Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


The Anatomy of a Thursday Night (in which I make the case for a cat)

My law-student husband “has” to go to class an hour away 2 days a week. Apparently they encourage attendance in law school too. And on Thursday nights, he usually doesn’t get home until 9:00ish.

I usually leave work around 4:30pm, which means on Thursday nights, I have 4.5 hours of free time before I have to fall back into my role as wife. But free time isn’t actually as glamorous as it sounds. Here, for posterity, I’d like to document my actions of last week Thursday night. This is also going to be a record that I can look back on fondly and LAUUUGGGGHHH at (maniacally, I can only imagine) once we have kids. “Free time? AHAHAHA! I remember that.”

Anyway, we’ll begin from the time when I leave work…after lingering for 10-15 extra minutes just because I know 4.5 hours is a lot of time to kill. But then I can’t take it anymore and jet on out. I grab a handful of cookies before I leave for some added sustenance for the hours ahead.

I head to uh, an unnamed location to pick up a Christmas present for Ken. While I am there, the nice salesman and the great deals lure me in and I purchase 2 more unplanned gifts. (At least there are rebates for them!). Impulse purchases are VERY unheard of for me, but I guess I just got a wild hair or something.

I next head to Meijer, where I work at redeeming a ton of coupons for free stuff. I make the mistake of picking up a 2-liter of Pepsi early on into the trip, and my arm gets tired of lugging the basketful of very heavy groceries, but I surf the clearance racks anyway. Including the kids bikes. Even though I don’t know of anyone who needs a bike, especially one from Meijer. Clearance shopping unfruitful, I take one last lap around the store and head to the check-out. SUCCESS: I spend less than $3 for $11 worth of groceries, including some needed cheese.

Next I amble on over (but in my car) to Target, where I do the whole “surf the clearance rack” thing all over again. And again don’t really buy anything, though I do grab some gorgeous napkins I’ve been eyeing and some coffee creamer for a friend. And spend $.20 total.

target haul

I then text said friend re: dropping off the coffee creamer with the hopes of interacting with another human tonight. She’s not at home, so I head to Home Depot because I have a coupon I’ve been trying to spend since BEFORE HALLOWEEN. It’s for $5 off anything in the lawn and garden part of the store, which is perhaps the most boring part of that place. And besides, I’ve already been to HD about 4 times in the past month trying to spend the same coupon but I’m STILL surprised when there is nothing really new.

After contemplating an axe or machete for a Christmas gift for Kenny (bad idea, I know), I settle on two small succulents to replant my succulent terrarium oh, say, the fourth time? I only spend $.72 though, so my bad gardening skills have yet to put a large dent in the budget. I set them on the backseat of the car and say a little prayer that they’ll be okay on the ride home, not even noticing the conveniently located cup holders, which would have worked perfectly for transporting these guys.

meijer and home depot haul

I then realize that I’ve created a WHOLE bunch of work for myself. I not only have to wrap the 3! gifts I got for Kenny before he gets home (after cutting out the UPCs for the rebate…is that tacky?), but I also have to plant these dear little succulents. I zoom onto the highway with then intention of heading straight home. It’s around 7pm at this point, so can we just pause and ponder the fact that I spent the last 2.5 hours in 4 stores? I’m a master at wasting time.

Oh, but then I remember that the thrift store that is right on the way home is open late on Thursdays in December, so I get lured in to that too. I consider purchasing several things, but in the end leave emptyhanded after lingering awhile.

I finally arrive home and have to make 3! trips to get everything I’ve accumulated over the day inside. Luckily, I get the closest parking spot, so it’s not horrible. But I do have to clean dirt out of the back seat, because surprise! the succulents had the nerve to tip over and roll around a bit.

I check the mail on my last trip in to the apartment and am pleasantly surprised to find an unexpected package. I open it to find this little guy, which I ordered for free from a recent Hip2Save/Zulily deal. I had intended to give this as a gift to someone for Christmas, but selfishness won over and I’m totally going to keep this planner for myself.

mailbox freebie!

I then look up to find my kitchen looking like this:

chaos kitchen

Not really enjoying the fact that I can’t see my counters, I buckle down and unload all of the groceries and then get really excited about replanting the terrarium.

Halfway through the replantage with my hands covered in dirt, I realize I’m still dressed to the nines in my work clothes but there is no stopping me for that minor inconvenience of changing my clothes. Gardening in work clothes it is.

succulent terrarium shenanagins

Oh, yes, I did wear striped socks to work. No one sees my socks, so that’s fine, right?

I make short work of the terrarium and admire it for a few seconds before clean up the dirt and drop the spoon I used as a shovel into the dishwasher (eh, shouldn’t have admitted that on the internet). I then change into my nightly uniform of yoga pants and remember that I wanted to turn on some Christmas music the moment I got home. Better late than never, right?

succulent terrarium with rocks and bark!

