Story last updated at 2:13 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2002

Alrighty, folks. Listen up. You only have a couple of days to save yourself from certain doom. No, I'm not talking about the rumors that flew when those big warships sailed into our Cosmic Hamlet last week. I'm not even talking about the doc's orders to lift more than a jelly doughnut now and again. The force more deadly, to the heart, anyhow, is the wrath of Mamma if you carelessly forget that this Sunday is none other than the dame's day itself. That's right, ladies and gents, Mother's Day is barreling up. Luckily, these days there are wonderful inventions to save all our butts, like next-day air and Internet-assisted orders. After you get that out of the way, there's a plethora of best bets to help you relax and get ready for the marathon phone call Sunday morning.

BEST BIRDING BET: Every day, on the way across the Beluga Slough, more and more feathered friends are showing up, and this weekend, the flocks are expected to increase like crazy during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. Along with them comes crowds of goggle-eyed bird-watchers and a weekend jam-packed with events for all. Look at the full schedule in the festival program available all over town as well as some highlights on Page One.

BEST WARM SOUNDS BET: It's been a couple years since George Kahumoku, Jr., came to town with his Hawaiian sound, but this week, he returns to warm the still chilled Homer air with his slack-key guitar performance. Kahumoku performs at Alice's Champagne Palace at 8 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. Call 235-1921 for more info.

BEST YOUNG VOICES BET: Spring has lots of folks raising their vocal chords in song, but while the Betster has a personal affinity for that bathtub serenade, there's some folks who do a better job, for sure, like the 50 young members of the Alaska Children's Choir who will perform Friday starting at 7 p.m. at Homer's Faith Lutheran Church. Tickets are $6 per person, $15 per family and are on sale at the door.

BEST QUILTS A-PLENTY BET: Homer's got a ton of talented folks who while away many a day creating art with a needle and thread. Once a year, many of those cloth creations are presented at the Annual Kachemak Bay Quilt Show at the Homer Elks Lodge, and it's all happening this weekend from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Call 234-7023 for more information.

BEST POKES FOR PETS BET: Don't you just hate cringing when the vet asks you if little Fido is all up to date on those shots? Well, here's a chance to get at least one of them out of the way, and the next time Butch takes a bite out of the postman's shoe, you'll have the stuff necessary to keep the docs out of it. A free rabies vaccination clinic for cats and dogs is Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the Homer Fire Hall. All the four-legged friends need to be in a carrier or on a leash, and bring those vaccination records.

BEST SLUG OF SOUND BET: They may be called the Banana Slug String Band, but they don't move like their namesake. These four wildly energetic fellows take the stage to entertain young minds of all ages with their covertly educational and obviously entertaining songs about good ol' Mamma Earth. The show starts Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Mariner Theatre and tickets are $6 per person. Sources say the Alaska Children's Choir will join the frolicking fellows for a couple tunes.

BEST TEE TIME BET: The grass may still be working on its green, but out at the Kachemak Bay Lynx Golf Course, it's green enough to open the gates to all the Tiger wannabes. Saturday is the first day of the Homer golfing season, with teeoff at noon. On Sunday, moms golf for free all day. So pull out your best polyester plaid and hit the holes.