Monday, August 9, 2010

Move Over, Rover

I interrupt my “high school byotches and bullies” miniseries to bring you a commercial break of more typical Pollyanna/sunshine supergirly offerings.

On Saturday I noticed that my orchid, Jimi, is not doing well. His purple flowers have dried up (inevitable, since they’ve been out and proud since May), but that’s not the problem… Jimi’s fighting for his life, roots crawling out of the too-small pot like a hungry snake. Looking for what? More room to boom-boom bloom.

He gets lots of water, and I even mist him with Evian in a can. But it’s not enough. He’s outgrown his home, he needs to expand.

I know what I need to do—what any frickin’ normal person would do…repot him. And I am going to today, but let me tell you that for me, that’s taking a chance, accepting a dare. It could be that I just don’t know how to do it properly, but few of my past plants have survived repotting. Is it just that it takes them awhile to acclimate, so when they seem to be flatlining, all this work is actually going on underneath the surface that you don’t see…like the roots are doing their thing, and like any change, just takes time and patience to see results?

That’s no reason to not try. It’s like this viewpoint I heard the other day, so painfully expressed—“better to euthanize shelter animals than keep them in a tiny cage, where they don’t get to live like real cats and dogs.” I hear where that person is coming from—but that shouldn’t stop us from working our tails off to do what we can for them. That shouldn’t stop us from repotting—our plants, our selves, whatever wants to grow.

I know, I know, I can be so annoyingly phototropic. Next post I’ll be sure to badmouth some more people.

Music for growing your inner Pollyanna

My total fave Jimi song. And when I did some online research, I found this at-home-here explanation of the lyrics: The main lyrics in this song ("Let me stand next to your fire") came from a time when the band had just finished a gig in the cold around Christmas, 1966. They went to Noel Redding's mother's house. When they got there, Jimi asked Margaret, the mother, to "Let me stand next to your fire" so he could warm up. They had a German Shepherd that way laying by the fire, which inspired the line, "Move over Rover, and let Jimi take over." (As posted by Jayson, Atlanta, GA)

Hendrixophiles, please don’t tell me that’s entirely true!? You have to admit it’s slightly hokey and though I love German shepherds, well... I think it’s more exciting to think about the…uh…blood-to-groin frenziness of that song.

I Will Dare, The Replacements

A Seed’s A Star, Stevie Wonder
The root of me is homeward bound/A trunk, a leaf and there I am/A miracle of least by far
Man, Stevie, you are too much

This song references Po Tolo, “the smallest kind of star” and “tiny unseen companion” of Sirius, the Dog Star. There’s more good stories about it involving extraterrestrials and the Dogon tribe in Mali here.

I can’t say anything about that, but I adore this song because the chorus makes me feel like I could jump up and smash through any ceiling… like one of those cetaceans--right whales, I think they are--who jump out of the water and spin around like there’s no tomorrow.


  1. I do the same thing to my poor plants. I procrastinate and procrastinate until they're just barely hanging on. I noticed today that my jade plant is lost forever.

  2. Brenna, did your plant have a name?! The saddest thing is seeing perfectly nice, healthy plants abandoned on the street. You know they'll get peed all over in no time.

  3. I thought I was alone in my humanizing/overprotection of plants.
    I have a very, very large bamboo that began life as a tiny little single shoot.
    It's now three enormous plants in a large pot, and I think it needs to go into a bigger pot. However, that would be too huge to stay in my kitchen. I'd have to transport it outside. My fear is that this is an indoor plant! It doesn't know anything about snow, rain, outdoor animals. I feel awful about the prospect of placing it in a large ceramic holder on my porch. Glad to know I'm not alone in my worries about plant's psyche/well-being.

  4. Stephanie, let me know what you do with your bamboo. A babe in the woods!

  5. I still have it on my kitchen counter, where it is so large that it blocks easy access into the cabinets.

    I think I have to seriously consider exiling it to the outside.

    Don't want to do that at all.

    Maybe I can get three smaller pots and find places to shuffle it around the house.