I made a quick trip to my parents over Labor Day, flying alone into Cleveland and driving a rental car to western New York. (For the second time in a row at CLE's Dollar Rental Car they were low on vehicles and I received an interesting car, above the class I'd reserved, this time a Jeep Liberty, again with Sirius satellite radio which is nice for the 2 1/2 hour drive). I flew up Saturday and back on Monday. I made the effort because my uncle and aunt were in from Arizona for a couple weeks and it had been too long since I spent any time with them. We had walks in the woods, chats by the vegetable garden, home-cooked meals and other fellowship.
Thinking back, once I arrived at the house the only excursion I made during the two days that went off property was the one to "Garden Image". They have great stepping stones and concrete lawn ornaments at unbelievable prices. Apparently they ship them, which is tough to imagine because they are (obviously) pretty heavy. I've looked a couple places here in north Alabama but so far haven't found anyplace with near the quality (or price); makes me think I should have tried to bring one of their lizards home on the plane . I would've liked to get one for my wife's birthday (I did get one for Mom's shrubbery garden). I settled for a life size painted toad with glass eyes and a couple terra-cotta fairies that are about 4 inches tall. I planted a purple pansy among some of our bushes a few days ago and let her know that it might attract toads and other small creatures; and then the toad appeared on her birthday. The fairies showed up over the weekend.