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!)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Let the GROWING begin!

I think we're in for an early spring.  I've been saying that for awhile.  Since about mid-December, I've seen flocks of geese flying north.  A week or 10 days ago, I drove to KC and on the way down, there were many HUGE flocks of geese coming north.  Now I pay close attention to the geese migrating - I'm a huge fan of birds in general, but especially BIG birds.  So I'm on the lookout for them always.  In years past, these heavy migrations usually start anywhere from early February to the first week or two of March.  I tend to trust that the geese "sense" when spring is on the way, and that's when they start moving back north.  They don't watch the calendar, they don't sit around saying, "Well, January and February tend to be the coldest months, so spring doesn't even start until March."  No, they have instincts that tell them when to come north.  I say these things to my fellow drivers and they just poo-pooh me.  Well, we'll just see...

Anyway, several of my plants are in agreement with the geese and are waking up and putting out new growth.  For example, the first Hoya I noticed with new growth is my aff. fischeriana, which is in the bathroom.  There it is, with a new vine and teeny-tiny new leaves forming!  Which got me watching some of my other plants as I water.  Yesterday, I took down my Gardino clone of merridithii x crassicaulis and found a new HUGE leaf.  Now this might have grown over the winter, so I won't say it's just come up proving new spring growth.  But then on examination, I found my VERY FIRST peduncle!  So here is the whole plant:
And here's a closeup of that giant leaf off to the right:
 And the sweet little peduncle, complete with itty-bitty buds popping!...
 Very exciting!  I've found several others that are starting to grow as well, but I was particularly excited to find pubicalyx 'Philippine Black' has THREE new growth points!!  Here are two...
See that tiny black leaf?  Then here's the tip of the plant:
Geez-louise!  Look at all the cat hair on that cloth!  Yikes!  This is a little handmade tablecloth sent to me from a plant friend in Turkey several years ago.  I put it on a little table next to the window where my cats perch to look outside.  It's in my dining room, and you can see my greenhouse out that window - if you take three more steps past that point, you're in the kitchen standing right in front of the GH door.  It's so funny... one cat will be perched on the little table, looking out and catches sight of one of the other cats out in the GH, and you'd think they didn't recognize that other cat!  The cat on the table will get downright antsy!  It is TOOO funny!

Started this yesterday (Sunday) and since I have to go to work this morning, I'll go ahead and "publish" it, and write more on my next plant day!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

One of my new favorite "quickie" meals...

Awhile back, I bought this package of thin personal-size pizza crusts:
The crust:
 I spread about 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce over the crust:
Then I cover the pesto with spinach leaves:
 Lookin' healthy, right?  Now I cover the spinach with my favorite toppings:
I put thin slices of mushroom, red onion, grape tomatoes quartered and green pepper, then about 3 tablespoons of feta cheese on top.  I bake this in a 425 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes, until the edges are a bit brown.  I slide it onto a wire rack for just a few minutes, which firms up the center of the crust a bit (baking it on a wire rack or on a pre-heated pizza stone would accomplish this, too... but bake it less time, I'm sure!)  I call this a Mediterranean pizza and it is to DIE for!  And it's not bad calorie-wise.  Crust: 150, pesto: 150, feta cheese 105, veggies: pretty much FREE.  Total:  405 calories and very satisfying.  Oh, I could probably eat two of them without batting an eye, but one is plenty for my tummy - it's just my MOUTH that wants more!  LOL!  It's very tasty!