Friday, December 30, 2011

Maintaining Amaryllis Bulbs

The top of my medium size bookshelf. Left to right. Coleus rustic orange, velvet lime. Amarylis, and a succulent dish which I designed myself - a moom cactus, with Echevaria.

Two stalks of blooming red amaryllis.

A close up of the flower.

AMARYLLIS (naked lily) December 30, 2011.

i got amaryllis from trevor and vj for christmas. I have no experience with this bulb but it come with instructions. so, will, it is worth a try. any plant loves me, so this is another member of my family.

it is the variety red lion. red flowers in the window box, so it is put in its vase downstairs and hope it will show me flowers soon.

before i discard the kit, the instructions is here:

Unlike most other bulbs, Amaryllis bulbs will bloom again and again, provided they are properly cared for.
  • after the bulb finishes blooming, cut off the flower stalk close to the base.
  • keep the plant moist and add houseplant fertilizer regularly. after the last frost, you can put the amaryllis outside in a sunny spot.
  • stop watering and feeding in August/September and allow the plant to dry out completely in the sun.
  • in early fall, remove bulb from soil and clean the bulbs of old scales and spent foliage.
  • re-pot in a clean container with the neck of the bulb above the soil, water and place in cool, sunny spot. water sparingly until the first sprout appears, then keep moist. In about 8 weeks, the bulb will bloom again.
i will add notes if these instruction works, and how i tweak ( as I am known as the mad scientist on plants) them to suit my needs.

Currently, I planted the Amaryllis in my basement. I have a garage light " a flourescent 48" hanging from the wall " in my laundry room. This is how this amaryllis is planted. It showed about 2" of sprout already.

Since 8 weeks is blooming time, approximately that will be February 24th, 2012 from today (12/30/2011).
  • UPDATE: Feb. 18, 2011. Probably the estimated date is close to when it flowers. I have two big stalks or red flowers, and very awesome. It was so heavy that it fall off on the side. I have to cut two big stalks and put em in two separate flower vase.

Kids Milestone for 2011 - A mothers perspective

Kenneth is 7 this year and he can count in his head. He said, you got
40 pokemon points, but I got 70 to destroy you, so...i got 30 points
left and i won! BTW, he is in grade 2 this year and he started
learning more French that I can imagine.

Karlina will be 3 on Feb. 2012. Her most important milestone being is
being able to wash dishes, by simply tossing them in the toilet bowl
and start flushing. She then bring the plate back in the kitchen and
says "clean". And the kettle is boiling to put the " clean" plate in for sterilizing.

Kieren can walk now, he will turn 2 in June 2012. He is good at
sweeping the floor and hitting my head with the broom too. He has one
kidney only according to CHEO, but Dr. Chadha said, his right kidney is there - but it is not functioning.
In God grace, he also eat very well. He drinks milk a
lot, which I am contemplating in getting a cow to have a ready source
of milk everyday.

What i am trying to say is that "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you".

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Today, I stumbled upon Linus Torvalds Blog

this is my fulltime job, and it pays a lot!
if you count the number of diapers leaving my house each garbage day.

today, I stumbled upon Linus blog because I was trying to find reference for open source software.

while i thought geek dom and blogging does not mix, Linus prove me wrong again.

And i dare comment on his post about mingling with the Hollywood stars. He describes how fun it is to be Linus and Tove around them. And then, I look back this post was way back in February....who cares!

And they got 3 kids?

So, 10 years must have pass, my old laptop still runs on Linux, the desktop runs on Ubuntu.

No, no, no, days before Ubuntu was bittersweet. I got no kids that time, and I worked on my pajamas. And the cleaning lady comes once a month to clean up after me. And Sega Dreamcast was a hit!

And who am I kidding? I still work on my pajamas, smeared with yogort, and I walk on cheerios each morning, while getting to the coffee maker. happens so fast, eh?
This ain't an easy run, like running a marathon.

While I plan to do something else, like going to group fitness at Goodlife called Body Combat, I end up drifting in memory of 10 years back when I work on my pajama, and I call the cleaning lady once a month to clean my one bedroom apartment.

Now, in the day called "present", I am sorrounded by 3 kids, with boxes and gift wrappers from Christmas, and I lost the number of the cleaning lady.

So, I run around in circles, while what I was trying to do was find the number of the cleaning lady.

I stumbled on a post about Freecycle and Al Gore, and Ice Cream, and I thought gee....It was not Al Gore who invented the internet - someone named Tim Berners Lee, then I googled for reference. And I said, gee....Bill Gates got rich on that boom, I wonder how my pal Linus was doing...and here goes, I end up finding his blog on google.

