Read Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04 Online

Authors: Lucy Rose: Working Myself to Pieces,Bits

Tags: #Washington (D.C.), #Social Issues, #Family, #Diaries, #Juvenile Fiction, #Family Life, #Girls & Women, #People & Places, #General, #United States, #Washington (D.C), #Family & Relationships, #Marriage & Divorce, #Bakeries, #Interpersonal Relations, #Children's Stories, #Death; Grief; Bereavement, #Families, #Death & Dying

Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04 (4 page)

BOOK: Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04
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“Mr. Nathaniel says the bakery needs more work and more money than he thought,” Jonique said.

“How much more?” I asked.

“Tons,” she said.

“Does that count buying spoons and butter and those waxy paper squares that bakers need so they don't get fingerprints on the donuts?” I asked.

“I don't know,” Jonique said. “My dad's trying to figure out how to make things cheaper.”

January 26

For the whole time that Pierra Kempner was reporting on Wisconsin, the cheese state, Ashley did nothing but draw palm trees on her notebook, which I call showing off and Jonique agrees.

January 27

The Inspector gave Hank and Chester a sticker for doing a great job on the electricity. It says Passed and it's taped on the front window so everybody that goes by can see it and say, “Congratulations!”

January 28

I called my dad and said, “Yippee-yi-yo, cowgirl! I'm the writer of Paper of the Week!”

“What's it about?” my dad wanted to know.

“My friend Mrs. Hennessy,” I said.

Then he sang “You are the Champion of the World” to me.

“That song gives me esteem,” I said.

“That's why I sing it,” he said.

Pop and Madam and my mom and Gumbo took me for a nighttime celebration walk around the Supreme Court and I told them that my paper is hanging on the bulletin board by the principal's office, which is the absolute best place a paper can be. Then we stopped off at Roland's Market and I got a Tootsie Roll for a present and Pop told the cash register lady, “If you're looking for something great to read, you might want to drop by my granddaughter's school and check out the main bulletin board.”

She said she'd keep that in her mind.

That made me feel so delightful that I was beaming in my face for the whole rest of the walk and without even knowing what I was thinking I blurted out, “I'm actually a smidge sorry that Ashley couldn't do her Hawaii report.”

“Why couldn't she?” my mom asked.

“On account of having stage fright,” I said. “Which is odd to me since she is one who loves to be the star.”

“Yes, she is,” Pop said.

“I am another one,” I said.

January 29

Now that the Divas' tin ceiling is painted white, Pop calls it “A thing of beauty and a joy to behold.”

“That's true,” I said. “If I was the one to pick, I would have painted it red and gold.”

“I'll bet the ladies never thought of that,” Pop said.

January 30

When Jonique answered the phone I yelled, “I am having the brain storm of the century,” so loud that if a frail-feeling person heard, their legs would most likely start collapsing on the spot.

Jonique rode her scooter through a storm of wild rain and I was waiting right by the door with my White Owl box that Eddie at Grubb's drugstore gave me because otherwise it was going to be trash.

After I showed her my Michigan nickel that's collectable and my golden ring from Glamma, I said, “This is the money I was saving in case I ever need to buy a tuba, which I was thinking might be better to play than the cello I already do play.”

“You've got $9?” Jonique asked me.

“Yes,” I said. “Every Christmas Madam gives me $1 for every year old I am. This year, I'm giving it to the Divas to pay for the bakery.”

“Too bad you're not 67,” Jonique said.

“That's for sure,” I said.

“What about your tuba?” Jonique asked me.

“That was just a fad I was having,” I said.

We zippered the dollars in her raincoat pocket for safety and scooted ourselves to the McBees'. When we got there my feet were absolutely drowning inside my cowgirl boots.

Jonique's bank, which looks like a piñata only smaller because it would take too much money to fill a real one, had $8.72 in it that Jonique was saving up to buy the sparkling purple 2-wheeler she goes moony over in the window at Capitol Hill Bikes. The bike, I mean. Jonique is not one for making a display of herself in store windows.

