Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday and a pie!

I'm Here!

Notocactus Magnificus

Hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We had a terrific yummy time. We had about 9 at our table. Most of them were in their 20's. Alot of my kids friends families don't have a Thanksgiving dinner. Can you believe that. So our table is open to them all. It was great. After dinner Stan told some stories of our younger years that had ours kids and the others laughing there heads off. Then my 88 year old dad told them what he did after high school. He joined a couple of other people and sold stationary to businesses all over the country. This was in the early forties. They traveled from Minnesota across to California then down to L.A. What adventures he must have had. He went into business' and show'd them samples of the paper and print. They sold it in lots of 100. They were printed at another location and then sent to each individual or business. Dad said one way they got sales was to have someone at a office sign there name to the paper to see how nicely you could write on it. Then when they went to the next office they would see the signature and say, "Oh did so and so order some?", my Dad would say, "Yes she did!" And he would get a sale. Pretty sneaky. He was 19 years old.


I'm brighter...No! I'm brighter!

The three amigos!

So since there was going to be a lot of young people I decided to make a lot of pie! I made 2 pumpkin pies and two apples. They turned out so good I had to show you one!




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I use my Mom's recipes. She made the best pies. I used to use fresh pumpkin when I was younger but not anymore. It is still yummy!


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And I don't think I could ever make an apple pie if it wasn't for my apple peeler corer! Man I love this thing! The skin on this apple actually held together in one long piece. No one was around or I would have had someone take a picture of me with it. I used my favorite apples for these pies, Jonathan and Granny smith. Then I do something I don't know if anyone else does. Before I put on the top crust I ad a few red hot cinnamon candies. Since the pie is seasoned with cinnamon and sugar these are great. And they add a few red dots of yum in the pie. These two pies were the best I think I have ever made. Just to let you know all 4 pies were finished up tonight. Dang they went fast.

Happy Cactus Monday

Friday, November 26, 2010

Succulents are running for cover it's hibernation time!

If you live in Northern California then you better put on an extra pair of nickers! Last week was beautiful and sunny. We were walking around with sweaters on and all of a sudden 2 days ago the temperature dropped to the 20's at night. Thank goodness Stan had gotten the garage all set up for me to bring in my succulents.


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So he put up all the tables and made room. But I still did not think they would all fit. So all of a sudden a couple of days later Stan calls me from work and asked if I heard about the weather. Nope! He said it that there was a frost alert and that I needed to get all the plants in the garage. Oh and by the way.....I have to work late! Gulp! So I went outside and looked around!


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As you can see my gazebo top is gone. This year it started to rip and rot. Then the first wind made big holes in it so we took it down. Have to buy a new one now. This is only about half the plants. There are about another 4th behind me in rolling planters and to my left are another bunch along with most of my smaller cactus pots. So I ran inside and got my two boys out of bed and asked for there help. Thank goodness Parker did not have to work. Since my back is still bad the boys had to do all the work. You could tell the weather was already changing cause it was already getting cold.


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This is a view from my house looking inside my garage.


It's hibernation time!

Here's the same bunch looking outside in!


More hibernation!

Here is the other side of the jeep. I wish I could say that was it but no! A few more are in front of the jeep. And the rest I put close to the house and covered them with special cloth from Lowe's that protects from frost. Then I ran around after this was done and covered up my special planter areas in the ground. I ran out of frost cloth so I went running back to Lowe's. Of course everyone had the same idea and they were sold out. So the guy in the garden shop said I should get painters material drop cloths. Some sort of cheap tan material but it came in huge sizes. So I bought about 3 packs full. Ran home and cut, laid and anchored with rocks or empty metal tables. What a lot of work! So tonight is the 3rd night of freezing weather. I was hoping that it would be a mild winter. But my pink bower plants have already froze and turned brown. So you know I will lose some plants. Argggg!

Sure hope everyone is safe and warm! And I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

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Check out this great idea I saw in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Sorry the picture is not a lot better. Most of the time I just put my pots of succulents on the ground around small tables I have bought. But I thought this idea was really neat. Looks easy to do and won't cost an arm and a leg for something unusual.

I know the article is hard to read so I will type it out for you! It says:

Stack and Stick
Make end tables and planter pedestals by stacking containers and saucers in creative combination's.

Designing
Sketch out possible combination's, or play with pots you already have on hand, to find a design you like. Once you have the necessary pieces , assemble them without gluing to make sure the result is as you envisioned.

Gluing
Use craft adhesive (we used E6000) to attach pieces. Run a solid bead on each surface to be glued, assemble then let the assembly dry according to directions. A spray coat of clay pot sealer will help the terra-cotta resist weathering!

There you go! I may try this under my gazebo next spring!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday....crazy last blooms!

The last hurrah!

This Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' has bloomed on and off all summer. Then for over a month or so no blooms at all. All it had was fuzzy bumps where the blooms would be. Then before I knew it almost all the rest of the fuzzy bumps began to produce buds. Then on my birthday on September 26th they all bloomed. But of course I woke up pretty late and the blooms were already starting to droop. It is a night bloomer. Wish I had realized it was blooming or I would have been out with my flashlight! LOL

Happy Cactus Monday everyone! And by the way did you get a chance to peek at my previous post?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Have I shown you my front planter?

