This is fine.

mornings

I’ve had a lot of thoughts swirling in my head and originally thought this post might be the longest post I would ever write. Then I uploaded photos from my camera and realized I had better things to write about. All of the swirling thoughts disappeared and what became important was right in front of me. So I’m just going to talk about these photos with a few random thoughts thrown in for good measure.

The above photo is my messy desk now. Every day I seem to have less space on it. Actually since this photo is over a month old, there’s even more stuff on my desk now. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about here. In this photo is a mug of cappuccino. I start off every work day now with a homemade cappuccino of coffee from my favorite roasters and unsweetened almond milk. I put in a teaspoon of sugar. It’s my new ritual after I’ve logged in for the workday. It’s one of the most comforting things I do daily during the week now. I usually use the spoon to stir the foam down a bit as I drink the coffee and then use the same spoon for my oatmeal + blueberries + honey breakfast.

blossoms and bokeh

These blossoms are already gone from the tree outside our dining room window, but I’m really glad I got to capture them this year. It was a beautiful day outside. In fact, the majority of all these photos in this post are from April 28th.

swirls

Even the weeds and annoying plants in my yard are beautiful.

puffs

When the dandelions started popping up everywhere Z would pick up the puffs on our neighborhood walks and blow them or have me blow on them. Now, we sneeze too much due to allergies to even think about doing that. I’ve had two sneezing fits while writing this entry.

lily of the valley

I got to capture these fleeting beauties on the side of our garage that faces a fence. We hardly ever go to that side of the garage since it’s next to the properly line and there’s not much there. But these lilies of the valley grow back every year and sometimes we’ll get wafts of them through open windows or when Z is doing car work outside.

azaleas

This azalea bush was 1000x larger than it is now. It took over that whole side of the garage and hid the lilies from us the first two years we lived here. When we chopped the bush down we realized there were lots of pretty flowers in the back and now I keep this bush trimmed down. I’m also not a huge fan of azaleas in general. They can be pretty, but they’re everywhere and can be very unruly if not cut back regularly.

Mr Bento

This was the day I walked Bento on a leash in the backyard! I did not renew my wordpress plan so I’ve got the basic one again and therefore can’t add videos, but if anyone would like to see me walking Bento, let me know and I can email the quicktime video Z took on his phone. It wasn’t far, but after so many years of trying to get him to go outside and walk he finally did it on his own!

All of these things we got to experience because we are at home. We have more time now to enjoy them. Z power washed the siding of the house that was getting moldy and cleaned the windows. He also washed and waxed my car! I’m still very much working every weekday so I don’t have as much time as Z to do things. Some days are more busy than others. On the days that are less busy I keep an eye on my email while playing Animal Crossing. Last week was a bit brutal and this week already feels like hell even though it’s a short week. I had two rather stressful conference calls today – Wednesdays are the worst. That being said, I still have time each day to take a few walks in the neighborhood as long as the weather is decent. I do a morning walk after the first round of work emails (if there are any) or before I need to start a project. It helps clear my head. I try to walk around noon and then mid afternoon as well, but usually some work stuff builds up by then. I’ll also try to take an evening walk, but am starting to transition those into my running time since the weather is getting warmer and it’s easier to run in the cooler evenings.

When I drove to work during springtime in the past I always lamented I couldn’t be at home taking a walk in the neighborhood or go to a park – after leisurely waking up without an alarm clock and eating a nice breakfast. The cool morning air, the silence, and the emptiness is comforting. I’ve been able to experience that now (generally – I still have to use the alarm clock so I clock in for work at a decent time) and I can honestly say: I’m fine with this.

Am I fine with the general state of affairs in this country? Fuck no. Of course not. There’s plenty going all sorts of wrong right now, but that’s not what I wanted to focus on. I have more time for myself, for my husband, my cats, my own well being and not going bonkers in the office or dealing with sexist, racist assholes I can’t stand there. Sure there’s stress every time I see Z leave the house with a mask and gloves to go grocery shopping and quite honestly going to a park nowadays is more if not just as dangerous as going to a store. Aside from that, which is the new “normal” at the moment, I realized I’m very fortunate right now to be able to enjoy all of this extra time at home while I can – so that’s what I mean when I say this is fine.

