Succs To Succ

I should have seen the warning signs. Green tea iced frappacinos, a three hour drive to a lake because it had a beach for dogs and made a great photo opp, binge watching older episodes of Dance Moms because I found out Abbie Lee was dying of cancer and was wildly misunderstood, I WAS BASIC BITCHING ALL OVER THE PLACE. The stage was set for sabotage.

Then it happened. I don’t know what I was doing at Home Depot, I don’t build stuff. Maybe it was a routine outdoor nursery stop, but I was bummed by the heat, didn’t want to plant a damn thing yet I was still going through the motions. Basic bitch blind.

I stopped and looked at the succulent display. How cute, how harmless, how could they ever possibly ruin my life? Look this little guy is 4 or 5 dollars. $. Ooh let’s add a little volume to the indoor plant collection. Ooh, there’s so many. $$.

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And look how many are online. Oh wow look how many different ones are online! My store didn’t have those. I know I’ll just head up to another hardware store. $$$. Score! Now I have 5 more but not those ones I saw online, I have to order those online… $$$$ A PROMO CODE let’s order again $$$$$

Oh shit, WHAT? Potting soil kills them? I have to buy what now? What the fuck is a gritty mix oh man where am I going to buy the parts for this soil. FOUND THEM! $. Oh look at these succulents I don’t have these. $$

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Plants, check! Materials, check! Now let’s spend HOURS AND HOURS potting them up, cleaning up our dirty shitmess from the kitchen counters, figuring out how to keep the windowsills clean, dusting them, watering them, and in our spare time when we’re NOT touching succulents we can watch YOUTUBE VIDEOS ABOUT SUCCULENTS!

My choir mate: How’s your summer going?

Me: My goal is to conquer succulents. Everything has lead me to this mission. There is no other news. Only succulents.

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Choir mate: I mean, people do that with kids…make them their life. It’s like the same thing.

Wow… there’s so much to learn. I didn’t know any of this. GOD WHY ARE THESE SO DIFFERENT. I have to repot them now. Fuck I spilled one. Is this one dying? What are these bugs? WHATS HAPPENED TO MY LIFE?

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Sucks to succ. If you have found or ever find this has happened to you, here are my core takeaways from succing.

  1. Research them online. There are like five different families of succulents that need different care. Learn their names. Kalanchoe, haworthia, echeveria, lithops, shit like that. Feel real smart.
  2. Succulents have to be in gritty mix that has only a little succulent grade soil in it. Perlite will save you, look in to it. Put it in the soil.
  3. They need lots of sun. If you don’t have a place in your house that gets hours and hours of good sun, don’t even start. You won’t win. And fertilize them like twice a year cuz that’s succy food.
  4. Succulents might love the garden hose in some states but in Michigan and colder climates, water touching them will kill them. And they hate humidity. Bottom water only, after their soil has dried out and the succs start to look crappy, and then water very little. If they get too cold they’re dead. You can’t keep them outside unless you’re in some hot ass climate. Hot hot hot.
  5. Gold and brown is sunburn. Yellow and saggy is over watering. Showing their stem between leaves means it is etiolated, google it. It looks bad.
  6. They often reveal little insects called mealie bugs. You get to remove them, swap out their soil and spray them with alcohol in the battle to fight pesticides. It WILL happen to you.
  7. If they get colder they go in to dormancy phase usually Oct-Feb and watering then will kill them. Oh and if you get less sun during the winter they will probably all die without lighting.
  8. Succs love being cramped in small pots with neglect. Water them like every 3 weeks or even less. They hate being “sprayed”, the spray bottle is meant to spray down at the base soil only.
  9. Don’t believe every online care video. They do the wrong shit all the time, things that would kill yours. You’ll hear about “top dressing”. Rocks and gravel shit at the top will maintain moisture in the soil and kill them all. Warning you now. Looks nice, ends badly.
  10. Stop (STOP STOP STOP EVALUATE YOUR LIFE) when you are out of room because you probably already hate yourself, went broke and now have to worry about what to do when/if they survive, grow bigger and need more space.
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Just Missed

Mom: How do you feel about a visit?

Autumn May: Sounds great! Everything OK?

Mom: Yes. Just miss you is all.

Because I couldn’t get my stuff together in time, I ended up texting my mom at the last minute, “Guess what? We’re comin’ up to see YOU! Yaeeee!” Then I piled my dog into the car and saved my parents a trip.

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My grandpa would always take time to walk around the house whenever he came down from Ithaca. Now it’s something I always want to do whenever I go home.

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I thought it was cool how the sunlight hit the prism, shined on the flowers, came in through the kitchen window and left patterns on the walls.

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Okay, so I was telling my brother that I wanted to pull these wild vines off from Mom’s shrub and when I went to lift the first vine, something was hidden there. Look at the center of the photo…you see a pale yellow line, like part of a rope…SNAKE!!! OMG I ran away. Then I went back and took a photo. And I ran away again.

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The Duchess.

Coming To Think Pink

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This was originally intended to be a quick photo of the pink lilies I brought inside (bottom:right) and ended up as several inside photos from my home’s “pink room” where many things are contained. And yes, those are Furbies from different generations.

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Outside, a lot of the pink lilies have taken over.

