Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Memory for 2011

Last December I shared a precious Christmas memory from my childhood, helping my father prepare his traditional family recipe for plum pudding. New readers can refer to my archives if they would like to read that article.

This year's special memory is of the first Advent season I spent at Mount Saint Agnes Academy when I was ten. In what I call a mysterious move by God, I was enrolled by my Anglican father and Jewish mother, neither of whom attended any religious services, in a Catholic school. It seems that when they married, they agreed not to impose either of their religions on my brother and me. We learned respect for God through our nightly prayers with our mother, but we did not have a clear understanding of who Jesus was.

It was the custom during Advent for the nuns to give us each a flyer containing directions for making a "crib" for Baby Jesus It listed various prayers and recitations, each of which represented an item needed to prepare a baby's bed. For example, the mattress might be ten Our Father's, the sheet might be fifteen Glory Be's, and the blanket ten Hail Mary's. In addition, there would be a pillow and a pillowcase. As a child who had never been exposed to any details of the Christian faith, I was absolutely fascinated with this ritual. I was to have the honor of preparing a crib, in reality my heart, where the Christchild would be welcomed.

Now, as an adult, I believe I know why this so appealed to my young spirit. Through this symbolic exercise, God was giving me a tangible point of contact to begin to place my faith in and build  my anticipation for the One whom I would eventually receive into my heart as my Lord and Savior.

Praise God for the mysterious ways in which the Good Shepherd leads us into His fold.

                                                                                     Laura Allen Nonemaker

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Announcing the Winner of the Benny's Angel Blog Tour Grand Prize

Congratulations to Grandma Carol B, whose name was drawn by as the winner of the grand prize gift package.

Thank you, Carol, for leaving your comment at the blog tour for Benny's Angel, which appeared on Abi Buening's blog, Your prize is on its way!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sheila McKinney DeChantal's Review of Benny's Angel

This book was sent to me as part of a tour with KCWC Blog Tour.  While this book is short and sweet, it packs within its pages a powerful message about our joy and how we are in control of the way we respond when things go wrong. 
  I remember when my boys were growing up and they would come home all upset about what someone had said to them.  Maybe it was name calling, or maybe it was a comment about how they played a game or answered a question.  I always told my boys that they had the power to choose how they responded, a kind response or none at all can really take the power away from the offender, after all – they are fueled by the reaction.  The same goes for the message within this book, while Count Slime wanted to see the animals of the garden have sorrow and feel scared, when that reaction was missing – the Count goes about his way… defeated.
 I think even as an adult I need to remind myself sometimes that I choose how I respond to situations that may be difficult or painful.  Knowing that, somehow makes me feel better.
 This book would make a wonderful addition to a Christmas stocking.  The book also includes a code for a free download of the audio version of the book.  What fun to play the audio version while paging through the colorful illustrations that go along with this story.

 Thank you to KCWC Blog Tour and Tate Publishing for offering me this book for review.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Joy of Writing: Benny’s Angel by Laura Allen Nonemaker

The Joy of Writing: Benny’s Angel by Laura Allen Nonemaker: I love finding new picture books that beautifully communicate the finer points of God’s Word and theology to young children. Benny’s Angel ...

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Grandmother Reads Benny's Angel to Her Granddaughter

Thank you to this grandmother for her touching account of reading Benny's Angel to her 3 yr. old granddaughter.

BENNY'S ANGEL: Who stole the flowers in God’s Secret Garden?

Photo/Benny'sAngelBookCoverMy 3-year-old granddaughter, Julia, found my copy ofBenny’s Angel, a new children’s book by Laura Allen Nonemaker, during Thanksgiving. As I read it to her, I was amazed at how quietly she sat in my lap. In fact, she asked me to read it to her again later. Julia laughed as we read about Benny and his animals friends—I think she liked the silly voices that I used as I read her the story.

I enjoyed reading Benny's Angel to Julia—sometimes it's fun just to observe at a simple tale through the eyes of a child. Even though this book skimmed the surface with its biblical teachings, it opened the door for me to talk to my grandchild about prayer in a way that she could understand. 
The tale also seemed to captured Julia's imagination. With all the technology available to entertain children these days, it's refreshing to find a book that helps me to connect with my grandchild, using simple concepts, words, and pictures. So, I’m grateful to add this enjoyable little story to my children’s books at home. BLESSED, kj

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Join the Blog Tour for Benny's Angel!

