Monarch butterflies in Oakland

As a homeschooling project Emma learned about monarch butterflies in Oakland. She illustrated their lifecycle and discussed how the gardens work to serve as a safe place for butterflies and other pollinators to visit.

Recently I learned this milkweed I photographed on Lakeshore Ave (seen in caterpillar photos below) is actually not the best kind of milkweed for monarchs. There are so many different varieties and it’s best to plant native species. It is all so interesting!

See also: previous posts on chrysalis and butterfly seen in the Gardens of Lake Merritt.

orange and chocolate

This weekend I made orange chocolate oatmeal muffins both mornings. Saturday I dropped half of them (on the floor and in the oven) and promised to make them again because they were so delicious. I have been using cooked oatmeal in my muffins for a long time and it makes the softest texture. I admit I don’t follow a recipe anymore but it’s something like this:

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup or less sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, or spice
1/2 cup or more cooked oatmeal
1/4 cup oil or 2 tbsp butter
handful chocolate chips
juice of squeezed orange
zest of orange
1/3 cup or more milk

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 mins.

Change the flavors with fruit and spices. When using wet ingredients like coconut milk or pumpkin puree I will need less milk.

precious words from Fred Rogers

Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.

When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong with the fearful, the true mixed in with the façade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way.

You can’t really love someone else unless you really love yourself first.

Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.

Feeling good about ourselves is essential in our being able to love others.

Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.

Taking care is one way to show your love. Another way is letting people take good care of you when you need it.

As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.