Monarchs Among Us

Raising monarch butterflies from a caterpillar state is an amazing journey.

A few years ago, a dear friend told me how him and his wife raised monarchs with his kids when they were little. I thought it would be a great tradition for my own daughter to get to do.

Our first caterpillar is as exciting as the last. After feeding the caterpillars milkweed leaves for a week or so, they go into their cocoons.

This particular jar had 2 residents. The twins, if you would.

After almost 2 weeks in the cocoon state, you can start to see the wing patterns emerge.

One day before the emerge, the cocoon is very transparent.

Once the monarch butterflies emerge, their wings need to dry before turning them loose.

My daughter and one of her amazing monarch butterflies.

A tradition that will continue in this house. Teaching children about the awesomeness of nature and the works around them is far better than any video game on the market.

See you on the flip side.

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Summer Hummer

One of my favorite visitors in the summer.

These little guys make for hours if watching enjoyment.

This little guy had the wind knocked out of him.

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Solitude

As a child, I grew up in the woods. My parents lived in the middle of a 40 acre parcel in the woods on the edge of county forest land. I grew up in solitude.

Of course, as one gets older… The flashiness of city living pulled me and I eventually found myself in college living in the concrete jungle. That wasn’t me. Eventually, I got married and started a family. We bounced from one place to another finally settling in living in a small community. You might as well have had me back in the city. I wasn’t made for having neighbors that close. I didn’t want to see and know everything they did.

Fast forward 5 years after I went through a divorce…

My partner and I have found our forever home. Both of us grew up in the middle of the woods, so it is quite fitting that we find a place to raise our respective children the way we grew up… In the woods… Whether or not spring decides to eventually show up this year, waking up to the beautiful solitude I have the pleasure of getting every morning in my own little paradise is worth it.
Happy Saturday my friends…

Hard to see, it was very early… But the view out my kitchen window as I made coffee.

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Step Outside

It is so easy this time of year to hold up in the warmth of a house and let the winter blues fully engulf you.

Step outside, do something, don’t become a victim to the season.

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Northwoods Winters

This is my back yard. I’m sitting at my kitchen table looking out my patio door..

This is my life.

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Making candles for ear-candling…

Let me start off by saying, I am not a medical professional. Ear candling is one of those topics either you believe it works or you don’t. In this house, we believe it works and had made significant improvement for my partner instead of having to pay an office visit to our local clinic all the time for problems with his ears.

With that being said, this morning is Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning, I make candles for his ears. Yes I could buy them online… But for a $20 dollar kit online to maybe 2? I can make a lot of candles with $0.97 fabric from the local store, $5.00 bag of beeswax and my time.

First step is to melt the wax. I don’t own a fancy double boiler, I have an old sauce pan and a tin can. Same difference… Water in the sauce pan, wax in the tin can.

While that is heating up, I cut my strips of $0.97 fabric. These particular ones are red with white polka dots, my daughter picked it out. The strips I cut are roughly an inch wide.

Once the wax is melted, I dip the fabric into the wax… But not all the way. Wax is hot, and you’re wrapping the candles bare handed, it sometimes hurts. For my wrapping mold, good old #2 pencil works great.

After they are wrapped, I pull the candle off the pencil and let cool on a paper plate. (I’m cheap, no expensive tools here) I have a gas stove, I shouldn’t have to tell your to watch the flame for fire risks, but… WATCH THE FLAME SO YOU DON’T START YOUR KITCHEN IN FIRE!!!

Today, I made six candles. These will last us for while. It all depends on how bad my partners eats are this week. 

If you make these, work fast. The wax cools quickly… And you need the wax to stick together to make your candle.

Burn at your own risk. I’m not going to go into explanation how to use these properly. There’s a ton of sites online that can give you that information.

Good luck if you make them. Save money, we all like that and if they work for you, great! 

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Northwoods Living

Only in Northern Wisconsin will you see a side by side going down the highway.

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