Coffee Share 180525

This is a Weekly Coffee Share update.
Our group is hosted by the ever-gracious; Eclectic Ally.

Here’s the link for last week.

Here’s the link for this week.

We’re all busy. Many of us are dealing with the crummy stuff of life and yet each that I’ve met here have carved out the time to share some of their own path and take time to both see the beauty around them and to share it with me.  Once again, I forward Alli’s invitation to chat some over a virtual cup of tea or coffee because I trust this group to make it worth your time and effort.

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Greetings from the California Sonoma County Wine Country.  It is a strange, cold and drizzly day out here, but the coffee and tea are hot.  Cream, sugar and other contaminates are on the tray to the left. No scones today (sorry) but I do have some grocery store bagels and cream cheese to share. I’ll do better next week.

Okay. First some updates from last week.

My back is still slowly getting worse but some weeks are better than others and this last week was a better one. I remain anxious to wake up after my surgery early next month.  Post surgery is likely to involve some pain but I’m hoping for different pain that will pass with normal healing.  I’m still hustling to arrange or finish many work related items before taking the needed medical leave.  Actually, I’m not “hustling” as much as doing the “Tim Conway shuffle” as fast as I can.

Second; there have been zero- zip – nada sightings of the hated woodpecker this past week.  My poor tree now shows more distress from the many sprayings of neem oil that killed both the aphids and many of the lush green leaves that make this tree so great.  I’ve also not seen the other bird that I mistook for the woodpecker and almost unjustly punished for a crime she did not commit.  It seems though that she managed to gobble up most of the aphids before moving on – so despite not seeing enough of her to figure out her species – I want to thank her across this corner of the internet.

A couple of you have displayed gardening or plant nurturing skills well beyond my own, but I found a couple of tricks that some of you might find handy.  The first is likely well known to folks like my dad who cared for a large collection of orchids that someone gave him in his later days.  Everything he grew flourished under his care .

A few years ago, someone gave my wife one of those small grocery store orchids and this is just not her thing.  I do like casually caring for plants and decided to see if I could keep it alive and I succeeded – for a while.  When it began to struggle, I decided that it may need to be re-potted into a slightly bigger larger one because I do recall my dad talking about this with his own orchids.  Once done, it sprang back to life and growth – for quite some time, then once again it began to show signs of struggling again.  I carefully reviewed my layman’s observations and noted that my less-than-disciplined watering all too quickly flowed through the pot and out the bottom, so I started the weekly full immersion soaking, which seemed to help but was a hassle to keep up with.

orchid rotatedThis is when something of a bright idea occurred.  The reason that the water was flowing through so quickly is that my regular watering had pretty much washed lots of the soil away from the root structure.  This made perfect sense to me, but how does one correct it?

The bright idea was that as easily as water washes soil away from deep inside the pot and roots, the same technique could put soil (and all the nutrients) back.  I took an empty juice bottle, added several inches of fine healthy soil, then water and shook vigorously to produce an organic thin mud and did multiple dirty-water waterings, letting most of it drain freely out the bottom.

By the second watering,  that dirty water did not pass through the pot as fast.  My mud was filling in the gaps around the roots. This completely recharged the soil around the roots and this has been one very happy orchid ever since.  I also stopped dumping small waves of water into the pot and switched to an old bonsai watering trick I knew and watered only by putting one kitchen freezer ice cube on the soil each morning.  The ice cube slowly melts and drip waters the plant.  Fresh soil and my slow-watering has stabilized the plant and it remains happy.

On writing this week.  I did produce one story that has been pleading to be recorded, but I dislike the result.  It’s an old problem with this project.  The point of each story is to be my memory of what I did and what happened without sounding completely self-centered and narcissistic.  Fiction would be so much easier on this point because I would not need anyone’s permission to write each scene, nor would I have to worry about upsetting anyone still living with how I represented them.  For example, I know all but 1 of the bullies I dealt with in junior high school.  I certainly know my girl friends along the way, but am not in touch with more than a few so I can’t ask their permission.  Anyway, this last piece so far fell too far on the me-scale, so I’m letting it sit and stew before taking another run at it.

Enough of my week.  I’m keen on hearing about yours.  Any new stories in the wind?  Any great plans for Memorial Day?  Just let me refresh my mug of tea.

Can I get you anything while I’m up?

To select another story, please visit the full index by clicking here.

Gary photo n bio

4 thoughts on “Coffee Share 180525

  1. I am going to try your trick with my orchid that is not doing well (the others seemed to have eventually died). Maybe I can revive the last one which I have had for a record 3 years!


    1. Hello again Colline. Excellent! You’re referring to the thin mud trick I presume. I used a pretty thin mixture and did about 4 watering with about an hour between each, letting each drain well before the next. Then the ice cube trick has stoped washing out all that good soil. I hope it works for you 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Gary, you’ve got a great brain ticking away over there, with some very clever tricks for overcoming your gardening struggles. I particularly liked the ice cube on the plant to drip water through the day. I live in Sydney, Australia and it gets very hot here in Summer and it can be tough on plants.
    I missed the deadline this week. However, you can check out my coffee share post here:
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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