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It's official. I've been too busy for far too long.
I wandered around my house today and, for the first time, realized that the philedendrons are all shriveled and looking pathetic, and chock full of dry brown leaves. They're not dead. Nothing, I have determined, will kill a philedendron. Which is precisely why they are the only plant in my house, because with my crazy mixed up schedule (ah, the glamorous life of a consultant. Or something), any plant that lives with me must be very forgiving if it doesn't get watered more than once every other month or so when I walk by and remember.
When I noticed the poor water-deprived little plants (and yes, I promptly watered them *and* apologized profusely, and we really do not need to go into the psychological implications of Jennifer talking to her plants), it struck me that I might be missing other things as well. The cats are impossible to ignore - besides the fact that they have me completely and utterly trained to do their every bidding (well, almost), I do head counts every day before I leave work. This means that I usually have to find Zuchinni's latest hiding place, but at least I know he's still alive because otherwise I'm lucky to see more than a darting blurred furry shape at night, or as a nervous face peering around the corner to watch me with that faintly panicked look that always seems to me to indicate that he is certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that even though in the entire four years of his life that he has lived with me I have been nothing but kind and loving towards him, any day now I will suddenly turn on him, eyes shooting out the Evil Ray Of Death. I often ponder why it is that he can watch the other cats swarm me, purring happily, thus proving that I am not a maniacal cat murderer, but yet he still won't trust me. I realize it's psychological with him, and after all, this paranoia of his is why no one would ever adopt him, and I ended up keeping him anyway, and amazingly enough, this is actual *improvement* over the years, but even so sometimes I almost feel insulted.
But I digress. I was going somewhere with this, wasn't I? After taking care of the green things inside it occurred to me that I ought to poke my head outside to see how the backyard was doing too. It's something I do once a season, whether it needs it or not. Yes, I have a postage stamp of a backyard and this incredibly huge deck that I never, ever use. I hire a gardener to come and take care of the front and back, simply because 1. I'm not home often enough to keep it up, 2. The landlord lives across the street so there's more of an incentive to keep it up, and 3. I despise yard work. Anyway, I noticed to my astonishment that the viney thing that has been taking over the deck roof the past few years has bloomed - beautiful purple flowers that sort of hang down (and will eventually turn into gnarled bean sort of things. So I didn't take botany. I'm sure the viney thing has a name. Heck if I know what it is though.). It took me by surprise because I guess it's just another indication that it's actually spring here in California...and when did that happen?
My rescued onion is also still alive. I did mention I'm gone a lot, right? A few months ago I purchased an onion and it sat very patiently in a dark corner of the kitchen counter waiting for me to do something with it....or perhaps it wasn't quite so patient because after an indeterminate amount of time I suddenly realized that there was a rather large green sprout emanating from the onion bag, and gee, maybe this onion was wayyyyy past its prime. Okay, call this a misplaced guilt complex, but I just couldn't throw the poor thing out. Not after it had expended so much time and energy to produce such a strong and healthy looking shoot. I took it outside and planted it in this huge flower box that lines one side of the deck in the backyard I never go into. This garnered a laugh from the friend who was there at the time because my shovel was a soup spoon (hey, it worked!), but anyway, it's still alive and getting very tall. I suppose at some point this summer I ought to check to see if it produced more onions.....but knowing me and my schedule it will probably get a chance to spawn even more of its little oniony buddies before I ever get back to it again.
I suppose the most important thing from this little walk around the house to check on plants was that I realized that I'm starting to neglect things and that I'm starting to let work get to me far more than I ought to. Lately it's been getting harder to leave work at the office....and considering recent developments I'll discuss in greater depth soon, I have a feeling it may get even more intense.....and so I need to remind myself that there are other things that need my attention too. Like family members whose birthdays are being missed because I haven't had time to go shopping, nor have I been home to visit them. And friends who, I'm sure, are beginning to think that I'm mad at them because I rarely see them anymore.
And unlike the philedendrons and onions, whose forgiveness can be obtained in trade for a mere cup of water or a tiny patch of dirt in which to root, these other aspects of my life may not be so resilient.