Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Laptop

Today was a good day.  I'm typing my first post on my new laptop...wahoo!!  The jury is still out on whether I completely love it or not, but I do know it's going to take me a while to get used to it.  I bought another Dell because I'm a creature of habit, and I just wasn't ready to take the jump to the Mac.  That's probably a good thing considering the difficulty I'm having using Windows 7; whatever Apple has might have put me over the edge! As it is, I've already pushed several buttons typing this post that have changed the font size....a tad irritating.  All this while my husband and neighbor friend are accusing me of being unsocial, they're just jealous! As I'm typing this, Amy is reading one of my other posts on her phone.  I don't see a problem here, do you?

My parents had given me my old one for my birthday five or six years ago, and while I was very fond of it, it was time to replace it.  I had to move all my pictures to an external hard drive at Christmas because I was getting concerned that they were going to get lost in the big crash. 

As I'm griping that it's throwing my cursor in places I didn't put it, they inform me that I have to be putting my palm on the mouse pad...smarty pants!

Back to the story.  Recently, I can't even blog decently, downloading pictures to the post was almost unbearable at times.  It had a few cracks on the keyboard and had made more than a few trips to the repair store. 

I wasn't really in the market, but I came downstairs one Sunday morning a few weeks ago and my husband was watching QVC.  I did a double take and asked him, "What exactly are you watching?".  He replied something about a coworker saying he watches it and gets a lot of really cool stuff.  I thought, "Great, he really is old!", but I sat down and starting watching with him.  Getting through the really cool surge protector and trunk saver, my laptop was up next.  He had gone to wash his truck and I was supposed to be getting ready for church.  He walked back in to find me staring at the screen saying, "I need that."  He generally humors me, so he suggested I buy it.  I came back with, "Don't make fun of me, this is serious, I need this."  His reply back was, "Seriously, buy it."  Enough said, I picked up the phone and have been made fun of ever since.  It wouldn't have been a big deal except that I made fun of him first for watching the silly channel and then I'm the one that made the purchase!

It wasn't supposed to be delivered until July 5th, but I was surprised with an email saying today was the day.  I've already put all my pictures and videos back on it and am loving that they are all in one place again!  They are all still backed up on the external hard drive, but I really prefer to have them at my fingertips.  You never know when you might want to look at a picture of your kiddos from 2004 you know!

I hope everyone is having a great week, and pleases excuse any outrageous wasn't me! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Succulent Bed Follow-up

I talked about the newest succulent adventure in this post here last week.  Not So Angry Redhead asked for a list of what I put in there, and I really don't know why I didn't just do that to begin with. I went back and added captions so I could remember what was what.  The height should come with the sanseveria that I have on the back row, they're the taller 'Mother In-Law' variety, and the Broomstick on the end is supposed to get quite tall.  My favorite of the taller ones is the 'Lady Slipper' Pedilanthus macrocarpus, she'll get up to 2 or 3 feet tall.  I have esperanza's on the other side of the succulents, so we'll see what it does.  I'm hoping with the lighting they get that they will start doing their thing and spread away!

Another list:
Esperanza (yellow and orange)
Echeverias (several)
Stonecrop sedum
Pedilanthus macrocarpus
Crassula 'Propeller Plant'
Lamb's Ear (regular and giant)
Sedum 'Brilliant'
Lollipop Plant
Aloe or Agave (not sure which)
...something else that I can't remember, but it's fuzzy and supposedly it's blooms attract flys and smell bad

We'll see what it does, already, the stonecrop sedum is not looking like it's real happy.  The funny thing is though, it was in the same spot for months in it's little'd think it would be a little more appreciative.


Ten Good Things on a Monday...Plants

I've wanted to do this one for a while, so this evening I'm joining in with Nina at Brush Up On Your Reading with her 10 Good Things on a Monday.  It's for all us list lovers out there, and I just love a good list!  It doesn't matter that I might not finish them, but I am a compulsive list maker.  I'm going to do ten of my favorite things for my first time here.  Here goes...

