My {fence} field of dreams with Kevin Kostner.

Way back in December, when the world was semi-normal we started working on updating much of the landscaping.

I wanted to add in more butterfly-friendly elements. I already had everything set for my monarch, queen, eastern black swallowtails, Giant swallowtails, and gulf fritillary community of flyers, but wanted to add in some more swallowtails to the mix. {why so many links, Suz?}

I have a secret to tell you.

I haven’t shared this with everyone.

I have my very own butterfly guru.

I have only had him since December, but I do adore him. His name is Michael, but I refer to him as my guru. I thought I knew about butterflies but darnittoheck, he knows everything about butterflies.

He told me I needed to plant pipevine; I’d read about the pipevine prior and I did want it, so no arm twisting was involved.

He said if you plant this THEY WILL COME!

Perhaps less ominous-sounding in real life.

He brought over two pipevine plants. Hmmm…they, they look like a regular vine. So far, nothing to wet myself over.

But, can you just plant them in the ground?

Hell to the no.

This is a special vine that needs special equipment; it needed a professionally designed and installed espalier. 

Did you know that there are people on the planet that their job is to design and install these?

Kind of reminds me that I need to blog about the guy who injects our palms; he’s a professional palm injector.

Now that I say that out loud, it sounds dirty.

I digress.

Here are my baby pipevines back in December on their custom espalier.

Then a few months later.

This is the weird bloom it makes.

My eyes have seen a lot of things, but they ain’t seen nothing like that…see how I slipped into my southern drawl? 

Do you remember health class in school? Is that an ovary or a fallopian tube? 

Again, I’m off track.

The pipevine attracts different types of swallowtails depending on where you live; in SW Florida, it attracts the polydamas swallowtail.  Which, I swear I have NEVER seen in person.

Not sure why I have to swear so much but it feels good.

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Polydamas pic borrowed from UF/IFAS

So, I’ve been training my vine every few days; I move the growing vines around the wires to keep them attached as they grow.

Remember training bras?

This is nothing like that I just wondered if you remembered those.

When I’m out there doing my training, I can hear Michael, aka the Guru, saying “if you plant this, THEY.WILL.COME.”  He doesn’t even look like Kevin Costner, but he’s in my head.

The other day I went out for my training, and guess what.

Wait, did you hear a sudden high pitched squeal around noon Eastern time on Thursday?

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Max is such a poser.
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I have polydamas babies!

I wanted to shout it from the rooftop that I have eggs and larvae thriving on my vine.

But, our roof is really tall, I struggle with vertigo and it’s hot outside, so a blog post will have to suffice.

I was so excited I almost wet my pants. Which really, at this stage isn’t unusual.

BTW: spellcheck wants me to change the name to polygamous. Weirdos. 

So, that was my exciting butterfly news for last week.

Life is good in my butterfly world and that makes all the hard to swallow pills easier.

XOXO

What’s happening to me? Possible harlot action and Mom’s the word.

First. I have a bone to pick with all of you. Whatevertheheckthatmeans.

My last post was out there on THE world WIDE internet for an entire day with a misspelling in the flipping title.

No one could point that out? Help a sista’ out? 

I was so embarrassed that I almost deleted 12 years’ worth of posts.

____

What’s happening to me? 

I’ve been waking up early. I am NOT a morning person. 

Also, I wake up stiff and sore. I’m on the floor doing down-dog with the dogs trying to get this body to warm up for the day.

I’m not sure exactly what’s happening, but my only conclusion is that I’M GETTING OLD.

One morning last week I declared to the Coach: It’s Happening.

Since he’s two years ahead of me, he understands exactly what’s happening.

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Shopping used to be a pleasure. 

I went to Publix yesterday for our grocery run. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went INTO a store because we’ve been doing delivery. Maybe a month ago? 

I thought, hey you’re a big girl Suzanne; you can do it. 

Actually, since this has all started, I’m an even BIGGER girl.

Working on that…

In the past when the shit-show started I was panicky going to the store.

The mask. Wiping the cart down. THE MASK. Don’t touch your face. Follow the arrows in the aisles. THE MASK. Your eye isn’t itching, don’t’ touch it! The mask! Don’t yell at people who are clearly not capable of following general rules. The MASK!

It felt like a version of Gilead from The Handmaids Tale.

 

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Pic borrowed from NY times

Limited conversation, limited eye contact. Surreal.

But yesterday, I was ok. I don’t love wearing the mask, but I was ok with it all.

I’m pretty darn proud of myself. Unless I wake up with the virus tomorrow. 

Before my shopping escapade, I actually put on a real bra (I’m a sadist) tinted moisturizer AND mascara; I felt like a harlot. A 1986 glamour shot harlot. 