What is fine for you right now?

State of the plants

elephant plant

This weekend was supposed to be full of house cleaning and eating at a wonderful tea house and then wandering a beautiful greenhouse with it’s own arboretum and me using my gift card on some hanging pots and a princess philodendron.

None of that is happening because I am horribly ill. Like clockwork my throat got sore the moment I got home from work as if to say: You want a nice weekend? HA! Here’s another dose of shit stress! Be sick!  Between the drastic swinging of the democratic primaries, the COVID-19 freak outs, general work stress and my boss proposing more upcoming trips, the general malaise I feel from tapering off my meds and the generally dour news from mom,  my body decided: NOPE. At first I thought I was getting strep throat again, but I’ve not had a fever so it’s mostly due to weird allergies. We’ve not had much of a winter this year at all so people are getting sick all over the place. The weather ranges from 30F one day to 55F the next so allergies and pollens are all whacked out. It was 34F with rain when I got home on Friday and today it’s 60F and sunny. Ugh.

So instead of being out where I want to be I decided to take photos of my plants again. I’ve added a few more because I have a problem with buying plants and the Flower Show this year had some really interesting kinds I’d not heard/seen before.

serissa flore-plena

Serissa flore-plena – Double Snow Rose: This is a miniature rose plant that’s usually used in bonsai. I didn’t realize that until after I bought it (and a few others) and kinda freaked out because I’ve never had good luck with bonsai. There were two little white roses open when I bought it and many more have opened or are budding and about to open. No idea if I can keep this beauty alive, but for now it’s gorgeous.

serissa mt fuji

Serissa Mt Fuji – Variegated Snow Rose: This is a variegated version of the plant above, but smaller so it’s not grown any buds yet. The white on the leave got me. I’m a bit of a sucker for variegated plants.

pilea microphylla variegated

Pilea microphylla – Variegated Artillery plant: This is a type of miniature pilea that has green, pink and white marbled leaves. It’s ridiculously cute!

The above 3 plants are technically used for bonsai or miniature (fairy) gardens. I’ve not had plants like this before, so we’ll see how well I can keep them going.

plant topkokedamawatering

Kokedama – Japanese moss ball plant: I think the ivy-like plant on top is a hoya but I’m not exactly sure. I’d read about kokedama’s online and thought they were really neat sort of plants. There’s also a display of them at one of the nurseries I like visiting. It’s generally known as a “poor man’s bonsai”. It’s a moss ball with a plant stuck on top of it. To water it, you soak the moss ball in water for a while (online says 10-15 minutes but the guy who sold it to me said I can leave it in water all day at work and take it out when I get home). Then you squeeze the excess water out of the moss ball and let it drain somewhere for a bit before putting it back on whatever display it was on or in a hanging device, which I think is the most common. Mine came in a tiny Japanese pottery bowl. It’s very strange to squeeze the water out because it really feels like a sturdy sponge and I freak a little seeing the moss bits fall off, but apparently that is all normal. I don’t think I can keep this one in the kitchen window sill for much longer because I don’t want the sun to scorch the moss too much.

study junglesatin silver pothos

I moved some plants from the kitchen window sill to my study to make room for the new little plants. Now, my entertainment stand in the study looks a bit jungle-like. I plan on repotting the lemon-lime philodendron and the satin silver pothos in slightly larger hanging pots and put them up in the study. But those plans were dashed away from me this weekend. I’m really happy with how both of them look, especially the satin pothos.

jade stalks

My jade plant is 3-ish years old now and starting to get it’s woody stalks. This makes me incredibly happy. Over Xmas I visited a friend of the family and she has a jade that’s over 70 years old. It’s huge and gorgeous. She said it was gifted to her grandmother and has been passed down. The friend is 70 years old now, which would mean the plant is actually a fair bit older than that, but she’s not sure how old exactly. I find old plants fascinating. There were jade at the Flower Show that were in the 50-70 year old range and bonsai that were 90 years old.

pileabrazil phylo

My pilea coin plant is still hanging on. Sometimes it doesn’t look great and I think I might be killing it, but then it bounces back. I never know with that one.

