Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's been a while since I posted last.

Last weekend the Little Kid had a softball tournament. First they played 2 games. Then, the next day, they were seeded and put into a bracket.

Her team split the first 2 games--winning the first and losing the second. The third game, they won, which meant, win or lose, they would play 2 more games! They ended up getting 4th place. It was so much fun to watch!!

They are 3-4th graders. So cute...

The coach was super nice, patient, and took everything in stride. Helped them get better at their skills and was very encouraging. As a parent, it was very nice to see this--something that I don't take for granted.

Ah, the joys of summer fun!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bright Eyed

This year I planted zinnias. My first thought dad likes these, I think I will grow them. Then, after I planted them, I remembered how bright and colorful they are. Such vibrant colors, easy to take care of, they make a great contrast to the usual "regulars" of my flower gardens: columbine, purple salvia, daisies, achillea, etc. etc.

Today, I am reminded of how little I feel like these guys. I am tired, after having spent all day in the car driving back from Chicago. The weekend, full of catching up, birthday celebrating, hanging out, is over. Whew, I wish I had the energy that zinnias exude!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The little kid, 8, is psyched to go to Chicago this weekend. How do I know? Since Sunday, she has been packing her bag. Actually putting everything into it and wheeling it around the house. We leave on Friday.

How endearing is that?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


In the past year or so, I have been more in touch with the friends of my childhood, high school and college. There's a time in my life, it seems, where I wish to look back and reach out to those from my past. See what they are up to, how they have fared in life. Mostly just catch up and talk, and ideally (but not always possible) spend time together.

There are several college friends who live in town, as our college is roughly 40 miles from where we live. We meet for lunch once a month. I find with "old friends", that it is so easy to pick up where we left off!! We have the past in common--our experiences, how we used to talk of our hopes and dreams. How we knew each others' parents and background.

We hang out, eat, and share. We talk about books that we like, and then we share them! We talk about one of our kids graduating from high school, or going to college, or transitioning to adult life, what it's like to raise a teenager in these times. We've all had successes and personal tragedies.

To understand and be understood is one of the most cherished things in life. And so, I cherish these times with friends.

To me, fair friend, you never can be old
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still.
* William Shakespeare

And new friends too...

Michael Jackson Memorial

Currently watching the Michael Jackson memorial.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ping Pong Hatched

New butterfly hatched today. Always a miracle. I love when the chrysalis turns black. You can see through it--the butterfly markings are clearly visible.

After hatching, this one fell to the bottom of our little "cage." It landed feet up, wriggling like crazy, trying to grab onto something so that it could hang and dry its wings. I had to quick run outside and get a stick. Held it ever so carefully by the flailing legs, let it grab on. Here's a photo of me holding the stick, trying to figure out how the heck to get the little guy back into the cage so it could hang properly. You can also see the empty chrysalis, now clear.

Success! The wings look perfect. Once they open, we will be able to tell if it's a girl or a boy butterfly. Hatching anew is very tiring. The butterfly is hanging now, motionless, and will do so for hours.

(I shot this photo through the netting. With flash, you can't even tell!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Butterfly Pics of the Day

Yes, we are hatching butterflies again this summer! Here are a couple recent photos of different stages.
Cute, fat caterpillar. "J" stage. New in chrysalis.

The chrysalis photo--this was an interesting process. When it is ready, it goes from the "J" on the left, to the chrysalis on the right. The yellow parts of the caterpillar stripes slowly morph into green and then merge together. On the right, you can still kind of see the stripe markings of the caterpillar. The process takes oh about a 1/2 hour. It was pretty cool to watch.

We now have 3 in chrysalis, 5 caterpillars or various sizes, and one teeny one that just hatched. We should have a couple new butterflies in the next few days!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Royal Old Friend

Every year this clematis breaks forth into bloom. It is amazing! It must be over 30 years old. It flows over the top part of the trellis, no matter how much I try to train it.

Often we take special photos by it.
Like this.
Or this.
Or just by itself.

This year is no exception. It is in fine form!!

Take a look at the very base of the clematis. See a little purple flower? It's a morning glory! Go figure. About 4" off the ground. I planted about half dozen from seed, with the idea that they will climb up the trellis and bloom later in the summer. Ah, well..

Dear Kate--Will you come have another photo op with our Royal Old Friend?? :D