Tag Archives: aloe

SNIPPETS (9-16-2018)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Oh, dear.

I never switched to the “easier way to create posts on WordPress.com” because I didn’t find the new editor easier.

I just logged in to my blog and find that WordPress.com now is developing their “Gutenberg” editor. I was offered the choice to try it out while it’s still in development, so I did. One look at it, and I deactivated it.

Gutenberg is a “block editor,” which means you edit things in blocks. I have vast experience with block editors since most of the email programs use block editors (I have been using Mailchimp for six years); I absolutely despise them. They are the most difficult things in the world to use. Just give me a good HTML editor and I’m happy.

If WordPress.com forces us to use Gutenberg once it’s fully developed, my blogging days at WordPress.com here at Russel Ray Photos shall come to an end. Since I have an upgraded blog that costs $99 a year, if I quit paying that $99, everything I have written over the past six years will disappear into thin air.

Oh, well.

That just means I can start over again on a different blogging platform, and everything old shall be new again!

SNIPPET 2

I have been looking for nice, durable, strong, good-looking outdoor furniture that I can display some of my larger plants on. Finally, at Wayfair.com, I found a lot, and I ordered a lot. My first order arrived this past week. Here it is, a two-shelf wood/metal table with my huge Mammillaria displayed nicely on it.

Outdoor table from Wayfair

The wood is solid Paulownia, lightest-to-strongest-ratio wood species in the world, and the metal is recycled aircraft-grade aluminum pipes. Extremely easy to assemble (i.e., NOT IKEA!). I like it so much that I ordered two more.

SNIPPET 3

My first experience with Wayfair.com was several months ago when I ordered a “mushroom stool” to use as a side table outside on my patio. It is exposed to the elements, which here in San Diego means mostly sun, and still looks as new as the day it arrived. Recently I ordered three more and moved the first one to the other side of the house where I display an expensive Aloe in a custom display that I made specifically for it:

Mushroom stool from Wayfair

The rocks are real rocks from out here in the East San Diego County boondocks. They are glued together with GE 100% silicone with a hole in the middle filled with cactus soil. The pot and rocks (and plant!) weigh 53 pounds, so it really did need something strong to sit on besides the ground. When the other mushroom stools arrive, that pot sitting on the ground to the right also will be placed on one but about twenty feet down the deck.

SNIPPET 4

When I win the lottery

(which will be never because, uh, I would have to play the lottery, and I don’t),

I want to buy about 5,000 acres and create a dog sanctuary with 2,000 acres, a cat sanctuary with 2,000 acres, and an “Other pets” sanctuary with 1,000 acres, and have enough money left over to hire people to manage the place so that all I have to do is walk around and give lots of love to lots of pets.

Texas A&M UniversityOf course, I’ll have 5,000 acres of gardens, too, so the cats can climb in trees, the dogs can, uh, raise their legs on trees, and I can finally use my forestry degree from Texas A&M University (Class of ’77).

SNIPPET 5

Update on Zoey the Cool Cat’s diabetic diet.

End of week four.

After becoming a floor cat and refusing to jump up on anything for four months, she now has jumped up on the bed four consecutive nights and made herself at home, usually between my legs. She’s losing weight; moving about the house to find all the sunny spots during the day; jumping up on shelves, chairs, and beds; and returning to her old feisty, playful self.

Thank you Hill’s W/D prescription diet!

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 6

I guess margarita didn’t fit.

Bureeto car

SNIPPET 7

Found deep in in the East San Diego County boondocks, but what is it?

What is it?

SNIPPET 8

Uh-oh. The chicken is heading towards the road. You know what that means but we still don’t know why.

Chicken heading for the road

SNIPPET 9

I was in the El Cajon Home Depot a few days ago at 6:00 a.m. Dad and his 6-year-old son were there. Son was standing in front of the skeleton canines pointing and crying. He was frightened.

Halloween at Home Depot two months early

Dad was over at the battery rack ignoring his son. I felt so sorry for the little kid. My first question, though, was “What dad takes his 6-year-old son to Home Depot at six in the morning?” Kids should be in bed at that time of day!

SNIPPET 10

Killers of the Flower MoonI have always enjoyed history, which includes etymology. I just started reading “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Gramm.

On page 11 is the etymology of Whizbang, Oklahoma (no longer a town, just a road – Whizbang Road – on the Osage Reservation):

“….the reservation’s tumultuous boomtowns, which had sprung up to house and entertain oil workers—towns like Whizbang, where, it was said, people whizzed all day and banged all night.”

Stunning visual, but I could not find a video on YouTube…..

SNIPPET 11

We get lots of beautiful sunsets in the east here in San Diego, but only after the sun goes down in the west. Something to do with the curvature of the Earth, reflections, etc. Here’s a sunset in the east taken by the dash cam in my car on September 14, 2018:

Sunset in the east in San Diego, California

SNIPPET 12

Zoey the Cool Cat has something to say about the current election season:

Elect functioning adults in November 2018

SNIPPET 13

“I give the fight up: let there be an end, a privacy, an obscure nook for me. I want to be forgotten even by God.”

