We didn’t kiss. Maybe it would all have been different if we had; if she’d planted her feet straight through the ground and stayed there long enough for me to taste the bubblegum on her mouth one last time. Maybe she would have remembered something important and stayed. Instead, she just smiled, her golden hair dry and shining while water soaked through my clothes and clung to my eyelashes. Her dress was clinging to her thighs, and I watched the yellow sunflowers mold themselves onto her legs.
“See you soon,” she said, looking at me one last time before turning on her heels. It was more of a goodbye than I’d ever gotten before, and I was struck still with it. I knew that, beyond anything, I would never see her again, that she had packed up the last of us in her boxes and moved on, but I wanted to believe that she meant it.
She slammed the van door shut behind her and they pulled away, the U-Haul rumbling behind them—a faithful dog full of memories. She didn’t look back until they got to the end of the street, where her entire body turned to look at me through the rain-streaked window of the trunk. She puffed out a breath, fogging up a small circle of the window, and pressed her mouth to it, then she was gone. A cloud of smoke trailed after her the way most things did, and then nothing but the wet sound of tires on the soaked street.
I wondered if she ever wished the rain could touch her. If the rain was ever sad that it couldn’t.
Congratulations on becoming a proud plant parent! Welcome to to the wonderful world of succulents and cacti, here is a small guide of how to take care of your succulents properly and tips on how to maintain a healthy, happy plant based on personal experience. (・ω・)ノ
Firstly, here is some general knowledge on succulents that will (believe it or not) help you greatly when it comes to taking care of your plant.
Succulents and cacti are in the same family! This means there are many different kinds and like dry places with little water
The world “succulent” refers to the plant’s fleshy, thick leaves. They are like this to retain water.
Because succulents are cacti, some can be pointy and have spines (like aloe!) so in general, be careful.
That’s basically all the general information you need to know that will help your plant grow.
Watering your plant:
Although most people believe that succulents thrive on neglect, they really don’t, and need almost as much maintenance as a regular house plant.
MY RULE OF THUMB: When the leave look thin, water the plant.
This rule of thumb is a bit of a last resort. If your plant’s leaves are withered or thin, it needs a lot of water.
Regularly, I water my 2" succulents with about 2 tablespoons of water A WEEK.
In winter, succulents and Cacti go through a dormant phase and don’t need to be watered as often, but I found this information as not useful because when I went as little as 1.5 weeks without watering some of my plants in the winter, they’d start to wither.
Remember, succulent leaves should remain fleshy! And watering them often is the key to doing this.
If you happen to forget to water your succulents for up to three weeks and even beyond, do not worry. At that point, the plant will ration it’s water until you water it.
If you happen to do this, do not immediately think that you have to drown your plant in water to make up the weeks you missed. For a 2" succulent, 2 tablespoons or less is the key. These types of plants can only take so much water at one time.
Repotting Cacti and Succulents is a lot of fun, especially when you get decorative pots or creative with potting ideas.
Some people like to use teacups, and other people use plain old terra-cotta pots.
Whatever the case may be, succulents and cacti like drainage.
So your teacup doesn’t have a drainage hole? No problem.
It is ideal to pot your plant in something that has drainage holes, but if it doesn’t, adding rocks to the bottom of whatever it is you’re using will help greatly.
I have small, 2" white square ceramic pots for my babies, which have a singular, small drainage hole in the bottom. Because I wanted more drainage, I used a few rocks on the bottom, and filled the rest of the pot with succulent and cacti potting mix.
It’s also healthy to keep some of the soil from the original pot to mix in with the potting mix.
When repotting my cactus plant, I preferred using thick rubber gloves to repot rather than gardening gloves because I didn’t want the thin spines to prick me.
I normally keep my succulents on the windowsill over my kitchen sink because it gets the most light in the house while being indirect.
This is the key to good sunlight: light, but indirect. So if you have a windowsill where the sun crosses over it throughout the day, that is the ideal place for your succulent. In winter, keep your succulents inside! And on the sill of a west facing window is ideal because the light is not too harsh in the afternoon.
TIP: make sure to rotate the pot so the plant grows straight.
If you do not have much sun, although I have not tried this, I know some people grow their plants under special lamps which work just as fine.
