Posted in Photography, Plant Life

Ginger Mint and Freelance Fortitude

 

 

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MEET: GINGER

This morning when I woke and checked my email, I opened an email that will forever change my life: I got my first pay as a freelance writer for the online company, Zemandi! It has been slow going, getting going, but now that the ball is rolling, I’m well enough on my way to earn some bill money while I stay at home to take care of Baby Girl.

I was leary to try Zemandi at first, as there are a LOT of scammers out there! I took to Craigslist for some of my job search and there was a LOT of nonsense and spam to sift through. One site for writers sounded very promising, until I clicked on the “sign up” tab and they wanted $68 for membership! That wasn’t even for writing gigs, that was just a reference to sites that you could apply do, not even guaranteed work!

Since it was free, I decided to give Zemandi a try. What would I have to lose except the time that I might have gotten scammed out of for my writing? I couldn’t really find many reviews out there about it, except for disgruntled people looking to make a quick buck. If you are looking for a quick buck, writing is NOT the way to go!

Once you do the initial trial pieces (you get paid for them), Zemandi evaluates your performance, and if they like your work, they keep you on! You request and do assignments at your own convenience, which is why it is ideal for a stay at home parent like myself. Not only do I get to stay at home to work, I am less the stressed over worrying about daycare and transportation to get back and forth to work. I can literally wake up in the morning, make my coffee, and sit down for a little while and write. When Baby Girl naps, I take advantage of the quiet, and I write. When she goes to bed at night and I have the quiet time for the evening, I write. The pay is meager at first, but to have the convenience to be my own boss, and make some money doing what I love is a trade I am willing to make.

Oh ya, and, I got a new plant, the beautiful Ginger Mint above. I picked it out for a Mother’s Day present and I love it! I love how it smells and the variegated leaves make it such an attractive plant to have indoors. Best part is, I can make tea from the leaves. I haven’t yet, but when I do, I shall write about it!

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Posted in Diary of a Calla Lily, Photography, Plant Life

Growing Like a Weed

Happy Friday all! I’m just killing some time with a blog post until I get more writing assignments (more on my freelancing efforts to be discussed in a future post!) and thought I’d write a little update on my Calla Lilies.

The first pic was taken this morning, just two short weeks after sprouting (shown in the second pic) and I just cannot believe how quickly they are growing. The stalks are already five inches tall, and there are a couple more little sproutlings growing  as well. I read that Calla Lilies are slow to grow and bloom, taking up to two years to mature and bloom. At the rate these Callas are going, I couldn’t imagine them taking that long to bloom, but we shall see.

A year ago, if you had told me that I would have 15 plants in my living room, I would have thought that a crazy notion, being that I’ve never had a green thumb. To be frank, I never really TRIED to be a green thumb. Sure, I loved plants, but I was happier watching others grow them.

Then last September while visiting my parents in Connecticut, my mom gave me a clipping that she had grown from her Ivy plant. I was so excited to have just that one plant, because it meant a lot to me that my mom thought of me enough to start me a plant.

My mom warned me that gardening is addictive and I laughed. I though, “ha ha, not ME, not THIS girl who has barely ever had a plant in her life!” Then winter happened, and I got caught up in the excitement of watching my Ivy grow, and I needed more. The more I was trapped inside and suffering cabin fever, the more I wanted plants to liven up my  living room to ease the winter blues, if even for a little.

Fast forward to now, and my fifteen plants. With each plant that I have brought home, I have researched to learn how to care for them. Plants are like people, that each have different needs. Some plants need more light and water than others. Some grow a lot faster than others, (speaking of which, I have also learned that jade trees take a long time to grow. While I can understand this, I am happy to report that Jade has been thriving being in the direct sunlight in the windows, and she has many new leaves that have been growing for the past few weeks) and some plants are just somewhere in the middle. All in all, no matter what plants need what care, I am very happy to have them all in my care! 🙂

 

Posted in Diary of a Coleus, Plant Life

ENTER: COLEUS

Happy Thursday to all! I have been busy this week working on some freelancing work and have not had much time to blog. I planned to blog today and was not sure what about…and then, I woke this morning and saw these cute little sproutlings!

Last week at Aldi’s I picked up a couple of these Crayola Coleus grow kits, on sale for only $1.99! There were only two left, and, being the thrifty plant addict that I’ve become over the winter, I snagged them! I thought it would be a fun little project to help pass the time, and better yet, decorate my living room with!

