Let's start with some shout outs:
Jacey -- thanks for the suggestions about and about birds in the backyard and pedicures for diabetics. Interestingly, I'd picked up a copy of that very magazine you suggested on the same day you suggested it! And wonder of wonders -- I found a podiatrist who makes house calls!!!
Ron -- It's so good to hear from you. Thanks for the encouragement!
Matt -- Your words brought tears to my eyes -- merci beaucoup! (More about French in a minute...)
In many ways, my life is coming full circle these days. No I'm not talking about my parents struggles. Rather, it seems like things I was interested in decades (literally!) ago have come to the forefront in ways I'm really enjoying.
I took French in high school. Why French? Because at that time, my choices were Spanish (which was thought of as the "easy" language, and I wanted no part of that), German (which sounded harsh to my ears) and French (the natural default). But after the requisite two years of instruction, I never touched it again until now. Austin's taking French in high school, and if he's lucky, he'll be one of the students selected to take a trip to France next summer. Yeah, guess who's chaperoning that trip -- MOI! So I got a copy of Rosetta Stone French, and have been stumbling my way through a little bit at a time.
This is what my kid does when he's not conjugating French verbs. :) (Yes, that's actually MY kid!!!)
One of my favorite books growing up was "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The descriptions of both the vegetable garden and the kitchen were so vivid and wonderful and they made me want to be good at gardening and cooking. I did learn to cook years ago, and I'm fairly good in the kitchen (although somewhat unmotivated at times!) but I'm starting to enjoy the actual process of cooking. Well, that is, when the stars align and we're actually home for dinner. Tonight we're having Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Viniagrette, Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan, and a simple salad. It's the least I can do when I'm leaving for the weekend, right?
This weekend Tucker and I will be in Southern California, and tomorrow we'll be at Disneyland with my mother. I can't wait!!!
Finally, I took myself on a field trip to several garden places I hadn't seen before. At one place, I found the very best garden decoration in the world (at least to my way of thinking). It's ceramic on metal and stands about 5 feet tall. Alas, it costs more than $1000, so it will have to remain at its current residence (sigh).
Isn't it wonderful?!?! Doesn't it look just like me?