     This week, from Monday, November 28 through Friday, December 2, a group of bloggers will be hosting a blog tour for Benny's Angel, my new children's book.
     Leave a comment on one or more of the following blogs and your name will be entered in a drawing to win a prize package worth $85.00.





     Thank you so much for checking out some of these websites and entering your name in the drawing!

                                                                                            ~ Laura 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Velveteen Rabbit Christmas


      Yesterday was Black Friday, the day that launches the beginning of serious Christmas shopping, when businesses hope to get in the black financially. Paul and I chose to forgo the sales in favor of something far more valuable, a special day with our two great-granddaughters, Brianna and Reyna. Our destination was Derby Dinner Playhouse and the Children's Musical Theatre production of A Velveteen Rabbit Christmas. What fun!
      After diving into a sumptuous buffet lunch of mostly "kid food" like corn dogs, chicken nuggets, waffle fries, green beans, and macaroni and cheese, we settled down to watch a musical based on a beloved children's classic, The Velveteen Rabbit. The original book by Margery Williams was published in 1922. It tells the story of a brown velveteen rabbit stuffed with sawdust that is placed in the Christmas stocking of a little boy named Oliver. Even though Oliver receives other toys that are more colorful and sturdy, or have mechanical parts, the velveteen rabbit becomes his favorite. The little rabbit is dearly-loved and handled by Oliver. It goes through may adventures and mishaps, until it loses all its fur and looks quite worn out. That is when  the rabbit undergoes a wonderful transformation. It becomes real!
     The story of the velveteen rabbit has a clear message, one that is particularly important to remember during the holiday shopping season. Nothing bought in a shopping mall or on the web can compare with the love that we are capable of experiencing among family and friends. As we see in the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, it is the giving and receiving of love that makes us real. We have the life-giving capability to love because our Maker loved us first and gave us the most precious Christmas Gift of all, Jesus. (1John 4:19)

                                                                                            ©  Laura Allen Nonemaker

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Launch Contest - Win a Limited Edition Print


Visit my author website at and e-mail me your comment about my new children's book, Benny's Angel. Your name will be entered in a drawing for my limited edition, signed and numbered print titled, "Old Timer." The original artwork for this print won first place in the Fine Arts portrait division of the 2006 Kentucky State Fair.

Note: Last date to leave a comment is December 10, 2011.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Signing at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church

Author, Laura Allen Nonemaker, with Benny Bunny and friends at a recent book reading and signing.

This coming Saturday, Laura Allen Nonemaker will sign and personalize her new children's book, Benny's Angel, at the holiday craft show sponsored by Fisher's of Men Lutheran Church. Laura's colorfully illustrated book, written for early elementary age, uses animals, nature, and a visit from an angel to teach children the value of prayer and the importance of trusting God. It is the first book in the series, God's Secret Garden Adventures.

Get an early start on your shopping at the Fishers of Men Craft Show, November 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The church is located at 10360 Stringfellow Road, St. James City, Florida.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Tragedy of Inner Vows

     When I was a child, certain events caused me to make a decision that plagued me much of my adult life. I decided I would never allow anyone else to control me. This was impossible, of course, if I was going to be a lawful citizen and moral person. Everyone is subject to some kind of authority, whether in school, on the job, or as a member of the community. But as time went on, my subconscious found subtle ways to control aspects of my life and the lives of those around me. I was acting out the "inner vow" I had made when I was young.

     An inner vow is a decision, usually subconscious, that we make due to some uncomfortable or traumatic experience. For example, I watched my own father allow an inner vow to affect him in a negative way throughout his entire life. As a younger man, he received a life-changing blow to his career. Because of that disappointment, he lived the rest of his life dominated by sadness and depression. Only death gave him complete release from the burden he carried.

     My father made an inner vow that changed the course of his life. Unfortunately, it also affected the rest of our family as well. Living with the emotional fallout of his loss planted a deep fear of loss in my own life. As a result, when I became a young woman, I struggled with the need to exert control over the circumstances of my life and the lives of those around me.

