“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.

Jack and I painted with brushes! We each started on our own paper and then he said, “Mom, let’s switch.” We swapped papers and continued painting. We did this a few times.

Our paint and swap pages.

We painted the moon over the water and the sun over the land.

I rolled up to school drop off with my van looking like this.

Driving Purple Poopmobile

We call it our one-eyed, one-horned driving purple poopmobile! It happens each fall that the birds start eating berries and hitting the van with purple bombs. I will wash it today and it will look like that again tomorrow, but people don’t know that and it mostly looks like I just don’t care! This is what happens when you park under a shady tree. I should clean out my garage and park there instead. It’s on my to-do list after clearing the stairway into the attic. I don’t really want to do either of those things. They are things that would make my life easier once I do them, but not so much easier that I’m all that motivated to get on it. There are so many other things I could do!

We have a six year old in the house again.

Phoebe is 6!

Happy Birthday to Bee!

Blowing out the candle

She’s still young enough to get away with running around in nothing but her underwear. The best thing she got for her a birthday? A hungry kitten she and her sister found. The kitten doesn’t belong to any of the neighbors and it’s beginning to look like she belongs to us.

Phoebe and her kitten

Kitten love

Phoebe named her Mabel.

Sweet Mabel

Adorable Mabel

She’s adorable and I can’t even try to pretend that I don’t already love her to pieces.

Julia participated in her first marching band competition over the weekend. When we shared with people that Julia was joining the marching band, more than five people said, “Oh, they win everything.” And they do. They did! Someone incredible made an awesome recap video.

Yes, that’s Julia licking the Best Percussion trophy at the 1:04 mark. She said it tasted like victory.

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