Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love Thursday: Hoya of Love

A day or two ago, I went to check on my hoyas to see if they needed watering yet and found these two lovebirds intertwined. I'll be re-training them onto their own hoops soon, but thought I'd let them visit for awhile, first.

My love affair with hoyas began a few years back, when I came across this website. Like dahlias, hoyas have seemingly infinite cultivars and I was thrilled when my sister Lisa brought me a rooted cutting from my paternal grandmother's "Jesus Tear's" plant. It was, in fact, a hoya. Not long after (two winters ago), Lee and I joined together to meet the $20.00 minimum order from this site. We were beyond sick of the cold MN weather, and by February I felt crazy, dreaming of the gardens that lay frozen beneath the snow. Indoor plants would have to tide me over and see me through!

When the cuttings arrived, we were delighted to find that Mr. Smoley had sent an average of 4 cuttings per plant. EVERY CUTTING ROOTED. In fact, I even successfully rooted two leaves that we trimmed from the Hoya fungii Lisa had ordered! My only disappointment was that a substitution had been made for the hoya I'd wanted most (hoya diptera). I would later hunt this cultivar down and pay a small fortune in shipping to get a gorgeous specimen from Rob's Violet Barn. I now have eight hoya plants, coiled and reaching toward the sun that streams through the picture window in our living room.

Hoyas take several years to develop before they'll bloom. Lisa's plant from my grandmother just started to put out peduncles (clusters) of pretty white flowers in the last month, and I'm taking it as a sign that maybe next spring...fingers crossed, anyway! In the meantime, here's a lovey song for you:

Get a playlist!

Happy Love Thursday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Fun With Mud

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dear Lawn, Please Die

It is spring, and my tulips are finishing their beautiful display. My peonies are starting to bow their heavy heads as the buds swell and ants dance in ecstasy, anticipating the feast of nectar bloom will bring. My columbine have opened, and sway toward one another like the pretty little busybodies they are and my dahlias are green and strong, renewing acquaintance with The Dahlia Jungle. So why am I showing you dandelions? Because they're ALL I CAN SEE!!! Because no amount of Weed and Feed has made a damn bit of difference. Because my pretty gardens just look trashy alongside the Yard From Hell. I dream of replacing the front lawn with a pretty groundcover...but for the work, and the cost...Feh.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spin Cycle: Take This Kitteh And Call Me In Da Morning

Dude! I wrote about our menagerie when I first started this blog-can you say, "Repost!"?

(Originally posted Saturday, September 27, 2008)

My husband and I, being of sound mind and body, decided not long ago that we were done having pets. After all, we only had one adult cat who, being a very independent sort, wasn't much trouble at all; he would eventually age and die and then we would be done with the muss and fuss that pets add to your life! We agreed, "After Domino, no more pets!" (Can you guess where this is going?)

Immediately, we were tested. My mother called, asking sweetly whether or not she could get our daughter a kitten for an upcoming birthday. I wavered . (It would make Sissy so happy!) My husband held firm, I remembered our pact and agreed. Our verdict? No kitten.

All went well until my girl's birthday party. It was a great party. However, during said party, our dear friend Doug brought my husband a hedgehog, of all things, that Doug's brother had recently abandoned. My reaction? "Well that's just fine! Are you serious? You say yes to a hedgehog, but no to a kitten?!" "But I've always wanted a hedgehog!" "I've known you for 15 years, and you've never once said that you wanted a hedgehog!" "Well, I did (secretly want one)." "That sucks, Dude!" (Yes, occasionally I actually do talk that way.) "Fine, whatever, Winter can have a kitten." I knew that he didn't mean it, but I was feeling vengeful, so I told my mom.

Back at the ranch, I was having problems of my own. See, a few years ago I had a dog named Rocky ("Rock" for short). He was too big and too sassy and technically my daughter's dog, but I loved him. I was heartbroken when we had to find a new home for him, and something about the autumn air was making me really miss my dog. I started stalking schnoodles and mini-dachshunds online, knowing that their temperaments and size would be a much better fit for our family. I began lingering in dog food aisles at Cub and Target. I wasn't serious, though. I mean, it's not like I had several hundred dollars laying around to drop on a dog. It would be the height of selfish irresponsibility to just get myself a dog when I could barely handle my current responsibilities, right? Right?!

