Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Summer Traditions

by Caro Lamont from Sparkle Abbey’s Pampered Pets Mystery Series

When my cousin, Melinda, and I were kids we spent a lot of long summer days on the Montgomery family ranch. Mel and I used to play in Grandma Tillie’s jewelry, trying on various pieces, pretending to be British royalty. Or Egyptian princesses. Or Mary Kay ladies. We had some fun times.

Then we’d ditch the baubles for outdoor play, chasing around with the dogs, climbing trees, and riding horses until we were grimy and dead dog-tired. Finally we’d head back to the house where Grandma Tillie always had a big pitcher of lemonade ready.

Now that Grandma Tillie is gone, my mother, Katherine, organizes a big ole summer barbecue at the ranch featuring ribs with a side of mop sauce, corn on the cob, baked beans and potato salad made with Grandma Tillie’s recipe. Then after all the eating, drinking, and socializing, we end the evening with a huge fireworks show in the pasture behind the main house. Mama Kat loves a big shindig and most of the time I look forward to it myself. But this year, Mama has managed to invite my friend, Sam Gallanos, who, to tell you the honest truth, I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to introduce to the family.

Then there’s my cousin, Mel, who in spite of those aforementioned fond memories from childhood, I am not looking forward to seeing. And who I am currently not speaking to. If I were, I’d let her know that her mother, Barbara, who is my mama's sister, has taken it upon herself to invite Grey, Mel’s former fiancĂ©.

Well… with all that going on…there may be more fireworks during the barbecue than after
.
But enough about me and my crazy family. What about you?

What are some of your summer traditions? Is there a trip you look forward to every year? A county fair or a local festival? A special family get-together?

Leave a comment below to be entered in Sparkle Abbey’s drawing for a Lazy Days of Summer gift pack .

Sparkle Abbey’s latest book is Book 7 in the Pampered Pets Mystery Series is DOWNTON TABBY (Bell Bridge Books)

“Fast moving, but not so much as to be confusing, DOWNTON TABBY was as tight as a newly wound ball of yarn and just as fun to unravel. With each turn of the page the questions kept coming, making this mystery even more intriguing, right until the surprising reveal. This was such an addicting read, I couldn’t stop reading it! Now I know how cats must feel about catnip! Cat lovers and mystery fans will be in their glory with this excellent read. DOWNTON TABBY will leave you purring in delight.”
~ Lisa K’s Book Reviews

 “Fun, fun, fun!!! Carolina ‘Caro’ Lamont finds herself knee deep in another murder investigation…”
~ A Cozy Book Nook

DOWNTON TABBY was a very fun read! Lots of quirky characters and I enjoyed all the information about the pets Caro works with. And the recipe Sparkle Abbey included, Toria’s Catnip Cookies for Aristo-cats, was a huge hit with all of my tabby taste testers!”
~K. Davis, Cinnamon and Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder

Next up? Book 8: RAIDERS OF THE LOST BARK
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28 comments:

  1. We usually go to Orlando during the summer to visit the parks, such as Islands of Adventure!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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    1. What a great tradition! We have family in the Orlando area and have loved visiting the parks. We haven't done the Islands of Adventure but will have to put it on the list! :-)

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  2. A family vacation... in fact we just got back from this year's trip to London and Paris. To see sights you've only read about was spectacular. I can't wait to read your latest. Sparkle, I love these books. The only thing better than Caro and Mel's latest adventure is the title of the books. Raiders of the Lost Bark!! LOVE IT.

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    1. Mary Louise - A family vacation is always fun and all about making memories and what a fabulous trip to get to see places like London and Paris! So happy for you and also happy you're enjoying our books!

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  3. Our family get-togethers included killer croquet (I stayed away from that), badminton (more my style), barbecued chicken (my mother turned the rotisserie by hand) corn on the cob, the world's best potato salad, the world's best chocolate cake, watermelon, and games like reciting silly verses that we made up on the spot. And lots of laughs...

