Monarch Release & a Friday!

It was time for the Monarchs to take off. It was bittersweet. We have two more that need to emerge, but then we’ll be “empty nesters.” Sort of.

This little guy had just emerged when we saw him.

So we sat and watched him blow his wings out.

Isn’t he stunning?

We set the first three on a hanging basket in the front yard. This little guy is missing a wing on the other side. I have to blame one of his roommates who we saw trying to eat him while in his Chrysalis. Not really fair. Not sure he’ll ever leave this plant.

The other two monarch’s flew away shortly after we placed them on the plant.

We let two more go in the evening and they booth took off right from Husband’s hand. One landed on a tree a few feet away, the other took off and flew until we could no longer see him.

So, we still have two more to go. This has been truly amazing. I sure hope our little guys have fun flying from flower to flower and enjoying themselves. I’ll miss them.

At least it’s Friday. Enjoy!



It’s finally Friday. What a week. The first three days were beautiful, then yesterday we had a long day of rain. Lots of rain. No walks, no playground, no backyard play. We caught up on flashcards and Lightning McQueen. And now we have four days off. To hopefully get outside, get into the garden and get to the pool. My big goals for the weekend are to finish planting the garden and to finish organizing my closet. I’m close, so close.

Speaking of, any closet org tips? Give me five if you got em…. 

We also have a lunch date here.

And a party with friends on Sunday.

And as tradition mandates, here’s a link to the Star Tribune Taste 50. Yum.

Photo shot at the U of MN Landscape Arboretum. Anyone know what that flower is?


Triathlon Training Time!

This past weekend marked 12 weeks until the YWCA Triathlon. I had such a great time last year that I signed up again. Last year my goal was to finish, not walk and have fun. This year my goal is just about the same. I’d love to beat my time from last year, and I’d like to feel a little more confident on the bike.

What I love about triathlon is that the training is so diverse. I can’t run more than two days in a row or my knees give out. I can’t possibly make it to the pool more than once or twice a week. And that bike thing, I just find that too boring to get out there everyday. But, I can run twice a week. Swim twice a week. And bike twice a week (usually towing daughter). Piece of cake. In a couple months I’ll have to start doing two or three of them in one day, but I have some time to work up to that.

In the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy my runs, swims and bikes. Like last night. After dinner and before bedtime I took off on a 30 minute run. All. By. Myself. And it was great. My legs felt strong, my lungs felt clear, and the weather was beautiful. As I ran I thought about a few writing projects and let them wander through my head I made my way along the River. When I got home I felt great. I cuddled with daughter, put her to bed and made a few writing notes. Now I’m sitting with a cup of caramel tea while the Rangers/Devils game plays in the background.

Tonight I rest. Tomorrow I bike.


A Rainy Day

We ventured out to the U of MN Landscape Arboretum yesterday, despite the rain. Friday it hit 92 degrees. Saturday it hit 84. The temperature yesterday was a balmy 48. I wore shorts. Because, frankly, I hate pants. And after two days of hot, and sort of sticky, weather, I couldn’t imagine putting pants on. So. I wore shorts. And I froze my tail off. Did I mention it was raining? Well, not a real rain, but a constant misty drizzle like the one my husband uses on the monarch’s Chysalis’.

We wandered through the Japanese Garden and fed the Koi a few cheddar goldfish crackers. We wandered through the Hosta, amazed at the size of some of the plants and wishing I could transplant a few into our backyard. We skipped the empty Rose Garden, but spent some time in the Home Demo Garden, home to the fruits and vegetables. It was still pretty empty, but I saw an entire bush of rosemary and the start of some radishes. Just imagining what will be there later this summer inspires me.

Then we wandered over the waterfall because we knew Daughter would love it. And she did. She also loved every rain puddle we walked through and insisted on carrying her umbrella, even though her rain coat was doing more than a substantial job keeping her dry. When we were soaked and tired and hungry we found our way back to the car and drove for Sushi.

Despite the rain, despite the cold, it was a beautiful morning.


Quick Update….

