Succulent Ramblings

I like to ramble on about my plants... and other things! My hope is to log the progress of plants and talk about my frustrations with others. So, tune in, turn on, or drop out (if you find it boring!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More plant notes...The days are getting noticably longer and the plants, apparently, are also noticing it!  I'm seeing new growth on certain ones, especially newer species that have grown little or not at all for me.  And when I say new, not necessarily last year new, like you'd expect.  For example...

H. subglabra, a species I got in a Liddle order in 2010, making this coming into its 3rd season.  It has never done a lot for me, and last year, I moved it from the GH to my bedroom.  (This I did when I moved crassicaulis to the aquarium to try to save it...more on that later!)  Well, subglabra has been a ho-hum species IMO, not only because it hasn't done much more than root for me, but because it's a thinner-leaved species and the leaves are (to be honest) rather insignificant.  However, I noticed a week or two ago some teeny new leaves starting to form.  There's enough there now that I took a photo...
...Upon closer inspection, this is actually three new growth points shooting from just above the second to the last leaf node.  One has one new leaf, the other two have a pair of new leaves.  If all of these make it, this will be a super-full looking spot on the plant.  The new growth seems to be bronze, which is nice.  I've been watching it closely to see it's progression, but this early growth is SLOW.  Now, if I can just keep kitty-cats from bumping the new growth while it's tender and young!  As I completed these comments about this Hoya, I went back to my photos and found an old photo from 2011, when it was just a year old, and it jogged my memory about the first year with this plant.  It did grow nicely for that first summer, but then lost a lot of leaves that winter, which leads me to conclude that it probably likes more warmth than it was getting in the GH.  Here's the photo from 2011, albeit "sideways" because this forum will not leave it turned...

Now I'm feeling even a little more excited about seeing the new growth!

I spent the last few days checking my Hoya list and identifying what has been lost, what wasn't on the list, and in a few cases, stuff that I may still have but I'm not sure.  So for sure, I have 144 species, possibly 6 more.  So many species look so similar, I'll have to wait for some to bloom to know exactly what I have.  But I feel confident my list is relatively accurate now.  And off of my database, I created a form to keep track of when each species starts to grow, when it flowers and when I take cuttings.  I'm hoping to do some trading this spring.

I ended up losing all but 4 of the species I got from Joni.  Several of them held on quite awhile, but I have a feeling that the extended cold put them past the tipping point of being able to recover.  This time of year, it's tough enough to root perfectly healthy plants.  A couple days in the mail doesn't really affect it that much, but 10 days is just TOO much in addition to the time of year.  (Freakin' P.O.!!)  Anyway, what did make it was H. panchoi, H. siamica, H. flavida, and H. pallilimba.  I'm grateful some did make it.  I think I'm down to one or two of the ones I got from Epiphytica, which makes them very, VERY expensive!!

Well, we apparently have a big snow storm headed this way, so I'll have some time to add more to my blog on Thursday 'cuz I'm not plannin' on goin' ANYwhere!  We had a Lion's Club job schedule for Thursday night and they actually cancelled.  They told me they had never cancelled a meeting before, so apparently this storm has everyone spooked.  I mean, I think in most cases, they would have waited until the snow got here to cancel.  Even the schools are holding off on calling off classes as yet, even thought they're talking about a foot of snow!

So... more to come.  I will spend the next couple days hunting for new growth and taking some photos!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Rick Sheehy scandal... it's all over the news this week.  I'd heard of the guy (he's the Nebr. Lt. Governor) but just knew he was a politician.  Apparently, this numbnutz has been calling 4 different women (NOT his wife, of course) on his state issued cell phone.  They reported as "thousand of calls", but when you look at the numbers they give, it works out to about 1.6 calls a day over the last 4 years.  I had to put my comments and observations down about this 'cuz I think they're making it sound like this guy commited a heinous act of violence rather than just being just another dumb man who has been led astray by his penis...

First of all, I don't think 1.6 calls a day is a horrible violation of trust to the people of Nebraska.  It IS a horrible violation of trust to his wife and family, but I don't feel THAT is any of our business.  Does it affect his job?  Probably not, unless he's truly as stupid as this moronic move was.  All the dumb-ass had to do was maintain his OWN cell service with which to conduct his smarmy affairs... That does make him SEEM stupid, but again, guys who let their man-part rule their lives do stupid things in spite of (sometimes) NOT being stupid people...

