ru: (Default)
A couple of days ago, I had an Avobaby-related nightmare--I dreamt that somebody had cut off all of Avobaby's leaves, leaving nothing but a bare stick in a pot. It was very sad, and I'm glad it was only a dream. No beheading of Avobaby allowed! ;_;

Anyway, things have been pretty quiet on the Avobaby front, so only one picture this time around. So instead, I took a snapshot of my other plant project, whom I have affectionately named Potatobob. Also, cookies!

Pictures ahoy! )

On a different, sadder note, I discovered today that my ornamental sweet potato has an awful, awful case of spider mites. I'm inclined to think that it may be terminal, because it's looking pretty bad, and treating it would be very difficult, particularly since there are plants on the windowsill (including Avobaby) over the treatment area--i.e., the sink, and I don't want them to catch them as well. It's currently sitting in the garage right now as I debate whether or not it would be worth it to undertake the challenge of treating it. The other thing that bothers me is that it had been sitting in a group of other plants, so I'm concerned that the others might have caught them. I've spread the ones that were closest to it out, and I'm gonna have to watch them for several days to see if they develop signs of infestation as well. I should really pay more attention to that voice in the back of my head that looks at a plant and goes, "Hm. It may just be me, but that plant doesn't look right."

But in the meantime, *sadface*.
ru: (love)
I would just like to say that I had an awesome afternoon yesterday. It involved spending it with [livejournal.com profile] aneles, whom I haven't seen in months, during which we were catching up on things, drinking tea and eating cookies, exchanging presents (I now have a pomegranate bonsai kit that I'm just itching to try), and baking sushi cookies--as in, cookies colored and shaped to look like sushi, not cookies with rice and raw fish. We had a fair amount of colored dough left afterwards, though, so we mixed up some other colors and also made other randomly colored cookies, such as polka dot ones and earth ones and face ones and marbleized ones and other sorts of interesting and unusual cookies. I had an absolute blast, and was really happy to get a chance to see her during winter break. Love. <3 <3 <3 <3

And today, Mom baked half moon cookies, and they are glorious in their deliciousness. You should all be JEALOUS. JEALOUS, I say!
ru: (Default)
It's a Christmas Eve special! Well, not really. It just happened that I wasn't able to get around to taking Avobaby's pictures until tonight, thanks to various things including relatives visiting, Doctor Who, and copious amounts of fatigue. Well, okay, I'll add something else too. <3

Avobaby...and friend! )

And now, knitting!
ru: (love)
Considering how it was actually almost warm out today, I decided to take the plunge and put Avobaby into a bigger pot. It's not much bigger than the previous one, but it has a bit more space. I think it was a good idea to do it now--I was somewhat surprised to discover when I got it out of the previous pot that it was actually starting to get a little potbound. So, I tried to tease the roots out a bit before it went into the new pot. I dunno how much help it was, but hopefully it'll realize that it has more space and extend out a bit. I also hope it's not going to be mad and sulky at me for pulling out of its previous pot and into a new one.

I have to admit, I was rather anxious while extracting Avobaby--it did NOT want to come out. I eventually had to fish a spatula that had been trashed due to it being no longer food-worthy out of the garbage and use that to loosen it out. I was terrified that it would snap in two, at which point I would be a very sad Ru. I'm very glad, therefore, that that did not happen.

Speaking of spatulas and food, the Great Bake Off ended today. Mom managed to get by with using the garage as an auxillary fridge by keeping the door closed and keeping as much coldness from the previous night in it. That seemed to work pretty well. The final inventory of things made was: truffles (4 kinds--peppermint, mocha, orange, and Crown Royal whiskey), chocolate peanut butter balls, cookies (M&M, chocolate chip, and oatmeal), chocolate nutty bars, haystacks (which are fairly simple conocotions of chow mein noodles and peanuts coated in a chocolate/butterscotch mix--trust me, they're tasty. She also made a version that uses white chocolate and cheerios), false toffee, peanut butter fudge, chocolate-almond fudge, and three kinds of bark--chocolate-almond, chocolate-peppermint, and cranberry-white chocolate. Needless to say, the kitchen and both of us were all covered in chocolate by the end of it. Thank goodness most of it is going to other people, as I think we'd all be Violet Beauregarde-shaped by the end of the holidays otherwise. XD
ru: (Default)
I think Avobaby is having some inner emotional turmoil, or perhaps it's simply longing for warmer days. Either way, I think Avobaby has decided it wants to be a palm tree.

See for yourself )

In related news, the fact that it's been so warm lately has my mother a bit distraught. See, one weekend a couple of weeks before Christmas, she gets the urge to cover everything in chocolate. It's at this point that the annual Great Bake-Off occurs, where (with me generally in tow) she makes trays and trays of sweet things, from truffles (of various flavors) to haystacks to cookies to chocolate nutty bars to anything else she can think of. The majority of these things are given to coworkers, friends, neighbors, etc as gifts, while some are used as dessert-type things on Christmas Eve/Day.