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    1. Janet - We do a bit of croquet as well and have recently been thinking we need to track down a badminton set. (We're not sure the grandkids have ever played.) Your family get-togethers sound like a lot of fun!

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  4. Sparkle Abbey has The Best Titles ever! All so witty and clever. Well done, ladies! Just reading about cats makes me sneeze!! Allergies, doncha know.

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    1. Kay - Sorry about the allergies! Just kitties?

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  5. We just spend a lot of time outside in the summer enjoying all the wildlife that comes to our backyard.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. We have deer in our backyard. This year we've also had bunnies and a raccoon. The neighbors report seeing a fox but so far we haven't spotted him. :-)

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  6. Summer activities have changed over the years. Sunbathing (reading) while hanging out at a public pool no longer happens. I wonder if all the fairs and festivals that I attended while living in the Midwest still occur. I miss them. I hibernate indoors with AC and read during the summers these most recent years. Hubby goes on a two week to month and a half motorcycle trip, which is my vacation.

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    1. Barbara - There are a lot of fairs and festivals in Iowa. Currently we're gearing up for the State Fair - the kick-off parade is this evening. We find we tolerate the August heat less and less so we often visit the fair in the evening hours. Summer reading is our favorite part of the season!

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  7. We usually spend the 4th of July in the Blue Ridge Mountains camping. The kids and now grandchildren enjoy the annual making of homemade ice cream from my mama's recipe. Hopefully the local peaches are ready. After our afternoon picnic, the locals have a big fireworks show down by the lake. Lots of memories made.

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    1. Blue Ridge Mountain camping sounds like the makings of great memories! We were just telling the grandkids this weekend about making homemade ice cream - they were skeptical at first. We think it time to involve them in some homemade ice cream creation. LOL

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  8. We usually spend the 4th of July in the Blue Ridge Mountains camping. The kids and now grandchildren enjoy the annual making of homemade ice cream from my mama's recipe. Hopefully the local peaches are ready. After our afternoon picnic, the locals have a big fireworks show down by the lake. Lots of memories made.

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  9. We usually spend the 4th of July in the Blue Ridge Mountains camping. The kids and now grandchildren enjoy the annual making of homemade ice cream from my mama's recipe. Hopefully the local peaches are ready. After our afternoon picnic, the locals have a big fireworks show down by the lake. Lots of memories made.

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  10. We usually try to get the family together for a BBQ, usually either July or August to celebrate someone's birthday.

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    1. Family get-togethers are such a challenge when everyone is so busy, but they're so important to do. And doubly special if it's for a birthday celebration!

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  11. We aren't summer people. Lol. We live in an area where it's just too hot and miserable to be outside. I spend most of my time indoors reading. :-)

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    1. Dawn - We hear you on the heat. Reading indoors sound like a good plan.

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  12. As a kid my family spent as much time as possible traveling around, camping/
    Now my husband and I spend some time in wonderful Maine. A very nice change from south Florida in the summer!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Libby - We've not been to Maine but would love to go. It's definitely on our list!

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  13. We go as a family , kids and grandkids to Chicago to see the museums and the Shedd aquarium every summer . Of course we also eat chicagos famous deep dish pizza as well ! kathambre@yahoo.com

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    1. Kathy - That sounds like fun! We did the Museum of Science & Industry with the grandsons last year but didn't get to Shedd. Maybe there's still time this year. :-) And, Chicago deep dish pizza is a must!

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  14. We don't really have "summer traditions" but I enjoy spending my summers reading and being with my grandchildren. :)
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Reading and being with grandchildren is a great summer pastime in our book!

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  15. Thanks everyone for sharing your summer traditions. We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!
    The winner of the Lazy Days of Summer pack is Sue Farrell. Congratulations, Sue! We'll send you a email to get your mailing address.

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  16. We lived off a lake so summers were filled with barbeques on the beach & hanging out with the Italians who had a cottage next to our house. We were all musicians so we played music sang & danced! It was so much fun.

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