“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and TRY to keep it all the year!” — The Poinsettia Project

Some things have a tendency to stick around a tad too long. Your neighbor’s Christmas tree lights, perhaps. And then some things just don’t stick at all. Today’s blog is about both the sticky things and the non-sticky things. Like my resolve.

People say Christmas is over so fast but at our house it lingers. We’ll dismantle the tree, box up Jeff’s prodigious Santa collection, and unwind the greenery from the chandeliers, all within a reasonable period. But, always, there are a few yuletide trappings that hang around through March or April. For instance, I casually mentioned to Jeff that I’d like to blow something up (nothing in particular) and so I got a box of explosives for Christmas. It’s still sitting on the living room floor with little bits of festive Christmas wrap clinging to it.

Well, here we are in May, and there’s one Christmas remnant that’s stuck around, but entirely by design. That’s because I decided to see if I could make the Christmas 2016 poinsettia last until Christmas 2017, and beyond. Evidently it’s not that hard to keep a poinsettia alive as a humble green houseplant, but it’s not at all easy to tend it in such a way that it will deign to turn red again. You have to prune it a certain way, fertilize it at certain times, and move the thing in and out of a pitch-dark closet every 12 hours because the redness production — the green-to-scarlet presto chango — is a black-box process, I guess. You have to get serious about the light-dark rotations in the fall, but I have been practicing all year to get in the habit. (The poinsettia survived a five-day stretch in the closet when I forgot to take it out. )

So, nearly halfway through the year I feel emboldened to start sharing with you occasional updates on my poinsettia project. (I promise it’ll be a notch or two higher on the excitement meter than watching grass grow.) I am sharing now because it’s safe — I am actually sticking to the program. I may succeed or I may fail, but I won’t have quit!

I can’t promise I’ll change my non-sticky ways when it comes to, say, taking my medicine as prescribed, procuring new registration stickers for my car, or blogging regularly, but this is a start.

(P.S. If and when I blow something up, provided it’s legal I will post pictures!)

Poinsettia on May 8, with its more seasonable windowsill chums. The poinsettia’s name is John Travolta because this muthah flunker is stayin’ alive!


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