Happy Midsummer!

And it's the first day of summer!  The weather is finally catching up to us.  Our lovely 80-some degree temps are rising into the 90s now, although we've yet to experience any days that compare to the horrible record-setting highs of the previous two years.  (Crossing fingers!)  The girls and I are seeing a children's theatre production of Cinderella today, and I start my final weekend of Shakespeare tonight.  I hope to fit in some Midsummer loveliness all weekend long.

As promised, here are some photos from last weekend's trip to Lindsborg - Little Sweden, U.S.A.!  Their annual Scandinavian-style Midsummer Festival was Saturday.  It was a rainy morning, and I didn't take as many pictures as I normally do.  It was a morning of Swedish pancakes, Blomkrans (flower wreaths), dala horse sightings, and folk dance-watching.  After lunch, however, the sun came out and I took the girls to nearby Coronado Heights, a Works Progress Administration-era state park.  (See more about Coronado Heights here.)  I took pictures of some beautiful summer-hued views:  golden fields, green trees, and flowers.  Lots of butterflies and ladybugs, too!

Happy Times in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren,illustrated by Ilon Wikland.

Alas, the limo was not our ride. 

Happy Midsummer/Solstice/First Day of Summer to every one of my readers above the equator!  And a Happy First Day of Winter to my readers below the equator.  (Deep down, I'm jealous - I'm such a winter gal myself.)

And a Merry Weekend!  Happy Reading!

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Girl Cave!

My family room is a topsy-turvy girl cave today.
Tomorrow may be the first day of summer,
but today is hot enough!

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Midsummer Dreaming

Little Sis, wearing wings, playing in the fairy house.  

Midsummer is almost upon us!  Friday will mark the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and I will find an excuse to make sugary things and fairy crafts, at least until I head out to the park to perform in Two Gentlemen of Verona that night.  I will have pictures to share with you from our trip to Lindsborg last weekend for their annual Midsummer Festival - you can see last year's pictures here - and we will conclude our goofy merriment on Monday with International Faerie Day, a semi-holiday we insist upon celebrating every year.

As I am in Shakespeare mode, I thought I'd share a few kid-friendly videos of my personal favorite Shakespeare comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I've learned through the years that it is not the "cool" choice among theatre people for a favorite, but I love it.  It's easy to follow, the mechanicals are a hoot, the lovers are silly, and there are fairies!

From Shakespeare: The Animated Tales

The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo

The 1935 Warner Bros. film, directed by Max Rheinhardt,
starring James Cagney, Dick Powell, Olivia deHavilland,
and Mickey Rooney.

From a 1999 episode of Disney's House of Mouse.

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Lazy Tuesday

Pizza and a movie.  Happy day.

And a little bonus for you.

Another Post About Kittens

We had a thunderstorm late last night.  The skies opened up and the rain came down in buckets.  So I ran out into the storm to check on our latest batch of kittens:  Mabel's sister, Lucy, has three little ones, just opening their eyes.  She had them in the bushes in front of our house.  Last night, I went out to the porch.  Thunder was crashing, lightning flashing, and Miss Lucy was cowering under the table.  I grabbed Mr. B's spare railroad lantern and Little Sis's umbrella, and ran to the bushes.  I scooped up three shivering, soaked babies and brought them to the porch.  Then I grabbed an old laundry basket, some towels, and Mama Cat and made the brood a nice bed for overnight.  I snapped this picture this morning.  I think Lucy had already moved one of the tabbies back to the bushes.  An hour later, the other tabby was back in the bushes, too.  I moved the other kitten for her.  

So in celebration of all things kitten - because I cannot escape the kitties - I put together another round-up of kitty cat books, this time focusing on the babies.  Here we have some fiction and some non-fiction.  Some of them are vintage, some are out-of-print, but still pretty easy to find.  And all are appropriate for smaller kiddos, too.  

Top Row:  Three Little Kittens (Little Golden Book #1!), illustrated by Masha.   Simon & Schuster, 1942.  That's Not My Kitten by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells.  Usborne, 2006.  Kitten: See How They Grow by DK Publishing, illustrated by Nigel Hazle with photography by Jane Burton.  DK Publishing, 2007.  Center Row:  Touch & Feel: Kitten by DK Publishing, 1999.  (Newer edition is here.)  The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter.  Frederick Warne & Co., 1907.  (This edition is from 2002.)  Bottom Row:  I Am A Kitten by Ole Risom, illustrated by Jan Pfloog.  Western Publishing, 1974.  The Kitten Who Thought He Was A Mouse (Little Golden Book) by Miriam Norton, illustrated by Garth Williams.  Random House, 2008. (Originally published as a Little Silver Book by Golden Press, 1954.)  Kittens Are Like That by Jan Pfloog.  Random House, 1976.

(The best/worst part of making a photo collage like this is realizing what I left off the list.  As many kitty-cats as we have around here, though, I'm sure I'll be inspired to do one more.  Someday...)

For more kitty book goodness, see today's post on Julia's Bookbag, about the Orlando books by Kathleen Hale.  I have longed to see some of these books in person for a few years now.  I need to get a hold of some myself.

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