My parents gave me a gift certificate for a lemon tree and planter for Christmas. Molbaks had a sale (so convenient!!) for 25% off indoor plants and planters this weekend! So off I went, and came home with a meyer lemon and the prettiest pot that both matches and jazzes up our walls.
The pot is a lovely green, with metallic speckles.
It’s very hard to photograph the color, and impossible when it’s so dark out – it looks very different in each kind of light (grey, sun, night/electric) and is very glossy.
Thanks to the sale there was quite a bit extra, so I got new Calathea plants for our bedside tables. They’re supposed to tolerate low light (but maybe not quite so low as our bedroom in January in a rainy spell?) – I have them in the kitchen window for the moment until things are a bit brighter. They’re very pretty and have a lot of personality, raising and lowering their leaves.
The prayer plant from our bathroom is taking a Dec/Jan jaunt into brighter climes as well. It’s so much happier and has started leafing out. It’s so *cheerful* in the corner of the kitchen window, it makes me happy to see it there.
“Prancer, Cancer, Blitchen, Fifty!”
— Claire, reindeer expert
We’ve had many fish over the years and many have died, but Click and Clack were our very first fish, and I’ve loved them for a long time – days shy of 11 years.
When we got them, Sharon was still in college and hunting for her first job, Bush still hadn’t been sworn in for his second term, the Red Sox were only two months recovered after winning their first world series of the 2000’s, and I was still spending my days in our Kirkland apartment, waiting for a software job to appear from the ether. (It would, in just three short weeks.) The blog was barely born. We named the tiny clown duo for the Car Talk guys because they were brothers (then. Clownfish are hermaphrodites.) and seemed to just yap and yap at each other.
Clack died this afternoon, somewhere in the commotion between the end of naptime and Kevin’s next salinity check. Clack fell (drifted?) down to the sand, and we notice the snail and crab commotion before we notice a clownfish missing. A horrible joke, but we said that Clack’s last gift was to die in easy range of a net instead of wedged under or inside a rock like a certain gramma we still remember… He looked hopelessly wrong scooped out of the tank in a plastic cup – a fish who should be swimming. Clack was fast (especially the few times I had to scoop him out of the tank, to move), bright, food-motivated, and a treat to know. She laid many, many sets of eggs. Click and Clack were captive bred and seemed mostly unaware of appropriate hosting spots (we weren’t the anemone type), choosing at different times the plexiglass, the PVC pipe, and the cleaning magnet, but also xenia, the leather, and bare rock. Clack laid the eggs, and Click fertilized them. They spent a long time back and forth competing for the right to be female before Clack ultimately won — first one slightly bigger, then the other, before settling into their roles. They survived our fish-keeping learning curve as well as the 2006 windstorm, a move to a new house, a move to a fancier tank, and countless vacations that we took to visit family and friends, leaving them with friends and neighbors roped into the role of “fish person”.
We will miss Clack, the tank is missing a major character. I checked, Click was swimming in their sleeping spot, solo. 🙁
We’re watching Clack closely today. He (or rather She, after twelve years you would think I would have finally come around to hermaphroditic clown fish, but habits die hard)… he has gotten very pale and skinny, and has a white film covering the back of his head.
We’re lowering the salinity in case it’s just an infection that he can still fight off. He’s still swimming like his normal self, but isn’t eating, which doesn’t bode well.
We brought them home January, 10, 2005 (when Sharon was here to visit!) and eleven years seems like a long life for a small fish, but I’m still hopeful Clack will pull through.
(Ollie was on the other side of the tank, hanging out under the big branching coral, but this is most of the gang.)
PS. As I type this at the brown table, I’m keeping an eye on the tank on my left, and watching it snow softly on my right. Beautiful. It’s been flurrying for the last hour, and then switched to real flakes a few minutes ago. I’ve been wishing and wishing for snow – we had one snowstorm in November 2014 and not a flake since, and I’ve missed it. Even if it doesn’t end up sticking, let alone turning the world all white, to get a snowy afternoon while I can sit with my coffee and watch it so quietly is a treat.
It’s been an age and a half since I saw the Olympic mountains for more than a minute in the car, pushed even further by a dark, grey fall. But today was very cold and very clear and even if I wasn’t needing a chance to stretch my legs and listen to myself think after our trip home from PA last night, the mountains were calling. 🙂 So when the kids went down for their nap, I walked for a bit in the neighborhoods above our old apartment before heading to the grocery store.
The Olympics were out, and perfect. Lake Washington was glassy-still except for the occasional boat. The barges off to the left are for the 520 bridge construction.
Seattle and a blue, blue sky.
I walked back to my car along the converted rail trail. It has deep gullies on either side, and they were full of iced-over moss. It was very pretty.
One last panorama.
If anything, the Cascades on the way home were even prettier, and deep with snow.