The Earth must have been that perfect circle because I run around in circles and I end back in my living room dealing with the mess, with my daughter chasing my youngest son who is about to drop an apple to my aquarium to feed fishies! But then, it was jut last week when Karlina squirted a whole tube of toothpaste to Kenneth's aquarium upstairs because "fishy need to clean teeth".

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

my kids




karlina and kieren

kenneth and kieren

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yim Anthony : SPAM

I do not know if anyone still falls for this, but this is the 3rd email I got with the same message.

What county is +44, just wondering if anyone got feedback. Is this a long distance spam to entice to spend on long distance bills, or is this a spam to get your money? or both?



My name is Yim Anthony, Owner Rainbre Minning Ltd. I am 74years of age

with a terminating illness. I got your contact from a small business

forum where small businesses are discussed while where i was looking for

a reliable person who can make and handle investments with funds that i

will provide. However you should meet the following conditions.


1. Considering my age, I intend to remain anonymous (you will be the front man)

2. I do not entertain third party (you deal with me directly)

3. All information i shall reveal to you must be kept in full confidence and trust.

4. We shall sign and seal a non-disclosure agreement.

5. I am proposing 20% of profits from all investments for you.

6. You will have to come and meet with me for discussions and release of

Investment funds as i don't do business only on internet and telephone.

7. Draft an investment Plan summary and send to my perusal and consideration

I can also assist in project funding and loan finance at reasonable interest for long Term ONLY.

Please call me on +44 7924511684 so that we can discuss about this

I await your investment Plan.


Yim Anthony

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tiger Lily

Wavemaster: Free Standing Punching and Kicking bag (Work out, not time out!)

as weather cools down, here is my stress relief, boxing, cardio bag residing in my basement. bought it for about $80, it survive the kicks, punches and push of moi moi, and my 3 kids. 
just make exercise a family affair.

don't give your kids time out, give them a work out!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hybrid Tea Roses: Archieves from my Balcony Gardening

 hybrid tea roses

you can tell these pictures are old. :) 2004-2005 i think.
my son was having fun looking at girls on the streets down and the roses in the balcony. 
these are in huge - self watering pots. 

Mother In Laws Tongue, Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

a very hardy houseplant, can tolerate low light. very little water needed or they rot.
how little water?
I water mine once every two weeks, half a cup of water. (4 inch pot to 6in pots)

the big pot - about 2 gallons (the plant has new baby), 1 cup of water, once a month.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Flowering geranium (Overwintering Geraniums) - Caliente Pink

Pelargonium: common garden geranium

This plant was given to me, for frost would have killed it anyways.
I took some cuttings from it, and the mother plant in an "indoor soil". 
I put it in a pot in the basement, just to keep her alive, till next spring. Looking scragly, but she flowers.
A welcome distraction from the snowy outdoors.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Please email me, I have a question about your blog!

I do not know what this person heather is up to, but here is the result, upon checking her email in google. 

anyone, got any replies from her? What is the deal?
  1. OPERATION BRING HOME A BLOW: followed links and came to this ...
    4 days ago – 1 comments: Heather said... Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) November 28, 2011 3:59 PM ...
  2. Adventures of the Stay At Home Mom: Life, According to my iPhone
    11 Nov 2011 – Heather said... Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) November 11, 2011 2:11 PM · Miranda said. ...
  3. Clever Title TK: It Goes to Eleven
    11 Nov 2011 – D. Smith. November 11, 2011 1:01 PM · Heather said... Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) ...
  4. Confessions of a Supermom Wannabe: Ode to a day of Snot
    20 Nov 2011 – 2 comments: Heather said... Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) November 23, 2011 8:42 AM ...
  5. stephmodo: Modern Quilts
    21 Nov 2011 – November 22, 2011 12:20 PM · Jamie said... I just bought some fabric to make a few quilts for the thank ...
  6. Baby Bump & Beyond, LLC.: Maternity Wear Wednesday: 16 weeks
    15 Nov 2011 – 1 comments: Heather said... Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) November 18, 2011 6:30 AM ...
  7. Ann Arbor Mom Blog: All About Owls - Free Nature Program for the ...
    14 Nov 2011 – 1 comments: Heather said... Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) November 15, 2011 12:20 PM ...
  8. Motherhood Imperfected: Reminder!
    26 Oct 2011 – Heather said... please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) November 1, 2011 2:12 PM · Post a Comment ...
  9. #5 Decorate for Christmas: 25 Before 25 | Little Mama Jama
    2 days ago – Heather says: November 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm (UTC 0). Reply. Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :). HeatherVonsj@gmail. ...
  10. TripleZmom, not Supermom: Hot Pants. Literally.
    18 Nov 2011 – I have a question about your blog! :) 11/22/11 2:36 PM · WordVixen said... I'm thinking these would be awesome ...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Houseplant: Dracena reflexa "Song of India"

Houseplant: Dracena reflexa "Song of India"

This is probably my second Dracena reflexa - Song of India. See how long this will last with me.

