May 30, 2020, 09:01:48 AM

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Re: The King's Paws (with one holding a bottle of Peri Peri sauce.) Most Apple products are more hype and branding than anything in my experience. Though I can't judge given my current laptop is a macbook and it's reliable in my opinion. Though it's hardware is starting to fail on me given its age. But it's held up well given how old the hardware is.

Personally I'd go with a Samsung tablet if you want a broad-range of feature or a Kindle for reading, like Bender suggested. The only time I'd recommend the iPad as a consideration is if the person were a digital artist as I've heard good things about the Procreate art app, which is an iPad exclusive. Though I've never used the app myself, so I can't give an honest review in that regard.

On another note, I cannot stop laughing at the fact I bought myself kids' watermelon toothpaste as an early birthday present to myself today. ;D

August 11, 2019, 02:24:52 AM
Re: Depression, Struggles and Light at the End of Every Tunnel As Bea said Inky, you've done something many people won't accomplish in their life, won't even get up the courage to try. No matter the outcome, you should at least be proud of yourself for sticking with it.

I've felt similar feelings of hopelessness with both my writing and art. Though for me it was more of a general sense of "I have no skill so why bother" given I've never tried to sell or publish either; I rarely even show off my paintings. It got to the point of self-doubt where these past few months are the first time I've done any meaningful sketching or painting in over two years. I still hate myself for that, because I realized giving up on something which brought me joy for so long, giving into that nagging voice, was the true failure. I still have those moments of self-doubt, but I keep on going.

I'm not sure if it will help, but when the critic in my head is speaking I now remind myself of this quote attributed to Vincent can Gogh: "If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." It usually works.

Sorry if I made this into a "look at me" kind of thing, but it felt like sharing this was the best way to convey what I was hoping to get across.

August 12, 2019, 12:51:28 AM
Re: Member birthday calendar Thank-you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday (And yes Bea, I'm remembering the contest :D).

Also, Happy Birthday @Lady Ty!

August 27, 2019, 01:54:49 AM
Re: The Edibles Thread I've been wanting to try and make sushi lately. But given I'm a vegetarian (not a pescetarian, so I don't eat fish) mine would be full of veggies. The problem is I can't decide what veggies to use, though lately I have seen some recipes for marinading carrots in a certain way so they taste similar to smoked salmon.

Aubergine is what you call Eggplant. Courgette is Zucchini, right?
Correct, courgette and zucchini are two different names for the same summer squash.

September 01, 2019, 12:00:26 AM
Re: If your were a D&D character what would you be ? Here's a funny little overview of alignment for you Bea.

September 01, 2019, 04:02:37 PM
Re: The Virus thread Nothing brings the "warm fuzzy" feelings like waking up, opening the paper, and finding many of your state's lawmakers are trying to overturn your state's lockdown policies. I'll give everyone a single guess as to their reasoning....

On a more positive note, at least to me, I've built up the nerve to move past my anxieties enough to start volunteering again. Before the lockdown I volunteered at a local animal shelter walking dogs, but the shelter closed to the public and volunteers with the exception of a few appointments per day for people wanting to adopt. About two weeks ago, the shelter was reopened to volunteers under new protocols to comply with to keep each other and the kennel staff safe, while still allowing the animals to get socialization; we have to get the dogs from the outside, we have to sanitize any toys or leashes we use, we can't go into the building beyond the rear foyer or the cat room, etc.. But it was only recently that I put my name on the spreadsheet, to get myself back into doing something I love and missed once more.

April 17, 2020, 02:15:50 PM
Re: The King's Paws (with one holding a bottle of Peri Peri sauce.) just did a photoplasty about how people viewed religion as kids. I gotta say, some of these are great examples of why I generally get the impression that being religious must be awful.
Now I'm looking back on memories of religion in my childhood and I'm pretty sure in church I once asked my Mom if by drinking the "Blood of Christ" we were vampires....

April 29, 2020, 05:02:01 PM
Re: Member birthday calendar
It's a little late, but Happy Birthday @xiagan and @SugoiMe!

April 30, 2020, 11:31:46 PM
Re: Depression, Struggles and Light at the End of Every Tunnel
FYI my friends:
I had the year 4* check-up today and remaining breast still clear, wahey! :D I need to wait for the official results, but the nurse said that at first glance/comparison with last year, there was nothing to worry about.

* 4 years!!!! :o :o
Where did the time go?
Congratulations Bea! ;D

May 20, 2020, 04:23:01 PM
Re: The King's Paws (with one holding a bottle of Peri Peri sauce.) I feel a little guilty I harvest so many allium flowers to make a nice bouquet for my studio, only to find their perfume gives me a massive headache.

I really admire you knowing the names, I just call them 'birds' - small birds, big birds, white and black and brown ;D My sister and brother in law gave me a couple of books about "birds you find in your garden", but I still can't really identify them, they're all so similar...
It's not everyone's thing and it takes time regardless, so that's okay. I know what I know because birds in general are some of my favorite animals. I still get some bird species confused and I don't know all of the ones I might come across by name. Only the ones I see most often are easy for me to identify.

I have found, however, that it's easier if the books you utilize are tailored to your specific region. In my case, most of my bird books focus on the state of Pennsylvania. This way I don't have to skim through listings of birds which would never show up in my state, even if they do show up in the US in general. I still have books like that, given I do travel out of state on occasion, but they aren't the ones I turn to first.

