Now that’s something to think about. A definite milestone in my internet bonsai journey. 300 blog posts. To be honest, there have been a few times, especially of late, where I’ve contemplated just giving up the blog and, as a corallary, the life of a traveling Bonsai artist. My wife would enjoy the latter part, I’m pretty sure. She gets just a little stressed when I’m not home. But I’m not ready to give up traveling yet (sorry dear) and, much to my enemies dismay, I still have something to say, so, long live the blog. The reason I’ve been a little defeatist of late you see, I am writing this from my luxurious guest room at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. I’m recuperating from another surgery that should have been a step forward towards healing but, because of the enigmatic and uniqueness of my malady, I find myself and my health have been pushed two steps back. Oh, woe is me. I’ve been describing my health problems too much in the last few posts and won’t go in depth with the details. I can just hear the readers navigating away to the next bonsai site whenever I talk about myself. I would also like to apologize for the length of time between posts. Therefore, let’s get to the subject matter for today, this portulacaria afra:
My wife brought it for me to have something to fiddle with while I’ve been here in the hospital. I must admit, I needed something to do. I even stretched out the work, made it last or, as they used to say, I goldbricked it. My brother-in-law is a Master of goldbricking. But that’s another life amd probably one reasons I’m here and…hey, it’s time for my vital signs. BP, temp, pulse rate and heart rate, and blood/O2 level. Since I’ve been in here, my vitals have been textbook. I usually have a bit more stress in my life out in the real world but being in a hospital bed must be calming. It’s that or the dilaudid. Hard to say. What’s not hard to understand is breakfast. It’s here. One thing I will pursue when I get the gumption outside: the plate warmers. If I can find a good used source, I think they will make good training pots. Here’s the bottom half. It’s heavy duty, insulated, and even has an aesthetically pleasing style to it. And the bowl my grits came in would make a good planter too. ,
Speaking of dilaudid (or perhaps the dilaudid was just speaking, I mean, hospital cafeteria plate warmers….really?), just after the surgery, I was able to administer my own dosage with a comforting green button. They would take the button away soon enough (one can’t go home with it) but it was a comfort when I had it. It’s more psychological than anything, the dose one can give oneself is not that high. But it helped, especially during the wound debridement.
Nowadays, I am wired for speakers, so to say. Or a more efficient drug delivery pathway. This is called a PICC (A peripherally inserted central catheter. It is a form of intravenous access (as opposed to a regular I.V. line) that can be used for a longer period of time than the I.V. In my case, for extended antibiotic therapy, and parenteral nutrition). It was inserted into my bicep area using mysterious algorithms and cryptic magic. The line goes up, inside my arm, following my veins, across my chest, and dumps the meds right into my heart.
I would show you my most significant souvenir, my vertical, midline, open wound on my belly. It’s about a foot long, with my belly button at about the middle point. It’s lovely. But I won’t. This was my reaction to seeing a photo of it. Quite a shocking site it ’twas, as you can tell by my grimace. If you want to see the wound, please send a self addressed, stamped 8″x10″ manilla envelope, along with $19.95 (plus tax, where applicable) and I’ll send an autographed, numbered, glossy and photo-paper quality copy, suitable for framing and willable to your favorite offspring or sibling spawn. I warn you though, it’s shocking. Truly shocking.
Let’s get back to the tree. This tree is a good example of being able to change the character of a tree just by adjusting the front. Let me do some pruning, then I’ll show you what I mean. To the scissors! The idea with the development of jade, as with most trees, is to increase leaf ramification. The only way to do it is pure hard work and time put into the tree.
I’ll cut here: from that cut we will get four new leaves from the base of the extant leaf. The old leaf will eventually fall off…. But now you have doubled your leaf yield. This is all done to create the well nigh impenetrable canopy so loved in a jade bonsai.
This is Richard Turner’s jade at Old Florida Bonsai. It won the Best Tropical at the National show a few years back. Notice the thick canopy. In this pic, it could use some pad differentiation, which has since been done since I’ve visited last.
And speaking of visitin’, my favorite visitor (this should be taken in a sarcastic tone btw) At least the kitchen doesn’t call themselves anything but “Nutrition Services”. That’s really all they are, no pretense there. At least I got my scotch on the rocks.
Last time I was hospitalized I didn’t want visitors. I even ignored my personal communications device (what used to be called a smartphone). This time I had quite a few visitors. Ronn Miller, Seth Melon, Anthony and Clarina (who brought some yummy apples and green tea) Nick Alpin, who gave me a desert rose he had grown from seed Rick Jeffery, who sang me a song on my guitar (don’t let him fool you, he’s a great guitarist with a strong voice). Dave came all the way from Puerto Rico to visit. Mat brought me some fine bonsai picture books to look at. Of course, my family visited, all four kids, my sister and her daughter and my son’s GF, Vanessa.
And I had some good views out of the window too.
Anyway, it’s been about a day since I’ve been discharged, let me show you the portulacaria, all finished and from different angles.
When I repot, I’ll use this as the front.
And now I’m home, a little more restricted than before but still alive. I have about two months of work to do to catch up in the nursery, so if anyone feels the feel to come by, I could use some help. I also have about 3-6 months of healing before my next surgeries. But don’t let that scare you off, come on by and say, “!Hola!”