     Fortunately, we can be released from these subtle, but powerful, controls on our emotions and behavior. Victory over the effects of my early decision began after I read about the concept of inner vows, understood it, and recognized symptoms of it in my own behavior. I saw that a lot of my life revolved around my fear of losing control over my life.

     The next step in my recovery was to turn the situation over to God and allow Him to have ultimate control of my life. Scripture says that perfect love casts out fear. God's Word also says that fear has torment and I had experienced that torment. As I submitted to God's love and his will for my life, I was gradually able to hand the reins of control to God. As a result, my fear of  loss lessened and so did the need to control those around me.

     When we examine the roots of our negative behaviors, we likely will find an inner vow somewhere in the mix. Releasing past trauma to God initiates a healing process that frees us from the negative effects of an inner vow.

                                                                                                © Laura Allen Nonemaker

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Signing and Book Fair This Saturday

       Laura Allen Nonemaker will take part in the annual Holiday Shopping Extravaganza at McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers, Florida this Saturday, November 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Laura will sign and personalize copies of her new children's book, Benny's Angel. The church is located at 3759 Colonial Boulevard.
        Meanwhile, Laura's husband, Paul, will represent her at the annual Faith Lutheran Church Book Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Signed copies of Benny's Angel will be available for purchase. The church is located at 705 Leeland Heights Boulevard in Lehigh Acres.
        In addition to Benny's Angel picture books, Benny's Angel 3-D books, coloring books, T-shirts, and character Christmas ornaments will be available for purchase at both locations.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Are You a Victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Part 3

I apologize to my readers that due to circumstances, the final post of the SAD series is going up later than planned. For those who missed the first two segments, please refer to September 21 and September 28 in the index of posts.

      What treatment is available for SAD sufferers? Antidepressants have been used with some success, along with exercise. However, medication has the potential for side effects. Researchers are pointing to light therapy as another possible solution. It appears that replacing natural, full-spectrum light, which is in short supply in the winter, can provide relief for some SAD sufferers. According to an article in Maclean's titled, Surviving the Winter, dozens of clinical studies have shown that light therapy, simply exposing a patient to bright light for a period of time each day, can be highly effective in treating two-thirds of SAD patients. The belief is that this is probably due to the restoration of proper melatonin synthesis and secretion by the pineal gland. This leads to reestablishment of the proper circadian rhythm, which is the natural 24-hour rhythmic release of hormones.
     Is there a way to tell who will benefit from light therapy? According to a report on early response to light therapy carried in The Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, a small clinical study using light therapy showed that patients suffering from hypersomnia and carbohydrate cravings tend to have a favorable response. According to the article, a number of studies have demonstrated that artificial bright-light therapy effectively treats the symptoms of depression in most, but not all, patients with SAD.
     Those suffering with certain types of depression other than SAD also may be helped with light therapy. There is evidence that exposing PMS sufferers to full-spectrum light for a period of time each day during the dark winter months could serve as a non-drug therapy to reduce their symptoms.  In a preliminary study of PMS sufferers dealing with depression, two hours of natural light was administered the week before menstruation each month for three months. All patients experienced vastly decreased feelings of depression. An article in Prevention offered the theory that, similar to patients affected by SAD, the release of the hormone, melatonin, during light therapy restores the rhythms that have been interrupted by the reproductive hormones.
     The available data seems to draw a clear relationship between the availability of full-spectrum light and our physical, emotional, and mental health. Light therapy appears to be a relatively simple, non-invasive way for some people to experience relief. Formerly, the equipment used to administer full-spectrum light was bulky and heavy. A light-producing device called Litebook is the size of a portable CD player and uses light-emitting diodes (LED's) to create an intense beam, while consuming just one-tenth the power of an incandescent bulb. This device could make a significant difference to those suffering from conditions that respond to light therapy. This includes people with jet lag. Larry Pederson, the inventor of Litebook, points out that travelers and business people generally don't have the luxury of several days to recover after a long flight. The use of light therapy could be a welcome benefit to those with heavy travel schedules between time zones.
      There is a  less expensive solution. Visit a pet store and purchase a full-spectrum florescent light designed for an aquarium. It may be necessary to sit near the aquarium light for up to two hours at a time rather than the 20 minute estimate for the costlier version, but the time can be well-spent reading or doing office work.
         After learning about the benefits of light therapy, I bought a standard full-spectrum light bulb at a health and nutrition store and installed it in a lamp. I sat near the lamp for 30 minutes to one hour each morning. After two to three months on this regimen, there was a marked reduction in my depression and my energy and motivation increased significantly. After implementing light therapy, I was able to anticpate the beauty of fall without the accompanying dread of winter. Of course, even better is the blessing of a winter vacation in Florida!
          Note:  As with any treatment of physical, mental or emotional symptoms, a medical professional should be consulted before using light therapy.  
                                                                                             © Laura Allen Nonemaker

