(I wrote this DAYS go, and then forgot to post it! Sorry, gals and guy!)
Lisa asked if I'm still working at the after-school program. Yes, I am. I came within an ace of leaving (and even gave my 2-week notice one day when things were particularly bad), but I did change my mind and decided to stay. I received excellent administrative support (what a difference that makes!!), and made a few changes in the classroom with my co-teacher, and things are much, much better. I'm glad I stayed. Plus, this is the kind of job where you can take a few days off to go visit family, and they will pull in one of their many capable substitutes ... no problem! I will be doing that soon, so I can visit family in West Virginia.
BTW, if you click over to Lisa's blog (linked above) you can read about Badger's visit there on his 'Round the World Tour. And you can see what so many of us dreamily hoped was Lisa's own larder, but which turned out only to be a googled image. I'm crushed :( I was hoping so much that I had a friend with a fabulous larder such as that!
Oh -- a few of you are still "no-reply comment" bloggers. That means when you leave a comment here, and it comes to my email, I am not able to reply to you via email. Gretchen, Lisa, Deborah M., and some others are like that. Sometimes I'll reply on my blog, but that's inconvenient. Sometimes I'll pull up a new email and write you that way, if I have your email address. But if you don't hear back from me regarding your comments as often as you expect, that might be why.
Dasha asked about our shopping malls here, noting that hers in Australia don't seem to be struggling. I think in the U.S.A. we've been seeing the decline of the large shopping mall for a couple of decades. Perhaps not so much in large urban/suburban areas with good spending populations. But America's love of the big-box store, the massive mall, and many other institutional allegiances, is dying. Walking through WalMart the other day I noted to Adam that they were out of my new favorite deodorant (Tussy's Deodorant Cream -- I LOVE the aroma!).
"You could order that on Amazon," he said.
"Order my deodorant on Amazon? I would never do that," I replied.
"It's the way of the future," he added. "Everything sitting on these WalMart shelves has all the shipping cost figured into the price. Amazon is starting to do the same thing."
"So how long will it be before we all order everything online and have it delivered to our houses?" I asked.
"Not long," he replied. "The day of the big-box store is already ending."
Except during the holiday season (from now until Christmas) our big shopping malls are pretty empty. More people exercise there at 10:00 AM than shop. They walk briskly around the inside periphery, chatting and waving hello. It's safe, air conditioned, and free.