Monday, March 07, 2011

The Kids Are All Right!

I was worried about my house plants, 
but they had a great time while I was gone.

Has this ever happened to you? After arriving home from a mind-boggling trip, you're filled with so many wild ideas on what to do next that you can't focus on a single thing? That's been my dilemma for over a week.

Under John's care, the truly dead Christmas Amaryllis made a fancy comeback. 
And, Amy's R.I.P. annual Geranium is happily doing the same darn thing!

I was staring at the ceiling, around 4 a.m., this morning, thinking about all sorts of stuff. Not the least of which is this whole jet lag deal and when, if ever, my sleep patterns might get back to normal.

Sleep deprivation didn’t bother me, the whole time I was in Italy. Perhaps that’s why I’m suffering doubly at the end of my journey.

Do you suppose he's feeding them beer?? 
Ms. Edna, the ancient Christmas Cactus, is sporting at least 100 new bright blossoms.

And, then of course, it’s winter here. After I’d spent an entire month drooling over the bright colors and luscious fragrance of Italy’s spring bulbs… we’re back to shoveling snow.

The flowers are looking better in my absence than they do when I am here.
Under Sandy's sweet care I have 21 Butterfly Orchid buds preparing to hatch!

Snow ~ way more than jet lag ~ can mess with a passionate gardener’s perspective on life. Especially since I told myself on the plane that the second I landed I was jumping on that seed planting bandwagon.

Have you started seeds? Do tell! I smuggled a few seeds back from Luciano's farm. And, I know they made it through customs because I hid them so well, even I can't find them. 


Lona said...

It is hard to concentrate on one thing when your mind is so filled with all of things you have experienced while you were there. Your babies do look like they got along fine while you were gone. See you did not have to worry about them they were in good hands. Welcome home!

Melospiza said...

I have gotten to the point where I've told myself that I absolutely, no really really, MUST get started with the seeds. ANd I rooted around in our shed and got out the pots and so forth. And the box of seeds. And then I made the mistake of sitting down to do the taxes--which, while the deadline for them is further off, the consequences of not quite getting to them is much higher.

Sending calming and reorgnaizing vibes your way--re-entry back into regular life can be brutal.

ProfessorRoush said...

Welcome back to reality. Tuscany is a fantasy world that you've been allowed to visit, but you're now back in the grip of snow as seen out that picture window. Sorry, but that seed-planting may have to wait a bit longer.

Ellie said...

Welcome back! I can imagine that returning to snow and wintry temperatures isn't easy. When does the snow usually disappear in your corner of the world?
On the positive side: you do have gorgeous flowers inside the house. I just love the Amaryllis!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Lona!

It's VERY good to be home. I had a great time but I was really starting to miss my old familiar life.

Taxes. Argh. Melospiza,
Now why did you have to bring that up?? :D Thanks for the calming vibes because I'm definitely gonna need 'em.

Hi, Prof;
It's probably good that seed planting is a ways off. Might take me a month to remember where I hid those smuggled seeds. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Ellie;
I might not see the end of this snow until the end of May. Hence the massive number of indoor bloomers to keep me smiling. :))

Alison said...

Welcome back! Glad you came back to blooming, healthy houseplants, but sad that the adventure is over. Hope you get your sleep patterns sorted out. I always have a harder time coming home from Europe than going over.

Marguerite said...

I suffer the same symptoms if I'm gone from home just a couple of days. Doesn't take much to confuse me. But I do think you have good reason, Italy being so vastly different, after a month it must feel strange to be back in North America.

A Garden of Threads said...

Welcome home Kate. The kids look wonderful. Don't you hate it when they do not miss you, but you missed them so much. Have not started any seeds yet, too much snow still on the ground. Take your time adjusting, spring does not arrive for awhile;)

Anonymous said...

So fun to see your Christmas Cactus blooming! I thought ours was just late for blooming this week! Mine is much smaller (about 3 blooms total) but pictures are here:

Unknown said...

I think my plants do better with a little neglect. Not that yours were neglected at all, but the schedule was different. When you get your land legs back you will be sowing up a storm. Those are some bright windows you have there. (I have some nasturtium seeds going now for some instant gratification.)

Shady Gardener said...

It looks as though everything made it alright while you were gone - Yea! And isn't it wonderful that you can appreciate all those beautiful blooms?

Your seed smuggling dilemma sounds so... familiar... "Now what did I do with my (fill in the blank!)" ;-)

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Wow I want to borrow those people when I go on vacation. A couple of years ago we left our son in charge of the outdoor plants. Told him to give them a drink every day. Came home to find a bunch of sticks in pots. Your photos were gorgeous. V

growingagardenindavis said...

I just read through the whole Italy story...I'm so jealous! A month immersed in the Italian culture must have been wonderful. And I'm so glad you had blooms to great you on your return:)

Unknown said...

