Oh what a lovely week of tropical nights and hot, sunny days! No, I didn't go to the Bahamas. I stayed right in my own back yard. Well actually, in my own air-conditioned den, but it's the thought that counts.
The real trouble with summer is that it's the only time available to do certain outside chores, like fix the gutters. But who wants to fix gutters on a gorgeous day? And who can fix gutters when it's 98 degrees out?
I keep looking for that ideal combination of a coolish, overcast day. Of course, that's the ideal time to go to a pick-your-own farm for fresh fruits and the ideal weather to make jam. See what I'm up against? Nothing is as daunting as the deficiencies of my own character.
There are over 850 participants enrolled in the Savage branch library's summer reading game. Last year there were 690 enrolled by August, so this year's enrollment is up by 160 readers and listeners.
So far about 100 children have finished the game. Anne Overall, who runs a day care home, stopped by the branch last Tuesday to show Laura Capano, the children's librarian, her completed reading poster.
Mrs. Overall enrolled the six children in her care in the listeners program that is called "The Sun Helps Me Grow." The poster held the six game cards with the titles of the 20 books read neatly written in the leaves of the sunflower design.
Mrs. Overall plans to stop by with the children, Kazimirez and his sister Natalie Placek, Erik and Adam Rassmussen, Heather Overall and one other child to let the children select their dinosaur prizes and their certificates. Ms. Capano will display the poster on the wall of the parent-tot area.
Mrs. Overall is a relative newcomer to the area. She has been running a day care home for the last year and a half, since moving here from Colorado. She ran a day care home in Colorado but says there is not the range of services available to day care providers here.
Mrs. Overall has made arrangements to have a library staff member visit her home every two weeks to read stories to the children and bring books.
She also makes use of the library's special collection kits for day care providers. She says that although she gets the kits while the children are not there, she doesn't unpack it until the morning.
Then, it's like Christmas morning with each child asking, 'Can I take out the next thing?' "They think it's like a present, like it's for them," she said. The day care kits contain toys, books and cassettes based on a common theme such as music or community helpers.
The Savage United Methodist Church will hold a vacation Bible school Aug. 2 through 6 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The registration deadline is Sunday. Tuition for the Bible school is $5 per pupil. A picnic will celebrate the successful course on Sunday Aug. 7 at 4 p.m.
Call Sheri Vollmerhausen at (301) 725-8593 to register.
We've been feeding this absolutely lovely feral cat for the last year and a half. So has the entire neighborhood. We've never formally named her, but a good name might have been Legion, for the number of her progeny.
Yes, Legion, or Mama cat, produced offspring before we knew it was possible. Feral though she might be, she knew a good deal when she saw one and snuck into my sister's porch to give birth.
There among the discarded Super Soakers, her first litter of six was born. After shamelessly peddling the kittens to our friends, we caught her for a visit to the vet. She escaped, disappeared and only returned a month later, visibly engorged. She roamed the neighborhood, but never let us near.
Three days before my vacation, she appeared again, slimmed down. Either she found the perfect diet or she had another litter. I found the answer when I returned from vacation. In our absence, she'd moved her new litter to the porch. Second verse, same as the first.
Again, there was no way to catch her, although we found good homes for the kittens. Her last litter had only two kittens, instead of six. They were as white and dumb as snow, but very cute. She had them across the street, but we found them good homes, too.
This situation had passed ridiculous and was degenerating into farce. This time we borrowed a humane trap. After catching several neighbors' cats, we finally got her to the vet. Thank goodness.
After 14 kittens, I'd run out of friends. Special thanks to the staff of Beltsville Animal Hospital, who let her stay in the hospital while waiting for her rabies and other shots to clear her system before spaying her.
They understood how difficult it is to catch a wild cat. The SNAP program, Spay and Neuter All Pets, provides financial help to pet owners getting their animals fixed. Call your local veterinarian for the details.
Cathy Whitehead of the Carroll Baldwin Hall board of directors has copies of a Savage video for sale. The 1990 video depicts Savage, interviews residents familiar with the history of the town, such as Marian Mathews, Myrtle Phelps and Vera Filby, and includes footage of the town when it was a Christmas attraction.
It's not too early to think of Christmas gifts for former residents. The video costs $10, but you don't have to tell the recipients that. The proceeds go toward the matching funds necessary to have the state grant for the hall released.
The community has to contribute $3,000 to the effort. Call Ms. Whitehead to order this tape or the Carroll Baldwin Hall buttons for $2 at (301) 776-9691.