“Let's go give it to the Divas,” Jonique said.

But I said: “Let's wait and do jobs for pay so we can surprise them with a huge pile of money.”

Then we practiced bouncing until Aunt Frankie said cut it out before we crashed through the ceiling.

FEBRUARY

February 1

I was sliding around on my stomach under my bed doing a search for my spotted sock and I got ANOTHER smartie idea.

I told my mom while we were cooking French toast and here's what she said: “Count me in!”

After we ate I called Pop and Madam and I said: “My original thinking is going to save the day.”

“I knew it would,” Pop said. “How?”

I gave them their jobs.

“We're delighted to be a part of your plan,” Madam said.

At school I told Mrs. Timony, “Let's get to work because I am feeling brilliant like you can't believe.”

February 2

After I wrote my homework paragraph about my delightful life, Madam and Pop and my mom and I ate Senate Navy Bean Soup, which is what they feed Senators every single day and if I ever got elected, the 1st thing I'd do is vote for a new food. But tonight, I was in such a rush to get to the McBees' that I drank that soup in 13 of my quietest slurps. Madam feels very appalled by the loud kind.

Since I was the one that thought up the idea, I got to be the one to say, “Divas, I have an announcement.”

“Let's hear it,” Mrs. McBee said.

“It's actually a plan and it has lots of parts and lots of people and one is my mom because she can be the artist who paints Baking Divas on your awning. For free, because this plan is a money-saving one,” I said.

Mrs. McBee started to talk but my mom interrupted, which I have to say is against the rule in our family but she made an exception and said, “Please, let me do this, Lola.”

Pop said, “I'm the master of caulk and spackle.”

“Jonique and I can do everything,” I said.

“Except sawing,” Jonique said.

“And electric drilling,” I said. “Madam isn't much of a driller either but she is the best at bargains.”

“I love an auction,” Madam said. “I'll go with you. We'll buy a lot of equipment for a little money.”

“What's an auction?” Jonique asked Madam.

“They're the same as sales,” I said. “Only it's like a contest because instead of having prices, people hold up number signs and the last one waving is the winner because they will pay the most. It's hard to keep up with because the person in charge that's called Auctioneer talks the whole time and it sounds like, ‘Eye-gut-1-do-eye-ear-2-4-7-soul.'”

“You're good at auctions?” Jonique asked Madam.

“Very,” Madam said. “Because I learned from my mistakes.”

“Once she was trying to get 1 chandelier and she accidentally bought 6,” I said. “The best one is made of nothing but pink crystals that swoop.”

Mrs. McBee stood up. “I'm lucky to have such dear, kind, loyal friends and you're right, this project is so much harder than we imagined,” she said. “But we can't let you do our work.”

“Yes you can,” I said. “When a person has a dream their friends should help.”

“I think that's right, Lola,” Mr. McBee said.

“I know that's right,” Aunt Frankie said.

Mrs. McBee let out her breath for the longest time and then she said, “Thank you.”

“Now you have all the helpers you need plus 2 Junior Divas,” I said.

“We've always had 2 Junior Divas,” Mrs. McBee said.

For some reason that made the grown-ups laugh like they were nuts.

February 3

I told my Save the Day Plans to Melonhead on our walk to school. Here's what he did: Turned around and ran top-speed to my grandparents' and pulled on their absolutely ancient doorbell until Pop answered.

“You said I'm the man to have in a tight spot,” Melonhead said in a shaking mad voice.

“You are that man,” Pop said.

“You said I'm brilliant at figuring out new ways to use old toilet parts,” Melonhead said.

“It's a rare and wonderful talent,” Pop said.

“And you said that if you ever needed to clean your chimney by dangling a small boy upside down from the roof that I'm the small boy you would pick to dangle.”

“Absolutely,” Pop said.

