Super (?) Blooms

My brother-in-law has a green thumb. The last time I went to visit, he had one geranium in a big pot and it had at least 20 flower heads on it. No exaggeration – for real. I asked him what his secret was and he said #1 he’s got a lot of time on his hands to water and #2 he uses an organic fertilizer called Bloom.

So I went looking around for it and came across SuperBloom which is a Scott’s product and made entirely of lab-created chemicals. BUT it’s doing wonders for the plant growth and flower bud count. The lovely hibiscus that I let freeze and wither to 4 short bare sticks over our 8-day winter in NE Florida not only recovered but is thriving and loaded with buds.

The Birds of paradise are another story. I don’t want to get overly excited but I think one of the them is sending up a flower shoot. Maybe not, though. The Birds are reacting strangely to the fertilizer.  That same plant has now produced a Siamese leaf stem and both of them are sending up red spines instead of the customary white they’ve been making all along. Coincidence or Nuclear Power Plant Run-off effect?

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strange birds

That’s not going to stop me from using the stuff. I was raised in the age of Better Living Thru Chemistry  and figure that by now my body composition is 50% toxic chemicals anyway. And I’m not going to eat the things for heaven’s sake.

In other garden news, I created a very satisfying diorama featuring a resin sea gull. Truth. I memorialized it on Instagram.diaorama

This week I noticed that the carefully arranged sea shells were scattered and turned over. I blamed the guy who loaded that bed with mulch – until I caught the dog in the act of licking them and trying to make off with an oyster shell. He bashed his way through the ornamental grass to do it and I told him no so he left. The next time I saw him there, he sneaked in from the side behind the grasses. Odd,  because I scrubbed the oyster shells and let them dry in the sun for 3 weeks before I put them out, and the clam and scallop shells are from last year. How could they still be tasty?

My dog is good dog but still – he’s a dog. The lure of food in the wild is stronger than his desire to please me. He’s not going to win this one, though.



The Business Travel Blues

I’m headed to Denver at the end of the month.

sw sLove the Jacksonville International Airport but not too thrilled with the limited number of non-stops that fly in and out of there. I finally discovered that Southwest has one non-stop daily to Denver and back so that’s my go-to airline now. (I was totally wrong about their customer service, which is wonderful and fear about their treatment of overweight people, which has not been an issue for me … yet). Also, love their heart-shaped cocktail stirrer. Would be better if they could put a little booze into their $5 G&Ts but I guess you can’t have everything.

Denver is a big convention town so aside from the constant flood of business travelers clogging up the hotels, when a convention is in town you are lucky to get a room at all in the downtown area. I suppose in light of that fact that I shouldn’t complain about the PETITE ONE DOUBLE-COZYBATHRM-NO VIEW booking that my corporate travel department came up with but I am kind of dreading this. I’ve been to this boutique hotel before in a regular room with a queen bed in it and I could hardly roll the desk chair back enough before it hit the side of the bed.

I guess I’d better pack light 😦



Who Among Us Doesn’t Like A Good Trash-To-Treasure Story?

I wish I could convey to you the mesmerizing sparkle of Rustoleum’s Metallic Vintage Copper Spray paint. You can get a hint of it in this photo but in person, its hypnotic. I think so anyway. Although my opinion might be influenced by the fumes.

This was a great Craigslist find. It’s got the retro design elements that I love, matches two steel mesh tables I already have (one painted the same; one still dull black and awaiting its turn to be sparkled) and it’s the right size for this corner. It does kind of spoil the quasi-mid century vibe I had going on out there but I am what I am and what I am is not a purist. You can see how rusty it was but you cant really tell that the back is not entirely straight and the top two shelves lean slightly forward. But for my purposes, it’s fine. And my purposes are to load it up with plants and tasteful accessories and a minimal amount of utilitarian objects.

When Sami saw the finished product , he thought the coloring was too dull and didn’t have enough contrast compared to the wall color. I had to remind him that my decorating strategy is to have a decor foundation as bland as possible so that when I inevitably go overboard with the doodads,  the base will fade way and the oddities will be showcased. And then I begged him to stop me from putting things on the shelves for at least a week so the many layers of primer and top coat can properly cure.


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This is only what I couldn’t help accumulating in only 2 days. I have two more Talavera planters to add and some nice little battery operated tealights and 3″ tall mason jars to put them into. It was all I could do to hold back from buying a few mini-gnomes but I did manage to resist that impulse. Somewhere along the line, I have to fit in a wire basket of suntan lotion and bug sprays, plus a waterproof container for the outdoor ceiling fan remote control. Maybe I can hide those behind a chicken.