...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Identifying a mystery caterpillar...

While weeding on Sunday I found this really cool caterpillar munching on some Virginia Creeper.  I reached for my handy-dandy ID books, but couldn't find anything on this creature.  

My next step was to hit the Internet.  Caterpillars are very interesting.  You can quickly find lots of photos of butterflies and moths, but this stage in their development seems to be harder to document.  

Finally, this morning I had luck on the Internet.  I found out that this is a Pandora Sphinx Moth.  As a caterpillar, it might have been green in it's earlier stages and had an antenna before I found it too.  Very cool!  

A helpful site in my identifying this guy was by Bill Oehlke.  Thanks Bill!  This mystery is solved.  

Monday, August 25, 2008


I've been tagged!  So basically I am one of six people who are "it".  I am suppose to tag six "other" people who blog.  

My challenge is this:  One of the six I would have tagged passed away a year and a half ago.  He had the same BC that my mom had, but he was just a few years older than me.  I got to know him through that bond.  I was hoping he'd be one to beat the odds, one to find a clinical trial that would work.  He had daughters around my own children's ages.  Tough stuff.  

Another blogger I would have tagged was known as deathmaiden
She was a renegade nurse who wrote about life and death.  Morbid, but fascinating.  She stopped blogging over a year ago.  

Two of the people, I all ready have linked on here, are under 18 and I just can't bring myself to encourage them to bare random facts about themselves on the Internet.  With that stated, I hope Stella and Tigerluv WILL NOT do this!  

The other people I would link to, have all ready been tagged.  :)   Almost everyone else who reads my blog is too chicken to pen their own, let alone leave comments on mine!  ...except for my sister, who has a blog, reads mine but doesn't comment.  So, I'll tag her.  She has lots of cute pictures of my nephew on her site, but she doesn't update things often enough.  She has barely anything on there of her daughter, my little, cutie-pie niece and her house pictures have snow in the shots!  Did I mention she owns a photography studio as her business!?  

So here are the rules:  

1.  Link to the person who tagged you. 
2. Post these six rules on your blog.
3. Write 6 random things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.  

(At least) Six random things about me
a.  I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, that didn't happen but, I got a cool telescope for Christmas last year!  
b.  Classical music is my favorite, especially piano and violin, I LOVE Joshua Bell and listen to Public Radio all day long.   
c.  I also love hard rock!  My favorite singer is Sammy Hagar and I am still sad he's not with Van Halen anymore.  I'm glad I have a retro-son who loves 70's & 80's rock!  
d.  I secretly would love to find a stray puppy with my daughter, the zoo keeper!  
e.  I believe in spirits, fairies, elves, etc. 
f.  I held my mom and step dad's hands when they died...five weeks apart and it will probably always affect me in all I do.  My dad died when I was 21 and I try to always live like today may be it.  Life is way too short.  
g.  Who's counting...I NEED MORE FRIENDS!  

If you'd like me to tag you, please leave a comment.  

People I am tagging:  
1.  Bean
2.  your name here
3.  your name here
4.  your name here
5.  your name here
6.  your name here

Who tagged me:  
Esmerelda...check out her Amy's Community Column link.  She's an awesome writer and a sweet friend!  

 ~Lisa  :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Last night at the Burrow we welcomed a first visit from my brother and his family.  They drove south from Indy to have dinner with us.  It was a treat for my in-laws who live next door too, they have fond memories of my brother from when he and I lived together here in town and attended college.  

It was fun to show off the new/old place and talk with my family about our plans to change things up in here.

While "touring" the Burrow we found Lily, the huntress, at work in the basement.  I thought she was smelling a worm.  It turned out to be a baby Ringneck Snake: totally harmless to humans and pets.    Guess who started in with her, "Can I keep it?" talk?  Of course my response was, "No."  I really don't mind snakes, but he was so little!  He really needed to go back outside if he had any chance of surviving.  In the end, my no was overridden.  Both dad and grandpa said sure.  Not sure when grandpa started having a vote on pets living in our house!  

