This is National Mental Health Awareness Week, prompting blogger Leslie Parsley to post a riveting series on Parsley’s Pics about her personal experience with bi-polar disorder. Her posts are brave, candid and extremely informative. You’ll find them at

Meanwhile, over in Minneapolis, George Phenix has hit his stride in a series of posts at Blog of Ages, where he dissects the Tea Party down to a single leaf, then whooshes it down the disposal, with élan. Favorite line: “Take back America----if you still have the receipt!” You might want to start at the top for his take on fall colors, then scroll down to read the next four posts on the TP. See
Full disclosure: I have fallen in love with the blog French Letters, but don’t let my Francophilia scare you away from a great site. Food writer Abra Bennett has chronicled her life (and gourmet cooking) on both sides of the pond for several years, with eloquence and grace. Now, she and her husband are on a cruise from Seattle to Panama, having the time of the lives as they navigate the treacherous waters bordering his cancer therapy and their deep-seated love and respect for one another. To follow their voyage, start with Sailing Away, here:

One of my favorite French letters begins this way:
Fifteen years ago today we stood together in our garden and cast our collective fate to the four winds.  A garden that I’d fertilized to a faretheewell just to have a riot of flowers surround us as we said yes, we would, in sickness and in health, and in everything else that married couples face.  I didn’t realize it then, but I’d be fertilizing throughout our entire marriage, since love needs to be fed even more than flowers do, if you want it to bloom.