It Was An All-American Day

We celebrated our Memorial Day today, and it was a fabulous day indeed. The weather was a bit cool, but it was so clear that you could see for miles and miles. The beauty of the world we live in was on show today.

We started the morning at a farmer's market. It's been ongoing for a few decades, and yet somehow I just discovered it last year. I was further remiss for not even visiting it until today. I will be frequenting this place on Saturdays in the future because the amazing that goes on there is unfathomable. I'll also be selling our candles and dog collars there a few weeks this season, and am now anxious to debut our wares at such a large and happening venue. The downfall is that I most likely won't make any money with the selling of our wares. That's the problem with being surrounded by talented artisans. You end up spending your hard earned cash on things you simply can't live without but didn't even know you needed until you saw it at the booth beside you. Or across from you. Or on the way to get lunch.

After that, we headed to my parents' cabin for a picnic with my family. The drive there takes us on roads with unparalleled views of the Laurel Highlands. I just love driving those back roads.

At the cabin, we had a picnic lunch of the most traditional picnic foods known to Americans. There's something about a holiday that'll make even kielbasa and baked beans taste gourmet.

We even managed to get a rare family photo before we left. I love getting our family gathered at the door of the cabin so that we can compare from previous years on how we've all grown. The kids gain height. I seem to only gain width. I have learned, however, to stand on things to give myself some height. I know I'm still the shortest in the family, but at least it's not as glaringly obvious as it could be.

I hope your holiday will be just as fantastical as ours was, and that you, too, can manage to get a great family photo, because togetherness if the most important thing at holidays. It's the stuff that memories are made of.

A Guest Blogger!

Tonight's guest blogger is my dog, Louie. He's got his own blog, and has half the followers that I do. It's pathetic on my part because he's only been a blogger since January, and I've been here since.... who even remembers when. I know I don't.

Everyone loves Louie. What can I say? In fact, because he's such a popular guy, this happened:

(Copied from The French Dog)

So lately, mom has been packing some of my things into a very large bag. It's the very type of bag that she uses when she goes away and leaves me for a few days, only this time she's packing both her things and mine, too. So I sat down with mom and had a chat with her. A pup needs to know what's going on.

Here's the thing: we're going away together. Who saw that coming?

Mom then told me the 411 on the whole situation. Turns out, she knew about this way back months ago and didn't even tell me until now.

There's this conference for pet bloggers (or pet owners or pet lovers or people in the pet industry...) called BlogPaws. It's held in Nashville this year, and boasts over 500 attendees, many of whom bring their pets with them. Because it's a pet lovers conference!

Mom saw that someone was giving away a ticket for this conference, and after a weekend of waiting, she was chosen as the winner! I knew mom was excited about something that day, but figured it was because she just bought a new bag of dog food. What else would someone be excited about?!

That someone that gave mom the ticket was the owner of SmartCookee. SmartCookee is an all natural, organic dog treat company. They make crazy good things for dogs, and mom says it's very healthy, too. The owner of the company had purchased a ticket to BlogPaws, but ended not being able to attend, so she chose mom and I go to in her place.

You guys, we are going to Nashville. Next week. I don't know what Nashville is. Next week is a long way off. But mom is packing my things into a travel bag and she and I are going away together for many days. Mom and I time is always good. No, it's great. I have no idea what BlogPaws will be, or what Nashville is, or when next week will come, but mom time is GREAT. And we have SmartCookee to thank for all this one-on-one time!

Thank you, SmartCookee! I'm sorry that you can't attend yourself and spend one-on-one time with your dog for many days, but I'm so glad that you gave that gift to mom and I.

Parental Failures Can Be Fun!

Isn't it funny how you can go for weeks with nothing happening in the evening hours to claim your time, and then all the things happen on the same night and you've got to try and juggle and shift and two-step around it all to attempt to make things happen the best that you can? Life is funny that way.

Becky was hosting a painting party Friday evening, and I had such a good time at the last that I was definitely going to this one as well. Plus the whole "support my kids" thing factors in there, of course. That was on my calendar in ginormous bold letters. With a smiley face.

And then the nephew texted. "You're coming to the Grand March, aren't you?" To which I replied, "What is the Grand March?" Because I honestly had no clue. The rock I live under doesn't have windows. 

The nephew was asked by his employer to take said employer's daughter to her prom. He graciously said that he would because he has a ginormous heart, but I also suspect that there may be things going on there that he's not telling us. Under the circumstances, however, I didn't really consider this a big deal and certainly didn't think we needed to attend the prom events.

For those who may not know, the Grand March is when the prom-going couples walk through the arch, stop for photos and to be admired greatly by all the people, and then continue walking so the next couple can have their few minutes in the spotlight. Annnnd, yep. That's it. As far as I'm aware. I wouldn't know for sure because.....

This was the same evening as Becky's painting party, of course, and the whole supportive parent thing covers all our kids, and I knew if Quincey was asking us to attend, it was important to him. That, too was written on my calendar in ginormous print, just one hour before Becky's event, in a town an hour away. We'd be a bit late to the painting event but it's not a big deal. I can paint fast.

It was a glorious evening, and Sam and I decided to take the motorcycle for the first trip of the season. We programmed the GPS to find the school we'd never been to and headed on our way. That GPS took us to the general direction and then lead us on a tour of all the country roads in the township that it thought we needed to experience. The Grand March time came, and went. Quincey texted to see where we were. I had no idea. At all. I apologized profusely. He gave us directions to the school and we turned around. I said we'd be there in 20 minutes. Fifteen minutes later he texted to say it was all over and they were loading up on the buses to head to the prom. We'd missed it.

Discouraged and sporting sore behinds from riding for over an hour (first trip of the year, remember?), we stopped for ice cream to take a rest before riding another hour to at least be able to show support to one of our children. The ice cream was super delicious. And the bike's battery died while we rested. It wouldn't start at all. We made a few phone calls and found a local friend to give us a jump start, and headed on our way. By this time, we'd missed Becky's event as well and headed straight to the auto parts store for a new battery.

We suck at parenthood, apparently. Or maybe it's the thought that counts? That's gotta be the key, right? Despite the total suck of the evening, however, we sure had a good time riding. I also realized that one can, indeed, ride a bike in a skirt. I wanted to look nice for the prom so pulled shorts on underneath a knee-length skirt. It may be my new favorite way to ride. It's far cooler than capris on a very hot day.