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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mother Badger Knew!

Well, she's more than 80 years old and she's been poking around online at some pretty objectionable sites [like this one]! Mother Badger e-mailed to tell me about bromeliads after reading my earlier post. "It will only bloom once, but now you will get a pup," she wrote. "Hmmmm . . . ," thought I. For I am not overly fond of dogs. Oh, reader, come on! I know a pup means a new, young plant. It's the same in cactus talk. MB went on to say that when she visited Youngest Badger in Panama, they went up into the mountains where the bromeliads were spectacular. The indigenous peoples offered them for sale, but she could not bring them back into the U.S. She also told me how to root the top of a pineapple to get it to throw a pup and then grow a new pineapple. And she had a sharp school teacherish remark for me to aim at the felonious Dylan and Virginia Woolf. Was I surprised Mother Badger knew a lot about a pretty esoteric subject? Not a bit! MB knows a lot about a lot of things, and especially about plants of all manner.

Now my interest was piqued about these bromeliads! Remember, I bought myself the original plant so I could nurture and enjoy it. I like to surround myself with things that are beautiful (to me) and observe what they do, how they proceed through life ~ my cats, my birds, my fish, my plants, the people I love. And if this pink wonder was now going to put on some kind of a show, like produce a pup, I wanted to learn more. I can Google! As two men who know me and care about me say, "You know how to learn stuff, Les/Lezzlie."

I noodled around and soon knew the name of my bromeliad species and learned that they are easily cultivated. That was my impression, for I'd cajoled mine into producing flowers already! I learned that they're easily propagated indoors and that made my eyes dance ~ more plants for free. I can reproduce them and give them away to those I care for! I learned there were nearly countless species, flowering in every color in the rainbow. That charms me! David has offered many times to have Troy put up a row of shelves in the office for me ~ I can house a veritable herd of bromeliads, here in the pasture safe from felonious felines. Fresh & Easy has countless new offerings each week, and this seems a fun new interest to explore.

I learned other things about bromeliads, some of which made me a little pensive. They bloom according to all kinds of triggers - plant age, day length, light intensity, water and temperature. I learned that once they bloom, the death process begins, taking a year or two. And that made me ponder. To begin to die off at the peak of one's beauty . . . . I learned that she (for now bromeliads are she's to me) will now produce pups until she dies. My duty is to remove those pups from her as they develop and put them in growing medium so they may become beautiful, mature girls in their own right. To remove them, I must use a serrated knife or pruning shears or a small hacksaw blade, and the reader should be very afraid of that. Learning about this life cycle made me very mindful of the beginnings and endings of things here on planet earth and the legacy some of us leave behind.

It promised to be a hideous, rainy cycling race weekend and it was. I planned to increase my walking miles to work off nervous energy. I love to feed people I care about, good nourishing food. This time was no different. I bought, I planned. I packed good Egyptian, long staple cotton towels to dry a cold and rain-soaked racer and thought about how I could offer support. I fed, I held umbrellas, I snapped the camera, I drove for miles at his back wheel. That doesn't make me a heroine. It means I'm loyal like a cocker spaniel. It means I can participate meaningfully in a detailed routine. I observed a woman racer take a bad crash and not get up from it. I watched the medics come and then a full-on ambulance. Before the helicopter came, a young man asked if I had a blanket or anything because she had been on the ground a long time and she was cold and wet. I glanced at my good pea coat and I couldn't do it. There was a car cover, but it was huge and soiled and not mine to give away. I gave my good Egyptian, long staple cotton towels. Seeing this woman take such a surprise in her sprint finish (for the finish line wasn't 100 feet away) made me very mindful of the beginnings and endings of things here on planet earth. Life is what happens when you're busy making plans.