—Robert Browning, “Paracelsus,” 1835

SNIPPET 14

From a news story:

“Families help shape you as an individual, and they’re always there for you, no matter what.”

Well, if the family happens to be Mormons and Catholics, and you happen to be gay, no, they are not “always there for you, no matter what.”

SNIPPET 15

From a news story:

“….[M]any corporations donate to both political parties. You never know which way the winds will turn, so you might as well have a bribe in both camps.”

Fight organized crime

SNIPPET 16

This little cat often welcomes me at the back door when I arrive at Friends of Cats. It’s a Turkish Van, a breed that I had never heard of. Very beautiful!

Turkish Van cat at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California

Turkish Van cat at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California

SNIPPET 17

Slowly but surely I’m working my way out of this severe depression caused by retirement, i.e., not having anything to do.

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend told me about San Diego Oasis, providing programs for the elderly. I checked them out and immediately volunteered to help K-6 children who have been identified as lagging behind their classmates in their reading skills.

I also proposed a new program for them, a chess club. In my proposal I mentioned my playing experience, my teaching experience, and my chess club experience. I also told them that I was a firm believer in keeping the mind active and that an active mind can prevent the onslaught of dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, etc. The San Diego Oasis Program Council liked my idea for creating a chess club, called me for further details, and has approved me starting a chess club with the Spring 2019 curriculum. I’m so happy!

Here is a picture of some of the members of the La Mesa Outdoor Chess Club that I helped start in August 2013:

La Mesa chess club

SNIPPET 18

Every bookshelf needs a great adornment.

Zoey the Cool Cat on the bookshelf

SNIPPET 19

This little one is Max. He is one of my favorite cats in Cozy Cottage at Friends of Cats.

Max at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California

I love his long ear hairs. Max is in Lifetime Care and is not adoptable. Usually Lifetime Care means that the owner died or otherwise had to give up the cat, possibly going to assisted living himself. Friends of Cats will take cats into Lifetime Care with just a $5,000 contribution. Doesn’t matter how old the cat is.

Max is described as a “long-hair brown tabby with white.” Since tabby is a coloring and not a breed, that probably means that Max is a Domestic Long-haired cat, or as we knew them back in my youth in Kingsville, Texas, an “alley cat.”

He’s such a sweetie.

SNIPPET 20

My wise old grandmotherMy wise old grandmother was a conservationist before it was fashionable. She constantly told me,

“Do not throw things away! There is no away!”

To this day, I recycle whatever I can because I firmly believe something else that she told me:

“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

In today’s world with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and all these groups on Facebook where one can buy or sell things, it’s amazing what people are willing to buy and how much they are willing to pay. I speak from experience, both as a seller and as a buyer.

One can even buy and sell plants online, and in plant auctions. Here’s the first plant that I bought in an online plant auction, an Operculicarya pachypus:

Operculicarya pachypus

I’m not telling you how much I paid…………..

The seller was located in West Hollywood (suburb of Los Angeles), and I guessed who it was based on his email address at eBay. Since I knew him, and had his phone number, and wanted this plant badly, I called him and asked if I could drive to his place and pick it up instead of having him ship it to me.

The problem with shipping plants is that sellers almost always ship plants “bare root,” which means they take them out of the containers, shake off all the soil from the roots, wrap the roots in moist napkins and such, and ship the plants. Shipping expenses are less.

Some plants can take that, some can’t.

Because of what I paid for this beautiful little tree, I didn’t want to take the chance, especially since I was unfamiliar with its growing requirements, so I drove to Los Angeles to pick it up.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

 

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Friday Flower Fiesta (3-31-17)—Bad plant! Bad, bad plant!

Friday Flower Fiesta

Ten pictures of flowers from last weekend at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Pride of MadeiraPride of Madeira

Tree Euphorbia
All parts of this plant are toxic.
Euphorbias include your common Christmas poinsettia, and the sap
from the poinsettia can cause skin irritation in many people, including me.Tree Euphorbia

UnknownUnknown flower

AloeAloe

Bearded IrisBearded Iris

Golden Chalice VineSolandra Maxima

AloeAloe

UnknownUnknown flowers

Giant HibiscusHibiscus

Angel’s Trumpet
A beautiful, fragrant (especially at night) but very toxic plant. Extinct in the wild.
Sadly, too many high school students believe that making a liquid from this plant
and drinking it produces a “natural high.” Instead, ingestion can produce visual and auditory hallucinations, confusion, tachycardia, dry mouth, diarrhea, migraine headaches, rapid onset cycloplegia, mydriasis, paralysis, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and death. The fragrance can cause throat and lung irritation, headaches, nausea, and light-headedness. Eye contact can cause temporary blindness.
In other words, “Bad plant! Bad, bad plant!”
Angel's Trumpet

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (4-3-15)—Most popular

Friday Flower Fiesta

I am a member of several groups at Facebook but my two favorites are Flowers Exchange and World Is Our Garden.