The problem, however, is that the amount of things made is so immense that it makes fitting all the things that need chilling into the fridge a near-impossible challenge. So, normally, she utilizes the cold weather to turn the garage into an auxillary fridge. However, with 75-degree temperature, the garage isn't exactly frosty. This is going to pose a problem. Methinks a massive fridge clean-out effort is on the horizon.
ru: (Default)
Avobaby's growth has slowed down significantly, though it still continues to move up. I was going to transplant it this weekend to give it a bit more stability on the bottom end, but, well, with all the craziness lately, I haven't been able to get around to it. Besides that, I'm a little afraid to transplant it now, as I do my potting outside, and it's so cold out that I don't want to risk shocking Avobaby, even if it'll be outside for only a few minutes. So, I dunno. We'll see.

But in the meantime, pictures! )
ru: (Default)
Avobaby continues to grow, and is now finally putting signficant effort into leaves. I hope this means lots more growing is in store!

Avobaby makes everything better! )
ru: (Default)
Dear Weather,

Hi! Hope things have been going well for you. Listen, I don't want to sound unappreciative, or anything, because believe me, I love 70 degree weather. If I could, I'd love to have 70 degree weather all year round. It's like my ideal weather temperature. But seriously, this has got to stop. It's the end of frickin' November. We've put up the damn Christmas tree. By all rights, it should be frosting on a regular basis and I should be breaking out the scarf and gloves. Please, start doing the cold thing soon. You're confusing the hell out of my Japanese magnolia. It's leafing out, and while I know that if it were really gearing up for spring, it'd flower first, I don't want it to be damaged by a sudden cold snap. I've already lost one tree in that area. Don't want to lose another. So, in summary, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND GET BACK ON TRACK.

No love,
Ru
ru: (Default)
Growth has slowed down at this point, perhaps because it's finally putting more effort into leaves. Which are rather pretty.

Yay avo-pictures! )

And now, I'm going to put effort into not going loopy or turning into a raging hormone monster. As right now, I'm very ARGH. I don't like feeling ARGH. Feeling ARGH is not fun. ARGH.
ru: (Default)
If I suddenly drop off the face of the planet, it's because the avocado has eaten me. In a week, it's doubled in size. At this rate, in a few months it'll be growing teeth and asking to be fed.

Pictures! )
ru: (strange)
I came to a conclusion yesterday about gymnosperms (the group in the plant kingdom that includes pines, firs, and other like-minded sorts): They are the crotchety old geezers of the vascular plant world (nonvascular things being stuff like moss and pond scum). They're older than the much more prevalent flowering plants, and more importantly, they're prickly bastards. Getting them into jars for class yesterday was an exercise in touching them without really touching them, as doing so resulted in being attacked by needle-y leaves and spiky cones and prickly stems and other things that do their darndest to draw blood. It was almost like they were saying, "You damn kid! Leave me the hell alone before I find some way to cause you to trip and fall on me and stab you several times through the chestular region! No, don't put me near the orchids! Argh, damn you flowers--in my day we didn't have fancy stuff like petals and fruit! We had it HARD. We had to WORK to climb up the evolutionary chain, and we did it. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. AND WE LIKED IT."

While ginkgos qualify as gymnosperms, they're obviously not prickly. They don't need to be. They're secure in knowing they'll eventually take over the world.
ru: (Default)
I have decided that since I woke up in a funk, and that waking up in a funk is not a good way to start the day, particularly since the main reason for it has been mostly resolved now, I shall have no more wizard angst today.

On a different, more green note, now that my avocado has sprouted, it's actually starting to grow at a decent clip. I'm debating whether or not it would be worthwhile to take periodic pictures of it to record how it's growing and post them up here. It'd be an avocadocumentary!
ru: (Default)
My avocado seed. Has begun. To sprout. After like. Ten bajillion weeks. O. M. G.

When I had discovered it was starting to put out a teeny little brown seedling, I had the sudden urge to scream Dr. Frankenstein-style "IT'S ALIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!".

YAY.
ru: (Default)
Things which tried to puncture me yesterday:

--A murderous side-tag in my shirt, which kept poking me incessantly, despite the fact that I've worn the shirt several times before and never had a problem with it. Dunno why it decided to turn on me.
--A rogue staple from a specimen cover. Not quite as distressing.
--Much more distressingly, something in my lunch, possibly an errant were-spice from my leftover pizza or a nonexistent seed from my supposedly seedless grapes, managed to stick itself into my soft palette. Not only was it, you know, painful, but upon discovering it, I had to supress the urge to run around the lunch area in a panic screaming "AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHH! I'M BEING SPEARED FROM THE INSIDE OMG SAVE ME!!". Instead, since I couldn't get it out with my tongue, I sacrificed my dignity to blatantly stick my finger in my mouth and scrape it out that way. Oh yes, that was classy.

