1. The rats are still alive. In fact (gulp) one of them might be pregnant. God help me if that's the case. I wish Rebecca had told me before we adopted them that rats can get pregnant when they're a month old. Ours are a couple of months old. Too late now. One of these days I'll get a photo of the little buggers posted. They really are as sweet as everyone says they are. And curious, too.
2. No, I did not go to Italy without addressing my hair color. My mother phoned me two days before I left to make sure I had made an appointment to get it done. Who did she think was going to care about my roots in Italy, the Pope? Nonetheless, I broke down and bought a box of Clairol, opting for a darker color and a cheaper option than going to a salon.
3. I can't believe Red October is now Dead October. For a team to win 102 games and collapse like they did is shameful. Pitching wins so long as your team scores at least one run. The Phils couldn't even muster that.
4. I'm grateful for the blessing of a new car. OK, not brand-new, but new for me. I traded in my gas guzzler for a pre-owned (USED) Toyota Rav4. Now I'll have 4WD when I need it, so rest assured there will be no snow whatsoever in the Northeast this winter. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
5. I can't believe it, but I'm actually contemplating another trip next year, and only because my mother brought it up again that she'd really like to go to Lourdes and Fatima. I have to say I don't relish the idea of having to make connecting flights in Portugal and France, but the dear woman has never traveled outside the US in her life, and if she's willing to leave my father for a week to do this, I can't justify saying no. We'll see. I'm not married to the idea. There is a trip to France that includes Lourdes, Nevers and Lisieux, which I would prefer over Lourdes and Fatima. Maybe I'll be able to talk her into it, IF I decide to go at all.
6. Yes, I successfully got the salami, olive oil and prosciutto past the customs folks. This despite the fact that a suitcase sniffing dog was on the job. I'm shameless about it, too.
7. Last but certainly not least, St. Therese has come through again. Gary has made a complete recovery, including kidney function, and a cousin diagnosed with a form of brain cancer that is usually fatal within months of diagnosis is now approaching 3 years of remission. While in Italy, I read the postscript to Story of a Soul that describes her final sufferings. I am still amazed at the graces with which she was endowed and her generosity in dispensing the favors she won on our behalf, for the sake of her Beloved.