The kids went back to school, and I’m busy sobbing in my stationery, while my stay-at-home turkey is busy making herself at home with all the big kid toys and books. I miss them tremendously, but also the summer was exhausting. Also the baby is getting significantly better naps now that there is no leaping off the stairs/small explosions/“quiet” snack making. Also I haven’t had such a productive week since…before the summer. So lots of big feelings. The kids are handling things fine.


On the first day, I sent both Caleb and Naomi with a little tin of pencils, which is all the magic I can offer them. I’m only half-joking about the magic because while they are just pencils, just graphite and wood and maybe a bit of rubber on the back end, there is something compelling about the possibilities within a pencil. Each pencil with its own personality and luck and graphite feel and world within, waiting to come out. Have I indeed become a bit unhinged? Is this what happens when you spend all your time talking to imaginary stationery elves, trying to convince them to allow you to join their ranks?



This happens to be a great time for pencils at the shop. The newest Blackwing Eras have such a classic look, which is exactly what we need for the start of a new school year, and we also just got in this fun new sharpener from Japan. I’ve been wondering if/when Caleb is going to get some homework, and so this will be gathering dust on Caleb’s desk until such a time, likely many years into the future. Possibly never.





In any case, it’s back to me and my small crew of cats + baby, and I return to spending my days negotiating with creatures who have opinions but no words. For years I’ve been meowing at Chicken (interestingly I have no inner call to communicate in this way with Tuna), and now baby Junia has also started meowing at him. With this additional meowing, Chicken’s displeasure has, unsurprisingly, correspondingly increased.


Here’s Chicken giving me his look that says my whiskers are long and I am handsome and this is my cross to bear and I wish to be outside.


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September 08, 2023 — Liz Chan



Megan said:

Liz, I meow at my cats (all three). Usually they meow back. I often wonder what I’m saying to them 😂

Simone Nieuwolt

Simone Nieuwolt said:

Chicken is so handsome and makes my day!


Hortense said:

Chicken is eloquent.

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