"I want to marry somebody that is a farmer," Lucy says. She and Myra poke twisty pasta around their bowls.
"Yeah? Why is that?" I say. I stir a scoop of browned butter sauce into my noodles then smear another half scoop on top.
Lucy mumbles around pasta balled up in her cheeks.
"What?" I say.
She swallows. "'Cause I want to have food that is really yummy." She nods, "Food that I actually like." She squirrels two more tails of pasta onto her fork, pops them in her mouth. I slide three noodles on my fork parallel to the tines and savor the browned butter like frosting.
"What kind of food do you like that your farmer's gonna make you?" I say.
"Hmm." She nods her head side to side, chewing with each nod, then swallows. "What can you make out of milk?" she says. "I think you can make ice cream with milk." She leans over and pokes Myra's ribs. Myra giggles. "And you can make cheese," Lucy says. The girls dissolve into tag and tickles.
The remains of a headache still tingling at my shoulders, I let the bluster play out. I squeegie up browned butter pooled at the bottom of my bowl.
"So you want to marry farmer so you can have ice cream and cheese?" I say.
"Um hm." They quell the riot of chortles. "And milk," Lucy says. "And other stuff." She nods, follows Myra out of the corner of her eye.
"What other stuff?" I say.
"I want to have butter," she says, "but I can't remember what you make butter from." She taps her chin, grows her eyes big, seesaws her head. Myra copies, mimes the huge eyes. Lucy catches Myra's eye, and then it's a contest to make their eyes open bigger and bigger. They giggle and growl. Joey manhandles a fistful of pasta into his mouth and then copies Myra copying Lu. They guffaw and snicker, hee-haw and titter.
I grin. Farmer Girl finishes and slings dishes into the sink. She hauls the pot of leftover noodles in to the stove, replaces the trivets.
"Mom, I'm going downstairs so we can listen to the Princess and the Goblin," she calls ten minutes later, teeth brushed and jammies on.
Ice cream and cheese. Butter. Some farmer who grows ice cream and cheese and butter is going to be a very happy man someday.
5090. We set the sail of a new year with fresh schedules.
5091. I start playing a piano sonata by Scarlatti.
5092. Peter stops by to say hi. Uncle Peter, the hero.
5093. Libby hosts the weekly Tuesday gathering, the broil of children not withstanding.
5094. She lets me browse her literature library.
5095. Joey wakes early from his nap and interrupts our grammar lesson. "Me, me, ME," he shouts in the middle of class, hand raised on cue.
5096. "Mom, I'm actually drinking out of the olive," Myra says, "the JUICE out of the olive." She pinches the black bulb and sucks up the juice.
5097. I pin the layers of my pinwheel quilt and roll it up for sewing.
5098. Craig has a game night with his buddies.
5099. We finally take down the Christmas tree.
5100. Mom and I talk about how to please God.
5101. I come across pickled beets in the fridge and serve them at dinner. "Those are seriously GOOD," Lucy says.
5102. We receive a globe, the kind on a stand, waist high.
5103. We eat dinner on the farm, the afternoon: a nap, a football game, and round of Settlers of Catan.
5104. "I'm gonna clean stuff up," Myra says. "But I'm not gonna clean up the pot 'cause it's too heavy for me." Myra tries to do dishes.
5105. We go out for lunch with volunteers. The chef at the restaurant makes me a special meal with no msg.
5106. We settle in for week two of school in the new year.