The Painted Lady

A while back when I read about how to find and raise a monarch butterfly on The Art of Doing Stuff, I was totally inspired to get this in he works fir Bobby. He LOVES butterflies and it was one of his first obsessions ( along with balls and fans). Finding an egg and feeding the caterpillar with copious amounts of milkweed seemed like a lot of work and I had back burnered the idea until one day a couple of weeks ago when my doorbell rang during Brent’s band practice.

Our next door neighbour raises butterflies. I know she provides them to a nearby school to help teach about metamorphosis and she is a retired teacher herself. She came by with a small container housing two painted lady caterpillars, a lump of food and a lot of poop. She is wonderful and she told Bobby what to expect.

  1. they might eat a bit more
  2. they would attach their bums to the top and hang down
  3. they would make a “J” shape
  4. they would become chrysalises

Bobby was convinced she meant a cocoon but he shortly corrected his belief based on false information provided by Eric Carle. Moths come from cocoons. We kept them in a lit area but out of direct light and checked on them often. A day later they were “J” shaped and a day after that, one had become a chrysalis. I was watching as the remaining caterpillar became very stiff, then it started vibrating, then it’s outer layer started sliding upward as the chrysalis was revealed below. I should have taken a video but I was too awestruck. It’s seriously magical. Bobby looked a couple times and Brent didn’t even glance. he totally missed out. For real.

Caterpillars about to become chrysalises

Then, as instructed, we went next door and told our neighbour what had transpired.

The next day she came back with a larger home for the chrysalises and transferred them over.
Chrysalises transferred to larger container

Once again she told Bobby what to expect.

  1. they would look the same for 10-12 days
  2. shortly before the butterflies hatch, their chrysalises will get blackish
  3. when they come out, there will be a little blood but it’s ok and they are not hurt
  4. when they come out their wings will be all crinkled and wet but over time they will stretch and dry out

She gave Bobby a stack of post-it notes numbered 1 through 12 so he could remove one each day and know when the butterflies would hatch.  On day 5 I found them scattered about his room.

A couple of days ago we all woke up the find that the butterflies had hatched in the night. Bobby was very excited and we agreed to go tell our neighbour about it AFTER daycare.
Bobby watching the butterflies

Trying to escape?

Butterfly head-on

Painted Ladt with extended wings
She was out at the time so we left a note on her door. She came by right before Bobby’s bed time and we had even more butterfly fun! He told her their names. He named them Piper and Max. I have no idea why. She said they would be ready to let out the next day and that the flowering bush in our backyard was the perfect location. In the meantime, they were likely hungry so she placed a chunk of orange in their little home and Piper (assuming it’s the same one that was in the spot since the morning) went for a drink right away.

Learning time: A butterfly ‘eats’ using it’s proboscis which is like a long coiled straw in it’s mouth that it extends to drink nectar. Or orange juice. This video shows the drinking and then the proboscis retracting.

Butterfly Drinking OJ a video by tianadargent on Flickr.

Since I always need something with which to lure Bobby away from daycare, I told him we would do it in the evening before supper. And we took a video of it!

Butterfly release a video by tianadargent on Flickr.

If you ever get the chance to do this I suggest you do. It’s super!!

On this day:

In 2009 -“My armpits smell like a fresh box of wax crayons”

In 2008 – “it’s got a big swoopy arrow”

In 2007 -“We are hippies mayhaps?”

In 2006 -“Seriously. Tit city”

In 2005 – “a seagull flew towards me and landed in front of me with a sausage in it’s mouth”


Today only, a special treat.

You get to witness my first ever guest post. Jon and I did a trade. I make a post for his blog, and he makes one for mine. Jon is the resident Sustainability Guy where I work. I’m not sure if that’s his official title but it may as well be.

Maybe this will be a regular feature for me. If you would like to make a guest post, or do a post swap, email me at


Piano Stairs


Have you seen the piano stairs video? Really? Are you serious, cause it’s posted like everywhere. I even added a link from my Facebook account. Anyways you should take a look because it is pretty awesome and it reveals one of my big pet peeves; lazy stairs people.


Allow me to preface with my list of annoying lazy people things. First are people who take the elevator when they could easily take the stairs, next are people use the handicapped button to open doors, then it’s people who don’t turn off their computers at night, and finally people who stand still on the escalator.


Each is especially annoying in its own magic way (Seriously you can’t open the door with your hands? Cause the more you use the handicapped button for your own lazy purposes the more you increase the likelihood that it will break when a person who really needs it comes by – Or standing on the escalator? I know it isn’t the biggest crime in the world but if you don’t have a mobility issue what’s the point? I mean it is technically taking longer to just stand there than to walk up or down the stairs you realize). But what bugs me the most, more than the fact that it is a real sign of la-zi-ness, is the fact that it gobbles up energy.


