Mae's Real Stories

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

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Miriam's Mask


Ribbet Tibbet and Butterfly Feet

Alice calls this collage Ribbet Tibbet.

Here are Alice's feet:


Alena and Crucket

Alena and Crucket are potatoes with faces. They came from the kitchen at Miriam and Alice's house. They like to play. Alena says: "Crucket, Crucket," because that's her friend potato. Crucket says "Ztouch, Ztouch." That's what she calls Alice.

Crucket and Alena were very old potatoes. Today they started to smell very bad, so Miriam had to throw them away in the kitchen.

Evelyn said: "Don't throw them in the kitchen sink."
Miriam said: "What's a kitchen sink?"
Evelyn said: "It's what you aren't supposed to put your potato in."
Miriam said: "What's a potato."

Here are Miriam and Alice with Crucket and Alena:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The Swan

A swan is a very beautiful bird. A few days ago, one of the swans that lives in Gallup Park near our house was moulting: that, is pecking on his feathers to get rid of the ones he didn't need. Feathers were all around the swan on the shore of the pond.

Monday, June 25, 2007



At Greenfield Village in Michigan is a beautiful old merry-go-round. Miriam and Alice rode on it last year when they visited here.

Besides the merry-go-round horses, there are many real horses working to pull various carriages and wagons in the Village.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Miriam's Town

Miriam made two wonderful pictures. One shows a house. It's very big. The other shows a whole town. I hope she will tell me more of the story of these two pictures soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Sheila sees the Queen

My friends Sheila and John live in London, the capital of England. In June, the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth, is honored with a special celebration called "Trooping the Colour." For this year's ceremony, Sheila and John saw the parade that comes before this celebration, and took many pictures.

Sheila explained this ceremony. She wrote: "The colour is the regimental flag which has various battle honours listed on it and the regiments of Guards parade it past the Queen with lots of intricate drill work. You can recognise which regiment of Guards you are looking at (Welsh, Scots, Grenadier, Coldstream etc) as the patterns of their buttons are distinctive." (Of course she could not see their buttons from where she was sitting, you'd have to be much closer.)

"The Coldstream Guards were the ones who marched today. We watched from the Terrace behind the Royal Society's building. A friend belongs to the Royal Society, and he invited us to join him there. These photos are the result. The trees masked the main procession, so you could just catch glimpses as they turned off the Mall towards Horse Guards Parade Ground. The Queen is just visible riding in a carriage in lime green in the following photo."
"We watched the main ceremony on a big TV screen in one of the Royal Society's lecture rooms & then had a lovely buffet lunch. We were lucky. It poured before & after, but not during!! This is the first time I've even seen part of it live. It was fun. I haven't watched it even on TV for some years."

"I have another story about Trooping the Colour. We have a friend who was the Music Director of the Welsh Guards for a few years. He was involved in Trooping the Colour some years back and it absolutely poured with rain. The parade ground became about 4 inches deep in water, so you can imagine how wet their uniforms were. He told us that when they got back to the barracks they could not unbutton their tunics as they are made of wool, which had swollen due to being so wet. This meant that the buttons would not go through the button holes!! He didn't tell us how they eventually managed to get out of them!! Of course, if it's really hot you sometimes get the opposite problem and a Guardsman keels over in a faint as he's got too hot inside all that wool."

Friday, June 15, 2007


Construction Sites

One morning when I was walking downtown, I saw several construction projects underway. A while ago I posted some photos of buildings being torn down. Here are some photos that show two buildings being started and one building almost finished.

The first photo shows the construction of a big building for the business school at the university:

The next two pictures show the foundation going in for a large new wing for the art museum on campus:

Finally, Pizza House will soon have a new entryway for their enlarged building:

Thursday, June 07, 2007



Scarabs are stones that the ancient Egyptians carved to look like a particular kind of beetle, also called the scarab beetle. Some Egyptian stone scarabs were big and some were very small.

The Egyptians wore and used scarab-shaped amulets to bring good luck. On the flat underside of a scarab the Egyptians wrote various things about the person who was to wear it or the type of luck it would bring. I found this picture showing both sides of an ancient scarab amulet.

Miriam and Alice have a book about projects to do to learn about ancient Egypt. The book told how to make scarabs, and Miriam and Alice made a scarab out of Playdough.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Mummy Case

Here is a photo of the whole mummy case inside of its plexiglass protection in the Kelsey Museum.


Ancient Egypt in Ann Arbor

In a big museum like the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, you can see a lot of Egyptian mummy cases, statues of people, cats, and other animals; toys, jars, papayrus scrolls and stone tablets with writing, and many other things. Some museums even show real mummies with their wrappings, just as they were buried thousands of years ago.

In the Kelsey Museum in Ann Arbor, you can see only one wooden mummy case. The mummy (that is, the body of the dead person) isn't shown in the museum here. The top of the case is a portrait of the face of the person who is buried there. Inside the mummy case is a painting of an ancient god or goddess with a bird and a lot of writing, including the name of the dead person who was in the case. The mummy case and other Egyptian things in the museum here are inside of glass or plexi-glass cases, and it was hard to take photos -- the ones here are the best I could do.

Miriam and Alice have some new books about Egypt, and they learned why so many ancient Egyptian objects have lasted several thousand years. The reason is that the ancient Egyptians built big stone tombs in the desert to preserve their possessions and to bury each rich person in an elaborate, painted wooden coffin and stone sarcophagus. The Pharoahs, or kings of Egypt, also built many stone temples and other buildings. Many pyramids and Egyptian temples still stand in the deserts of modern Egypt, near to modern cities full of people who live in apartment buildings and houses like our own, who ride in cars, watch TV, and go to school. There are no more Pharoahs or ancient Egyptian people: only their buildings and burial goods have lasted.

The Egyptians used a system of writing called hieroglyphics. People used to think that every word in Egyptian hieroglyphics was represented by a picture, but that's not quite right. Some pictures and symbols can be combined to make writing work better. However, most people think that it's easier to read and write using our alphabet with 26 letters A to Z that stand for sounds. It took people a long time to learn to read Egyptian writing, but now they can find ancient stones or papyruses with interesting stories and historic writings.

The pictures to the right are the top and bottom of a carved stone tablet in the museum. You can see a picture of some animals and some Egyptian hieroglyphic writing on the stone. You can also see two people with some fruit and vegetables.

Here is a picture from Egypt. If you go there, you can see the ancient pyramids and the huge stone statue of a half-man half-lion called the sphinx. If you can't go all the way to Egypt, you can still see lots of ancient things in museums like the one I visited today.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge, VA

Leesylvania State Park is a beautiful area on the Potomac River and the Occoquan Bay. You can drive there in less than one hour from Miriam and Alice's house in Fairfax. I went there to see what I could find. The train tracks go right through the park on a very tall bridge. I heard trains going by. The train went along the beach here before the park was built.

I walked in the woods a little bit, I looked at the sandy beach with a few shells washed up on it, and I watched some boats. I saw a tall heron on a log. I watched some men putting their boats in the water too.

A very long time ago, a family named Lee lived on this land: they had a farm here. Two men in the family were very famous. One was "Lighthorse" Harry Lee, who was a general in the Revolutionary War with George Washington. Harry's son was Robert E. Lee, and he was also a famous general. You will learn more about the Lee family when you study American history.


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