...

...creative kids.  ("See, Mom?  I made a watch!") city's public art collection.

...macaroni and cheese!
...being reunited with simple but meaningful items. (At the book fair
 this week, the librarian told me to take it home!)

 What are you thankful for today?

Closet Full Of Cozy

Apartment Therapy-ready?  I wish.  Yeah, we're not really there.

Our playroom floors are in desperate need of refinishing, but they will have to wait until after the new year, when the husband can take off work.  (Really.)  After the floors are refinished, we may have a go at the numerous paint, ink, and crayon stains on the walls and built-ins.  But until then, the girls have a space they can live in.

And they have a closet book nook, an idea I tried back when we first moved in, thanks to a neat feature in my late, lamented Wondertime magazine.  Apartment Therapy Family has the article archived here.  It was about a little girl who loved the library so much that her grandmother turned a closet into a library/reading nook.  My original plan didn't work so well - we gave up on the reading nook, and used the closet for storage - but after much rearranging, one of the two playroom closets is back to being the book nook I'd always intended it to be!

I wish I could show off the cute library cards I printed off and hung on the wall without showing off all the little fingerprints of paint!  I suppose you could say the messiness is what makes it us.

Troll Love

Meet my trolls.

Here's another:

And another: 

And much to my family's consternation, there are more.  My dad bought me my first as a strange souvenir from a shop in Breckenridge, Colorado.  Then my mother moved to the Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia.  My trolls are made in Tennessee, so I always bought one or two on my summer visits during college.  I love them.  You can read their origin story here.

I used to have them spread around the house, but a couple months ago, I gathered them together and posed them on and around the living room bookcases.  The daughters claim that the ones in their room were scaring them at night.  Okay, my trolls are scary, but these...

are not?  These are the daughters' troll dolls.  They came from the stuff at my grandma's house.  While I have never asked her, I figure they were my sister's. I don't remember owning any.

I love trolls, and I love all things Norse and/or Scandinavian, so I was so happy to get D'Aulaires' Trolls by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire from the library this week.  This copy is an old edition from the 1970s.  (It was first released in 1972.)  It is available again as part of the New York Review Children's Collection, so guess what I just added to my Christmas wish list?

There's a part of me that thinks I should wait to read it until I can snuggle in with the girls, but at the time of my writing this, they're already in bed and I'm suffering - suffering, I tell you - from Little Sis's cold.  (Waaaaahhh!)  I think my stuffy self shall curl up with some tea and a blankie and this beautiful picture book.

You know what?  I'm grumpy.  My nose is red and feels swollen.  My eyes are watery, and I have an ugly cough.  Do you know what I resemble right now?

Have a lovely day, one and all!

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Raggedy Ann Party

Little Sis is five years old!  We threw our little Raggedy Ann-themed party.

The vintage paper items were found on eBay.  The bunting was made using a free digital kit from Kitschy Digitals.  The large doll in the rocking chair was made by a great-aunt in Oklahoma.  I have pictures of me with it when I was just a baby.  (I guess she's 1970s vintage, too!)  The small doll belongs to one of the daughters.  My dad bought them each a doll at Cracker Barrel when they were little.  I ordered all the beverage mixes from the Raggedy Land website.  I made the pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting (Little Sis's choice!), as well as the chocolate cupcakes.  We also had popcorn and finger foods.  My friend Wendi, who bakes as Sweet Sugarlicious, made some very sweet cookies.

I read Raggedy Ann: A Please, Thank You, and I Love You Book, and we made Raggedy Ann paper plate faces, but only after a bit of swinging and wagon riding in the backyard.  Little Sis opened some wonderful gifts:  Lalaloopsy dolls, clothes (including a shiny new pair of ruby slippers!), art supplies, an American Girl doll restaurant play set, and two cameras from Grandpa, including a Fuji Instax mini of her own.

No more birthday parties for the rest of the year!  Yay!!!
Just that pesky Thanksgiving and Christmas to think about.  My favoritest time of the whole entire year...

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