Happiness is being an aunt. Also, a book recommendation

I am getting some much-needed rest and rejuvenation with the help of some little girls in Florida. Recent conversations:

Codename Isis (aged 3) (in the living room, building a puzzle): Where is the other puzzle piece?
Codename Phoenix (aged 3) (thoughtfully): Science will solve this mystery.

Isis (in the park): How will we get these ants off the tree stump?
Phoenix (thoughtfully): A woodpecker will solve this mystery.

Isis and Phoenix (in my bed this morning): Kristin, Kristin, can we help you put your tooth protector in its case? (That’s the mouthguard I wear when I’m sleeping, being a tooth grinder. For some reason, of all my possessions, this is their favorite. It has fascinated them for years.)
Me: Of course!
Phoenix: It doesn’t fit on our teeth.
Isis: It only fits on big people teeth.
Me: Actually, the dentist made it so that it only fits on my teeth! It doesn’t fit on anyone else’s teeth in the world.
Isis (extremely grave): That’s sad.


Last night at the University of North Florida, Will Ludwigsen read stories from his new short story collection, In Search Of. From the cover copy: “A house inches eight hundred miles to confess its horrible crime. The last resident of a mental institution discovers he’s not alone. A middle-schooler performs an experiment to determine how much time we fit dreams.” I have never read a story by Will Ludwigsen that I didn’t love. Check out his new collection. Sorry for the lack of links – I’m writing this on my phone and it’s not cooperating!