December 8, 2009

Finishing well and winning kinda badly

Last night we had a storm come through and almost all of Phoenix was hit with strong winds, the news called it a microburst. Huge trees fell over, roots still attached. It was weird, lots of noise, big areas of the city were without power. We only lost one cactus, but it was a significant loss.

When we moved in here, I was nervous about having a jumping cactus (it's real name is a cholla "choya" cactus) because they are so horrible if anyone gets too close to it. It is called "jumping cactus" because the tips of the prickles are nearly invisible so you don't realize you are too close until it gets you, painfully, as if it jumped at you. Over the almost 4 years we've lived here no one has been prickled by it, but we have found several birds (who died really painful deaths) stuck in it. Charles never wanted to cut it down because it was so pretty. And it was pretty, all whitish and fuzzy looking (another nickname for this plant is "teddy bear cholla"), kind of the showcase of our front yard. But the storm knocked it over from the roots and I've been declared the winner of this episode. =) It was almost a "nanny nanny boo boo" moment, but I resisted.

The biscotti is all done, the first wave anyway. I give it as gifts so it's like a factory around here in December. It's an easy, yet really fancy looking cookie. The recipe is here.

Tonight's project has been grating little crayons into tiny bits so our preschoolers can make 'stained glass' ornaments with waxed paper tomorrow. It's not as simple as it sounds and I have crayon bits everywhere. Somehow they get static electricity when being grated and then they jump like popcorn out of the container or out of your hand, leaving a ring of colorful debris around the container.....and on my floor and clothing. I still have 3 colors to go and I finally got smart and melted the piles of jumbo crayons into muffin tin cups so they are easier to handle. Just wish I knew how to make the static more manageable.


standing10:13 said...

Sad day i missed the storm! It's always nice when it's stormy. I muchly enjoy reading your blog. :)

crickl's nest said...

I miss you Sarah! When do you come home?

joannmski said...

That is sure a beautiful cactus. Shame it's so painful.

Anonymous said...

You ARE the winner in the cactus saga! We enjoyed the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix... so many weird (to us) and wonderful plants. Been there?

~KQ~ said...

a cactus that murders birds?! In a slow, painful death? Yeah, I'd be glad it's gone, too.
Crayons... would a food processor work? and if so, would it help to control the static problem?
sounds like a fun project - good luck!