I next tackle the wrapping of Christmas gifts. I get distracted halfway through by the internet, but when Kenny calls to say he’s on his way home, I leap into action once again.

I also realize I’ve eaten nothing for dinner, so I snag another cookie and put it off for a little bit longer. I’m in the wrapping ZONE and get about 7 gifts wrapped.

But then I realize that the apartment is a disaster and that Kenny will be home in about 15 minutes. I make haste to tidy up the bathroom (still messy from the morning) and wrapping zone, and then I quickly make the bed so I’ll look like an awesome wife when he gets home.

I finish cleaning in about 7 minutes, so I have a few spare seconds to read, but I run into a dilemma. Do I continue the juvenile science fiction book I’ve begun (Ender’s Shadow)? or do I switch to something more…socially acceptable, like Godric by Buechner? I obviously settle on sci-fi, because, well, Godric is written in iambic pentameter, and you can’t just start a book like that with only 5 minutes to devote to reading it.

Kenny arrives, bringing leftover pizza. Putting off dinner worked well in my favor tonight! I’m pretty ravenous so I trade him a slice for a cookie. We discuss our days, watch 2 TV shows, and head to bed. (Wild ones, we aren’t.)

As I lie in bed, I contemplate how awesome it would be to have a cat to keep me company during these long, lonely evenings. Right, Ken? Right?

If someone wants to back me up on this one, that would be great. Oh, and if you want to reassure me that my Thursday night actions are not that of a crazy person, I’d accept that too.


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Terrarium Menagerie (in which I battle an infestation of the plastic variety)



I’m just gonna get it out there…

I’ve already killed one of the plants in my terrarium.

Now that it’s out in the open, we can move along to more fun things.

Like plastic animals.

The turtle I recently adopted from Massachusetts, but the little elephant and dinosaur were Kenny’s when he was a youngster. I had way too much fun going through his action figures to select the ones that would come home with me.

I picked these up from his parents’ house so I could disguise the gaping hole that was left in my terrarium after the recent plant death.

The elephant in the back, though he would look awesome and majestic in a terrarium habitat, is meant for a different crafty idea.

It’s sort of weird–all of the plants were thriving and I was quite proud of myself, but then one day I noticed a dead leaf on one of the plant. The next day, it was 5 dead leaves. The next day, the whole thing was a withered mess. I will spare you that picture.

But check out the height of the tallest plant–it’s totally grown!

See? Here’s the original terrarium pic. Yes, it was the finger-like one that died.

I miss those groping fingers…

…but am quite enjoying the company of those new disproportionate critters.


Succulent Terrarium Pinterest Challenge (in which a tiny plastic object scares the living daylights out of me)

For one of my bridal showers before the wedding, my awesome mother-in-law got me a terrarium (possibly because I had been not-so-subtly lusting after hers).

To make a long story short: I killed it. Well, more specifically, I made it move to the garage because some fruit flies had taken up residence in it and would not leave, no matter how I threatened them.

A few weeks ago, I rehabbed the terrarium and bought this lovely succulent guy from the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market.

It stayed like this for a few weeks…and then an opportunity presented itself in the form of killing zombies for Home Depot coupons.

Not to mention that BFF bloggers Sherry and Katie (along with Carmel and Sarah) gave me a good kick in the rear with the Pinterest Challenge.

The goal is to “stop pinning and start doing.”

I’ve been dreaming about all of these succulent terrariums on Pinterest and it was time to make mine a reality.

First, I had to transplant this little bit of moss. In my mind, moss and succulents don’t go together, so I made this other little planter.

I can’t seem to kill this moss, no matter what I do–it’s the greatest. I plucked it from the woods while camping in early September, and it spent the next month in a Ziplock (I am a horrible plant parent) until I plopped it in the terrarium a few weeks ago.

Here’s the lineup of my Home Depot succulents which, after my $10 off coupon, cost me $.46.

Once I planted them, my terrarium looked like this. It still needed a bit of ground cover and a good wipedown of the glass.

Voila! I put down bark on half and stones on half and used Windex on the glass (for those who are interested in the deets).

But the terrarium was not quite finished. Look closely for a little creature that made himself right at home:

Even if I end up killing the succulents, I have high hopes that this little plastic turtle (in the center between the plants) will survive.

I keep forgetting he’s there, though, and the other day when I walked past the terrarium, I nearly jumped out of my skin because there was an ANIMAL in it.

Once I get used to our new pet, all will be well and I’ll be able to finally enjoy this sweet little succulent terrarium.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here on pins and needles worried that this guy is going to jump out and bite me or something.

It’s a hard life.