As far as heat goes, heat was not much of a problem for my plants except for my one pesky Echeveria nodulosa ‘Painted Beauty’ which I had named Rory.
Rory was not a fan of being near an open window, and since I had gotten my succulents in January, it was cold outside. A few rare days of warmth would occur in February which called for an open window, and any time he was near it, he would wilt.
And although Rory is due for what looks like propagation, he is my smallest plant to this day and I don’t want to go onto that step for him yet.
When I noticed my plants reaching for sunlight, they’d bend towards the window and grow very tall and their leaves would space out. Soon, the bottom leaves would die and need to be plucked off and I’d be left with a long stem, a few spaces but still alive leaves, and a small rosette on the top.
This means it’s time for propagation. When I first read on how to stop my plants from getting so leggy, results appeared calling it “decapitation” where you would cut of the head of the plant and leave a stump.
This sounded very scary to me and I waited until a month before I tried to look for answers again and found propagation as the solution.
There are basically three parts of propagation.
the babies (which are actually a bunch of little parts).
The first step to propagation is to remove the bottom leaves from the plant completely from the stem by gently twisting them off. (Even if they are alive)
Place the leaves on a wet paper towel on a pan after they have calloused over and dried out (takes about 2-3 days). You may notice the the root of the leaf may already be growing roots, and if it has not, it will eventually. From each leaf you will grow a new baby rosette and have a forest of succulents! The babies make great gifts. (Note that not every leaf will be successful in growing a baby). This process takes about 3-4 weeks.
For the left over plant, you now have a super long stem with a rosette at the top. Cut the rosette leaving some stem on it and submerge the stem in water after letting it callous and dry out (takes about 5 days) For mine, I submerged the rosette in a medicine cup filled with 2 tablespoons of water. Soon, roots will appear so you can repot the rosette. This takes 2-3 weeks.
Then, cut the rest of the stem the is in the original pot down to a stub. After the stub callouses over, it will start to regenerate new babies around it. This takes about 3 weeks.
When it comes to propagation, it takes time and patience.
Here is where I was going to put any tips I had for growing plants but I kind of mentioned them throughout my spiel. In that case, here is where I will reiterate my most important tips:
- Water your plants once a week or when the leaves look less fleshy.
- 2 tablespoons of water a week for 2" plants (some species may need more or less)
- For repotting cactus plants with spines, it’s ideal to use rubber gloves instead of gardening gloves
- Rotate the plant so it grows straight!
Those are my best tips. There really aren’t any tips on propagation since its a hit or miss kind of ordeal.
Today, I fucked up... by ruining my $1,600 laptop, which ended up costing me another $65,000, another year of my life, and will likely limit my future career prospects.
So of course this didn’t happen to me today, but about 6 months ago. I was in the library studying for the hardest test of my first year of medical school. I had a cup of water that I was drinking, without a lid of course, and after a sip I tried to set it back down but it slipped out of my hand and spilled all over my laptop. I turned the laptop upside down and got napkins to try and soak up the water. My battery is not removable without taking off the bottom of the laptop so I just shut it off and hoped for the best. I left it off for a few hours to hopefully let all the water dry, but it had been fried. I was pissed because I had splurged on a MSI GT72 Dominator which was amazing and cost me way too much money. I spent all day taking it apart and trying to dry it out, but I’m pretty sure the motherboard had severe electric damage and so it was a complete day wasted.
I still had a test to study for, which was only a week away so I had to go to walmart and buy a cheap 11" chromebook to hold me over until my replacement laptop came in the mail. My school has a testing service that we install on our laptops that allows us to be able to take the tests on them, so I installed it on my tiny new chromebook and thought that I was ready for this test.
Here comes the major fuck up, This test was 4 hours long, and I barely finished in time. After we submit our tests we are able to instantly review and are shown our right and wrong answers. I’m going through mine and it’s looking okay, not getting everything right, but I’m thinking it’s looking pretty good. Then I get to a question that doesn’t seem to have the right answer provided, and I think, wtf, and start looking more closely at the answer options. It’s then that I see the answer options box has the ability to scroll down, and I see that there are 10 possible answers! We had never had 10 possible answers before on any exam and since my computers screen was so small I had only seen 5 and assumed they were all there. So I ended up getting half of those questions wrong because when I answered them, I didn’t even see the right answer on my screen.
