I thought that having an itty bitty kitty with three big dogs and an old, unwelcoming cat was enough to keep our tiny house in fur and noise to last forever, but this week the ‘Cousins’ have also come to visit.

My son, Austin, who is currently in Hawaii before moving on to Korea for a few months with his US Air Force unit, left his little dachshund, Herbie, and jack-rat terrier, Speck, to visit with Grandma. Actually, they were left with their Grandpa, who lives over in the Redlands in a place with ‘acreage,’ but he is taking all the other kids on their annual float trip on the Green River so I get the granddoggies for the week.

The kitten, now about 10 weeks old, is fearless. She doesn’t realize that she looks like a rodent of some kind, the kind that her cousins instinctively hunt. We’ve been calling her ‘Peanut’ for lack of a better name, and she has taken over the house.

In fairness to the other animals, we’re trying to keep her out of the old cat’s room with a stack of baby gates going up the doorless door frame, very challenging to get into place. We have the same system for the kitchen, since the appliances are freestanding, and the back of the kitchen stove looks to us like a very bad place to allow a tiny kitten to explore. It is also right next to Jason’s room…

The big collies haven’t quite figured out what to make of Peanut. Except Jason, of course, who would be happy to make lunch of her. He thinks “‘Peanut’ and jelly” sounds just dandy, as a matter of fact.

Since she climbs the baby gates as fast as a little monkey, it has also required some innovation on our part, we’ve finally duct taped slippery plastic placemats all along the top edge of the baby gates, since her little claws can’t yet penetrate them. It’s the only way to stop her from toppling over the top edge of the barrier. At least so far… but we’ve had great success in keeping ourselves out of the kitchen for random snacking, moving the baby gates each time is too much trouble! A new diet technique, maybe?

The Lavender Festival was a great success, it gets bigger and better every year. Memorial Park was full of vendors and exhibitors, and the shoppers and lavender aficionados were there in full force as well. It’s great to see the development of still another agricultural product in the area.

Next up is Palisade’s signature event, our annual Peach Festival, with the weekend officially kicking off on Thursday evening, August 14, with an old fashioned ice-cream social and street dance in the Town Plaza in downtown Palisade. There’s even talk of another cakewalk, a PeachWalk, since the 4th of July event was such a success. That means we’ll be needing some peach pies, cobblers and desserts to entice the players. So whatever type of peach delight you were planning on entering in the recipe contest, make two instead, one to enter and one to bring to the PeachWalk on Thursday evening.

I think it’s just great that Nick Babiak and his family and friends will be be coming to Palisade for this year’s Peach Festival. Nick is the Denver fifth grader that led the fight in the Colorado legislature to have the Palisade peach designated as the state fruit. Although the measure was eventually voted down, it was a great effort on Nick’s part and on our behalf. Look for him as the Grand Marshall of the Peach Parade, and the honorary Peach King for the weekend. We really can’t thank him enough!

I heard rumors that our Peach Queen and Princesses will be introduced to the public this week at the Palisade Chamber of Commerce monthly Business-After-Hours get together on Wednesday evening at Sage Creations. I can’t wait to meet them, I just love this tradition.

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Peaches are in the fruitstands now!