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John Cougar Mellancamp Would Love Beaver

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Many good ‘ole small towns in the U.S. of A have a gazebo in the town square. Our’s included.

Only Beaver’s gazebo isn’t a structure from the town’s earlier years, nor was its construction planned by the city. Nope. Our gazebo was built specifically for the movie Gung Ho.

See, director Ron Howard needed to do some filming and Beaver provided the perfect quintessential small town. Only it was missing a gazebo.

Not anymore!

So tonight, we ate ice cream on that gazebo, on which Obama also stood while visiting Beaver on the campaign trail, as the smell of funnel cakes, candy apples, cotton candy, and the smoke from carny cigarettes filled the night air.

Today was my most favorite day in Beaver to date. And by “to date”, I mean, one week.

It began with a trip to Capo’s in New Brighton to see if we could find a vanity for my bedroom. Our bathroom is tight. It would be better for the entire family if Mom could just do her whole beauty thing somewhere other than in the crowded bathroom. I can dig that. Someday, (after we’re done paying for our new appliances), we’ll begin talking about putting in a second bathroom, but for now, this one is it. So, in the interim, to alleviate the traffic jam in one of the most coveted rooms in the house, we began shopping for a vanity for my bedroom, at which I could Mary Kay myself up the way I like without having to be all speedy. Sometimes a girl just likes to sit and take time on herself, you know?

Capo’s is one of those places that reminds me a bit of Sanford and Son, only it’s heavy on furniture. There are rows down which one can not even walk, and then there are the shelves stacked with old trinkets. It’s pretty incredible. I did not find my vanity (although I’ve got a good bite on one through Craig’s List), but I did get an incredibly modern reading chair for under Harper’s loft at just $10 (which was a surprise find in a place filled with pieces from the 1930’s).

We then dropped some goods at the local thrift store and checked out the local market – which I LOVED! I can’t stand huge supermarkets. My options here are Giant Eagle ($$$), Walmart (I have Walmart issues), Aldi (I’m down with Aldi), and a few other choices. However, today, I decided to check out the small store on 3rd. I adored it. Best find? The Amish chicken. Produce? Not great – but I intend to hit the Farmer’s Market for that. The people were nice, the selection was fine and the variety was just enough.

After that stop, we hit the local consignment store, which ROCKS. My mom and I will totally be hitting that place on Saturday after I treat her to a mani and I get a much needed pedi. She’s working her tail off at my house right now. She deserves all the specialty coffee drinks and manicures she desires.

Got home, called over to our neighbor, a delightful 6th grader, and took a nice walk with her and the kids to the library. I love our library. While the kids searched the entire place (literally every shelf high and low) for the “mystery book of the week” which was wrapped and tied with ribbons, I got our library cards, and also signed up Harper and Zane for the reading games. Here, they win “book buck’s” for reading over the summer. They collect these bucks to redeem for prizes at the “store”. The best part? Harper has signed up to read stories to Ishtar, a working black lab. The library offers the opportunity for kids to read to three working dogs. Harper chose to read to Ishtar on two dates. She gets to choose the books and Ishtar will sit at her feet while she reads. Um, how excited do you think Harper is about this?

The remainder of the night was spent at the town carnival, chatting with neighbors (who brought rice crispy treats), and reading to the kids on the porch.

What deserves a post of its very own is the adventure we took in an old house that is up for sale down our block. Victorian. 14 bedrooms. Holes in the porch. Very Boo Radley, or original Nancy Drew. We learned that it is always unlocked so we ventured in with the kids . . . spooky? I should say so. It’s a wonder the kids even fell sleep tonight.

Stay tuned . . .

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