I made a patio today

For real, y'all! Our deck is lovely to eat and play on, but not so good for keeping the grill on. (It could be the size of a hockey rink - let's go 'Canes, by the way, you take that cup, boys - and not be big enough for the grill, since someone small and squirrely has a tendency to race to whatever's currently on fire and clutch it like a life ring.) So today Mom and I made a 5'x5' pavered patio space between the two big old trees in our backyard. We are feeling delightfully accomplished and utterly crippled. Thank God for the remote and delivery pizza.

At Lowe's, Norah was hamming like she's never hammed before. She was wearing the John Deere outfit that goes with her green hat (although she generally is only willing to wear the hat when she's otherwise unclothed, don't ask me why) and everyone in the garden section had something to say about That Cute Little Boy. Gender issues notwithstanding, the princess flirted and fluttered and slid sly sideways smiles at the old men buying geraniums with their old wives. I now have proof that she is my child - she must be the center of attention at all times, and God help anyone who dares to put her in her car seat and leave her there while trying to load 125 bricks into the back of a Toyota.

Kate is gone, off to visit my dad in Indiana before heading back to Boston. It's quieter here, and remarkably less entertaining. And my mom is leaving for good on Saturday. As some of you know, the 'rents have been trying to sell their house and move here, and my mom has been with us for the last year while my dad waited and waited and waited... and waited... for someone to go ahead and buy the place. It never happened, so my mom is headed home. We're getting our house back. And I am sad.

Hence the patio, hence our pizza (we said it was because we were too sore to cook, but it was a big old lie and we should not kid ourselves). We're cramming as much fun as we can into the next five days, calories and backaches be damned. Tomorrow we may do something completely nuts, like go rock climbing, if I can just get Norah to quit eating the caribeners. Carribeeners. Carribean-ers. Oh, you know.