Shaggy, my huge, messy brazil philodendron is still going strong. I’ve made so many baby plants from this one. The blend of neon and dark green on the leaves is always fun to look at.

monsterra

Lastly (for this post, I do have many more plants) my baby monstera is still growing. Little ones like these don’t have the holes in their leaves. It’ll probably take a couple more years before they show up.

Next weekend we need to paint the cabinets before our new doors show up. Z said we can go to the nursery then, but I think we’ll be too tired so it may be a while yet before I go get that princess philodendron.

Upgrades

Lately a theme of upgrades permeates my life.

My flight to Miami this week was upgraded to first class on a large plane. I had a seat that nearly lay completely flat. After two glasses of merlot with dinner I laid down and slept. It was the best beginning to a business trip ever. I even worked out in the gym at the hotel that night.

tinted moisturizer

My tube of Dr. Jart Day Tint is empty, which put me in panic mode when I looked online to reorder because I kept running across the word “discontinued”. I’ve used it for many years. I think this was my fourth tube? I dragged myself to Sephora scoping out tinted moisturizer and saw the Laura Mercier. I didn’t want to drop nearly $50 on it when I wasn’t certain if I’d like. Bless the Sephora business model that allows customers to get samples of damn near everything in the store. I got a little container to try out for a few days and ended up hooked. Higher SPF, less greasiness by the end of the day plus the light coverage never looked like it melted away. Looking it up made me feel a bit derpy. It’s apparently a holy grail product for a lot of women. Consider me a convert. I’ve now got a new daily tinted moisturizer with better SPF.

new driveway

Miffed by the fact that the pavers called while we were on vacation and grumbling that we’d probably have to wait until spring, I was confused when I couldn’t park in my driveway when I got home from my business trip. Apparently they called late Tuesday and showed up early Wednesday. I got home that night to a completely torn up and blocked off driveway. It was finished yesterday. We have much more room now!

porch posts

The 6:30-7am early construction mornings continued today with the contractor who showed up to replace our back porch posts. The post in the back of the photo was so rotted the guy said it’s good we did it before the snows because we’d most likely have a problem. Half of the old post was rotted through. I could put my fist in the hole before. Now we have new posts with vinyl coverings.

More upgrades to come in the future. I’ve also added some plant additions – because I have a problem with collecting them…

dead bouquet

A few weeks ago I cleaned up most of the flower beds – as seen in previous porch post photo. There are usually many more plants there in the summer and I trim them all down each autumn. As I cleaned up I noticed several plants showing pretty dead leaves or seed pods and gathered them up to make a dead autumn bouquet. RIP hydrangea bushes that gave me the dead flowers because both were torn up in the driveway repaving.

polka dot plant

Last weekend Z took me on a special surprise trip. We first stopped at a cute tea house where we both had amazing breakfasts and pots of delicious tea. I had apple crisp green tea and he had an amazing English breakfast that tasted much better than any other I’ve ever had. Afterwards we went to Otts’s Exotic Plants. It’s a huge nursery with its own arboretum with a two-story waterfall. The amount of variegated plants made my head spin and while Z just wanted to surprise me with a pretty nursery visit, he may have made a monster out of me because I’m already planning what to buy on my next visit. Pink princess and Red vine philodendrons! Hello!

string of beads

For the most part, I “behaved” this trip. I bought the pretty little tricolor polka dot plant above and several planters I’d been needing.