I always find the jet lag recovery twice as hard on the way home. I don't know that it's because east-to-west is a harder direction to adjust to. I think it's mostly because all the delayed tiredness of overfilled days & new experiences catch up with you, whereas when you are leaving home, you are stimulated and looking ahead to new things, and there's extra motivation to put sleep second, and staying awake first. But also because you are back 'home' where you are accustomed to letting go. So sleep as you can, get up early, get stuff done, and eventually you will find yourself back in the usual wake/sleep patterns.

I find it takes 2-3 days to be well-enough adjusted to Europe time when I arrive, but a full week to reach 100%. Conventional wisdom is that the body adjusts one hour per day, so depending on your time zone in the US, that comes to 5-9 hours. Coming home I really do require a full week (for me the time change is 8 hours).

Kate, I really enjoyed the photos and posts from your trip. Be sure to go back and reread them. And enjoy 'downloading' -- don't rush into seed starting. We too are shoveling snow, after a super-balmy February. Dang.

And, hey, now that you know your plants didn't get the dwindles while you were gone, I hope you are thinking ahead to your NEXT European trip!?

Christine said...

The Butterfly Orchid is beautiful and have you found the seeds from Luciano's farm yet?

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Allison;
I was amazed by my African Violet in particular. I've never seen her blossom so well. Clearly my housesitter has the magic touch.

Hey, Marguerite;
It's been difficult. I guess, with being gone for such a long time, it sort of exacerbates everything. I keep waking up, expecting my fab Italian espresso. Try as I might, I can't duplicate that flavor...

Thx, Jenn;
I'm glad to hear that everyone is taking a bit of time on the old seed starting thing. I was feeling like I was very behind.

Dear Dying to Be Domestic ~
Love the title of your blog. :) Thanks for paying me a visit and nice work with the cactus!!

Hi, Tufa;
Oooh... nasturtiums! May have to copy you on that fab idea.

Hi, Shady;
Everything did better in my absence. Except the dog. He was a basket case...

Thx, Leslie;
It was the experience of a lifetime. Of course, now that I say that, I'm already plotting on ways to afford another one!!!

Hi, Li'l Ned;
I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos. When I got home, and saw them on my desktop vs. my laptop, I thought oooh... those didn't turn out so hot. Whatever. At least it shows you some very fun scenery. Good to know about the jet lag adjustment. I was beginning to think I was a real wimp. ;>)

Hi, Christine;
Yep, recovered the most precious of seeds, the khaki fruit from Ani, after shredding the lining of the trusty carry on.

Christine B. said...

Your Christmas cactus is inspiring. I was thinking my new little one was doing OK because it grew a new leaf. I am sufficiently humbled.

Christine in Alaska

troutbirder said...

Yea! Great blog. Thanks for visiting mine. Now lets hear more about your gymnastic career not so long ago. I do love amarylis and raising more of them. Ok I'm obsessed with that too.
And Italy.... it been more than ten year since I took High School student (yes) there and to Greece. I need to go back and take the Mrs there... that is to some place besides Ireland.

debsgarden said...

Your beautiful houseplants are certainly a contrast to all the cold snow outside your windows! I'm glad you arrived safely home. I have been looking at your posts on Italy, and it looks like you had a fabulous time! The real world will take some adjustment, but just think a lot of people, like me and probably plenty of folks in Italy, would be mesmerized by your snow!

joey said...

Welcome home, Kate. Indeed, all looks grand! And you are not alone ... we too still have snow.

Rose said...

Welcome home, Kate! It looks like all your babies thrived during your absence. I know that feeling of having a jumbled to-do list in my head and being overwhelmed by it all; I think I spend half my life that way, and I don't have jet lag as an excuse:) Hope you find those seeds!

Liz said...

First of all, congratulations on the new layout of your blog. I like it very much! And secondly, congatulations with your gorgeous looking plants! You have inspired me to start working on my own garden!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

OMG Kate girl ! You were in Italy for a month ??? I have to work backwards to find out what you were up to there you naughty vixen! Hey .. it always works that way .. your house plants always do better when byou are NOT there ! It is a rule or law some where I am sure !!
Joy wink wink "how many days until Halloween?"

Snowcatcher said...

Welcome home! Spring truly is on the way... it just doesn't seem like it every day!

I want your babysitters to come take care of my babies. While I'm home. So I can watch them and learn! My Christmas cactus haven't looked as good as yours for two years running now!

sweetbay said...

Ugh, seeing that snow must have been like getting a shoveful in the face after being in Italty. The kids look beautiful. I hope you're able to get some good rest soon!

I know what you mean about hiding something so well that you can't find it. I put something somewhere so I'm sure it will be safe and it is, even from me. :(

Just started seed startification here, in fridge. We have a long growing season here so I just start them outside in April. Seedlings started in my house never do that well, even with fans, humidifers, bottom heaters and full spectrum lights.

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