Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy birthday to me!

Today is my birthday, and it was a very good day.

Biscuit and I got an invitation to a butterfly house, and it sounded like a good way to start my 46th year.

And it was.

We started the day late, and I was in a tizzy! They only take so many people for each session, and Biscuit and I were the last two. But it didn't take long for me to calm down and enjoy myself.

I like hanging out and talking to my friend who invited us, and Biscuit and her son get along well, too. Well, until they each have an idea of how things should be. Then we mediate, offer up a compromise, then they're fine again.

Our session started with a lesson about monarch butterflies. We learned about how they hear with their knees, taste with their feet, breath through their bellies and lay eggs only on milkweed plants. And that butterflies emerge from chrysalises and moths come out of cocoons. I have to say that I learned as much as Biscuit did.

Once we got inside the butterfly house, they handed out flat rounds of cotton that had been soaked in sugar water. The butterflies float around and land on the pads, then you get to watch them up close as they taste it, then dive in to eat.

I sat down on a bench to watch a butterfly eat on the sugar pad I was holding. I was trying to take pictures, but it's hard when you only have one hand free. No adjustments, just autofocus and snap.

But it was fascinating to watch the process that close up and personal.

And while I was staring at the butterfly in my hand, another butterfly landed right on the tip of my nose. And then he crawled down on my lip. It was very cool and kinda creepy all at the same time. Sadly, I couldn't get the camera up fast enough to capture the moment.

Biscuit laughed when I told him about it because I said, "I just kept thinking, 'Don't go into my mouth! Don't go into my mouth!'"

Biscuit had a hard time being as gentle as he needed to be. You're supposed to let the butterflies come to you, but he kept trying to go after them. I think I called his name about 50 times in there, just warning him to be gentle and not to try to pick up the butterflies.

Biscuit and his friend ran through a mister before we
went into the butterfly house, so both boys had wet hair.

The house had butterfly bushes, lantana, milkweed,
petunias and other flowers that butterflies like.

Even after Biscuit put down his sugar pad, the butterflies kept landing on his
fingers. I think he was thinking more along the lines of how we'll catch lightning
bugs in the backyard. He wanted the butterflies to come to him, stay for a few
seconds, then go away. But the butterflies weren't coming as often as he wanted, so he
started trying to entice them to come to him. Which, of course, got him called down.

And this is the moment he was
over it! Hot, thirsty and ready to go.

See that long tube that's curved down into the sugar pad? That's the proboscis or
basically its tongue. That thing would poke around until it found a nice sweet spot.

When we got home, we had a quick lunch, then Biscuit and I both took naps. I actually slept longer than Biscuit did. I didn't mean to, but I guess I needed it. By the time I woke up, our original plan of going out to dinner didn't sound so great anymore.

So Jeff fetched takeout for us, including a tasty lemon cream cake. After dinner, Jeff and Biscuit sang to me and let me make a wish and blow out the candle.

I used to love playing with a set just like this one when I was a kid.
I had been on the lookout for one for a long time. Jeff found this one
at a secondhand toy store while we were at a cruise-in. You should
see the designs I've already made! Biscuit is fascinated with the process,
but he doesn't want to take part. He just wants me to make drawings for him.
He'd rather be up and doing stuff than sitting and doing artwork of any kind.

They still sell this game in stores, but it's not the same. Jeff found this original
version at the same toy store. I used to love playing this with my brother.
Biscuit was so excited as I was assembling the board. He asked
me about a thousand questions about what everything does.

I got lots of well wishes from friends and family, some really nice gifts, some spending money and time with my boys. Yep, it was a good day.

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