Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tagged by Sabine!

7 Songs I'm Into Right Now...

Um... do I HAVE to name 7? LOL

What car do you want when you're older?

One of those cool electric cars they have in Europe.

Where do you want to live when you're older?

This one's fairly easy. Definitely London.

Where do you want to go to college?

Um... Harvard or Yale! No doubt!

How many siblings do you have?

Actually, mom has 1 still in her belly... due next month :-)

How many children do you want?

Zero. :-)

City girl or country girl?

Definitely city! Where I live right now is soooo sloooow.

Flying or driving?


Biking or swimming?

Biking -- I can't swim! Haha


Naah, not for me.

Books or movies?

Can't choose!

School or chores?

School, definitely school. I hate chores, but I'm a good student in school.

Inside or outside?

Inside, definitely. I'm allergic to pretty much everything, lol.

Wednesday or Sunday?

Sunday, definitely.

Friends or family?

Right now, friends. My family is too scattered right now.

Fried or scrambled eggs?

Definitely scrambled...

Big meal or something small?

Small stuff. I'm not a big eater. Of course, this is Louisiana, a place famous for food :-)

Movie or TV show?

I'm more of a movies person. I hate the crap that's on TV now, really.

Fave thing to do outside

Take walks and enjoy the rays :-)

Place to read a good book

On my bed

Favorite veggie?

Sweet peas

Where do you want to live when you graduate?

Either back home in Lancaster, PA -- or London. ;-)

What is your favorite flower?


Do you like writing?

Well, duh :-P

What is your favorite month?

September -- my birthday and the weather is usually nice :-)

Do you like adventure?

Very much!

Do you collect anything?

If I collect anything it would be books. I love to read but unfortunately haven't had much time to do it!

Do your grandparents live near you?

Nope, they're all dead.

Are you bored?


I tag


and whoever else hasn't been tagged yet

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meet Adam

Greetings from snowy Colorado!
This little guy is my cousin Adam Fleming, Nicki's now 10 year old brother. Isn't he a cutie? I told Nicki she'd better watch him, the girls are gonna start calling at any moment. ;-)
She says she's aware of it, lol. Too aware. "It's started already," Nicki told me while we were unwrapping gifts. Adam got a Wii for Christmas and we've all been playing it while there's like 2 feet of snow on the ground.
Meanwhile, back in Louisiana Harriet told me Vee returned from her Christmas trip yesterday. Harriet herself is still at her aunt's house for the holiday. The cool thing about the internet and email is we can all still keep in touch while we're separated.
It'll take me awhile to slowly keep up with y'all's holiday blogs so be patient! :D Bye now!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Surprises

As I've said before in this space, yesterday was the big holiday pageant at Adams. Meredith played Clara in the Adams production of the Nutcracker ballet, a production I pretty much tried to stay awake through, even though I was the one mostly responsible for putting it together. It was mostly her and a bunch of 8th graders.
I wore my Sapphire Party dress because I can't find my Silver Belle dress (Vee says she has no idea where it is) and Harriet looked dazzling in the Butterfly Brocade outfit.
We did get a huge surprise though, at the pageant.

"Hey guys!" I heard someone call. Harriet and I looked over and it was Hilary! As most of you know, she's been living with her dad in California and attending private school there. I have to say, she looks great. She's lost fifteen pounds and definitely looks more grown-up. But her appearance made me wonder - is she back?
"I'm visiting mom and Hallee for the holiday," Hilary said. "Then -- we'll see."
Harriet and I introduced her to Antoinette and we spent the rest of the evening catching up on old times.

Very early this morning, though, at the airport, I was greeted with another surprise. Nicki greeted me with warm hugs and even a kiss on the cheek. But her brother Adam really shocked me. He's as tall as I am and is definitely going to be a heartbreaker when he gets older, if he isn't already.

Oooh, before I go, here's this cute pic of all of us at the Christmas pageant last night. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nutcracker Rehearsal

Today they started dress rehearsals for the Nutcracker ballet. And I have to say, other than the blond hair (every pic I've seen of Clara has her as a brunette), Meredith really looks the part. I hope they have a brown wig for her. She has an eighth-grader as an understudy, a girl named Samantha Parker (who looks A LOT like the AG Samantha from the books & movie).
But it gets worse. One of us newsies has to actually INTERVIEW her for the paper. She's already ego-tripping over this Clara role, we certainly don't want to send her self-esteem to the moon. Then again, on second thought...we'd like to send HER there (forget the self-esteem part).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

News and notes from Casa Haley

This December has been a busy one here at Casa Haley. The Thanksgiving food drive has turned into a Christmas one, and I'm still the coordinator, so we're still collecting food to give away to needy kids and their families. There's also a Christmas toy drive being run by Kit and the sixth graders.
The Christmas pageant is this coming Friday, and guess who is in charge of it? So you can imagine I've been very, very busy. Meredith has the starring role in the Nutcracker production (I had nothing to do with that one, trust me).

It's been cool and damp around here lately, and Vee has been a bit under the weather. So the other day Harriet and I decided to do the 'bestie' thing and wear matching outfits. I have to tell you, it totally shocked Meredith! "Oh, so the dorks decided to dress alike today," she said when she saw us together.