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Donna J. Shepherd Reviews Benny's Angel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Benny's Angel by Laura Allen Nonemaker

Benny's Angel is a God's Secret Garden Adventure. The book opens with a mystery – what happened to the beautiful flowers in the garden? In Nonemaker's sweet story, the animals call on God for wisdom to come up with a solution. God sends an angel to speak to them. By obeying God, they find that joy comes from serving God – not from your circumstances. This charming little book with its colorful illustrations will help you teach children about prayer and faith. Here's where you can pick up your copy. Available in paperback or eBook:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Signing October 16 for Benny's Angel

You are invited to bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews to a special reading of Benny's Angel, a new book for children by Laura Allen Nonemaker. The first in the God's Secret Garden Adventure series, this delightful tale uses animals, nature and a visit from an angel to teach children the importance of prayer and the value of trusting God.

Date:   Sunday, October 16

Place:   Kids Church, Second Floor
                 Evangel World Prayer Conference Center
                 6900 Billtown Road
                 Louisville, Kentucky

Time:   During the 9:00 a.m.and 11:00 a.m. services

Books will be available for purchase to be personalized and signed by Laura following each service.

Pastor Dan Betzer, author of the Dan and Louie Bible Stories, says "It requires a special talent to effectively communicate to children the wonders of God's Word. It requires expanded imagination and Laura Allen Nonemaker has an abundant share of that. In this charming book, she will take her readers into a garden of flowers, aromas, and beauty. This book will be an asset in the child's spiritual foundation and faith in God."

Benny and his whimsical woodland friends promise to find a special place in the hearts of children and adults alike.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Life is Good with Enough Sleep!

This morning I woke up alert and ready to go. I couldn't wait to get started on my day. Lately, that has not been the case. Some mornings I have to push myself just to roll out of bed, especially since I have been wearing a "space boot" on one foot. However, this morning was different. Why? Because, for the first time in a long time, I got my required eight hours of sleep. The result was a livelier, more cheerful me and consequently, a happier husband as well.

I thought a lot today about the difference a good night's sleep can make. I thought about it as I gathered together two loads of clothes and started them on their way. I thought about it as I stood at my kitchen window and enjoyed the sunny view while I washed and cut up vegetables, including my daughters beautiful home-grown tomatoes, for a pot of homemade soup. Life felt good.

Then I took up my position at the computer with a long to-do list for marketing my just-published children's book, Benny's Angel. As the day wore on and I began to wear out, it became clear to me where the problem lies. I have not learned to draw a line on the number of hours I sit at the computer. I am not taking enough breaks, not finding a balance in my life that includes adequate rest.

O.K. So here I am at 8:45 sitting at my computer typing up this post to share with you. Where did today's epiphany get me? Well, at least I'm thinking about it, and as soon as I finish this post, I'll shut down the computer. Maybe.

                                                                                                           ~ Laura

Note to my followers: Those who are waiting for another installment in my series on SAD, should look for it in a couple of days. I just had to get this up tonight!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Family and Friends Gather for Book Signing

Benny's Angel, my first book in the God's Secret Garden Adventure Series, was the centerpiece last Thursday evening. With the help of her sister, Marlene, my daughter, Lisa, hosted a very special family and friends book signing in her home. The affair was well-attended and the guest list included some friends I had not seen for some time.