Interlude – I want it to be known that I recognize the legitimate need to use an elevator. As I alluded to earlier, mobility issues, fatigue, travelling more than 3 stories, I get that; but using an elevator to go one or two floors (especially down) is simply too much. I was at a party a couple of weeks ago and this issue came up. A guest admitted that one of his great triumphs came from an elevator encounter. He was on his way up to something like the tenth floor when some people got off on the second floor. As the elevator doors closed he shouted out “Really sucks when the stairs are broken, eh?”. Classic.


Sorry, I really had to get that out. Anyways, I would love to calculate the amount of energy that is being consumed so that this ridiculously heavy metal box can carry up two flights of stairs. If ever there was a waste of resources, this is it. The sheer magnitude of environmental degradation that is inflicted on the planet to draw oil out from the ground just so that you avoid a little bit of cardio is mindboggling.


I would really love to have these piano stairs installed on the U of O campus. I know we don’t really have any escalators to speak of but getting people off the elevator is totally worth the installation cost of these stairs. I am just saying, people really need to start taking responsibility for the amount of energy they waste needlessly. And if we can also give people some much needed exercise during the day, I am all for it.

Jonathan Rausseo

On this day:

In 2008 –
In 2007 –
In 2006 –
In 2005 –

Apparently nothing!

Ontario Pesticide Law

The government is accepting comments on the proposed law to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides.

If you are an Ontario resident, you have until May 22 to submit your comments.

Here’s what I wrote:

I fully support a ban on pesticide use and sale for cosmetic purposes. I hope
that this extends to residences, public (parks) and private (golf courses)
spaces as well as spaces owned by the cities such as along highways.
I would encourage that cities be permitted to add more rigorous guidelines
should they choose to and that provisions be put in place to add new pesticides
and herbicides to the list of prohibited substances.

I encourage you to send in your comments and to have your voice heard.

It looks like they’re flashing me!

Over the past few days I’ve noticed something fairly odd and mildly disturbing in various places across the city.  there are many trees, shrubs and bushes – all different types – that have been stripped of their bark from approximately 24″ off the ground.

Some of the ones I’ve walked closely by have a puddle of bark shards strewn about their bases.  Maybe it’s because there was so much snow piled around them for so long?

It creeps me out.

ANTM last night was RIDICULOUS! Tyra was on a rampage with

  • refusing to even attempt to pronounce someone’s name correctly
  • making everything about her
  • speaking in fake Italian or horrible renditions of an Italian accent

I could REALLY go for a nice cappuccino with a dash of cinnamon right now… In a real mug, not a take out one.  I guess I could always order a decaf…

On this day:

In 2007 – pain is from 100% pure ROCKING OUT
In 2006 – I’ll only go if I’m specifically invited
In 2005 – By big sprawling tattoo

My new crusade!

I’ve decided to tackle the issue of junk mail at our house. It comes in 2 forms:

  1. addressed
  2. unaddressed

My first stop was to go on the Canada Post website and see if there is an option to not get it delivered (not all unaddressed junk mail is delivered by the postal service, but about a third of ours is) but there was no such option so I googled “no junk mail Canada”.

So apparently, Canada Post will only not deliver unaddressed junk mail if you clearly label your mail box. Well Canada Post delivers my mail to one of these:

So how am I supposed to label that? I think they deliver from the back so maybe I’ll super-tape a piece of paper that hangs down from the top so they see it as they put the mail in.

I’m also going to put labels on the mailbox by our front door so that no flyers or local businesses leave their junk there.

If I still get unaddressed junk I will do one of two things.

  • Those that have a postage paid return envelope will be getting it back, full of other junk mail.
  • I’ll put it right back into the mail box. Canada post wants to give me junk? Fine. I’ll give them the junk right back.

For addressed junk mail the first thing I did was fill out the Do Not Contact form here: CMA
It takes 6-8 weeks to be taken off the list and you need to do it again once a year.

Next I will make sure to contact whatever companies have targeted me and get them to stop (they legally have to in Canada, but it can take about 8 weeks to be taken off the list). I get a lot of pre-approved credit card stuff so I’ll take the prepaid return envelope, detach the address label they used to send it to me and write”Do not solicit” along with the date and signature on it. If I send that back, they legally have to stop. I’ll cancel any catalogues that come in using their 1-800 number or the website on the ordering page.

Do you have any more tips for reducing how much junk mail makes it to your recycle bin?

