It's kind of been a very full weekend around Gracewatch. It's past my bedtime, so (once again) you're going to get the short version.
We begin with the Steamboat Days Kiddie Parade -- that's Mouse being a fish, since she was marching in the library's "Make a Splash" float. Bear also marched, but being nearly 10, did not want to be photographed in a fish hat. Jaybird sat on the sidelines and cleaned up in the candy department. "It sure took a long time to get that candy," she remarked. We stayed for the free kiddie concert and cheap hotdog lunch. The older kids stood in line for 30 minutes all by themselves to get a lousy hotdog, chips and pop for a dollar. Way to stand in line, kids!
Next up we have something nearly as exciting as a parade -- yep, backyard berries. It's that time of year, and this year, it seems like all the berries are coming at once: we've got small juicy strawberries, and big plump raspberries, and just the first few blueberries (although we expect a pint or two down the road). The kids are very, very excited about hunting for those juicy little treasures. Each of the first three blueberries (over three days) was announced, paraded around, and examined extensively before being consumed. So friday evening, we had them on vanilla ice cream.
Saturday, we celebrated Bear's tenth birthday by having lopsided lemon cake and ice cream. And he opened presents, after a great deal of anticipation. The "big" present was a new bicycle -- a 21-speed mountain bike. He had very much outgrown his old bike. He proclaimed it the "best birthday ever."
As part of the birthday celebration, we went down to the carnival. Every year we go to the carnival, and every year I am reminded of exactly how seedy and sad it is, and what a ripoff besides. But . . . the kids really enjoy the rides:
Or I should say most of the rides. Bear and Mouse went on the bumper cars and neither of them could get their cars working properly; Bear came away sulky and Mouse was openly sobbing. Nothing that the human canonball couldn't cure, though.
And then, today we went to the Steamboat Days parade -- a two-hour extravaganza that Jaybird in particular enjoyed from start to finish (especially the candy). We got some good photos and video, but here is my favorite (shot by Starling):
Yes, it's me, with Mudpuppy, in honor of Father's Day.
We also went to a picnic and a party and a play and quite a few other things, but that's all I'm going to write about, since it is now way past my bedtime.
On a more serious note . . . my father was hospitalized over the weekend after falling over backwards in the garden. He is in more pain than the morphine can adequately address, since he broke several ribs and fractured a couple vertebrae; he also had a collapsed lung. Amazingly, Fairview Southdale sent him home twice -- even though he was screaming in pain the second time -- without diagnosing any of this. Fortunately, he is now under much better care at a competent hospital. Prayers are appreciated.