In six days I leave for Colorado to visit my cousin Nicki. If what I've seen on the news from there is any indication, I'll be snowed in for most of the time I'm there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Sorry I haven't been around lately, it's been sooo crazy around here!
For starters, Vee wiped her computer last week. Completely wiped it. Which means a lot of my pix and a lot of my links that I'd saved (not blog links, but regular site links) are gone. She'd been having some issues and then just decided to do it.
And school has been such a drag. Between my homework and the extracurriculars I'm in, I hardly have time to just hang out with my friends.

Sooo... anyway, today I was in the gym helping to decorate when you-know-who came in, waving her pom-poms with her hands on her hips. "Excuuuuse me," she shouted to the top of her lungs, "did you forget? The cheerleaders have practice today."

"Well, we're supposed to be hanging up the Christmas decorations in the gym, don't you think you guys can practice somewhere else in the gym while we do this?"
Now, I know she saw Antoinette with me, that's why she came over.
"Aren't you coming, Antoinette?"
"No, I'm helping Haley."
"Fine, suit yourself." Meredith left in a huff, that girl (aka mimic) Kylee by her side.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Food Drive

So, on top of everything ELSE I have to do, I'm now in charge of the annual food drive, co-sponsored by the student council and the newspaper.
I actually convinced Harriet to come in and help with the food drive (I know, a miracle, huh?). We've got a good bit so far but there's still more to go. And we're still gonna need people to go door to door to deliver food.
Yeah, I actually think that's Lindsey's box of Cheerios :-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Three's A Crowd Part 2

I decided to confront Antoinette in the newspaper office. I knew that a) she'd be without Meredith and b) in case I totally flubbed, I'd be in a neutral zone with other friends. Unfortunately, when I got there, Lindsey and Megan were working on an article for Friday's edition. "Can we talk?"
I figured that meant yes, so I excused Lindsey and Megan and took Antoinette aside. I know Linds was eavesdropping, because that's what she does. She doesn't mean any harm by it, she can't help herself.

Anyway, I heaved a deep breath and I let her have it. "Antoinette, ever since you got here, your behavior has been -- your behavior has been -- strange."
"Oui," I said in my best French. I remember that from my French classes, lol. "You are nice to me and Harriet only when you are not around Meredith. When you're around her, you turn into a different person. Someone I don't like very much."
"Elle est mon amie."
"No she is not! She is nobody's friend but her own. She collects people like others collect jewelry or shoes or purses. And you were just the prize piece for her collection. Can't you see? She is using you!"
"What do you mean by 'using'? I do not understand."

Just when I was about to explain what 'using' meant, Lindsey burst into the room, coming in-between us, playing referee. I know she meant well, but I had to tell her, "We're okay in here, really. Stop worrying about us."
Lindsey folded her arms. "Okay," she said, "but promise not to fight."
So I tried to explain to Antoinette that Meredith wanted to make herself seem 'cooler' by making friends with the French exchange student.
And then I let loose. I told Antoinette everything Meredith had done to me over the last year. "I almost switched schools because of her, twice," I said.
"Pardon, je n'ai pas su," she said. "Vraiment, je n'ai pas su."
"And look, look what happened to you. She and her friends trashed your party, then they talked about you behind your back."

I don't know if Antoinette got my message -- only time will tell. But what I said needed to be said. I couldn't hold it in any longer.
I sat down at the computer and composed my article for the paper. I'm hoping that by the time I go to visit Nicki in Colorado over Christmas break, I will have gotten everything done. As it is, I'll probably be completely wasted. Between quizzes, tests, assignments, and extracurriculars, I barely have time to breathe these days.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Three's A Crowd Part 1

Well, I knew it was going to come to this, and sadly, it has.
Meredith and Marisa had this massive cat fight and they're actually not speaking to each other. I think it has something to do with something that happened at Antoinette's party. I'm not sure what it is, and I don't think I actually care.
Speaking of Antoinette, I mean, what do you say to someone whose party stunk like a skunk? I tried to come up with something but the words just wouldn't come out.
So I was on my way to give my talk to the seventh graders at a school assembly as class president (my first) when Meredith and Antoinette were walking by. "Dont'cha think you're going the wrong way for the assembly?" I asked.
"Like I care about your stinkin' assembly?" Meredith shot back.
"Ce n'est pas gentil," Antoinette said in her sweet voice. "That's not nice, Meredith."
"Why should I be nice to her?"
"Allons, laissez-nous vont." Antoinette managed to get in between me and Meredith -- for now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I didn't go to Antoinette's party last night. I used the excuse that it was too cold. Actually, it was fairly chilly last night, but that wasn't the reason I didn't go. I'm from Pennsylvania. The weather here in Louisiana is balmy compared to that.
Harriet went but she came back early, she said Meredith and a bunch of social-climbing 8th graders were there, not our crowd. She also said Antoinette herself looked like she wanted to leave. Instead we hung out at her place and looked thru the new AG holiday catalog.
She still says she wants the yoga outfit as purple is her favorite color. She also says she wants all of Julie Albright's collection -- for herself. She likes that 70s stuff.
Me, even though the Petal Hoodie outfit is, well, pink, I like it as it's loose and casual. I also LUV the Sparkly Plum outfit, definitely something I'd wear, but at $36 I'll only be able to afford it in my dreams. I did have a dream once that I was dancing in the snow with Adam Cartwright wearing the dress....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween everybody!

