My Cousin’s Baby ShowerI will try and leave the general giddiness of this whole adventure out, but, I just wanted to say before I got started that it was amazing. I had never actually thought that they could be fun. Well, I knew from past experiences that they were anything but fun. And in fact, could actually be sort of a pain. But then I didn’t know the “mommies” (god, I disapprove of that term) that well, and the hostesses decided to make the day full of fun. Which always flat on its face if you ask me. But that might just be me. Maybe, and just maybe, I never had the right experience, which would explain the difference here.
What’s the DifferenceTrying too hard. I think that is the biggest thing that makes a difference. For the most part a modern baby shower comes with all of these expectations that really do nothing but stroke the ego of either the organizer or the one being honored with the celebration. It, and this is my opinion, gets in the way of the purpose. And with that I mean focusing on what is really important. Gifts? No. I really think that in most cases the idea of only hosting a shower for the gifts is beside the point.
The Big DealSo what is the big deal then? Well, I am glad that you asked because I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. The big for me, and this is what I realized the other day when we were celebrating was that it was about the fun of being together. Not with a lot of people, the right people. You see when you realize that you don’t need to collect as many people together as possible, only focusing on getting the people together that really matter it becomes a whole different experience. At least for me it did. The showers that I attend in the past set their sight on making things grand. Styling it around, well: a nautical theme and a twins theme that was more or less a baby boy theme with double everything. The latter was also pretty extravagant, in so much as they they spent more on the afternoon than I think the honoree got in gifts. Not that that is the point of a baby shower, but boy I never anticipated eating caviar at a baby shower.
Side Note:We didn’t have anything special to eat at the baby shower: cake, tea, and finger food (i.e. snacks: chips etc.), but it was more than enough. The invitations were simple, nice and to the point. Which, I mean, it doesn’t need to do that much. If it can fulfill those simple criteria then it has served its purpose. Trying to make it do anymore than that is simply asking to much when you ask me. (Not that you did.)
I See It DifferentlyWith all things you can over do it. You can take something that, from my perspective now, can be a really enjoyable experience and you can make it something that it is not. I wouldn’t dream of organizing a professional photographer for the day, but when I was at the one for my best-friend’s sister’s shower for the twins they had one. And if that wasn’t enough everyone had to do a silly photo with a sign with a “message for the babies.” <- This is seriously a thing. Seriously? The kids won’t even know who I am, nor will they have the desire to look at all of the photos with “on the spot” messages scribbled over a chalkboard. Sorry, it is just not going to happen. And honestly I would be happy if they get lost. My message was really on the spot and I would really be thankful if nobody ever looked at it again. Who comes up to ideas like that anyway? Hopefully I will never have to sit through another shower like that again, baby or otherwise since I know now they can be rather enjoyable.
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Repotting/Potting UpSoil in nature is constantly changing. New organic matter is being broken down, the soil is aerated by things living in it. Much of this doesn’t happen in the artificial environments we make for our plants, so we have to put a little effort into their care ourselves. For most plants, they can go a few years without being repotted, although most will survive in the same soil for a LONG time. You don’t need to replace all of the soil when you refresh or repot it. Just loosen up the roots a little and some of the old soil will fall out. Both replace soil, but only one will replace the container. Plants grow, and their roots will outgrow the container limiting the size of the plant, this is what is known as being root bound. There’s two ways to fix this. One is to transplant it into a larger container, but obviously you’re going to have to limit it at some point which brings up your second option, trimming the roots(and foliage). If your plant is root bound to keep it healthy and in the same container just take it out and cut off the outer layer of roots, maybe 1/5th of the total roots, and replace that now empty space with fresh dirt. You’ll likely also have to trim the foliage back if that’s getting too large. The second problem you’ll run into in never switching pots is your soil will run out of nutrients and this can be solved by fertilization, or if it’s a low nutrient plant simply replacing the soil as mentioned above may be enough. What and how much you should feed your plants will be depends on the type of plant you have so there are no general answers there. If you keep the other aspects under observation, a plant’s soil can go a long time. In fact I don’t plan to replace the soil in my potted plants soil for the next 10 years. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you don’t have to do. Soil doesn’t go “bad” but the particles do break down. And in a closed system of a container, there isn’t a full ecosystem of soil organisms to aerate the soil. And you can get a lot of salt deposits that accumulate in your soil after years of watering. But repotting becomes important when the soil particles have broken down. This is usually once they have broken down to the point that the smaller particle size of the medium interferes with aeration of the roots.
I have green eyes. What you see in my eyes is not the same thing that scientists see in them. The current thought behind green eyes is that a thin layer of yellow pigmentation overlays the "blue" color of an iris, and the result is a yellow color.
