Grandson Miles June 2015

Helping to Pack

Fun with Dad

Terrariums and Succulents

I bought these beautiful succulents hoping to plant them in my terrarium.  They were the smallest plants the store had, small enough to fit.  When I looked for advice on the web about terrariums and succulents I learned that you can do it but it's not such a good idea.  I know I should have done more research before buying the plants.  I was just too eager to get started.

I learned the reason why succulents are not so good in terrariums is because they require a dryer atmosphere with air circulation.  The terrarium is damp and closed in.  If I use the succulents it might still work out, at least for several months.  But I want a longer life without watching the plants die.

I fell in love with these plants and did not have the heart to return them. Besides, they only cost about three dollars each.  

While I was at the store I bought a bag of colorful stones for the bottom of the glass container.  This will be a place for the water to drain.  I bought activated charcoal to keep the terrarium fresh.  The same activated charcoal that's used in swimming pools.
On the box:
"Removes heavy metals, odors, discoloration, organic contaminants."

I also bought some gravel to put on the soil between the plants for an attractive appearance.

A few sites suggested putting small decorative figurines.  As long as it doesn't look silly I might try it.  One site had a tiny plastic cow in the terrarium!  That's not for me. 

Now what am I supposed to do with these great looking plants?
I'm going to put them in regular pots while I look for plants better suited to terrariums.

I'll let you know how things are working out.  I need to clean out some old flower pots to make new homes for the plants.

Starting a Terrarium

My brother-in-law gave my wife a beautiful flower arrangement, which came in a nicely shaped glass container.  It was for mother's day.  It's perfect for a terrarium, so I want to give it a try.  I found an ideal place for it on my desk.

The image above is from the net.  Looks like there are too many plants crowded into a small space but I'm sure it's just for demonstration.

Here's my container:

It's not very large, just over 6 inches tall and 4 inches wide at the bottom and top to 6 inches at the widest:

When it's finished I'll place it near the clock on my desk somewhere:

I found these directions:
But how do I find plants I like that are small enough and won't grow too much? That's the hard part.
Maybe I'll have to try something on this photo:

To me they all look too large to fit.  Maybe it will be better to use only one plant or even smaller plants than the ones in the photo.  I'll have to keep looking. In the meantime I'll setup the container.

First Day of Summer Bunny 2015

Time for breakfast.  He's a good bunny, never eats the flowers.

Here's another view.

Lilly Planted Itself Behind Poker Plants

Lynette is sure she did not plant this Lily behind the Poker plants.  Maybe it was the wind carrying the seeds.  Maybe it was a squirrel.

Desiderata Copy with Faded Writing

While looking through some old boxes, putting things in order, I found this old copy of the Desiderata.

"Desiderata (Latin: "desired things") is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann. Largely unknown in the author's lifetime, the text became widely known after its use in a devotional and after spoken-word recordings in 1971 and 1972."    ~Wikipedia

It must have made a strong impression on me because it's been in the box for over 30 years.  It still has great meaning for me.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,

be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,

for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Now if you look closely at the top left hand corner of my copy, you will see faded blue ink stained words.  I'm trying to figure out what they say.

From the back view:

It's a mystery!

Forced to Replant My Baby "Tree"

Yesterday my wife Lynette planted flowers in the pot I had planted my baby tree. I found it on the ground before she could sweep it away and planted it back in the flower pot.  I hope it still has a chance.

A Baby Tree?

I found this plant growing in one of my empty pots.  Last year I found the same type of plant growing in a crack between the bricks of my front stoop.  I made the mistake of trying to transplant it into a pot.  It wilted and died.

Notice the three clover plants in the background on the right side.  I didn't notice them until I transferred the photo to this post.  They'er beautiful.

The plant is only about two and a half inches tall.

This time I'm going to leave it alone and see what happens.

Sunflower Plants 2015

Usually I plant tomatoes, sometimes zucchini and cucumbers.  This year just after my back surgery for the second time and spending the month of March in the hospital with acute respiratory failure, meningitis, anemia, etc.; I was just not up to gardening.  Hopefully next year will be different.

My wife Lynette planted sunflower seeds to fill up the empty space in the vegetable garden.  At first the birds would eat the seeds as soon as she planted them.  So she used a wire screen to cover the ground until the plants sprouted.

I'll write a post when they bloom.

Backyard Concrete Table and Chairs

We don't sit there anymore; not sure why.  Someday I'll have to use them again.  They look good under the trees.

Here's a handsome spider outside my back door.  I wonder if it's poisonous.


I woke at 6 AM today without the alarm. Usually I get up at 7:30.  This makes it 6 and a half hours of sleep instead of the usual 8 hours.
Falling asleep is no problem for me and I take a half hour nap in the afternoon.

To decide if I should always get up at 6 AM or go back to getting up at 7:30; I checked  the web for information.

On the the web I found this table:

Eight hours seems to be a midpoint.  Now if I set the alarm to 7 AM I'll get 7 and a half hours of sleep.  If I set it at 7:30 I'll get 8 hours.

I'm going to leave the alarm set to 7:30 but if I get up before the alarm I'll stay up.  This will make it 8 hours or less sleep.

Sometimes I get a little compulsive.

Indoor Apple Tree Progress #3

This morning when I checked the apple seed pot I saw 3 small growths of what I thought were sprouts.  They were tiny mushrooms!  They were growing right where I had planted the seeds.  Does this mean the seeds are dead?

Here is a closeup.  

When I first saw them they were standing erect.  After breakfast I took these photos.  They had all fallen over.

Later, in the afternoon I saw they had all withered and died.  So maybe my apple seeds still have a chance.  I'll have to wait and see.


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