Do these sort of stupid things that politicians do warrant them "resigning" (i.e., being fired)?  I don't think the acts themselves do.  If the guy was single and was (as my husband says) a "horndog", I doubt anyone would give it a second glance.  What makes it smarmy and disgusting is that he's been married for 29 years.  If you're bored, dude, divorce your damn wife and do what you like.  But don't f*@k around and then go home and reap the benefits of a loving wife.  THAT makes him a real scumbag.  But in spite of all that, he could still be a damn good Lt. Gov.  So IMHO, no, I don't think it necessarily warrants being fired.  Of course, I understand that he was on the road to being the Gov. in 2014, and THAT would be unlikely after all this, simply because Americans, and especially Midwesterners, feel it's their right (do I dare say obligation?) to be the morality police in everyone else's lives.

My intent isn't to defend this guy, but just to point out that the media is like a pitbull when they get a whiff of someone in the public eye who's screwing up.  I don't think it has one thing at ALL to do with giving the public information they NEED to know - it's about the almighty story, the juicier, the better.  The don't care who they hurt in the pursuit of the story.  Think about Sheehy's wife and children... The lady apparently filed for divorce last summer, so she probably already knew he was up to no good.  She may be a decent person who, in the name of saving her husband's reputation with the public and his children, never let this ugly cat out of the bag.  But now they all have to not only deal with this public humiliation, but I'm betting the media is on all their doorsteps wanting that tearful or angry reaction for their headlines and news spots.  It's as disgusting and as ugly as the bad act itself...

Anyway, 'nuff of that!!

So on to a quick review of my trip out to Wes's.  I haven't taken a real vacation in God-knows how many years.  We were trying to figure out the last time I went to Indy to visit Wes & Sally... I finally figured it out by going back into this very blog to find comments about my trip and it was April of 2006.  Yikes!  I'm such a BAD sister!  I thank my lucky stars that Wes is able to come back at least once a year, twice a year some years.  I'm such a terrible traveler - true to form, the day we left a cold was brooding in my head.  A little soreness in my throat, a lot of drainage, an annoying cough.  I went armed with my Cold-Ease spray, Cold Calm (a natural remedy), lots of cough drops...  Thankfully, it was short-lived and not terrible, other than the hacking.  I had a couple days where I felt crummy mostly just in my head - it never settled in my chest, thankfully.  And then I felt mostly fine, just had to deal with the annoying cough.

But moving away from that one negative aspect, it was great just to hang out with Wes and Sally.  We didn't really do much - went to the casino and out to supper one night - but that's what a relaxing vacation is about... just hanging out and taking it easy.  Wes is such a neatnik!  It was like living with a live-in maid.  I don't know how he does it and I wish I could "catch" some of his ambition to keep things in their place all the time.  I came home and ordered an organization "tower" that's essentially stacked little basket drawers.  I plan to put it where my second printer sits - it's on a table that came with my desk with an open bottom so everything down there looks sloppy.  This will get me started in organizing things to look less messy.  Wes has inpired me!  And I plan to start cleaning out closets and tossing a lot of SHIT!  He's a good influence on me!  LOL!

Anyway, so Mom and I flew out there - I was a little nervous.  I hadn't flown since (believe it or not!) 1994.  After 9/11, I didn't think I'd EVER fly again.  That scared the crap out of me.  Even now, I resisted the idea of flying.  First, we talked about driving - it's about a 12 hour drive, and in the past, we've usually driven to Peoria, stayed over night, then finished the trip the next day.  Then we talked about taking the train - I did that once before and I really enjoyed it.  But that's an 18 hour trip.  So either of those would have added about a day and a half on each end of the trip, which either means shortening the time there or extending how long we were gone.  Well, longer gone had me a little worried because of my plants - I was sure 10 days away would result in some losses.  So I finally decided to bite the bullet and deal with flying.  And I'm glad I did.  I really, REALLY enjoyed the flight out - it was fairly clear most of the way and I enjoyed the scenery and wasn't bothered much at all by the turbulance, which wasn't too bad.  Coming back, it was cloudy the whole way, so it wasn't as enjoyable, but it was still very ok.  It's nice to know I'm past the fear I had for so many years after 9/11...

As it turned out, it was cold and dreary the whole time I was gone, so all my plants were just fine.  I had put the small Hoyas in domes since those were the most likely to get too dry while I was gone and those were all still very moist the day I got home. 

Today, I plan to e-mail Joni and let her know what I plan to order around the beginning of March, and let her know what I lost in the last order.  She said she would replace what she could, and I really appreciate that she has made that offer.  It wasn't her fault that the P.O. had the box 10 freakin' days, so it's a really generous offer.

I'm trying to clean up my Hoya list - I've found a couple things that I have that AREN'T on the list, and I'm pretty sure I'll end up taking several off the list that I've lost.  That's going to be my goal as I clean up, inventory and get ready for spring.

Well, I'd better get moving.  More another day!