Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Raising butterflies and growing vegetables...

My blog is suffering from a serious case of neglect.

I can't believe that it has been two weeks since I posted anything. I can't believe that it is the middle of July. I can't believe that I walked into Hobby Lobby today and had to look at Christmas decorations. Seriously....I thought the back to school sales advertised on every Sunday paper insert were bad. 

Even Spencer who I had with me on my shopping trip first noticed the fall decor that was filling the shelves. He looked at me quizzically and asked "Why is fall stuff out already?" Because my dear boy, we will seemingly blink our eyes and feel that familiar chill in the air. Summer...you just got here! Please hang out for a while!

Our days have been jam packed. Tennis lessons. T-ball games. Playing at the park. Beach. Geocaching (more on that later). Slip n' slide. Trips up North. Painting. More painting. Did I mention painting? We painted our kids bathroom and the "new" closet mudroom. The mudroom is awaiting the locker system that I designed and Trent is building. The bathroom is finished. Well, not completely. I have decided that I have to find and hang a couple of towel bars and am waiting for the poster frame sale at Hobby Lobby so I can frame and hang the artwork in there. Both paint jobs just breathe new life into those spaces that were previously so dull.

In other news around our house. Our garden is starting to show the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. I picked and cooked our first zucchini today. The kids were so excited and actually ate a ton of it at dinner. I found a teeny tiny green pepper on one of the other plants today, so I am pretty excited about that. I didn't know how the peppers would fare because the deer munched on some of the blossoms for a tasty midnight snack. Our cherry tomato plant is still going strong despite the fact that Hailey enjoys picking off the tomatoes whether they are ripe or not. She does not discriminate.


When we were at the cabin for Father's Day, Evan and I were walking along the road and found three caterpillars right next to each other. We searched other milkweeds but those three were the only ones we found. They were almost full grown so we brought them home in a jar and the next day they crawled to the top of the cage and started to "j" up. It was the ultimate lazy butterfly growing experience because we didn't even have to walk to collect milkweed everyday for them. They were like instant chrysalises.
A week or so later while Hailey and I were on a walk, we went by the milkweed patch and found another almost full grown caterpillar. We brought him home and added him to the cage with the three chrysalises. The first three butterflies emerged right around the fourth of July. Two on the third and one on the fifth. We let them walk on our arms and clothes and watched as they flew away.
Only one chrysalis remained. The milkweed in the bottom of the cage was getting old and kind of moldy (we have never had it get moldy before - I don't know why it did this time). I was getting a bit tired of the cage sitting in our kitchen, so today when our final butterfly finally emerged I was so happy to clean the cage and get the thing outta here! We took the cage and butterfly out to the deck to let him free. Spencer the ever inquisitive boy was looking at the cage in disgust and asking about the "fluffy" stuff inside. It was then he shouted out "There is another baby caterpillar in here!" Sure enough - crawling along on one of the dead, dried up, moldy leaves was a little caterpillar less than a centimeter big. Upon further inspection we found another one as well - this one even smaller than the one Spencer spotted.
Those little critters owe Spencer their lives because if it weren't for him they would have been in the trash can with the moldy leaves. Apparently some of the milkweed we picked must have had eggs on them. When we cleaned all the "icky" out of the cage we also found another itty bitty that didn't make it. Poor thing.
So the cage is not leaving my kitchen. And we are going to have to gather fresh milkweed for them everyday - these little guys are nowhere near full grown. The best laid plans....






She was trying to be so brave and then they just started to really freak her out!

I am going to try to be a better blogger in the next couple days. I am not making any promises since we just decided to head to the Wisconsin Dells to visit my sister and family and to celebrate some big guy turning eight years old! Since we will most likely be gone on his "real" birthday, he decided he wanted to have a party with his school buddies next week. In fact that is why we were shopping today. We were BUYING invitations for his birthday party. You cannot imagine how much it hurts me to type that. This is the first time I have ever bought invitations for one of my kids parties. Not that there is anything wrong with buying them. Birthdays are just my thing. I am all about the organizing and the theme. I LOVE it. I LIVE for it. He wants to go to Craig's Cruisers for the party and he picked out Pirates of the Caribbean invitations. The depths of my soul were screaming at his choices. Every fiber of my being wanted to take him home and just get the stuff myself. I offered suggestions like "What about a golf theme, since you will be mini-golfing. Or even video games?" For the love of God - please, something to tie this all together! He wanted the Pirates AND the Go-Karts. It is HIS birthday. I will get over it. Maybe not without some serious therapy though.

4 comments:

jensenbo said...

Nice to "see" you blogging again!! Your posts are always so interesting and fun to read!! Keep it up, girl!! (When you have time, that is.)

jensenbo said...

Cool garden, by the way!! You'll have to show me where you get your plants. Mine never amount to much.

dr said...

I love the last photo of Hailey with the butterfly. I just want to hug that little girl. She looks so traumatized! Congrats on your harvest. We are just trying tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs this year until we have the energy to tackle the back yard some year...

fisher said...

That is so funny about the invites~ Good for you to just "let it go". You are doing a great time blogging, gardening, organizing the taxi services to all the kids events. Keep it up. Great pics, love the colors.