My SIL commented before she left our house that she thought it was nice that we weren't scared of snakes.  

Snakey found his home for the evening to be a plastic box.  The box had some grass clippings, leaves and a few flowers in it...just in case he wanted to smell them!  I did some research on what exactly Snakey was before we went to bed.  I found out he was a Ringneck Snake.  They can live for up to 10 years!  They eat bugs when young but eventually will eat mice.  Seeing as how he is harmless to us, he's actually not a bad snake to have around.  In my research I did find out that they do not do very well in captivity.  I read all my information out loud to the future zookeeper and she decided that in the morning she'd let Snakey go.  

Another fact about snakes to share, I know they can slip through very small spaces.  My daughter will learn this fact when she gets up today.  Our future zookeeper was worried last night that Snakey might not have enough air to breathe in his box so she left the lid ajar.  

Oh, Huntress...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do you remember?

Do you remember when you first learned to drive?  I recall Driver's Ed. and how cool it was.  I attended DE during summer break and it was held at school.  It seemed like it went all summer long...those were carefree days.  I didn't have to work, didn't have to be any where at any particular time, could stay up late or sleep in.  Time had no meaning.  In reality, DE was probably only two or three weeks long.  

Since I lived 13 miles from school, DE was very much a social event.  It was a gathering of a very specific group of people my age.  We all had a common bond and everyone WANTED to be there.  It wasn't like regular school.  The rewards of DE would be seen much more quickly.  

I barely recall the classroom work, speakers or the movies.  I do recall sitting in the gym as a group and knowing what we would see and hear was meant to scare us.  But I don't recall being scared or really influenced to be a better driver because of DE.  In retrospect, what has influenced me the most are any close calls I may have had.  That's not a comforting thought as my son just got his license to drive yesterday.   

I do recall the driving part of DE.  It was the most fun.  There were two girls, two boys and one teacher in our car.  We'd drive for four hours at a time.  Periodically, our teacher would make us stop so he could have a smoke break.  He'd open the glove box and pull out rolls of Certs...he didn't smoke.  In hindsight, I think he gave us Certs while he ate a few Tums!  They came in rolls too.  These days I've had my share of Tums.  I keep reminding myself that we all need to learn to drive sometime.  

The exciting part of getting my driver's license was that I suddenly had freedom.  I became much more helpful to my parents..."do you need anything from the store?  I'll go get it!"   My husband and I were reminiscing the other day with his parents about our early driving days.  My husband recalled his mom asking him to go to the corner market to buy her packs of cigarettes!  My slightly horrified MIL said, "I would never have done that!"  She hasn't smoked in 22 years.  My FIL replied, "I seem to recall you did!"  Boy have times changed!  Sixteen-year-olds can't even buy cigarettes nowadays.  

My son has passed step one in getting his license...the state tests: driving and written.  Officially he has his little plastic card in his wallet making him legal.  

Step two is a little harder to pass...Kroll's Law.  Just because the state says he can drive doesn't mean he's impressed all the authorities who will give him permission.  Where's that car provided by the state?  Who's paying insurance premiums?  Who's responsible if he gets into an accident?  Which brings up my next thought...organ donation.  I think it's a wonderful gift of life to be offered to someone else.  My son wanted to be an organ donor.  I'm not ready for my son to leave me in the earthly sense of the word, and it was hard to okay something so important as a person and a parent. 

 I did okay my son's desire.  Kroll's Law, the ace in my pocket...for a while.   

Friday, August 15, 2008

Life at The Burrow

A few weeks ago I was worried about all the "stuff" I would miss at my old place.  I now realize I was thinking totally about the wild life.  Being at the Burrow for a few weeks has reminded me that there are always new things to discover, you just have to look.  

I thought there wouldn't be any butterflies here.  Although I haven't been able to capture good pictures of any, I forgot that a lot of butterflies roost and lay their eggs in trees!  Next year my goal will certainly be to add more color to the yard.  Knowing who my animal neighbors are will help in my planning.  

