Good Afternoon World!

*A shot of Sunday's incredible sunset  from my balcony*

Good Afternoon!  How was your weekend?
I meant to make this post yesterday, however I got carried away with some exciting news that pretty much distracted me for the rest of the day.  Oh, did I say exciting news?  Unfortunately it's all too premature to spill the beans on here.  Hopefully soon I can let the cat outta the bag, until then I'll tell you about my weekend...

Saturday I went to my sister's Special Olympics bowling competition, it was a lot of fun AND, she won first place!!!  We are very proud... plus now she gets to go on to the finals in Orlando come November!  Road trip!  Congratulations Danielle!   After the competition my family and I went out for pizza at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza....  delicious!  Mmmmmm mmm!  Suffice it to say, with a full belly and the overbearing Miami heat... I was ready to go home after that.  

BUT, I did hit up two Goodwill's on the way home, finding only a little yellow California pottery dish for fifty cents... I gotta post up a picture of it later.  Oh yes, and how can I forget that I also stopped at my grandmother and aunt's house to share the pizza love and as I was turning the corner by their house I spotted a huge cactus growing in front of the vacant house on the corner!  You can already guess what I did... I grabbed my aunt and we walked over there and got some pieces, including babies that had sprung up around it... it's awesome!  It's one of those massive 7 foot tall cacti full of red bulbs.  Anyway, we made off like bandits!  And since the house may be bulldozed in the future, we are contemplating chopping down the entire cactus and planting it in her yard.... Anybody have tips for success when it comes to that type of endeavor, is it a no-no or a hell-yes?   

After all that sweaty cactus hunting, by the time I got home all I wanted to do was shower and space out in front of the tube with my man, we watched the premiere of Saturday Night Live's new season and it was okay.  Nothing beats the Obama/Biden/McCain/Palin campaign days... that made for damn good material!  
As for Sunday, I spent the early morning further freaking out about my spreading Mealy Bug problem, which I talked about in last Friday's Tribulations of Gardening post.  Those little pests spread like wildfire, they are all over nearly every single one of my succulents and cacti, along with all other plants....  In a brief moment of exasperation, I cried  when I went out onto my balcony and saw the rapidly deteriorating state of my big basil plant!  

In last week's post I said I bought "Sevin" pest spray and was ready to spray massacre the Mealy Bugs over the weekend...  I must amend that! When I got home on Friday my boyfriend practically bawled me out because (I had forgotten) he had told me to buy "Organocide" which is organic and much safer for my plants, herbs and for humans!  He says Sevin is the devil... and since he used to work at Home Depot and often helped in the garden section, he knows better than me.  I'll admit, I read the booklet taped to the Sevin bottle and did not like the environmental hazard warning OR the warning about calling a doctor if it got on your skin!  It seemed like I would need to take annoying and painstaking precaution if I was going to use Sevin.  So, after calming down my freak-out tears, my man convinced me to get presentable so we could go exchange the Sevin for some Organocide.....

Ummmm beware folks, this stuff smells fishy!  You don't want to spill it in your home by mistake!  I know there must be some fish oil in there, especially because it smells just like fish oil pills and I guess the oil is a nice natural way of drowning those disgusting cotton, err mealy bugs!  Anyway, as you can see in the image above there are several Organocide options to choose from, I chose the bottle of concentrated Organocide because it will go much further than the other already-diluted options.  It cost me around $15.99, but I'd say it's worth it since it only takes 1.5 ounces to make a gallon of spray (diluted in water), and the bottle has 32 total ounces - not bad.  As you can imagine I sprayed the living daylights out of all my plants (well, not really since the directions say not to over-apply), but you catch my drift....  I was like an evil fumigator, cackling as I doused the mealy bugs in fishy Organocide!  HAHAHAHAHA...  I must wait two weeks to see if it eliminates the mealy bug problem, if not I should spray again.  After it takes my pests away I can spray monthly as a preventative method.  I've got my fingers crossed!!  

*UPDATE* It has now been two days since I sprayed the Organocide and my plants look fine, no signs of the the pest problem continuing to spread or getting worse.  YAY!  But I still can't breath a sigh of relief until it has been weeks and there is no more sign of those buggers!

Okay, enough of my excited rambling....  Hopefully I can focus enough to do some more posts today!  Oh, and I couldn't resist photographing the incredible sunset from my balcony on Sunday night....

(All images in this post are my personal photos)

Craigslist Miami Finds: 9/24/10

Here are my Craigslist Miami finds of the day, some pieces are great just the way they are and others are screaming for some tender lovin' care... and refinishing!  To go to the original Craigslist post just click the description below the image....

