About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Cheap, But Meaningful Gift to Oneself ~ I Love Learning New Things!

Beloved Dylan is drawn to plants and flowers. He has never met one he didn't like . . . to eat. Virginia Woolf became so impressed with his delight for greenery, she has become a chomper, too. It is truly the only perverse, wrongheaded behavior either of these cats commits, and it makes me unhappy. The result is that my home is devoid of plants. I get lovely light in the rooms due to the placement of the windows and I would have some beautiful growth in every room if I could. However, I gave up plants in the home after several episodes of green vomiting on my very light carpet. In my office, a second choice but a good one, I sport some truly remarkable specimens. Home dudes occasionally need to be reminded not to brush up against long, twining limbs and trailers: "Watch out for the plant, Homes!" I don't have a third choice place in which to enjoy plant life.

On a Sunday at Fresh & Easy, I treated myself to a bromeliad. These odd looking species range from the well known pineapple to large varieties that thrive outdoors to small, colorful, showy ones that only thrive indoors. My new purchase was all flashy pink, tightly overlapping leaf bases tucked in among long, curving, narrow green leaves. I always think the colorful stalks resemble a reptile's scales, many precisely interconnected pieces working together to cover the internal structure. I felt it was too cold to leave my bromeliad in the car overnight, so I carried it inside on my first trip from the car. I'm nobody's fool. I put that plant on the top of the entertainment center amongst many other items ~ they wouldn't notice it for just a moment. They'd be far more interested in the rustling grocery bags and the smell of the guacamole and shepherd's pie and cucumbers. I returned to the car for the last load and trudged back inside, arms overloaded. I wasn't even completely across the threshold when I spotted two furry creatures at the top of the entertainment center, shooting furtive looks across their shoulders and . . . . chomping. Heartbreak. I was only gone a moment. Those plants are comparatively pricey, too.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. I always stop to look at the plants and flowers when I enter Fresh & Easy. What? The bromeliads were still on the shelves, but on sale for $2.10! Hmmm . . . OK, well that makes sense. They'd been there for awhile. Some of the leaves were broken or scarred, and I wouldn't have taken some of those plants for free, but I poked around the gathered offerings and came up with a pretty nice replacement for my pink and green beauty. It had an odd, deep purple, microscopic flag protruding from between two of the "scales". I wasn't sure what that was all about, but it was easily plucked off. When I entered my home, I immediately put that plant in the coat closet at the front door. Hey, I may be too trusting at times, but I'm not stupid. That night I served dinner to a friend. I opened the coat closet and said, "See what I found!" He looked a little startled and quipped, "I don't think it's going to thrive in there, Les, even if it is a plant that will tolerate low light." "You goon, you know it's going to the office with me in the morning!"

The bromeliad has sat on the corner of my desk for a week, pleasing me a great deal. I like to water it, pouring the liquid into its middle where all the leaves and the stalk converge to make a cup. It would seem I chose a location where this plant believes the lighting to be perfect, and it surely attracts attention from visitors to my queendom. "What in the world is it?!" Midweek I noticed some odd, deep purple, microscopic dots protruding from between some of the "scales". Yesterday, when I arrived for work:

Who knew? A flower!

Today when I arrived for work ▬ ▬ ▬ ►

It puts me in mind of a little girl with her hair in pigtails high on her head. And there is promise of more purple flowers to come! Odd, deep purple, microscopic dots protruding from between some of the "scales", indeed! Yesterday I e-mailed the photo of the first flower. "Ha! Look at that!" came the reply. This morning I e-mailed the picture of the twin flowers. He responded, "I always thought that pink spike was the flower." I always did, too. I love learning new things! And down below, the reader likely thinks I'm going to say those purple flowers are what charmed me.

In my ears right now:

Let's play Twister, let's play Risk, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
See you in heaven if you make the list, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Something that charmed me: My desk lizards charm me. Oh, come on, reader. You knew that! For I am the Queen of the Reptiles and I am feeling far more frisky than I have in awhile. She's ba-a-a-a-ack!

Photo credit for the lovely Virginia Woolf:
J. D. Morehouse


  1. Love the song, love your happy pink background...that flower is amazing...

  2. @ Jenny ~ Hi, and welcome aboard my bus. I thank you for your comments! Fair warning: I'm not always up and bubbly, but I do my best, and when I falter, I struggle back up. I'll soon check you blog(s). How did you happen to land on me? I'm always curious about that.

