No, I still haven’t found my REAL name

But, I’m working on it. Most days I work on it by just sitting around reading, thinking about the changes in my life, missing my mum. Today is THE day except I felt most of my anniversary sorrow over the past week while I’ve been pretty quiet around here on this blog (I was weeping and sobbing over by the manatee.)

Yesterday I did one of those spirit purging house cleans in preparation for Bud’s arrival late last evening. Rich, good and fun person that he is, took off on his motorcycle late in the day- about 8 pm- and came back with a great haul of tropical theme shirts for Bud. He somehow walked in the door of Marshall’s ( for me this is akin to walking into a TB ward), veered five feet right and found a rack of beautiful washable silk Tommy Bahama shirts, all in Bud’s size, all 75% off. Now I don’t think Bud has worn silk in this life time so we’re about to see what you can do with the softest sow’s ear down here.

We got back from the airport around midnight and I asked him if he was hungry as he had been traveling about since early afternoon. He said, "Well, now, they offered to sell me some expensive sandwich on that plane and the man next to me, from Saskatchewan he was, bought two he was so hungry but I said no, thank you. He asked me wasn’t I starving and I said, well, you see, my daughter is going to have cold fried chicken waiting for me when I get there…"

Bud had three pieces of cold fried chicken, a spinach pie, lots of water and two beers while we chatted about his flying companions and then we went to bed. Today we will begin to explore with him.


"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but  the one most responsive to change." (Charles Darwin)

Curious that I am in mind of this Darwin quote while I am also in mind of transformation in the presence of faith and small miracles.

My back alley neighbors, Bill and Barb, noted yesterday that I seem to be so happy here in Florida, would I consider it year ’round. I thought for a long minute (in that minute I considered all the change in my life in the last 365 days) and said, "nah, I do love it here. I love the outdoors and the nature and the light but I need to figure out how to make Chicago my home a big part of the year. At the time that I moved I was sorta of shell shocked so I haven’t really given it a chance yet. But I know, because I’ve already found a bookclub, made friends, found the zoo, that Chicago will work for me. Especially with this to come to in the coldest, darkest months of the year."
While I’m going on about change and waiting to discover my real name, this is really all a lead up to this miracle of nature. You know how I was writing about the Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed about 10 days ago? Well, I found this one hanging upside down on a nearby potted plant, right when Rich was about to use the power blower to clear away the dead live oak leaves. (Who knew there was a state where autumn and spring occur within one week of each other?)

He looked fairly lethargic, hanging there contemplating his navel, and I thought, "Ah, hah! Perhaps this one might turn into a chrysalis and then a butterfly?" I checked back an hour later and thought, "Ack, he’s dying!" And then, over the course of literally 8 minutes, with most of the action occurring in the final two- this metamorphosis stunned me. I know others have posted about this transformation but I had never actually witnessed it, moment by moment.

So, here you go. I’ll do just a couple at a time so now you need to stay tuned. I’ve gently moved the pot to the screen porch where it is safe from small lizards and giant blowers and I’ve taken no fewer than 100 time lapse photos. My plan is to build a 5 x 7 series for a long narrow frame I’ll hang in the room where we have that exceptionally nice library table.Hang1

18 responses to “No, I still haven’t found my REAL name

  1. Say hello to Bud… OK, I’ll do it! HELLO BUD!!!!
    My those silk shirts sure look good on you! Have a piece of that chicken for me.

    Now, to the butterfly… caterpillar … you will tell us how it is doing this “crystallix” as Nyssa used to call it. Amazing. I am really going to have to get a macro lens soon. The zoom just won’t cut it and the crocus are really getting going. I do have about two hundred shots of waterfowl and floating seagulls.

    What happened to the manatee?

    And Rhett is crying over Sophie again. He needs a picture to hang near his bed.

  2. Wow. How magnificient that you witnessed that metarphos this week when you are thinking bout your mum.

    Have you ever read, Hope for the Flowers? The author lived in my house for a while when I was a little kid.

  3. Cooooool shots!

    I could use some cold fried chicken. You still fry chicken? Even in the deep South, it seems to be a bit of a lost art. I do the oven-fried variety, which doesn’t have the same oil-spattering crispness, but is easy!

    Have fun with Bud!

  4. Those are great photos, vicki. Truly a wonderful thing to be observing and contemplating on this first anniversary of your mother’s death. I’m so glad Bud is there with you. Hope he loves the warm spring there, and the warmth of love that greets him.