“Then how come I'm not your assistant for fixing the Divas' bakery?” Melonhead asked him.

“You are my assistant,” Pop said. “That's automatic. I wouldn't take the job, otherwise.”

“Oh,” Melonhead said. “That's good because I have always wanted to spackle.”

“You will,” Pop said.

Then Pop drove us to school so we wouldn't be late. He was still wearing his pajamas.

February 4

On the walk home from school Melonhead said, “Did you think up a moneymaking scheme yet?

“No,” I said. “It's hard to manage 2 Save the Day Plans at one time, plus school and cello playing. Do you have ideas?”

“You could go on a game show,” he said.

“I think the shows that give money for prizes only let grown-ups on,” I said. “Which isn't fair since they're the ones with the jobs and kids are not.”

“We can start a business, like the Divas,” Jonique said.

“Brilliantine, my queen!” I said. “Only ours won't be the kind that makes you have to buy a plumbing store.”

“We can sell hot chocolate,” Jonique said.

That's what we're doing on Saturday and it's a good thing too because that air-conditioning Mr. Nathaniel ordered is completely expensive.

February 5 After School

Pop was typing away in his office when we got to his and Madam's house. Instead of saying, “Hi,” he said: “I've got to interview a man about an emu.”

“E-moo?” Jonique asked.

“It's a big, rather unattractive bird,” Pop said. “This man has a farm full.”

Why I do not know.

“Ask him if emus have puny brains,” I said.

“Okay,” Pop said. “I will.”

“Good,” I told him. “Because according to Melonhead, an ostrich's eyeball is actually bigger than its brain. And emus could be that same situation.”

“That's news I can use,” Pop said and he got right to work asking questions because his magazine editors want that emu story pronto by Monday. Jonique and I went off to make a search of the kitchen cabinets.

“Don't tell that I walked on the counter in my socks,” Jonique said.

Mrs. McBee is big on acting sanitary and having hygiene, which means ultra-clean and completely against germs, only hygiene is for people and sanitary is for things. I hope 1 day I meet somebody named Jean so I can say, “Hi, Jean,” every time I see her.

“Here's quinoa grains that Madam says are just the thing for Pop's health and Pop says are just the thing for making paste,” I said.

“What are kippers?” Jonique asked.

“Fish that are brown and taste exactly like salt,” I said.

“P-U,” she said and put that can back.

“Very P-U,” I said. “But Pop fancies those fish.”

Hannah says that in England fancy means the same as like so lately Jonique and I have been fancying things like mad.

“Here's cocoa!” Jonique said, waving a box. “It's called Dutch and has a kid with a 2-pointed hat.”

We made a pact to never wear a hat like that in this lifetime. Then we went to the basement where Madam keeps supplies in case she has to have a big party with no warning whatsoever, which is a thing that happens a lot because she's from Louisiana and that is a state full of celebrators.

“Here's a pack of 100 cups,” Jonique said.

“Good,” I said. “Cocoa is a popular drink.”

February 6

To look good for selling, I wore my sweater that says Knitted in China on its neck and my pink jeans and I tied my bandana around my head for fashion. Then I told Jonique the problem: “Pop drank the milk and all that's left is soy, which I'd say would make ruins of cocoa.”

“No doubt,” Jonique said. “The bad thing is we'll have to buy real milk with our saved money.”

The good thing was Joon at Johnny and Joon's grocery gave us a 10-cent discount. “We small business owners have to help each other,” Joon said.

To pay back the favor, we waited until a lady was coming and I said in my loudest voice, “This is 1 SANITARY store and the owners are absolutely LOADED with HYGIENE.”

That remark was so pleasing for Joon that her face turned red.

Halfway back it started snowing like a blizzard so we had to cancel cocoa and watch the movie of
My Fair Lady
with Pop who was taking a break from the emus on account of my mom was at work and Madam and Mrs. McBee were still at the auction.

P.S. Here's what we can't believe: Milk costs more than soda.

