Tag Archive | SAD

Plant Abuse – Case #2 Succulents Tortured with Glitter

Poor little Echeveria…

Every year, right before Christmas, I start to see what type of torture some marketing firms have dreamed up to torture plants. This year seems to be following a glitter / bling theme. As many of the suppliers of our annuals and evergreens also sell the austerities, I get to see these tortured plants first hand. It’s so sad, in my opinion. I don’t understand why a plastic version of these plants can’t be marketed. Non-plant folks don’t understand that the coating of glitter is suffocating the plant.How would you like to be covered in glitter?!? It didn’t turn out well for the girl in ‘Goldfinger‘.

Now THAT is a beautiful Christmas succulent pot!!

I did see a wonderful alternative for folks that want to share winter succulents that look Christmassy and are not being tortured. I have no affiliation to the Edsy shop that sells these, just an appreciation of the designs, and the fact they are not being tortured. They are also very well done, in my opinion. The best part is that you can remove the ‘Christmas’ part of this pot and still have a beautiful arrangement. Please consider one of these arrangements before buying a tortured, painted or glittered plant.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Happy Trails

Last time camping under the old, oak tree… I wish you the best, my friend.

I was thinking that my last post, the one that has been static on my site was a scary selfie of me in a welding helmet… That just can’t continue for any longer! 😉 This post will serve as a better landing spot for my blog and describe its status.

We recently went to our favorite campground, Hickory Hollow in Utica, Illinois. It is right near the Starved Rock area. Every September, you can count on us to be attending the wine festival! This year’s fest was a bit less chaotic, as last year’s fest was a madhouse. Because of this and the ticket prices doubling, we were able to get around much easier this year.

We were very melancholy, as the sand mine (just past the berm behind the camper) has bought the campground to destroy it for the sand it stands on. How sad is that?!? I can’t describe the pain I feel for my favorite burr oak tree (next to camper). It’s like knowing a friend with a deadly disease… knowing that in a short time, their life will end sooner than it should. I need a subject change… my blubbering is upsetting my dogs.


I have been researching my future ventures en mass! I have a plan for my future schooling in Horticulture Therapy, which starts this January, finishing in the Fall of 2018. Not too long! I have also decided to try to open my own business revolving around Nature Therapy. This will include Forest Bathing (shinrin-yoku (森林浴) in Japanese), and other programs for nursing homes. I’ll try focusing in those arenas first, and see if I need to branch out or not. I will post updates…

Hubby is doing super at quitting smoking! It’s been 4 months now!

For our Annual Christmas Camping Vacation….. GALVESTON, TEXAS is the winning location for 2017!!! We’re already booked and have started researching things to see and do. If you have any insider info, please pass it on 🙂 We will also be needing a Texas themed audio book for the 18 hour ride down there. Last year we listened to, “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” for our ride to Savannah.

Here’s a funny coincidence, well, maybe not so funny… We decided on Galveston one week before Hurricane Harvey hit them. Last year, we decided to go to Savanna, Georgia one week before Hurricane Matthew hit them. Hmmm, are we dooming the cities we choose to visit to hurricanes? Maybe next year, we shouldn’t pick a coastal city 😉

I hope everyone in my blog-o-spere is doing well. I’ve visited the WP Reader a few times. It’s really hard to be in there too long. I could have an hour blow by in what feels like a second. I love reading everyone’s posts, however I MUST STUDY!!! When my life has settled down, I will return to the reader and posting myself. Until then, I hope the best for all of you! I do miss our fun in the comment’s section!

Take care!!! Ilex

When Good Dogs Go Bad….

Yesterday, we had the a doggy play date with the dog down the street. His dad likes to bring him down here so he can smoke his stinky cigars and get some time away from his 4 chitlins and wife.

Oreo really likes Valentino or Tino for short. They have played since Tino was a puppy and he is nearing 1 1/2 years now. They really like to get their inner rough house on, often rolling around, biting and growling at each other.

Tino’s dad has decided not to neuter him, not because he wants Tino to be a dad, but because his dad thinks it changes the personality of the dog. I don’t not agree fully. I agree that it make a dog a bit more passive, that is all.

Our boys are both neutered. I’ve always neutered my dogs. It was never a question to do it or not, I just did it.

Breck is the elder dog at seven, with Oreo at four. Breck is the dominant dog, although he rules the house in a calm, controlled manner. Breck rarely raises his voice at Oreo, a low growl is all he needs to say, ‘Quit it!!”

