My Dad turned 80 years old today. I have to say that he's gotten easier to get along with as he's aged, for which I am grateful. I told him today that I have enjoyed these last few years, hanging out with him and getting better acquainted. I told him no mushy stuff, and he said he didn't intend any but that he had enjoyed the time, too. So he knows.

We drove to the town where we both went to high school to have lunch with my nephew. He doesn't look good at all, he almost died during this past year. I'm not sure what the problem was, he has the same issues I do with bloating except his was worse, and he's lost about 120 pounds cutting out all of the sodium from his life. And I mean all of it. He's been living on asparagus and potatoes because they were the only foods that didn't cause him pain. It's an extreme diet and not one that I recommend, except it did save his life. It took him a long time to find a doctor who would, or could, help him, too, so he was on the brink of systemic organ failure when he finally got the right person. Today's lunch was the first full meal he's eaten in a year and it exhausted him. He is 34 years old and, frankly, he looks older than I do. And he has huge ears!! I never noticed that before. Dad and I had a chuckle about that while the nephew was paying the bill. I am glad that I got to see him, he's on a restricted license from past discrepancies with the law so going to that town is the only way to get in a visit.

I have an appointment with a rheumatologist next Wednesday, I'm hoping for a name and a plan so that I can start to feel better. My heartburn has subsided since I quit eating nightshade, so I'm hoping the potato/asparagus diet isn't on the menu. I know, I can start this on my own and I have, better choices and avoiding the foods that cause the heartburn has significantly reduced the antacid intake. And, coincidentally, stopped the swelling in my feet somewhat. I just want it gone altogether.

Some good news! I don't know if I told you but I got three monarch caterpillars on the milkweed this year, two of them have died and disappeared, so I brought the third one into the house; it seems that only 5% of them survive to maturity in the wild and 5% of three doesn't equal a whole butterfly. Today, I got up to find Fred suspended from the silken anchor for his chrysalis! Yes, there is going to be a butterfly. The unfortunate news is that he built in a corner, but I am going to research and see what I need in there for him to migrate to the middle so he can spread his wings for proper drying. I'm very excited and very anxious to have this succeed, and if you look closely you'll see that his web goes from the milkweed stem to the top of the cage, so I don't know how to get that apparatus moved. Maybe, I just had a thought, maybe I can find a way to get him to a safe place outside for the great rebirth and suspend the cage top from something so he's dangling free... I just have to be there to keep the parasitic wasps away while he's drying.

I will share more photos of the metamorphosis, I plan on a daily log. This could become a thing for my retirement.

I guess that's it for today. I just finished a sangria and Sprite, my ankles aren't pleased but the spanish rice already did them in so it's okay, and I'm falling asleep at the keyboard.

Have fun out there.

Views: 107

Comment by Terry McKenna on July 15, 2017 at 4:37pm

Monarch butterflies are a treasure.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 15, 2017 at 4:40pm

Keep us posted

Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 15, 2017 at 4:43pm

R&L

Comment by Julie Johnson on July 15, 2017 at 5:04pm

Here I thought it was going to be about Krispie Kreme's 80th!  The lines were so long for the free doughnuts yesterday, they were having a traffic jam so we didn't even try.  

Happy Birthday to your dad, Phyllis.  I like that, no mushy stuff :)

Comment by marilyn sands on July 16, 2017 at 2:53pm

Looks like YOU will be going thru a metamorphosis yourself - who doesn't want to be a Butterfly - at least ONCE!

Comment by greenheron on July 17, 2017 at 3:51am

Potato and asparagus diet doesn't sound half bad, says this vegetarian. As long as I could have a sweet potato now and then.

Something about butterflies immediately after they emerge from their cocoon. Their wings have a coating that dries within the first twenty minutes. If they don't have enough space to extend them fully and flap, the coating dries and permanently cements the wings in a way that makes them useless for flight. So you have to get your new pet out of his small cage and into the yard the moment he emerges, or as he's emerging, or else he'll be bird food.

It's a truly amazing process to watch. I used to do this at the Audubon art and nature camp with the kids. If you do again, wait til the cocoon is established, all made and hanging from a twig, then break off the twig and put it in the aquarium. That way the caterpillar can't choose a bad spot.

Comment by Phyllis on July 17, 2017 at 4:49pm

Hi! We got gold dots on the chrysalis today. I am reading up on the care and maintenance thereof, and plan to be home when Fred emerges. Apparently they can also fall off of their perch and need to be put back up to hang until they dry. I can also move the chrysalis, people who do this for a living have put instructions online. I'm not going to glue it to a paper towel like they did, but I'm going to find a way to center him in the cage. I also want to find a way to suspend the top of the cage inside of a space outside that will protect him from parasitic wasps while he's helpless.

Greenie, I didn't feel like I had the option to wait for him to cocoon outside, two of the three had disappeared and storms were rolling through and blowing over the milkweed. I am frantic with worry because the last chrysalis I collected opened up in a small jar, I had been waiting and stepped away for a minute to do something else and came back to find a crumpled up monarch. That is not going to happen this time.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on July 17, 2017 at 5:53pm

This is a grand post. 

I wish my mom were around to hang out with. I think its wonderful that you and your dad have found friendship and mutual respect, not to mention love. Its really great! 

As for potatoes and asparagus - I could get behind that. I wildly love baked potatoes and delicately sauted asparagus. Yum. 

The chrysalis is neat but I'd be terrified that I'd do something stupid knowing nothing. I assume you know what youre doing. 

Phyllis great blog! super upbeat! 

Comment by koshersalaami on July 17, 2017 at 7:56pm

Krispie Kreme's 80th? Boy, does that explain a lot

i was in the D.C. Area on business Friday, driving home to NY State. We don't have Krispie Kreme, which I was used to in Greensboro. However, there's one in Scranton on my way home so I offered my wife to pick some up. I get ready to turn left into the lot but the line is around the building. My tail would stick into traffic. Then the line actually reached the street, so I crossed because the line shielded my tail now. It takes a while to get around the building. I reach the microphone. 

A dozen glazed and a raspberry jelly, please.

We're out of everything but glazed, but for 80 cents you can get a second dozen.

Done.

Demand is faster than supply. When I reach the window and pay, they have to go get the donuts off the conveyor belt. The orange light outside is of course on. From the belt into boxes straight to me. I ate one immediately. It was still so hot it damned near fell apart in my hand because it hadn't cooled enough to solidify its shape yet. 

Comment by Julie Johnson on July 18, 2017 at 4:05am

mmmmmm.....just like cotton candy, you can never eat just one!  

okay, back to the butterflies.  This is interesting, Phyllis!  

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