On this day:

In 2006 – I recount the meat cleaver incident.
In 2005 – I am obviously an ass-hole. I’m working on it.

no one ever told us about the sorrow

I’m feeling kind of frantic. 

Tomorrow, our real estate agent is coming over and our house is pretty much a disaster.  There’s so much to do to make it presentable! 

I’d do it after work today but a coworker/friend is coming over for dinner then we are heading over to Brent’s gig and I’m sure I won’t be home before 11.  I feel it is rather rude to clean while guests are over.

Things that I REALLY need to do:

  • Lots of laundry.  I’m wearing the last of my clean clothes today so that means I have a few loads of clothes as well as some blankets and towels that have been piling up in the basement.
  • iron the duvet cover
  • Before I can even put my laundry away, I need to sort out the dresser because nothing fits.
  • Clean the cat box
  • make dinner/clean up after
  • put the chair pieces somewhere inconspicuous
  • tidy the bathrooms
  • make the bed in the guest room
  • put the duvet cover on our bed
  • vacuum

I figure I can do SOME of this stuff while she’s over like, tidy up the bathroom while I’m peeing, or cleaning the kitchen WHILE I cook.  Throw some laundry in while I go down to feed the cat


On another note, I got a new footrest at work today and I feel good about that.


I came across some nice non-toxic paint HERE.  There are some really great neutrals in there and this muted colours would kick ass in that house.  VERILY

On this day:

In 2006
– A million photos, don’t believe me? Count them!
In 2005 – Pie time

You ARE a feminist…ANTM

I’d like to start this post by quoting from another blog post I luckily came across today:

feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests — feminist n or adjfeministic adj

Above, the dictionary definition of feminism — the entire dictionary definition of feminism. It is quite straightforward and concise. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.
Yes, you are.

Yes. You are. You are a feminist. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Period. It’s more complicated than that — of course it is. And yet…it’s exactly that simple. It has nothing to do with your sexual preference or your sense of humor or your fashion sense or your charitable donations, or what pronouns you use in official correspondence, or whether you think Andrea Dworkin is full of crap, or how often you read Bust or Ms. — or, actually, whether you’ve got a vagina. In the end, it’s not about that. It is about political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, and it is about claiming that definition on its own terms, instead of qualifying it because you don’t want anyone to think that you don’t shave your pits. It is about saying that you are a feminist and just letting the statement sit there, instead of feeling a compulsion to modify it immediately with “but not, you know, that kind of feminist” because you don’t want to come off all Angry Girl. It is about understanding that liking Oprah and Chanel doesn’t make you a “bad” feminist — that only “liking” the wage gap makes you a “bad” feminist, because “bad” does not enter into the definition of feminism. It is about knowing that, if folks can’t grab a dictionary and see for themselves that the entry for “feminism” doesn’t say anything about hating men or chick flicks or any of that crap, it’s their problem.
I urge you to read the whole thing HERE.

Point the second: ANTM I watched it last night, as I am wont to do. I was struck by how most of it revolved around the contestant with Asperger’s. I was discouraged that her housemates were pretty ignorant and made no effort to get to know her at all. Or at least it was edited that way.

This morning, I came across a post on this very topic which I found very interesting. Here’s an excerpt:

…Later on, on America’s Next Top Model (guilty pleasure) one of the contestants, Heather, has Aspergers syndrome, and it was the topic of a lot of the show tonight (mostly the other contestants hating and whispering about her).
This is very interesting to me. America’s Next Top Model has previously been the site of nuanced representations of individual experiences (among other things–there are a variety of things wrong with ANTM and various things Tyra has said that I’m not going into here). Where else on TV do you find a woman telling her own story about being half-Persian with a strict father, and feeling alienated from his side of the family? When have you ever seen a person candidly talk about feeling trapped by gender binaries on TV, but on ANTM? How often, on TV, does someone come out to their parents and recieve a sweet, supportive response? I have often been impressed by the expressions of specific individual experiences represented on ANTM; impressed because you just don’t see this on TV…
Read the rest HERE
This is something that I really hadn’t considered before. That despite ANTM’s shallowness and other fallacies, it brings attention to human differences in a realistic, relatable way. Previously, I thought of these contestants as tokens to somehow increase drama and ratings. Maybe I was being too cynical?

Point the third: I was reading one of those eco-friendly blogs I like and came across a company that sells organic dresses. Some of them are quite lovely and imagine my surprise when I realized who the model was…CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT

On this day:

In 2006 – Another 3 point post and a wonderful WONDERFUL quote from Superhero
In 2005 – Some super-awesome rantiness.  I LOVE IT.