What are your plans for today?
Me, Harriet's trying to talk me into going to Antoinette's costume party. Antoinette invited us about a week ago. I'm not sure if I'm going, especially if Meredith's there like I think she will be.
Last night, somehow, we managed to pull off the 'Thriller' themed Halloween dance. Lindsey's dad let us use his lighting equipment and the smoke machines again. And I won second place in the costume contest, for something I threw together using Elizabeth's meet dress I found in a trunk last spring, and a wig Vee had around here for something else. Wouldn't you know, a boy dressed as Michael Jackson won first prize.
Oh, guess what? I'm going to visit Nicki in Colorado over Christmas break!
I don't think anything can prepare me for that weather. I suppose more than a year in Louisiana has spoiled me, even from PA winters. Nicki says they had over 3 feet of snow, already, and they were afraid they'd lost some of their ranch animals. I'm looking forward to seeing Aunt Joan and Uncle Dan and Adam and the twins, who are now about a year old.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So, it was chilly out yesterday, and Kit and I were walking home from the student council meeting. Kit's family bought a house right down the street from me, which is cool. She didn't win her class presidency election (that Kylee Phillips did) but she did become a homeroom rep. Then she asked a question. "Haley, what are you gonna do for Halloween?"
Halloween. Right. Three days away.
I shook my head. I've still got no clue.
My family was never that big on the holiday. Especially mom. She used to call the holiday 'silly' and I think I only went trick-or-treating once, and that was right after mom and dad split up. Dad let me trick-or-treat and eat pretty much all the candy I wanted. Never mind that I was throwing up the next morning cause I was allergic to half of what I ate. So Halloween was never really a big deal for us Hotchkisses.
On top of all that, we've got to throw SOMETHING together for the Halloween dance. Amanda Peters, 8th grader and student body president, wants to do a Thriller-themed haunted house deal, in honor of the death of Michael Jackson over the summer. I do not know how we're gonna pull this off.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sorry, y'all, for being MIA

That's missing-in-action, not Mia (as in Mia St. Clair, who went to Parkington this year). There's a reason I've been absent from the blogosphere as of late.
Well, guess who got elected seventh grade class president anyway, after all that drama? Yep, yours truly. Here's how it went down.
Caelan's mom got in an accident, so he was forced to drop out of the race. Not that he had any chance of winning, anyway. Maitte Luna (Marisol's sister)'s family moved back to Chicago, so she was out, too. Which left Meredith again running unopposed.
I was not about to sit by and let her walk into the presidency, at least not without a fight. I had talked to Megan and she convinced me that the presidency wouldn't really interfere that much with my new duties at the newspaper. Besides, deep down, even though I said I didn't want the presidency, I lied. I did want it, and I think I'm going to run for student body president if I'm still at Adams next year.
Unlike last year, when the voting was tight and contested, I got elected pretty easily this time. Harriet says I got elected because the kids recognized what a good job I did last year.

Oh, something else happened. I got an email from Hilary, and I have to tell you, she already looks different. She's attending a private school in California now. Harriet thinks she's lost weight, and when Hilary says she's a vegetarian now, you can believe it. Her hair looks like it's shorter as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Changed my blog template

It's all Sophie and Maura's fault, I tell you!
I decided my blog needed some jazzing up, thanks to seeing their cool templates on their site. So I decided to have Lindsey, my resident computer guru, spice up my page. Problem is, when she did, all my links went buh-bye.
So, could all of you post your blog addresses again so I could have her redo my links section? Thanks bunches y'all!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Picture Day -- Say Cheese!

Did I tell you I HATE School Picture Day?
I hate it for several reasons, but most of all, that contraption that's up top. That's gonna be in the yearbook this year as me, Haley Hotchkiss.
Meredith and Marisa, those banes of my existence, cut in front of me in the picture line, and they tried to take Antoinette with them. She looked back at me and then at them and decided to stay with me and Harriet.
Oh, and I made another major decision. I decided to run for class president. I figured I was gonna get chosen as a class rep anyway, so why not go for the whole shebang?
So, that's why I've been busy -- newspaper and with devising my class presidency campaign. Since the position remains unfilled, there's nobody to help the student body president plan the back-to-school dance. But this time, I'm not running so that I can win. I'm running so that Meredith Hopkins will lose. Because there's no guarantee that Maitte or Caelan could beat her in an election against her.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Catching up again

I'm sorry I've been so busy here in Haley-land. The paper has pretty much taken all of my time.
The above shot was taken at my birthday party a week and a half ago. I decided to wear the Sapphire Party Dress that Vee had bought sometime last year but I never had an occasion to wear. I was surprised that Antoinette showed up. I did not mention Meredith or ask her why she came to my party.
Hilary left this week (sniff), which has made me sad. Not sure when or if she'll be back. And I still don't know where Kristy is, she's still kinda in limbo at this point.
As for the class presidency, as of right now I'm not in the race. There are, however, two more entrants. One is Maitte Luna, younger sister of Marisol Luna. The other is this boy named Caelan Staub, who hardly says 2 words in class, usually, so I'm definitely surprised that he's decided to run for class president.
I've been neutral in the race and have decided not to support one candidate or the other, but, honestly I don't care who wins as long as it's not Meredith.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Death in the (extended) family

