Archive for the ‘Plants & Garden’ Category

Remember this?

I must not be a good mom. Because those little lemons never grew up. Instead, they all dropped off. Or, the birds got them. I bought this plant from a holiday bazaar last fall. I can’t wait to go back and try to find out from the grower why fruits dropped like they did. Anyone know anything about lemon trees?

I feel totally inept with house plants. They die on me left and right. A birch tree I planted 2 years ago suddenly died this summer. For awhile it looked like it was thriving.

The only thing that I can nurture seem to be the wrong kind of plant. The weed kind and those darn blackberry brambles.

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My New Baby

Okay, the title is deceiving. hee!hee!

I have been ‘babying’ a plant called Meyer Lemon Tree. I bought the plant last fall. It’s about 1 foot tall when I got it. I’ve heard good things about Meyer Lemon, so I thought I’d want one. The fruits are supposed to be very sweet.

So I watched this potted plant closely for any signs of life or distress. I left it indoors for the winter. At some point the leaves started to fall out then. I read that it’s because the spot where it was at have gotten much colder. So I moved it close to the heater vent.

Once the daytime temperature surpassed 45°, I moved it out on the deck for sunshine and air. Then late spring, here’s what I got.

Flower Bud of a Meyer Lemon Tree

Late May into June, I’m excited to show, these are just a few of what I’m getting.

 Lovely Little Lemmons

It will take 3 to 4 more months before fruits ripen.

So why am I excited about this potted tree? Almost always, I have a tendency to kill potted plants, be it indoors or outdoors. Just to prove that, I had killed an already 5-foot fig tree in a whiskey barrel outdoors.  Over a period of 3 years from planting time, I thought the fig tree was thriving. How sad! It never flowered. It didn’t die in vain though; I fed it to the compost (minus the roots of course).

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Doesn’t this look like Spring?!

Exotic Flowers, Lush Greenery, O'ahu

Okay, the photo above was taken from the Honolulu Zoo close to the Orangutan enclosure and not from around HUE-JEAN. Tropical countries like Hawaii have wild plants, flowers and the likes that look like they’re having a good time coming out of the earth. Elsewhere in the U.S. (at least in my immediate surroundings), the wild ones look like weeds! hahahaha!

Since the beginning of the official Spring day, yesterday was, well, looking like Spring indeed: in the mid-50’s, no rain! but a bit overcast. As much as rain is needed, I just about had enough of the cold low 30’s to mid-40’s.

So yesterday, being Thursday, was a walk training day. Upon waking up early afternoon, I already noticed it was going to be a wonderful day to walk. This time I didn’t have to prep much. ‘Prep?’, you asked. ‘Who needs to prep to walk?’ Wellllll, layers of clothing for one. A hat. Pair of gloves. Maybe raincoat/rain-pants. Water bottle. You get the drift. 

Sooo, this time, with just Capri pants, tank top (imagine that!) and a hooded pullover, no water bottle (I already drank 4-8oz. water supplement prior to the walk), I went about plotting my route. 7-mile walk! It feels liberating when you are not bogged down by paraphernalia.

I started shadow-walking the marathon route for the first time. This is just peachy. Because, during the first mile itself, I found out a small hill has to be tackled; not bad at all. However, after several miles of flat ground, another hill at the mid-8 mile mark will be the problem. How do I know that when I only did 7 miles. Well, when I plotted my route for yesterday, I started my walk at the 8-mile mark. Had to park my vehicle at the tennis court area near it. Plus, there was a public bathroom. And that’s important. Actually, I plot my walks where there would be accessible bathrooms I can use.

During my walk, I made sure that I looked around the surroundings. I noticed that the cherry blossoms were having such great time blooming. Daffodils were also swaying to the breeze. There’s just so much green now, one can’t help but have their spirit uplifted. Birds are even happier and noticeably chirpier(?). But the walk itself in the university neighborhoods was quiet and serene. Until I realized that it’s Spring Break and those rambunctious college students are GONE! Yay!

Today calls for more sunshine and in the upper 50’s. I’m on my way out to do a harder walk:  steep, steep hills. 4 miles. Starts right up my doorstep.  The end point and prize: a light lunch of chicken, tuna or egg salad with healthy soup from……Barry’s of course!

Speaking of healthy, I’ve been eating and drinking ‘HEALTHY’ lately. That means, LESS FAT, LESS SUGAR! Darn!

So, till next blog entry, please be happy, happy reading my blog! hahaha!

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Darn that groundhog! Actually, I think it’s cruelty to animals to have a hibernating groundhog plucked from its burrow (para satisfacer a algunos ESTUPIDOS humanos tradicion) of predicting the seasons. It’s almost always, the groundhog predicts 6 more weeks of winter. It never fails!There’s a reason why: when the human official of groundhog day takes him out, what does the poor animal sees in bright daylight —– throngs of pendejos applauding. If I were a groundhog, I’d surely want to go back to my burrow; hence predicting another 6 weeks of winter. hahahahahahaha!

So far, I’ve been distracting this seasonal affected disorder that infects me every winter time. But six more weeks, I don’t know how I could hold my head up. And the cold, brrr!

Even this creature has come back!

Pink Eyes!

What creature? That is my Christmas cactus reblooming. Amazing, huh?