I even wore a ring and earrings to Publix. I was feeling all sorts of crazy as I’ve not worn makeup or jewelry in quite a while. H.A.R.L.O.T

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In 1986, I decided that I wanted ALL of the blue eyeshadow; none for you! Beauty school Suz 1986.

Were those actual doorknobs that I fashioned into earrings? No wonder my Etsy shop closed.

____

I had a great post written regarding some really exciting butterfly news. Then I realized, maybe you don’t care to read an entire post about my exciting butterfly news. Do you? 

 

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It kind of feels like this was the last time I was ‘close’ with my girls. 2001?

Happy mothers day to all you mothers of humans, of critters, of dragons, aunties, grandma’s, and Dad’s who’ve stepped up when Mom fled to Vegas. Lest we forget the motha’s too.

XOXO

 

Image 5-6-20 at 7.13 AM

 

 

 

Things I ponder, remember and oversay

What will it be like to wear a real bra again?

I’m dreading that because sports bras are now my life and my preference.

Can we ban underwires for eternity? 

***

As I’m writing this there is a set of cardinals frolicking in and around the oak tree outside my office window. Chatting, eating worms. (better not be my butterfly caterpillars!)

One morning, a few weeks ago I was out walking the yard with the dogs while sipping a cup of coffee; the sun had come up and was kind of blinding me as I looked towards the back of our property.

Up in a cypress tree, there was a LOT of chirping and movement; I could see the outline of about 25-30 birds.

Since the sun was in my eyes, at first I couldn’t tell what flavor they were.

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Said tree minus birds and blinding sun because I didn’t have my phone on me.

It took me a minute or two and I realized they were ALL cardinals. A whole conclave of them congregating before they started their day.

swoon

I always have several around the yard, but I’ve never seen this many at once.

You know how people like to say that Cardinals represent your loved ones who’ve passed?

Well, that morning a large portion of my Ancestry DNA was visiting me; the whole fam-damily.

*I looked it up after first writing this today and a group of Cardinals is referred to as a college, conclave, radiance or Vatican; when I first wrote this I referred to them as a SLEW of cardinals. I’m so slewpid.* 

 

***

I refer to my critters as ‘pumpkin’ and ‘pumpkin pie’ way too much.

Max, Callie, newly eclosed butterflies.

My mom used to refer to me as her pumpkin when I was a kid; I never got it.

Apparently, now, I’ve GOT IT.

My other overused love phrases are sweetheart, boo-bear, sugar britches, sweet cheeks,

What phrase do you oversay?

XO

The one where I was content to drink dirt, witness a reptile romance, and still be a good human.

I had an (almost) surprise visitor on Friday morning.

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Linds decided to drive to our neck of the woods and pick up some juice from an open juice bar. She brought me a few, picked up a puzzle, and loved on Max for a few minutes.

Even though Max was adopted by Lolo, he lived with both girls for many years and he absolutely LOVES Lindsay. He was so happy he was whining/crying/moaning; it was cute and weird. But, he’s cute and weird.

Anyhoo… she brought me two fresh-cold-pressed juices of my choosing; one of them contained beet juice. There’s nothing better than drinking something that tastes like dirt; it was reminiscent of my childhood.

****

Saturday morning I opened the door to go outside and I found two snakes ‘gettin’ jiggy wit it’ on my sidewalk.

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They’re common blacksnakes; we have a lot of them and they are essential.

Like healthcare workers for my yard.

I felt bad that I interrupted them, but I suppose I didn’t really interrupt because they kept doing what they were doing, like what my eyes saw didn’t matter.

I stepped back inside and then I wondered if I really saw what I thought I saw.

The next step, of course, was to google: Do snakes have sex? 

The answer was YES and it can take hours or a whole day. I surely hope I didn’t mess up their day; plus, that poor girl!

My life has been so exciting that I actually pondered this for a while.

***

We had a really nice weekend. Our event on Friday night was more fun than we should be having on our couch.

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Aside from the musicians playing some tunes, there is constant chatting on the side with some awesome people from all over the world. (85-90 people were with us)

It was fun ‘talking’ with our friends who we’ve not been able to see while listening to the music and raising funds for Liberty Manor.

***

A lot of you have asked about how I like wordpress.com compared to blogger; so far I really do like it.

I’m going to work on a post about the pros/cons as soon as I feel like I’m a semi-pro.

I hope everyone had an equally pleasant weekend; whether on your couch or on your porch swing.

XOXO

 

Peer pressure at home, you can refer to me as Mother Nature and Doing some good while sitting on the couch.

Can I just tell you all, that your sweet comments really make my day?

I love when someone takes the time to visit my little corner of the world and then leave me a nice note. YOU.ROCK.

It’s like you were on your way home from the store, I just so happened to be at my mailbox when you drive by and we catch up for a few minutes.

{{virtual hugs}}

I was face-timing with the girls earlier this week, as I’ve been doing a lot.