The same night at 8:50 in the PM

When Madam and Mrs. McBee got back they were feeling too much excitement. “We won some and we lost some,” Mrs. McBee told us. “But at the end of the day the Baking Divas are the owners of a walk-in refrigerator, a 40-quart mixer, an ice machine, 6 baker's racks, a huge oven, 27 pans, and a dozen wrought iron tables with chairs.”

“All together it only cost a little more than 1 new walk-in fridge,” Madam said. She had the look that's called triumph and victory.

Then Mrs. McBee said: “We'd better get working because everything arrives in 5 weeks.”

Here's what I think: Jonique and I better get selling because they could go broke with all this cheap buying.

February 7

The 1st thing we did was drag the little table out of the morning room and put it on the sidewalk in front of Madam and Pop's house.

“Is this okay?” Jonique asked me.

“Don't you worry,” I said. “Madam told me this table is old and anybody can see it's worn out.”

“Then let's cook cocoa,” she said.

We poured our milk in Madam's pitcher that's made of green glass. “When the microwave dings, I'll holler for Pop to get it out because that's the rule,” I said.

That's when Pop said: “What are you up to?”

“Selling cocoa to make money,” I said.

“That's using the old noodle,” he said.

To him, noodle is the same as brain.

Then he said, “Madam's in Annapolis giving a speech to the Young Mothers so I'm the only grown-up around and I'm up to my ears in emus. Here are my instructions: Make money. Have fun. Come in when you're cold.”

“You make money and have fun writing,” Jonique said.

After he left us she asked me, “How much cocoa should I put in?”

“I'd say ½ a can,” I told her.

I stirred until the lumps disappeared and Jonique went outside and set up cups and used up Pop's Duck Tape sticking our Cocoa $1 sign to the table.

Then I picked up the pitcher and shouted to Pop, “See you later, my old noodle!”

Old noodle made me think of old poodle so I yelled “Gumbo,” and he came skittering on his toenails. I wrapped Pop's scarf around his middle for warmth and we went outside to wait for customers.

“Step right up! Get your red hot cocoa!” I yelled and Mrs. Deutsch did step right up.

After she left, I said, “Maybe our cocoa is too hot.”

Jonique was agreeing with that. “I'd say you're right because Mrs. Deutsch made that too-hot face.”

To fix it I scooped some snow off the fence and dropped it in the pitcher.

Then we saw Ed Gold balancing himself on sidewalk ice, so I hollered, “I see you're wearing your ear muffins.” I always say that joke to him in the winter.

“I NEED hot chocolate,” Ed called back.

“Coming right up,” Jonique said.

“I had no idea moneymaking is such a snap,” I whispered to Jonique after Ed left.

He got to the far corner and turned around to take a look at us. We waved our arms like mad to show customer appreciation. Ed gave us a wave back and put his cup in the trash. He is not one who litters.

“He drank that cup up in a second,” Jonique said.

Then we had a business boom. Mrs. Jensen ordered through her car window and our service was so speedy that no cars honked and Mr. Lee loved our cocoa so much he gave us the compliment of saying, “I'm going to take it home to share with my wife.”

“We have a flair for raking it in,” I said.

“No doubt,” Jonique said.

Then we had the worst customer. Ashley clomped up, making snow squish with her real suede boots, and she gave me $5 and said, “I'll buy one.”

It was hard to think of what to do because I still felt aggravation with that girl but I remembered that Glamma's sister named Shiralee, who is the owner of the Beauty Spot Hair Emporium, made up a motto and it is: “The customer is always right.”

So to act professional, I gave Ashley $4 for change and I said, “Thank you. Please come again.”

“Okay,” Ashley said.

Then she took a gulp and SPIT IT OUT in a giant spray that made brown dots all over the snow. “This is the most DISGUSTING thing I ever drank,” she screamed. “You 2 tricked me!”

BOOK: Katy Kelly_Lucy Rose 04
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