Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another New Year Already?!!

It has been such a roller-coaster for us in 2009, that I'm almost surprised at another new year catching up with us already! :)

2009 was a big year for us, with a lot of new experiences, a lot of firsts. And the new home was just a starting point.... This year our daughter started 'big school', our son learnt to stay away from his most favourite person- grandma- as we moved into a nuclear family set up, my husband who used to hate the very idea of driving in chaotic city traffic actually learnt driving well enough to drive himself to work (I still pinch myself sometimes!). Well, the list seems endless but I won't bore you with the details.

I'll remember the year most of all for making me connect to something that I waited a long, long time to do. Yes, this was the year I started painting again. It was like a breath of fresh air, a new lease of life to be able to find my way around hitherto unexplored terrain. You can see my artwork on my other blog, Creative Rumblings.

Here's hoping the mad rollercoaster ride continues in 2010 as well, as I bring you more interesting vignettes from our home.

And wishing all my readers a fantastic 2010 where all your dreams come true, and you get the courage and confidence to dream even bigger!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some Succulent (& Thorny!) Green Advice

My old pal from college recently lamented how she was getting frustrated because her cacti wouldn't survive. As she asked for tips, she also suggested that I share this piece of advice on my blog for all wannabe green thumbs like her. So here goes...

Cacti and succulents are two of the easiest-to-grow varieties for apartment dwellers. They are no fuss creatures, and don't need much pampering. Morever, they do not require extravagant spaces. You can actually grow them in the smallest of containers and still manage to add that much-needed dash of green to your living area.

But the two cardinal rules for all cacti and succulents (and they apply especially to those that are grown in apartment balconies):
  • Rule one, never over-water, even if they look withered. Too much water does them more harm than too less. Remember, both cactus and succulent plants are meant for arid, dry climate.

  • Rule two, and equally important, keep them out of squirrel-infested areas. The squirrels have a fascination for the gel-like substance found in both cacti and succulents. So they suck out the insides of the poor cacti/succulent, leaving just the outer shell standing. And then before you know what happened, the plant suddenly withers away!

The solution that worked for me - keep your cacti and succulents indoors till they grow somewhat sturdy. Once the thorns on the cacti start hardening, the squirrels won't touch it anyways! :)

Hope this advice helps, and more of my readers enjoy greening their spaces.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Special Neighbours - V : Bugged!

Seems like the ladybirds are in circulation already! But I thought they came in spring, and couldn't survive the harsh winters... maybe this one was a lost creature, late in catching up on some winter sleep like its fellow bugs.

My son brought home a tiny ladybird home the other day, and my daughter squealed with joy declaring that the 'ladybug' was going to be their pet! :) The two spent almost an hour playing around with the polka-dotted fellow before it finally took off...

I have seen ladybirds in various shades of red, orange and earthy yellow before. But right after we had moved in to this house last spring in late March, I saw a couple of gorgeous specimens around these parts.

Have you ever seen a ladybird in such a brilliant blue hue?

Or such a bright green one?

Maybe it won't be such a bad idea to have them around the garden after all... as pets or otherwise! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Now that winters are here, hibernating seems like a good excuse for my long absences from this blog! :)

Did I tell you I absolutely dislike winters? Those foggy grey days give me a serious case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, for the uninitiated) every year. I am the sunshiny types who'd rather get a sunburn than sit and shiver in a corner all day. So I spend the maximum time outside on the sit-outs munching peanuts and crackers, and the rest of my indoor time is taken up by painting.

I hope to get a little active around X-mas cause that is such a favourite festival with the kids. In the meanwhile, here's praying for sunny, cheerful days ahead instead of depressive, smoggy ones... at least one can catch a picnic then! :)
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