Things have been pretty busy in this small patch of Louisiana, too, and in order to regroup, move on, and restore a semi-regular flow of blog posts, I first need to catch up by recapping a few recent blog-worthy events:
On April 16th Levi completed a six-week course in obedience training. He was a quick learner. He demonstrated a superior ability to understand and follow commands. The last class session was devoted to testing all the commands he had been taught, and he aced the test. The boy was a whiz kid while class was in session.
At home he understands the commands without difficulty, but each time he hears one, he gets a look in his eye as if he's trying to decide whether or not he really has to comply. Let's just say he follows the commands when he's in the mood. Or unless there's something more interesting going on, such as a squirrel in the neighbor's yard. Or a leaf moving in the driveway. To reach perfection he needs a little more work. I, on the other hand, need a lot more.
Two weeks ago today I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with two friends -- an old one and a new one -- from Texas. The "old" friend (who is considerably younger than I am) is Annette, who recently began blogging at Writing My Novel. It's been nearly 14 years since we've seen each other, and it was a joy to be in her warm presence again.
The new friend is Leah, whom I found delightful and hope to see again soon. Leah and Annette were in Baton Rouge to find Leah a place to live. She's accepted a new job at LSU and will be moving here soon.
We had a wonderful visit despite its being dominated by unruly dogs. The ladies had come bearing a non-stuffed fake squirrel that did a fairly good job of distracting Levi, though even a distracted Levi disperses a lot of energy into a room. And Butch, he who regularly sleeps 20 hours a day, appointed himself host of the event. He stayed awake and present in a big way for most of the visit. He seemed to believe Annette and Leah had come specifically to spend time with him, and I'd never in a million years tell him otherwise.
All my grandchildren are adults now, and two of them are married. Because they've grown up in a "blended" family, they're used to splitting holidays between two sets of parents, and now in-laws have been thrown into the mix. That's why our family Easter celebration was held on Saturday this year.
Kelli and Troy (my younger daughter and her husband) hosted the bunch of us at a poolside barbecue. The weather was perfect: warm enough to swim, cool enough to be comfortable outside in the shade of a large umbrella.
Kelli and Troy are both good cooks, and I, being a non-swimmer but a good eater, parked myself under the above umbrella and over the sausage that was the first thing to come off the grill.
Everything I ate was delicious. I stuffed myself on sausage, brisket, and a little bit of chicken, cheated on my low-carb diet to have some baked beans, and told myself that that little cheat wasn't too bad in light of the fact that I resisted the potato salad and the scrumptious-looking dessert.
I took 294 photos that day -- most of which I won't show you out of respect for all the adults in bathing suits in those photos. My great-grandson, Owen, however, is only 13 months old. Since he doesn't yet understand that he has a right to object, I'll share a few pictures of him. He was the unanimously proclaimed star of the day anyway, so it only seems fitting to focus on him.
Don't worry; that's a swim diaper.
Safe and happy in his daddy's arms.
Angelic...and very, very curious.
I realize there's not much in this post that's new to those of you who are Facebook friends, but it's important to me to record events like these on the blog. It will be here, not Facebook, that I'll come to relive these days when they've long since passed. Facebook feels to me like a quick, public shout-out. This blog feels like home.