Thursday, November 17, 2011

#136 - Laughing at My Bloom

First, for my Tighten-It-Up-Thursday update...I am again on the losing trend of pounds down. The five pounds seems to finally be OFF! Five out of my twenty-five goal...twenty pounds more to go! Actually, I am on the verge of a six pound loss, but a couple of days it went up and down on the scale for that 6th pound, which is what usually happens before it disappears! I am on a roll. A slow roll, but it feels good, painless and solidly gone.


Now, for a few funny moments. I took a gander at Belle the Yorkie's paws as she laid on the stairs and I noticed how her paws blended in with the carpet color. Since she has caramel and white on part of her body, then grey and white on the other part, she almost partially blends in with the carpet. So, I looked at this picture and thought, "Where does the dog begin and end?" It made me smile.

Next, I have an absolute favorite pot with a weird Mexican plant in it sitting on my back porch. Well, it WAS sitting on my back porch a couple of weeks ago...until I noticed the chickens continually sitting inside the pot as they gazed inside the kitchen window harassing me. My lovely plant that had vines trailing down the side of the pot in a most unusual manner had been nearly picked to death by the chickens. So, I lugged the heavy pot inside the house and put it by my front door. At least it's safe from the chickens.

One thing I've learned about having chickens plant is safe from your chicken. They will destroy your gardens and eat all of your veggie plants. They don't touch my Rosemary or my Sweet Basil, but they eat the Bell Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers and everything else in between.

My rescued plant.
On my front porch, I have some plants that have been transplanted and cut and started anew in different pots...I do not know the name of most of my plants, but I sure do love them. This plant in the picture below is one that has been kept alive through the years through aforementioned methods, originally the plant was given to me by my grandmother, at least 15 years ago. It often has little side sprouts that I transplant into a new pot, so the goodness keeps on growing.

Well, you can see the Creepy Fig that I tried to transplant
into the pot last week, but it didn't make it.
For years, my front porch often would look sparse and filled with dead or dying plants. Most often, this was because I was too sick to think about taking care of plants and no one else in the house was inclined or free to do so either. Dealing with catastrophic illness in the family will zap you of your ability to think about anything other than trying to get through each day as it comes...plants and cleaning and other "fun" stuff becomes a luxury. Well, these days, I'm enjoying luxuries again! My plants are proof! Even through the horrible drought that Texas endured, my potted plants on the front porch thrived with my regular waterings.

I have a couple of plants where the seedlings failed, but I don't stop trying.

This past weekend, I asked Shaye to come to the side of the house with me to take pictures with an OLD Aloe Vera plant we've had for years and years. This is another "old" plant that came from a husband's Grandmother Esther. We've created many more Aloe Vera plants from the original plant and we are big-time into using the Aloe Vera for various remedies.

In my family, I grew up knowing how to expertly scrape out the pulp and use it as a healing, soothing skin solution. Later, I discovered that my Native American heritage had passed this knowledge down through new generations...without us even realizing where the skills had come from. My husband knew to use Aloe Vera for burns, but I taught him and my children how to scrape out the pulp to create a juice and to use the cutting down to the outer skin. I sure can make extended use out of one little "branch" of the plant.

Speaking of the gorgeous Aloe Vera plant that has taken an awful beating from the drought...last weekend, I asked Shaye, "Will you take a picture next to one of my favorite plants that has a beautiful bloom growing out of it?"

She yelled enthusiastically, "SURE!"

As she rounded the corner of the house and caught a glimpse of the plant, I think her mental image of the bloom was blown to pieces. Her disappointment and personal thoughts about my "bloom" is evident in her expression.

I could barely hold the camera still as I asked her to try to smell the pretty flower! I am soooo mean!! Clearly, she did NOT want to do any smelling of anything that looked this weird. So, she tried to fake her smelling I am barely able to stand upright from laughing so hard. At this point, I'm about to hit the driveway concrete and roll around in hysterics, at least my neighbors would have had something to talk about for the next week.

Then, I told her that she could be honest about the plant. An Aloe Vera plant is pretty amazing and I do think the bloom is beautiful, but we agreed that it wasn't exactly on the same level as a rose or a gardenia bloom. Her opinion was respected and safe. Cut loose Shaye! Tell me how you REALLY feel about this plant!

Truly, the camera can't even capture the gorgeous color of this bloom in the midst of my ugly pots full of weeds. Focus on the BLOOM!

This is a true diamond in the rough.

And I just love these fun moments with the kiddos. I believe her mental horizons about a blooming plant has just been majorly expanded after this past weekend with her aunt.

I think she'll be leery of any bloom unless she sees it for herself OR she might learn to appreciate different blooms, even if they don't have a traditional good-smelling, beautiful petal involved.

Maybe her next lesson over here will be a continuation on how to harvest the soothing pulp from the main parts of this amazing plant. Passing down generational knowledge is a treasure so many of us take forgranted. What are you passing down to the next generation that might be otherwise forgotten?

Really...I want to know...tell me what you are passing down.


LindaG said...

I didn't know that Aloe Vera bloomed.
Shaye is so funny. ;-)

Okay, I knew you could use Aloe Vera for burns. When will you share your knowledge of its other uses? :-)

Patrice said...

You should get that precious little dog a bandana or something so she'd be easier to see on the stairs. I'd be so afraid of not noticing her and accidentally stepping on her. She really blend into the carpet! Very cute dog!

I'm with the other commentor. I didn't know aloe vera bloomed.

Lana at said...

Linda --- I thought about doing a blog about the Aloe Vera pulp technique. It's been such a huge part of our lives to have many of these plants; I guess because we live in a Bay area with lots of water sports, beach days and outdoor moments with too much sun, it's been important to have Aloe Vera (the real thing) on hand. Even using the pulp to massage sore muscles is a relief.

Patrice --- It's funny you say that because my daughter, Stefie, does send little Belle to the groomer every few weeks and the last trip ended with her coming home with a yellow bandana around her CUTE! I did take pictures of her in the bandana and need to get them posted. She is a doll, but very fiesty! Smart, Smart, Smart dog. And, we keep the stairs blocked off on a daily basis with only a sheet of foam board leaning against the step; the dogs are only allowed upstairs on rare days, but the first two steps are not blocked and her favorite place is to lay on one of the steps, mostly because she's keenly listening for Stefie's movements upstairs and so she can also see the front door. But, she sure does blend in with that carpet! If I didn't have good light, I'd squish her. We're all kind of on the look-out for her since we know she loves to hang out on those two steps, but any visitor has to be warned because she does blend in too well with the carpet. I sure wish the carpet looked as pretty as her coat of hair!


Farming On Faith said...

Way to to go on your weight loss!
You go girl!

Lana at said...

Farming on Faith --- As we also say here in Texas...Muchas Gracias! Thank you very much!!