Thursday, November 9, 2023


Blue Skies

On Wednesday, the Santa Ana winds blew again and blew all the clouds away, so, I had clear blue skies.

M was here earlier than usual, today; I had forgotten that he starts on his rounds earlier in the day during this time of the year to "race the sun" as he says and finish the gardens before it gets too dark.  He brought me more gardenias from his garden!  I didn't "arrange" them, this time, just put them in a vase (an ice bucket that I had decided not to declutter) with some water.  

Gardenias from M's Garden

He also brought me a cutting from a holiday cactus plant:

Holiday Cactus Cutting
(Schlumbergera truncata)

There are three kinds of holiday cactus plants.  There is the very popular Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) which usually flowers in December, the Crab or Claw cactus (Schlumbergera truncata), which is also known as Thanksgiving cactus in the US because it flowers in November close our Thanksviging and Christmas cactus in Canada, because their Thanksgiving (in October) has already passed by the time the plant blooms, and the Spring or Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis).  In addition, there is also Schlumbergera bridgesii, which used to be called the Christmas cactus, years ago.

The best way to identify these different holiday cactus plants is by looking at the shape of their "leaves" which are actually the stems and called phylloclades and the flowers when they bloom. The Christmas cactus and the Spring or Easter cactus both have smooth, round, scalloped edges and the Thanksgiving cactus have pointy, serrated edges.  Going by my observation of the stems of my plant cutting (and the fact that the buds are forming in November), I am going to identify it as Schlumbergera truncata or Thanksgiving/Crab/Claw cactus.  If and when it blooms, I will be able to better identify it (basically, Schlumbergera x buckleyi or Christmas cactus flowers have pink to brown anthers; the Schlumbergera truncata or Thanksgiving cactus flowers have yellow anthers. 

According to what I've read, the best time to take a cutting is after the plant has bloomed and not when it is setting buds as this cutting is doing, but, we shall see if it roots and grows.  And here ends the botany lesson!  LOL.

In the afternoon, I picked a few green beans (all from one plant) and four cherry tomatoes:

Wednesday' Garden Harvest

I spent most of the afternoon and evening reading my library book that is due tomorrow:

Library Book: On the Curry Trail

The author writes about how, curry, which originated in India, spread to other parts of the world and how it changed according to the available ingredients and tastes of the people who made it.  The book was divided into four sections which looked at a different parts of the world where curry is made (Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Oceania, and the Americas) and featured a recipe from the countries in that area.  Before each recipe, there was a little history about how curry and the ingredients that went into making a curry, the spices that create the special blends known collectively as curry, reached that area, though trade, through the spread of religion, especially as Buddhism spread from India to other parts of Asia, through colonizers (especially the Portuguese, Dutch, British, and French) introducing various ingredients from other parts of their colonies, through colonizers such as the British bringing indentured workers from India to work on various plantations in other parts of their colonies once slavery was abolished in their home countries, through immigration (I know I brought a jar of curry powder with me when I came here!), and the similarities and the differences.  I enjoyed reading those parts even more than I enjoyed looking at the recipes.  The recipes were interesting, too, and the directions were well written.  I do wish that the recipes were accompanied by actual photographs of the finished dish rather than the colored drawings.  There wasn't a single photograph in the book.  Maybe the author didn't want to cook and photograph each dish or maybe it was a cost cutting measure.  I don't know; but, I do know that I would have enjoyed seeing an actual photograph of the different dishes.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- The Santa Ana winds didn't do any harm to my garden or property
- M tending to the garden and bringing me flowers and a plant cutting
- Daughter felt well enough to go to work
- I haven't felt any side effects from the booster 
- Library books

Today's joyful activity was reading.

Plans for tomorrow include a trip to the library to return the book.

How was your Wednesday?  What are your plans for Thursday?  Do you like seeing photographs of the dishes in a recipe book or don't you mind if there are only drawings?  


  1. Lucky you receiving the Gardenias from M - IMO they are such a beautiful & fragrant flower, I would certainly like some :) I once had a Christmas catcus ... alas the fur girls got it :( Glad to read you have not had any adverse side effects from your Covid booster jab. In your region are the health care folks prompting the RSV vaccine? It's a big push here, complete with TV commercials of Canadian "stars" prompting.

    1. I am very lucky, indeed! I love gardenias! Yes, my doctor advised me to get the RSV vaccine, too. I will schedule that, next. I try to have a week or so between vaccines! I rarely go out and I wear a N95 mask when I do, so I think I am a bit more protected and can wait a few extra days to get the RSV vaccine. It is being advertised on the TV, too. I am also supposed to get the shingles vaccine - I think I'll wait until December for that!

  2. Thanks for the lesson on Schlumbergera. I think I have a Thanksgiving cactus, but I have to give it a more thorough investigation. I received a large plant from my father-in-law several years ago and my cats promptly tore it apart and strew it about the house. I potted all of these pieces and shared them with friends. I have one little plant left that hasn't exactly thrived, but it hasn't died either. I think at one point, I watered it too much.

    1. You are welcome, June. This is the first holiday cactus I've ever had, so, I am reading up on it and learning as I go! I read that the stems on the Christmas cactus are a bit more fragile and break fairly easily so, commercial growers will often label the less fragile Thanksgiving cactus as "Christmas cactus" because it better withstands being transported to stores!
      Oh, your poor plant! Getting torn apart by the cats! I'm keeping my plant out of Dancer's reach! I read that the plants don't like being overwatered or allowed to dry out too much and that they require 10 hours of darkness in order to flower. The mother plant from which I receive a cutting is being grown outside, so, I suppose I might eventually keep mine outside, too.

  3. Your gardenias are lovely and look so nice in your ice bucket. Fingers crossed your cactus plant will bloom in time for Thanksgiving and I agree those meals would look better with photographs.
    I'm pleased to know you suffered no side effects from your Covid jab.
    I'm envious of your blue skies as it is grey and miserable here, I got very wet walking Tilly.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. I'm thinking that this particular plant is more likely to drop its buds because it hasn't rooted, yet, but, we shall see. :) I'm sorry you got wet walking Tilly. It's sunny and mild over here, although, there is rain in the forecast for next Thursday.

  4. What a pretty vase you have M's gardenias in. I like the size and shape of it. I enjoy glass and crystal and will pick it up now and then at thrift shops. There is always so much of it. I guess it's fallen out of favor of late but I like it.
    My friend's neighbor passed away recently. She had no children or any family that wanted her possessions so the lawyer handling the estate allowed my friend and me to go into the house last week and take anything we might like. It was all headed for the dumpster afterwards.
    Oh gosh - a life of possessions headed for a dumpster. I guess that's the truth for most things sooner or later really.
    Anyway, I got a lot of nice things including a crystal vase about the size of yours and a cut glass bowl among other things. Many things I cleaned up and took to the thrift store as they were too nice to be thrown in a dumpster. I was walking in with my donation and a lady asked me if she could have the mirror I was dropping off. It was very pretty but I didn't need it. She loved it and it made me happy that someone wanted it.

    1. Thank you, Debra - that "vase" is the ice bucket I debated if I should declutter or not, sometime back! I thought it would make a good vase and I decided to keep it. I've used it as a vase several times since then.
      I'm glad that you and your friend were allowed to go into her neighbor's house to collect whatever you wanted and that you took some of it to the thrift store. I'm glad that you were able to give the mirror to that lady who wanted it.


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