My once nearly dead string of beads is back and it looked amazing over the summer, but it’s starting to look a little dull now that daylight savings and cold weather have hit. I got a hanging planter for it and hope it’ll survive this winter better than the past.

philodendron brazil

I loved the amount of wall planters at Ott’s. One side is flat with a hole for a hanging device. Several cuttings of my philodendron brazil lived in a stemless wine glass for a long time. The massive roots are now planted on my bedroom wall so I can see it when I wake up.

philodendron swiss cheese

I couldn’t resist the philodendron swiss cheese plants also at Ott’s. There were so many of them I had to take one home. Figuring out where to put this and my Monstera when it gets bigger may prove challenging.

african violet

Lastly I got a wee African violet plant. My last one died so I thought I’d retry with this tiny one.

dark mystery pilea

While the contractor worked on our posts this morning I was out early to Target and Lowe’s. How can the parking lot at Target at 10 am be just as full as at 1 or 2 pm?! Maybe it’s our location since it’s always swamped. Next door to Lowe’s I was sidetracked by plants – as always. I was looking for plant stands, but apparently they’ve all been put away for the season at both places. I knew I should’ve bought the one I saw at IKEA two weeks ago! Instead of plant stands, I came home with decorative pillows, a candleholder, and the above Dark Mystery Pilea (that’s the actual common name for it). I instantly fell in love with the dark leaves.

elephant plant

This elephant plant spoke to me as well. The last one confused me greatly as to what it needed and died. Since this was on sale and is much smaller I thought I’d try again and see if I can figure it out this time.

kitty spooning

What better way to end a post than with kitty spooning?

Positive Vortexes

Z and I are back from our long vacation through the southwest. The trip lasted forever, or so it felt. I guess that means we really needed a break and packed in a lot of sight seeing and hiking. We visited the Hoover Dam, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon National Park (south rim only), Montezuma Castle, Taliesen West (Frank Lloyd Wright studio/winter home), and Sedona.

hoodoos

I took over 400 photos with my regular camera and many more on my phone, but I’ll just show some highlights of my favorites. My favorite was Bryce Canyon.

sunrise

Hoodoos everywhere. Some clusters looked like castles and fortresses. We hiked a trail that gave us a close up look of them all and wound our way through the main amphitheater of the park.

scale

This area is named Wall Street. People are for scale and Z is on the rock.

amphitheater

Z’s favorite was Antelope Canyon, which is a series of slot canyons. Slot canyons are protected under Navajo reservation territory so one can only go via guided tour. We walked behind the main guide building and then down 4 flights of super steep ladder-like stairs straight into the canyon below us.

slot canyongradientcool tone

The above photo came straight out of my camera. I’ve not done any editing. The shadows and lighting in the canyon made the digital sensors in the camera go a little off, but I like the effect. Of course, this wouldn’t have happened with a film camera.

trail

Some areas were large and the guided tour groups all crowded in them so it was hard to take good photos without people, but most of the 3/4 mile trail was full of winding single-person lane paths like the above. In some cases we had to walk sideways and really squeeze ourselves through. Not recommended for people with claustrophobia!

I kept forgetting that we were technically several thousand feet above sea level already so to walk down into the canyon felt very strange, like we were submerging ourselves underground, but we were still technically above sea level.

We spent the most time in Sedona. After hiking in Zion, Bryce, Antelope, and Grand we relaxed. The first day we wandered town.  It’s really surprising how 20+ crystal shops can exist and all stay in business when they sell nearly all the same items at every shop. Their schtick is the whole “crystal vortex” thing, which I laughed at but I know many take very seriously. One can also take guided “sacred” tours to the vortexes. The amount of rich hippie voodoo in that town blew me away. I’m not a believer in all that, so to see tourists eagerly drink the kool-aid and pay a lot for it was quite amusing.

The following day we did a little sight seeing and then Z went on an ATV tour. He got his own vehicle (paid extra for the fast one) and ran around the mountains for 4 hours while I wandered town more. I found a spa with a NuFace facial treatment.

I’d never been to a spa before, so I was a little nervous. Also, I had a guy for the massage. A lady in the locker room said wear whatever is comfortable – as she bared her breasts while changing right in front of me. I went nude (with robe and slippers) and while the guy was professional and kept the blankets over me appropriately while he worked I still felt a bit OMG!!!! It was nice but I probably didn’t get as much relaxation out of the massage part as I thought I would. No regrets though for reasons I will explain later.