Coleus is a colorful foliage that generally is treated as an annual, though pinching off the flowers to prevent seeds will prolong it’s growing cycle. Since I have two, I am going to let one grow it’s cycle naturally and attempt to harvest the seeds to grow more, and the other, I am going to prevent from seeding, to see how that grows. Coleus can also be propagated from a soft wood cutting, which I plan to do with my plant that I am going to just let grow.

The coleus is not only part of the nettle family (minus the stinging nettles), it is also a mint. It comes in a variety of colors and is easy to care for (which is right up my alley!)

These were very easy for me to start, requiring little care. All you need to be careful of when sowing, is to keep the seedlings moist and keep the pot covered with saran wrap or something clear of the like, (I used an empty glass jar to cover the top) and keep them in bright light, but not direct sun. We’ve got sproutlings already, about a week and a half after sowing the seeds. If you have a little one, I would recommend finding them a little kit like this that they can sow their own seeds, and watch the beauty and miracle of plant life as they grow!

Posted in Diary of a Calla Lily, Plant Life

Calla Lily: Week Two

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Purple Sensation Calla Lily: Two Weeks after Planting

Exactly two weeks ago, I planted my Calla Lily bulb that I got for Easter. I was nervous and apprehensive about them growing, as I have never planted any type of flowers like this before. Within nine short days it sprouted, just in time for Earth Day! The instructions had said that the bulb should sprout within two weeks, so they seem to be a little ahead of schedule.

See the recap of the first two weeks of my Purple Sensation Calla Lily https://sway.com/s/5kPEsCgL1IE8q78D/embed and let me know what you think of the new Sway app from Office. I like it so far and thought my Callas would be a perfect test subject for my first Sway project.

Fun little fact about Calla Lilies: They are neither a Calla, OR a Lily, and they are native to South Africa. They make excellent houseplants and beautiful decoration for an outside garden, though considered to be a very invasive species. See more details about the Calla Lily here.

Posted in Plant Life, Vegan Blog

Enter: The Pink Gerberas

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“Mother Nature Got JOKES”

Greetings from the Adirondacks! I thought I’d share this little flashback  winter pic of snow for those of you who miss winter already. NAH! Just kiddin, took this pic earlier today. Mother Nature got jokes for us on this, the 26th day of April. We waited all winter for winter to show, and NOW it is trying to make an appearance.

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“Pink Gerbera Daisy”

I have been keeping busy in my little “jungle” to help me combat this cabin fever. These beauties came home with us from the grocery store last night. They were so pink and spring-looking and wanted me to take them home to brighten up our world a little bit while we patiently wait for spring to be a permanent fixture in our weather. If things go right, I will have more of these daisies to have year round!

I said my final good-bye to Lily the other day. She was still here sitting in her pot, withering away after the last few flowers failed. I planted the little bulblets into four little pots, with much hope and anticipation to help Lily live on. While I am realistic that they may not take, I am optimistic and I know that I will be elated if and when I notice any sproutlings.

On a side not for my vegan portion of my blog, I am a proud Mama today that has had a little bit of her worry removed. Since becoming vegan, I have worried about Baby Girl not getting enough nutrition that she needs to grow so I had her iron level checked at her appointment this morning. Her iron level was not only EXCELLENT at 14.1, but it was higher than we last checked before becoming vegan. Baby Girl’s doctor had told me back in January that oftentimes, the first thing that shows up when nutrients go awry is the iron level drops. I am elated to know that hers went UP since January! I can worry a little less know, knowing that she is a very happy and healthy, spry little two year old!

Posted in Diary of a Rose, Photography, Plant Life

Nature Photo Challenge Day 5:

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“My Little Apprentice Gardener”

What would nature be, without teaching our little ones about it? Nature is all around us, and it is so therapeutic for adults and kids alike.

With that being said, allow me to introduce my youngest little nature lover, Aurora, a.k.a. “Baby Girl”, pictured here with my Kordana rosebush. I had taken it down a few days ago to make room to shoot my Jade, and turned around, and there was Aurora admiring it. Luckily, she didn’t tear the stems out like the last time she was near the roses. I should like to think, that Aurora is learning to be a bit more gentle to our plants. Aurora likes to help me when I water and dust the plants, and she helps me hug and love the plants while we do so. I’m hoping to instill a love of plants in Aurora, so that she too, may enjoy plants, as much as I do. I am regretful that I am only getting into having plants within the last year, being that I never had anyone get me interested in them. At least Aurora will be exposed to the joy of plants from such an early age.

