Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monarch Chrysalis

Look closely . . . can you see the butterfly inside?
While working in our gardens Bill happened to notice a monarch chrysalis that was attached to the side of our barn.
A chrysalis is when a monarch caterpillar sheds it's outer skin showing a green skin underneath.  That green skin becomes smooth with golden spots.  The caterpillar will stay like this for about 15 days, changing just a tiny bit each day, until it breaks out as a beautiful monarch butterfly.

Bill cut a small piece of the barn board away, keeping the chrysalis attached.  We found a stick and sliced the top down the middle about 1 inch.  Then we pulled the stick apart and slid the small piece of barn board in between.  Now the chrysalis is safe and can hang freely.  Something it must do to make it to the next stage of life.
Something has attached itself to the outside of the chrysalis. 
Home away from home. 
Would you like to see a day by day look at a monarch chrysalis?  Click here to view the monarch life cycle.  I'm not sure what day this chrysalis is at.  Stay tuned for more pictures as it develops and changes.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Where do you feel most creative? Do you like to draw or paint? Are you a builder of legos or blocks? Do you like to make up stories and act them out? I love creating all kinds of things . . . especially when I can share my creations with others.

Today I was in a gingerbread mood, this happens a lot actually, but didn't want to spend the time rolling out cookie dough or simply make bread. Then it hit me . . . I could experiment with the gingerbread dough in my waffle maker and if all turned out as I was hoping I could sandwich 2 waffles together with ice cream!

After a bit of experimenting the gingerbread waffles began stacking up in my pantry. I let them cool for an hour or so, after taste testing one just to make sure they were okay :>} then spread a nice thick layer of vanilla bean ice cream on top of one waffle and smooshed another one on top.
We all agreed that my latest creation was one of the best I've stumbled upon in a long, long, long time!
Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

Monday, July 16, 2012

Luke & Abel

Luke is sometimes a bit shy.
These two adorable oxen spend the summer across the street from my house. They are really quite large.  I don't think they know how big they are because they are as tame as a kitten!  They always walk up to the fence to see me and enjoy getting scratched and patted. I really like visiting them and feeling their soft ears and pointy horns. 
Abel was very curious about my camera.

The only problem . . . on super hot days they have loads of flies all around them.  They don't seem to mind anywhere near as much as I mind! I think I'll wait until a cooler day before I venture across the street to pat Luke & Abel.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Conquering Your Fears

Have you ever been scared to do something even though you really wanted to do it?  Maybe you were nervous to take the training wheels off your bike.  Or perhaps you weren't sure about swinging across the entire row of monkey bars.

Today I was cleaning the gutters around my house.  I always clean the gutters in the front of my house because I can easily get to them by climbing out a window and standing on our porch roof.  Bill always cleans the gutters on the side of our house because they are really high up and you have to climb a ladder to get to them.

Well today after cleaning the gutters in the front of the house I decided that I would conquer my fears of being on a high ladder and clean the gutters on the side of the house.  Now, I don't mind being up high and I don't mind ladders that are only 3 or 4 steps.  But I don't feel comfortable up high on a ladder.  I started out slow . . . securing the ladder on the ground and wall . . . climbing carefully . . . working small areas at a time.  By the time I was halfway down the side of the house I was feeling pretty good.  When I reached the end I was feeling so good that I decided to trim the apple tree that had some limbs hanging over the gutter.  When I was almost finished the job Bill drove down the driveway and was so surprised to see me up on a high ladder cutting limbs off the tree that he snapped a couple pictures of me!

I felt so great after finishing the job, knowing that I had done something that was really hard for me and I did it well.

Have you ever tried something that was hard for you or scary?  Having someone help you conquer your fears can be super helpful as well, and then you can both celebrate in the end!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


So I wasn't able to get a great picture of my entire family out at camp over the 4th of July and I did say that I would post one soon . . . so here is one that was taken of us in June at my niece's wedding.
Can you find me and my 2 children Alita and Sam?  My husband Bill is standing in the back and says he looks more like a floating head in this picture.  I bet you can find my niece Katie who got married!  My mom and dad are on the far right.  My dad was the Justice of the Peace who married the bride and groom.  It was a super fun wedding and we all danced the night away.

Here's something really cool that happened at the wedding . . . my niece and her dad (my brother) arrived at the wedding on a tractor!  My niece is a really fun girl!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sam & Alita

Spending time with my own 2 children (Sam who is 20 years old and Alita who is 17 years old) is a real treat for my husband Bill and I.  They are both wonderful young adults who have exciting things going on in their lives.
Sam doing what he loves, filming.
Sam when he was a toddler!
Sam is going to be a junior at Champlain College where he is studying digital film making.  He is passionate about film making and is working hard to become an action sports film maker, especially for skiing.  This past year he has worked for HG Skis in Burlington filming their free style skiers and creating clips for their website.  In his spare time he films weddings and other events and makes wonderfully creative videos from the footage.

Alita when she was 2 with her new kitten.

Alita, always playing something!

Alita will be a senior in high school this year.  She goes away to Mount Mansfield Ski Academy which is a school for ski racers.  She is a very, very good ski racer who travels all around the country and Canada ski racing.  Alita has a national ranking and for her age group she is currently 3rd in the USA.  She dreams of being on the US Ski Team and racing in the Olympics some day. I'm quite sure she will achieve this goal!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Woodbury Lake

Another place that I love, love, love to spend time is at our family camp on Woodbury Lake. Our camp is right on the lake and we all spend lots of time on the water.

My favorite thing to do is water ski.  Others like to tube, kayak, fish, swim, and skip stones. We also build big bonfires at night and make s'mores.

What kinds of things do you like to do in the summer?
I'll be spending the 4th of July at our camp along with my entire family!! I can hardly wait . . . stay tuned to meet everyone later this week.