A Day in the Country

I was going to start this out with “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”, but I think that’s already been used. So I think I’ll just go with I had a great time and about a million calories at the family reunion and call it done.

I had an energetic and productive (not to mention, lucrative) reunion-eve. A friend who owns her own cleaning business had asked if I would help her with a massive 3-story cleaning gig downtown. I readily agreed, despite the fact that I had a dusty house of my own in need of attention. In addition to the lark of doing something new, I knew it would be great exercise. And it was! My glutes are still protesting, but only mildly.

No pictures of the house we cleaned (it was gorgeous!) as that seemed an invasion of privacy. I did, however, snap a photo of this kitty (Emmie, who the same friend is pet-sitting) hoping for a potential protein source to land outside her window:

cat in window watching birdbath

Here, birdie, birdie!

The work was hard, but the pay was surprisingly good–better than that offered for most of the jobs I’ve been applying for, which is quite sad, really. I’m not a good enough housekeeper to hang out my shingle, or dust mop, in this case, but I’d help out again, if needed. I am, however, pursuing the pet sitting biz. I had no idea how much it paid! And I’ve already got my first customer! Woot!

Saturday was the day of the big reunion, and it started early–5 a.m. I made a super easy batch of mini-corn muffins (more on those later in the week) and hopped in the car to do some country touring on the way. First stop, Oxford, MS, home of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).

oxford (MS) courthouse

Lafayette County Courthouse

Oxford (MS) Town square

Oxford (MS) Town Square

Oxford is one of those quaint southern towns with a courthouse at the town center and shops and restaurants on the square surrounding it. I enjoyed walking around and window shopping. Eventually I sought some shade and had a visit with this guy:

William Faulkner statue (Oxford, MS)

William Faulkner

William Faulkner lived in Oxford off and on for most of his life, and the university maintains his home there. Fortunately for me, he was much less wordy on this visit than he was as an author. :) I didn’t have time for chit-chat. I had a reunion to get to and more miles to travel. But first, a quick stop at McD’s since I had no idea if there were any rest areas up ahead. Good call; there weren’t. Plus, the stop provided this giggle:
oxford t-shirt slogan

A town with a sense of humor and a sense of community–I like it!

After driving for what felt like hours, I found the turn-off for yet another country road and stopped to check my map. When I looked up, this is what I saw:
horse and rider

It’s a woman on a horse, right? Big deal. Except she’s texting while riding. It’s not something you see every day. And you shouldn’t. If I can’t drive and text (and I don’t!), then she shouldn’t get to ride and text. And if you squint, you can just make out two mangy (literally!) dogs barking warnings at her from the middle of the road.

Five miles and seventeen turns later, I arrived at the site of the reunion:

country church

Old Field Methodist Church, Bruce, MS

As you can see, it was a lovely old country church with a cemetery alongside. My family has their own row:
mc kibben family plot

I have to tell you, it’s very surreal to see the names on some of these headstones and then go inside the reunion and talk to those same people. Apparently it’s the custom to purchase a double headstone when a spouse dies and do as much of the engraving as possible. Maybe they see it as being more expedient for the family left behind if all they have to do is have the date of death engraved? I dunno, but it would definitely create a dilemma if there was a remarriage in the future.

Anyway. Amongst the living, there was food and more food:


Entrees, vegetables, and breads


Appetizers and desserts

Blueberries, melons, tomatoes and corn are in season, and we had several dishes featuring those. Plus, we had cousin Carol’s traditional caramel cake–so-o-o- good! It was worth driving several hours for, that’s for sure, even if my piece was extra small because there were so many people there that I didn’t want to be piggish and deprive them of the caramely goodness. I made up for it by having an equally small piece of coconut cake and, later, a blond brownie for the road. :)

It was great to see everyone again, but I’m glad we only do this once a year! LOL I’m also glad that there are no events like this on my calendar for the next several months. I’m ready to get back to splurging on fro-yo! :)

But for this week, I’m focused on workouts and home projects. Plus, I may build a website for my new pet-sittin’ biz. Or maybe I’ll defer that until I actually complete an engagement. :)

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

14 thoughts on “A Day in the Country

  1. Oh wow – that food spread reminds me so much of family get togethers and church potlucks! I’ve also been doing the cemetery thang with my Dad – weird to see him pick out a headstone with his name on it.

    I had a lawyer friend who quit being an attorney for several years and worked as a pet sitter. She loved it. Only money made her go back to being an attorney. We love our pet sitting company! They are part of the family now.

  2. I adore this post, Cammy.
    Lived vicariously and now wanna make a OUR FAMILY IS SO SMALL WE DONT HAVE A DRUNK SO WE TAKE TURNS tee.

    or perhaps just a MAMA NEEDS SOME WINE? :)

    either way.

  3. Cammy, I felt like I was with you every step of the way! You have a way with story telling that I love!!! What great pics & beautiful views & I want to visit the town that does not have a drink! Too funny!

    Glad you made a few bucks & that pet sitting sounds like a deal! No corporate politics either! 😉

  4. I LOVE the t-shirt. Love the post.

    My sister does some pet/house/barn sitting. It does pay pretty well. I’d much rather have someone stay in my home to take care of my pets (if I had them) than board them.

  5. Girl you make me laugh so hard. I had tears in my eyes reading about the texting horse woman but then the row of family tombstones!!! LOL!! You know the first spouse gets you when your gone. Seriously, the other day my new husband told me that the plot on the other side of where his first wife is buried is open and he thinks he may go ahead and buy it. So I can be planted on the other side of him!!!! I was stunned!! However, he was just a serious as can be. Thank God he didn’t mention going ahead and buying a tombstone. This one will give you a giggle, my cousin gave his wife (both of them are healthy) a tombstone for Christmas one year. Red bow, in the grave yard just like it was a new car. She thought it was odd that he was taking her to the cemetary on Christmas. That was 20 years ago and she still grips about it. Glad you had fun.

  6. Emmie looks like Pixie! Those kitties love birdie TV (aka window)

    Pet sitting can be lucrative. I thought about doing that, but having to give up most holidays didn’t appeal to me since I was already doing that with my old job LOL! I would use you for Pixie if you lived up here 😀

  7. I think offering personal services is a great way to make money while looking for permanent employment – and could even become permanent eployment! Add dog walking to pet sitteing. I know a woman with a thrivng business doing dog walking for all the working folks in our town.

    And texting while riding…just when you think you’ve seen it all!

  8. Cleaning…not my gig, but pet sitting? Ooh that sounds like fun! I wish you much success in that venture!!! :)

    I can’t believe what employers are trying to hire people at these days. I guess with so many people out of work it’s an employers market right now.

    Glad you had fun at the reunion!

  9. Hi Cammy, what a lovely looking town!!!! Glad you enjoyed the reunion. And the t-shirt and texting horse woman are hilarious! Have a great day!!

  10. This was fun. But now I want caramel cake. And petsitting. Boy howdy is it lucrative. Almost half the cost of any trip I take is for my petsitting bill. But that’s my fault for having a big barky dog and two little pipsqueaks. So I have to pay double.

  11. I just love your travel log posts!
    My favorite of this one has to be the lady texting on the horse.
    I think pet sitting is a great idea. I know someone here who’s making a good income as a dog walker.
    Good luck with it!

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