Love is in the air and on the hood of my car. Playing with rocks, yet again.

Stop bugging me

One day last week I planned on making a trek about 40 minutes north to an amazing orchid and bromeliad place as I’m updating some of our lanai beds and wanted a particular brom.

This place is the BROMB.COM!

A haven for those who love interesting plants.

If you’re one of those people who like boring plants, you’d not like it.

I digress. 

I decided to hold off on my trip there for another week or so because I remembered it’s love bug season and I didn’t want to sacrifice my car for plants.

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It’s a terrible time for everyone except the car wash people because they will upcharge you a billion dollars just to clean dead bugs off the front of your vehicle. bastids. 

Rock city*Rock head*rocks in my socks

Speaking of redoing our lanai plants. It’s come to my attention that I might have a bit of OCD.

I overhauled this area 6 years ago; ditched all the mulch and mess that had been there; simplified the plants and even used a lot of potted plants for ease of weeds.

We at the time (my lawn guys helped) added in rocks to keep the weeds at bay.

It was all so pretty and clean when we finished. Prior to that it resembled a jungle and you couldn’t see the forest yard through the trees plants.

Recently, (panemic project) a lot of the bromeliads that we added before have been pulled out as I was tired of their BS. You know how some plants can get on your nerves.

‘The after’ I started ripping out the plants I was sick of.

Fast forward to today; Suz does not care for all the mismatched rocks; it’s chaos I tell ya.

I know. I have such a stressfull life.

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got

I’m still, I’m still Suz from the block.

So, a few weeks ago I started sorting my rocks as one does and I put all the gray ones in one area and I loved the look. I’m a fan of cohesiveness.

Even if you don’t love the gray rocks just nod your head and agree with me because time and money. Also, if you need tarragon, I’m ya girl.

So, I conferred with my landscape co-partner (you know who) and he agreed that the gray rocks look so much better, so to Homedepot.com we went.

Right now we have 2300lbs worth of beautiful gray Mexican beach rocks in the driveway.

Which is not even remotely close to the pool area but it’s as far as I could get my delivery guy to drop them; he was using a hand cart and I assisted in pulling/pushing this oversized load this far up the driveway.

In general the weight limit that I push/pull is 50lbs. So this is 2250lbs more than I’m comfortable with.

If only I could telepathically remove all the mismatched rocks from the lanai, and then telepathically get the gray rocks to the pool area. There is quite a bit of walking, down a few stairs and up a few stairs for all this to happen.

I should have ordered a wheelbarrow and a few young men at the same time.

My back is starting to hurt thinking of it all.

But, one day, in 2022 when I’m finished I’ll be so happy.

So, is anyone else being obnoxious about minuscule things that we can actually control?

Happy Friday Y’all!

XO

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

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

 

I’m certified and I’m finished.

My gardens are officially certified.
And you thought I was just certifiable.

Notice my Monarch model; he approved the signage.

Bona-fide.
Authorized.
To be prized.
I’m rambling here.

I wish I could ditch the electrical boxes and irrigation stuff off the walls, but electricity and irrigation are essential to me.
Also, this is the side of our house, not the front. The front is prettier. But don’t tell the sides and back; they’ve never met.

I’m sure the signs will lure even more butterflies to my lair.

I really try to keep my posts short and sweet so I don’t lose anyone, but I never know where exactly to stop.

Stop here? 

Maybe stop here?

Nope.more.to.chatter.about

The puzzle is finished.

Can I stop talking about that damn puzzle already? 
No. I can not.

I know, you were probably not sleeping a minute wondering how I was doing with it; it’s finally done and yes, I was missing two pieces. MAX!!

I complained to Linds that it was hard to do because my right arm hurt so much.

Linds: Do it with your left arm.

Why do my children use logic against me?

When I was finished, I wrote a note on the box for my future self or someone else’s future self that two pieces are missing and I sharpied the spots on the box.

If my arm felt better, I’d pat myself on the back for that.

Actually, my arm is feeling a bit better. Thank you all for your wonderful advice; it’s appreciated.
Also, icing it a few times a day has been awesome and something I didn’t think to do before. *duhh*
It’s no picnic being me.

