My mom and I are both impressed with how well Shado is doing with all this. In previous years he would have hidden out in the cat room for the duration of the time on the rare ocassions anyone was over, but he's been about, if a bit leery, and he's even sniffed her hand twice! She's determined to get to pet him by the time she leaves.
I also got a card from Pantha (*hugs*) a beautiful gift from my aunt, and a wonderfully practical one from my parents (luggage!).
Last but not least, I was able to capture one of the iridescent green beetles that have been frequenting my sidewalk this year. Up north I read about the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species from @$%# China that's poised to wipe out all the ash trees on this continent (does anyone remember the American Chestnut?). To my immense relief, my catch was a tiger beetle instead. I'm so glad--Wisconsin is battling the first forerunners this far west, but the Emerald Ash borer hopefully hasn't reached my beloved Minnesota just yet. Sometimes it's wonderful to be just plain wrong. =)