Both groups allow members to post one picture per day. Once that’s done, members stop by and leave LIKEs and comments.

My most popular post got 36 LIKEs and comments.

Interestingly, the Photographic Art that I thought would be most popular, wasn’t. That might not be the full story, though, because I don’t know where people are as far as time zone, what else they might be doing on any specific day, how much time they spend on Facebook, etc. Which days get more views, weekdays or weekends? However, I have noticed a distinct liking for certain effects, so that is helpful to me in my Photographic Art endeavors.

Following are eleven of my most popular posts from both groups. All of them without the stamp framing and text are available for purchase at my Photographic Art galleries at Fine Art America.

African Tulip Tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Aloe Flower Buds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Anemone

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Anthurium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Azalea

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Banksia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bearded Iris

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hibiscus

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bees and California Tree Poppy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-13-15)—Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Friday Flower Fiesta

San Diego has had a very long rainy season this year, possibly the longest I’ve experienced since 1993 when I moved here. It started early this winter, with .37 inch in November 2014, 3.95 inches in December, .42 inch in January 2015, .04 inch in February, and .89 inch so far in March. We even had hail earlier this month!

The rain, spread out over several months, means that plants have a better opportunity to drink up some of that water. When that happens, every plant seems to bloom whether or not it’s that plant’s blooming season.

Here is a representative collection of Photographic Art stamps made from pictures taken this past week.

Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Golden chalice vine

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchid

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flowering maple

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peace lily

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Paintbrush lily

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Primrose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Foxglove

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bromeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Rose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hibiscus

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (1-16-15)—It’s aloe season in San Diego!

Friday Flower Fiesta

The San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park both are internationally recognized zoos, but they also are internationally recognized arboretums and botanical gardens, too.

Now is a great time to see both the critters and the plants because it’s aloe season here in San Diego.

Here are some recent aloe pictures:

1Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

2Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

3Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

4Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

5Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

6Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

7Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

8Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

9Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

10Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Sapphire Tower (puya alpestris)

San Diego Botanic Gardens makes the list

Out & About San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The San Diego Botanic Gardens made the Huffington Post‘s list of “10 Spectacular Gardens Around the World.”

San Diego Botanic Garden map

View Larger Map

Here are a few pictures to make you salivate:

Sapphire Tower (puya alpestris)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Protea

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

California tree poppy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Aloe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray (that’s me!)Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 12 - Hibiscus

Friday Flower Fiesta #18 — Coronado for Memorial Day

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta

 

I had a very busy week and almost didn’t get out and about to get some flower pictures for our Friday Flower Fiesta. Have no fear, though. I did.

Memorial Day weekend is when I celebrate one of my anniversaries. I have four:

  1. May 26, 1994 — The day we met
  2. July 1, 1995 — The day we started shacking up together
  3. July 31, 2004 — The day we got civil unionized
  4. October 30, 2008 — The day we got married (we did it in California because marriage was legal at the time)

I’m very much a romantic, although Jim would way a devious romantic. I have a full weekend of activities planned for our 18th anniversary of meeting.

We started our anniversary weekend with a great meal at Costa Azul on Coronado Island, home to Coronado Beach, named today as the #1 beach in America. I chose Coronado because the Island is always full of beautiful flowers, flowers that love the cooler temperatures and higher humidity that we don’t have on the mainland.

Without further addoo (that’s Texan for adiuex), today’s Friday Flower Fiesta:

Picture 1 - Aloe

Picture 1 – Aloe


 

Picture 2 - Lily of the Nile bud

Picture 2 – Lily of the Nile bud


 

Picture 3 - Lily of the Nile

Picture 3 – Lily of the Nile


 

Picture 4 - Lily of the Nile

Picture 4 – Lily of the Nile


 

Picture 5 - Canna lily

Picture 5 – Canna lily


 

Picture 6 - Unknown

Picture 6 – Unknown


 

Picture 7 - Biggest, baddest Jacaranda I've ever seen

Picture 7 – Biggest, baddest Jacaranda I’ve ever seen


 

Picture 8 - Rose

Picture 8 – Rose


 

Picture 9 - Canna lily

Picture 9 – Canna lily


 

Picture 10 - Hollyhock

Picture 10 – Hollyhock


 

Picture 11 - Rose

Picture 11 – Rose


 

Picture 12 - Hibiscus

Picture 12 – Hibiscus


 

Picture 13 - Hibiscus

Picture 13 – Hibiscus


 

Picture 14 - Bird of Paradise

Picture 14 – Bird of Paradise


 

Pictures 12 & 13 of the hibiscus is the most unusual stigma and style that I’ve ever seen on a hibiscus.

Flower parts

Flower parts courtesy of Wikipedia


 

Folks who have been following me for a while know that I’ve been on a quest for 34 years to find the perfect Bird of Paradise (Picture 14). That’s not it. Probably #3 in my collection. I like it a lot because the background is water. Rarely do I find a Bird of Paradise growing so close to the water that some of the blossoms are hanging over the water.

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions