Seven, new, fuzzy, glow-in-the-dark tennis balls emerged from the snow in the backyard, thanks to the overnight rain and temperatures in the 60s.

And we had lunch at a deli on the North Shore with my brother-in-law. Yum, cheese blintzes. Barley soup. And when is the last time that I saw a dill pickle as a side to a sandwich? It does not happen in the western suburbs.

And, after seeing an article on Chinese restaurants of different regional styles in Chicago by Monica Eng (she of the fame of trying to taste everything at the Taste of Chicago), I discovered that there is an amazing food court next to the Asian supermarket about a mile from my house. I dashed in to pick up a takeout menu and saw lots of interesting-looking meals going on, involving large bowls of soup with noodles and dumplings and other tasty things. Everyone eating and working was Asian, which makes me think that the food will be authentic and good. Lunch or dinner, tomorrow, is the plan.