I bought a new variety of bromeliad and she puts me in mind of shooting flame. Oh, what a treat to the eyes! It needed water before I put it into the closet to await transport to the office. I put the water down in the center "cup" and figured I'd give her just a minute or so to drink it. Those cats were nowhere in sight, I swear. I hung up my coat and purse and went to retrieve the plant. It had been on the drainboard maybe 90 seconds, literally. Clicking on the photo will reveal the shredded leaves. Chomped! I never saw them in the vicinity, but they got it good! And, yes, I do use the pink, LED light flashing, chinka-chinka noise-making hula hoop (in the background) for exercise in the office. But never when homes are around. One doesn't want to ruin them for life.

In my ears right now: It's an old friend, musically. Precious Stones. I haven't listened in a long time.

Something that charmed me:
When I returned to work to start a new week and a new month, my original bromeliad had become a Mouseketeer and was flying her colors. It looks like I'm going to get a bloom from in between each of her tight grooves before she starts that dying off thing I don't care for!


  1. Thanks for introducing me to bromeliads. I'm embarrased to admit that I've never of that plant before. With all these flower blogs I now find myself viewing, I'm certainly getting an education.

    Roses are red, right?

  2. @ Kirk ~ My friend, I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't find them in Ohio, even in stores for indoor life. They're subtropical for the most part.

    It's funny so many collect at the flower blogs, isn't it? Who knew? My own floral education is somewhat sketchy, but I know most of the bulb plants, and I know roses ARE red and violets are blue.

  3. Kirk Jusko said "Roses are red, right?"

    Some of em! =]

  4. @ Matt - Well done, Matt, and I thank you for boarding my bus. I've seen you up there in the front row of seats. I believe you'd be right. I heard they DO have color choices now. Kirk, take note!

  5. OK, some roses are yellow, right? At least in Texas.

  6. @ Kirk ~ You're right about that, too! True deal: Stepfather owned a rose farm in San Diego County. When Ex and I married, he flew his own small plane FULL of yellow roses here for the wedding. It took four florists to make all the arrangements. You can't imagine the sight of a plane full of yellow roses. Boxed, iced, fragrant and just about perfect. My invitations featured a yellow rose, and if I were ever going to consider something foolish and romantic again, I'd manage to incorporate yellow roses. [But I'm not foolish and romantic any longer. That went away about 10 minutes into that marriage.]

  7. The obvious symbolism of this plant and your care of her has made me want to get right up off my seat and go to our local "Cactus and Tropicals" and buy one. The hula hoop - not so much, even though I've been sitting with my mother for 5 days in a hospital rooms: ER, ICU, then the floor. Hope I can get back into some kind of blog-reading and writing rhythm soon.

  8. @ Kass ~ I am so glad to see you here! I wondered what was going on and where you were. I trust, since you visited here and elsewhere, that Mom is on the upswing now. I hope so! Your comment made me chew on something a little. I think I do take very good care of the things that charm me and that I love. I think, if we interviewed those whom I love (except how will we interview cats, birds, plants and fish?), they would say "She loves very well." That and $1 will buy you a cup of coffee in a very cheap establishment, but those were the thoughts you inspired in me.

    Re: the hula hoop ~ one would be ill advised to bet against me in a hula hoop tournament, Kass. I do MANY things in life very poorly. But I kick ASS at hula hoop.

  9. Hula Hoop*********!!!!!!!- VIDEO, please (of you, of course). My mind is doing cartwheels of joy at the thought.

  10. But I kick ASS at hula hoop.

    The things we learn about people we THOUGHT we knew...


  11. @ Kass and TOB ~ Ha! You should see me go! I'm freaking 57 years old and I can go forever! This may be due (I hope not!) to some huge hip disproportion [they don't look out of proportion in the mirror!], but I'm a hula hoopin' phenom!

  12. Here in the OV we had a median Hula Hooper who seemed to be at it day or night, any time we passed. The story is that she was asked to move elsewhere by the NPD for interfering in traffic.
    Aye yi yi.

  13. @ Tag ~ I don't believe I'll be found on the median with my hoop, Tag. Although I COULD do that in the night in the dark and still be safe, for my hoop is the LED light flashing, chinka-chinka noise-making model. Folks would both see me and hear me. The faster I hula, the faster the lights flash!

    I'd wager if that woman was stopping traffic, she was not a 57--year-old hula hooper.