It’s Time to Thrive

A couple of days ago, I was talking to my younger son and his partner about how our family has been able to overcome a lot of challenges lately and seems to be pulling out of our ruts, doing what needs to be done, and beginning to thrive. We spent a few moments marveling at our resilience.

This grocery store orchid loves its spot so much that it immediately re-bloomed after its first blossoms finished.

It feels strange, but good, to be dealing with what comes at us, moving forward, and using the lessons learned to do better. As for me, I have stepped up to a couple of work challenges that I’d never have been able to do if I hadn’t stumbled, fallen, and gotten away from situations where I didn’t feel supported or able to grow.

I was afraid this begonia, which I got last year from the florist, was not happy. But, it just took a while to adjust to its new surroundings outside the hothouse. And now it’s thriving, too.

Encouragement comes from odd places, and for me, I get a lot of it just looking around at the natural world. In my Austin house, I am always surprised to see how many of the plants that were placed in our artificial setting with no warning have adapted and thrived. They are my role models!

Look at those little yellow things! The formerly little, now larger and thriving, palm is blooming!

I was especially happy to see the little palm tree bloom. I have had that plant…oh, since I worked in my nonprofit job. It always struggled along in my previous house, probably not getting enough light. It’s gotten happier and happier since I’ve had sunnier spots for it. I may even have to replant it! The lesson I learn from the little palm is that you can survive lots of things, but to thrive you need a supportive environment, people who care for you (and fertilize you, literally or metaphorically), and a little sunshine.

Wah, I can’t even see to the road!

And another thing

Mother Nature nudged me again this morning, too. When I woke up, I couldn’t see a thing outside. I was a little disappointed to not see a pretty sunrise, but yet another day starting out with dense fog.

It may be winter, and the plants may be brown, but the spiders are thriving and doing their jobs. Thank goodness the fog let me be reminded of this!

Then, when I was heading off the ranch to go to work, I glanced to my left and saw a shimmering display of dewdrops on a beautiful spiderweb. Silly me. It’s a beautiful morning; I just have to have the presence of mind to SEE the beauty.

This slightly heart-shaped rock came from my driveway. Now it sits on my desk and reminds me to stay grounded, which will help me thrive!

Now I can thrive. I hope you can find the things and people around you that will lead you to be able to thrive where you are. That’s why I keep certain objects around. Small reminders to breathe and stay grounded are a good start. Get yourself a rock! Thrive!

Monday Motivation

What a nice greeting I got today when I arrived at my Austin office (after driving 1.5 hours, dropping the dog off at the Bobcat Lair, and driving back to the office). There was the Little Orchid That Could, blooming to welcome me.

Even my monitor stand is happy to see the little orchid blooming.

I’ve never had one of these little ones re-bloom, so that made me happy. The slightly larger one behind it is also budding. Plus, there’s another one at the house, white with purple slpotches. That one was a real surprise, because it is the newest one I have, and it immediately put out new flower stalks after it finished.

The tiny succulents in the white planter used to be a much larger plant, but it got knocked over. These came from the roots. When I got to work today, one of the little plants had gotten knocked over, too. But I stuck it back in! (The main plant is still growing, too, at my house.)

I guess I better get motivated to work as hard as my plants do to provide beauty and meaning in the world. Last week, I came to the conclusion that I’d either need to quit or take on the hardest task on the list of possible things I could do. I chose to give the hard thing a try, with great hopes that I’ll have support from my colleagues.

The little Suna who could

I’m like those orhids. Given the right environment, I can continue to grow and rebloom, no matter how old I’m getting to be. And like the little succulent, I’ve been knocked over and had to start over, repeatedly (just ask my friends in La Leche League, who will probably be quite surprised to learn I’ve agreed to edit the online publication for the Friends of LLL).

Recycling. Complicated.

I’ll have a long and thoughtful post in the next few days on another topic, but until then, maybe I’ll just spew forth random comments from the past couple of days.

Maybe they aren’t really s pirals, but the symmetry attracted me.

I’ve been seeing spirals everywhere lately, even in the plants at the reception desk where I work. I wonder what all that’s about?

It’s prickly but darned pretty.

Maybe it’s just the time of year, when everything’s sprouting. I mean, wow, that is one attractive thistle.

All these lovely dandelions make me hungry for a salad or spring tonic or something.

Maybe it’s reminding me of recycling, which has as its theme image a mobius strip (which I didn’t realize until Joyce Conner mentioned it at our Master Naturalist meeting last week! Duh!).

Spealing of recycling, we recycled old t-shirts into tote bags to give out on Earth Day!

