Tuesday, January 31, 2012


A couple of years I purchased a pot full of these interesting plants and separated them into their own individual pot.  I am going to guess at the time that they were probably 3-4 years old. I have owned a few in the past, but managed to over water them. When lithops are over watered they explode.  Not a pretty sight.  We are going into our second winter living with these plants. I think they have grown a little. I have lost a few but I have managed to keep just about all of them alive. Back in November around Thanksgiving time around 8 lithops bloomed. I have read that watering should cease in the winter.  During this past month the lithops' leaves split open to reveal new leaves inside. Sometimes they split open and remain one new plant, and other plants split open, becoming two new plants.  Very Cool.  This is the time to definitely not water because the inside leaves are now getting water from the outside leaves of the plant, so if I were to water them now they would take in the water from the roots instead of taking in water from the outside leaf and the outcome would be... well lets not go there. We just won't water them.

I like to separate out the plants that are splitting, this way I can keep an eye on all of the action.

Last year this lithops plant was three leaves and each one split into 2, making 6. I have been watching this one closely to see if it will split again. I was thrilled a couple of days ago when I saw a couple of them are beginning to open up and I am waiting with anticipation to see if the will become 12. How exciting. We are not sure if they will multiply this story to be continued.

The lithops plant is native to South Africa and is also called living stones. I have read that by looking like stones on the desert floor, it helps to camouflage them from hungry animals.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What is New

Happy New Year! Our pottery wheels have yet to turn, but we have been actively working in other areas of our lives.  Enjoying a little of our hobbies, catching up on our domestic life, organizing, and cooking. A few detailed activities: cutting scrub trees down around our pond and yellow cottage, planting the rest of the daffodil bulbs, beginning to move our office and computer to a new room, cleaning up areas of our studio that are truly out of control (as opposed to just chronically messy), packing and shipping our pottery to new homes, and enjoying the quite time of winter.  We have been on a working vacation. 

What is new..
  • Our computer screen is new. Conveniently after all of the Holiday sales, I finally made up my mind.  It is a 4 month old birthday present, have you researched computer screens? We have been working on a screen we bought refurbished around 10 years ago. Trying to decipher which criticisms are important to read, and what does one want in a computer screen takes a little while to take in. The prices range all over. What size? I chose the 24" Dell Ultra-sharp 2410. It will take a little while to get used to, it is so much brighter, more crisp, and the screen is flat. 

Gloria hung red bows around the property
  •  We have new Wii games!  We like the Wii. After a couple of weeks of research, I decided on  Punch Out, Just Dance #3, Deadly Creatures, Endless Blue Ocean, A Boy and His Blob, Zelda, Go Vacation. We also received a Xmas present from my brother and his family - Mario Cart.  I have tried all of them but Zelda. Here is a quick review from a true novice: 

"Mario Cart" is lots of fun, though I don't recommend playing right after you eat.
 "Just Dance" is a real workout and after I danced two dances my heart was pumping vigorously (I need to get more exercise).
 In "Deadly Creatures" you are a tarantula scurrying around looking for grubs and crickets to eat.  The first battle is with a Rattlesnake, which took me quite a few lives before triumphantly, I figured out how to escape.  I felt like I accomplished something.  But then I was faced with battling a wolf spider and these hard-core beetles all at the same time - I have yet to make it out this alive.
"Punch Out" I think will be fun once I figure all of the buttons. You can use the balance board with it, but I have not tried this yet.
"Endless Ocean" is relaxing because you swim around looking at fish.  I haven't played it yet , but I had fun watching Ed play.
"A Boy and  His Blob" is like a puzzle game.  It took me many times just to get past the first screen trying to jump over one of the evil black blobs, but once I figured it out I was off on the adventure throwing jelly beans, collecting treasures, and hugging my sweet helper blob.
I have yet to try "Zelda" and I have watched Ed play "Go Vacation" which looks fun, riding around the island looking for different activites to play.
"Mario Cart" has been in our Wii console more then any of the other games.

  •  We have acquired some new books.  A variety of drawing books, watercolor techniques, mythology, a Chagall biography, and a couple pattern design books.

  •  A new label maker made its way under the Christmas tree.  Everything I read about getting your office organize suggests to use a label maker instead of your hand-writing. This is supposed to give an impression of organized and clean looking files, instead of something thrown together.  We like using our new label maker. I am glad that we finally broke down and got it. Oh, and we also have a new paper cutter. Way cool.

  • Our new cat Koi, a very wonderful addition to our life is a sweet female calico cat.  She showed up in November, and we decided to feed her and take her in.  She has been to the vet, and she is in good health. The Vet said that she is around 1 years old.  Yesterday we worked outside cleaning up and she actually chased after Maxwell's red ball.  It was pretty funny watching Max watch her.  He seemed pretty incredulous that it should happen.

Koi Kitty