The lovely Alice
The lovely Alice
I keep waiting for the summer to slow down so I can relax and enjoy some quiet time. I've been looking forward to a quiet weekend at home when I can catch up on some sewing and enjoy my books I've selected for my summer reading, but something always turns up that takes me away from those plans.

I spent many weeks thinking, "As soon as we get past the Fourth of July, things will slow down." However, the very next week, Harmony hosted the Relay for Life, so once again I had a busy week preparing for that event, both as a reporter and as a committee member. Once that event was completed, it was time for the Fillmore County Fair and while I spent more time organizing coverage and photos than I did at the fair, it was still a very busy week here at the paper.

Now, as we enter the last month of summer, my weekends are packed full of community celebrations, taking me to Buffalo Bill Days last Sunday and anticipating Mabel's '50s and '60s Day, Chatfield Western Days, Canton Day Off and then Steam Engine Days will soon be here. Spring Valley will be hosting its own celebration as well, but since that is a bit out of my community coverage area, I don't get involved in that one as much as the others.

Surrounding these celebrations, we do preview stories, interview parade grand marshals, highlight special events and then attend the festivities with cameras around our necks, capturing the special moments we see. Sometimes it's hard to leave my house on a weekend to go to "work" and cover these events, but once I'm there, I usually have a wonderful time enjoying the celebration and visiting with many people along the way. It's not a bad gig to get paid for going to "work" at a community celebration!

So, even though I'm not getting enough of my desired alone time, it might not be such a bad thing. There will be plenty of time this winter to read those books and catch up on that sewing. I'll just keep referring to my calendar to make sure I get to all the special events still coming this summer. Plus, I'll do my best to have fun while covering the celebrations that are so abundant and so exciting during this last month of summer!

And, since I always carry a book, maybe I can read a few pages while waiting for a parade to start or while enjoying some music in the park. That sounds pretty good about now too!

Some cat stories

So, Alice and Jasper have been living with me for a little over two weeks and have made themselves quite at home. I've had to rearrange a few teapots on my buffet to prevent Alice from pushing them off the edge as she expands her napping spot in front of the window. A few bookshelves have been cleared in the living room and those books have been added to the shelves in another room where she doesn't care to sleep. I've moved my recycling bins to the back porch so she can't dive into the plastic bottles, which she pushes overboard and then spends the rest of the day scattering them throughout the house.

Yes, my dear Alice is the troublemaker and adventurous one. She climbs the highest, runs the fastest and makes the biggest messes. She steals toys from Jasper when he's playing, bites him when he's sleeping and sits atop a shelf or piece of furniture waiting to pounce on him as he innocently passes by.

Thankfully for Alice's own wellbeing, Jasper is a patient cat and allows her a certain amount of tolerance. In more recent days, however, he is also learning to stand up for himself, swatting her across her nose when she tried to steal a red, sparkly ball from him. It seems to be their favorite toy and while he will allow her to take other balls and toys from him, he will fight for that one. Even more humorous is her reaction when he does put her in her place. Her surprise is evident as she plops down on her side and watches him enjoy his newly found confidence!

I miss my new "babies" when I'm not home, and sometimes I worry about the trouble they are getting into when I'm not there, but I've done my best to kitten-proof my house as best I can.

A book by a local author

One of the books I've been reading these past few days is a new book by local author Nancy Overcott. Tom Driscoll of ShipWreckt Books Publishing Company in Lanesboro sent me a copy to review and I will do so in the coming weeks. However, I did want to mention that Nancy will be signing copies of this book, "Living in a Dream: Bluff Country Offerings," on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lost Lake Folk Art Storytelling Center in Lanesboro. Tom pointed out that she has once again teamed up with illustrator and former Lanesboro resident, Dana Gardner, to create a book for all ages, rich with the natural wonders of southeastern Minnesota.

I have enjoyed the essays and short stories in Nancy's past books and am once again enjoying this new book. Look for more about this book in a future column.

Summer goes on

So, even though the summer is flying by and I can feel a bit overwhelmed with the number of events coming up, there is still so much fun to be had. I know that getting out of my house is probably the best thing for me. Being busy and spending time with friends and family are truly better than being a hermit. The one saving grace about being home now, however, is the opportunity to bond with my new little ones - and to make sure they stay out of trouble.