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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Dear Haroun,

Dear Diary,

Angelo:  Papa, Adam and I really like making friends and keeping in touch here on our blog.  As more people visit our site and we get more messages, our circle of friends is growing wider.

New friends are wonderful but it's equally wonderful is when old friends resurface after a long absence. Very recently I received this message in the comment section of one of my postings:

Angelo? ANGELO!! 

My dear Angelo, 

So many years have passed since my Mamma and I would sit together to read your Picture Trail blog and so many not very nice things have happened in the meantime. The worst for me was being locked in a box for what I now know was years and years.

Did you know that you are the reason I am here? Probably not, but Mamma saw you and fell in love with the idea of having a boy just like you. She took a few months to find me and then had to keep me a big secret but we would spend an hour or two each day together and looked out for your posts with great excitement.

Do you still have those beautiful tea sets? Does your Papa still make wonderful sweaters? I would ask you so many questions if I could.

A big Welcome to Adam. I think he is very handsome. Please say to him that some humans are just rude and thoughtless. It says more about their lack of understanding of the world when they say bad things about others than it does about the doll or human they are abusing. Believe me, my Mamma only showed me off once and, because I have an Arabic name, we got so much abuse that we gave up on the humans who SAY they like dolls. 

Doll groups are about showing off and are not for Mamma and me. Two people said I must be a terrorist! Me? I'm a Gregor doll, for goodness sake. We are a peaceful, friendly lot, aren't we?

Well, I'll look forward to your next post.
Your friend,

When I read this to Papa, we both became teary-eyed - not because it made us sad but because it touched our hearts.  We both remember Haroun from the pre-blog days when I had an account on Picturetrail.  I loved sharing photos and adventures on it but there came a time when we decided to end it.  I don't think we ever stopping wanting to share with others and that's why Papa started this blog.  

A cozy nook in the secretary for writing a letter.

Here is my reply to Haroun:

Dear Haroun,

Your letter is most welcome and has made me very happy.  Yes, it's been a long time since I was on PictureTrail.  Papa stopped it when he couldn't find the time to keep it up and he didn't really like the format.  Now that we are in the blogger age, it is quicker and easier to do a posting and he likes that format much better.  But, that's not to say that we didn't miss our PT friends - like you!  

I can still remember what it was like to stay in my box for 20+ years until I came to live with my papa.  I'm sorry there have been unpleasantries in your life.  Can you share with me what happened to make you spend so much time put away?  I'm sad to hear it.

No, I didn't know that I was the reason you are with your mama; I am very honoured!  My papa says he understands her feelings about wanting a boy doll to play with.  How exciting that you were her special secret and you both had special times together.

Yes, we still have the tea sets although we lost many pieces in the big earthquake.  But, Papa is a "hunter & gatherer" and thanks to his searching, our sets have multiplied quite a bit. We now have 75 complete sets; we rotate them, using a different one each day for afternoon tea.  

My papa still knits the Fair Isle jumpers.  He just began another one.  He said to tell you he'll post a photo of it here once it's completed.  

I will pass on your nice (and deserving!) comments about Adam to him. (We think he's very handsome, too.) He will certainly appreciate them.  He's been a victim of dolling nastiness but life here has been so positive for him that he's very happy now. Tell your mama to proudly show you off whenever she can! 

My name is Italian.  I didn't know yours was Arabic; I think it's a very nice name.  I can't imagine why people would be abusive about it but then again like you said, people can be rude and thoughtless.  I'm proud of my name - be proud of yours, too!

Frankly, we Sasha dolls could never be terrorists because of the philosophy of our grandmother, Sasha Morgenthaler.  She knew war and its terrors and created us to be playthings for the post-war children.  Never could a Sasha doll do any harm to anyone or anything.

Hearing from you after all these years has warmed my heart. Thank you for remembering me and for taking the time to write to me again.  I hope we can stay in touch for a long time.

