Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another Dumb Metaphor

"That's a metaphor!"  That's my catch phrase, or at least one of them. Regardless, I use use this line a lot. I think that the Universe lays things out for us sometimes, giving us hints or steps in our lessons. There is always always always (USUALLY) a deeper meaning to something that you are seeing or experiencing. I don't believe this, I beLIVE it. I see it in action daily. Sometimes, things are so coincidental, such a twist of odds or fate, that it seems foolish to not take note.

I'm currently reading a book that was talking about spring, relating it to personal growth and thoughts, the cutting off of the old in order to allow new growth.  The shriveled foliage from the previous year gives way to new sprouts and buds. It's an interesting concept, stating that things are made to flourish, and then die back, and grow again.

One of the things I have always been timid about is the trimming of my house plants. I'm afraid of cutting off what so much energy was expelled to produce. It seems such a waste, even though many of my plants would do well with a trim more often. Hell, even hair is encouraged to grow with a periodic trim. This is a lesson I need to learn. Trimming promotes thicker trunks and stronger roots, a more stable organism.  You don't see plants carrying around their old growth and baggage like us humans, trees refusing to drop their leaves in the fall.  When something is past its prime, it gracefully takes its place among the fallen, the dried, the brown. The compost. The fertilizer. The sustenance. The Earth. Pruning is quite common in Nature. God is an excellent gardner.

Other than the book I am reading, my therapist was using the analogy of cutting off dead pieces [of yourself] that no longer serve a purpose or empower us in our last session.  This really hit home; it coincidentally followed the theme I was being given. How interesting. I should take note.

I recently acquired the remainder of my grandmother's house plants.  They were unattended for some time after my pap passed, so they are in rough shape, some of them. Among them was this guy, a large over grown dieffenbachia or "dumb cane". It's called this because the sap is actually poisonous. It apparently can paralyze your vocal cords and swell you tongue to choking proportions. Add that to the fact that this stem is about as thick as a can of Red Bull, and it is a quite intimidating creature. What if it doesn't survive? Something my grandmother kept alive for decades, could be destroyed so easily. The stem that she saw, touched, and tended. This intimidates me. And it represents more than that. 

I remember once when my gram had just cut it back and put the piece of stem in the dirt, the sideways piece that I now see with a dying shoot on it.  Upon bringing them home, I trimmed the obvious dead off of all the plants, but I waited with the dumb cane's main stem because I didn't know how it would handle the shock or what pieces were definitely goners. I trimmed a lot of it's large browned leaves. His thick intimidating stalk feels like a soft potato. I read you should leave at least 6" or more when you cut it. I'm going to try this and then cut the rest of the large stem into starters. If the trim doesn't help it, perhaps I can turn part of the stem into the dirt and it will sprout? Regardless, it's time to let it go.

The cane's overgrown, meaning its foliage, or weight, is mostly at the top of the stalk that isn't strong enough to hold it. It got carried away. It grew too quickly, too tenaciously to keep up with itself, to support itself. If you've grown out of control, cut yourself back to the roots and grow some new foliage, some new pieces.

If you're scared to do something, I read somewhere that you should not wait until you aren't scared, because that will most likely never happen. If you're scared, just do it scared. Just do it. Trim off the dead portions that no longer serve you. Take care not to let them poison you and silence your present or future, for they can be like the slowest of poisons, but cut them off nonetheless, and let them you can grow. So you can thrive. That's a metaphor, straight from the dumbcane.  Here's to the power of pruning. What dead matter should you cut off of yourself?

Crystal Growing: Blogumentary Pt. 5

As you can see there is a bit more crystal formation taking place. They are bigger today than last night. The crystals seem to be changing, even the pile of powder stuff under the stones seems to be changing. It appears to have less liquid and more solids. The protruding part of the pebble on the right is maybe close to 1/4 inch or more now.  It's a long road ahead, I feel.  I'm also, I think, regretting scooping out the two spoonfuls of liquid that I did.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crystal Growing: Blogumentary Pt. 4

There is some growth happening, I think. "Watch them grow right before our eyes!" My friend said jokingly as I placed the rocks in the tray at the beginning of the experiment. It has taken quite awhile, but it is actually obvious at this point that the crystals are growing and I really need to get a life.

I haven't measured them yet, but they seem to be protruding higher than before and close up they appear more "crystaly" and are starting some color changes. 

