mellificent: (y'all)
Although I talked so much about how pretty New Braunfels was, we didn't take a single picture. The pictures are all from the 2nd day, when we drove up to Austin by the back roads.

(I have some more pictures but I thought this was enough for one post. Baseball pictures to come.)


Dec. 8th, 2007 09:57 pm
mellificent: (lotus)
The begonia that I brought home from Mom's house is blooming, no less. I don't know if it'll survive the winter - but actually, I suppose it must've survived last winter since it's been longer than that since anyone did anything but water the plants over there.

I divided the plants I had between the front porch (very shady) and the back patio (partial shade) more or less at random, but everything is hanging in there so far. I wasn't sure how anything would do. The porch in the old apartment got a lot more sun. We've had pretty good weather lately so I'm sure that helps.

I felt very tired and blah today and I decided we should just stay home. I have already had a meeting with the lawyer this week so I felt like I had already done my duty as an executrix for the week, anyway. I gave the lawyer the new papers that I found on the house and they should be able to finally file the inventory now. And other than that, we are mostly just waiting on the house to sell, which hopefully will happen in the spring. We should be able to get started with the renovating after the holidays, I think.

Rob & I have been going out to eat on Saturdays all year, on the way up to Mom's - actually, that's an older custom than that, since Mom and I went out to lunch on Saturdays for years and years, and kept doing it right up until she was hospitalized and couldn't go any more. So we went out to lunch today, too, even though we weren't going anywhere else. The habit seems to be kind of ingrained now. Eventually we won't have to go to Mom's on Saturdays any more, but I bet we keep going out to lunch! Not a bad habit to have, really.

I was thinking about how this year was different from the past several years. We haven't had a Christmas where a family member wasn't seriously ill in a long time - the last three years it was Mom - I guess it was coincidence that she always got sicker this time of year, but she definitely did; and somewhere in there my great-aunt Rae was very ill at Christmas also, I guess that was two years ago; and there was another year that that my mom was having chemo in December for her first round of cancer, before that, in 2001 (I remember saying, "Oh, this has just been a crap year all around" - little did I know); and a couple of years before that my uncle Ted was in the hospital at Christmas and he died right afterwards. Actually I think my dad had chemo in December a few years ago for his prostate, too, but that was after Mom had already gotten sick, and poor Daddy and his prostate got really short shrift. (I barely blinked when he told me. I was like, "Cancer? Oh ok... but the prognosis is good? OK, good, you'll be fine, then. Bye!") So I don't quite know what to do with a "normal" Christmas.

So in the interest of normalcy, we put up tree #2 today - this is less impressive than it sounds since they are both really small trees. The second tree is the all-white one, and I put a bunch of my mom's stuff on it. It's gold, silver and pink, and it looks really pretty. It's completely different-looking than the other tree, which (as you may recall) is a green tree with multi-color lights and decorations. I will have to try to get a picture of the second tree but I don't have a good track record on getting tree pictures that do them justice. With the lights and everything, it makes it hard.

I feel like there should be some lesson to all of this but I don't know what it is. My life is just in transition, that's all. I should probably get used to it.

Holidailies penguin
mellificent: (NaBloPoMo 07)
I gave snippets of "what I did this weekend" in the Saturday post, and none at all yesterday. So forthwith, a weekend report.

The Closet that Will Not Die, and other horrors... )

(Am I the only one around here old enough remember when it was things marked "Made in Japan" that were considered poor quality? You don't see much that's made in Japan any more, unless it's electronics. And with electronics, it's "Made in the USA" that you probably ought to worry about!)

There was also one more box full of papers, which I just did not have the intestinal fortitude to tackle. I will have to do that one next week. My grandfather's death certificate was in an envelope towards the top of the box, to give you an idea of the kind of papers we're talking about.

I have been thinking that we were almost through having to go up to Clear Lake every week to go to Mom's house, but I'm pretty sure I was premature on that. I think that next we are going to be going to Home Depot every weekend to buy stuff for the guy doing the remodeling, and then to Mom's to deliver the goods! At least, near as I understand it that's how the process is going to work. I have to go buy the flooring and the paint and so forth, and then he just does the actual work. So I foresee that being the next stage, starting maybe after Christmas. I have no idea how long that will take, although I'm hoping we can get the house up for sale in the early spring.

