Right by Nature. It was a delightful experience at one of Pittsburgh's best stores around! I love the local produce, eco-friendly products and super-happy staff. Plus the food is unbelievably delicious. Local wine and beer was served at stations around the store and was nicely paired with creative culinary delights. I could get used to spending my Friday evenings this way! Unfortunately, they only do this once a month so I have to wait until September to experience it again. For those of you in Pittsburgh, Right by Nature even offers free parking (with purchase) in the parking garage. It doesn't get any better than this...really.
After we were done, my husband and I strolled, hand-in-hand, down the block to Harp and Fiddle where we sat on the outdoor deck and enjoyed an amazing dinner in a fantastic atmosphere. Date nights with my husband. It doesn't get any better than that...oh wait, I fear I'm repeating myself. Well, the fact of the matter is that my Friday night was fantastic. How was yours?
Of course, for those of you who know about my friend, Sharon, the night was overshadowed with our concern for her, and I wouldn't want you thinking she wasn't on our hearts and minds.
On Saturday, my granddaughter, Laura, and I headed down to the Allegheny Green & Innovation Festival, dubbed as "a new fair for a new economy." When I read about the festival, I knew I had to be there, for a variety of reasons. One, I looked forward to the education I'd receive just visiting the various booths and exhibits. Two, I saw it as a networking opportunity I just could not miss. And three, I wanted to share an experience like this with Laura. She'll be 22-months-old soon and seemed to soak in all she could at the festival, from the petting of an albino boa constrictor to, in my opinion, the ickier petting of a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach....okay then....
Because we were walking on a grassy terrain, I opted not to use the stroller and instead strapped Laura up in her new monkey harness. I've never used a "leash" on a toddler before and wasn't quite sure how I felt about it. As it turns out, she didn't need it as she never even tried to stray from my side and mostly wanted to be carried anyway (I paid for that later in aches and pains in places I didn't know could hurt). But the backpack style harness ended up creating a nearly tragic story on its own.
As Laura was petting a cat caged on a display at the Animal Friends exibit, a leashed pit bull emerged from underneath the table and attacked the stuffed monkey's head, shaking it back and forth. Laura's little body jerked with the movement of the dog, naturally frightening her. Knowing that dogs often attack when they sense fear, I was terrified that the dog would transfer its aggression onto Laura instead. The woman at the exhibit pulled on the leash and I pulled on the backpack and we were able to separate the two. But not before my granddaughter was understandably shaken. Not wanting to turn this into a traumatic experience for her, I didn't react the way I wanted to. After all, I didn't want her to grow up fearing dogs. The woman at the booth picked up two stuffed toys from the ground and simply said, "Oh, he just thought that was one of his toys." No apology, no horror over what just happened, just a glib explanation. I will be following up on this later in the day, believe me. My main question is: why would you have a dog like that at a festival with children? Defend them all you want, but the bottom line is this breed of dog cannot be trusted, especially around children.
We enjoyed the rest of the day, with me finally switching to the stroller, and, as I anticipated, with me making some nice contacts. As the week wears on, you'll be hearing about some of them and about some of the things I learned.
Keeping it green locally,