The Nanny Diary

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I had to recover her body. Poor thing was falling apart (I can relate!). I’m going to make a little black and white maid’s uniform for her.

Look at that face. How could you not love that face?! I can hear my sister and probably many of your own voices in my head (a nice break from the usual noise) saying, “Oh. Hmm…yes, of course, Ruth. That doll is very…nice.”

I found this little woman with her wooden hands and her chipped black boots in a baggie on a random shelf in the place I affectionately call “The Crazy Lady’s Store.” For $2!

“Help! Can’t breeve!” she said.

The tone of our relationship was instant. “Hmm?” I replied, looking through the books and knick-knacks on the shelf beside her.

“Can’t breeve!” she called out again.

“Well, yes. But you’re $2! And it’s not even half price day!”


Her hair is a sight. And her head beneath is a funny shape. But those eyes! Those expressive brows! Love.

“Please!” she cried.

“Well, all right.”

In truth, my hands were nearly shaking with excitement. A 100 plus (probably closer to 150) year old glass-eyed, papier-mache-headed doll, and nobody had snatched her up already? That only happens to other people! In books!

I nonchalantly paid and carried her along with my other purchases in a large paper sack out to the car. Once inside with the door closed I reached into the bag where she lay amongst the vintage fabric scraps and other treasures I’d found, and I finally opened her little baggie.

“Thank you,” she said, her large eyes squinting in the sunlight as she looked around.

“You’re quite welcome,” I replied. “But if you’re going to come live with me, you’ll have to earn your keep.”

“Of course! Of course I will!”


This is the house pre-Gertie while it was still under construction (from an old house. Some of the walls were made of cardboard and needed to be replaced, along with the roof). There were only the triplets then. See that usurper in the bedroom above, as far away from the triplets as possible? That was one of the previous nannies. There were several, poor things.

And she has. She’s kept up her end of the bargain and I’ve no complaints, because I certainly couldn’t do what she does. Remember those triplets from yesterday? Well, they aren’t the half of it! She is nanny to eight little orphans. And counting! And she does it all in this two bedroom crooked little dollhouse. Not only that, she does it with love.


Gertie’s pride and joy (next to her charges, of course), the kitchen. Best tip of the day – from Casey’s minis, I’m sure: clear fingernail polish on sheet plastic makes GREAT wavy glass windows. You HAVE to have wavy glass!




I’ve written countless stories about her and I could write countless more. Alas, she was cut from the first book in the series due to space, but there is no way I could keep her and her charges out entirely! Not possible! Gertie – for that is her name, she told me – has a very important and pivotal role to play in the books to come.

Bless her heart.

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4 Commentsto The Nanny Diary

  1. Dennis Agle says:

    What a sweet story with real pathos and shows a great compassion for the less than perfect among us. Keep up the good work, Ruth!

  2. Jane says:

    Gertie’s eyes are huge! She must have seen a lot in her 100 plus years.

    • Ruth says:

      She has! You wouldn’t believe her tales! Although I suspect she’s making a lot of it up…

      I cleaned-ish my sewing room! Thankee for the advice!