Fall in my Front Planter

When we bought our house about 15 years ago this planter was full of camellia bushes and ferns. Along with assorted cheap plants they use on new houses. Before we knew it all the plants had gotten way too big and old. By then I was already into my succulents and I had pretty much taken over the back yard. So last year my sweet husband Stan tore everything out of this large planter. Some of the camellia bushes had trunks on them like trees. It took a lot of digging to get all the roots out. In the meantime we collected river rock from lots of different places to use to outline the planter and help make my crooked path.
I decided to divide the planter in three parts. The large front part is full of echeveria's, stonecrop, sedum and pachyveria. The back corner area near the fence is full of kalanchoe's, aloe's, aeoniums and other succulents. Far to the right (you can't really see in this picture) has a large aloe, some barrel cactus a crazy prickly pear and a columnar cactus. I know there are a few more but I can't remember at the moment.

A view of the echeveria section

Here is another view of the front portion of the planter. I love how well the echeveria's look around the edge. They have grown so much. They were little bitty babies when I planted them.


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My Kalanchoe is getting so big I will have to trim it and start some new plants. The plant in the foreground is Sedum Corsican stonecrop sedum dasyphllum. To the right of this shot is the aeonium corner.


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I planted quite a few aeoniums in this corner! Some are doing much better than others as you can see. The big green one is the same as the one in the big blue pot in my other front planter. The aeonium that you can see right behind it is Aeonium Catlin hybrid called Bronze tea cup. I have a black Zwartzkof but it is not doing so well. Not sure why at this point. I am hoping that next spring I can fix this situation. I had another aeonium planted to the right but it died! Still working on it. The pale green low succulent in front of it is Sedum nussbaymerlanum.


Hey get off me!

This is echeveria agavoides with it's first leaf of Fall! I think it's saying, "Hey get off of me!"


Crassula 'Fallwood'

This is a really great succulent called Crassula 'Fallwood'. I can't wait for the first bloom spring! I will show you more of it another time! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Silly stuff on Halloween

Happy Halloween

I just wanted to give you a peak at my son Parker dressed up for work. Yes I said work. His employer is The Nugget which is a high end supermarket in Northern California. Great place to shop and work. It is the 9th best employer in the nation. Wow! I was so happy when he got a job there. He has plans to make it a career because they have approached him about their interest in him. He has to get a business degree now instead of being a teacher like he planned. This company is growing leaps and bounds and he really likes working there. He could make a much better salary than teaching also. So we will see how that works out.
So they encourage there employees to dress up for Halloween and have a contest. Still don't know if he won yet but he made this outfit from scratch. They had no turtle outfits at the costume store so he and his friend went to a fabric store. They found these 2 plastic shields like a warrior would use. Covered them with yellow and green felt fabric. They used glue and duck tape. He bought a green sweat suit and the orange fabric for arms, legs and eyes. Then of course a brown sash for the waste and plastic nunchucks. He used green face paint and covered his face and hair! Tadaa! He worked Sat. and Sun. dressed like this!


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So I felt kind of in a silly mood on Halloween and so I got out my Tigger outfit and sat out front with the bowl of candy and met the trick or treaters. It was so much fun! The little kids were the most impressed. When I saw them coming I would get up and silently do this little dance. They loved it. Some actually came across the street to me instead of going down that side of the street just to meet Tigger. In my right mitt there is a little recorder that when you push it says cute Tigger things. Of course in his voice. So Fun!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday It's Euphorbia's!

Euphorbia Ammak Variegata micro

Euphorbia Ammak Variegata

One of my favorite Euphorbia species! I love the variegated trunk. And it always puts out these tiny variegated leaves with the new growth. I was lucky enough last year to have this photo noticed by Arkive. They used this and another photo to show this succulent on there website. It is a site that saves film, photographs and other multimedia of endangered species. You should check it out. I believe that this plant is no longer endangered because I can no longer find it on the website. That is great, because it is really pretty! There are many other Euphorbia's that are listed though! Euphorbia's are one of those species of succulent that a lot of people think are cactus. They have sharp spines but they are not cactus.

Euphorbia Ammak Variegata

Full view of the same Succulent


Euphorbia mammillaris in Crassula muscosa

Euphorbia mammillaris in Crassula muscosa

I love the pink spines on this euphorbia. The body is a combination of light green and the pink! It is really pretty!

Flowers of Euphorbia mammillaris

The same succulent blooming! Aren't they tiny?


Euphorbia pugniformis f. cristata

Euphorbia pugniformis f. cristata

I found this Euphorbia a couple of years ago. It looks different at every season. Sometimes in the winter it looks really red color. I have only seen a couple of flowers on it and they are very tiny and yellow. Most of Euphorbia flowers are very small!


Euphorbia enopla

Euphorbia Enopla

The red spines against the green on this Euphorbia make it really striking!

Aliens

Macro of the top right before it bloomed.

Euphorbia hybrid suzanne

Euphorbia hybrid suzanne


Pencil Plant (Euphorbia tirucalli) with friends

Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil plant) with friends

Another of my favorite of all succulents. These plants grow really fast but they do not do well in cold weather. I lose a plant or two every winter. I think I will have to bring them inside this year! Something else you should know about Euphorbia's is that when they are cut or broken then release a sticky white sap. This is pretty poisonous and can really irritate the skin. So be very careful when handling and do not rub your eyes!!!

That's it for this Cactus Monday my friends. I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween weekend. Have a great week! HCM!!!!