See You Later, Alligator

Last January my son Eli and cousin Nancy were visiting.  Bea had just returned to school, and we missed her already. A tradition at our house is for the remaining sibling to leave a surprise for the other to come home to.  Nancy and Eli, both artists, did their homework.

Then, like the Shoemaker’s elves…

 …they put that talent to work.

Not without hijinks.  Anticipating Bea’s reaction was part of the fun.

It was a marvel to behold the masters at work.

Ah, the joy of creation!

Down to the last detail.

 Bea visited earlier this week, and was so impressed that we think Frida might be sticking around for awhile.  Eli will need to think of a new way to surprise his sister.

I’m sure he’ll come up with something.

All images and words ©2016Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant.


  1. Meg says:

    Love this! Great title. Great sequence. What fun! Meg

    1. Thanks, Meg. It’s like a breath of spring and a kick in the pants when the kids come home to visit!

  2. I dressed as Frida for halloween last year. I used a Mustash for the eyebrow. Creative son 🙂

    1. How fun! The mustache-eyebrow is a great idea which I will file away for future reference! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Tish Farrell says:

    Recreated Frida is such a treat. But as for the alligator…:)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Tish!

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Brilliant fun 🙂

    1. Thank you, Gilly!

  5. ybawany says:

    What an interesting take on this week’s theme. I love the photo with the aligator; it makes me want to see more of your work.

    Following you now. Have a great day! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I enjoyed my trip over to your blog too, and look forward to seeing more of your posts.

  6. What fun and what a lovely tradition between the 2 siblings.

    1. It keeps things hopping around here. Thanks for the visit, Lisa.

  7. scillagrace says:

    Frida seems like a fitting addition to your home. Not sure about the alligator… 🙂 Love your creative family!

    1. Dear Priscilla,
      An appropriate addition, as Eli was living in Mexico and had been to Frida’s house recently. (The alligator was just a friend in passing–we’d met briefly in Cuba.)
      Thanks for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts!

  8. raptekar says:

    Surprise! Surprise!! Dress me up. Dress me down.

    1. Hi Richard,
      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. What an innovative son! Such fun too. I’m packing a bag and coming to your house for a visit. I promise I’m be as quiet as a sleeping fly on the wall (do they sleep?). Your family are always up to something entertaining. Bless you all. 🙂
    Nice to see you, Naomi. All is well? (( ❤ ))

    1. Hi Tess,
      I’m afraid it gets awfully quiet around here when the kids are gone, but you and could think of something fun to do! Speaking of which, I just popped over to your site, and see that you have been having all kinds of adventures! All is well, thanks. We’re getting to send both kids to Mongolia for ten months, and I have mixed emotions about that, but am proud of them for being so courageous and adventurous. They’re getting their rabies, typhoid, and hepatitis vaccines, and I just took Bea shopping for some layers that will keep her warm in forty below zero. I hope you’ve been well, Tess. Clearly you have been keeping busy! Am looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

      1. You are always so kind and thoughtful, Naomi. Thank you.
        Your kids are lucky to have these wonderful adventures. What priceless adventures they have experienced and expanded their minds. Sigh. Still, a mother’s heart has mixed emotions. Goes with the territory. ❤ ❤ ❤

      2. So true, Tess. And that territory stretches all the way to Mongolia! Thanks so much for your very kind thoughts. SO good to hear from you.

  10. So cute. What a great tradition!

    1. Thank you, Suzanne! When the furnace guy saw our mannequin in the basement and asked to buy it, we decided we should be putting her to better use. I hope you and the guys are well!

  11. What fun, Naomi! I love it when siblings get along so well.


    1. Thanks, Janet. After health and happiness, I wished them to be best friends, and that is a wish that has come true. Thanks for the visit. I hope you are well!

      1. I’m doing very well, Naomi, and hope the same for you. Enjoyed a beautiful day today and am making a bit of progress in cleaning and decluttering as well as getting ready for a few weeks in France at the beginning of July.

      2. Ooo, France! That sounds great. So does decluttering. I would like to do both those things! Where in France are you going? Have a lovely trip, Janet!

    1. Thank you, Michael!

  12. Mary says:

    Well you know, alligators and crocodiles are the creatures that will be the most likely to survive a global or atomic disaster (and my personal though unverified belief is that blackberry bushes will as well), Eli could have picked a less lasting gift! best to you and yours, Mary

    1. HI Mary,
      This little guy is someone we met in passing Cuba, and I expect Bea would rather be surprised by a blackberry pie! Thanks for dropping by. All the best to you and yours–SO good to spend time with you and the Story Sisters last weekend!

  13. What a fabulous Frida. So creative. But a crocodile? Really? That *would* be a surprise.

    1. Actually, that was just a little fellow we met down in Cuba. Thanks for stopping by, Alison. I hope you are both well!

  14. Marsha says:

    As always, a great story. I’m always impressed with the creativity and fun in your family. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Marsha. We do have a lot of fun. I stopped by your blog today, and it was good to catch up. You’ve been busy! Best of luck.

      1. Marsha says:

        Yes, very busy! You have been busy as well. I’m always amazed at how much effort your family puts into celebrations. So different than mine. We almost glossed over everything except for eating. Thanks for visiting. Wishing you the very best. Keep in touch! 🙂

  15. That bit of artwork is an absolute hoot! You and your family think up such unique ways of celebrating special occasions.

    1. We’re never bored! Thanks for the visit, Sarah. I really enjoyed what I read on your blog about your publication of your novel Dessication, and look forward to learning about how to manage it from there.

  16. Maureen Kay says:

    Your family life is so full of fun and warmth–how delightful!

  17. Hi Maureen,
    We do have a lot of fun. I had fun catching up with your blog. Hope you are well.

  18. I am always, without fail completely entertained by your posts. They make me smile. Thank you.

    1. Dear Lesley, you are so kind. Thank you for stopping by and making ME smile!

  19. pattisj says:

    Haha! That last critter might not be the best idea…

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