I'm starting to wonder how many days it would take for the rocks to look like the picture? I'm also curious as to why all this is happening; what are these crystals made out of? Some research would be useful at this point. I'll see what I can find. Until next time, they grow on!!

Crystal Growing: Blogumentary Pt. 3

There has been some slight change over night, although nothing drastic. I'm assuming these things need many many hours instead of just a few like the instructions suggest. Perhaps I am just daft.

19 hours into it and there is a definable mound of growth on the stone on the right and the stone on the left isn't far behind. I need to find a small tool to measure the height with? The box claimed I think 1-3 cm, but I am not sure offhand what that would be in 'merican.

We'll see how the day goes.  Does light have any affect on them, I wonder? It's definitely green crystals we're looking at.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Crystal Growing: Blogumentary Pt. 2

5:45 PM
It appears there is some slight change in the specimen however, so little that I am doubting my abilities to mix water and crystal powder, and measure things. I scooped off two spoonfuls of fluid from the tray because I thought perhaps I had the stones buried too deep because it appeared greatly over 3/4 of the tray. The sprinkled tops have maybe grown slightly, or maybe simply changed in appearance. I texted Christal about her rocks. She reports "minor" changes. I would classify mine as sub minor. 4+ hours in! We'll see what time does.

Crystal Growing: Blogumentary Pt. 1

Today is the day! Let's grow some crystals. I opened my growing kit earlier and acquainted myself with the directions. They suggested that I get an adult to help me with the hot water. Unfortunately, I was the only one around, so I helped myself.
Basically, you measure water in the dish, filling it up 3/4 of the way. The instructions say to pour that water into a container, remembering the level. You then get an adult to help you heat up water and fill the container to the same level. This seemed a little odd to me. I wondered why I wasn't simply instructed to heat the water I poured. Maybe that is just the way that adults do it? Anyway...
I filled a shot glass, heated the water, poured it into a glass bowl, and preceded to stir in 3/4 of the packet of crystals until all the crystal powder dissolved, or in reality, until most of it had. I poured the green liquid into the tray that came with the kit.  I then put the two pebbles into the liquid, and sprinkled them with the remainder of the powder. I have placed the container on a paper plate on the stove. It was approximately 1:30 PM when I was finished. Let's see if these things will look like the picture at all.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christal's Growing Crystals

First off, let me say that Family Dollar is awesome. My tattoo artist friend Christal and I went to town tonight for some errands. We ended up spending the majority of our time and money there. We got some really good stuff though, good finds! Along with some killer pink zebra striped sheer curtains for her shop and some other random treasures she purchased two packs of Growing Crystals from the kids section.  The old school kits you may have seen, they've been making them awhile, I believe.  You just don't come across them that often, I reckon.  They cost like a buck fifty, they must be made for around ten cents in the worst factory and working conditions or something.  What ARE you, Growing Crystals?  Crystal Growing?!!  Explain yourself! 

IN RETROSPECT I don't know why I didn't snag one for myself, as they were only a dollar, I think. I was perhaps too excited about the buy one get one half off mirror and framed art sale, where I snagged some shadow box music art that should look slick in my living room eaves!  (Seriously, Family Dollar is awesome!  We are true Dimestore Diamonds! ...even if one of us needs to be talked down from buying a turban once in awhile.)  Anyway, after getting back to her house and excitedly opening one box and reading the directions she says about using one of her own rocks even with the kit. I wonder what they are made out of. I wonder how long it will take. Will it emit a noxious gas? Are they the color on the box? It says that you will start to see crystals within hours supposedly. Christal agreed to give me her box of green Growing Crystals ONLY IF I would blog about it, and "right away" at that, meaning tonight after the kid and husband were in now. The only thing is, I need to sleep. I don't have time to wait for growing crystals, so tomorrow morning I will begin the bloggity blogxperiment.

The Growing Crystals kit includes a tray, a pack of chemicals to be mixed with warm water, a stick to stir it, and two typical pebble-like stones. It is made in China, distributed by a company called Creative Kids Far East Ltd. Apparently they are located in Hong Kong. This pack was manufactured in a factory in Taicang, Jiangsu, China in August of 2012.  Instructions included! I'm excited and curious for the blogumentary experiment. I embrace the assignment! Thank you, Christal.  Tomorrow we will "create beautiful crystals and watch them GROW!!" ...and blog about it.  Let's do this!