We began our visit with a few days staying at my mom's house. Her lovely garden is such a haven.
Vegetable garden alongside the driveway
The robins think so, too. A mama robin built her nest in a small planter hanging on the wall by Mom's back door. So teeny cute!
Three chicks cozied in together. I saw one on its first flight several days later!
Mama is very careful not to give away her nest's location. If you're too close, she just flies from rooftop to rooftop trying to distract you.
So the only way I could capture her feeding the little'ns was to zoom WAY in from afar (hence graininess).
Mom had saved a bunch of shoes from my aunt Shelley's closet (she died recently after a long, brave fight against metastasized breast cancer). Shelley had large feet and we all know how annoyingly difficult finding good shoes is for me. It was incredible. She had 15 pairs of shoes, and one after another fit perfectly! I have 8 pairs of shoes that fit perfectly 3 that I'll be able to use with some inserts, and 1 that was specifically built for Shelley's foot and fits me surprisingly well: 12 new pairs of shoes! I tripled the number of shoes I own in one blow! I sent most of them home with Ben in a big awkward box (thanks, Ben!), but took a few of them to DC with me:
Also, while I was there, Mom had me go through a box of a quilt project I had started to throw out anything I didn't want any more and to take the rest of the project with me back to California (again, thanks for lugging that big box home, Ben). It was a quilt I started to make probably 10 years ago--it used all my old tee shirts and scraps of fabric that were important to me somehow in my childhood. Without looking at them, I was tempted to just throw it all away. However, when I opened the box and looked at all the squares I had made, I was impressed with the level of commitment I had shown to get as far as I had, and I was inspired to finish the job--it will be a really cool quilt when it's done! I spread all the squares out and felt proud of myself, for being the person now that I hoped I would be as an adult when I was a kid (there must be a more eloquent way to say that). This square kind of sums that feeling up: Also in the box was my favorite sweater circa 1987. It has zoo animals all over it with bright colored and glittery ties. I mean, could you get more ME? Animals, sparkles, silliness: