Solbit Takes a Stand on Amanita muscaria

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

What do you think?  Does my orange complexion and red head go with this red and white mushroom or not?

Ulva Island

I kind of like the combination. I feel like I fit right into this forest.

When we got back from our walk in the woods (they say, “the bush” here in New Zealand), I asked Papa to look up “red mushroom” on google.  He found a wikipedia article, and it said that this cool looking mushroom is “Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita.” So, I took a stand on Amanita muscaria.  How many of us can say we’ve done that? DON’T EAT IT. NOT GOOD FOR YOU!

We saw this fly agaric mushroom in a lot of places as we walked through the woods, especially near pine trees.  Hey, wanna see me walking in the woods, I mean in the bush?

Ulva Island

Guess what?  When we first approached these red and white mushrooms, they were so bright and shiny that Papa said, “Look, some kid left toy mushrooms by the tree.”  Nona corrected him, “Papa, those really are mushrooms.  Solbit, check them out and tell Papa they’re real.” So, I did.

Ulva Island

“Hey, Papa, come take a closer look.  They’re real!” I said.  He did.  Then, he exclaimed, “Well, I’ll be …!” I can’t write that last word he used.  Nona says it’s a swear word, and we don’t use swear words.  Hint:  the word Papa used starts with the letter “d.”  He’s not supposed to use that word, but I hear him say it often, especially when he drops something.  Seems to do that a lot.

Everywhere we go, there’s something that Nona does a lot too, but it’s not swearing.  What she does a lot is take photos, especially of me.  I think, maybe, I’m her favorite subject!

Ulva Island

You might say I’m her model, because she puts me in different situations and says, “Now, Solbit, look here.  Smile.”  Then she presses the camera shutter.  We go home, load all the day’s photos into her MacBook Air laptop, and we look at all the things we did that day.  It’s like having a second hike in the woods — I mean, bush — all over again.

Nona has today’s photos uploaded to her laptop now, so I’ve gotta go look at them.  Bye!  I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

January 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Headstand for Health and Happiness

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Dear Nicalai,

I yelled to Papa, “Grab your camera and meet me in the kitchen. Hurry, Papa!”  When he got to the kitchen with his iPhone, I said, “OK, snap one before I lose my balance!”

Papa asked me, “Solbit, what are you doing?”  To which I replied, “Isn’t it obvious?  I’m doing a headstand.”  He asked, “On an apple?”

I quickly, emphatically yelled, “Take the picture now! Talk later.”  He took the picture and only just in time.  Then I fell over and down onto the counter.  It’s hard.  Here’s the result.

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That didn’t slow me down though.  I was up in a jiffy and found my next headstand spot.  “Papa, snap the shot, please.”  He did and here’s my Mediterranean pose, on an olive!

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As I flipped off the olive, Papa asked, “Solbit, please tell me what you’re doing.  I mean that I know what you’re doing, but tell me why?”

I explained, “I heard you say that Ainsley is sick with a flu and that Camden is in a funk and not happy.  So, I’m going to send them pictures of me doing dumb things to make them laugh.  You do know that laughter helps you to get healthy and laughter also helps you be happy, don’t you?”

Papa said, “Great idea, Solbit.  What’s your next pose?”  I hopped into place, and, without my having to tell him, Papa took this picture.

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“Papa, quick! Get the lemon juice out of my eyes! It burns.” He wiped my face off with a tissue and asked, “Any more or are you done?”

I said, “One more. This is my great finale!  Be ready to take my photo quickly, because the peanut butter won’t hold me in place very long.”  As Papa said, “The what?” I did a flip onto Nona’s cracker with peanut butter.  Nona demanded, “Solbit, get out of my peanut butter!”  Papa snapped the photo.

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I jumped off and walked right into the soda water bottle.  I couldn’t see where I was going because of the peanut butter in my face.  Which reminds me to tell you, “Please don’t try this at home.”

So, I hope these silly headstands help Ainsley to feel better and Camden to feel happier.  Gotta go take a shower.  Bye.

Remember, I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

March 2014

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Soblit’s Beach Riddle

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Dear Nicalai,

Hi. Papa and I were on a beach.  His behavior puzzled me. See if you can figure him out. I can’t.

I was hopping all over the place, enjoying the sun, the sand, the ocean surf. Papa was sitting on a big piece of drift wood. He just sat there doing nothing.  I went over to check on him and asked, “Papa, are you ill or tired? Why are you just sitting there doing nothing?”

Port William walk back to Oban  - part of the Rakiura track

Papa said the most unexpected thing. “Solbit, dear, I was not doing nothing.”  (Whenever he puts that “dear” word in, I know he’s a little unhappy with me.)  “Until you disturbed me, I was very absorbed in doing something.”

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I said, “Oh, no, you were not.  I watched you for a long time.  You sat there absolutely still.  That means you were doing nothing.”  Papa said, “Solbit, let me try to convince you that I was doing something.  OK?”  I said, “OK, Papa, make your case.”

“Solbit, you’ve learned your alphabet, and you’re beginning to learn to spell words, right?” he asked me.  “Now, I have a riddle for you.  What two different words in English have the very same six letters?”

After I had thought about it really hard, I said, “Papa, that’s a hard one. I don’t even think Nicalai would know that. Tell me the answer, please.”

Papa said, “Ok, I’m going to tell you.  The two words are:  SILENT and LISTEN!  They have the same six letters, but the letters are in different orders to spell different words. Now, you were right that I was silent, but I was doing something. I was silent so that I could listen.”

I said, “ Papa, nice try, but you didn’t convince me.  No one was talking to you.  No music was playing for you.  So, you didn’t have anything to listen to or to listen for.”

