>Since I am no longer gainfully employed, I extended my trip to Iowa by another two nights. If I didn't have my last lit class tomorrow night, I'd stay a few more days. It has been wonderful spending time with my sister and nephew, and I am going to miss them so much. I'm counting down the days until I see tham again at my parents' house in July.

The funny thing about Iowa is that it takes me as long to get here from NYC as it does to go to London or San Francisco, thanks to the lack of direct flights. I'll use the time offered by my layover at O'Hare to ponder the pictures I took this weekend. I decided that Marcus looks like an elf baby, especially with his knitted cap.

The little guy is definitely related to us, though. When he's awake, his cloudy blue eyes hone in on whoever is holding him, passing judgement. He watched me so intently this evening that I nervously explained to him that I'm really an OK person, if he'll give me a chance. Marcus's other big thing is to open one eye, squint like Popeye, and then shut it quickly again, pretending he didn't just scope out the situation and find it lacking. He's a character already.

Yeah, I miss them already, and I'm still on their couch. I'm sure their cats won't miss me, though. They finally will be released from their holding cell (the basement) when we depart for the airport.

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