The first one, I probably killed it within one month.
How did I kill it?
It look very healthy at the store. Took her home, find a good spot on top of my living room shelf. And then she sulk in a matter of two days. Leaf is not perky at all. So, I watered her. Next day, she was sulking still. Did not know what to do, so I watered her again. Three days later, the leaves started falling off, and I stop watering her. The leaves keep falling and the last time I check, there were no more leaves. I took her off the shelf, pull the stick, and off -- it smells stinky and she was dead.

This is another Dracena reflexa "song of india"

So far, I just have ash tray full of pebbles. I poured water on this base.

Put the water in there, and put the pot of dracena on top. Never ever watered the soil directly, except the first day after I changed the soil from store to my own soil mix recipe.

 Picture of her swirly beauty, Dracena reflexa "song of india".

Dracena reflexa "song of india"

Houseplant: Chlorophytum comosum (aka Spider Plant)


Chlorophytum comosum ( AKA spider plant)

this plant has huge roots (enlarge) that stores water when drought come along. She seem to be okay on top of the book shelf, so time will tell if I will lose her or not. 

picture on her first day at home from the store, just right after replacing the store soil with my own recipe:

Houseplant: Maranta leuconeura ( Prayer Plant)

HOUSEPLANT: Maranta leuconeura (prayer plant)

I found the name of this plant: Red Veined prayer plant, the picture is also more clearer than mine. (1)Maranta leuconeura erythroneuro,Red-Veined Prayer Plant,Marantaceae

there seems to be a buzz about this prayer plant, so I take her home. don't know how long she will last on top of my bookshelf, but yeah, I will let you know. 

If you have questions about how I care for this houseplant, leave a comment. How I care for her, might be slightly different from your style, it may work  or may not work, but worth the shot.

Maranta leuconeura erythroneuro
Red-Veined Prayer Plant




Houseplant: Stephanotis floribunda ( aka Madagascar Jasmine, Bridal Veil)

 Houseplant: Stephanotis floribunda ( common names: Madagascar Jasmine, Brival Veil)

Got this one at the store, and smells really nice, recall the Tomb Raider part where Lara smells * Jasmine*...what more I can tell you? The challenge will be to keep this plant alive in my home. 

Here are the pictures of my lovely Steph!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Soft Fluffy Snow, We Love it.

first decent good snowfall in ottawa, enough to make snowball. Yay! lovely and mild at 0C. Pictures of our backyard and the kiddos! kieren and karlina enjoyed it very much and can you tell, i love it too!

Matured Zucchini

I let the Zucchini mature itself,  and i wonder if this is really a zucchini or some random hybrid cross cucurbit that grow in my backyard.

Anyways, it grows more than 17 inches, more than the length of my laptop. But then,
it tasted good, so it may not be zucchini but some random cucurbits that grow because I toss them in there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Houseplant: Aloe Vera ( barbadensis)

Scientific name:          Aloe vera, also known as Aloe barbadensis

Explanation of scientific name:    (1)   Aloe - from the ancient Arabic name for the plant

vera - true or genuine

barbadensis -   from or of Barbados

The houseplant aloe vera is very common, that every household has one. Maybe,  the purpose of a quick remedy for sunburn, minor burns and itch or just because this plant will live no matter what you do with it.  I resist buying this plant, simply that it's  always available anywhere. However, for some reason, today, I brought home this plant. It  has a white speckles, unlike the common aloe vera that was around in my "lolas" garden.

It was heavily rootbound in a 4inch pot, so I upgraded it to a round 6 inch pot. This will  probably last for 6 months, unless a baby Aloe Vera appear on the side.

Caring for your Aloe Vera: (2) along with what I do with my own aloe vera

SOIL: fast draining & fertile (2)
I mixed 4 equal parts: perlite, tropical mix, play sand, perlite.
Add slow release fertilizer granules.

LIGHT: Tropical, needs sun and partial shade.
While this plant can benefit full sun, I don't have any right now. (Ottawa City here, we will have freezing rain. So, if you ask me, this plant is on top on one of my bookshelf, where a single living room light gives it sun. This plant has been around for 2,000 years, I bet it can survive a living room light or else it will vanish.

Needs little,  as root rot will occur if too much on the roots.
Small houseplant like mine can benefit 1/4 cup of water every other week (winter), and maybe 1/2 cup on sun shining season. Allhough this plant is said to be 95% water, I notice that its roots is not swollen (unlike Chlorophytum comosum aka spider plant), so I would suggest making sure that soil mix promotes easy drainage and pots should have a bottom hole. Any nice pot without a drainage is a recipe to kill your aloe. TREAT YOUR PLANTS ETHICALLY!