  5. Know thyself! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly.~Andre Gide

    Perhaps your real name eludes you, but your real calling is clear. In the words of Hafiz: Love says, “I will, I will take care of you,” to everything that is near.

    Blessed Passiontide! Reminiscere (Commemorate)and Oculi (Eyes)!

  6. P.S. I only wish I had a balm for the Wolverine basketball implosion. Oh, wait…a little bird told me that you’ve switched to cheering for the SPARTANS. If only Big Dave and Meeta had your new-found wisdom!

  7. Wow! Those pictures. Wow! And, double-wow, I love Bud’s faith that you’d have cold fried chicken for him. Best food in the world and what a way to say, “Welcome! I love you!” Hope he enjoys the silk shirts! And, I hope you figure out what your name is. Life is better when you know. 🙂

  8. How wonderful to see the metamorphosis…hum, maybe very timely for this remarkable anniversary you are experiencing. Your Darwin quote is perfect, things aren’t necessarily bad, only different.

    Chicago is one of my favorite cities, it sounds as if you have the best of both worlds! Hope your visit goes well and Bud likes the feel of silk!

  9. AARGH! You can’t stop there! I can’t wait to see the rest of the pics.

    Hello, Bud! I hope you like silk – and we need to see photos of you in your favorite shirt! Maybe you’ll like FL so much you’ll move there?? One can get used to warmth and no snow and silk shirts!!

    Vicki, give Bud a hug from me and then have him give you one too.

  10. Hi Bud. Say, let me warn you, Ol’ Pal. Vicki has this caterpillar that is metafrozemorephing, or something, and I think it will get big enough to take a bite out of you. So I’d stay out of the backyard, if I were you, which I ain’t.

    Enjoy the hurricanes.

  11. Oh hell, I checked into my bloglines for the first time in days (because I currently hate the Internet) and I find this lovely post AND Babette, but dinner is ready and certain people will be cross with me if I don’t sit and eat. I’ll be back later. xoxox

  12. Vicki, that’s a spendid way to end the week’s anniversary – to see life renew. Great photos! I hope you can capture more and keep it sheltered.

    Cold fried chicken is the best! I hope Bud likes his silky shirts. Let me know when you discover who you are. I’m still looking for myself :o)

  13. I’ve been thinking about you all week. It is amazing how fall and spring happen within such a short amount of time in Florida, isn’t it. I love the new green leaves on the trees.

    Your photos are, of course, spectacular, and I can hardly wait to see more.

    Enjoy your visit with your dear Bud. I’m meeting a friend in St. Pete Thursday night for dinner. May I pop in to say hello? I’ll only stay a minute.

  14. Can”t wait to see the pix of the rest of this transformation!

    I don’t know, but I’m glad you and Bud are together today, where it’s warm. I’m glad he has you to take care of him and your DH to buy him silly shirts. He’s a lucky guy, coonsidering what he’s just beyond losing.

    And you – Vicki! Your loss is… well you know. I know too, pretty far removed but a part of the person I am just the same.

    Blessings to you both as you find your way without her.

  15. Cold fried chicken, hot fried chicken, lukewarm fried chicken…s’all good!

    Amazing shots there Vicki, and I am reminded that I have not yet sent your coontie seeds. I am picking up the yellow envelope as I click this comment!

  16. I’m with your fan club, the photos are amazing. And waving a “howdy Bud” from up here at the edge of the world. (Yes, we’re kinda ego centric here in Oregon. I was like that before I moved here, but find I’m fitting right in! Heh)

    I’ve not forgotten email I owe you–so I find myself relieved that you’d have little time for it at the moment. Your caterpillar puts me in mind of Lent and all that waiting and waiting and waiting–knowing full well we are repurposed and reborn. I think your pictures do sum up these moments ever so well.

    Happy visiting.

  17. Enjoy your time with Bud. I did like Florida, but couldn’t live there all year round. I enjoy palm trees only at certain times of the year, not ALL the time. Flying is exhausting; if I were wearing a hat, I would take it off to Bud. (only two beers–I would have gone for three!)

  18. Wow…now I’ll have to keep coming back to see the catepillar’s changes 🙂 Cold fried chicken and silk shirts sounds like heaven to me…
    and guess what? It’s in the 70’s here in the good ole A squared! Who woulda thought! ….
    Shakti tried chasing the ducks, but well…she still doesn’t get the idea that THEY can fly, and she can’t.

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