Month: October 2016

It’s Halloween!

We carved some of our surprise pumpkins today.

Our pumpkins

We’d done our trick or treating on Friday, right after Lucy had her first day of crossing guard duty at school.

Lucy's Day as a Crossing Guard

She was so proud and excited to do it!

Our town offers trick or treat twice – once for businesses and once for residents to give out candy. We went for business trick or treat since we’d be missing the residential trick or treat for state marching band finals (where our band earned a superior rating – the best you can get!).

The kids in their costumes, take two

Lucy dressed as a butterfly.

Lucy the Butterfly

Lucy's colorful wings

Phoebe was a dragon.

Phoebe the Dragon

Julia was a Hogwart’s student. (She made her own wand.)

Julia the Ravenclaw

And Jackson was Spiderman.



(He was really into the posing.)

Does whatever a spider can

I’ve had a cold for more than two weeks, but let’s not let it ruin anything.

Another Friday, Another Cupcake, Another Cat

This morning I dropped a dragon and a butterfly off at elementary school with a bunch of these cupcakes.

Candy corn colored swirl cupcakes

(You may notice the icing is swirled with candy corn colors!)

Then I took my Ravenclaw to Hogwarts. Spiderman and I will be going trick or treating with them after school and before the last football game of the regular season.

We’ve also reached the end of the competitive marching band season. Tomorrow are the state marching band finals. The kids haven’t gone to most of Julia’s competitions because a) it’s expensive, b) they last all day, and c) you are required to be relatively still and quiet while the bands are performing (and we cannot do either of those things). Last weekend’s competition was close to home, so all the kids came along to see their sister perform. We made signs and I wanted to get a picture since they were so excited.

Band Signs

My usual method for photographing the kids is to just take a buttload of pictures. There’s usually at least one that looks alright. The great thing about this method is I also get some fun outtakes. Like the look on Bee’s face in these.

Phoebe's funny face

Phoebe's funny face, again

I love it.

Oh, and there’s someone you should meet. This is Dipper.


I know. Another one!?!?

Lucy and I spotted him on the way home from dance class last Saturday. He was very malnourished. You could see the bones in his spine, he was so skinny. He looked pretty rough around the neck – I’m not sure what happened to him there, but he was missing fur all around it. I was a bit worried the first day or two he was with us. His tummy was painfully bloated, he didn’t walk so well, and he didn’t do much more than sleep. But now, his belly is normal and he is happy and playful. He’s very tiny and adorable and loved so very much by all of us. Picasso has been mothering him and Mabel loves having a playmate.

Speaking of Mabel, here she is at the very moment of this writing.

Mabel on the printer

I don’t think she can get any sweeter.

It also rhymes with glabel. It also rhymes with schmabel.


Mabel in a basket


Are you on the table?

Mabel, Mabel Basket on the table


Mabel in a basket on the table

I am in the basket.

The Dab

How Julia reacted when the band qualified for State Marching Band Finals

It’s what the kids do when they win all the trophies at the Maysville Band-A-Palooza competition and qualify for State Marching Band Finals.

Julia and the band's trophies from Saturday's Band-A-Palooza competition in Maysville

The trophies are for:
Best Percussion
Best Auxiliary
Class B First Place
Class B/C Overall Marching
Class B/C Overall Music
Class B/C Grand Champion
They also tied with Northridge for Class B/C Overall General Effect.

They only thing they didn’t win was the ice cream eating contest.

Orange ya glad it’s Friday?

Today, I found out what happens when an American cheese slice goes through the dryer. It’s not good, not good at all.

This is Rico standing with some of my surprise pumpkins!

Rico the Nubbin and my surprise pumpkins

She has no tail. She used to, but she lost it over the summer. I’m not sure what happened, but she showed up one day with it nearly gone. (Sort of like Max.) I took her to the vet and they amputated it. I’ve started calling her Nubbin.

Today, I made three dozen cupcakes. They’re mostly for the marching band’s lunch at their competition tomorrow.

Trying to be orange icing cupcake

I wanted the icing to be orange but was out of my orange gel color, so I had to use regular food coloring. I wasn’t sure the color was bold enough, so I asked Lucy what she thought. She said, “It looks like it’s really trying to be orange.” At least it’s trying.

Gretchen Rubin said, “I can do anything I want, but I can’t do everything I want.”

“Oh, honey. Look at your fingernails. They’re filthy!” I say some variant of this to Lucy every day. It’s the first thing I said when I saw this picture.

Lucy holds a baby chick

Why? It’s true, her fingernails are filthy and she needs to learn to keep them clean. But why did I say this first and foremost to her? Look at her face, those incredible freckles, her perfectly pink cheeks, that thick hair, the long eyelashes, the gentleness with which she’s holding that precious baby chick. When I showed her the picture, her eyes lit up and her cheeks swelled with a smile. “Aw,” she cooed. “I love those baby chicks!” Then I spoke and she shrunk, her face like the sun being blocked by a cloud. I hate that I did that to her.

Her fingernails are hidden for this picture with the world’s cuddliest cat Mabel.

Lucy and cuddly cat Mabel

Full name: Mabel GET OFF THE TABLE! Mabel’s best quality? No matter what she’s doing, if you pick her up and hold her, she purrs like a motorboat and melts like cheese and she will let you hold her as long as you want. She never gets tired of being held. The worst thing about her are her farts. They’re like Satan’s breath. It amazes me that something so small and sweet could smell so terrible. You take the good, you take the bad. (You take them both and there you have The Facts of Life!)

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is coming up in November, which is also NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’ve thought about doing one or the other this year. I actually have a story idea (or two!) that I love, maybe not novel-worthy, but short story-ish? It might be nice to write them. But then a neighbor stopped by and my house was so messy I was embarrassed to invite them in and I had to stand in the doorway to chat, so maybe I should be cleaning instead of writing. I’d like to be a person who has a house clean enough that a surprise guest doesn’t faze her. I’d also like to write stories. The clean house is the practical goal. The writing is the dream. It would be lovely to do both.

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