dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis

Driving over the bridge this afternoon the kids were both immersed in books:  Nels advancing his reading fluency by using a story his sister wrote, illustrated, and bound, and Sophie poring through a favorite of hers. A few minutes later we shared a bento box for lunch and while I sipped very sweet, hot tea and consumed a chapter of my latest read (here in HQX we Hogabooms use the library tons, I mean tons) Sophie asked to go next door to the Dollar Tree. I used this opportunity to suggest she finish her bowl of egg-drop soup (she’s barely been eating lately) and after she left having a companionable, quiet lunch with my Boy.  Sophie returned fifteen minutes later, having taken careful inventory of the store and purchased a clever addition for her father’s intended Halloween costume (hint, he may be sexy but he is kind of a fantasy dork).

It’s the little things that make you laugh.  Or more to the point, my kids make me laugh all the time for their random, crazy shit they get up to.  Like just today I’d only peripherally noticed Nels clambering up on our dresser and messing about with the one piece of our “art” in this house – a 2.5″ by 3″ portrait of Jesus, looking relatively put-out and sad.  I told Nels not to remove it from its spot.  He apparently ignored my suggestion, because just now putting away a spool of thread in my sewing closet I found Nels’ little gallery on a small wall in the house.  Apparently he’d been scavenging several worthy items for this display and hung them in a small, discrete corner of the living room: the aforementioned Son of God portrait, 2008’s “school picture” of the two kids (they hadn’t been in “school”, of course), a paper seahorse Sophie yesterday drew, colored, and cut out, a packet of Addition flash cards, and a sinister drawing, also by Sophie (“Ah, flowers!” a feline-looking girl says, her smiling face buried deep within a bouquet; behind her, coming in off the right-side of the paper, a multi-clawed, grinning monster is only a few inches away from grasping the unsuspecting lass).

We’ve been requiring more chores of the children; Sophie has now been upgraded to doing all our family laundry.  I do mean every bit of it, including folding and putting away.  It’s kind of weird that I no longer have to do this chore – up until now a staple of my day.  Nels helps Ralph cook – when Ralph cooks, which isn’t too often – but also every night the two males do the dinner cleanup together.  As a result of our efforts, tonight by 8:30 PM (an early hour for we night-owls) we had all our household chores done.  I put on some Nat King Cole, Sophie requisitioned my help in handmaking two felt sleep masks (for her and her grandmother’s use on their So.-Cal.-to-WA roadtrip in October), Nels invested some time in Tux Paint, and Ralph worked on promotional efforts for the film we’re showing this week in town.

Yesterday I finished Sophie’s Halloween costume; today I start on yet another. Yes, the Hogabooms love to geek out on Halloween.

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