Archive for the ‘Intriguing Mysteries’ Category

My Grandpa gave me these glorious glasses when we were visiting.

I tried to research them, but I didn’t find anything! I think they were worn by an explorer who probably kept them in his pocket during a safari, resulting in all the scratches and bends.

There is a G.F.I. carved on the nose part.

I think they are like the kind the Tailor of Gloucester wore, which is a Christmas story by Beatrix Potter. They are so strong, you fall down as soon as you put them on, but they make you look like a dream! I am not allowed to wear them at my typewriter.

Here is what I want for Christmas: A flashbulb and typewriter ribbons. So far I have 73 items on my list. It’s nice to give everybody lots of options.


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We have had pie for dessert two nights in a row, and for breakfast two mornings in a row! Today I ate this small blueberry pie which was made with this left over crust.

I have been searching for words to describe mom’s pie all of my whole life, but none that I find are satisfactory. All of them are dull, or far too common, or lacking the liveliness a single morsel of pie contains! Someday, I shall write a marvelous poem about mom’s pies, as delicious as one of them, and it will not be tasteless or ordinary, as most poems about pies are. It will not be my crowning achievement. But it will be an enormous triumph.

Besides pie, mom and I went for a walk, and I read the first four chapters of Peter Pan today and ate stew. Yesterday we all got some new boots for me. I love them! They feel like mocassins, and lace all the way up, and are very light and warm and not at all clunky, like most unsavory boots are, and they positively hug my feet like a comforter. Also we went to the bookstore and got two, the Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling, which I am excited to read, and a large book about the history of botany. I like botany, you know.

Now I have to go rustle up Pipkin.


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Since I like investigating and the smell of old books, I decided to examine Our Girls Chatterbox when I was absolutely breathing with boredom yesterday.

Mom has kept this very old crate of books and magazines in her room for as long as I can remember, and when it is a rainy, rainy day outside and the registers are steaming, I take them out to study. I’ve stories from Our Girls Chatterbox lots.

Our Girls Chatterbox belonged to my great-great-great-aunt Anna when she was a little girl. It was presented to her by her teacher, Albert Davis, who wrote rather loopily. My great-aunt Anna was a fascinating person. She never married, and when she was young she went on a tour of the world and brought back lots of interesting pictures. My mom has painted some of them. She was also the prettiest of all my great-great-great-aunts.

While I was examining Our Girls Chatterbox yesterday, I found something very interesting. Not as interesting as if the spine slipped off to form a secret compartment, as I had hoped, but still a sort of interesting. Our Girls Chatterbox is a first edition!

I nosed around. Our Girls Chatterbox was first published in 1884, by Belford Clarke & Co, who were criminals! Every single book they ever published was stolen material. When they tried to publish Tom Sawyer, for instance, without permission, Mark Twain took them to court, but lost, because Tom Sawyer was not copyrighted. Here’s what he thought of that: “Belford Brothers, the miserable thieves couldn’t buy a sentence from me for any money!” But I am surprised at this as both Mark Twain and Mr. Belford had a mustache. They published Tom Sawyer anyway.

Belford Clarke & Co won all their lawsuits and became fat and rich, and made book-selling a business for dirty old dogs. (It’s true.) They printed a very cheap version of the Encyclopedia Britannica so that schools might afford it, which made them quite rich. If a bookshop refused to sell their books, they forced the store right next to the bookshop, no matter what they sold, to sell them.

Belford Clarke & Co were rich, making thousands in stocks and bonds, until a mysterious fire burned their main factory and office building to just ashes and fog. After that, they were forced to run only two buildings, and their business was soon flushed down the drain, ending in their arrest by some Deputy Sherrif. (It’s in the New York Times archives.) I think Mark Twain hired someone to accidentally burn down their building, eventually resulting in their demise and leaving him the victor.

Also, I think Our Girls Chatterbox might have only been printed one time, in one batch.

So, because of the Belford & Co rapscallions, I made some clipart which anybody can use anyplace or anytime, completely free of charge! And I won’t even take you to court.

Here’s what you can’t do:

Sell it.

I made this clip art using the artwork from Our Girls Chatterbox with my own two hands and mom’s.

Here is how to use it:

I’ve made two files, one of the unaltered clipart, and one of the clipart after I’ve edited it. Click on either link and a pdf. file will open. Download this, then open in photoshop, and, using the rectangular marquee tool, cut out whichever piece you choose. You can resize them enormously large or too a miniscule stature.

Here are the links:

Unaltered Clipart

Edited Clipart

Here is what the files will look like:

The first file has the original illustrations, except for one, which I forgot. There are 8 pieces in total in the first file.

The second file has 3 frames, 3 drawings, 4 fancy letters, one ostrich, and 2 buttons from the button collection given to me from my grandma. It’s a really top-notch button collection.

Here is an example I made which I am rather proud of. The only thing in it which is not my clip art is the piece of fabric, which is from puglypixel.com.

This was my first set of clip art and I am glad at the way it turned out. I think I did a good job. It took me a very long time to make it, so I hope that lots of people use it. Anyway, I like being a detective and a designer, but it is tiring.

It takes a very long time for the pdf. files to upload, but eventually they show up. I tested it, so I know. You just have to wait. What I always say is that you should watch a Peter Gunn while you languish.

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my older brother Peter and I were really itchy and sweaty, so we traipsed down to the little creek to go wading. When we got there, this brilliant blue bird flew off the water in front of us and landed in a nearby tree. We got a small glimpse of it. I thought that it was sort of chunky, with long legs, a red patch under its chin (do birds have chins?), and a black tuft on its head. We looked for it in our bird book, but the only thing we could find similar to it was this (below)-

Green Backed Heron.

But we thought it looked more blue! So, we’ve had a possible Green Backed Heron sighting today. The bird book says that the feathers on their heads can be raised into a tuft, and that they prefer to be solitary and are often found languishing around a stream or two. They learned how to fish by standing on the bank of a stream and dropping insects into the water to attract minnows, which they  then bite the heads off of! So, we might’ve seen one! It was definitely not a blue heron, because it was much smaller, and it was not a kingfisher, because it wasn’t that blue, and had long legs! I think it was a prehistoric dinosaur bird, thought previously to be extinct, but since today, known to be walking and winging over the earth. Maybe!

I kind of broke my resolve to post each day the past two days, but it won’t happen again. I was terribly busy! We had a bonfire with marshmallows and Peter came home, and it’s been really steamy outside, like a rain forest! Now Pete and I are going to watch HP and the Half-Blood Prince and eat Werther’s Originals. Mom got them for me especially, and they have a charming creamy caramel center! The small European town of Werther should be proud! You can listen to the history of Werther’s Originals here.

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