Antique Leather Top w/ Embossing - Side Tables/Nightstands
(also pictured above)

Retro Vintage Dresser/Wardrobe


Retro Vintage Walnut Wood Lounge Chairs by Stacey House

1940's Antique Wood Side Tables/Nightstands


Antique Wood Vanity/Dressing Table w/ Mirror

Antique Metal/Iron Sewing Table Bases


Antique New Jersey Farm Table - Porcelain and Steel Top


1960's Retro Metal Chairs by Shaver Howard

Antique Wood Cabinets w/ Drawers/Side tables/Nightstand
(screaming for a makeover!!!) 


Antique Desk


 (All images via Craigslist Miami)

The Tribulations of Gardening!

Good day everyone...  I am so glad it's finally Friday because I'm so over this week!  Let me tell you why.... my balcony garden is infested with Mealy Bugs!!!  Mealy Bugs are these unarmored scale insects that feed on plant sap and juices by affixing themselves to roots and other small plant crevices (like under leaves at the stem).  You can identify these pests by the waxy/powdery/sticky/cotton-like white fuzz they secrete and deposit onto the plant.  In fact, at first it just looks like there is cotton fuzz on your plants, but beware, rub it away and there are those sneaky bugs!   YUCK!  They give me the heebeejeebees!!!  Anyway, by now you might know just how much I love my garden and my plants, so as you can imagine this is VERY upsetting!  Tonight when I get home I must arm myself with this "Sevin" pest spray that I picked up at Home Depot today during my lunch break and fire away at all my plants, grrr!

My mother, grandmother and cousin, along with many friends have reassured me that I can kill them with dish soap diluted in water, but I have read this could lead to something called phytotoxicity, plus I am so worried about my succulents that I want to kill all these bugs the first time around!  Anyway, it appears the outbreak occurred in my strawberry pot herb garden and now the little creepers are spreading (jumping that is) to all of my other plants!  Suffice it to say I'm frantic and bothered, particularly because my garden has been doing so so well!  I guess these are the growing pains of gardening huh!?

Here is my infested strawberry pot, notice the white specs, particularly all over the perennial butterfly-attracting plant at the top (pictured below).  As you can see it was thriving in this post from a while back, but has since declined in health.  

At first I noticed that the herbs were looking ragged at the base of the stems, then I saw the cotton stuff.  By this point I had already transferred the largest basil plant to a new pot  (pictured in this post) since it was too big for the strawberry pot and beginning to droop under its weight, however I can see that it too has mealy bugs.  I must save this basil plant because it is huge now and it would be a sad loss.  But, the rest of the strawberry pot is getting trashed, I figure with the way it's looking and things are dying the whole thing could be infested inside and is probably not worth the trouble.  The Thyme dried up into a brown crisp long ago from the sun (I guess) and the other remaining Basil plant is so small that it has not survived the mealy bugs, the Italian Parsley I'll transfer to its own small pot.  

That's right, say goodbye to my strawberry pot herb garden, but never fear, next time you see her she will be cleaned out and filled with succulents and cacti!!  I can't wait to show you that... but first I must do it, hehe...  Speaking of which, tomorrow I will be going to some plant nurseries out in Homestead, Florida with my mom, my aunt and my grandmother to look for plants (well, I'm only going with succulents on the brain of course)!  When we come back home we'll have a gardening and decorative planter making extravaganza!  Yay, can't wait!

What else, what else?  Oh!  I found a 24"x24" Mid Century Modern Ottoman on Craigslist for $10!  I am going to pick it up today after work, I can't wait to reupholster it and share the before and after with you - my plans are to reupholster it using a gorgeous Suzani

And last, the beautiful plant pictures in this post are from my grandmother's garden, we aren't sure what the plant is called except that it's in the Yucca family and of course, it's GORGEOUS!  Just look at those fuchsia flower stalks!  Stunning!  Thankfully the lighting and conditions were perfect, plus it had just rained, and my iphone took a pretty decent picture! 

If anyone knows the name of the plant pictured in this post OR has any tips for dealing with Mealy Bugs I would appreciate your feedback.  Thank you :)

Have a great weekend!  Wish me luck with my bug massacre!

Here is an image of the steps at the back door which my aunt just had extended and pretty distressed railings added on....  You can read more about this beautiful home and garden in this post and this post....

I took this one while looking up at the sky through the trees, my little window to the universe... :)

(All images in these post are my own personal images)

The streets of Morocco...

I've made no secret about my love for Morocco... I have yet to go there but believe me it's at the top of my list of countries to visit. So far I have only covered fourteen countries, and all in Europe, including Turkey, so I still have a lot of countries and continents to see! I'm a lover of travel, so it's only a matter of time :)

In the meantime I'll just swoon over these pictures, care to join me?

Mmmm... whatever that steamy street food is I'm sure it's delicious!

Sunny yellow fabric hanging out to dry... pretty...

Ahhh, looks like the bazaar in Istanbul! I miss Istanbul and I have yet to finish all my posts about my trip there in 2008... bad me!

Ummm.. I'm seeing some great plate wall art here..... :)

Gorgeous tile mosaic, like in this post....

Stunning door, like the ones in this post....

(All images via Google image search)