Excerpted from Lucy Rose: Big on Plans by Katy Kelly; illustrated by Adam Rex Copyright © 2005 by Katy Kelly. Excerpted by permission of Yearling, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
92 is a lot of days. That is how many we have from the end of 3rd grade which was yesterday until the beginning of 4th grade which is on September 1. I know it is 92 days because I counted them on my Shiralee's Beauty Spot calendar. My grandmother who is named Glamma and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sent it to me in the mail in a big brown envelope that said Lucy Rose Reilly, Queen of Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C., and also had sparkling rose stickers on it. Anybody who is not an absolute infant could tell that I am not a queen, but Glamma likes to act royally and so do I. She got the calendar for free because Shiralee is her sister and also the owner of the Beauty Spot. It came with a card that said: "Dear Lucy Rose, Put your plans on this. Love, Glam. P.S. I already marked one V.I.D. That means Very Important Date."
I wrote a thank-you note that instant because my other grandmother, that is also named Lucy Rose only I call her Madam, says that whenever I get a present I have to write a letter right away that very day if I'm going to have any manners at all. I pay attention to that recommendation because Madam is one who knows an extremely lot about living plus she is the writer of a newspaper column that tells people what to do if they have the kind of kids who won't behave.
Here's what I said: "Dear Glamma. Thank you! I needed a calendar like mad because one thing I am big on is plans even though at this minute I only have 3. Love, Lucy Rose."
One of those plans is to write down what happens in my almost never boring life in this journal that my grandfather who is called Pop gave me for an end-of-school present which I seriously needed because I already filled up the 2 books he gave me last year. When I got this one I said, "Yippee-yi-yo, cowgirl! This book is a beaut."
And it is because it has a swirl design that's the same as on my cowgirl boots. Plus it's red and they are too.
Here is what Pop said to me: "A beaut for a beaut."
My second plan is to go to Parks & Rec with my greatest friend who is Jonique McBee, and make a lanyard key chain out of Gimp for my mom's birthday that's on July 13 while Jonique makes a pot holder out of stretchy circle things for her mother only she is making hers just for love because Mrs. McBee's birthday doesn't come until January. I do not want to make a pot holder because I have done it before and most of the time just when you are getting finished with the weaving, it pops off of the pokey plastic thing and you can't get it back on no matter what you try. Plus I have never seen one of those pot holders that is not ugly but I am not telling that to Jonique because that would be rude which is one thing I am not.
I wrote PARKS & REC OPENS on the square of Monday, June the 8th, which is the Beauty Spot month for getting Carefree Hair which I already have. July is for Permanent Curls which are another thing I got automatically when I was born. August is when you're supposed to Get Romantic Hair, which I don't have and don't want. It's also where I found giant letters that say: "LUCY ROSE'S 9th BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE WITH DAD!"
That is my top V.I.D. for the whole summer.
Jonique and I are feeling desperate for it to be June 8. For now, we are 2 girls waiting, mostly at my grandparents' house. I spend a lot of my days and some of my nights at Madam and Pop's because it's 3 blocks away from my house and because my mom has to go to her job which is being an artist at a TV station and because I can't stay with my dad on account of he lives in Ann Arbor, which is where I lived before we got a separation last summer. Staying at Madam and Pop's house is A-OK because it's usually a pretty hilarious place to be.
My mom, who has the name of Lily, agrees with that because she lived there for her whole childhood with her sisters and brother who are all grown-ups now and live far away. My Aunt Marguerite lives so far away her house is in Japan.
Once I asked Pop, "Are you and Madam rich?"
And he said, "Rich in kids."
"My mom and dad are not because I'm the only one they've got," I said.
One extremely excellent thing about my grandparents' house is that there are lots of rooms plus lots of porches and Pop thinks it's fine for kids to climb out the bathroom window and walk across the breezeway roof to pick apricots which is our third big plan once they are ripe. My mom says she gets queasy thinking about it but Pop says not one body has fallen yet and Madam says she needs the apricots.
Another thing about their house is it's old like you can't believe. The ceilings are made of metal called tin that have patterns on them. In my room on my tin ceiling there is a big fan that makes it very breezy and refreshing. My regular room has red walls and a pink dotty bedspread and a mirror that I love like anything that is covered with jewels that are fake but look real and I made it with my mom and not from a kit, either.
The only not-so-hot thing about staying at my grandparents' is that Madam does not believe in cable TV even if it's the kind that is appropriate for kids and she does believe in health so she is big on soybean foods which are not the best tasting but she is also big on desserts which is pleasing to me and to Jonique.
From the Hardcover edition.