A disadvantage of living here is that it's hard to get anything done!  All I want to do is sit out back and be apart of that life.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Habit or Tradition

Today is the first day of our school year here in Southern Indiana.  My oldest child is a sophomore in high school and my youngest is in the eighth grade.

I recall being a teary-eyed mom when my oldest first went off to kindergarten.  As we went out the front door that morning, to make the short walk to school, I had my camera at the ready.  "Stand here."  I directed.  My obedient little boy stood and smiled at me while I clicked away a half a dozen pictures.  

Last night, I silently reminded myself to set out my camera.  Five minutes before my children walked out the door to catch the bus this morning I said, "Oh,  One more thing..."  

"Mom!  NO!"  

I plead my case, " This is a tradition!  I have taken a first day of school photo since the beginning!  Since pre-school really!"  I was lucky to be allowed one photo; inside the house and no smiles.  

Another part of my first day of school tradition is to make chocolate chip cookies.  Only two more years until I retire this tradition for my son. 

Saturday, August 09, 2008

"Sticks and stones, Love..." "A Rose by any other name..."

My favorite book in the whole world starts out, "Last night I dreamt of Manderly..."

If you have read this old book you know by that line exactly what I am talking about.  Manderly is a house.  Daphne du Maurier was the author of my favorite book, Rebecca.  An aunt gave me a copy of that book when I was in my early teens.  It remains a wonderful murder mystery and I bet I've read it a half a dozen times.  I own several copies...just in case I find a young reader who likes to get lost in a good book.  Ms. du Maurier describes Manderly so well that it seems to have a life of it's own.  When I went to visit a famous house here in the states and I went up the winding drive, I felt I was about to see Manderly.  The Biltmore too, seems to have a life of its own. This past winter I read another book called Mrs. de Winters.  It was a continuation of life of the characters after Manderly.  It was written by Susan Hill as Ms. du Maurier has long since past away.  Ms. Hill understood the importance of the leading lady finding another house with a name and personality of it's own.  Cobbett's Brake is the new house.  The original murder mystery is continued in this second book.  Although the ending of this story made me sad, it really ended as it should have.  Ms. Hill was able to make Cobbett's Brake come alive just like Ms. du Maurier did to Manderly!    
When I walked into my new house-to-be, I sensed a presence.  It was not of a person, or spirit, it was something in the character of the house.  This house has a personality.  It wraps itself around you and makes you feel safe.   I know these walls have many tales they could tell.  When you see this house from the road it looks small and cozy.  When you step inside you feel like you have been welcomed home.  One can find their own space to unwind.  Had Ms.' du Maurier or Hill stepped in here they would feel it too.  They would understand my desire and need to find a name for this place.  

Right away I told my kids and my husband my plan.  This house needed a name.  As an expectant mother learns that it's best not to tell others prematurely your baby's name...others will voice their unsolicited opinions which usually aren't in favor of your choice, but once the baby is born all will easily accept your choice...I haven't told many the house name.  My children were to give suggestions.  I wanted something earthy, woodsy, and maybe a bit magical.  My son has read all of JRR Tolkien's books, surely he could suggest a name.  My daughter is very creative, she too would have good ideas.  

In the end it was my husband who casually mentioned what the house felt like to him.  "That's it!"  I said, "The Burrow."  This house is not like the burrow in Harry Potter, but it is like the burrow in it's comfort and how it welcomes all. 
Earlier this summer, I went to an amusement park with my brother-in-law and our two sons.  I had the above sign made for our new place.  My BIL asked, "what will your husband think of this?"  It was that unsolicited, non-encouraging tone that made me aware that his opinion was soon to follow, "He'll LOVE it!" 

And he does.  :)  Come visit us at The Burrow!  

Monday, August 04, 2008

A gift that keeps on giving...for Bean!

We have a certain family member who is REALLY bad at remembering dates!  I have included a new feature to my blog, down at the bottom, just for her!  Others can benefit from this too...but it's just there as a reminder for us all!