Joyce is a very thoughtful person, and she has been putting a great deal of thought into recycling, its benefits and its issues. She shared a lot of them at our meeting, which no doubt got everyone thinking about their own beliefs about recycling our waste.

I attempted to recycle myt-shirt sleeve into a visor. I think I failed.

Joyce showed us how much of the stuff we carefully recycle goes straight into landfills, because no one wants to recycle it. Apparently, we used to send a lot to China, but they don’t want it anymore.

In the end, she suggested that we concentrate on the reduce and re-use parts of the reduce, reu-use, recycle trio. That made sense to me. We try to re-use a lot of the glassware we buy things in, and I have started recycling boxes by decorating them and using them for storage, rather than buying decorative boxes.

Many of my friends re-use yarn rather than buying new, too.

What are you doing to re-use items?

Orchids of Joy

One of the blogs I read often is Chateaux des Fleurs, whose authors post a flower, usually one from New York City, every day.

The two blossoms on this one are quite different.

They’ve inspired me to occasionally share bonus posts with what’s blooming around my urban house. In this case, the flowers are IN my urban house.

I thought the blossom with the streak in it was cool! I wonder what caused it?

And the purple one is interesting, because the sprig had finished blooming, then grew more buds from the same stalk.

I love the shape of the stem!

I have another one that has branched out from a stalk that had bloomed and will soon flower again, but never has one sprouted on a spent stalk.

This is the one that has branched off a spent stem.

Dreary? But Beauty Awaits!

These plants give the neighbor privacy and me a nice view. The variety of shapes and textures makes this one of the loveliest flower beds in the neighborhood, to me.

While I’m working on a longer post, which may be a series of posts, I thought I’d share what struck me as I went out to the car to go to work this morning: you don’t have to go far to be in awe of natural beauty. I just looked across the street and saw the neighbor’s tangle of overgrown plants practically glowing in the gray, rainy light. I love how he has managed to convince the landscapers to keep the greenery so high and full.

Wet and lovely ball moss in bloom.

Then, I literally turned around and saw little jewels. The ball moss in the crepe myrtle was shining and shimmering against the dark bark and dark cedars behind it. It probably would have glistened more if the sun were out, but I was quite charmed by what I did see, so I tried to capture it in pictures.

A perfect rose in my favorite shade of pink, surrounded by unnaturally pink friends.

I guess Anita was up to the same thing inside the house, because she took this photo of how beautifully the roses have opened up in our cheerful post-Christmas flower arrangement. That bouquet has definitely helped cheer up the Bobcat Lair during the dreariness of 2019 so far (I hear it will clear up this afternoon).

Bonus moody photo of the ball moss.

As an aside, I love how the grocery store advertises the fact that there is a straw bow around each of these arrangements. They are “hand tied!” Woo! I’m pretty sure the other arrangements are “hand taped” to hold the plastic on them, too. I guess you take what you can get to differentiate flowers and charge a dollar more.

Cedar Fever. What the Heck.

We are in the middle of no one’s favorite season in the Hill Country of Texas, and that’s the “Cedar Fever” season. According to many news reports, this was supposed to be one of the worst seasons ever. If you’re reading from outside of Texas, you may be saying, “What the heck?”

If Anita and I WERE cedar fever sufferers, our front deck would be a scary place this time of year.

Lots of people call the tree found all along our hills Mountain Cedar, but it’s really Ashe Juniper. I first noticed them, like many new residents, during my first winter in the area. I was walking my baby around the neighborhood, which was still under construction, looking at all the limestone and stuff, when the tree in front of me started to smoke! I said some version of, “What the heck,” and called my La Leche League co-Leader (the only native Texan I knew) to ask her what was up. “Ah, the cedar is pollinating,” she told me.

This is what I saw when I was out walking in my neighborhood. Scary.

What is this plant? The Ashe Juniper has been around this area since before Europeans showed up, but it’s thought that they spread out of their native “cedar brakes” to take up more of the area once cattle showed up and messed with the delicate balance of native grasses and trees. Thanks, Euro-Americans.

Continue reading “Cedar Fever. What the Heck.”

Rest Your Weary Eyes on Timeless Granite

If you’ve had enough of lights, commercialism, and noise, come join me in remembering the timeless beauty of Enchanted Rock. Anita, Kynan, and I climbed to the top, then scrambled through the Echo Canyon train and the trail around the park.

The beauty in winter is that you can see for so many miles, and when you do hit upon a bright spot of color, it feels really special. No more talking, just pictures.