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I did a little research on how we came to associate “pink” with things like: glamour, girls, etc and it seems to have taken a lot of strong opinion over a span of time in order for us to so widely share our description and its “appropriate” applications in western culture. My personal belief is that there had to be more logical association behind it. Maybe the way we thought of the color pink began as simple as the reactions from a girl’s flushed face. Or vagina.

Then one day while on the battlefield a king tore the heart from his enemy. It was red. So he was all, “We’re giving red to the guys.” Etc etc, and so the colors were assigned.

DUHHH.

That Would Have Been Cool

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This year’s snapdragons. As hard as I’ve tried to lay off bright, tropical colors, I really like seeing the range of hues pink-orange-yellow in one thing. Very neat.

While scavenging for food, I happened to spot a large Snickers bar with a price tag directly blow it that read: Snickers Squared, $1.29:

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You can clearly see that the label appears to read Snickers2 as in, Snickers times itself. And this particular candy bar is over-sized and fashioned into two separate chunks, all the more seeming like a clever, wallet-friendly snack.

But oh, oh no.

When I got up to the counter these chocolate turds rang up for an entire dollar more, throwing off the entire scale of savings. For a dollar more, I could add an entire drink. For another dollar, why not go across the street to a fast food value menu?

Having doubted everything and refusing to look like I wasn’t in the know, I paid my two dollars and proceeded to investigate. Nothing wrong with someone lurking at the front lanes’ candy selection, hell no. Before I would unleash a verbal lashing I would have my facts in order and price tag in hand. This wasn’t just about everyone getting ripped off on their way out of a store – this was about me getting ripped off…and on an average day at a moment’s notice I am 10x the fury of everyone else.

As it turns out, ‘Snickers Squared’ is not a cheeky math reference aimed at those with a decent IQ who are looking for a sweet bite to eat. ‘Snickers Squared’ is a tiny square bar of Snickers shit (which I had to research because the store didn’t have any in stock) and the wrong product was sitting above the price tag. ‘Snickers 2’ means to suggest to idiots the fact that you can eat half of something and save the other half for another time: ‘Snickers 2 Go’. And to help that point along they have sealed both halves separately in chocolate in case you forget what the plan was.

There are two of them. It is technically squared. And priced wrong. And it took more of my money than it said it would. As I relayed these facts to the manager on duty he looked blankly at the various items I had set on the counter, like he had gone somewhere far, far away, perhaps back in time when there was only one kind of Snickers and life was much more simple then.

“I’m no candy bar expert,” he began to persuade, “but I’m pretty sure the ‘Squared’ one is little squares or something.” (haha,Cubed3) He was perfectly content with being void of all passion for any point I was trying to make. I crumbled the incorrect tag in my hands and walked away.

Then I ate my Snickers bar, reflecting on the Thing That Would Have Been Cool But Wasn’t.

Maybe I’m just thinking too much.

Red Is the New Orange

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Greetings from a cold and rainy day in Michigan. I’ve been spending my day off listening to the new music that arrived via snail mail: Charli XCX, MS MR, Jessie Ware and the Cranberries. In this digital age I feel like I don’t really own an album unless I’ve thumbed through the CD pamphlet and tried to find space for another jewel case.

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Above: a honeysuckle shrub that has been flourishing since the pine trees above it were removed.

Does anyone live in a state that still has the orangish-colored lady bug? Here, the red Asian beetle seems to have wiped them out. I thought these new bugs bit (cause I’ve had to slap them off my arm before) but when I did a little research today I learned that it’s actually just the feeling they produce when scanning your skin for nutrients; they don’t actually bite. Maybe I’ll remember that before I bitch-slap the next one to death.

My birthday is this Sunday and I have the weekend off from work! My Extended Birthday Celebration begins now!

* cue visions of fireworks, grandiose banners carried across the sky by pretty birds and trumpets being blown*

Of Flowers, Silence and Lots Of Trying

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There was a frost advisory last night so I ran out and cut these lilacs in case the cold weather destroyed them. Now I have a massive vase indoors and the lilac shrubs seem to be okay, too.

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My mom bought me this decorative egg a few years back when we were walking through an antique store together. <3

Speaking of flowers, I made sure to order a big display of roses for my mom last week and decided to have it delivered early to beat any Mother’s Day confusion. I thought it was odd that she had never thanked me – in fact, the following few days of silence slowly drove me crazy –  so I called the florist a few days later and low and behold – they had taken my money and lost my order. !!! I was so upset.

The florist was all, “Well you specified not to substitute anything and we couldn’t find [some random thing here] so we shelved your order, didn’t call and forgot about it.” Wow. At least they owned up to the fault.

They made up for their asshattery by upgrading the flowers and the manager delivered them herself along with an apology to my mom. Oh yeah – and I got a discount. So my mom was with her lovely arrangement by Mother’s Day, I could afford to put gas in my car and it was as happy of an ending as I can muster at this time. Of course it would have been better had I been able to get away and visit her.

I’ve been so busy that I just hope the flowers will help speak for the good I’m trying to do.

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Spring 2013

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Spring has sprung, the grass has ris – I wonder where the flowers is?

 Once you’ve been on your hands and knees on the ground and brushed hair away from your face to the point of getting dirt and sweat in your mouth, it means the world every time the things you planted resurface. Winter couldn’t kill your design and nature only adds to it, growing, multiplying, building on your efforts. And if you’re like me you’ve left just enough weathered cracks to tell your story from the countless points in time that have made you who you are.