I was freaking out and I emailed some people, but got no help and was basically told too bad. It takes about a week for our final scores calculated and released. I knew it was going to be close and when I finaly got them back, I saw that I’d failed by HALF OF 1 PERCENT! Well fuck.
I had to meet with a committee where they told me that because the class was so long, that I wouldn’t be able to just retake the test during the summer, which is the normal protocal for someone who fails a class, but that I’d have to repeat the entire first year. So yeah, pretty shitty since this will go on my transcript and makes me less competitive when applying for residencies, so I can basically say goodbye to any of the ultra competitive specialties like Derm or plastics. Pretty cool.
tl;dr Spilled water all over my giant gaming laptop, had to take a test on my new small laptop, could only see half the answers to 10 of the questions and failed my test by half of a percent. Had to repeat the first year of medical school as a result.
As my previous post indicated, I am gone. I have left behind six cats, all rescues, and my inability to assure them of lifelong safety is my biggest personal failure.
If you or anyone you know is near the Damascus MD area and can help them, they are:
Kala [Kalanchoe] (tabby female, 8 years old): Food allergies require a grain-free diet. Can be somewhat reactive when scared, but overall very affectionate and attentive. Tolerates other cats. Thinks you should stay home and nap with her.
Caliel (tabby male, 4 years old): very shy of strangers, obnoxiously affectionate once adjusted. Great-grandson of Kala. Leash trained. Prone to pouncing on other cats. No medical issues, but is frankly a bit dim and can only be fed wet food, as both dry food and water bowls end up scattered across the floor
Jasper (dilute tortie female with more orange, 12 years old): shy, no health concerns. Mildly fond of her sister, Jaimie. Talkative and affectionate. Would like to sleep on your head.
Jaimie (dilute tortie female with more grey, 12 years old): shy, no health concerns. Mildly fond of her sister, Jasper. Talkative and affectionate. Would like to sleep by your side.
Jessie (all black male, 12 years old): Very shy, affectionate once acclimated. Sibling to Mia. No health concerns. Will sneak up on you for a cuddle.
Mia (all grey female, 12 years old): Very shy, affectionate once acclimated. Sibling to Jessie. No health concerns. Will sneak up on you for a cuddle.
If you can help them, please write to my family username balladry at my website, tam-lin.org
In the future, the polar ice caps have melted and covered the earth with water. Dry land is a myth that people tell their children about when they put them to sleep. People live on floating communities called atolls and merchant ships.
Over centuries, mutations have evolved from the human race to allow for their survival in this post-apocalyptic world. Stiles is a mutation, an omega, living in this world. But Stiles has a secret. He knows where dry land is. Or, at least, he might know where dry land is. He’s not sure if it’s real, but he knows that’s where he comes from and that his father is supposed to be there waiting for him. And he has a map that’s supposed to tell him exactly where it is.
Enter Derek Hale, an Alpha mutation that has adapted to life fully on the water.
Stiles and Derek set out on a lifetime journey to find mythical dry land and dammit, Stiles can’t help but be attracted to Derek and his intoxicating scent.
I open the windows just to listen, despite the cold that typically accompanies the rain. Things can be chaotic, yet somehow the simple sound of rain, the smell of the wet earth, the sight of the water nurturing dry ground can still my restless spirit and lift my heavy heart. I hear His voice loudly and see Him clearly through it, transcending all else in the quest for my heart, mind, and soul.
Praying today you are filled with Father’s peace that surpasses all understanding.
Apart from His Word, what are other ways that He reminds & shows you He is ever-present in your life?
Being asked to trust God as you walk into deep waters is like being led into a valley of dead, dry bones and being asked to make them come alive. ‘You prophesy over these bones… and I will cause breath to enter them” (Ezekiel 37:4-5). YOU prophesy, I will cause life. YOU call out resurrection, and I will breathe it out.
The greatest place of impossibility is to turn death into life, and so He calls us into it. He invites us to participate in His work of resurrection. I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than being able to stand in a place of dryness and desolation with those kinds of words of authority.
gold-devouring, patroclus; glory of the father, glory, gory, glory; unearth once more flowing ichor and blood; teeth in wrist veins, dripping fangs; bleeding dry golden brine-water and so drown, drown, drown; here is my body and here is my soul; glinting now ferocious in the flame’s flickering light