Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

I can't believe the weekend is already coming to a close.  It doesn't seem like we rested much, but we did get quite a bit done.  My husband sent me to Walmart to pick up a storage cabinet while he did the yard Friday night, and I brought that home as well as 5 new plants.  The driveway conversation that night was how I'm an addict and need help...for plant purchases that is!  I told him if he found me a group that I would consider attending...good luck with that! The purchase I was most excited about was a non-succulent...a balloon plant that had white and purple blooms on the same plant and they're a double bloom!
My girls finished their Spring Volleyball Season Saturday, so now we can look forward to sleeping in again on the weekend!  I can't tell you how much I've missed that little pleasure!!  Not to mention not having to scramble around and get white/black laundry together Friday night...I really should get better about that!

Sunday brought more plants to my yard.  My neighbor (aka my partner in crime) went with me to Rainbow Gardens and Home Depot in search of Lantana and Pentas...we found both as well a few succulents that I needed for my strawberry pot experiment.  I wanted Hen and Chicks, but only found one variety, so I made due with pieces from my Cobweb Hen and Chick, two types of the String of Buttons Crassula, a String of Pearls, Calico Kitten and a dinky little Hen and Chick that a coworker had brought into me. 

I planted the Pentas under a tree in my backyard where they're safe from the deer.  Then today while we were miniature golfing, I saw where they had put Coleus right next to the trunk and then the Pentas in front.  Of course that meant I had to make another trip to Rainbow Gardens today and then I rearranged everything because I adore Coleus.  I tried some that are supposed to like the sun, so we'll see.  I think I'm good for now...hoping they fill in quickly as patience is not one of my better virtues!

I suppose there might be some truth to my husband's "addict" theory, but the way I see it, there are worse things I could be doing!  I know this was probably way to long, but I had a lot to say and it's been several days...enjoy the week!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Nice Surprise

Let's just say that this hasn't been an ideal week.  Tuesday I left work early because I had a headache on the right side.  Trying to ward off a migraine, I thought it would be a good idea to come home and sleep it off.  Only, as the day went on my ear started to hurt as well so I made an appointment the next morning.  Of all things, I had a sinus infection and ear infection just on the right side of my head (left was perfectly normal) and that triggered a migraine.  Came home and slept the whole day while being quite bummed about using a sick day that I really didn't have to use in the first place.  Woke up today headache free, so it was looking to be an good day.  After lunch, one of my coworkers walks into my office with this funny (ok, kind of ugly) looking plant and wanted to know if I had it.  I replied that I didn't, and she says, "It's yours!".  She went on to explain that it was so ugly that it was cute and she knew she hadn't seen it in any of the pictures I've shared.  What a nice surprise to an otherwise dull day!!  Here she is, and I warn you...she's a little odd looking.  She's called a 'Ming Thing', Cereus forbesii monstrose, because she looks like a Chinese sculpture, I think 'Little Brain' is more fitting...what do you think?

The other day, I was reading Catherine's Inspire Bohemia blog and she had found a Kalanchoe that looked really similar to my Kalanchoe Delagoensis 'Chandelier Plant' and I was thinking that I needed to fix my name.  After looking at them again, they are very similar, but hers has jagged edges and mine are smooth...kind of remind me of the salimandor I'll add a Kalanchoe Serrata 'Magic Tower' to my list of succulents to look for!  I just love the names!! I really like all the little plantlets that grow on the leaf edges just waiting to drop and take root!

This is how big is was a month or so after I brought it home and here it is a year later.  I wish it would bloom, but I guess that takes a while.

Happy Thursday...almost Friday!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Weekend Gone By

I realize that as a general rule, weekends always fly by, but this one seemed to go exceptionally quick!  As usual, Saturday started off with volleyball games, Tater Girl went first at 9 a.m., and then Giggle's team played at noon.  Both teams won, Giggle's team remains undefeated for the second YMCA season.  The little girls are fun to watch now, as they've finally figured out how to move their feet and play somewhat as a team.  The big girls are always action packed, and keep this momma jumping out of her seat at the score keeping table! We've just got one last game until the summer break and then we have break until it picks back up in the fall.  I was never in to sports growing up, preferred music and so having my girls enjoy sports was a bit of a shock.  Now I'm a volleyball junkie...when my girls are on the court!

