A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, September 12, 2015


When life just gets better and better.

I woke up at an appropriate Saturday morning time and took the dog out front to toilet.  And was greeted by this incredible sky.  I'm nuts for clouds of all kinds (and take lots of pictures) but this one really touched something.

Once Dodger was done (he was a good boy out there), I went back to the kitchen to find a happy surprise.

I've been collecting Monarch eggs this fall and am up to over thirty chrysalids. 

The first butterfly didn't make it, but my son released a "healthy, BEAUTIFUL" one on Thursday and I counted EIGHT that had emerged overnight.  I also noted one (one the cup visible on the table) looking very close.  I picked up one of the two clinging to the side of the table and took it out to release it.  This is always fun and rewarding.
When I got back to the kitchen to collect the second butterfly, I found that someone had been busy in the thirty seconds it took to release the first.

Yeah, this is how they look when they first emerge.  Amazing, isn't it?  There is fluid in that chubby body.  The butterfly will dance (twist itself from side to side) as it pumps that fluid into its wings.  It was ready to take the party outside in about an hour.

As I stood there, enjoying these lovely moments, a hummingbird flew close, then landed in a nearby shrub.  It stayed long enough to be to snap a quick picture.

Once I'd finished cleaning up from the Monarch Celebration (EIGHT released today), I decided to get the watering done.  My watering days are Tuesday and Sunday, but my Fairy Garden had not been watered on Tuesday so I pushed it a day.  Having worked my way to the end of the garden and to the deck, I decided to clean the spa, something I had planned to do over the summer.
It will take probably a couple of thousand dollars, minimum, to get the spa up and running safely again.  It partially filled with water, got an infestation of duckweed and a few pieces of trash and falling leaves over the winter.  By today, however, the water had evaporated, the duckweed was desiccated and I figured it was as good a time as any to clean it.  I've been fighting all that is left of the cover - two wedge-shaped pieces of Styrofoam - for a couple of years and am tired of the battle.  My plan was to clean the spa, lay one heavy-duty tarp, add the two Styrofoam pieces and then lay a second tarp over the whole thing.
The sun stayed behind the clouds so the heat was bearable as I worked.  It took less than half the time I thought it would.  JUST, as I cleaned up my tools, it started to sprinkle.  NO!!!  The whole point of this was to get it covered in hopes of keeping it dry (and pest-free).  I raced to the house for the tarp.   My son, who had taken the dog to the dog park for a while, arrived home just in time to help me with the awkward thing.  We got the job done together before any real rain could kick in.
And together wee got it layered just as I'd hoped and it looks fantastic.  I picked a camo pattern rather than the common bright blue, and the camo really does fade away behind the deck plants.
Delighted with myself, I tucked myself in for a facebook visit while I cooled down and re-hydrated.  I figured once I stopped sweating I would get a shower and then putter in the house for the rest of this day off.
I have the greatest facebook community and appreciate the time I have to visit with my friends all over the world.  Just moments after smiling to myself and saying, "Can life get any better than this?"  I scrolled down to find a short post from my son in Japan.
They had checked in at the hospital to give birth to their second son.
My second grandson.
I had to cry a little bit.
Clearly, the answer is YES!

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