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A snapshot of our week — Birds and bees, bears and bacon salsa…

My mom and her fiancé have been visiting from out of town this week, so we’ve been running all around the area for the past few days. Yesterday, for instance, we took a ride up to the Cabela’s in Hoffman Estates — where we found this lovely gnome-eating owl statue! What do you think; does he belong in my garden?

But here’s an even better question: Why, oh why, is this bear going after a hornet’s nest? This photo really disturbed MashupDad, as the official beekeeper in the family.

I’d never been in a Cabela’s before, though, and their whole tableau of taxidermied animals was really something to see. (And by the way: If you are a Cabela’s fan, you can currently pick up a $100 Cabela’s gift card for $80 shipped.)

And speaking of bees… MashupDad ordered two new queen bees last week, which came in the mail on Saturday. Yes, you can ship live bees! Usually they deliver them right to the mailbox, but this time I came home to a entire postal bin on the front steps with this fun “live animals” sign on it — and just one little Express Mail envelope of bees in the bottom, lol.

A chunk of beeswax — isn’t it cool?

The queen bees come in little “cages” with a couple of attendant bees to take care of them, and MashupDad used these two new queens to split existing beehives: He moved bees and frames out of an existing hive into an empty one, and then gave each new hive one of the new queens to establish it as a separate beehive. (Check out more on MashupDad’s bees and photos of his observation beehive here.)

And what goes along with the bees? The birds, of course! About three weeks ago I showed you how much our baby chicks had grown since MashupDad picked them up in early April. Well, Peepers and Winky are now even bigger, have all their feathers in, and have been jumping out of their little separate chick enclosure. So, it was past time to put them in with the full-grown chickens — who have been picking on them mercilessly.

Above, Peepers is hiding in a corner to protect her poor little face. It takes the older chickens about a week to settle into the newcomers whenever we get new chicks, so things should calm down out there soon. But, you really do see where the term pecking order comes from — literally. (Read more on our ongoing backyard chickens adventures here.)

It’s definitely the week of backyard animals, too. This guy has been hanging around our lawn, and I’ve almost stepped on Mr. Toad out there more than once. (He’d better watch it when the lawn mower comes through!)

As for the indoor wildlife, The Notorious BKL is of course still queen of all she surveys. And what’s more interesting to a cat than a cardboard box? Why, that would be three cardboard boxes, of course…

Or, you know, the middle of the table right as we’re about to set stuff out for dinner…

While Mr. Jeremy here is playing the ever popular “Call me anything you want, just don’t call me late for dinner.”

And what’s for dinner? Well, not bacon salsa, I’ll tell you that. I like bacon. I like salsa. But…

OK, then what’s for breakfast? Well, let me just tell you, Starbucks: It’s not going to be two tiny bagel bites at $1.50 each. Really? lol

We’re also finishing up the school year here (just a few more days!). I swear, more has been packed into just these few weeks of May than during the last several months put together. High School Guy took his placement tests for IMSA last week, played in the orchestra during the high school’s graduation ceremony this weekend, and starts finals tomorrow.

After IMSA placement testing, he and his friend went to the Field Museum’s behind-the-scenes member’s night, too! I didn’t get to go along, but this looked just fascinating.

And Mr. 10’s week? Oh, that just included a roller-skating party, a taekwondo tournament, and demonstrating trombone to the third graders at his school who are thinking of choosing a band instrument next year. (How nifty is that?)

My mom flies back tomorrow — without these cool purple boots that she tried on in Cabela’s but ultimately decided not to buy. And you know what? Next week should be so amazingly quiet and uneventful! Has your May been nuts, too? 🙂


Thursday 25th of May 2017

I haven't tried this yet, but since you're having luck with scallions, maybe you will try it and let us know how it goes. :)


Friday 26th of May 2017

I've tried celery in the past -- it sprouted a little but then died. Maybe I'll try again! :)


Thursday 25th of May 2017

May always seems to be crazy around here, too! I am always relieved when summer comes. I also think high school guy is the spitting image of MashupDad, and think it's funny how people can see different things. Sometimes it's the nonfacial features like posture, gestures, or facial expressions, too, that they pick up on. Loved reading this post, from your animals to your family adventures!


Thursday 25th of May 2017

And I should have capitalized "High School Guy" :-)


Wednesday 24th of May 2017

I may have to visit Cabela's. I never heard of it before. The outdoors is not my thing unless all bugs are removed and I'm close to a temperature controlled environment. My husband will probably love it. How nice that your Mom was around to enjoy all of your busy but great family time with the kids. It goes so fast that you will soon wish for some chaos!


Wednesday 24th of May 2017

HS guy looks so much like your mom! I live only a few miles from that Cabela's and have never been there! I am going to go this week and take the little 3yo boy I watch with me. He will flip over that place! Being a mother can be really rewarding as you clearly demonstrate in your posts and I applaud you for enjoying your boys and being a great mother to them. My May is acutally very quiet this year. I am not complaining!


Wednesday 24th of May 2017

You think so? I always think he looks just like his dad, lol. And thanks for your nice comments. :)

The Cabela's would be neat for kids -- they also have a big aquarium with big fish he might like.