Saturday, June 20, 2009

Octopus Agave

One of my favorite plants in our yard, an octopus agave, bloomed a few months ago. The bloom stalk is now taller than our house and is covered by baby plants. If any of my Tucson friends would like to have some, please let me know, and I'll give you a bag of them. This type of agave is great to have in your yard because it does not have serrated or sharp edges, and once the roots are established it does not need watering.

  • Before blooming - you can see where the javelina munched on the bottom arms of the agave.

  • February 22nd, beginning to bloom:

  • April 3rd, flowering stage:

  • The mother plant is withered and dying. June 20th, baby plants on stalk:

  • I am soaking the little plants, pups, in water to encourage root development, and then planting them out of reach of the desert animals until they grow larger. My nursery of little plants:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Then and Now

This one was staged to recreate the moment.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Then and Now

We were taking some pictures of the kids today, and one photo reminded me of a picture we took 5 years ago.

The first picture was taken in December, also. It was the week we got our first digital camera, and we were photographing anything and everything!

Friday, December 19, 2008

School of Hard Knocks

Last spring I decided to help my kids learn about investing in mutual funds by suggesting they move their birthday/Christmas gift savings from a savings account making around 3% to a mutual fund. I showed them how to look up funds on Etrade and Morningstar, and I pointed out the criteria that they would understand: performance, sector breakdown, and top holdings.

Emily picked a conservative large growth fund with stock in companies she recognized, Pepsi, Apple,... John picked an international fund that had more drastic swings in returns, but he said he didn't mind the risk.

The chart below shows performance over the past 9 months: Emily's Fund(blue), S&P 500(red), John's Fund(yellow) .

Well, it has definitely been a learning experience. Losing such a large percentage of your money is a big shock to a kid. Emily's fund is down 24% and John's fund is down 43%. Hopefully, they will remember this lesson and get to experience the upside of investing soon!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Today I Indulged my Addiction.

It all started with a trip to Costco. There I purchased my favorite toy, the labelmaker. Now at an almost daily frequency I get the urge to label stuff--lots of stuff.

First I started in my closet.

Moved to my desk.

And then I tackled my most satisfying labelfest yet, the file cabinet.

When the kids start school each fall, almost every folder, file tab, book, etc. is affixed with a label. I am addicted.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Boy Caught on Film in his Natural State

Last winter I didn't get the notice for John and Emily's school picture day. No problem. We have plenty of pictures. However, I did receive a disturbing piece of evidence of how my son looks at school. Please check out the pose options I received on the picture order form.

John likes to leave in the morning with his hood up and jacket zipped up to disguise the fact that he doesn't like to take the time to comb his hair or put on clothes that even moderately go together.

The one saving grace of the awful picture--it wasn't the one to go in the yearbook!

Oh boy, there are 2 to choose from!