Papa smiled and replied, “Solbit, I know what you mean, but one day you’ll know what I mean.  When you are silent and if you patiently listen, you’ll learn to hear with your heart rather than with your ears. Listening with your heart is doing something very important, so being silent — calming yourself — is an important first step to being able to listen with your heart. Most of us need to practice silence, because being silent is hard to do.  That’s why I practice whenever I can, like being here on this beautiful beach looking out to that vast sea.

I said, “Papa, that’s just weird.” I told him that I had other things I wanted to practice,

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like jumping from rock to rock and surfing, and I left him to practice his silence, but, before I left him there on the drift wood, I said, “Papa, thank you for telling me about the two different words that share the same six letters.  That was really interesting.” I went on my way saying to myself, “Silent. Listen. Silent. Listen.”  I still don’t get it but maybe when I’m older I’ll figure out what he means.

Well, that’s my news for today.  Hope you’re having fun doing something.  I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 2014

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s On the Program of Nelson Opera in the Park!

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Hey, look at me.  I’m on the program at the Nelson (NZ) Opera in the Park.  How cool is that!

Opera in the Park - Nelson

Solbit on the Program of Nelson Opera in the Park

Well, I’m not IN the program the way you were thinking, but I am ON the program, aren’t I?  Papa and Nona have emphasized again and again, that I have to tell the truth all the time.  So, I told you the truth, and, yet, I misled (fooled) you, didn’t I?

Nona says this was ok to make a joke, but she sternly told me that I am not supposed to mislead anyone for other purposes, like taking advantage of someone.  I know what she means, don’t you?

We went to the Nelson Opera in the Park last night.  Nona and Papa had tickets.  The opera people said I could get in free, because I’d be the first ever dinosaur to come to their performance.  Isn’t that nice of them? Continue Reading

Solbit’s First Dinner Invitation

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Dear Nicalai,

I got my first dinner invitation!  You have probably had a lot of dinner invitations already, but this is a BIG first for me.

A nice lady named Sue invited Papa and Nona to supper at her house here in Nelson, NZ.  When she phoned Papa, he accepted and asked, “What may we bring?”  She said, “I’m English, so don’t bring anything, but please be sure to bring your giraffe traveling companion.  What’s her name?”  Papa said, “She’s named Solbit,” but he didn’t tell her that I’m not a giraffe but rather an Iquanodon.

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Sue gave me my first dinner invitation! (You know me. The other one is Sue.)

After he hung up, Papa went straight to his laptop, where I was already working on a new post for Tales of Plastic Jurassic.  He said that I’d have to get off my blog so that he could google “New Zealand etiquette.” Continue Reading

Solbit Discovers Another Name for New Zealand

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

We’re still in New Zealand.  I like it here.  The forests must be a lot like what my ancestors from the Jurassic period walked through and lived in.  Do you suppose that’s why I feel so comfortable here?  I wonder.

Solbit feels comfortable in the new Zealand forest.

Solbit feels comfortable in the new Zealand forest.

Papa and Nona continue to help me with my reading and writing.  They’ve pretty much turned this blog over to me.  Good thing too, because I’m learning so much by traveling that I have oodles and oodles of things to tell you.  Nona has to remind me to keep these emails to you short.  I could go on forever.

Today I want to tell you what I just learned about New Zealand. It has another name.  We were walking along the bay here in Nelson, and I saw this huge, beautiful mural.

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The mural reads “Ao-Tea-Roa.”

Nona especially loves art, so I pointed it out to her.  She was so busy trying to see a bird that she completely missed this huge mural!  She looked at the mural and then said, “Ao-tea-roa.”  I said, “What?”  Did you know that New Zealand had another name?  I’d be surprised, but, then, you are very smart, so maybe you already knew that New Zealand is also called Aotearoa.  I’m still trying to learn how to say Ao-tea-roa.  So are Nona and Papa.

Guess what Aotearoa means?  I’ll tell you:  “the land of the long white cloud.”  I guess it can have other meanings too, but, I can tell you that New Zealand certainly has plenty of long, white clouds.

hiking day from Horseshoe Bay to Oban

Solbit views New Zealand’s long, white clouds.

One more thing before I sign off.  You and I speak English, but Aotearoa is not an English word.  People here in Aotearoa speak English and another language, Maori.  We see a lot of signs here in both Maori and English.

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Here’s an example of an English & Maori sign.

Maori is also the name of a Polynesian people  who explored the Pacific Ocean in canoes, maybe a thousand or more years ago. Can you imagine crossing a big ocean on canoes?  Wow, they had courage.  Maori people are handsome and strong, too.  The ones I’ve met are very nice, but, look out! They enjoy making a scary face like this one.

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Photo of Post Card by Kiwi Vista that Papa bought for me to show you the scary face.

Nona just looked over my shoulder.  She said I’m going on too long and should close this email to you.

I’m your friend, Sparkle Orangie Lulu Breakit (Solbit for short).

Love,

Solbit

February 2014

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Meets The Cats of Queenstown

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Does your mom ever want you to do something that you don’t really want to do?  Does your mom ever think that you’re really cute in something that you don’t like?  Well, if so, then you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say, “Nona made me do it.”

Well, how could I refuse your grandmother, Nona?  I could tell that she had her heart set on me doing this:

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Yeah, she said, “Oh, Solbit, go make friends with those cats.  You’ll have a great time.”  We had just gotten to Queenstown (NZ).  All I wanted to do was go meet the Queen.  Oh, no, Nona insisted that I go to the Crafts Market by Queenstown Bay to meet all these cats. (Turns out, the Queen doesn’t live in Queenstown.  Go figure.) Continue Reading