Tada! Christmas Cactus

The plant sure brightens the home atmosphere. I have two of these. After the first time the plants lost the flowers, I’ve been putting them in complete darkness daily for at least twelve hours until the flower buds came out again.

Colorful things are needed to uplift the spirit! I’m sick of gray, and more gray. I wish Spring is here already!

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For the past two years, the family did not put up the Christmas Tree. The first year, I was just testing to see if my two boys would object and put the tree themselves. Sad to find out, they both were relying on me. So no tree.

The next year, I was just plain lazy and at that point nobody cared if there were any festivities at all.

This year, I told myself that we WILL get that tree. My husband and I even went as far as going to the tree lot, but changed our mind at the last minute.  With the snow and all, the tree was just not going to happen.

Well, today, the snow let up. In fact, there’s hardly any evidence (except on the hills) that there was even snow. That made my mood upbeat. After some errands, I relented and bought a tree.

Still being quite lazy that I am, I bought the ornaments and the frills, even when I have all of them in my attic. Who wants to rummage through the attic at this point, huh?

So, this year, here’s our tree!

Live Xmas Tree

What? Isn’t it better than none? Besides, it’s a live baby tree, about 2′ tall.

After the tree decoration, I called my husband at his office. Told him I just couldn’t resist when I saw the half price the tree lot is selling trees at this time, so I bought the biggest tree there was. I hope he believes me.

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My Typical Summer Lunch

Crispy Roast Pork House Salad

Crispy Roast Pork House Salad

I bring this dish to work. It consists of salad greens topped with cold rice noodles with onion, basil, bean sprouts; and best of all…..CRISPY ROAST PORK! Oh my, I’m in such a state of swooning!

A local Vietnamese restaurant has been serving this meal forever, but I just discovered it this summer. The dish is plainly called HOUSE SALAD. Now, I’m so obsessed just thinking about it, that I begin to shake if I don’t go to the restaurant longer than 2 days. It must be due to the addicting Spring Roll Fish Sauce that comes with the salad. If I have no self-control at all, I’d say I will drink that sauce straight up. How do you explain that, huh?

Crispy Roast Pork

Crispy Roast Pork

For now, to satisfy my obsession, I’d buy 4 days worth of the salad; leave them (with booby traps) in the employee refrigerator at work. So then, night work becomes bearable, because I’d look forward to these nightly lunches.

About the booby trap: I rubber-band each container 4 times in a clockwise manner; write my name on each of the containers and also write in big bold letters: STINKING FISH SAUCE, OPEN AT YOUR OWN PERIL!

Usually, no one opens my lunch boxes because I bring exotic food most of the time and no one dares open them. If they did, people will not touch them again, either because of the exotic smell or out-of-this world looking food items. hahahahaha!

Iskandals may have a better visual description of Crispy Roast Pork. I trust her photos.

Blueberries Galore

Blueberry Shrubs

Blueberry Shrubs

Haven’t baked any blueberry pies yet. My family just loves to take them by the handful and eat them before I had time to bake even one pie out of them. But there’s plenty more and one day soon, I will bake one.


Reminds me of Lampaii that my sister owns. The thing about the sheep picture is that the sheep looks soooo big compared to the person below it. That person is a child.

The sheep looked resigned or content falling backwards.

Summer Reading

Finished reads:

I have read the following books that I have pictured here:

  • Ordinary Days: Family Life In A Farmhouse by Dorcas Smucker Dorcas is a local author who is gaining popularity and fame because she is such a wonderful, down-to-earth, matter-of-fact writer telling tales about her family and farm life. I have yet to meet her.
  • A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply by Michael Schacker Humankind would be doomed without these essential little creatures. Actually, I chose this book over Six Degrees (a book I originally included on my summer reads list) as it looked more interesting. It did not disappoint.
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell I love, love this book! It’s about making split-second decisions that can make or break. I wanted to read the author’s other book, The Tipping Point, that was a recommended read mentioned in A Spring Without Bees. It was out of stock at the local library. Blink was available, so I opted for read it. And boy, was I glad of the choice!
  • Solving Deer Problems; and Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden are basically a must-read to get more information on arsenal in controlling these voracious, nonetheless harmless creatures. The other night, just as I was taking off my driveway, I had to let a stag (3-4 point horns) crossed the street. When I looked and focused on where it went, there were 4 more much bigger stags waiting for that one to cross. Then one mid-afternoon (in broad daylight!), a doe with 2 very cute babies) ran crossing the street.

On-going Reads:

  • Falling Man by Don Delillo A novel based on the 9/11 incident of the fall of the World Trade Center. I came upon this book based on a recommendation of another book from the same author that blogger Dispatches From Utopia had mentioned on her blog.

Still waiting on the sidelines:

Jake and Tom Saying Hello

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Chehereeeeee, Cherry Baby!

I am delighted to say, IT’S CHERRY PIE SEASON!


Last week, I started harvesting cherries. Look at the abundance! The fruits seem be to getting more plentiful each year. This time around I had to use a ladder to reach up the higher branches. After this initial harvest, there’s still plenty for a few more harvests.


The tedious task of making fresh cherry pie is pitting the cherries.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand here’s the cherry pie! Actually, 2 cherry pies baked as a result of 2 container-full of the harvest.


Sweet and tarty at the same time!

What’s next?

BLUEBERRY PIE SEASON would be starting in two to three weeks. Followed by Apples, Apples Galore in late July or August.

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