Harriet's great aunt (her grandma's sister) died last night.
She called me at 12:30 this morning to tell me. I doubt she'll be back in school for the rest of the week, especially since her great-aunt lived out of town, so I'm gonna try to get her assignments for her. I don't have all the same classes, so that's not gonna be easy.
I still haven't made up my mind on running for class president, but I'm getting a lot of pressure from both on and offline friends to run, and Megan even suggested I resign my position at the paper to run against Meredith. "There's no way she can coast into office unopposed," Megan said.
Speaking of Meredith, she came by the office today and she's already put out an ad in the paper with her picture on it and the slogan "Hop to Hopkins." Her smug mug already makes me gag.
My party the other night was pretty nice; although Harriet seemed kinda distracted. I now know why. She said her great-aunt actually used to sit for her sometimes. I never actually met the lady but she sounded real sweet.
And I think this explains some of Harriet's strange behavior over the last several weeks. I've already mentioned that she has an incredibly large and close-knit extended family that includes a lot of cousins and the like.
I'll probably go to her house tomorrow or so, if they're home.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nicki's gone home

Thanks everybody for the warm birthday greetings! Avery, I couldn't open the 'cake' you sent. :-(
Vee, Harriet, and I dropped Nicki off at the airport last night. I'd hoped she would stick around for my birthday get-together later this evening, but her mom called and said she wanted to get her ready for school on Tuesday.
Have to admit there were a lot of tears at the airport, but Nicki was the one doing most of the crying. I realize Nicki's my cousin and all, and Harriet says I've got to appreciate her but sometimes she is a royal pain. Before she left, she told Harriet to make sure I ran for class president and to stay on me like gravy on rice until I did it.
Abby suggested that I try to convince Antoinette to run against Meredith. One problem with that. She's only here for 1 semester, and the class presidency is for the entire year. Which puts me back at square one.
I'm gonna have to make my mind up soon, as the campaigning starts next week. Kit's already declared that she will try to get my old job -- sixth grade class president. Unfortunately, she's running into some stiff opposition from Kylee Phillips and another boy, Nick Staub. Lindsey took an informal poll and said that if the election were held today, Kylee would win in a landslide.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today's my birthday. I make 12. However, I don't think my present is coming till at least next week.
That's because Vee is tripping all over herself over the newest JLY releases from AG. There must be like 20 new dolls and at least that many new outfits, and there's stuff for the Rebecca and Julie collections as well. She says she likes practically ALL of the new dolls, which begs to question -- what happens to some of us old hands?
Personally, of the new outfits that have come out, I like the photographer outfit and the petal hoodie. I'm also drawn to the sparkly plum outfit, too.
If I have a party, it'll probably be Saturday, as today is still a school day.
We finally released the back to school edition of the paper, but I still haven't decided whether or not I'll run against Meredith for class president. I can't stand the notion of her winning in a walkover, though. That'll really sting.
Abby's suggestion of letting one of my friends run is a good one -- except I can't find anybody willing to do it. The only one who might do it is Kit, and she's in 6th grade not 7th. I mean, Hilary's moving away, I'm not sure if Kristy's coming back, Katarina won't do it and neither would Harriet. So who's left?
I still haven't found the guts to tell Antoinette about Meredith. Meredith herself is not making things any easier, as she seems to conveniently find an excuse to take her away just as I'm about to talk to her.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Talk with Nicki

So, Nicki and I were walking through the kitchen, when she suddenly brought up the upcoming student council elections.
"I don't know if I'm running," I said.
"Whaddya mean you don't know if you're running?" Nicki asked. "You ran last year -- and you won."
"Yeah," I reminded her, "but things are different now. I'm assistant editor of the school newspaper and that's taking a lot of my spare time."
"Don't you think Meredith knows that?"
I shook my head. "Huh?"
"Hales, it should be obvious to you that she's testing you. The fact is, by announcing early, she wants to see if you'll bite."
"She's trying to stop you from running against her because she knows you can win."
"I'm not sure if I want to go through that again."
Nicki's face lit up. "Aha! So that's it. You had that campaign last year --"
"Yeah, and if you remember, it got nasty. Really nasty."
"And you don't want to go through that again."
"Not really."
"You know, if you let her get to you, she will have won. Someone will have to challenge her. And I know that you're smart enough and strong enough to do just that."
Nicki's going back to Colorado next week, because she starts school the day after Labor Day. When she hasn't been at school, she's been volunteering at the local animal shelter. That is sooo Nicki, so something she'd do. There are times when I like having her around, and then there are times I wish she would just let well enough alone. This is one of those times.
Then suddenly Nicki confessed something else to me. "You know, I actually wanted to keep Sprocket for myself," she said. "I'd really gotten attached to him."
"What made you give him up?"
"I saw that Veronica needed him much more than I did."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Another Day At The Office

Spent the entire weekend just vegging. Didn't do anything, didn't think about anything. I just did nothing. Oh, and I think Harriet came over twice. I dreaded going back to school.
However, going back to school meant going back to work on the back-to-school issue of the newspaper, which is almost done and will come out this week.
To no one's surprise, Meredith says she's running for 7th grade class president. But I'm also hearing she may throw her hat into the ring for student council president, even though that usually goes to an 8th grader. So far nobody's running against her, and I'm iffy on it, especially with my added duties at the paper. I can't see Meredith Hopkins being class president though. I don't know if I'd be able to tolerate it.
Spent my afternoon at the paper today, and managed to convince Harriet to come this time. I'm pretty sure Megan can find a position for her on the staff, even if it's a nominal one like "special adviser to the editor" or something. Harriet has said that she can't see herself doing any kind of writing, and she's also said she can't see herself doing any art -- even though I've seen her sketches and they're actually pretty good.
I still haven't found the guts to warn Antoinette about Meredith though. I'm gonna have to sooner or later, as I see her getting suckered in more and more. She doesn't even have a clue what kind of person she is, and I'm afraid that when she finds out, not only will it be too late, but she'll be messed up big time.

