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Dwarf Umbrella Plant - Week Later Update - New Lower Growth

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A week ago, I shared a photo of a dwarf umbrella potted plant that I straightened out by repotting it in a slightly larger pot and giving it a haircut to try to push some lower growth.  The plant was growing at an odd angle - leaning towards the light after being neglected for months and by repotting it, I was able to stand it up straight.  But, it was still top-heavy.  Hence, the haircut. Based on my experience with our OTHER umbrella plant, I've found that if I cut off the leaders, two things happen:  first, it usually flushes out some lower growth and second, the part that I cut has some die-back...about a half-an-inch. So, when I lop'd off the leader, I left a little bit to account for the die-back.   And today? There's some good news.  First, near the top.  Here's a look at the tiny new growth that has appeared next to the top cut.  The stress of the pruning has flushed this new growth.   But, there's more.  Down the trunk - which is where I was aiming to flus

Vintage Disney Parks "Lost Parent" Paper Tag From Early 1980's

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 A few days ago, I posted a retro photo from a family trip to the Vacation Kingdom back in the early 1980's and wondered both where (inside the park(s)) it was taken and also, what these little tags on our clothes were for during our visit to the parks.   I was maybe four or five years old.  And that would make my middle sisters age 6 and age 12 or so.    It didn't take long to turn up this listing on eBay that shows a "Lost Parent" paper tag that they say is from Disneyland. Source via Ebay listing.  This is NOT my listing, not my tag.  Original here . Now, if I zoom waaaaaaaay in on our original photo, it sure seems to be Mickey and Minnie in this pose on the tag.  Have a look here: So, we're wearing "Lost Parent" tags.  The back of those ( via that *same* eBay listing ) looks like this: Source via this eBay listing.  Not my tag, not my photo.   Pretty interesting to think how much they de-prioritized the telephone number on the form isn't it? 

Maidenhair Fern - Potted Up Indoors - February 2021

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 Over the weekend - without much thought - I picked up a tiny Maidenhair Fern and potted it up in a six-inch clay pot and added it our little collection of house plants.  My thought was that this would MOSTLY replace the dead fern that I tried to bring back this Winter  and would live next to the potted-up wire vine that I treated similarly .  I opted against using the traditional clay saucer for this one, opting instead for a small plastic container to keep the water from running out AND keeping the humidity level up higher.  One of the things I know about Maidenhair Ferns is that they're temperamental and like to have a higher degree of humidity around them.  Being in clay pot isn't ideal, but it is the cheapest of the pots, right?  It was just $2.99 and quite small, but looks nice potted up.  Here, below, is where its stands as of today.   Like, umm, everyone, I was naturally drawn to the light, airy leaflets of the Maidenhair that kind of dance when you blow on them.   Wha

Deep Snow Shoveled Between Two Driveways - February 2021

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I normally don't mind shoveling our driveway, front walk and sidewalk that much.  We don't have a ton of square footage to do and I find the shoveling to be somewhat therapeutic - especially this season as I' not getting out of the house too much.  I *had* a snowblower, but sold it on Craigslist because I found that I wasn't using it, it was getting old and cranky and it took up A LOT of space in the garage.   I use a wide shovel from Menards that I bought last season and I've found that good shovels have a life of a couple of seasons before I want to replace it.  Usually the metal edge gives away.   But this year?  We've had A LOT of snow.  In the past month, we've had A LOT of snow.  And that means a lot of shoveling.  And I'm kinda getting tired of it.   It is becoming hard to find spots to put the snow now and our driveway is probably six or seven feet narrower than it is normally because I stopped clearing to the edges.  I wanted to mark the snow si

Vintage Walt Disney World Family Photo - 1982 or So?

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My sister Vic sent me this photo of us at Walt Disney World from when we were very young.  It is my Mom (very stylish, right?), my second oldest sister Sharon, my sister Vic and - of course - myself.  I'm assuming my oldest sister is the one taking the photo, right?  We're all wearing Mickey Ears and my mom is holding a fourth pair in the photo.  But, where are we?  It seems like we are (obviously) in a hat shop, but looking at the cast member's uniform, I wonder if there's a way to figure out the location.  Is this inside The Chapeau in the Magic Kingdom - the big hat shop?  Or, are those lederhosen that the Cast Member is wearing?  Could this be inside the Germany Pavillion at Epcot?   I can't confirm this, but my parents tell me that they went to Walt Disney World during the opening year of Magic Kingdom - so sometime between October 1971 and September of 1972.  And, if that is, indeed, true, might my Mom have booked another trip down during the opening year of E

Buddhist Pine - A Tropical Bonsai For 2021?

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Yesterday, I posted my bonsai dreaming for the year and mentioned that one of the items on my 2021 bonsai mini-list was to try a tropical bonsai like a ficus or umbrella.  It was #8 on that list , but I'll start with it here on the blog.  For beginner bonsai hobbyists, a couple of other very common tropical to try is Dwarf or Mini Jade and Chinese Elm.  Those are interesting, but I think I came across something else that might be more my speed. I was poking around on some bonsai nurseries sites and came across a tropical called a dwarf podocarpus.  Here's the listing (below) on Brussel's Bonsai : Source via Brussel's Bonsai product listing. The common name for this is Buddhist Pine - Podocarpus macrophyllus - and is talked about in various bonsai places on the Web.    This list from Bonsai Outlet talks the benefits of giving this particular cultivar a shot.  That includes : Tolerates temperature variances.  Hard to train.  Produces cones and fruit.  And is hard to k

Juniper Bonsai On My Mind - February 2021

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I started working my very first bonsai experience back a couple of years ago with a nursery-stock cypress tree that I ended up killing.  I pruned it far too hard and pushed it the first year and it dried out and died.  That same Summer (2019), I bought a few other nursery stock junipers and decided to give them a very light pruning and left them alone.  I dug a couple of them IN the ground , in their pots and put another one in a large container on the patio .  I brought that large container into the screened porch this fall and removed much of the wire that had been on this tree (because it was growing AROUND the wire).  But, the time in from the weather was short lived.  It turned out to be infested with fungus gnats (or something similar) and after figuring things out, I pushed it back outside hoping that a hard frost would kill off the gnats.  Today, that pot is totally covered in snow.  Here's how it looks after being piled on for the past month or so. That's more than a