The NuFace facial was worth every penny. Since Elaine mentioned NuFace a while back I’ve been curious but hesitant to pay for something I wasn’t certain would work. The woman who gave the facial did a great job and I was surprised at how the hour was filled with her putting stuff on my face and then massaging my neck, shoulders and hands while the serums and moisturizers set in. The NuFace device really did give my face a bit of a lift, but didn’t tempt me to spend $300+ dollars for it. I have an amazon cheapie that’s not even a NuFace dupe at home and if anything, the professional facial made me more vigilant in using the cheap device more often. Also, I was given a free tinted lip stain I’ve worn each day since then. I’m allergic to most lip glosses and most stains or semi-gloss lipsticks are too dry for my liking. I’ve been able to put my lip balm over the stain throughout the day and not have it disappear or get weirdly textured on me. At the end of the facial I got a menu of sorts of the products used on me if I ever wanted to purchase them at the spa or elsewhere.

There were a few cons to the trip: arid weather, getting a little altitude sickness and our Airbnb choices. Being in places with less than 20% humidity for an extended period of time did a number on Z and myself. My nose bled every time I blew it and hurt from cracking inside. I also sneezed constantly due to the dust. I NEVER felt clean while we were away. All I could smell was dust and even after bathing and using my lotion I still felt a bit gross and dry. Z had crackly skin the entire trip and applied lip balm like it was his job. Originally I wasn’t going to get a massage, but Z convinced me to do it and I’m glad I did if only for the fact that someone spent an hour working oil into my skin to retain moisture.

When we got off the plane at home, the blast of humid, rainy weather made us instantly feel better. Z said we had super human strength now and could run a marathon. Not only was it humid, but we had AIR. I felt like King Roland at the end of Spaceballs . Sedona was the lowest place we stayed at – around 4300 ft above sea level. I had an episode of “uh-oh, Z you may want to catch me now” while we were hiking the south rim at Grand Canyon at 7000+ ft. The weather this trip was nice, but 75F in the desert feels oddly much warmer in the sun than it does at home. It felt more like 85F at times, but then I’d need a jacket in the shade… I was oddly sunburned and hot but cold very easily as well. That combined with odd sleep made me more susceptible to altitude sickness.

The Airbnb choices didn’t help much in making me feel better. The Zion place was decent. We had cows for neighbors – literally – as in they were on the other side of the fence less than 100 ft from our door. The bed was rather hard for us though. Next was the Bryce place and that was downright awkward since it was a room built next to a roadside diner sort of place run by the Airbnb owners. The only positive I can say about it was the phenomenal water pressure in the tiny shower. Being next to a highway made sleeping awful for us. Also, I really think Airbnb people who list full size beds as “queen” size should be shot and then give us our money back. There. Is. A. Difference. The Antelope canyon place was ok, but having a cabinet stick out over the pedestal sink made washing up very difficult. The dumpsters being cleaned out right outside our window in the morning was not pleasant. Also, the  standing shower was so small I had trouble washing in it. I don’t know how Z managed, who is many inches taller than me- maybe he had a foot out the entire time or something. The Sedona Airbnb was a winner. It was a small cottage next to the main property that was completely self-contained in a nice neighborhood and very comfortable. The owners knew what they were doing. There was clearly an aesthetic to the place with matching neutral colors, unlike the crazy mix of colors and decor in the others (or lack thereof).

1 out of 4 was a winner for Airbnb. It’s our fault for picking such oddball places. You get what you pay for. Every place we stayed at was completely adequate in its own separate way. Technically, the blame lies with us for picking the place. So, what’s wrong with them? Other than the one in Sedona – none of them were comfortable. I felt gross in two of them and all of them were weird to some degree. During our second night in Bryce I flat out told Z: I’m too old for this shit. Sleep is extremely important to me because I get so little of it regularly. So staying in these weird places that look like people just threw whatever was in their storage closet in a cheap room and called it a day ain’t cutting it. I’m not young enough to tolerate the inconveniences and inconsistencies in amenities each place offers anymore. I’m done with hard beds, 10+ year old flat pillows, wildly colored POLYESTER SHEETS, tiny bathrooms with zero sink space or standing showers I can’t move around in, oddly dim lighting or just one overhead light and nothing else, and places that really aren’t as convenient as the listings make them sound. We aren’t struggling financially anymore to make these trips happen.  We agreed that from now on we will find better places to stay because it’s worthwhile to have a comfortable place to stay with proper amenities after a full day of activities.