Oh, Vee went to McDonalds and got some of those cute Happy Meal books everyone's been talking about. The ones she brought back were Molly and Josefina. They're actually very cute. They're little books with something about the character, a drawing, a couple paper dolls and some fold-out scenes from their books, and some craft projects from the girl's time and stories. I think I'm gonna give them to Hilary for her going-away present.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nicki vs. Meredith

Remember in a previous post I said there were a lot of new faces around here? Well there was one more I forgot to mention.
Last spring before Nicki returned to Colorado after visiting for Easter, she gave this blind girl named Veronica her service dog, Sprocket. Turns out the story didn't end there. Apparently Nicki and Veronica have been chatting with each other online and emailing each other ever since that first meeting, and have become pals. So when Nicki came back, she saw Veronica again and Veronica was using Sprocket as her seeing-eye dog.
Now Veronica is attending Adams as a sixth-grader. And Sprocket is walking the halls of the school alongside his new mistress.
So I was on my way to go interview Antoinette the other day when I saw Nicki with her arm around Veronica and I heard her raise her voice in the direction of someone with blond hair. I peeped to see what was going on, and sure enough, Meredith was on the scene.
"You know," Meredith had said, "dogs aren't allowed on campus. Especially not smelly, stinky mutts like that one. Ewww!"
"He's a service dog," Nicki had attempted to explain. "He's a seeing-eye dog."
Meredith made a face. "Ewww! I'm still reporting you to the principal. Dogs shouldn't be on the campus, period. And neither should blind bats like you!"
"It's not her fault she has problems with her eyes!" I heard Nicki shout. And Nicki, you should know, NEVER raises her voice, so she had to be really upset. "And the dog is with her to be her 'eyes' so to speak."
Meredith flicked her hair. "She doesn't need a dog to see!" Then she paused a bit. "You know, you haven't changed a bit, Nicki Fleming! You're such a goody two shoes."
Nicki shook her head and sighed. "You're the one who hasn't changed, Meredith Hopkins. You're still the same selfish person I knew last year. If anything you're worse now."
"You don't even go to school here," Meredith shot back, "so shut up! You're not even supposed to be here. And as for the dog, I'm still telling the principal. Get that smelly thing out of here!"
What a twit. Here goes another fun-filled year of that snob. And I hope this attitude doesn't rub off on Antoinette. So far it doesn't seem to have, yet, but it's early. And I'm also hoping Antoinette finds out what kind of person she is before it's too late.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School Assembly, news on Hil, and a talk with Kit

Principal Ballard only decided TODAY to have his huge back-to-school assembly, going over the rules we've heard about 60 billion times, going over schedules, class assignments, activities, and making introductions. He trotted out Antoinette as the school's first-ever foreign exchange student. What I found out was, one of the eighth graders is at Antoinette's school in France for a semester, the same time as she's here. So I'm wondering if such a program would be available by the time I got to eighth grade, and would I be interested.
Hilary returned today, but she says she's only here for a couple weeks until her paperwork is finalized. She'll be living in California with her dad for the time being, as her parents have joint custody. She really is having a tough time dealing with the divorce. I remember when my parents split up, it was hard at first, but like I told Hilary, it does eventually get easier.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the office helping Kit with her article for the back-to-school issue. I also directed her to Maura's blog post about becoming Ruthie Smithens, her great-grandmother's best friend in 1934. "Can you time-travel like her?" I asked.

"Lindsey pretended to be Ruthie once when we were in my dad's attic playing," Kit told me. "Time-travel isn't that hard. You just put on a costume and bam, you're in a different place and time. I love it." Then she asked, "You know who my great-grandma was, right?"

"How could I forget?" I replied. "There was a movie and 6 books about her, I want to read them but I haven't had the time. She sounds like she was amazing." Then I asked her what she was writing about.

"The ways school is alike and different in my great-grandma's time and now."

"Sounds like it's gonna be real interesting," I said.

"You'd be surprised," she said, "not much has changed in 75 years. We have computers and stuff now, but a lot of things are exactly the same."

"There weren't French exchange students in her day, were there?"

Kit laughed. "Heck no," she replied, "but there were wanderers called hoboes..." She began telling me this story she knew (that was in the book & movie) about her great-grandma's hobo friend named Will.

"So, that's kind of like what's going on with Antoinette now," I wondered.

"You might wanna cut her some slack. She is in a different country, away from her family and her friends."

I had to admit I never thought of it that way. Count on your friends to show you things you never realized.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Antoinette Boucher, Fashion Queen

If I needed more evidence that Antoinette Boucher is THE sharpest dresser in my grade, maybe the entire school, I got it today. She's definitely showing a lot of guts wearing this outfit, even though it's very pink and very girly. I've said more than once in this space that I'm not that big a fan of pink, even though there's a lot of it in my closet.

