Let's start with Caruso.
It seems like he's getting a little less frightened every day, although he has a long way to go before I'd call him 'comfortable' living here. The latest change in his behavior happened two days ago. I was sitting on the love seat in our living room, reading a book, when he emerged from under a table next to me, me-yowled a couple of times, and jumped up beside me. He began purring almost immediately, rubbing up against me and showing me exactly where he most needed scritches, when he noticed I had a small pillow resting against my (much-too ample) belly. He half-climbed onto the pillow, got that eyes-half-closed-ecstatic look that cats get when they're blissful, and began kneading the pillow, purring all the while.
After a few minutes of this, he noticed the other small pillow propped up in the opposite corner of the love seat, went over there, did a little kneading, and curled up for a quick wash-up and a nap. We sat there together for a long time, me reading and Caruso napping. It was a lovely moment of peace and calm, and I'm hoping for many more.
On another topic entirely... David built me a small, raised garden bed in the sunniest corner of our back yard. At one point, there was a huge (and apparently gorgeous) cherry tree back there, but it died and had to be cut down. The folks from whom we bought our home had built a child's play structure in that area that David took apart last year. We had the tree stump ground down last summer, our nephew carted the sliding board and swing away to use for his kids, and David salvaged all of the lumber and most of the screws from the structure.
Last week, using what he'd salvaged from the play structure, he built the raised beds. We got a trailer full of soil from David's sister & brother-in-law, he shlepped it all down in wheelbarrow loads, mixed it with soil from the garden, and yesterday I planted veggies (four kinds of tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, cukes, eggplant and zucchini). I need to strew some Sluggo on the soil to try and prevent a slug-fest out there, and to keep everything well watered and weeded. With some luck we'll have salads made from our own little veggie garden later in the summer!