Strangely, the one thing I was totally expecting to puncture me was a clipping of Solanum quitoense, also known as "Bed of Nails" (for obvious reasons). Oddly, it didn't. Go figure.

Either way, there has been a lot of inanimate-objects-trying-to-turn-me-into-a-human-pincushion lately, including a honey locust harpoon spine and an errant piece of metal on a microscope. Why has the world been trying to impale me? Hm. That sounds like a line of Kada-style bad emo poetry. "Thorns and spears and spines and knives/Endlessly driving towards me/Why is the world trying to impale me?/I don't know, but I'll stab it right back" XD
ru: (strange)
So, I walk into the stalls in the first floor bathroom in the building where I work, and I find myself confronted with a perplexing sight: sitting on the toilet, just behind the seat where the flusher would be (the flusher itself is mounted on the wall, so there's basically a blank spot) was a spoon. Arranged neatly. Like it was supposed to be there.

I stood there for a good couple of minutes trying to figure out the scene before me. Input error. Reboot. The spoon waited patiently while I tried to explain its presence. However, *nothing* made sense in my mind as to why it would be sitting on the toilet. I mean, what was so boggling was how neatly arranged the spoon was on it. Is it some sort of new bathroom benefit? A toilet spoon? No! I've got it! It's a loospoon! A LOOSPOON! XDD

Anyway, moving on, books!

Yay! More books! #9 and #10! )

Also, on a side note: natural honey locust trees? SCARIEST. TREES. EVER.
ru: (Default)
After something like five avocado seeds, one location change, several toothpicks, a ton of patience, and god knows how much mold, I finally, *finally* have managed to get an avocado seed to start rooting.

*GLEE*
ru: (Default)
I have a tentacle monster in my room.

Or, well, I have one in the making, anyway. My split leaf philodendron (also known as a swiss cheese plant, due to the characteristic holey leaves) is the biggest plant I have. Stretched out, it's almost as tall as I am. Technically speaking, though, it's actually a vine. Now generally, depending on the species, vines have several mechanisms for doing the whole climbing thing that typically constitutes a vine--some physically twine themselves around thing, while others put out tendrils or other appendages to hoist themselves up. My philodendron falls into the latter category.

This is partially my fault. I've been using a dowel to give it some support, but it's long outgrown it. I bought some wire mesh a while back with the idea of making a long tube with it that the philodendron can climb up, but I keep forgetting to do stuff with it. In the meantime, it's gotten bigger and bigger, and now frequently falls over, thanks to being all top-heavy and all.

When I went upstairs to my room today, I found it had once again fallen over. Okay, no big deal. I had moved it back up so that the dowel somewhat supported it when I noticed it had put out some rather...long tendrils, apparently searching out something to grab ahold of. I went about fishing to see where these things had gone, and discovered that it had managed to violate a lampshade I had sitting on the ground. It had managed to get itself into it to the point where it required a knife to separate the two. Thankfully that was the only thing it had really managed to attack, and in the end, neither the shade nor the plant were really worse for wear, since it just required cutting the plastic cover on it in order to get them apart, but I now need to find a way to wash a lampshade.

I now have serious motivation to repot it and give it that mesh column to climb up so I don't have to worry about it doing things I might not like, like attacking me in my sleep.
ru: (Default)
Cut for discussion of things with twice as much as four legs )

In other news, there is a plant genus called Pimpinella. I am childish enough to find this highly amusing. XD
ru: (luna-weirdness)
Over the course of the summer, I've been working part time in the herbarium at the uni. For those of you who came in late, an herbarium is essentially a repository of dried plants--a plant reference library, if you will, generally stored in large cabinets.

Anyway, I've been looking through the cabinets for a project I'm working on, which means seeing lots and lots of genus names. While I have to resist the urge to look through every single genus, I have been entertaining myself with the names themselves.

There are times when taxonomy can be downright amusing. As this site shows, there are some very interesting names out there (the vampire squid from hell holds a special place in my heart. <3 ). Animals have most of the fun, but I saw some plant genus names today that made me giggle. Here are a few, with my own personal speculations on what sort of plants belong in the genus (at least in Ru-world, anyway).

Phyllospadix: A plant whose main reproductive part (the spadix) is made out of a light, tasty pastry, which can be used as a substitute when making baklava.
Crossandra: A form of wheat which can be used to make bread that tells the future.
Elegia: Mispelled due to a glitch in the naming. Plants in this genus have multicolored foliage--blue, green, and yellow, produce daisy-like flowers, and have a thing for curses and fashionable clothing. (Word to the Underhill people! <3 )

Aaah, names are fun. <3 <3

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