She says it's from Madame Alexander's new Friends 4 Life line, and she paired it with the hat from AG's 2-in-1 set they made for Mia last year, a beret she borrowed from (gasp) Meredith!
Speaking of which, I do think this whole thing with me, Antoinette, and Meredith is gonna eventually come to blows, and I don't know how it's gonna shake out, but somebody will feel some serious pain. I feel like I'm gonna eventually have to tell her what Meredith has done, because I don't want Meredith to do the same thing to her, and I know she will, because that's what she does to people.

So, Harriet, Antoinette, and I were on our way to gym class when I teased her that she should've worn that outfit tomorrow because there's supposed to be this big back-to-school assembly. She laughed and said "I didn't know" in an innocent French. All these new outfits are making me feel bad. I haven't had time to go shopping for new clothes, and both Harriet and Antoinette have new outfits, lol.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friends Come...and Go?

Wow, judging by the comments here, I notice Antoinette has gotten everyone talking! I had so many questions for her, I couldn't ask them all!
But, I have to tell you, sometimes I don't get her.
Today she officially joined the newspaper staff when Megan created a 'special correspondent' post for her. She doesn't usually do that kind of thing, except it was Ms. Baldwin's idea and it's not every year a bona fide French exchange student attends your junior high school.
We were talking on our way to class when out of the blue she said in her French accent, "Pardon, I did not know you and Meredith did not get along."
I let out a deep groan, wondering what Meredith had told her. "You obviously have not been here," I told her. "You do not know her at all."
"Pourquoi?" she asked.
I was tempted to go through the laundry list of the things Meredith had done. But I didn't. I'm hoping Antoinette sees soon enough what kind of person she is. When I told Nicki about this, she said Meredith may actually be on her best behavior re: Antoinette because she doesn't want her to see her 'bad side.' And she also said something else too -- that Antoinette may actually be torn between me and Meredith. An odd place to be, for sure.
I decided to try to change the subject by doing what Abby suggested and asking her about her hometown of Nice. "It's a very beautiful place in the south of France," she said, making me even more jealous. "There are a lot of historical landmarks there, and since the weather is great, a lot of tourists come to visit."
"Have you been to Paris?" I asked.
"Un certain nombre de fois," she said. "A few times." She also joked that she tries to avoid a lot of the famous French cuisine but can't resist partaking of a few crepes every now and again.
At the same time, I do think Harriet is somewhat jealous of my activities & other friends -- I've been trying to talk her into joining the newspaper, that if nothing else she'll meet some new and interesting people -- and she insists that she'll have nothing to do on the staff. When I mentioned Antoinette to her, she was like, "why are you trying to befriend her?" I explained that I'm curious about her since she's new and different and seems cool. She didn't behave this way when I introduced her to Kit & Lindsey. Matter of fact, she's friends with them, too.
Oh, neither Hilary nor Kristy have returned. I'm wondering about Hilary's parents. I know they were getting a divorce this summer and she was back and forth. I also know Kristy was going through a time of it too -- she ended up in West Virginia (where she's from). Seems some relative claimed her out of nowhere, that's what Harriet said. I don't know if Kristy'll stay in WV or if she'll return.
All in all, I think I may be on my way to making a new friend, at the same time I may be losing at least one of my old ones. I'm hoping she and I will keep in touch even when she returns to France after Christmas.

Some staffers posed for this pic while we're working on the back-to-school issue, which'll probably be in the yearbook. Megan (seated) is still editor-in-chief. I'm the first four-eyed fool (lol) on the left, Kit's next to me, Marie-Antoinette (I actually just wanted to type that, lol) is next to her, and Alison is wearing the hockey shirt. Missing is Lindsey (who also joined today) and Katarina Engel. Having the new staffers around certainly helps; I remember at some points last year we were so stressed out because there were so few people. I hope these newbies stick around for the whole year. It's much more fun with them around now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

All About Antoinette

The majority of comments from my last post were about Antoinette, the French exchange student who's at Adams for the semester, and with good reason. Naturally everybody's curious about her. So imagine my surprise when Megan approached me with an idea to do a profile article on her for the back-to-school issue due out this week. I asked her, "How am I going to interview her? Especially with Meredith in the way?"
So, today when I approached Antoinette, Meredith looked at me like I was crazy. "What are you gonna do with her?"
"It's for the paper, you doofus," I shot back. "You don't own her!" I've decided I'm not going to take another year of abuse from her. We're never gonna be friends, and I can live with that.
I'm still not sure about the format to use for the article, but back in February I did do a 15 things about me post on my blog, so I suppose I may use that.

This afternoon I managed to get Antoinette in the newspaper office, and here's what I know about her now that I didn't know this morning. One thing I know about her is that even with her glasses, she's very pretty, and another thing I know is that she's very thin. She's even thinner than I am.
  • Her full name is Marie-Antoinette (one name) Anais Boucher, and she gets teased a lot back home because Marie Antoinette was a French queen who was beheaded.
  • Instead of using her full name, she chooses to go by Antoinette.
  • Her mother is Italian, her father is French.
  • She speaks three languages (French, Italian, English) and is learning Spanish and German.
  • She's in seventh grade, like me.
  • I have two classes with her.
  • She was born in a town called Versailles (she pronounces it vur-SY) and was raised in another town called Nice (pronounced like niece instead of nice). I'm sure Avery or Sophie may be much better at writing out the pronouncing of these names, though.
  • Her birthday is May 2.
  • She admires France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a former model who has also launched a music career.
  • Her family in France is fairly well-off.
  • She is an only child.
  • Her favorite artist is someone called Lady GaGa, and like me she doesn't get the obsession with Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. "It's not that I don't like Mi-lee or Anna," she says in her cutely accented English, "it's just that they are not my favorite."
  • She wants to write for the paper. Knowing Megan, I'm sure that could be arranged.
  • She loves Harry Potter, admits to having a crush on Daniel Radcliffe (the guy that played him in the movies), and fantasized about being a Hogwarts student.
  • She loves fashion and is interested in the AG couture scene.