  3. That is a gorgeous plant. I wonder if it tastes like Pineapple? Reminds me I have some coconut-pineapple ice cream in the freezer if Shari hasn't eaten yet. I don't see a bearded dragon on your desk. My buddy President Ford has moved back in with me.

  4. Les - you're a far more patient cat mother than I ever was. That plant is glorious. Do you feel bad for plucking the first offerings off?

    I think Jenny found you from reading comments on Redoing the Undone. I found her through Julie Schuler who uses Jenny's alphabet prompts on her fabulous blog. She has commented on my latest post if you're interested and want to click on her name.

    I have some of those same lizards on a cabinet in my music room. I love them.

  5. I have bromeliads in my garden but there they are a host to mosquitoes, not flowers :(

    So the pink protusion is just a glorified sepal - what lovely flowers though.

    Glad you're feeling frisky! Hehe. I adore the lizards - reminds me of catching newts as a child.

  6. Since the drought settled in here in Melbourne my husband has taken to collecting cacti.

    We snort and chortle, my daughters and I simply because we are not so impressed as he by these spiky little fellas with their odd shapes.

    Then suddenly around November last year, late spring, the cacti started to sprout the most glorious flowers in all shapes and colours, a bit like your pink wonder.

    We've changed our minds now about the value of cacti; simpletons that we are; unlike you who can appreciate the value of odd plants and reptiles.

  7. When I hear about playing Twister, I think of Darrell and his waitress date, especially the parka and shorts... makes me long for Superior, AZ. Your bromiliar is a real find, and something new for me. I didn't know they bloomed!

  8. @ Everyone ~ Sorry I went quiet for a day. I had a nasty stomach bug and took to my bed except for a few whining e-mails. It's good to be back to healthy life this morning!

  9. @ Tag ~ The way those felonious felines were going after that plant, I'm going to guess it tastes like chicken or tuna! Chomp, chomp, give a furtive look, chomp, chomp.

    No bearded dragon for me. Larger lizards freak me out a little. I don't run screaming like a girl, but I'm not as drawn to them. Is President Ford a bearded dragon?

  10. @ Kass ~ I'm not all that patient, Cookie, in fact I'm kind of an impatient person. But I'm pretty good with people and pets I love. I get pissed off but I don't give them up. Also, I'm the one in the home who's supposed to have the biggest brain.

    I don't regret brushing off the bromeliad's little flag because I now know it was just a dried flower that had run its course. This morning I can see a multitude of new purple dots, so I assume I'll get more flowers. I'll keep snapping photos as it develops.

    Thank you for Jenny! I've checked her out and plan to follow her.

    Love lizards!

  11. @ Rachel ~ You are VERY good with words! Who'd expect a commenter to come up with the word "sepal". Nicely done.

    As a child I wouldn't have touched a lizard or a newt. My love affair with the desert began at age 50. Long may I reign as The Queen of the Reptiles. I believe I'm even up to touching a snake, although the ones we see out there are among the most venomous rattlers in the world. Maybe in a pet store!

  12. @ Elisabeth ~ Until age 50, my attraction to the natural world meant the ocean, period. Flora and fauna of the watery sort were all I knew about or cared about. I grouched for years about all the miles I drove between Las Vegas and Southern California with all that nasty desert surrounding me. I was rather afraid of it and no part of it seemed beautiful to me. I was taken there by someone who had my complete attention. I began to appreciate it because he appreciated it. But soon the love of it was my own. I remember the first time we bumped along the Jeep trail and I took in my first look at a wide vista of cactus in bloom. I hung out the car window to my waist. He finally said, "I'd better stop and let you out with them before you fall out." And it's only become a deeper love. I am privileged to have seen some of the world's most beautiful gifts.

  13. @ The Badger ~ I didn't know they bloomed, either! I'm sure glad I'm learning it now.

    Now, look, Badger. No one else would know to put the dreaded image of Darrell, the waitress and the Twister mat in my head to truly gag me. The glasses! The teeth! The parka! The shorts! The perma-grease in every wrinkle, crevice and fingerprint on his body! Remember, I've been to Superior, AZ, with you ~ I'm glad all the men aren't like Darrell. Come to think of it, Darrell's likely the only one of his kind on the planet.