We had bought Tater Girl 2 guinea pigs for Christmas, and at the beginning of April, Zoe passed away...rather surprisingly!  We let Snowflake get over the loss of her friend and while I felt she had adjusted just fine, Tater Girl thought otherwise.  Yesterday after the game, we stopped at the pet store to pick up some bedding so that we could clean out the cage.  Wouldn't you know it, but they had at least 8 little girls just begging to go home with someone! We were one of those "someones" and after many minutes of oohing and holding several, we settled on Cocoa.  She's much smaller than we remembered the other two being, and is a little chatterbox.  Snowflake is holding her own by torturing the little one...enjoying it as well!

All in all, had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the next one!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Finds

I thought I'd stroll through Schultz Nursery today while on my lunch break, and wouldn't you know it...I found some more succulents! One of them is another Bear Paw.  I know that I already have two, but they are small, and this one is so full could I pass him up! The other three, I'm not sure what they are, but they were really cute and so, why not!

One of my favorites plants is the Portulaca 'Moss Rose'.  I love all the different colors and the texture of the blooms.  Only problem...the deer insist on yanking them out of the pots and tossing them to the ground.  After years of threatening to camp out and catch them in the act, I've finally resigned to the keeping them in the back yard. My Balloon Flower is blooming!  She doesn't make it through the hot summer months, but every Spring she pops back through with adorable blooms.  They start off like very tiny balls and gradually blow up until they burst open! 

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One Night, Three Meals

Every once in a while I get this stress inducing urge to make multiple meals at one time.  Typically this happens on the weekend, but nooooo...I got the brilliant idea today while I was talking about different meals that I hadn't made in a while.  I already had Stuffed Shells thawing in the fridge from a previous dinner, Easter I think, and that should have been enough. But no, as we're sitting there talking at lunch,  I remembered this easy, kid/husband friendly casserole I used to make when the girls were younger called Cheesy Pizza Macaroni and thought Tater Girl might appreciate that since she's a hater of Stuffed Shells.  Then, I started thinking about Taco Soup thanks to my co-workers yummy smelling Taco Salad.  Needless to say, I made my list and stopped by HEB on the way home.  Everything went off without a hitch and was even ready at a decent time.  Tater Girl said, "This is what I've been telling you I wanted you to make."  That was music to this mother's ears, but tell does one get Cheesy Pizza Macaroni out of, "You know...that casserole I like"?!  Bob and Giggles enjoyed the shells and my Taco Soup was delicious!!  I'm going to have to share with a co-worker though...I'm the only one who will eat it and it could take me a while.  The extra CPM has a spot in the freezer for one night next week and maybe the following week as well!  I'm not much on food pictures, but I couldn't resist...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girl's Night Out

Had a wonderful time tonight out with friends!  Monday's aren't the usual pick, but sometimes you just have to work with with what's available and make it work and that's exactly what we did tonight.  I for one have to be drug out of the house to get there, but once I'm there, I can't imagine not being there.  Dinner at Tong's Thai is always a hit with the girls, tonight it was 5 of us and we had the outside patio pretty much to ourselves.  Enjoyed good food, fellowship and always a difference of opinions...lots of laughing, not just the quiet little giggles either, plenty of belly wrenching, tear producing laughs made their way around the table throughout the evening!  Ended the night with gusts of blowing wind and a nice pour down on the drive home...Girl's Night Out's are never dull and this one was no exception. 

Very blessed to have friends like mine.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Succulent Blooms

I thought I was done for the night, but I went outside to make sure nothing was waterlogged and found that two of my succulents had bloomed.  The first is the of my Graptosedum's 'Vera Higgins' has the prettiest cream colored star shaped blooms!  For whatever reason, she looks a little purplish in this picture, but is really more of a burgandy shade.

The other one is my Crassula Nudicaulis Platyphylla.  These blooms aren't as showy, actually pretty understated, but I don't think they're going to get any bigger.  I saw them a few days ago, but thought there might be more...guess not, but they are a nice shade dark pink. 