And then there was Sunday... )

We had a few cool days last week - speaking of weather - and then it warmed up again, but there's supposed to be a front coming through Wednesday night and it's supposed to be cold and rainy all weekend. Which just reinforces my desire to stay home. (Although I have cracked as far as considering the possibility of going shopping at some point. But not Friday.)

In Guild Wars... )
mellificent: (duh)
This is mostly for [personal profile] columbina - I'm putting in the full text because I'm not sure it's posted anywhere you can get to without a password. (I understand part of what it's saying....)

GENETICS: Color Convergence in Columbines

Laura M. Zahn

Anthocyanins are pigment molecules commonly found in red, blue, and purple flowers. Columbine flowers are imbued with anthocyanins, and this plant is known to have undergone a recent and rapid divergence, most likely as a result of strong selection by pollinators for floral traits such as color.

Using a phylogenetic framework, Whittall et al. have investigated the convergent loss--that is, the loss of the same trait across multiple evolutionary lineages--of anthocyanin biosynthesis in columbines, which has resulted in flowers that are yellow or white. They found six independent losses (four fixed and two polymorphic) and no gains of floral anthocyanins. Quantitating the anthocyanin precursors in three species without anthocyanin loss and eight species with loss demonstrated that the loss of anthocyanin correlated with a broad convergence in the reduced expression of genes that occur in the later stages of the biosynthetic pathway. Additionally, two of these genes are regulated by a single gene and demonstrated a correlated reduction of expression in five lineages, suggesting that the mutation causing anthocyanin loss is a regulatory component and not a structural one (enzyme). These data show that there is an evolutionary constraint on some of the genes in a nthocyanin biosynthesis, most likely because upstream intermediates are also useful in protecting plants against UV damage, insects, and pathogens. -- LMZ

Mol. Ecol. 15, 4645 (2006).

mellificent: (Buffy quote: stoned)

a kalanchoe and, uh, other stuff
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

I finally got out and worked on my plants last weekend - they had been living in more-or-less-benign neglect all spring. I threw away a lot of the smaller pots; nothing seemed to like living in them very much anyway. I'm pretty happy with the results really. Everything looks much less cluttered. I did buy another kalanchoe this week, because the one I have has always done pretty well. I'm not planning on buying a lot more plants, though, unless something I have dies. I don't seem to have a lot of interest in spending time on gardening lately, so it makes sense to keep things pared down.

I spent most of the day yesterday playing GuildWars, of course - first with Columbine in the afternoon, and then on my own and finally with a pick-up group last night.

Things at work are crazy, but I will write about that at some other time. Let's see, what else? We didn't go to a movie this weekend, because there was nothing we wanted to see. (And what's up with that? Isn't summer supposed to be prime blockbuster time?) Anyway, we went out to eat, instead. I ate the world's most gigantic baked potato. I'm not completely joking about that, the thing was a foot long, I kid you not. I barely made a dent in it.


mellificent: (lotus)

tobacco flowers
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

This is something I grew from seed. Most of my plants from seed just sort of barely hang on, if they live at all, but this one suddenly decided to bloom. (It really is tobacco, apparently - nicotiana, to be scientific about it.)

I'm still quilting my quilt. I got awfully close to finishing, but my neck started hurting so I quit. It's harder work than you'd think, pulling that thing back & forth. It'll only take me maybe an hour or so to finish the quilting, then I have to put on the binding. (I have to think about what I want to bind it with.)

In Dofus, I'm up to level 25, and I joined a guild. (I keep forgetting its name!) Level 20 or so seems to be the threshhold for joining guilds - you can join when you're below that, but when you get above 20, people start seeking you out. I started fighting scaraleafs - big dinosaur things - with big groups of people in the pay area, and you get 5000-10,000 experience points every time you win one of those fights. (Which is good, because they take ages, with all those people and monsters.) They really help you level up fast.