I want to do this too! I bought 2 dwarf rhododendrons last year and they're great, and I'd like to grow another one from one of the branches. I've googled and it seems I should do it end summer/early autumn, but do you have any tips?
Warning for a rambling infodump, though I hope it helps in some way, but I'm finding propagation is a bit of a growing passion of mine (despite not having the space for them all :D). If you don't want to read it all, just keep in mind to do research and accept not all of your cuttings will root and survive. I've had batches where none of them survived. I seem to take these deaths easier than seeds dying given they're often trimmings I've had to take anyways so they would have died anyways if I'd just tossed them into the compost.
Spoiler for Hiden:
I've never tried a rhododendron before, so it's best to do your own research. Which is what I'd suggest for seeking to propagate any type of plant given each can have different needs. I'm not an expert and am still learning a lot myself as I've only been propagating plants for about a year and a half. And I have little hands on experience with bushes and trees given most of what I propagate are houseplants, particularly vines like pothos and philodendron. I've only got one successful tree and that's a little ficus I started last June using some cuttings from my Mom's ficus.

But, from my research I've found its best to do flowering bushes and trees after their flowers have faded; I'd do this anyways for the bees in my area. Though for some trees it's suggest its better to do it from the previous years new growth before it flowers. I admittedly am not holding to that with one of my current experiments, the pink dogwood cuttings I'm trying to propagate still had their bracts (the colors you see are actually modified leaves, the true flowers are the tiny things in the center, the same goes for poinsettia) and buds. In this case I simply plucked the bracts and flowers off.

I also like to utilize more cuttings than I intend to use if I can, given not all of them will root. Given I've often tried propagating things after after cutting back the more rampant growth, such as a pothos getting too long for its location, this often leaves me with a lot of things I can break down into cuttings. Hence why I'm experimenting with trying to propagate dogwood now given it needed a trim bad.

I often experiment with the methods depending on how many cuttings I have as you can utilize soil or water.

Not all plants are able to propagate through water, but I sometimes try anyways if only because they also look nice in the makeshift vases; just make sure to change the water at least once a week. From what I gather, bushes and trees don't do well with the water method, the same going for herbs (which I'm also trying to propagate this year). And you need to be careful when you transfer a water propagated cutting into soil as it can go into shock given the vastly different conditions. I've read it helps if you slowly add soil over a period of weeks so the soil slowly replaces the water, but I've haven't tried it yet so I'm not sure of its effectiveness.

I admittedly don't have much experience with successful propagation by sticking cuttings in soil given what I usually propagate does well with the water method. From what I've researched with the soil method you usually want to use things like vermiculite, coconut coir, or peat moss. But I admit the cuttings I'm trying out the soil method with this year went into cacti soil. I did also use a rooting hormone I bought the other day, given I've heard they help with rooting in soil. But given I only did all the cuttings in the past few days, I'm not sure how my experiments into the soil method will fair.

Regardless of method, you want to make sure you make the cut with sharp, clean shears/scissors below an active node; for some plants you want to avoid woody areas even if they're putting out new growth, like with marigolds or rosemary, as it can leave scars or damage that probably won't heal well. Nodes are the knobby bits located along the stem from which leaves can emerge. From here roots will emerge if the propagation takes, though its easier to find these nodes on plants with aerial roots, like pothos or christmas cacti; these aerial roots become part of the ground root system with time. You don't want too much excess stem beneath a node as it will simply rot and become a point of infection for your cutting. When taking the cutting from the mother plant, however, you want to get as close to the top of an active node as you can. For similar reasons as it will act as a potential point of rot (you should do similar things when taking flowers). It also allows promotes new growth at the node. You also want to remove most of the bottom leaves from the cutting, and any buds/flowers/fruits it may have leaving a few on top. For most plants you want to work quickly or keep the cut end moist so it doesn't dry out; I say most as many suggest you should let the ends of succulent cuttings dry out before propagating them.

I should note you don't always have to propagate plants from cuttings. Some plants it's better to divide them at the root ball, like zz plants. And some plants, like peace lilies, produce tiny baby plants at their base, often known as pups. Pups are different from suckers, which are branches growing near the bottom of a trunk on trees and bushes which can drain energy from growth higher up on the plant (most remove suckers they find).

And be aware some plants are grafts, so the root system and the foliage are of two different plant types. This is more of a common thing with plants like roses and fruit trees, to provide them heartier root systems. And with hybrids, there's no guarantee the offspring will be the same as the parent, though this is more a case of growing from seeds.

It's largely a matter of researching the specific plant you want, giving them the best chance you can, and then playing the waiting game to see if they take. And I've found it helps to take notes so I don't repeat my failures and I can retest my successes to see if they were flukes or a viable path.
Edit: I just remembered something important. Be aware that it's illegal to propagate some plants you can buy at nurseries and such, which it says on the tag. Usually this is because they're hybrids unique to the grower and are patented under the grower's license and name. Though arguably you'd think it'd be illegal to propagate any plant you buy from a nursery instead of just buying more plants (just as it's illegal to take cuttings from someone else's yard without permission or public spaces), but with some it's because something about their nature allows them to be patented.

True this patent's purpose is to keep a grower's competition from propagating and selling their creations and not really for private usage. I mention it, however, because I'm sure there's at least a handful of growers out there who can be finicky even towards someone propagating it for their own personal usage if they discover it. So I thought I might as well warn you of it being a thing.

May 20, 2020, 09:22:55 PM