NOW, I’m done.

Kidding.

Does anyone have plans for the weekend?

Suzanne, that was cruel and uncalled for.

Oh, wait.
One more thing.

Our marina has opened back up (with VERY limited contact) so the Coach is excited to get on his boat and go fishing tomorrow. He’s been working a lot and being home with me a lot.
He needs some fun because I can only entertain him so much; that wasn’t a part of our vows.

I DO wish you all a nice weekend doing something you enjoy with people that you can semi-stand being around.
I consider myself fortunate in that way.
I never thought to ask my husband how he felt about it.
Probably just as well…

Bee good
Bee silly
Bee well

XOXO

Lit from the inside and out

Lindsay’s air conditioner was on the fritz Tuesday. This has happened a few times since her brand new a/c was installed a few years ago; yes, it annoys both she and I to no end.

The drain pipe keeps getting clogged and she went a day with no a/c and it was 80* inside her condo; no outside air moving through at her place either.

We had a high of 92* yesterday; it’s summer y’all.

She and I tried to troubleshoot over the phone, then she said: “I wonder if I can clear out the clog, I was kind of paying attention when the guy came last time”.

So, while face-timing her dad they MacGyver-ed it out together.

Overhearing the conversation made me smile.

Coach:
Do you have a wire hanger? No, you’ve never been to the dry cleaner? 
Yes, you have to stick your finger in the congealed gunk.
How about a pipe cleaner?
Hmmm….how about your vacuum cleaner; does it have a hose attachment?
Hmmm….how about your blow dryer? Try that. Oh, you don’t have an extension cord?

And so on.

Me wondering when in my life did I acquire all those items to have on hand at any given moment.

Finally, between the blowdryer (the cord was just long enough) and hot water from her kettle, the clog was cleared and she was ECSTATIC to have cool air again.

I think JOY from the accomplished job was as good as the feeling of being cool again;
her face was LIT.

I awoke at 5:30 this morning with a smile on my face knowing she won’t be uncomfortable today.

If you need me this afternoon, this non-morning girl will be napping.

One of my blooming orchids from this week; that is a non-adjusted pic.
It’s that LIT.

Happy Wednesday
XO

butterfly lessons and denial

When I was vlogging about my obsession, need, want of the Giant Swallowtails, I assumed everyone knew what they were. Here is what they look like, and they really are large compared to other butterflies.
You know size doesn’t matter, big, small, tall, thin, they’re all beautiful. That was me remembering that butterflies might read this and have body issues. 

Underside of the Giant.

And when they want to hide from the butterfly po-po.

Topside of the Giant

It’s like they are two different critters when sitting as opposed to flying.
Giant swallowtail butterfly images borrowed from here.  They love citrus trees/plants.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

I’ve had some luck with the Eastern black swallowtail; they love parsley, dill, and fennel, which I have growing in the garden.

This boy was released a few weeks ago:

I have to be more diligent in collecting the baby larvae of these because if not, the birds eat them before I can save them.

The birds act like I don’t have food for them; the feeder is always full and still, they want to eat caterpillars. Pretty freaking rude if you ask me.

I’ve released about 25 monarchs this week and I’m going to be forced to slow down because my milkweed can’t grow fast enough with the last batch or four of caterpillars.

I’ve got the whole world in my hand

The world might be falling apart, but here is Suz running around the yard playing with butterflies.
Denial is my favorite place to be. Oh, and Home…home and denial are my favorite places.

Any plans for the weekend? A concert? Shopping at the mall? Moving from the bed to the couch? 
XOXO

She Vlogs again; I finally got what I wanted. Spoiler alert, it’s not a baby dolphin. This time

What day are we on for quarantine? 6, 7, 58? 


I’m so thankful for a large yard that I can wander around to get some fresh air; it makes me less sassy. Can you imagine? 

When I was a kid, both my Dad and his Dad were always (when not working) in the yard; planting, trimming, watering, growing stuff.

I always thought that was just what old people do.

And.here.I.am. 

Happy Tuesday.
So, tacos tonight? 

{virtual} XOXO