I'm watching Howl's Moving Castle. I can't say I really adore it. They changed too much from the book, and it annoys me because I liked the book. But on the other hand, I expected that, because everybody warned me.

I think we are going to see V for Vendetta tomorrow, so I will report back.

mellificent: (lotus)
I repotted a tree earlier! Well, not technically a tree - it's a plumeria, but the thing is almost as big as a tree, seriously. I moved it into my second-biggest pot, which had the remains of a dead rosebush in it, as well as some (live) garlic chives and some seriously-thriving Mexican petunias that my mother gave me a couple of years ago. I could see why they were thriving, too - their root system had taken over this whole huge pot. No wonder the rose died. So I pulled most of the petunias out and put them in a different pot, and dug and dug until there was room to put the plumeria's root-ball in there. The plumeria also had some really thriving roots, especially considering that the pot it had been in up to today was not very big at all. I bought it last year at a plumeria show that my mom dragged me to - it cost $10, which I thought was a lot for what was a little twig, practically, at the time. But my oh my, it has grown. Now if the damn thing would just bloom, I will be happy.

I repotted some other stuff, too, but I'm having trouble remembering now what it was, other than the geranium and the jasmine that I bought the other day. I had bought another lantana, too, but I couldn't find a pot the right size so I left it where it was. An awful lot of my pots are full of seedlings right now. I am going to have to pull the seed packets out and see if I can figure out what seedlings are what, because I have no clue what I planted where. Typical of me! I think I had four different kinds of seeds and there are at least three different kinds of seedlings coming up, so that's not bad. I have not had terribly good luck with seedlings in the past. I suspect that they tend to need more babying than my plants normally get. (I think the seeds were butterfly weed, some kind of flowering tobacco, salvia, and... something else.)

I am leaving for Michigan in 30 hours or so, but am I thinking about that? No, I'm thinking about my damn plants. I am gonna have to think about it tomorrow, though.
mellificent: (Bellagio shiny)
The only useful thing I did today was repot some plants. But hey, I'd been meaning to do that for a while, so at least I did something. Today was the first time that I'd had the time to do it when it wasn't too dark and/or too cold. The plants were mostly pansies, plus one cyclamen. I had a bunch of the pansies and I'd had some of them since right after Christmas. They were thriving in the packaging they came from, actually, but they were getting pretty root-bound, so hopefully they'll do even better in their new homes.

Yesterday I went over to Mom's and we went shoe-shopping. I bought a pair of shoes that I may return tomorrow, because I decided they're a little bit too dressy. They're partly patent-leather, is the problem. I don't think they go too well with most of the stuff I wear. There was another pair that Mom bought that I might like better, I think I might look at those. She bought that pair in two different colors, and she also bought the pair I bought in a different color - tan - that didn't have the patent trim. (They didn't have the tan pair in my size.) And then I worked on my blocks for the batik exchange. And then I came home & installed Thunderbird, finally - I've been meaning to do that for a week or so.

Oh, and the less-useful part of my day today was that I re-read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And napped. (See? Not much use.)
mellificent: (fall leaves orange)
Apparently it's too early for pansies. And it probably is too hot for them, now that I think about it. (It's been hot as hell, actually.) So of course I ended up with some other plants. I wouldn't quite say buying plants is a mania with me, but it does seem to be somewhat addictive. I have a porchful as it is. But I do have some empty pots, so I have room - apparently - for another kalanchoe, 3 snapdragons (because they did so well last year), a mum (even though they did not) and a 6-pack of petunias. I didn't even spend $10. A fairly cheap shopping trip, on the whole.

And I did feel better today, at least off and on. And at least part of the "on" was from the heat. Oh, and cramps, on top of that. (Sorry if that's TMI. But oh my god, do I hate cramps.) So hopefully I was right about the Ambien.
mellificent: (buffy quote - earth opens up)
So far, so good. I sort of cheated and took two Benadryl last night, which is usually enough to knock me flat, and I slept alright (I woke up a couple of times but went back to sleep), and I feel much better today. We'll see if it lasts.

I am going to get Mom to go somewhere with me to buy plants. I have developed this need for pansies. That's my big plan for today.


mellificent: (Default)

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