Sunday, October 3, 2010

Life in General

Our summer was HOT like most in the southeast. Hottest year on record. My garden was the pits because I just couldn't make myself go out there in that weather to weed. I didn't bother taking any pictures. It still looks like a bit of a jungle out there. In time, I'll get it back under control again.

We adopted two sibling puppies from a friend who saved them from a neighbor. (long story) They are a mix of chihuahua, pug and dachshund. Ours both have curly tails. Tigger's dog is named Odie and my little female is Blossom. I have to get some better photos of them so I can show them off. I forgot how expensive it is getting a dog. Sheesh!

Due to the immense amount of rain earlier in the year, our basement carpet started growing mold. We ripped it out and now are planning a major remodel down there. We are going to add a bathroom down there since we live with only one right now. I'm tired of waiting for my turn. Some people take all their library books in with them and it can be a long wait. We managed to get a bunch of free supplies but to save money we have to spend a lot of time in the next year working on this project. I foresee the King having to forfeit a fun vacation to work on the house this coming year. But it will all be worth it in the end. I hope. I'm living with almost 500 sq feet less space. It's cramping my style.

Currently we are preparing for a week long camping trip in Virginia. We will spend several days in D.C. doing the typical tourist thing. I'm sure I'll have photos when we get back. It's about the usual time where I start freaking out about all that needs to be done. I have to get my meal plan together and start gathering supplies. We are taking an extra friend with us so I just purchased a small tent that all 3 boys could sleep in. That means the big tent is for the King and I and the supplies. Yeah!

The school year, such as it is right now, is in full force. All co-op activities (drama, ASL, athletics, field trips, etc) are humming along. Both boys are now also taking art classes. Tigger is enthralled with it. Pooh informed me "I'll still do art if you want me to, Mom." So, he's still doing art. ;D

Oh! Pooh's voice has changed!!! I keep freaking out thinking "Who's voice is that?" Oh yeah. That would be my son. LOL He also discovered he is growing armpit hair. We are discovering he needs to be more vigilant with the deodorant. Yikes. I mentioned shaving to him one time (the mini mustache is on it's way) and can tell he's nervous about the prospect. He's already thinking he may cut himself. We'll be working through that one.

I can't think of anything else major right now. I'm sure I will as soon as this posts, but I'll leave that for another day. I'll catch up again soon!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lego Beatles

This last year Pooh has gotten really into listening to the Beatles. Evidently Tigger got into it too for a while so he's recreated them here for you-Lego style. :D It comes complete with the guy up front filming them for a video, aka Steve the cameraman. "He has a little mustache." says Tigger.

Love Ringo's drums!

Tigger no longer likes the Beatles but Pooh still loves singing along. Tigger is more into folksy banjo playing country songs now. Hey! It beats those annoying kids' cd's that make you want to pull out your eyelashes!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Raising Monarchs Part 2 (Heavy on Photos)

This was one of my most exciting nature experiences!!! I FINALLY got to see a butterfly emerge from it's chrysalis. I have raised numerous butterflies--painted ladies, black and tiger swallowtails. But this is the first time I've seen one in the process of coming out. Soooo, I took a lot of photos. ;D However, I'll spare you the minute details and give you the highlights.

When you are waiting for the chrysalis, you have to check it constantly because once it's ready, it's ready. I saw that ours had gotten dark and then noticed that I could see some faint color of the wings. So I brought it outside onto the front porch and we enjoyed the process.

Tigger got as close as he could. Once it starts emerging you realize that the chrysalis has gotten completely transparent and the darkness you saw was the butterfly.

The emergence happens pretty rapidly.

Once it's out it has to take it's time allowing the wings to fill with blood which puffs them out into what we're used to seeing.

The upside down photo--in an effort to get a shot between the wings. Didn't work but still neat.

So how many legs does a butterfly have? It's an insect right? So it should be 6. And it is. However, I could never see two of the six and here it explains why. (3rd paragraph under the adult section)
See the two black circles on the lower wings? That indicates this is a male. The female doesn't have those black circles.
More info and photos of the monarch can be found here.

We thoroughly enjoyed this experience raising a different kind of butterfly. With our kit, we received some seeds of the perennial milkweed plant so I'm hoping next year to get some of those plants going. One of my landscaping goals is to provide food and habitat for various wildlife. The milkweed plant is a host plant for the monarch. We already grow dill which is a host plant for the swallowtails. And passionflower vines which are the hosts for the gulf fritillary.

Plant more wildflower areas everyone! The bees and butterflies really need it.