Succulents Galore!

Succulents Galore!

After months of putting it off I finally put to use my glass container/bowl for a terrarium!

Every morning on the way to work I pass a little plant shop that sells these succulent plants for $2.50 each or 2 for $4.00. I finally took the plunge this morning and just bought $8 worth. The shop owner was very chipper and helpful as she boxed them up for me so I could easily transport these 4 little plants to work one-handed. I can’t say what kind of succulents they are since I am not that well versed yet in identification (I can only accurately identified the Crassula Ovata variant), but I am doing my best to learn…as well as just enjoy.

After a long day of work (and a quick stop at Daiso to pick up some dedicated tools for this project) I came home to find out my girlfriend had went out earlier that day and bought me another succulent. So in total I had 5 little plants that I needed to fit into this tiny jar…I had my work cut out for me.

Of course despite all the books, articles and how-to guides I had at my disposal I just jumped right into planting these little ones without really a plan except that I wanted to fit everyone into this jar. The one thing I did try to stick to was “big plants at back, small plants up front”, which probably doesn’t matter since it’s a circular container.

First, I tried layering the bottom of the bowl with some brown and tan rocks I had left over from an old aquarium, but it ended up being more less mixed rock and soil at the bottom as I moved the plants around and attempted to get them leveled. Speaking of soil, after reading about it later, simple potting soil may (or may not) be the best for these plants, but I think I think they will be fine with soil they came with.

During one of my breaks I noticed some movement in the bowl, and to my surprise a millipede was wondering around in the soil. After some quick googling, we found millipedes are harmless, where as centipedes are the ones we should be afraid of. Supposedly millipedes eat dead plant matter and assist with keeping soil healthy so instead of tossing the little bug outside I kept it around until the terrarium was complete.

Cleanup, pack away my “succulent” tools, water with succulent plant food, put “Max-a-million-legs” the millipede into the jar and I was able to sit back and enjoy.

Ability Weekend @ Via West Services

Ability Weekend @ Via West Services

Ability weekend in Cupertino was a blast!

Spending the weekend working on the garden area of the camp, seeing our work come together piece by piece was so gratifying. All the brothers put in a lot of hard work and I could see that this is what I mean when I say brotherhood. These guys coming together to do something together for others in need and who will benefit from it.

Beyond the construction work though, I believe the friendship visit really was the defining part of the whole weekend. Previous GAP/Ability weekends have been without friendship visits and the only ones I have been a part of were on the Journey of Hope. The dynamic is a bit different from JoH and these weekend events. In such a short amount time we have to come together as brothers, and become humbled by our experience with the people we are visiting. The level of nervousness for me was two-fold in this respect especially since dance events require a lot of stepping outside your comfort zone. To add another layer to being hesitant, the dance was also a costume party. We were allowed to raid the camp costume storage and we all got into wearing some fun costumes. I chose a full Scooby Doo costume…it might have been a little snug, but it was worth it as a few campers loved it. Despite the hesitation of the dance and silly costumes, I saw a lot of my brothers taking the chance and just having a fun time. It was heart warming to see this and it really made my weekend.

I had the chance to connect with one of the campers, whom just happened to love Scooby Doo. She was so excited to see my costume and didn’t want to be around anyone else for the night. Even after the dance I had spent time with her and one of the counselors hanging out. It was a connection that made my weekend and coming to an Ability Experience event so worth it.

I definitely enjoyed being a part of the event and I can’t wait to attend more of them in the coming months.

Day 40 – Pratt, KS – Friendship Visit with Arrowhead West

Today was the second of three visits with Arrowhead west. Today I realize I broke through another level of my comfort zone…singing karaoke.

Before getting into the comfort zone thing I just have to explain that today was definitely a good day. We are back in the “groove” as I have been saying since we passed the half way point of our trip. Despite the everyday challenges (route changes, heat, lack of time, etc) everything is going great. 

Beyond that the friendship visits is where it all matters and it is really where the trip counts the most for me. Today we spent time with clients from the Arrowhead West organization at the Teen Center in Pratt. Once again a warm welcoming as our team walked across the way from the vans to the center. Cheering, clapping and many introductions with hand shaking was so invigorating especially after the long hot day on the road.

Our team headed into the center with everyone and had lunch while mingling and chatting with everyone. The center had a lot different activities like basket ball hoops, board games, pool, air hockey and best of all karaoke. 

There wasn’t much structure, but the team really just jumped right in to whatever interested them as well as the clients. I found myself at a karaoke activity somehow and at first I was pretty shy, but after a few songs it was just another good time with no worries. 

Honestly, I am not much for karaoke because I get shy pretty easily, but this instance I wasn’t too concerned and really enjoyed it. I would have to say with inspiration of my team mates doing it along with clients really helped me just go for it and not worry about how I sounded. It was awesome break through of comfort level for me.

I can’t count how many songs we went through but it was such a blast and I could tell that those who joined us were just having a great time. 

As usual our time was up and we all settled in for a big group picture said our goodbyes and headed out. 2 hours never seem enough and we always have to move on, but so many great memories and experiences occur…can’t wait for the next visit 🙂