Mostly Linds and I; she’s alone 24/7 and has in the past struggled with some health-anxiety issues; I’m proud to say, she’s killing it during this quarantine. Cooking, cleaning, working on a movie list and calling her Mom whenever she feels like it.

I’m so proud of her.

HI, LINDS!

Sometimes during our face-timing, we can drag Lolo away from her dog and school work.

I distinctly remember when they were little and when one wanted to talk to me, then the other would too.

My head would spin trying to hear both and give equal attention.

Well, that part has not changed.

They both stated that they were waiting for me to update the blog with a new post; but how can I do that if I’m face-timing for hours at a time?

What say you? There are 22 more hours in a day?  

Honestly, I’ll never complain about my girls wanting to talk with me.

During one of our extra-long face time sessions, Lolo began preparing her dinner in the crockpot. Linds was giving directions and then they began to make deviled eggs together.

They asked me to make some too, but I only had 3 eggs.

Later, they sent pics of their deviled eggs via our family chat.

A minute later, the Coach asked for some deviled eggs for when he got home.

I texted that we ONLY HAVE 3 because PANDEMIC.

Being a man of simplicity, he said, that sounds like 6 halves. 

I succumbed to deviled egg peer pressure.

I’m much easier than I appear.

***

Last week I attempted to switch over to WordPress as opposed to blogger.

Why you say? Because I’ve not had a reason to bang my head against a wall until I can’t feel anything for quite a while.

It’s a task that will take me some time, and I hope I don’t give up and succumb to google/blogger for the duration of my blogging life.

The rumor mill around town is that WordPress is not as limiting as the blogger platform and I dream of NOT being limited.

***

Thursday morning we woke up to a nice heavy rain. My first thoughts were we’ve been needing rain and my second thought was: “My garden caterpillars are going to drown.”

I exclaimed this to Coach and he said: it’s nature, they’re used to it.

I don’t know who he is or who he thinks he’s dealing with because I AM NATURE.

**

This morning I woke up and apparently we’ve gone back in time…back to January.

The Coach has all the doors and windows open, it’s 61* and I had to put a sweatshirt on over my PJ’s. THAT Is glorious as it’s been in the high 90’s daily.

We actually have some plans this weekend! *suz shouts from the rooftop*

Do you remember all the events/fundraising we do for our disabled veterans?

Well, it’s mostly the Coach, but by default, I get to be a part of it too.

He’s got two events planned for August and September on the East and West coast of Florida with our beloved songwriters.

Tonight, he’s arranged an at-home event with songwriters via Stageit.com. It’s a ‘pay what you can’ concert with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Liberty Manor.

The mission of Liberty Manor for Veterans, Inc. is to promote the developmental and social needs of disabled, honorably discharged veterans who have fallen victim to homelessness by providing them transitional, supported housing and establishing objectives designed to attribute to self-sufficiency.

Liberty Manor is doing SO much good for our veterans who have served our country and then have through various reasons, become homeless.

Reading the success stories hit my heart in a big way.

So, if you’re not doing anything tonight, tune in. 7:30. We personally know all of the songwriters and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you hear the stories behind the songs that you hear on the radio.

**

So, that’s all from me. This was longer than I had planned, but what else do you, me, us have to do?

SADLY, NOTHING.

Have a great weekend and thank you again for being my friends who live inside the computer.

XO

Can you tell me how to get, how to get out of Funky Town?

Can you hear the opening song to Sesame Street and NOT smile?
No. You can’t.



The Coach and I were able to see the sunset via the boat this past weekend.

 

The beaches are closed, but luckily the Gulf of Mexico is still open.
For now. 

I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Not sad; just feeling funky.

I’m itching to get some garden work done; updating my veggie garden. I have a plan but need to execute it and finding a day where my arm isn’t bothering me is a problem.

Also, I’m itching to get to my happy place; my local nursery.
They’re open, but I’m not going because it’s really unnecessary.

I’d like to be acknowledged for actually following the rules.

Should I wait by the mailbox for my acknowledgment gifts?  

If you say I need something for my itching, you’re not wrong.

I started rereading this book this week; It’s been about 20 years since I read it last.

 

I don’t remember the details of the story, but if I kept the book this long, I must’ve really loved it.

 
 
I am staying busy with daily household chores and my butterfly raising. 
Our yard is a flurry of butterflies; lots of different flavors; not just monarchs. 
 
I found a slew of zebra longwing and gulf fritillary larvae in my bed of plumbago the other day and I was so excited I might have had to change my outfit. 
 
 
Their host plant is Passion vine…so, apparently, passion vine found it’s way into this bed without even asking me.
 
THAT fills my little funky heart to the brim. 
 
How are my people on this fine Monday?
Wait, Tuesday?
Yeah, Tuesday.

 

XOXO