Dogs and plants

These are the two things that keep us busy these days.

Gimme dat stick
Pyrrha and Rainer (foster).

Dogs in the yard on Sunday

Handsome Rainer
Handsome Rainer is looking for a home! Tell everyone you know!
Guion tending to his hops
Guion tends to his hops.
Kiwi vine is really thriving
Kiwi is monstrous and thriving. But still no kiwi.
Lemon tree
Lemon tree is slowly growing and starting to blossom.
Anniversary peonies from the neighbors
Peonies for our anniversary, from the neighbors.
Pilea cadierei
Pilea cadierei (aluminum plant).
Crassula ovata
Crassula ovata (jade plant) on the kitchen table.
Succulent friends on the organ
Succulents on the organ.

What’s been occupying your life this summer*? (I’m calling it “summer” now because it’s been 85–90°F every day this past week.)

Houseplant explosion

So, I went a little crazy with houseplants this weekend. I kind of went wild at Fifth Season. Here are the recent acquisitions:

Snake plant
Snake plant.

Sansevieria trifasciata

When I read that the snake plant (aka mother-in-law’s tongue) is a virtually indestructible organism, I put it first on my list. Apparently, this striking dude can live with little light and infrequent watering. It also shouldn’t be repotted for at least two to three years. One care guide I read said the most important thing to remember with snake plants is restraint; overwatering will kill it faster than anything else. Here’s to hoping that it will live forever! (I also really love the orange ombre pot I found for it at Fifth Season.)

Golden spike moss
Golden spike moss.

Selaginella kraussiana “aurea”

I wasn’t planning on acquiring this little guy, but he was so light and green and fresh-looking. Mosses like humidity, of which our little house has plenty, so I hope he will thrive on the console table. Mosses also tend to do well in shallow containers, and we have these beautiful aqua bowls (which Guion finds impractical) that serve the purpose perfectly.

Arboricola luseane
Luseane arboricola (schefflera).


Also known as an umbrella plant, this guy is in the schefflera family and is most popular among bonsai enthusiasts. It is apparently easy to grow and doesn’t have many finicky requirements to grow. I have it sitting on top of our wardrobe in our bedroom. I want to keep an eye on this one, however, for fear that it may not get enough light throughout the day.

Succulent in studio.
Succulent trio
Succulent trio on table.
Succulent close up


I really love succulents. They always look so healthy and happy to me. I kept a few alive for a while last year, but then I neglected them and they shriveled up. So, they aren’t entirely no-maintenance plants. Again, overwatering is a great sin. I am a little concerned about drainage for these dudes and may need to repot the larger one in the bowl, for fear that there aren’t enough small rocks in there.

Thanks to the instructions from this great website on succulents, I am also attempting to propagate succulents from leaf cuttings.

First attempt at succulent propagation
First attempt to propagate succulents.

Looking forward to seeing if this will be successful!

Lemon tree
Meyer lemon tree. (We have since bought a proper stand for it, which will allow for drainage.)

Citrus × meyeri

I have been wanting a lemon tree for a while, and we finally decided to get on. The lemon tree will reside in the living room, where I believe it will get a nice amount of bright light (without being too hot or direct). I still need to read more about how to encourage them to propagate and how to handle the blooms, but I am particularly looking forward to nurturing this guy. Have you ever tried to grow citrus indoors?

Orchid (phal)
Moth orchid.
Orchid closeup
Moth orchid.


I have always loved orchids; I can rarely pass them up. I got this spotted beauty from Trader Joe’s actually. Orchids are one of the few plants I have had success with in the past. Granddad once gave me one that I was able to keep a live for a year and get to rebloom. It died after the second blooming, but I am hoping to try my luck again. The orchid lives in the bathroom, because of its great love for humidity.

Geranium and seedlings
Citronella geranium and Guion’s seedlings.
Citronella geranium
Citronella geranium.

Citrosa geranium

I was suckered into buying this citronella-scented geranium, which fits nicely on the table in the sunroom. I also love how very difficult it is to kill geraniums. I have kept them alive, with very little attention, for months at a time.

So. Now. Let the research begin! I have a lot to learn about indoor gardening and houseplant propagation.

Monday Snax

Kelsey is turning 21 on Thursday! Happy birthday, Kels. I love you and this picture.

Guion and I had a good chat on Saturday morning at Panera about how these are the Best Days of Our Young Lives and how we don’t want a baby in at least five to six years. Good to establish these things early.

When I’m up at 6, still shaking off my barrage of vivid dreams, the first actual thought in my head is, “I have GOT to go to bed earlier.”

This weekend, Mom booked a room for all of us family women at this resort in the Meadows of Dan (the most dramatic name for a town ever). We’re celebrating Kelsey’s 21st birthday and I can’t wait! So excited. We’re going to try to get Mom tipsy, do lots of yoga with The Teacher, and probably watch “Little House on the Prairie” re-runs, while Mom reminds us, “I learned everything I know about parenting from this show.”

All I can think about are the winter holidays! All!

Snax in a brown paper bag with googly eyes:

Feedback from James Joyce’s Submission of Ulysses to His Creative-Writing Workshop. I have to credit my genius spouse with this one; he sent it to me as a consideration for Snax publication. Definitely merits the attention. “Kick-ass work, JJ, but way too long. Have you considered turning this into a short-short?” (McSweeney’s)

40 Things You Didn’t Know About Tina Fey. For instance: Her first name is actually Elizabeth, and she is a UVA graduate! I asked some UVA grads the other day to name some famous alums–besides Edgar Allan Poe–and they couldn’t come up with any. Tina Freakin’ Fey went to your school! You should know this! I love this woman. (Flavorwire)

Hard to Kill: Houseplants for the Inept. I love taking care of living things, whether they are betta fish or plants. We have a few plants surviving in our little home, so it was nice to read this article about other organisms that are fairly hardy. I’m all about the orchid; we have one that’s still going strong, even though it dropped its petals months ago. I was actually able to get my previous orchid to bloom again after a full year of hibernation. (New York Times)

A Livable Bento Box. I know most of my links pertain to Japan or the Japanese, but I can’t help it! I love them so much. This house is so sleek and minimalistic. I don’t know if I’d actually like to live there, but one can certainly admire this family’s peaceful architecture. (New York Times)

Living In: Breathless. We had a showing of this charming, iconic Godard film at our house a few weeks ago. Everyone loved it! All of the women wanted to go out and get her hair cut. (Design Sponge)

The House of Fake. People dress up and act out famous paintings! This is always fun to me. Makes me think of Arrested Development, too. “THERE IS NO GOD!” (Miss Moss)

Pretty Girls and Floral Paint. Enchanting little paintings. (Design for Mankind)

Women Reading. Last year, my grandmother bought me a beautiful day planner that contained paintings of women reading. I saved almost all of the paintings and have tacked them up in various places (like in my cubicle at work!). There are lots of images of women with books, and this is just a small collection of them. (Where the Lovely Things Are)

The Impatient Pirate of Cornelia Street. I really want to know what was in that chest… I love the continued exchange, too. (Passive-Aggressive Notes)

Sarah Palin Is in a Fight With a Wall Street Journal Economics Reporter About Economics. Because, well, I just feel like sometimes no one realizes how purely idiotic this woman is. Stupid people get WAY too much attention in modern American politics. Way too much. (Daily Intel)

Eight Things That May Have Caused George W. Bush to Make This Expression. I have no idea, but I love the suggestions! What’s your guess? (Daily Intel)