Now, I think I'm done for the night...have a wonderful week!!


Wrapping Up the Weekend

I've been listening to a teaching on having a good life.  It's based on Exodus 20:8, the Fourth Commandment...keeping the Sabbath holy.  He talks about how we're programmed to think that being busy all the time is some sort of accomplishment, but in reality it's quite pathetic.  God didn't make the Sabbath for Him, but for us.  Throughout scripture, any time that Jesus did any work, be it teaching, healing, etc. you can always find where he then went away and did something, etc. time with His Father or fishing, but he took time to relax and refresh.  I'm only on the second cd, but I was really encouraged to try and get all of my "must haves" done by Saturday so that after church on Sunday, I could just spend it doing what I wanted to do.  I did ok...didn't quite finish the downstairs, but I figure vacumning can be done tomorrow and didn't think grocery shopping would be that big of a deal.  After church, it was nice to not be in a mad rush and have a long lunch catching up with a friend and then spent the afternoon shopping with my girls.  We were really doing good until WalMart had a power outage and we stood in line for 15 minutes waiting for the registers to open back up! Needless to say the last stop of the afternoon took a little longer than expected, but that was ok since nothing really else needed to be done for the day.  Dinner was in the crockpot waiting for it when I plan ahead!

I'm encouraged with the outcome to my experiment, so I'm trying for a repeat...working towards a new habit!  I'm off to download my new Mercy Me cd, Mr. Lovewell...fabulous if you haven't already picked up your copy.

Have a terrific week!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baby Toes, Living Rocks and a Overload of Rain

The weather last night predicted maybe an inch or so and did we ever get that and more!  My succulents probably thought they were going to drown at some point.  It's a good thing that I brought in my Living Rocks and Baby Toes the other night when I "thought" it was going to rain! I would have lost the Living Rocks for sure...they despise being soaked in water.  I lost most of mine over the winter, all but one little one that came back up through the gravel.  This summer, I'm starting out with 3 types of the Living Rocks, Pleisopilos Nelii (I loving refer to these as "baby butt cheeks"), Lithops (flat faced ones) and a type of Argyroderma (Easter Egg looking ones).

I added a new Baby Toes (Fenestraria Rhopalophylla) to my one from last year, who is struggling, but holding on and then an Aloinopsis Schoonesii to the mix. From what I've found, she probably belongs in the pot with the other Living Rocks...oh well.

Hopefully though, this will encourage my Bougainvillea Torch to start blooming...she's taking her sweet time this year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Driveway Ramblings

After two nights of carting my girls to their respective volleyball practices, tonight I'm going to relax.  I suppose I'll have to put something together for dinner, but I'm leaning towards nachos...a cinch to throw together and even better, everyone likes them.  We tend to sit in our driveway more than we do our living room, hence Driveway Ramblings. My husband is talking with our neighbor friend, little one's doing her homework and the dogs are aimlessly wondering the driveway.  I'm enjoying watching my lavender blooms sway in the wind, thankful that it's Wednesday and that means the work week is almost at an end!

It's a shame you can't smell them...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Too Close To Home

Spent  Mother's Day reading a new novel called "Too Close To Home" by Lynette Eason.  I woke up rather sore from yesterday's adventure, so I pampered myself most of the day by sitting in my favorite chair with my new book.  Loved it!  If you enjoy suspense filled thrillers, this is a wonderful book.  What makes it even more enjoyable is that it is Christian fiction and so there was not one foul word or scene that left nothing to the imagination! The two books I previously tried reading, were both put down at the halfway point or sooner with, "Why am I reading this?".  It's not that I live in a bubble, but seriously, how many people use the "f" word or "gd" throughout their everyday conversations...get a better vocabulary!  Back to the book though, there was just enough of the romance angle to make you go "ahh..." at the end, but not enough to say, "Really, seriously now."  There's a serial killer on the loose, and as the title describes, they're hitting a little "too close to home".  Needless to say, I'll have the next one as soon as it's October debut gets here!

