Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Miriam's Birthday Portrait

Friday, May 25, 2012


Anna's Dollhouse

Anna's Bakery -- a real business that sells croissants, cupcakes, coffee, and similar things -- has a case with a miniature bakery. There are several items like ours, especially the red table and chairs and the cash register. There's also a wall phone like one of mine (not in the photo). I once had a gum ball machine, but the top was glass and it broke. Their tiny cakes and pastries are very nicely made.

I like the little orange crate which says "Goleta." The bakery is in Goleta, California, just outside Santa Barbara; I think there were orange groves here before they built all the shopping centers and subdivisions around here.

One thing that Anna's has that I have never seen before: a mini espresso maker.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


"The Cougher" by Wendy Cope

Sheila sent another poem for Miriam:

The Cougher

There’s a tickle in your throat
And you’ve hardly heard a note
And you’re wishing you were in some other place.
In this silent, listening crowd
You're the one who’ll cough out loud,
And you know you’re facing imminent disgrace.

Yes, right now you’re in a pickle.
The unmanageable tickle
Is a torment, and it’s threatening your poise.
Can you hold out any longer
As the urge to cough grows stronger?
Any moment you’ll emit a mighty noise.

If this bloody piece were shorter,
If you had a glass of water,
It would help. But there is nothing you can do.
Oh, if only you could be
Safe at home with a CD,
In an armchair, free to cough the whole way through.

Do you hear a rallentando?
Does this mean the end’s at hand? Oh,
What a mercy. Yes, they're really signing off.
They perform the closing bars
And you thank your lucky stars
And it’s over. You have made it. You may cough.

Monday, April 09, 2012


Another Poem for Miriam

Miriam has already memorized Lewis Carroll's "You are Old Father William" for her current project, but here is another wonderful poem, suggested by my friend Sheila:

The Listeners
by Walter De La Mare

'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest's ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller's head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
'Is there anybody there?' he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller's call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
'Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:-
'Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,' he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Poems for Miriam

Miriam asked me for a list of poems that she might consider memorizing, so I came up with some. The most popular ones in her class are "The Raven" and "Jabberwocky," so she already knows about them. Her main choice so far is "You are old, Father William," but she asked for more.

I tried to think of poems that would be especially good in fifth grade! My suggestions are almost all old classics that kids her age have been memorizing for as much as 2 centuries. And I decided to save them here, since they are kind of interesting.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Come In


As I came to the edge of the woods,
Thrush music -- hark!
Now if it was dusk outside,
Inside it was dark.

Too dark in the woods for a bird
By sleight of wing
To better its perch for the night,
Though it still could sing.

The last of the light of the sun
That had died in the west
Still lived for one song more
In a thrush's breast.

Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went --
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament.

But no, I was out for stars;
I would not come in.
I meant not even if asked;
And I hadn't been.


by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

The Bells


Hear the sledges with the bells -
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


Hear the mellow wedding bells -
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight! -
From the molten - golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle - dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! - how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!


Hear the loud alarum bells -
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now - now to sit, or never,
By the side of the pale - faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -
Of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!


Hear the tolling of the bells -
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people - ah, the people -
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone -
They are neither man nor woman -
They are neither brute nor human -
They are Ghouls: -
And their king it is who tolls: -
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells: -
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells: -
To the sobbing of the bells: -
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells -
To the tolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells, -
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

Ozymandias of Egypt
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The Bat

by Theodore Roethke

By day the bat is cousin to the mouse.
He likes the attic of an aging house.

His fingers make a hat about his head.
His pulse beat is so slow we think him dead.

He loops in crazy figures half the night
Among the trees that face the corner light.

But when he brushes up against a screen,
We are afraid of what our eyes have seen:

For something is amiss or out of place
When mice with wings can wear a human face.

April Rain Song

by Langston Hughes
Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


New Barbie Doll

Here she is: my Mona Lisa Barbie. This is my first -- and last -- Barbie doll in my whole life. I guess. Unless they make a Leonardo Ken with a paintbrush or something.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Miriam is 10 years old today. Here is how she looked exactly 10 years ago!

Monday, May 23, 2011




At the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena we saw a lot of art from India and places near India. One statue showed a snake goddess, which is in this picture. You can see snake coils behind her. Here's the amazing thing: the Hindu name for a snake goddess is a nagini. So now I know where J.K.Rowling got her name for Voldemort's snake. Did you know that?

This particular snake goddess is named Revati and her statue is around 1600 years old. In Hindu myths, snakes guard treasures that are underground, and snake goddesses (naginis) look like humans but associate with snakes.

Monday, February 07, 2011


Happy Birthday Alice!

Here is Alice's most recent self-portrait with Photobooth. And here she is exactly 8 years ago today --

Saturday, November 27, 2010


New Harry Potter Movie (with Spoilers)

Guest Post By Alice

Well I just watched the new Harry Potter movie, and it is very good.

The saddest part is when Dobby dies because they really exaggerate the sadness. Another sad part is when Hermione Granger obviates her parents' memories so that she can be safe and so can they.

The happiest part is the wedding when Fleur and Bill get married because Harry, Ron, and Hermione all get to see their friends.

The scariest part is when Bathilda Bagshot gets invaded by the snake Nagini (Voldemort's snake). It comes out of her mouth and it's also pretty disgusting.

The funniest part is when the defense guards come (Hermione, Ron, Fred, George, Hagrid, Mr. Weasley, Remus Lupin, Tonks, Mad Eye, Bill, Fleur, Mundungus Fletcher, and Kingsley Shacklebolt). They drink a potion and six people transform into Harry (Hermione, Ron, Fred, George, Fleur, and Mundungus). Fleur turns into Harry and still has her bra on, and says "Bill, don't look at me, I look hideous!"

Another funny part is when Ginny and Harry are kissing and George walks in with a toothbrush coming out of his ear and he stared at them for a little bit and then said "Good morning." Ginny was definitely annoyed.

In the previews and featurettes there was a funny featurette where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all having a race. They had to run and jump over logs and run really fast. It really happened in the movie because snatchers were chasing them. Emma Watson, who plays Hermione, says, "Harry wants to beat me, I want to beat Harry, and Ron just wants to keep up."

I really think you should read the Harry Potter books and watch the movies!

Friday, November 26, 2010


The New Fabulous Iwako Erasers

Guest post by Miriam:
(With an interview of Alice)
Well the Iwako Erasers are totally in. Now some of my friends own 100-180 Iwako erasers, everybody loves them.
Here are some pictures:



This is an interview from my sister and what she thinks about Iwako Erasers:
So what do you really think about Iwako Erasers Alice?
I think they are really cool because you can take apart some parts and also at the same time play with them.
What erasers do you have?
Food: I have a pink baby, a green baby, cotton candy ice cream, an ice cream in a cone, a cupcake, two cakes, and dim sum.
Animals: a cow, a pig, a giraffe, a penguin, a puffer fish, an octopus, a dolphin, and a shell.
Wow that's a lot of erasers. I have:
Animals:a baby, a pig, a crab, a hamster, a squid, a dolphin, a dog, a frog, a penguin, a giraffe, and a cow.
Foods:a piece of sushi, a crumble cake, strawberry cake, and a piece of cake.
Other:a car and a yo-yo.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


A Craft Project: Guest Post by Miriam and Alice

Miriam and Alice are doing projects with colorful duct tape, and sent these photos as a guest post.


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