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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 2/22/09 - 3/1/09

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Own Personal CO2-to-O2 Conversion System

I've been getting a number of care packages from my family and friends. Dave and the boys, my in-laws, Paul's family and Wendy's family have all sent goodies and they've all been awesome. The snacks, books, magazines and drink mixes have been greatly appreciated!

This post today is about one particular...unusual...item I received at the end of January.

A Chia Pet.

And not just any Chia Pet:

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

How cool is this? It came from Paul and his family and I was very excited to get it. Folks who work near me who saw me unwrap it agree: it's a cool gift! Paul and his wife Louise must have been sympathetic after reading how excited I was about a pathetic little patch of foliage -- the first I had seen after several days here.

I'd given Dave a Chia Homer before, 2-3 Christmases ago. I remember the issues we had keeping his head completely filled with water, the very top of the head is higher than the water outlet, so the very top of the head never gets any water and therefore doesn't grow.

Sounds like a challenge to me!

So here we go! I started this project in Feb 1st, so you'll see 4 weeks worth of growth! It's like one of my traditional craft blog posts! Fun fun fun!

First things first: GO SOAK YOUR HEAD! As is always the case with terra cotta, a good soaking will help the pot retain moisture.

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

I had difficulty finding a container to use, but with some ingenuity, I come up with this:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

See how nicely Homer fits inside?

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

Next, we start the seed mixture soaking. Chia puts the seed in some sort of stuff so that when you soak it, it becomes a gel that will adhere to the terra cotta easier.
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

...and you let that stuff soak for a "few" hours. I had instructions that said "overnight" and the seed packet said "1 hour". So I went middle-of-the-road and let it soak for the duration of my weather shift, probably about 9 hours.

So now spread the seed gel stuff over Homer's head:

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

And there you have it -- Homer's Gellin' (2 Feb):

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

Now enjoy some time-lapse photos of Homer's growth, starting with 4 Feb:

From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

6 Feb:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

8 Feb -- yeah I started remembering to rotate him after seeing this directional growth:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

9 Feb (do you sense a lack of lighting?):
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

Let me pause here and address the lighting issue. You see, Homer is a thirsty son-of-a-gun. I was giving him some 4 oz. of water per day, so I needed to keep him in plain sight so I can remember to water him. Unfortunately, I work overnight, so Homer spent time in a flourscent-lit room while I work, and I kept the room dark during the day while I sleep.

It was at about this point that I told myself "Forget that!" and moved him to the windowsill on the OTHER SIDE of my light-blocking curtain.

The point of this picture below is to show how sparse the growth is on the top of the head. As mentioned earlier, Homer is thirsty, so the seeds at the very top seldom were watered, it was very difficult to keep the water levels that high.
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

13 Feb -- looking a bit like Don King:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

After moving to the window, Homer started doing MUCH better. Unfortunately, I can't enjoy him the same since he remains on the other side of the curtain from me.

27 Feb:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

Showing the root growth down the back of Homer's neck!:
From 2009 01 31 ChiaHomer

So now what? With all the growth, it's now more difficult to keep Homer watered. He's consuming 6+ oz. of water every 24 hours, in part from evaporation through the terra cotta, in part from what the foliage requires.

I'm probably going to scrub down Homer and start again for the month of March, this time taking better advantage of the sunlight on the other side of the curtain earlier in the process.

That should leave enough seed for Paul to generate his own oxygen source once he gets here in the next few weeks.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

100 Life Experiences

I got this from Christina of Sugar Sweet Thoughts <>, who got it from Must Love Tots <> who got this from Scientific Nature of the Whammy <> who got this from Megan <> .

It looked like fun, so here goes! Hopefully no identity theft issues with this one... Not sure what an identity thief or potential terrorist will do with the fact that I've never gone skinny dipping but have run a marathon.

RULES: There are 100 statements and you bold or distinctify the ones you have done. Grab it and play for yourself!! We have no idea what happened to #11...

(Major Mom's Note: There are 12 European vacation references in this list! There is ONE in Asia, I definitely sense a BIAS here! Despite that, it's a diverse list.)

*1. Started your own blog

*2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

*4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

*6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland

*8. Climbed a mountain.

*9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

12. Visited Paris

*13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

*16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

*18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

*20. Slept in an overnight train

*21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

*27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

*29. Seen a total eclipse (solar)

*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

*32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

*35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

*39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

*41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

*46. Been transported in an ambulance

*47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

*51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

*52. Kissed in the rain

*53. Played in the mud

55. Been in a movie

*56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

*63. Got flowers for no reason

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

*67. Bounced a check

*68. Flown in a helicopter

*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

*71. Eaten caviar.

*72. Pieced a quilt

*73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

*82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

*84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

*86. Visited the White House

*87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

*88. Had chicken pox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

*91. Met someone famous

*92. Joined a book club

*93. Lost a loved one

*94. Had a baby

*95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

*98. Owned a cell phone

*99. Been stung by a bee

*100. Read an entire book in one day

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