The cool thing about having her around now is we actually get to practice the French we're learning in class. I actually think she's okay. If I could rescue her from the clutches of the evil Meredith...

And the other cool thing about having access to the computers in the newspaper office is, they're connected to the internet... ;-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Queen Bees and Wanna-Bees

So, Sophie asked in her comments to my last post if Meredith (aka our class' queen bee) was still around, and my answer now, as then, is she is... and in my opinion, she's worse than ever. I heard she entered a couple modeling contests over the summer, and she sure has gotten her head swollen like a balloon.

And on top of that, she's got a new accessory -- er, companion, in the form of a French exchange student named Antoinette Boucher (right), who's staying with the family next door to the Hopkins' for the semester. She's very exotic looking, with long dark hair (almost as dark as Victoria's) and bright blue eyes. She wears glasses most of the time but she wasn't wearing them there. And to think, she could have been staying at MY place for the semester, bummer.

Nicki doesn't return to Colorado to start seventh grade there till next month, so she wanted to see what had changed at Adams since she last attended last year (which isn't much, btw). Harriet & I gave her a grand tour, and we showed her the newly-remodeled newspaper office. BTW, I'm totally digging Harriet's new outfit, it suits her. It's from Carpatina.

Speaking of the new newspaper office, I'm happy they got new computers in there, and we welcomed Kathryn "Kit" Kittredge as our newest staff member. (Megan plans to ask Lindsey to join on Monday, and I've told Kit not to tell her.) And just in time, too. We have to get the back-to-school issue printed by next week. I'm trying to convince Harriet to join us at the paper, but she refuses to budge, saying she'll have nothing to do.

As for those sixth-grade 'wanna-bees' Kylee, Zoe, and Victoria -- I'm not bothered with them -- except when they bother my friends, and Kit and Lindsey are my friends now, though they're not in the same grade as I am. Besides, I do suspect someone will put them in their place soon enough, and I actually would be very happy when that happens. Funny how that works, huh?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Seventh Grade!!!

Welp, started school this week, and hadn't had a moment to start recording everything. Until now.
Most of the usual suspects are back in action for another year, but a couple people still aren't back yet from whatever they were doing this summer, and I'm kinda worried. Kristy hasn't returned, neither has Hilary. I'm kinda bummed about it, actually. On the other hand, there are a whole lot of new faces around here.
Kit and Lindsey were telling me about some of their new classmates. "There are these three girls," they told me, "that you gotta stay away from at all costs."
Uh-oh. Are they the sixth-grade version of Meredith's crew?

I got a look at these girls. They sure did look like meanies. From left to right, they're Victoria Vaccaro (the dark haired one), Kylee Phillips (the blond), and Zoe Fishers (the brunette). Kit and Lindsey say Kylee is the definite queen bee of the group and has treated them like crap since kindergarten.

Speaking of Kylee, I'm actually stuck with her -- for the foreseeable future. That's because my student council sponsor matched us up for the seventh grade-sixth grade buddy program that I started last year. She reminds me of Meredith except, in my opinion she's actually even prettier. I was kinda hoping I'd get either Kit or Lindsey as I already knew them from Girl Scouts. Harriet's partner is Jess McConnell (I'm jealous as Jess seems far more interesting). I don't know who Hilary or Kristy have. Kit likes her partner as hers is into sports and they can talk baseball all day and all night. Lindsey's partner is Sasha Moore, one of Meredith's pals. I asked my teacher what made her make the matches she did, and she said they were totally random. I bet.

My classes -- I've only got one class with Harriet and three with Hilary. Hil and I have honors classes, plus French and TAG (talented and gifted) enrichment. Megan Ryder is still editor of the newspaper, although the newspaper sponsor, Ms. Baldwin, named me assistant editor now, so I'm gonna be spending more time with that. This means Megan and I have the task of picking new staffers. Kit and Lindsey have already submitted their stories, and I hope I don't have to tell one or both of them that they didn't make the staff, especially since they talked about it before all this happened.

I got into Parkington. I tried on my uniform, even paid the dorm fee... but then realized I couldn't go there. I didn't really belong there. It wasn't for me, at least not right now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm BAAAAACK! (cue evil maniacal laugh here)

Welp, the title says it all.
And to celebrate my return, Linds redid my blog banner with one of the pics from my stay.
My post is gonna be brief, because I've got to get ready to go to SCHOOL today! Oh yes, the reason I came back so soon is because school starts today. I'm a seventh grader now.

Here are the two albums from my travels. The first is from California, where Wendy is. Wendy and I had a blast, along with her other friends. What's funny is she's got a friend with the same name as my cousin. And they kinda look alike too. Weird, huh?

The second one is from the other side of the country, in Massachusetts. I had a blast with those girls, too, seeing all the sights. It's very pretty up there. I'd never been to Massachusetts, even though I'm from PA.