Ten of My Favorite Things Plants

1.  Succulent Collection. 
This is a small grouping in what I refer to as my tub.  It includes three of my absolute favorites...'Mother of Millions' Kalanchoe, 'Lilypad' Aeonium and one that I've never been able to identify, but she's in the corner and her leaves are trimmed in purple...beautiful!!

2.  Pineapple Lily
This has to be my absolute favorite right now, or rather a tie for first place.  I picked up a white one too this past week for my mother.  I'm going to take some of mine and share with my mother, and take some of hers to share with me!  This is made easier by the fact that I have them both here!!

3.  Passion Vine Bloom
This is the most whimsical bloom I've come across yet, and she is the other "most favorite" contender.  As though her beauty isn't enough, her fragrance is intoxicating!

4.  Balloon Plant
I have had this little gem for a number of years.  She pops back up in the spring and then dies back when the summer months get too hot for her.  The blooms start out like very small balloons and keep growing and growing until they burst open.  What makes this year especially exciting is that I remembered to collect her seeds, hoping to have a row of these next spring!

5.  'Lady Slipper'
The real name is around here somewhere, but I'm being a little lazy tonight.  This is my first year with this succulent, and am I glad a bought her!  Her blooms darken to a deep pink as they mature and are supposed to look like an old fashioned lady's slipper.  You have to turn them around though to get that, my personal opinion is that they look more like elf shoes!

6.  Pitcher Plant
I lost my original Pitcher Plants in my greenhouse mishap this past winter, but I found replacements in February.  They stayed in the house until it warmed up, lost all their pitchers, but are getting new ones.  This is a first for me, so I check on them daily and am extremely excited that they keep growing!!

7.  Bolivian Jew
Also known as 'Mouse Earred' Jew, this is hands down my favorite non-flowering, non-succulent plant.  With her purple undertones on the bottom side of the leaves, she's extremely dainty, but at the same time extremely hardy...perfect fit!

8.  Red Hibiscus Bloom
Of all my hibiscus plants, and there are a number of them, this one's bloom is my favorite!  She's frilly, she's fluffy and she's solid red...enough said!

9.  Bachelor Buttons
If you would have ever asked me if I liked these, much less wanted them, the answer would have been a flat "no".  I was desperate this year for something that the deer wouldn't eat, and these are not supposed to be attractive to them.  Well, let's just say that the hungry deer in our neighbor hood missed the memo and snipped the ones I put out right up.  I didn't know what to do with the rest, so I stuck them in a pot in the backyard.  I'm really glad the deer ate the one in the front yard, these little guys have grown on me.  They keep getting bigger and bigger and are just as bright as the day I brought them home.

10.  More Succulents!
These are in my mailbox pot, and are still relatively new.  After the verbena died, what else do you put in when it's already 100 degrees outside and it's not even officially summer!

This has been fun, hopefully I'll remember to do it again!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Succulent Bed

After what seemed like months of procrastinating, I finally grabbed the shovel and put the succulents in the ground this past weekend.  It wasn't as though it was a huge project, but those rocks made it appear so much more daunting of a task to me.  Summer hit us with a bang, seeing as we've already had a number of triple digit days and it's not officially summer yet, I figured I'd better get a move on it!  I was actually pretty pleased with the end results.  Click on the pictures and it gives them to you a little larger.

In the pot, Huernia, a grapto-something ( I think) and something I haven't identified yet.  Orange bulbine, Pedilanthus macrocarpus 'Lady Slipper', Aeonium 'Platter Plant', a curly echeveria, stonecrop and another little echeveria.
A repeat of above, with the 'Propeller Plant' Crassula and another echeveria.

Sanservia line the back with the 'Propeller Plant' again along with a sedum and two more echeverias. 
The backrow pots are 'Brilliant' sedum and the regular Lamb's Ear.  The middle pots are the large Lamb's Ear and Lollipop Plant.  The front pot didn't survive.

More Sanseveria, a Broomstick Plant, and aloe or agave (not sure), another echeveria, pink dahlia.  The hanging basket is a kalanchoe and I can't remember the other one.  It's fuzzy and it's blooms are supposed to attract bugs and smell horrible.