The gene responsible for this yellow pigmentation is completely separate from the brown/blue gene; thus, to have green eyes, one must have a low concentration of melanin in the iris and produce the yellow pigment.
Here is a chart that demonstrates how melanin in the front and back epithelia of the iris and the structure of the stroma create eye color. You will notice that the specific combination which is required for green eyes is more complicated.
Of course, we're talking about gene networks here so in reality this isn't cut and dry as I made it sound. If it was, there were be a higher percentage of the population with green eyes.
Eye color is complicated than many may think and the combination required to be born with green eyes is rare. And it has been an area of study for scientist for decades. A lot of people tend to tell me it is because of X or Y, but they are just using layman's terms to try and explain something that they are ignorant about. In other words, anyone who says they know definitively isn't being completely insightful or in other cases honest.
Eye color is highly polygenic and not entirely understood.
A lot of genetics is not as simple as Mendel's pea experiments might lead you to think. Mendel figured the basics out mostly because he picked traits that have distinct, qualitative phenotypes that were only controlled by the expression of a single gene.
This tends to be the exception rather than the rule, but it's still taught in schools because it provides a clear simplified way of explaining the mechanism of why traits are passed on or not.
It is more likely that many different genes play a role in determining eye color (which is a spectrum of colors really, not just "green" or "blue"). While some of the Brown vs. Blue in European populations genes have been worked out (OCA2), the mixtures that make up intermediaries are not entirely clear. What would start off as a binary state becomes very messy when you start adding in 11 other SNPs with incomplete penetrance and variable dominance terms.
As for the rarity, that's just simple population genetics.
The alleles for green eyes, whatever their nature, are simply less common in European and Middle Eastern populations than brown or blue. Hence, they are less likely to be observed.
Since eye color is usually not selected for or against when people choose whom they wish to mate with, the frequency of the "green allele" remains more or less the same. Though I did have a boyfriend tell me once that he was only together with me because of my eye color. That sort of creeped me out and I dumped him a week or so later.
SucculentsFor succulents, water, light, and temperature are pretty well understood. For example, we all know a succulent without enough light will stretch (called etiolation). Obviously, it’s seeking more light. But what we might not know is that behind the scenes, the plant is putting extra energy into stretching. This could lower the plant’s immune system, making it more prone to pests and infection. So where do we start when trying to provide our succulents with a better environment where they will not only survive, but thrive?
It Is In The DirtA plant’s roots play a role in receiving all but one of the six elements: light. One particularly important but often neglected element, here, is air. Roots need oxygen and airflow as much as they need water. This is why root rot happens. It’s not because of too much water, but rather because water can cause a lack of oxygen to the roots. Think about this for a moment; if water were the issue, how could plants and even succulents grow hydroponically? They could not. They water needs to have oxygen in it for them to develop a healthy root system. Air is the reason why a gritty mix is so good for plants. It is a potting medium that, when done correctly, completely eliminates the issue of “overwatering” by eliminating the layer of water at the bottom of the pot that suffocates the finer roots – the ones that do the most work in getting your plants water and nutrients.
DrainageThe most important aspect of a container is a drainage hole. This is non-negotiable if a plant is to survive for than a few months. A pot without a drainage hole nullifies all the advice above. Even with a gritty mix, it is impossible to keep a plant healthy without a drainage hole. A plant in a container with no drainage hole will either be under watered due and experience fertilizer burn due to watering in sips, or conversely over watered with its roots sitting in water. If you would like to have your plant in a container that is not perfectly suitable for plants, such as a cute ceramic planter with no holes, an old shoe, or a glass terrarium, use a cachepot. That is, use a normal pot with drainage holes and simply take out the plant to water it. When finished watering, put the cachepot back into your other container.
Fear of Watering/OverwateringA common piece of advice you’ll here with succulents is to not overwater them. Unfortunately, this advice usually leads to people watering their plant in sips, which has its own set of issues, which I will explain in a later section. Instead of soil, people are often taught that better drainage is the solution, especially for succulents. The natural reaction then, is to use a sandy mix, to add rocks, or to add a drainage layer. Unfortunately, these are not good solutions. Sand is very fine and will cause water to perch even more. Rocks added to a soil won’t do anything if the soil still contains over 60% its original medium. But perhaps the most interesting one is the drainage layer. Beginner’s guide to watering:
- Prepare the water by adding a 3-1-2 fertilizer at half the recommended dosage from the container’s instructions.
- Water until excess comes out the bottom of the pot’s hole(s).
- Discard the excess water immediately. Avoid letting the plant sit in the water to reabsorb.