More later! Byeeee,

Friday, August 7, 2009

Guest post #2: Harriet!

Yo! Harriet here. Y'all have probably heard a lot about me, cause I'm sure Haley's had a lot to say about me. But y'all have never heard FROM me. So, now, here I am.
For starters, Haley came back last week, but she's resting, so she'll be back posting next week sometime. I'm sure y'all probably will be glad to hear from her again.
My full name is Harriet Louisa Jones. I know it sounds like an old fashioned name, and it was given to me by my mom. I'm named after my two grandmothers, Harriet and Louisa. Louisa's dead, and Harriet is the one who's raising me. I don't have any siblings, but I have a whole lot of cousins and other relatives, so there's always somebody around.
I know Haley's not so much into music, but I love it. Mostly I like hip hop and R&B, but I like some pop. I have to admit I LURVE the Jonas Bros and some Miley Cyrus...but I'm not so into Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. I've also found grandma's old Jackson Five records and have been listening to those, ever since Michael Jackson died.
Sometimes I wonder why Haley and I are friends, we're so different. I'm a couch potato and like watching TV and listening to music, she's much more active and would prefer reading to the tube. I barely read what I have to read at school, and writing for this??? I don't know how she does it.
Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, I was in summer school most of the summer, which is a total bummer. And I had some very long talks with Haley's cousin, Nicki Fleming. Nicki came down to visit Haley for the summer, only to have her up and leave on this traveling doll thing. I never understood it, myself. Nicki being Nicki, was dissapointed by Haley leaving, but she and I actually got close, in part because of it.
Last year, when Haley came to Adams, she was this girl that didn't seem to know where she was, and I've watched her grow and change just in the past year. I've mostly been along for the ride. We start seventh grade next week, so I can't wait to find out what else is in store!
Peace and love, Harriet

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guest post: Kathryn "Kit" Kittredge speaks out!

Hi! I'm Kathryn Margaret Kittredge, better known to family and friends as Kit. I got the nickname because it was the nickname of my great-grandmother, the famous Margaret Mildred Kittredge who has been immortalized in books and even a movie. I also got the nickname because my father said I look like she did when she was my age.
I made 11 in May, and I'll be starting at Adams Junior High in 2 weeks. I can't wait, I'm actually excited.
Haven't done much this summer. I went to Ohio for 2 weeks to visit my family up there. I went to a few Reds games while I was up there, too, so that made me happy. I love baseball and I'm gonna try to get on the school softball team next spring.
The other thing I like is writing. As soon as I get to Adams I'm gonna try out for the newspaper staff. I've got the articles I've written already put together in a neat little folder to present to the editor. Haley says she's nice so I'm sure she'll like them. I figure if I'm gonna be a reporter when I grow up, then I'd better start now.
Speaking of Haley, I'm a little ticked at her for not writing as much as she'd promised. I'm sure she's busy but she could put five words on a postcard and tell us as much as hello or something.
Well, I gotta go. Catch everybody soon!
-- Kit

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bye for now!

To all my readers (except Wendy of course),

By the time you read this I will more than likely already be on a plane headed for sunny southern California. This came about suddenly and surprisingly. Thinking about becoming a traveling doll is one thing, actually doing it is quite another.

The other day after classes ended I walked into Vee's living room and found all my friends gathered together -- even Kit and Lindsey, who are fifth graders and I only really know from Girl Scouts. I was wondering what was going on. What happened was that they'd decided to surprise me with a goodbye party. Chips, drinks, dip, the Jonas Brothers playing in the background (that had to have been Hilary's idea) even pizza. The last time I ate pizza I broke out in hives.

It finally hit me that this would be the last time all of us would be together for the entire summer. We would all be scattered in all sorts of different directions. Hilary was going to be with her father and to try to keep her divorcing family together. Kristy was going to basketball camp and summer camp with her girls' home. Katarina was going to Germany. Kit was going to do her newspaper stuff and visit relatives in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Lindsey was going to finish her documentary, read the new Rebecca Rubin stories, and try to keep herself out of trouble. Nicki was going to volunteer at the local animal shelter and visit her grandmother. Harriet, I think she's just gonna try and hold it together until I come back.

I realized that each one of my friends is unique, different, and special in their own ways. Nicki's situation is a little different because we're actually family. But the standard still applies. Kristy (btw, she did make good on her promise to cut her hair, though not as much as I was afraid of) gave me a high-five, Hilary squeezed me so tight I could barely breathe, and Nicki let out these huge sobs.

I tried to spend a little extra time with each of my friends individually before going to the airport. I'm gonna try not to cry, I thought to myself. I'm not gonna cry...

That didn't work. I doled out hugs to everyone and then found myself in a big group hug. By the time I got to Harriet the waterworks was on. Before I knew it I was bawling like a baby. "I'll miss you so much," Harriet whispered in my ear. I whispered the same right back to her.

I've never had a best friend, so to feel this way is strange to me.

Some of them wanted to ride with me to the airport but I told them never mind, that I was good. In reality, I was going to cry again and I didn't want to take the risk.

Well, that's it everybody. Goodbye for now! And hope to hear from you soon!


Haley E. Hotchkiss

P. S. I may check in on here every once in awhile while I'm gone, but Harriet and some others will do the lions' share of the posting. See you soon!