Your Friend,


And, this is what friendship is all about.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Maplelea Footwear

Dear Diary,

Jesse: I have a footwear fixation and I think my boys should have all the latest styles. Angelo has his custom made but it's a different story for Adam.  As anyone who buys the generic footwear for 18" dolls knows, there is no consistency as each manufacturer makes them in different sizes and shapes, not to mention quality.  My biggest complaint is that they are wide and clunky.

Not long ago, Usha, a member of the Carpatina Yahoo Group, recommended that I try the footwear for the Maplelea doll, Canada's own version of the American Girl.  It seemed like a reasonable risk so I purchased these:

Back row L - R: Summit Boots, Silver Streek, Snowdrifters
Front L - R: Skedaddlers, Carpatina loafers for comparison

They each appear to be nicely made and look good.  Unfortunately, almost all their footwear is for girls and can't cross-over for boys.  I thought I'd show these, comparing them to the proper-fitting and proportional Carpatina shoes.

Summit Boots

These have a good style.  Since they are hiking boots, they are supposed to be bigger than the dress shoes. They are easy to put on and take off.

Comparison of the soles.  These have an appropriately shaped hiking boot sole with correct treading.

Silver Streek

These are my least favourite.  I have seen better motorcycle boots.  However, they have a nicely shaped foot and have an opening secured with velcro down the side for easy putting on and taking off.

Comparison of the soles.  Note the well-shaped shoe.  They are a big longer than the Carpatina shoes.


These are the proper size for a snow boot.  The strap doesn't fit properly in my opinion.  They are easy to put on and take off.

Comparison of the soles.  Again, the shape of the sole and the treads are appropriate for a snow boot.


Gosh, I've not heard that word in yonks!

These casual running shoes are very proportionate to the doll.

Comparison of the soles.  There is little difference between the Maplelea on the left and the Carpatina on the right.
Although the Carpatina shoes are the best in all ways, unfortunately for us boy doll aficionados, they have only 3 on-offer.  I haven't purchased many of the generic 18" doll shoes but of those which I have purchased, some are very good while others are inferior. I'm happy that Usha steered me to the Maplelea shoes and I encourage others who have an Adam doll to look at their website.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

"Lemon tree very pretty..."

Dear Diary,

Adam:  It's almost the winter solstice and our lemon tree has decided to give us all these beautiful lemons.  

We bought this tree last spring but didn't know where to plant it to keep it out of the winds so it spent all spring and summer in  the glass house.  In the latter part of summer it got too hot inside so we moved it outside.  In early spring we'll plant it. We have another potted lemon tree which thinks it's spring so it's put out new blossoms. Silly tree - fooled by Mother Nature!

"Love those lemons!"
Angelo:  We make a number of wonderful baked goodies for afternoon tea time with fresh lemon juice and zest.  I suppose we never have enough lemons!  Next year we should have a big crop from both trees and lots of lemon cakes and biscuits - yummmmm!

"You don't really need any shade in the winter sun."
Adam: I want to point out our new shoes.  Mine are from Maplelea and Angelo's are from Ruth in England.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Happy birthday, Your Majesty!

Dear Diary,

Adam: Today is the Queen's official birthday. 

"Happy birthday, Ma'am!"

Angelo: It isn't her actual birthday, that's on 21 April but since 1748 the subjects of the British Crown have publicly marked the sovereign's birthday. Each of the 16 countries which comprise the Commonwealth of Nations, selects the day to honour the monarch's birthday and legislates it as a public holiday. In New Zealand, we celebrate it on the first Monday in June. Most celebrations are mainly official, including the important Queen's Birthday Honours list which include Knight or Dame Grand Companion of the Order of Merit, Knight or Dame Companion of the Order of Merit and other honours in recognition of special service to the public.

"How does 'Sir Angelo' and 'Sir Adam' sound?"
Adam: We're all dressed-up and ready just in case our names are on the Queen's Birthday honour list this year!

Queen Elizabeth II