.. on black thumbs and a white plant


It’s ah-LIVE!

One of the most astonishing things that happens when someone you love dies is that you suddenly have lots of flowers.

And casseroles.

Mainly lasagna, but sometimes – especially if you have southern friends – casseroles that have very cool names like “chicken surprise” and “beef and noodle surprise”.

I am not sure if the latter dishes are supposed to be said that way (“chicken surprise”…) or if I got it wrong and I was supposed to hear them in my head as “Chicken. SURPRISE!”

But either way, I was surprised.  And even though I sometimes laughingly say that I hate people, it turns out my fellow humans can be pretty cool and thoughtful sentient beings.

Which brings me back to the flowers, which I have decided are not sentient beings (and shut up to anyone who was about to tell me about that article they read a long time ago about plants screaming when they are pruned.)

So, when you do get a lot of flowers because someone has died – and you are me – you hope that these non-sentient-being-flowers are cut flowers, because cut flowers are pretty much already goners and you can display their pretty corpses until they become wilt-y, and then you can dispose of them guilt-free.

Because, I have to say, the whole concept of killing something that was given to me with the explicit purpose of cheering me up because my loved one has died is… well… slightly unnerving.

And also kind of passive aggressive.

Which brings me to this…

Mac and Jack work for this pretty awesome company and, can you believe it, the partners of said company sent an absolutely beautiful set of flowers along, and they don’t even know us!

The issue, though, is that because they don’t even know me, these particular flowers were attached to the rest of a whole plant.

Which is a problem.

Because this particular plant – a white one – came innocently into the house, most likely expecting some level of stay-alive care.


And I looked up the plant and it is an orchid.

I can tell you that, when you Google ‘how-to-care-for-an-orchid’, the answer you get contains the same complexities as when you look up “how-to-create-and-launch-a-manned-spacecraft-when-you-don’t-even-have-to-be-the-lowest-bidder’.

And, I can tell you after an abbreviated search, that orchid people are freaks.

There was everything from very minutely-detailed measurements of 50/50/50 fertilizer (as if I even know what that is referring to) and how you have to mix that with other stuff – like water – to make it all effective and not root-burn-y… to equally detailed ‘feeding’ and watering schedules, to light and temperature ‘preferences’ (of the orchid, not the people watching over it), to talking to the dang plant.

And there were even theories on how it really isn’t the talking-to bit, but the whole benefits-of-your-breath-on-the-plant, that helps the orchid be happy (and here is where I tell you that I do not trust this plant enough to lean in really close because for some reason it reminds me of that plant in that play that became a movie starring the cute guy from Ghost Busters… hang on, I’ll look it up…

Rick Moranis.

Little Shop of Horrors.

So I am a little afraid of my orchid.

Which I think means I have orchid-naphobia.

So Granny, who has a very green thumb, was all kinds of worried because she was certain I was going to kill (or otherwise intentionally harm) this beautiful plant that the wicked nice people-I-don’t-know sent me because they didn’t know of my black thumb.

So, to ingratiate myself to the plant, I thought a sacrifice was in order.

I chose water.

Tap water.

And guess what? It seems to like tap water!

Because in the past four weeks, these little buds that were on the end of the flowery orchid arm? They opened up!

Clearly my tap water is also filled with the right 50/50/50 fertilizer, which makes sense because Gabe is 6’5.

So the only issue remaining, was that I was still a little uncomfortable around the orchid, and this is probably because I have always been more of an animal person than a plant person.  This didn’t bode well for the orchid, mainly because I figured that – after the novelty of the fact that I did not immediately kill it wore off – I’d probably forget about it, deprive it of the 50/50/50 tap water, and it would die.

And then there would be guilt (which there wouldn’t have been, if Mac’s and Jack’s employers knew me better and sent me cut flowers instead of this very thoughtful ‘cheer me up, but put a little pressure on me too” gift.)

But now I am not worried at all!

Because when I was photographing the orchid to show it to you, I realized that orchids – hide lots of little things in them when you get up close.

Mine has tusks….


Orchid Tusks

Which are decidedly animal things to have, I think.

And also?

Flying baby ocelots.

No I am not kidding!

There is exactly one flying baby ocelot in every single one of my scary orchid flowers.


Flying Baby Ocelot

And I am a BIG fan of baby ocelots, and you can see why…


stock photo of real baby ocelot (this one does not fly (I don’t think))

So now I am more certain than ever that I may be able to keep this orchid alive, at least for far longer than my standard ‘keep-a-plant-alive’ timeframe (which I already passed several weeks ago so I am on a roll), and this is because the orchid is really just a nice little habitat for flying baby ocelots.

And I am all about animal habitat preservation.

At least for the next week or so.


Thanks for readin’.


Come on over to Just Ponderin’s Facebook page to comment <3