Sunday, August 28, 2011

Puppy Happenings

It's been a while, but I wanted to share some sad news and happy news. 

At the beginning of July, I had to put my Goldie down.  I don't talk about it because I still cry.  To be quick about it, she had been walking funny and seemed like at times she didn't know what was going on.  I took her to vet knowing what they'd tell me, but thinking I was over dramatizing the situation.  She was getting very close to 15 and for a Corgi/Shelti mix, that's pretty old.  They told me that she had arthritis and hip issues as well as what sounded like dementia.  Her spine was riddled with it, and I couldn't handle knowing that she might fall down while I wasn't there and be stuck for what could be hours.  I went home that morning without my girl.

When the girls came home, I told them when I was ready that we'd look for a puppy.  I knew what I wanted.  Either another Corgi or a little Westie.  So much for my opinion!  Last weekend, I had the brilliant idea to take them to the animal shelter "just to look".  We fell hard for a brother and sister in the puppy section.  They were 12 weeks old and adorable.  I came back home and asked my husband about it.  He's objection was still, "Why do you need two?".  I have been trying to explain to him for years that we needed two since we're gone so much and they need company during the day.  I reexplained my point and off me and the girls went.  I took Amy with me and that was probably a good thing since I bawled through most of the paperwork.  The whole thing just made me really miss my girl. 

So much for our newest additions to the family, Lab/Shepherd mix puppies...Charlie and Molly. 

Charlie is the brown one that I lovingly refer to as "my little Marmaduke" and Molly is the little black one who's looks are very deceiving.  She is the instigator of the pair and he's just pretty laid back and stubborn.  She looks and feels just like a Lab with the smooth, soft hair and Charlie takes after the Shepard with the shorter, courser hair.  He's much for small! 

So far, so good, but I did pick up a copy of Cesar Millan's puppy book this weekend and keep telling them that good puppies do not bother mommy's plants!  We're still working on that one. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Huernia Excitement

I will be honest, when my neighbor brought down what I now know is a Huernia schneiderana 'Red Dragon' last year, I looked at it and gave Amy the "best" one because I thought it looked really odd.  For one, it looked prickly (it's not) and was a little wild for my taste, or at least I thought it was.  Mine didn't do so hot and I lost it over the winter.  Amy's however, was doing fabulous and I'll admit it, I was a little jealous that it liked her so much.  Said neighbor, aka Plant Fairy, was more than willing to share some more with me this spring, so I was once again in business with my 'Red Dragon'.

Huernia schneiderana 'Red Dragaon'

This was from the first one she gave me last year, the others are still in the "nursery" section of my yard waiting for me to put them in the spectacular hanging basket I bought for them.  I took some of this to my sister and she calls it the "scary looking worm" plant. 

I bought another Huernia from a local succulent/cactus nursery earlier this year because it had a different looking bloom to it.  I think it's a Huernia saudi-arabica or campanulata.  It was marked Huernia procumbens, but none of the pictures look like mine.  I re-potted it and she's bloomed several times since. 

Huernia campanulata
Like the 'Red Dragon', this one isn't spiky either.  It's also a lighter shade of green than the other. 

On another adventure, I found another one and bought it because I thought it was different than what I had.  At first I was disappointed because it's the same dark color as the 'Red Dragon'.  The difference is that it doesn't get long like the 'Red Dragon', it stays more compact like the Huernia campanulata, although not so much. It does have a few prickly spikes in addition to the soft spikes. It's blooms come off on little shoots as well, unlike the other two that bloom close to the plant itself.   I noticed it was getting ready to bloom the other day and have kept a close watch.  It opened yesterday, and OH MY GOSH...I've never seen something so spectacular!!!

Huernia hystrix
It looks fuzzy because it is fuzzy!! 

Huernia hystrix
This is not good...I have spent quite a bit of time online, first searching for the names of the two and then finding others that I simply have to have!  The one I've got my eye on is called a Huernia 'lifesaver' looks like there's a lifesaver in the middle of it.  I found one online retailer that has some in stock, but got sidetracked and didn't order it yet. 

Moral of the story for me, never, ever snub my nose at any odd looking plant ever might just become one of my favorites!