family history · Get it Together · Vicki's Ramblings

“They are late for everything.”

I overheard this from an old friend as I rushed in to the event, with several of the kids. She had her back to me and didn’t see me arrive, flushed and rushed, irritated with several of the kids, yet again.

That remark stung.

So much so that I remember it like it was yesterday.

I don’t intend to be late for everything. It just happens. Sure lots of people with several kids can get to most events on time or early.

I sometimes can.

Now, granted, I do have a problem judging time accurately. I will very often misjudge the amount of time it takes to prepare or to drive to an event. I don’t know why, I just do. Always have.

It’s a gift…..hehe..

But add to it what it takes to get some people in the household motivated to get moving- “Because. We. Have. TO. LEAVE. NOW”!


One can’t tie his shoes in the car.

One has to make sure his hair looks good.

Another needs to be sent back to change their clothes yet again.

Someone can’t find the other shoe.

Wait. Did we make sure the dog is in the house?

And these are the TEENAGERS!! Imagine what it was like when they were all little!!!

It was a good thing there were older siblings along to make sure everyone had pants on!! Shoes? Well, that was optional for the littles. OH! And to make sure we have everyone. Seriously. I don’t know how many times we started to leave and I had forgotten to make sure we had everyone and someone conveniently called out, “wait for ______!”

Very helpful.

Obviously, that child we needed to wait for was old enough to be out of a car seat, which was, back then, about 5 or so. Hopefully, they came out with shoes and pants on or they just went as is.

Sure I have tried making sure they know the time is coming and we have to leave by such and such a time.

Sure I have tried giving them a heads up that we leave in 5 min.

I tried getting everyone ready an hour early. Then something always happened and we still were rushing out the door.

Most of the time, I just end up tired.

I even have been known to just leave without them. My mantra is “If you are in the van when I leave, you GET to go with me!”

That is a motivational statement. (You have my permission to Tweet that.)

Honestly, I try to be on time. And when I am, there is a CELEBRATION!! Seriously, I do! I have earned it!!

That comment stung. Still does. I have forgiven that person. I am sure that I have said things that sting to many others without realizing it.

Another area I am working on.

Let’s just agree to give each other grace in the moments. Grace to be late- you don’t know what has happened along the way. Grace to accidentally say stinging things- you don’t know what has happened in their day either.

But, be honest. “Hey, that stung.” “I’m so sorry.”

Done. Move on. Learn from it. Its so much easier than having it stuck in your head years later. And best of all, does not form a wedge in a relationship. Some people like to keep their wedgies, and that is fine. Its their choice. Uncomfortable and ugly. But its their choice.

I am choosing no wedgie.

So, to that person who just might read this blog post, “Hey. That really stung. But I forgive you.”




Over Wintering Plants and Dividing Succulents- Couldn’t think of a Witty Title

Its been so cold and rainy here that I brought my summer plants inside early. I guess I usually do it sometime in October so its not that early..

I am mixing bringing plants in along with dividing and propagating succulents today in my blog post. It all goes together since they had to come inside for the winter too.

I have a huge Hibiscus plant that I have had for at least 8 years now. I have no idea why it hasn’t died yet. I had 2 others several years ago, but they only lasted 1 year. This one, is still going strong and has the most beautiful flowers!! The hummingbirds love it! It comes inside every winter and goes out again sometime in May. It spends a lovely summer out on my deck. (Did you see how I used “lovely” in a sentence. Like I’m British or something!!)

The others are various succulents and a palm my son got for his birthday several years ago when we did our scavenger hunt birthday party. That palm looks absolutely terrible, and hasn’t really grown much, but its not dead so I keep it.

I do want to tell you about my succulents because I went to a garden class at the library last weekend and learned about how to propagate them. There we were able to create our own little succulent garden in a clay pot and learned about taking care of them.

I’m still not entirely convinced that mine won’t die over the winter. I am not a houseplant person. Every single one I have had for over a month has died.

Ok.. That might be a slight exaggeration since that palm is still here along with the hibiscus. Honestly, I have no idea why they haven’t died too.

I tried keeping them in my kitchen window thinking that their presence might remind me that I have them and they need water once in a while.

Nope. They died.

I did manage to keep a few succulents last winter that I replanted in my fountain over the summer, so maybe these will make it???

Maybe. They all have that chance I guess.

Ok… So back to the succulents and propagating and overwintering and such…..

I decided it was time to bring them inside over the winter because it was supposed to be cold and rainy all week this week. At this point in October, its hard to say what kind of weather we will be blessed with, but cold and damp is very likely. Of course, then we had 2 days of sunny and warm.

You can’t win sometimes.

I mixed up some potting soil with a little extra peat moss in it. The gardener who taught the class said that they like the soil a little more loose. I filled my clay pots then.

I put a little piece of landscape fabric that I had handy in the bottom so I don’t lose soil through the hole. You could use a coffee filter if you wanted.

I pulled the plants out of my fountain where they had spent a very happy summer it seems!! They had lots of “babies” and good roots!! And several had grown HUGE!! Well- ok, much larger than they had been when I planted the poor things that had survived my neglect over the winter!!

I cut down the ones that had gotten “leggy”. Meaning that there was a lot of exposed stem. The Gardener said that you could cut that off and just set the rest of the plant into the dirt and it will grown new roots.

The one on the right is a good example of one that has gotten “leggy”.

I took several that had grown quite well and divided them. Most of them I was able to just break apart. I found that I had a lot of babies so I carefully placed them in the dirt so they could continue to grow their own roots.

I also kept several of the leaves that had fallen off and laid them on the dirt. Often, they will begin to grow roots and become new plants. If I don’t kill them, they just might!

Some are still a little “leggy” but I was nervous about trimming them. See all the babies in the pot on the left?

The nice thing about succulents is that they don’t need much water! Perfect!! These just might make it!!

When they get dried out, just soak them good and leave them alone again. I have them in my sunroom where they will get good amounts of filtered light. They seem to like that.

I topped the pots then with some of my Lake Michigan and Lake Superior rock collection to make them look pretty. I did leave many of the “Hens and Chicks” succulents out in the planter to over winter there. They are hardy enough that they should be fine there. I am surprised at how many new babies there are of them too!!

They must have been really happy in that fountain!!