Enter indulgent husband, stage left. Unbeknownst to me, he was aware that I was pining. When my sis came over for a visit, he asked her to watch the kids so that he could steal me away for lunch. We were barely out of the driveway when he said, "Wanna go buy a dog?" I immediately confessed that I'd really been wanting one, and agonizing over the idea. He replied, "I know." I explained that I wanted to show him some of the breeders websites that I'd found online (our humane society had no small dogs available, and I didn't want to perpetuate puppy mills by buying from a pet shop.) Once home, I hopped online and within hours had found the dog that I wanted: a one-year-old female isabella and tan double dapple miniature dachshund, listed for a small fraction of what it would cost for a puppy from the same breeder. In a flurry of phone calls and emails and Paypal transactions I made her mine. My mother had been kind enough to agree to go get her for me, and the next day my new dog Katie joined the household.

Did you forget about the kitten? 'Cause my mom didn't! She was tirelessly searching Freecycle and Craig's List with the sole purpose of finding her granddaughter The Perfect Kitten. After emailing me several possibilities, she found it: a pure white kitten, the likes of which my daughter has been dreaming of ever since she saw The Aristocats at age four. I now had a conundrum: how did I push my luck and get my husband to allow the kitten? I considered just picking it up and springing it on him. I considered lying and saying that we found it all alone...somewhere. In the end, I realised that I couldn't lie to him and 'fessed up. "Honey, you know how my mom called? She was wondering if she could steal Sissy and I away for a little while tomorrow, or maybe just Sissy..." "Sure, what're you guys gonna go do?" "Well, see, here's the thing..." Suddenly I had his full attention, shrewd eyes appraising mine. "I was trying to find a way to tell you, but..." "Just tell me, Ange." So I did. The thing about my husband is that he's mercurial. A very laid back guy with a hot temper, so it's always a crap shoot as to how he'll feel about something. His response when I came clean about kitten machinations? A roll of the eyes, a rueful smile, and, "What's one more at this point? Let her have the kitten!" (He also referenced Animal House.) My mom got my girl the kitten, and my daughter lovingly agreed to "share" with her brother, naming the fluffball Snowbelle Callista Pearl Mohn.

So, in review: over the course of less than two months, the couple who agreed, "No more pets" has added a hedgehog, a dog and a kitten to the mix, quadrupling the amount of pet mouths to feed. We've also agreed that we are done having children.

Aaaand, just because I love this number:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What You Want (Baby, I Got It!)

Five weeks ago, my bloggy pal Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie nominated me for this loverly award. (Thank you, Ginny!) Clearly, I have lost my freaking mind, because I am just now putting it on my blog. Isn't it refreshing and springy? I think so, too.

Apparently, there are rules that accompany this tart little beauty:

1)Post the logo on your blog.
2)Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.
3)Link to the nominees within your blog post.
4)Notify the recipients of the award by commenting on their blog.
5)Share the love and link back to the person from whom you received your award.

(And) the nominees are:

1) Krissy at Thinking of Blue
2) Jan at Jan's Place
3) K at Interstitial Life
4) LiLu at Livit, Luvit
5) Heather at Geez Louize !!!
6) FoN at Kids and Daiquiris
7) Alisha at For Tuesday
8) Ronda at Ronda's Rants
9) Carebear at Beauty and the Little Beast
10) Becca at Turtle Trax Too

Then I was given THIS coolin' award by that sweetheart Krissy over at Thinking of Blue:

Thank you, Krissy! I'm passing it on to:

1) Bex over at Adventures of the Grigg boys
2) Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie
3) Jen at coconut belly
4) Tiffany at My Random Wisdom
5) Mrs. Bear at Outnumbered Two To One

(No paperwork girls, just enjoy it!)

(And) then, because good things come in threes, my pal Bex over at Adventures of the Grigg boys gave me this:

Thanks, Bex! THIS award DOES come with paperwork (and is totally worth it!) -

I (You) must write a post bragging about it, (which will be very easy for me to do!!) and include the AWESOME person who thought I (you) deserved such an honor and link back to said person so everyone knows he or she is real. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven (7) friends.Show the seven (7) random victims’ names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog.” Well, there’s no prize, really, but they can keep the nifty icon. Next, in your blog, list at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on! (Disclaimer, I copied this from Bex who copied this from Laufa who copied this from Shopgirl, hehe. Yes, I even copied the hehe.)