My daughters outdid themselves with the beautifully presented refreshments and the cake was decorated with an edible copy of the book cover. When the time came to cut it, every child wanted a piece of Benny Bunny, which posed a real challenge for Lisa. Thankfully, she was able to do some creative cutting and satisfied them all.

My heart was warmed during my reading of Benny's Angel, when little ones gathered as close as they could on the floor around my chair. Adults settled into the sofa and chairs, with others standing in the background. Even the cat, Daisy, joined us. She probably felt at home with the stuffed rabbits I had positioned around the room. The children's responses during the "pop quiz" I gave them after the reading showed me they had listened closely.

Benny's Angel was a hit with both children and parents. Book sales were brisk, with the 3-D version proving to be very popular. I can only pray that my future book signings will be as rewarding as this one.

Benny's Angel may be ordered at                  .
Coming in October: my brand new website at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Are You a Victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Part 2

With the approach of winter, it is typical for SAD sufferers to struggle in their emotional, mental, and physical health. They may have difficulty dealing with the most ordinary tasks of daily life and experience a vague melancholy. Not only are they depressed, but they feel sluggish and irritable. They oversleep, crave carbohydrates, and overeat, according to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. In contrast, these same people may feel elated, active, and energetic during the summer months.

What causes SAD, sometimes called "the winter blues?"  The consensus seems to be that inadequate sunlight is the culprit.  Natural light is just as important to the body as proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise, and plays a vital part in synchronizing the body's daily biological clock. When mornings are dark and gloomy, some individuals don't receive a strong enough light signal to get them going. This results in chemical changes in the brain. SAD is more prevalent in Canada and the northern United States, where fall and winter are longer. However, although most of the literature refers to more northern districts, such as Alaska and Michigan, SAD also seems to affect people farther south, but to a lesser degree.

There may be another reason more people do not recognize SAD as the cause of their symptoms.  During November and December the holidays bolster their spirits and carry them through until New Year's. They may be well into January before they realize they are depressed or anxious and that they don't have the energy or attitude they had during the warmer months. Before the SAD victim gets around to seeing a professional, spring has arrived and he feels better. To complicate things even more, some may attribute their lack of energy and blue mood to other causes, such as finances, a death in the family, or another stress factor that may be coinciding with the seasonal component. Once spring arrives, it is easier to cope with the stresses of life and the problem with depression seems to be resolved.

My next installment of Are You a Victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder? will examine some solutions for SAD sufferers.
                                                                                                               © Laura Allen Nonemaker

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You a Victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Many parts of the country are entering the fall season, which I consider one of  the most beautiful times of the year. The trees are an outrageous pageant of color and the sun sheds a special glow across the entire countryside. Festivals, hayrides, and apple cider entice our senses to taste life and savor its goodness. Thanksgiving will usher in homecomings, pumpkin pie and frosty mornings. Christmas waits in the wings with its collage of twinkling lights, family celebrations, and warm memories.
In spite of the charm and appeal of the changing seasons, some people see it as the harbinger of an annual struggle with overwhelming fatigue and blue moods. As shadows lengthen and days grow shorter, many battle emotional swings and lack of energy. Once the holidays are behind them, they begin a desperate countdown to spring. These individuals, and I formerly was among them, are often victims of a syndrome called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

In the coming days, I will share some information gleaned from my own research into SAD, as published in the December 2003 issue of Kentucky Monthly Magazine under the title, Fighting the Winter Blues. Whether you suffer from SAD or you know someone who does, I invite you to return to Digging In God’s Garden and dig deeper into this subject. 

                                                                                           © Laura Allen Nonemaker

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thanks To All Who Made Benny's Angel Book Signing Successful!

My first book signing for Benny's Angel: A God's Secret Garden Adventure was a success and a blessing. What a joy it was to read the book for the children, who included my own great-granddaughters! All the children enjoyed coloring the printouts of Benny Bunny and Marietta the Angel that we made available to them. The adults were gracious with their response when I shared my experiences leading up to the birth of the book. The question and answer session was lively, enabling me to share the positive experiences I have had with Tate Publishing & Enterprises during the production of Benny's Angel. I am looking forward to several more pre-launch events that are scheduled for September and October. Stay tuned for dates and times.