Our little friends are growing. And when I say growing, I really mean growing. They’ve been with us for nearly two weeks, so they should start forming their Chrysalis’ soon. Meanwhile, they keep eating. Only two have fallen out made a break for it. Both made it back into the tank.

These guys are now 2.5 inches long and well over a 1/4 inch thick. I can always see their little mouths open as the chew and chew and chew on the leaves.

Here’s the link where we ordered the little guys from. Truly an exciting project.


A Box of History

My Mom brought me a box full of family history this weekend. For years it sat in my Uncle’s garage. It’s filled with photos and other family memories, including a whole bag of photos of family in Denmark, with handwritten descriptions in Danish. I guess they’re from around 1930 or so, but I need to find a translator to really know.

The two photos above really caught my eye. The one of the left is of my Mom’s Mother. I have her name as my middle name and I’ve always felt a connection to her even though she passed away when I was a Toddler and we all say my sister looks just like her. On the front of the photo she wrote “Me.” on the back she wrote “Taken on the Mendota Bridge. I look a lot better than I felt.”

The photo on the right is of my Mom’s parents and her older brother. I love the joy in their faces and the white picket fence. Isn’t it beautiful?

Both photos are full of stories, don’t you think? I just need to find them.


Mom’s Day

Mother’s Day reminds me of food.
Lots and lots of food.
When I was growing up we would go to the Decathlon Athletic Club in Bloomington for their special Mother’s Day brunch.It was always my parents, my sister, my brother, and my dad’s parents, Grandma Bea and Grandpa Charlie.
There were nice dresses and clean shoes. There were roses and mimosa’s for the Mothers. There was a diet coke with lime, not lemon, for Dad. And there was more food than you could imagine.
Ice sculptures towered over the salad bar. The omelette station was littered with bowls of onions and olives, tomatoes and cheeses, bacon and mushrooms. There was a carving station with a ham, a turkey and a roast beef, each perfectly prepared (bleeding, as my Dad would say) and sliced thinner than paper. There was a dessert table, often three or four tiers high, full of bites of apple crisp and pumpkin pie, chocolate cake and creme brûlée.
But we didn’t go to that table until the end. Not until after we ate our fruit and our salad, a quarter of that waffle with blueberry syrup, a slice of bacon, and a scoop of melty-cheesy-potato goodness. There were still cards to open and gifts to unwrap. Lotions for Grandma, a necklace for Mom.
There was small talk to make. Telling about school. About sports. About friends. And then, when the plates were cleared and the glasses refilled, we ran back to that dessert table, our dress shoes flopping on our feet. Just one, they’d tell us. We’d sneak an extra. Say it was for Grandma. Knowing she never touched dessert.
We’d take our time, as the parents talked. Usually Mom. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t say much. And then we’d be full. Too full. The last bites of the desserts still on our plates. We’d pack up. Give hugs. Run down the grand stairs. Go home to sit, nap, digest.
This Mother’s Day I’m keeping the day for myself. Four years ago I wanted nothing to do with Mother’s Day. Three years ago I couldn’t believe I was a mother, but I was too tired to believe it. Two years ago I embraced it. Last year I enjoyed it. This year I’m spending the day the way I want to. I’m heading to the Farmer’s Market (with the family). And maybe breakfast out (if we can get in somewhere). Then I hope I can get some writing or running in and cuddling. because, it is Mother’s Day, isn’t it?
(Oh – and don’t worry, the other mothers in my life are taken care of, coming over Saturday for dinner.)
What are you doing for yourself this Mother’s Day?
fun finds

Meet the Monarchs

We have a few new friends living with us for a few weeks. They’re Monarch Caterpillars, also known as Milkweed Caterpillars, I guess because they eat Milkweed plants. They moved in on Saturday.

The plan is that they’ll eat and grow and eat and grow for two weeks. Then they’ll spin their Chrysalis’ and hang around for 10 days. Then we’ll have Monarch Butterflies!

They were about 1/4 inch long on Saturday. As of Monday night they were probably closer to 3/8 inch long. We are in for a treat.

Here’s a great time lapse of what we hope to experience. And I’ll try to keep you posted!