Do You See?! Do you see how cool my pals are?! "Go, A! It's yo birthday! 'Cause you da shiz-nat!" Sufficiently braggy?! I should hope so! Before I break into a rendition of Billy Joel's "Honesty", I'd like to pass this red rectangle of awesomeness to:

1)Just A Chic at It Is What It Is
2)TuTu's Bliss
3)Robin at Love Ya, Mean it!
4)Mrs. Jelly Belly
5)Beth at What I Should Have Said
6)Lori at My Life Interrupted
7)Shalee at Sometimes It's Good To Be Speechless

What?! You're still here?! Srsly?! Fine. 10 honest things about myself:

1) When all else fails, I am not above manipulating my husband and bribing my children to get my way.
2) I have decided that I prefer a cute, spoiled Katie to an obedient Katie. My theory is that making her "sit" is stoopid when you have to double-check whether she's up or down because she's so damn close to the ground.
3) I am really mad at my mom right now, and I don't know how to fix that. I don't want an apology (I know that she didn't mean me harm) and I can't turn back time, so what do I want? What?! I don't know.
4) I will spend the rest of my life trying to be like my Nana and failing. I will never be the great lady she was, but I can strive to make her proud.
5) I am The Greatest Procrastinator Of All Time. If this post doesn't prove it, I don't know what could!
6) I gave Jesse my lighters and put my cigarettes in the freezer...and have been sneaking them ever since, lighting them with the lighter for the grill.
7) I don't actually remember the last time that I wore makeup.
8) I left a bag of M&M's on the floor at my feet and my toddler just dug in, crowing, "NemNem's!" I'm not going to take them away from him...and it's almost dinnertime.
9) I balanced my checkbook today and cringed. We are experiencing what Suze Orman calls a "temporary cash flow problem." Ick.
10) I was listening to a Barbra Streisand cd in the car that my husband just gave me recently, and the song "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard caught me completely off guard. Suddenly I was crying so hard that I had to pull over. Apparently I really miss the theater.

Well, this was the longest most convoluted post EVER. Ah, well. La vie!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cinderella Flips the Bird

This morning I walked into the third ring of hell my kitchen and was dismayed to find that my deal with God (made last night during a strenuous prayer session) had not been successful. House elves had not been dispatched, the winning lottery ticket did not have my name on it, and Jason Mraz was not there making me coffee. (The good news is that all bets are off: I can run through red lights and take the Lord's name in vain to my heart's content.)

Anyways, as I was saying: My kitchen is was is filthy. June Cleaver would have a fucking heart attack. Martha would not approve. Neicy Nash would exclaim over my "foolishness!" So I said to myself, "We re-heally need to clean this dump!" I broke the job down into little, easily-managed pieces in my head...and then I went out and bought myself flowers instead. 'Cause I felt like it. 'Cause that's how I roll. 'Cause sometimes, it's all about me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quotable Sunday: Happy Mother's Day

"Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children."~William Makepeace Thackeray

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spin Cycle: Mea Culpa

"Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!"

This latin phrase from my childhood translates as, "My fault, my fault, my most grievous fault!" I don't know how it's used by other families, but in MY family it is ONLY used sarcastically. "You think that I made a mistake?! You must be mistaken!" "You're wrong for thinking I'm wrong, so that makes you wrong TWICE!" "Yeah?! Well, MEA CULPA!!!"

I've made thousands (and THOUSANDS) of mistakes! Pick a topic and I've botched it. Career, finances, health and *gasp* childrearing?! Check, check aaaand double-check! My greatest mistake(s), however, are the ones that are also currently causing me the most grief.

Growing up, it did not occur to me that I could go against my parent's wishes. Oh, I rebelled, but the idea of striking out on my own to pursue something that my parents had put "the kibosh" on just didn't register. This is hard to explain. Cases in point: My father refused to pay for my driving lessons and license until I was 18 years old. Did it occur to me to pony up my own cash and arrange rides and the use of a car?! Ummm, no. My mother offered to mail my college applications to NYU and Julliard and then DIDN'T. On PURPOSE. I did reapply on my own the next year, but my dad made too much money for me to get enough financing. (Colleges tend to mistakingly believe that teens automatically get money from their parents for college...not so, my friend.) My mother MOVED JESSE INTO MY BEDROOM. I came home one day, and there he was with a smile and a duffel bag. Oh, and I was dating someone else at the time.

Do I need to take responsibility for my own decisions (including the decision to take the easy road and let the manipulative actions of my loved ones stand?) YES. But that's not my biggest mistake. My biggest mistake has been allowing myself to be penned in. Being full of rage because the most important people in my life are FUCKING DIFFICULT. I've handled it badly. Leaving these people is not an option. Redrawing the lines between us is agonizing. I let myself be railroaded and I regret having put myself in a position where I have little personal freedom. I'm working on it.

For more mistakes, visit Jen over at Sprite's Keeper.