                                                                                 ~ Laura Allen Nonemaker

Order Benny's Angel

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Laura's First Book Signing as Reported by Crystal A. Murray

Crystal A Murray
Our Louisville Christian Writers meeting with Laura talking about the publication of her new book. This is a cell phone shot, so not as clear as others I took with the regular camera, but if you can see her cute garden table in the background, it looks really good. And her story, a bit of a Garden of Eden allegory, was enjoyable to listen to her read from. A great success I would say.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't Miss the First Book Signing for Benny's Angel!

You are invited to the first book signing of Benny's Angel: A God's Secret Garden Adventure. Author, Laura Allen Nonemaker will read for children in attendance. She also will share the unusual events surrounding the birth of her children's book and its journey through publication.

This delightful tale uses animals, nature, and a visit from an angel to teach children the importance of prayer and the value of trusting God. Benny and his secret garden friends promise to find a special place in the hearts of children everywhere.

        Date:  Saturday, September 10
        Place: Audubon Hospital Community Room L2       
         Time:  4:30 pm  Laura will do a reading for the children
                  5:00 pm  Dinner available in cafeteria
                  6:00 pm  Laura speaks 
                         Book signing before and after meeting

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Marietta Comes to the Rescue

                               Find out how Marietta the Angel solves the mystery for
                               Benny and his friends!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Benny's Angel Book Signing Sept. 10

Laura Allen Nonemaker will speak and sign her new children's book, Benny's Angel, at Louisville Christian Writers on Saturday, September 10. This first book signing will be at 6 p.m. in the Community Room L2 at Audubon Hospital, Poplar Level Road, Louisville, Kentucky.
Benny's Angel is available at

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Book Signing for Benny's Angel!


              Stay tuned for the first book signing for Benny's
        Angel! For immediate orders, visit the online

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Benny's Angel Available Now!

Exciting news! Benny's Angel: A God's Secret Garden Adventure is available now at the online bookstore of Tate Publishing. In this colorful picture book written by Laura Allen Nonemaker the adventures of whimsical animal characters teach children the value of prayer and the importance of trusting God.  You may order now at 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Benny's Angel: Coming Soon!

Benny's Angel, the first book in the new children's series, God's Secret Garden Adventures, has moved to marketing at Tate Publishing. The picture book for ages 3 to 6 will be available shortly for purchase and book signings in various locations will begin. More information will be posted on Digging in God's Garden, as well as Facebook and Twitter, as it is available. Thank you for following!

                                                                                  ~ Laura Allen Nonemaker

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Butterfly Babies: Invasion of the Caterpillars

                                          Joyce Sanders prepares to release butterflies
                                          at Butterfly Estates in Fort Myers, Florida

Early this morning I went on the lanai to check on my butterfly babies. Instead of pupating overnight as I had prayed they would, they had stripped entirely three milkweed plants that I added only two days before. What is more, they were crawling faster than I imagined possible for a caterpillar, as they frantically hunted for food. Like energetic two-year-old's anxious to explore, many of them had managed to escape the nylon netting and were crawling around the floor.

As I raced to scoop them up before my cat could get to them and returned them to their cage, I realized I had "opened a can of caterpillars" when I rescued those Monarch eggs from the wasp last weekend. I noticed that one of the caterpillars had attached itself to the wall behind the cage and had begun to pupate. I carefully picked it up and placed it in the cage. It is amazing how attached I have become to these little creatures and how responsible I feel for their survival!

I quickly realized I had more than I bargained for on my hands and called Joyce Sanders, manager of the butterfly house at The Butterfly Estates  in Fort Myers. We have a membership with the Estates and Joyce has been a prolific source of information for me. Her suggestion (which never occurred to me) was to bring the caterpillars to her and she would see them through to maturity. Once they have emerged from their cocoons, they will be released in the garden enclosure at the Estates to the delight of the visiting children and adults.

As for me, I have decided that the next time I want to observe the transformation of a butterfly, I will buy an authentic butterfly cage and limit the number of eggs I put in it. With my children's book, Benny's Angel, about to go on the market, my plate is too full to be foster mother to an army of caterpillars.

                                                                                                         ~ Laura Allen Nonemaker