I have to say though, this morning when I walked into the kitchen, looked out my back window, an immediate smile took over...all my lovely little succulents were right there in plain view!  It was definitely worth the discomfort.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Succulent Wall

Happy Mother's Day to me! My husband made the trip to Home Depot with me...humored my idea and loaded and then unloaded 62 cement blocks for my succulent wall!  It came out pretty much like I envisioned.  Where my pig planters are sittting willl end up being turned sideways, filled with dirt and something nice and trailing will fill that, but in the meantime, they look cute perched there.

My original plan was to have only the solid side facing out, but the more I thought about it, I wanted air to be able to flow through.  Shelby, our 9 year old is really concerned that a crazy cat might try and put her babies in there.  Understand, that we have cat lovers on either side of has just 5 and the other anywhere from 10 - 15 any given day and they keeping feeding the strays.  I think every female in the surrounding area knows that if they're due with kittens, to move on to their room and board.  The only ( of many) downside is that between the two houses, they seem to think our yard is one large playground/litter box! Click on the pictures below to make them larger.

Happy Mother's Day to all the other mom's out there!  Enjoy your day tomorrow...I hope to be walking straight after this adventure!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Bloom

For months, my Chocolate Soldier has had bloom stalks waving around with bloom buds.  All winter in the little greenhouse cover more stalks came up with nothing but buds.  Last week I noticed that they looked like they were trying to open, but nothing.  Until this morning...this morning one was opened up and it's the prettiest little thing.  I hope the others follow suite now and open up.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pig's Ear is Not a Pig's Ear

I pulled a piece of what I thought was a Pig's Ear out of my rather large plant to share with a co-worker.  I was searching some names on the internet and came across what I had thought was a Pig's Ear, but is in fact a Cotyledon Orbiculata type also known as a Cigarette Plant.  Boring....  I think I've seen where it could be called a Cigar Plant as well, so I'm going to go with that one and call her Havana...Cuban cigars sound much better than a stinky cigarette! Now that that's all cleared up, I'm in search for a Cotyledon Orbiculcta 'Oblonga'...which is what I thought I had, but mine didn't look anything like the pictures I was finding.  Lowe's is normally really good with their names, but there's a first time for everything!

Now to the adventure of the day.  Along with a wonderful husband, I've got two lovely daughters.  The oldest who is 13 needed to have some widsom teeth removed.  My wonderful husband has been out of town all week, so I was going to get to tackle this one alone.  We got there only to find out that she really only needed two taken out on the right side...yeh!  It went off without any problems...another reason to celebrate!  She's up and eating ice cream of all things, she was very pleased when she asked if she could get more than normal, I agreed without a lecture on junk food.  The best part of the whole thing is I got to take two unexpected days off to take care of her!!  My house will appreciate the cleaning it's going to get too. 

I can't post without including one of my succulents, so today's pick is going to be my Kalanchoe Tomentosa 'Chocolate Soldier'  ...I have a thing for fuzzy succulents, and this is one of the best!  It has been trying to bloom for what seems like forever, but they finally opened up yesterday.  I'll take pictures of those for later...not like a normal bloom.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Donkey Tail

I've been trying to remember over the past several days which of my lovely succulents was the one that started the collection.  On one of my trips to Rainbow Gardens, I stumbled on a funny looking thing called a Donkey Tail and I couldn't pass it up.  It's like eating a bag of Lay' can't have just one!  I think I can safely say there are at least 50 different little varieties on my back porch, but it all began with this cutie.  He's been trimmed back and shared with friends, but he's still growing strong!

Monday, May 3, 2010

More on the New Additions

I found another Cotyledon Tomentosa 'Bear Paw' to add to my collection, he's the short one.  I repotted them so they could share a pot, and so they're a little dirty.  I originally stumbled on this little guy in Walmart in a little succulent dish garden.  This is probably my favorite one!

My other favorite...Baby Toes! I lost one of them over the winter, but replaced it over the weekend.  These are especially cute.  The more sun they get, the more translucent their "toes" are!

Echeveria 'Green Goddess'.  I'm excited to see her bloom!