Breck isn’t much of a rough houser. He likes to run around, however no chewing-up necks and such. The three of them were playing chase in the yard when Breck stopped and Tino grabbed onto his head. I happened to step outside the moment he got ahold of his head. I knew something wasn’t right and started full bore running at them. Ran right out of my shoes! Breck started to squeal the moment I arrived. I grabbed Tino’s collar as my husband and Tino’s dad arrived. Tino had Breck tight and wasn’t letting go. I held Breck while Tino’s jaw was pried off my boy’s head.


These photos were taken the next morning. Too traumatized to take photos that night! We took him to the emergency vet. They were able to (super) glue his ear closed, opposed to stitching it.


Super glued ear.


His other puncture wound.

My Bro & his girlfriend came over for late Christmas tonight. Here’s the funny shirt I got! What timing, Right?!?!

I personally think Tino, in his pubescent hormone rage, decided to go after the dominant dog to challenge him. Yes, Tino is a pit bull. They do NOT have locking jaws, however, they do have very strong jaws. I’m not an animal expert, however I’d lay a strong bet on this theory.

© Ilex Farrell

Girdling Root – A Slow Death For a Tree

As an arborist, many things make me sad when I see a dead tree. Most of these trees did not have to die a slow death. A girdling root could have been prevented during planting. If the planter would have examined the tree’s rootball before installation and planted this tree correctly, this tree may have been alive today.




Our First Snow… Great Things About Winter

Oh Joy of Joys! The first snow has fallen on the Northern Illinois region on November 11th. The dull, brown colors of spent perennials are now covered with a blanket of white…


A prairie on my way home

Did-ya catch the sarcasm? The joy does not eliminate from my eyes…. I’m not quite sure why I’m still here in the Midwest. Why do I stay in an area that is subjected to this type of climate??? In 1996, I tried to get away and moved to Safety Harbor, Florida. My bestest-friend-ever had moved there a few years earlier and I had visited her many times before making my decision. I don’t want this post to change into a ‘Florida Rant’, so to sum-up, there is a Karma trade-off for the good weather. I couldn’t handle the down-sides, as much as I enjoyed the weather, I moved back to Illinois.


My old Florida pad as shown currently on Google maps. Most of my landscaping has survived!

Ah, memories….   But back to reality!

image  image  image

I have SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. What Midwesterner doesn’t? As we race towards the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, I can’t get over the fact I rise before the sun and arrive home after she’s set. A million dollar idea would be if your computer screen could double as a light box! THAT would quench my need for sunlight and not disrupt my day to stare into a box. =-)



To try to combat the crappy feelings I have relating to the season, I’ve started compiling a list of things that are good or great about winter. Items on this list may sound odd to some folks, but that’s how my DNA arranged itself! =-)

I’d like you all to help me think of things for my list, if you will!!!

  1. The first snow.
  2. Watching my dogs play in said first snow. Snowballs are the best toys!!
  3. The smell of the first fire-up/burn off of dust from the furnace. Told you I was strange….
  4. Using my hot-tub. Too hot to use in summer.
  5. “Nosey-Time” = Now that the leaves are down, I can see into peoples yards. “Hmm, whatcha got over-dare??” 😉
  6. Egg White/Meringue Cookies – Not only does the recipe require the oven to be on for hours (about 4 – but only @ 200F), humidity kills the cookies in less than an hour. In the dry Winter is the only time I make them.
  7. This may be an ‘over-share’… However. I hate bras. When its cold and there are a few layers between the girls and the world, no one’s the wiser I’m commando!
  8. This one relates to above. I’m not a fan of leaving my home in my (clearly) pajama pants. But, I will put my full length coat and large scarf on over my yoga pants and t-shirt to go somewhere I’ll never remove my coat.
  9. I can’t NOT mention the holidays, but if I didn’t mention them here, all my responses will most likely revolve around them. I’m really not a fan, aside from seeing family, but we do that throughout the year! I’m not Christian/religious, although I’ve thoroughly studied the bible when I was young.  I think the holiday has just become a

    F*ck-fest for merchants. New Years is spent at home, as it’s amateur night out there (drunks) and I have lack of funds for a large hoop-ha. Just to round out the mix, my Birthday (which I don’t celebrate as I’m done aging) is the very next week. Gaaa! So! What was the good thing about the holidays you ask? My company closes during the holidays & I’m paid!!

  10. Sherpa blankets.
  11. All my houseplants are inside, and I like all my friends around me.
  12. My Solar-Powered Double Rainbow Maker! Because the sun is lower in the sky, the rainbows get thrown all over my home.



Snow-covered echinacea



Please share your favorite winter things!!

© Ilex Farrell ~ Midwestern Plant Girl