I did greatly enjoy our trip and have more to say for another time, but I do feel the need to write out what I disliked because I’m already planning our next trip so we don’t make these mistakes again with lodging. National Park trips are best planned as early as possible because the best lodging and air fares go very quickly. We’re looking at going to Glacier National Park next.

Plants saying hi

aquamarine

I took these photos nearly a month ago and the status has changed a bit. Also, I excluded some photos because I should just take new ones. The above pilea glauca aquamarine has been a total pain for me. It’s constantly dying and I’ve tried everything I can think of to keep it going, but I still find several new dead stems each week. These may just be one of those plants that I cannot get my head around.

ficus & ivy

The hanging spiderwort plant (also known as Wandering Jew) has been pretty much halved and I’m going to have around three more plants to make from what I took off of it. Below is my fairly new ficus lyrata plant. There are two branches in this one and it seems a little crowded, but I’m keeping an eye on it. It’s grown several new leaves since this photo.

flowering prostrata

My little peperomia prostrata (string of turtles) is twice this size now and still in the same little owl pot. It’s been flowering like this for several weeks now.

pearls

This string of pearls is also twice the size it is above and is now in a terra cotta pot instead of the green plastic one above. It’s on the kitchen window sill and the pearls are hanging over the sill so much that I’m afraid they’ll get in the way of cleaning soon so I’m going to hang it up once I decide on the right hanging pot for it. I’m really proud of bringing this one back from the brink of death. It looks better now than when I originally bought it.

rubber plant

The above ficus elastica (rubber plant) is doing well. It’s grown a few leaves since this photo. I’ve always been nervous about these sort of plants – similar to the ficus lyrata, but they seem to be ok in my house. Granted, neither have survived a winter in my house yet, so TBD…

silver satin pothos

I love this silver satin pothos. The leaves are slightly fuzzy to the touch and look velvety. This has also grown quite a bit.

This is only a smattering of the plants in the house. I also bought a small monstera because I was afraid to commit to a large, expensive one in case I killed it. So I’m starting slowing with a little one that doesn’t have the token holes in the leaves yet. I also got a lemon-lime philodendron that’s doing well. The neon pothos I had over a year ago didn’t last, so I thought I’d try with a philo and so far so good.

It was my birthday this past week and aside from the Zelda: Link’s Awakening game I knew I was going to get Z surprised me with a gardening bench for the back porch. We put it together today.

 

A Saturday

fluffy pancaketoe clawscoffee tablepearls and jade

The summer heat is draining.

The front flower beds look post-apocalyptic from overgrown weeds. Yet I refuse to go out in the hot and humid weather to pull them. I’ve never liked hot weather and retreat into dark and cool corners.

I’ve started collecting sweaters and socks for cooler weather. Finalizing my “wants” list for a challenge I’m setting up for myself. Linen clothes and silk underwear have been ordered – the waiting game begins.

One of my plants died recently and it made me incredibly upset. I’ve grown quite attached to some of them and tried everything I can to make them happy and grow. Unfortunately, I did something rather stupid with the plant that died without realizing it until after it was too late. Part of me wants to go run and replace it with another one to make grow again, but part of me says, “You’ve got how many others to take care of? Stop it and step back!”