Here it is, my photo challenge for today. Yes, I know, I need to get out and get some new pics with my camera of some outside nature. In the meantime, we shall be enjoying the nature that we have to admire in our own living room!

Posted in Photography, Plant Life

Nature PhotoChal Day 2:Enter the Drakes

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Enter the Drakes

I got nominated for the 7 Day Nature Photo Challenge again today by my friend Kim Decker, so I chose my plants I got the other day.

Once again, if spring doesn’t get here soon, I’m gonna be lost in a jungle up in here! I picked up these two beauties a few days ago at Hannaford’s (can’t seem to grocery shop there and not come home with a plant!) which were both stuck in a much smaller pot together. I repotted them into separate pots when I got home, and now they take up all the room on top of my bookshelf.

Dracaenas are slow to grow, but they can get pretty tall. So far, mine are about a foot tall. From what I have been researching, they are fairly easy to care for, which is right up my alley! I’m not an expert enough with plants to mess with the fussy ones. I am happy with my easy to care for plants, and happy they liven up our living room so much!

 

 

Posted in Diary of a Jade, Photography, Plant Life

Nature Photo Challenge Day 1:

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My dear friend, Yvonna Fast, nominated me to do a 7 Day Nature Photo Challenge, so I accept! I am going to do a little differently and feature it on my blog which will be shared to The Thought Gallery’s Facebook page.

Arbor Day is coming up on April 29th, and yesterday, I was thinking that I would like to get some sort of tree to get in honor of Arbor day to have in my little jungle. Much to my surprise and amazement, I already HAVE a tree! During my research for indoor trees, the jade plant came up. My little plant is only 4″ tall right now at its tallest spot, but given some years and lots of care, it will end up to be FEET tall! When I had gotten Jade, I had no idea that she was a tree, because if I had known, I would have scooped her up even faster! I look forward to watching my Jade grow, and eventually, propagate her. I’m thinking that would make great future gifts for loved ones!

Posted in Diary of a Calla Lily, Plant Life

Enter: The Calla Lily

 

Calla Lily Starter
Calla Lily Starter

I received this beautiful Calla Lily kit for Easter, and thought that today would be a perfect day to start it, being that the weather is finally going to let up and be more like spring. I have never tried to grow a flower from seed (or bulb, as in this case) and I am very excited and nervous about it. I have no idea how long it should take for the lily to sprout, but once it does, I have a perfect place for it to get the 6-10 hours of daylight a day! For now, it has to just be in a bright area, not in direct sunlight.

So begins my venture with my Calla Lily! I not only look forward to having some new lilies soon, I look forward to the photo ops that shall accompany them! I have never seen these lilies before and I am curious as to how they smell, like if they have a strong floral fragrance like my Easter Lily did. Time soon shall tell!

 

Posted in Photography, Plant Life

Mad Botanist?!

Apparently, I am not only a mad scientist in the kitchen, I’m also a mad botanist. I use that term VERY loosely, as I don’t know the first thing about plants. I have only owned plants for about a year now.

I’ve been noticing these little gnat looking bugs (I think aphids maybe?) around my plants, mostly around my ivies and my gold dust plant.12495927_10205294638466170_3408114667551179953_o

Tonight when I was watering a few of my plants at the kitchen sink, I noticed the bugs flying out from the opening at the bottom where you can put the water in instead of pouring it on the top of the soil.

I don’t know why, but all of sudden I thought, “Hmm…I wonder if my powdered ginger would ward them off at all?” I’m not too sure where my thinking was going with that, other than the fact that maybe the smell would ward them off and discourage them from returning and maybe be a natural alternative to chemicals?

I sprinkled the ginger generously on the soil to set my experiment in progress. I noticed the bugs immediately scatter into the air around my plants, which usually never happens when I am handling my plants.

My mad botanist experiment starts and I am curious as to the outcome. I really hope the ginger doesn’t ruin the soil or my plants at all. I just checked them, and I didn’t see any signs of anything flying around at all or scurrying around in the soil like I have been seeing the past couple weeks. If all else fails, at least my plants smell good!