Christmas Cactus Bloom

I’m not a houseplant expert but sometimes I get lucky. 🙂

This week my office has been lit up by my Christmas Cactus.  I wish I could take all the credit for these beautiful flowers.  I have to give credit where it’s due.

Thanks Mother Nature.

After reading about Christmas Cactus I learned I have a Thanksgiving Cactus.  You can tell by the pointed lobes on the ‘leaves’ and the early bloom.

Christmas Cactus
I kept the Thanksgiving Cactus outdoors most of the summer and fall. Perhaps that had something to do with my luck.

Late Season Blooming Flowers

Last Monday, November 16th I was cutting back perennials in Trumbull, Connecticut in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b.  I noticed a couple of beautiful late season blooming flowers.

We’ve already had several hard frosts.  Most of the leaves have fallen off the trees and been cleaned up.

Late Season Blooming Flowers

I first noticed a grouping of Honorine Jobert Windflower (Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’) flowers glistening in a sunbeam.

Anemone × hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' Distance

A little farther away a Fairy Rose (Rosa ‘The Fairy) was strutting its stuff.

Fairy Rose Closeup

Here’s a picture from a distance.

Fairy Rose Grouping - late season blooming flowers

I admit late season blooming flowers don’t compare to mid-summer.  In the cold and gloomy days of late fall I’ll take whatever I can get.

Learning New Things – Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a program that mixes and enhances sound tracks.  I’m hoping to take my videos to the next level with it.

Today is the second day I’ve tried to learn Adobe Audition.

As a non tech person I find Adobe products very frustrating.  You must do things a certain way or you won’t get the results you want.  Details that make a project shine are hidden beneath endless twirl down menus.

If you learn Adobe Products, especially keyboard shortcuts, you can create amazing things.  The juice is worth the squeeze.

But this post isn’t about Adobe Products.

This post is about learning new things.

I went for a walk with Theo this afternoon to get away from Audition (See step 2 below).  While walking I thought about my process of learning new things.

For me it looks something like this.

  1. Excitement about learning something new and Hyperfocus for a couple of days.  There’s usually some lost sleep and a total disregard for anything else going on in life.
  2. Burnout from too much focus on one thing.  The need to ‘get away’ for a while.
  3. While getting away thoughts of how I could have done things better.  How I could have broken the learning curve into smaller pieces.
  4. Starting again at a more relaxed pace or stopping because the reward isn’t worth the gain.  It’s rare I take something this far and abandon it.  I’m committed to learning no matter the cost.

When I install landscapes the process is similar

The first day is a throw away day.  I’m happy to get equipment to the job and start work.

By the end of the day my mind is formulating a plan for the project.   Every job has a unique set of challenges.

By the next morning I have a mental picture of how to complete the job and how long it should take.

The pre-job jitters are gone and I methodically create a beautiful home.  I’ve re-adjusted my timeline to match the job.  Work continues until job completion.

I’ve got to get back to Audition.

Blue Holly and Bittersweet

I stepped out of my truck today and viewed gorgeous blue holly (Ilex x meserveae sp.) and bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) growing in a tangled mess.

If you live in a cave you should know that bittersweet is invasive in Connecticut and against the law to plant.  You’ll often see it growing along the side of the road.

Here’s a picture with the bittersweet in focus

Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

This is what the beautiful mess looks like

Bittersweet and Holly

Over time the bittersweet will block light to the holly and wrap around it’s branches strangling it.

Bittersweet and holly do look great together in the fall.