Both sides, now!

We’ve been having a nice stretch of weather, so today I got outside to take some pictures and do a bit of digging and repotting. Because winter’s been quite warm, growth in the Ranchero is a good month ahead of what I’ve seen during my previous two winters here…..take a look:

Ranchero, Feb 2, 2012

This is a side of the garden from which I rarely take photos, and I’m surprised by how full it looks!  In years past, the curly croton (foreground) and dracena marginata (left-rear) have died back to ground level; the amaryllis had 2 leaves at most, and the cosmos were nowhere near blooming.  Ditto for a sunflower located on the other side of the purple oyster plants….see?

Cinnamon Sunflower

An open sunflower on the second day in February?  Surely this is a sign the ground is ALOT warmer this year…. and here’s another one, from a part of the vegetable garden you haven’t seen before:

Thai Peppers

Pick me!! Pick me!!

Thai Peppers! Red, HOT and definitely ahead of schedule….we’ve been pulling these off (and eating them) for the past two weeks!

Maybe the planting “zone creep” announced last week is real, or perhaps recent events in my garden are randomly anectdotal. Only time and scientific data will tell, but I guarantee this last example will have you thinking about both sides, now!

Just before Christmas, I took a cutting from my very well established almond bush, dipped it in root hormone and placed it directly in my rear cutting garden instead of a pot.  I’ve noticed this past month how big it’s grown;  in the past week it even set some small buds!.  Today I dug it up to have a look:

Almond Bush Cutting

Holy Canoli, Batman!!!!!  You are looking at the cutting (with extensive roots!!) being held above the spot on the branch from which it was snipped.  I was so completely astounded I decided to pot it up for a friend:

New almond bush

Tomorrow I go to Ivana's house!

I hope she likes it!

Until next time!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly two million Americans were dependent on, or abusing, opiate painkillers. The Center for Disease Control characterizes it as an “epidemic”, saying Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet are more commonly abused than ANY other types of drug, legal or illicit.  Chances are you know a friend/relative/coworker caught in an opiate grip…at the very least you know me.  Let me show you what hope can look like when an addict chooses recovery:

Methadone Clinic

Hope can be found at a methadone clinic

I struggled with opiates long before it became the addiction of the decade, and was never successful stopping on my own.  Like most, I rebelled at the idea of methadone clinics: liquid handcuffs…deadbeats…all the stereotypical judgments!!  I thought they were places frequented by people who weren’t like me….and the day I finally got to one, I realized how right I was, but for all the wrong reasons:  They WEREN’T like me…they were already on the way to getting better and I was little more than a jerk with ridiculous biases!

The point of this post (beyond sharing an ugly stock photo when I typically share a nice one!) is education.   If you, or someone you know, needs help with sobriety, start with the Samhsa.gov site and read their voices of recovery pages. Pay special attention to Walter Ginter’s story, and then check out the  advocacy organization he founded.  Look into the myriad of resources offered via Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous if NA doesn’t meet in your area.

Treatment is effective. People do Recover. There IS hope!

Until next time, enjoy February’s first blooms from the Ranchero:

Coreopsis

Yellow flowers signify hope for a sunny future!