Lloyd's Barbeque Pork Ribs!

Friday, August 21, 2015

When it's hot, and you don't want to cook...you gotta eat - What do you do?

We turn to our grill, to avoid firing up the stove inside! 

A summer favorite?

They look and smell delish, even before you put them on the grill!
 and just 20 minutes later...

Ready to eat!

The meat literally, and I mean LITERALLY fell off of the bone.
That's my kind of dinner!

The meat comes pre-seasoned, and honestly, it could not be any easier!

And when someone else doesn't mind doing the 'cooking' - that's even better! 
Thanks Rob, for putting this all together and manning the grill, 
making a delish dinner! 

CLICK HERE for coupons for your favorite HORMEL products!

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***  As or Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger, I am occasionally given coupons to try Hormel Foods products, or given the products themselves in order to facilitate a blog post. I am not compensated for posting. ***

Swallowtail Caterpillars from Egg to Chrysalis!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

For the last few years, I have been looking, and looking, and looking...
for Swallowtail Caterpillars around here.

We have tons of Swallowtail Butterflies floating around - so they must be somewhere, right?
That haven't made their presence very known, even with the abundance of dill I planted for them...


This year!
I finally found Swallowtail Eggs on Dill!

The difference between the Monarch Caterpillar and the Swallowtail Caterpillar is very apparent at this stage in the game.

And from one day to the next, you find yourself wondering if it's even the same caterpillar...
because the changes are that different!

 When the Swallowtail is an adult, that's when some people confuse them with the Monarch Butterfly - but the coloring is different, if you just know what you are looking at.

I just love their little legs!
Aren't they sooo cool looking?

(If you follow me on Instagram - you will likely have seen many of these photos and more - 
it's one of those, Instagram ate my blog things...)

The Swallowtail makes a crazy lookin' crysalis, and it hides itself by turning either green, or brown, based on it''s surroundings...I was sort of hoping for red, in this case...but green he stayed!

We had three of these caterpillar guys, at once...but then we only had 2 chrysalis.

I was bummed, that one had disappeared...
Had be been eaten by something? Escaped?

Turns out, he escaped and made himself comfortable in one of my box tops for education baggies!

Soo soo glad I found him!
(And he wasn't shipped off with the box tops! EEK!)

Because, wow, he's hatched, and isn't he so gorgeous!

I love the Swallowtail Butterfly, and we are so happy to have them in our gardens!

And then one day, my hubs spots THIS guy crawling around on the driveway!

A YELLOW tiger swallowtail cat, about to pupate?

That's the caterpillar motherload over here!

Isn't he just the CUTEST!

He almost looks cartoonish, but I assure you he is real!

I posted a short video clip here on Instragram of him cruising around, so you can see that he very much is real...
and I assure you - he's FAST!

And now...we wait...
and wait. 
And wait.
And wait...

It's been three weeks, and he's still in his chrysalis.
I am hoping he emerges soon, with one of the other 7 Swallowtails that we are waiting on...

If not...
then do we wait it out over the winter, or did they not make it?

We are well versed in Monarchs here, but the Swallowtails are new to us.
They have a bit different lifecycles than we are used to - and I don't even know what's really normal.

Here are 2 of the 8 Swallowtail Crysalides we are impatiently waiting on!

Time will tell...
Feels like winter should be a long ways off - but it also feels like 3+ weeks of being cooped up inside the cocoon isn't normal either?

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Tie Dye Creations with Camp Streefland!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

We've been going to Camp Streefland for a few weeks every summer, for the last several years.

One of the highlights of daycamp...
is the TIE DYE!

Who doens't love a good tie dye?

But...when you go 2, 3, 4....maybe even a half a dozen times...
in one summer, that adds up to a lot of tie dye.
Shirts, socks, shorts, towels, pillowcases.

We've done it all.
But this time, the kids got a super cool, official, CAMP STREEFLAND, glow in the dark pillow case!

Didn't hers turn out soo amazing?

For the record, so did Derek's, but I haven't been able to wrangle him and the pillowcase in the same shot for a photo just yet...
That will have to get added to this blog post later, hopefully...
So that when I catch up on my blog to book making...HAHAHA! YEAH, someday!!
Then he won't feel left out!

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Catch and Release...Dock Fishin'

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

This kiddo used to looove fishin' - 
He still does, in a sense, but we don't get the opportunity much anymore...

And this year, he felt so bad for those poor Minn-e-O's that were to be used as bait - 
That we spent a small fortune on some 'gulp' from the bait shop instead.

It still seemed to work just fine, 
for a morning of catch and release fishin' off the dock.

It's not the same without Grandma, but we had fun all the same.

Ah, what a difference a couple - FOUR! - years makes! 

How does it get so late so soon?

I wish we could spend all of our mornings on the dock, surrounded by this peace and tranquility.
He looks pretty good there, huh?

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Monarch Mania in Minnesota #GustGardens

Sunday, August 9, 2015

It's strange to grasp the concept of Monarchs on the decline - 
when we have hundreds of eggs being laid on our milkweed right here in our backyard.

Here is one of many plates of Monarch eggs that we brought in from the garden.

Can you see the tiny white dots?
 Milkweed doesn't have to be ugly.
My Swamp Milkweed flowers up every so nicely, and the Monarchs have been LOVING it!
 Every day these guys are spinning cocoons....

Sometimes it's in their habitat I have created for them to be safe...
And other times, they've managed to get out and find a place they like better somewhere inside my house! ACK! 

Off the counter, under the table, on the patio curtain!
 Other times, just on some of their milkweed stalks...

We've released upwards of 200 already this season, right here in our backyard in Minnesota!

Now if I could just figure out what this Swallowtail guy is going to do!