 

Crazy plant lady

I have become that person with all the trendy house plants. Guilty as charged.

creeping vine

I repotted the creeping vine from the wee fox planter because it was growing like crazy and I was afraid it would be root bound.

ficus leaves

These two new leaves have grown on my ficus since I bought it. This makes me really happy. I never thought I’d ever have one of these plants in my home.

fox planter

Wee fox planter now has a pilea pup in it because my pilea peperomia plant was growing off shoot pups like crazy.

hanging pilea pup

This is the largest pilea pup that I’m keeping in this cute hanging bottle, for now.

peperomia coin vine

The small peperomia ivy I got a while back and repotted has also been growing like crazy. I’m thinking that by next spring I can put it in a hanging pot.

philo

Snippets of my hanging philodendron plants were in a large beer glass for a few months and I finally replanted them in soil. So far so good.

Pilea

Pilea peperomia plant has gotten much bigger. I repotted it when I took the pups out and now some of the leaves are unhappy. Boo.

string of pearls

This is the remnants of my string of pearls plant. It’s barely hanging on. I can’t seem to give up on this.

string of turtles

Aside from the planter in the first picture and this owl one, I also bought this teeny tiny string of turtles (peperomia prostrata) when Z and I went to Longwood Gardens again this past weekend. It was the only one in the shop and some of the leaves were wilted. I’m hoping this one will last.

wandering jew

I also repotted my “wandering jew” plant. Is there a better name for this one? I feel like I’m saying/writing something culturally insensitive by calling it by the slang name.

Curating or cutting down

casual

Super casual for work, but it’s not as if it’s out of place at all. In fact, I’m wondering to some degree why I dressed up so much before. It’s not that I didn’t like to, but this shopping ban has very much driven the point across that I was trying a little too hard. It was out of my comfort zone and it was an experiment. I know my exhaustion is dictating this post though and people are fickle creatures. So take all words with grains of salt.

This past weekend, aside from buying a lot of plants I also did something I’ve never done before – store away clothes. I still don’t have an enormous wardrobe by any stretch of the imagination, but I started wondering where I draw the line and properly curate now that I’ve limited myself with the ban. All of my clothes for all seasons still fit in one closet – technically it’s half of a closet because I share that closet with Z. So storing some clothes seems silly, but I rather liked seeing some space between the hangers and letting my clothes “breathe”. One thing is for sure – I own way too many socks. When I went through the top dresser drawer I was amazed at how many socks I own. They are all in good condition and I didn’t want to throw any out, so I stored them in boxes along with some clothes from the closet. I now have a lot more hangers as well. I’m also starting to move some clothes in my closet into sections. The left side is the “business” side and then there’s the casual and then there’s short sleeve… It’ll be interesting to see how often I think of some of these items whether they are still hanging in my closet or tucked away in a box.

ficus.jpg

I moved the ficus to a different area where it would get more light in the living room. I’m terribly afraid for the life of this plant because I’ve never owned one and am not certain how it’ll tolerate the drastic temperature changes of my house.

I took the other plants to work and now one of my window sills is full of plants, which makes me happy. I really need to stop buying them though. Aside from the 6 at work I’ve got 30 now at home. Most of them are small, but it’s still a lot of plants!

More plants and quiet moments

dining room

I’ve replaced buying clothes with buying plants. Luckily, I can buy a lot more plants for cheaper prices than I can the clothes I want.

I still haven’t bought any clothes, but I have a list. It’s very small, but I feel like the fact that these very specific items keep popping into my head mean I feel they would easily mix with everything I have or fill a gap somewhere. I’m not going to buy anything though.

Took a bunch of photos today. Enjoy the eye candy.

booming ugly plant

This rex begonia looks awful. It’s officially my “ugly” plant, but I still love its dark green velvety leaves. It bloomed this year.

caladium

My caladium died last year – or so I thought. I took the root tube out and then notched out the “eyes” like I’d read about. Then I planted the root tube again and watered it. After a few weeks, just when I was ready to give up on it – I noticed sprouts. It’s actually growing back! This is such a huge accomplishment for me.

peperomia

This little peperomia also bloomed, but I knocked it over when watering and the tiny flower that looks like a stem fell off.

bentopetssummer sheets

I also recently changed out the dark grey linen sheets for the natural colored ones for summer. We rarely ever make the bed.

coffee table

The current state of my coffee table – overloaded with little plants.

