Saturday, August 27, 2005

August 3, 2005

This and that...
So I get a card from the post office saying I have a package. Now, I expect two packages. One some books I ordered and the other from a friend who went to a Writer's Conference and got me some goodies for doing her promotional stuff to hand out at said conference. I'm thinking to go get the box on my lunch hour. Except work issues keep me at work longer than I thought. Plus my co-worker's 8 year old son is here and co-worker had to dash out for a hot shot. So, finally around 1:30, there's a calm and I pack Daniel (the 8 year old) up in the car and head out. The post mistress disappears. She reappears and gets a dolly (hand-cart). I'm thinking, I know the goodie box had lots of stuff, but really, it can't be THAT big (I'd only ordered a few books, no way could she be getting the dolly for them!). She tells me to meet her out front by the car. Oh boy. I get this HUGE box that has been taped to within an inch of its life. Tape ALL OVER. It looks like its been smashed flat and then puffed back out. Its Leslie's 3rd box that was "lost" in the mailing. The return address was sort of similar to ours and I am amazed the Post Office was able to discern it might belong to us (She'd not return addressed it to US - somehow they found out her stuff was being forwarded here!). Anyway, I cut the box open because it said that they'd refused it because it had "more than 16 ounces of liquid in it." Since she's traveling and wasn't sure where she'd be able to shop, she mailed herself a bunch of personal items. Shampoo, conditioner, cough meds, mouthwash, aloe gel, cotton balls, tissues, baby wipes, toothpaste, dental floss, sunscreen and various OTC meds for emergencies. The aloe gel had come open. The rest of the stuff looked like someone had slashed through it with a knife. Cotton balls were everywhere. Everything was simply jumbled back in the box with no thought of what it was. I re-packed all but the liquids and put everything in zipper bags to protect it some. I put some bottles in the box, not exceeding the 16 ounces. I also packed another box and put one bottle in it. I'll be sending her boxes for a while, I think. I guess I should feel lucky we even got the box back. I critiqued one of the Bats (my online writing group - we're Bats and we hang out in a BatCave) the last two days on a manuscript she's sold. Not strenuous and it was fun reading other work. Made a few suggestions and told her to toss them or do them, her choice. The concrete pour for the slab of the shed is supposed to happen this week. We think. The dogs are being their usual selves - happy, frolicking and generally being fun. Flint no longer fear-poops when strangers enter. Either that or all the realtors are cleaning up after him and I very much doubt that. We've found their cards when we get home, which means they've visited and Flint has let them. I'm glad. He needed more socialization about folk invading his territory. Off to write!

I go home for lunch most days, but usually am so rushed with taking the dogs out, checking email and doing various chores while on my lunch hour that I barely have time to breathe, seems like. Today, I had to do some errands, but I went home first because I left the stamps at home. I let the dogs out and wandered onto the patio to wait for them while I finished eating my lunch (a piece of cake that Richard made the other night). I'm looking at the plants and lo! and behold! After 13 years, Grandma's hoya carnosa BLOOMED! When we first went down to Florida in 1992 to visit Richard's grandmother, she had this lovely plant on her patio. It was given to her by a friend. Thick, glossy green leaves and a lovely little cluster of star-shaped flowers that were deep burgundy in the center and pink on the outer edges. Every morning the tiny little flowers would have a smidge of clear liquid, a sweet-tasting dew drop that formed in the early dawn. She didn't know what it was called, only that one of her buddies brought the plant slip back from Australia. One day I mentioned the plant on a writers forum I frequented on the Net and one of the Australian writers supplied its name, hoya carnosa. Grandma gave me cuttings to take home. I kept the plant alive for about 5 years, but it never bloomed. When Grandma passed away I took the mother-plant, too. When we moved in PA I set the plants by the front door of our tiny apartment. It was deep winter and there was a draft. Both plants appeared to have frozen to death overnight. I found a bit of green still on Grandma's plant so I placed it in root stimulator and prayed. It grew 3 leaves very slowly over several months. I nurtured that plant, babied it and watched it like a hawk. Finally it began filling its pot, ever so slow. When we brought it to Texas, I decided to place it outside on a wrought iron rack since I'd been told it was a tropical plant. In three years, It has now outgrown 2 pots and has sent tendrils of thick, glossy green leaves winding around all the wrought iron. We've given slips to neighbors to enjoy. It is so pretty, but it still never bloomed...until TODAY, 13 years after its long journey! There are two clusters of flowers and the dew drop is right in the center of each little next of petals. So that's my bit of excitement today!

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