Yesterday was my first day of school, so I’m working on readjusting to the rigors of college homework. This is a little bit of a shock, since my family just arrived home last weekend from spending two weeks on vacation in California (pictures coming soon). The weather is taking a sharp turn also, towards decidedly cooler temperatures. Autumn is approaching faster than I expected it.


   I’ve let milkweed grow in my garden for four years, and this is the first year I have anything to show for it. This week I found not one, but three monarch eggs attached under the leaves, so I brought them inside. Many of the younger boys have not seen or don’t remember the butterfly life cycle, so I’m excited that they can watch the little miracle this summer.  Dominic and the other boys could not believe how small the caterpillar was when it hatched.

(Mom says to tell you that this is bedhead.)

IMG_3308 IMG_3309 IMG_3311

Falling Stars!

   It is time to glance upwards after dark again, the ever faithful Perseid meteor shower will be picking up speed all this week until the peak through the 11-13.  I am hoping for a clear night sometime this week, as there are a lot of cloudy and rainy days forecasted up ahead. There will be a growing moon, but in past years that has not even stopped me and my siblings from seeing some, even from our house in the city. Happy stargazing!

Bee Sting: Check.

One by one, I keep checking items off the list of life experiences. I took care of stitches last November, and now I have officially been stung by a bee. I really thought I was going to get away without one of those.

It happened while I was vanquishing thistles in my garden. Ironically, I had just glanced at my shasta daisies and coneflowers swarming with busy bees and thought to myself, “When I was little I was too scared of bees to stand this close to them. But now that I’m older I know they won’t hurt me, since I’m just minding my business and they are minding theirs.” Little did I know I had a furry bee sitting on my shirt by my elbow. As soon as I brushed my arm against it, it decided to complain.

What followed must have been quite a spectacle. I looked down to see what had bitten me, and when I saw the furry black and yellow creature, I screamed. Then I shook the bee off my shirt and ran as fast as I could. Landon reports that he knew something was wrong when I didn’t stop running till I had ran clear to the other side of the yard.

Fortunately, Mom thinks it was a pretty mild sting, as the stinger was not stuck in my arm. I still had a little red welt, though! I’m certainly glad it was a bee and not a wasp!

Icy Mulberry Tree

The curving shape of these branches helped our weeping mulberry stand up to the ice better than all the other trees. With no broken branches, it really looks quite pretty.


Major Winter Storm

Right now, we just emerged from the end of a major winter storm. It began with rain Monday night, which froze into a very thick layer through the night. It turned into sleet on Tuesday, and didn’t let up the whole day. The high pitched sound of ice pellets hitting icy windows was painfully annoying, and I couldn’t wait for it to end. In addition, ice had given our windows an opaque glaze treatment, and I never realized how much I depend on looking outside through the day. Not being able to see out drove me batty!  This, coupled with the unceasing ice pellets was psychological torture! The day seemed to last forever.

I woke up yesterday morning to see the havoc the ice had wreaked on the trees. It seems like a hurricane blew through and then suddenly froze. Top branches of large trees are leaning to touch the ground. Strong limbs hang from trunks like limp noodles. Every tree has branches on the ground, and splintered boughs are everywhere. I saw a few that look like they went through a paper shredder! I doubt the city will look the same for quite a few summers.

Here are some examples of the type of damage around:

What Damage Does Insurance Cover?

On top of the ice came six inches of snow, weighing things down even more and causing us to lose power for about three hours this morning. Our formerly beautiful trees now look like this:



Our neighbors bushes:


On a brighter note, our spring chickens have arrived! We chose this week of all weeks for them to come when we ordered them in November. I lost two nights of sleep worrying that the plane bringing them from Connecticut wouldn’t make it to the airport through the storm, and they would be trapped halfway here in their box. Fortunately they made it here safe, alive and peeping. Pictures coming soon!


Journey North

One of my favorite things to do every spring is watching spring make its way up the nation on Journey North. On the website are maps showing people’s first sightings of robins, tulips, hummingbirds, and monarch butterflies all over the country. I always watch eagerly for the first glimpses of spring so I can add them to the map. Report your first sightings this year!