Scientific Classification: (3)

Kingdom:     Plantae
clade:     Angiosperms
clade:     Monocots
Order:     Asparagales
Family:     Xanthorrhoeaceae
Subfamily:     Asphodeloideae
Genus:     Aloe
Species:     A. Vera

Pictures: These are pictures of my own houseplant. These are not copyrighted, however, a  simple courtesy is appreciated if you want to use it.

Houseplant: Aloe Vera
Houseplant: Aloe vera (leaves)



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Houseplant: Cissus Rhombifolia (Grape Ivy, Oak Leaf Ivy)

Houseplant: Cissus rhombifolia

Grape and Oak Leaf Ivy

Houseplant: Cissus rhombifolia is known commonly as Grape Icy and Oak leaf ivy. Because it grow slowly, it is now a very popular plant. This plant is part of the grape family, not ivy. (1)
Though unrelated to true ivy, it is commonly known Japanese creeper, Boston ivy, Grape ivy, Japanese ivy, and woodbine (though the latter may refer to a number of vines).(2)
This plant is native to S. America and the West Indies.Compound leaves with elegant 3 oak-leaf shaped leaflets; soft dark hairs on the stems; trailling habit. Great for hanging basket. Flowers inconspicuous. Runners several feet long. Width is variable.(3)

I was gifted with this plant from Ottawa Plantcycle and delivered by the owner to my home. It must have been  with her for awhile because it has bare stems which was ideal for my cuttings and propagation expirement.

The basic care  of Grape Ivy  is as follows:
Light - can tolerate low light, can be position on top of your bookshelf so it can trail without being disturb.
Water - it says need humidity, so probably do not get it dry before next watering. Once a week suffice, little bit of misting.
Soil: Well drained. African Violet mix if you are lazy to mix your own.
Grooming:  Decent support if you like this one to climb, or another option is to let it trail by your books.

How do I care for my Grape Ivy:
Light - it is in the top of the kitchen shelf, meeaning it gets light when I am in the kitchen. Don't know if that is enough, but time will tell. I will update this blog if this one does not work.
Water: I bottom water, since pouring water on top of your pot compact the soil, which you do not really want.  The pot is big, so I used a cover of a round cake - disposable one as the bottom drip tray. I pour a cup of water on it once a week. This way, I do not  overwater it, I scheduled it every Monday morning after I prepare my son's lunch kit.
Soil : I happen to have decent tropical mix, perlite and vermaculite. So, its 1/3 tropical mix soil, perlite, vermaculite.
Grooming: I used whatever stick I can found in the kitchen and form a triangular support. Anything goes with this plant.

Pictures: I took few pictures of this plant, this will help readers identify their plants. If you need to use my pictures, feel free to do so. Just kindly let me know.
Jazz up for the Holiday! (Location: Top Shelf in the Kicthen)

Close up of the Grape Ivy Leaves

On top of the living room bookshelf

Bare Stem Cuttings, and 4 pots of young cuttings started. Grape Ivy Propagation by Stem cuttings



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coleus Seed Propagation: Ebay Seeds (Ebay username: lilolfarm)

February 25, 2012. Another seed that came out of that batch, she was under a big velvet lime variety. I have to transplant her, so she can be the best coleus she can be. This one is green with cream center. Reminds me of Buttercream cultivar of coleus.

A tray of about 15 pots - coleus all in 4 inch pots. These were same batch of Nov. 2011 seeds.




The coleus seeds, sown in Fall of 2011. :) Lovely. Now, these are ready for new homes. Feb . 04, 2012

Seed Source: Bean Acres Seeds, Fresh Harvest of 2011
Ebayname: lilolfarm

Date: October 2011
Douglasville, GA, USA

Thank you very much Sandy, when you said FRESH! You mean fresh, look at these baby seedlings! With all the seeds that germinated from a humble $1.99 per packet seeds, I give these dealers A+ for fresh harvested seeds. I will definitely buy again.

Seed Pack: Farm Mix 50 seeds each packet.
Germination Rate is stated at 85%. I think I have about 90-95 % germination.

Coleus Seeds germinated after 10 days.
Some more coming up.

Update: My germination rate must have been more than 85%. Take a lot at these baby seedlings, they have overtaken the whole seed flat.
My light in the basement is just basic shop light.
Soil Mix: perlite/vermaculite, spaghnum/peat (1/3 each part).
Water is cooled boiled water (minimize bacteria)
Tray: A cheap one with lid.
I bottom water it, one of those pack that you can get at Home Depot.

The tall coleus at the back are cuttings overwintered.
My home is overpowered by colorful coleus.
Want some?

UPDATE: fEB. 19, 2012

These seeds have now grown up to full beautiful coleus. See above pictures.