I went hog wild this weekend buying plants. I bought six, thinking 4 of them I’d take to the office. Now that might only be 3 going. I don’t think the Wandering Jew plant will like so much light in the office window, but the peace lily and other one should be fine.

ficus

I caved and bought the trendy indoor tree plant, aka, ficus lyrata. I went to my usual favorite-but-super-expensive fancy nursery and these were very expensive. Then I stopped at Home Depot later in the day and found this one for 1/3 of the price. Since I’ve no idea if I can keep it alive, I figured it was an ok investment. I did splurge on the fancy pot for it though.

gold dust plant

This Gold Dust Dracaena is also going to the office.

I spent a fair amount of time repotting my peace lily, golden pothos and other little plants. I had several cuttings from my hanging philodendron in a beer stein glass and finally potted them. Hopefully that will survive. I’ve heard going from water to soil can be a bit traumatic for some plants.

Little plan(t)s

Tomorrow I head out for Vegas on a week long conference trip. Hopefully I’m better prepared this time in terms of wardrobe.

Aside from that, I wanted to show the new plants I’ve gotten over the past two weeks. I’m becoming slightly addicted to buying little plants. I’m afraid to buy big ones because I’m still not confident enough in my skills to make sure I can keep all of these alive. So it’s easier for me to start small because the plant is cheaper and a lower investment. That way if I do goof up and end up killing the plant for whatever reason, at least the money put into it was small and not a $100+ huge Ficus or something, which I’ve been very tempted to do in the past.

Anyway, I hope I can learn to get my little plants to grow big and then propagate them myself so I’m not spending any money – other than needs such as fertilizers and soils.

fox planter

Creeping wire vine with moss in a tiny fox container. I went bonkers for this little thing at the flower show. I kept circling the plant stand selling all sorts of plants and came back to this one over and over. I was also tempted by the same fox with tiny peperomia in it, but I already have a peperomia and wanted something different. I was smart enough to ask how to take care of this because there is no drainage hole in the bottom. It’s a very shallow container to boot. The woman told me they give these plants two tablespoons max of water every couple of days and that’s it. I’ve been doing so as well and so far so good.

I’ve been seeing creeping wire vines pop up a lot lately on plant sites in general so I’m guessing this is an up and coming trendy plant.

 

 

freddie

Calathea Freddie plant: I also bought this plant at the same stand as the little fox one. I’ve seen these plants a lot at various nurseries around me, from independents to Home Depot, so I’m guessing it’s a somewhat common plant and not too hard to take care of. The curled leaves in the center are new growth that’s started to pop up this week. I’m also hopefully I can take care of this one ok. It’s like to be damp, but not soaking.

pilea

Trendy plant alert: I drank the kool-aid and fell for this and bought it because I can. It’s the oh-so-hip Pilea peperomioides plant, aka Chinese money plant. I bought this at the garden museum this past weekend. They had a lot of these plants in stock, which surprised me because this is the only place I’ve ever seen them anywhere near me. Not even my go-to nursery 40 minutes away with the large ficus and fig trees I lust over has them and they tend to be aware of that’s popular.

Something makes me think peperomia plants in general are becoming more popular, but I’m not sure. I see them almost everywhere now. We’ll see how well I do with this one. I’m a little worried because this one needs a lot of indirect light and east coast winters are not known for being all that bright. The plant wasn’t cheap – although I think the shop’s prices were jacked up pretty high simply because they know people will pay at such a place. Other plants in the shop, which I’ve got at home, I noticed had eye-popping prices attached to them and I bought mine for 30% less elsewhere.

peperomia hope

Lastly, another peperomia. This tiny one was labeled “Peperomia Coin” although I keep seeing other names for it online when I was looking up care instructions. I’ve also seen Peperomia Hope or even “Trailing Jade”. I now have three plants from the “pepperoni” class as Z calls them.

I’m excited and terrified with new plants. I never know if what I’m doing is right or just dumb luck, so we’ll see.