I'm looking forward to everything filling in, hopefully that won't take forever.  I was able to pick up some larger plants that were priced really good to mix in with the smaller guys.  I'm most excited about the 'Lady Slipper' and my 'Propeller Plant'...I'm excited to see how well they do.  I kept the things in pots near the door to the garage so that I can move them when we need to have that door open. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Succulent Saturday

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with my mother and my friend, Amy, hunting succulents of course!  We started it off with a Succulent Seminar hosted by one of our favorite nurseries, Shades of Green.  While it wasn't terribly informative for us, it was a lot of fun.  It really was a good seminar, I'm just a weirdo about knowing everything there is to know about things I'm interested in and Google a lot, but it was a good refresher.  I did learn that a Pencil Cactus is a Euphorbia...that was one I hadn't Googled yet, probably because that's one that I just "enjoy" killing.  Amy on the other hand is a genius with her Pencil Cactus, much to my dismay!  At Amy's urging, I'm going to put together some business cards.  We put my information on the back on one of her cards to give to a lady who is in search of Palmer Sedum, which is something I have in abundance.  It was really a neat experience, and we had ladies following us throughout the nursery to ask more questions.  I think I've found my calling, now if the money would follow, please!  I also picked up some good sized succulents to put in the mailbox since the Verbena died on me. 

From there, we stopped by the closest Home Depot to see what they had.  Let's just say that we left there with an equally nice haul.  Lunch was followed by a brief stop at the pool store.  Let me just say that I've gone to chlorine...the holistic system just isn't working with the San Antonio heat, algae anyone!

Our last stop was at another favorite local nursery that happens to be quite close, Rainbow Gardens.  I love this place because whether I go in fully done up or bare and a baseball hat, Glena recognizes me and we chat about our succulents.  Of course we left with more great finds.  One I was really excited about is the Echeveria harmsii 'Red Velvet',  this little lovely is one I had last year and lost in the heater incident.  It was funny, my mother says, "Mandy, look at this."  I walked over, and as I reached out for it replied, "Oh wow, you didn't want this did you, because I need this!"  It's a good thing she loves me!

We needed to come home after that.  We left at 9 a.m. and returned at 3 p.m., exhausted and sweaty, but not too much that we couldn't pose with our loot!

The trunk was loaded, two trays were in the back seat and my mother held a box on her lap on the way home.  I can't think of a better way to spend my first Saturday with nothing to do, except maybe to plant all this!  I had excellent self control, very unusual, and brought home the least amount.

I'll share individual pictures once I get them taken.  It was too dark to get good pictures by the time Amy and I got ours in pots.  My mother's have to make the road trip home before they get planted in permanent homes. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pineapple Princess

To say I was excited is putting it mildly, but Saturday evening when my mother and I were out back watering, she discovered that my Pineapple Lily was blooming!!!!  This plant was a gift from my coworkers last year on my birthday, and I wasn't sure it was going to come back after being subjected to the night of below freezing temps when my heater had an oops.  The blooms aren't actually open yet, but the potential is there...take a look.

I counted maybe three other blooms that are still snuggled deep withing the leaves too.  Today, the purple was a bit darker, so I know it's getting close to showtime for this little lady!  I'm still singing Pineapple Princess and most likely will be for days!  


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Painting With A Twist

A few weeks ago, I went with my neighbor friend, Amy, to a Girl's Night to paint.  Considering that the only thing I've painted since possibly elementary school is a wall, I was a little nervous.  We were off to paint poppies and I warned her that mine would probably look like poppies on acid. 

We started off with blank canvases.

They walked us through the background.

Then they showed us how to make the poppies.  The instructors described them as "little cups of happiness" and then finished off with lips. 

Next came adding the poppy seeds, I think this might have been the funnest part for me.

The last steps were home highlighting, followed by the stems and leaves.

You can see below that no two looked the same in the group.

Our husbands were impressed when we got home.  Amy had gone at Christmas time and painted the Christmas Cactus that I shared here, but this was my first time and Bob was shocked that I actually did it myself without numbers! 

We had a great time and were of course, quite proud of ourselves!  My mother is visiting us before she takes the girls back to spend some time with her and my dad, and this is something we are going to try to do again while she's here.  Now to figure out where to hang it!