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We took a long weekend and went to visit friends at their place on the Upper Peninsula* of Michigan.

Oh, wait. Let me put up some pictures before I digress too far from what I am expecting to be my main point.










What? Who? Patrick? Oh yeah, he came too.


See him stalking through the woods there with two other boys? This was pretty much the only time I saw him all weekend. 

Caroline, meanwhile, was thoroughly spoiled by our host eleven year old who treated Caroline like her own personal Barbie; braiding her hair, painting her nails and letting her help bake a three-layer cake that they then frosted in pink.


I tried to tactfully broach the idea of an exchange (our fifth grader for our friends' fifth grader) but then Patrick and his gang of woodland thugs broke a ceiling light fixture while playing bunkbed football and somehow negotiations broke down. Pity. I could really use someone around the house who can braid hair.


She just looks so... shiny when she's kempt.

Anyway we went away for a few days and I learned how to play Mancala and Steve defended the cabin against a vicious grouse and there were old friends and wine and lots of dogs and a half dozen children and it was all lovely.

Inevitably someone asked me what I have been up to since last we all well met and I opened my mouth to reply and then I shut it again as I tried to formulate a response that did not involve the words "Patrick" or "Caroline" or "Edward" or "driving".

Here it is four days later and my mouth is still shut. 

You know the life-coaching-for-free exercise that asks: if time and money were no object what would you do with your life? And then you are supposed to take that answer and do it? Well if you were to ask me I would say I would like to write because I do. I do like to write. I like to tell stories and I like to write them down. And you know what I don't say? I don't say, "Well, thanks for asking, Marlene! Let's see. Anything? I could do anything at all? Gosh I guess if I had four hours free three days a week I would spend that time cleaning my kitchen. That's what I'd do!"

Something is obviously wrong with the way I structure my time.

PS I turned 41 yesterday. I continue to like my 40s and I see them as a time of unlimited opportunity... if only I could get the damned dishes put away first.

PPS HALLOWEEN! Patrick is a Minecraft Wither in a square head he crafted himself from the club-sized instant oatmeal box. He obviously has a narrow head. Edward is a SuperFast SuperStrong SuperAmazing Green Bay Packer Football Player of Power. Caroline is Tinkerbell's buddy, Silvermist. Originally she wanted to be Fawn, the animal fairy, since Caroline loves all the creatures great and otherwise but when I started talking about getting something in an autumnal brown fairy dress she was, all, hold the fairy up, and decided to be Rosetta. You know, the pink one. So I ordered it from Amazon. Ten minutes later she changed her mind. So I cancelled it. Then fifteen minutes after that she changed it back. So I re-ordered it. Then she changed her mind again so I cancelled it and then she said... well wait... maybe... and Amazon sent me a note saying that they had noted unusual account activity.

I bought the blue one.



Not Halloween. Just a Monday that Caroline decided she needed to Dress for dinner and arrive on horse(Patrick)back.



* I originally wrote penisula. Which I think makes more sense. I mean have you SEEN one?