My Brain Ferrets are Garden Weasels


If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been on a bit of a bender lately.


Left: a purple calla lily plant; right: a cluster of small succulents.

My latest victims



High on Clara’s remarkable good health I went out and bought myself a plant that looked pretty but would have killed my pets.  He lives outside right now—remind me to check that he’s not toxic to bunnies, yikes.  Fresh on the heels of that near-miss, we were browsing Home Depot ( we might have actually been looking for mulch or weed killer or something else that goes outside—I really don’t pay any attention to the outside plants and they seem to appreciate it) when I saw a whole section of little potted things that promised they were easy to care for. 


You grow shit now!” my brain-ferrets yipped, pouncing and nipping in their excitement.

Uhh… You sure ‘bout dat, hoss?  Because—

And the brain ferrets were all, “SO FUCKING SURE!  THIS IS WHAT YOU NEEEEEEEED!”



I don’t know if you’ve ever argued with a brain ferret, but they’re convincing little bastards.  So now I have a little pot of assorted… lemme check the tag… succulents—seriously?  That’s what they’re called?  I don’t think that’s right; someone’s putting me on.  But they’re on my desk, in a little pot, and I’m meant to basically ignore them except for watering them once a month or so.  Like those cacti I used to have, that I watered whenever I remembered I had plants—those fuckers grew like weeds and were the happiest green things I’ve ever owned, until the idiot cat started eating the needles off ‘em.


grey and white thing, technically a cat, twisted in an unnatural fashion.

Not even THIS idiot cat—another one.


We’ve got off track, and anyway that wasn’t the first thing that happened.


You’re used to this by now, don’t even pretend you expected a story to be told in the proper order ‘round here.


The first thing was that there were more orchids and I was CRUELLY DENIED MY GODDAMNED DESTINY.


ME:  (pointing)  Look.
HIM:  (looks, sighs)
ME:  Orchids!  (leans closer to tiny potted orchids)
HIM:  (pulls me back)
ME:  I’m just sayin’… Since I’m so good at plants now.
HIM:  I’m not sure you can say that.
ME:  ?
HIM:  Have you seen Beau lately?
ME:  …
HIM:  …
ME:  I’m sure he’s fine.
HIM:  The bunnies ate him.
ME:  Seriously?
HIM:  Looks like.
ME:  Goddammit!


Display of tiny baby orchids for sale. $9.99 USD each.



I don’t know why, but CVS had these itty bitty orchids in the cutest little pots and if there’s one thing you need to know about me it’s that tiny useless things are my kryptonite.  I have no end of bitty boxes, bottles, jars, you name it.  Maybe I’m compensating for the fact that I’ll never wear itty bitty clothes or teeny dainty shoes?  So even though I’m normally all about making sure I get a plant from an actual garden center that does nothing but plants and therefore has given this plant the very best chance at success wherever it’s going (not my house, clearly) I need one of these teeny orchids.  Need.


And I had to go back for more prescriptions (and eyeliner) just a few days later, this time with Alexis on the phone.


ME:  Talk me out of getting a tiny orchid.
ALEXIS:  Aren’t you having enough trouble keeping Clara alive?
ME:  Clara is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.
ME:  …
ALEXIS:  O-kay… how ‘bout this: you don’t want her to get jealous, do you?
ME:  Jealous?
ALEXIS:  (warming to her theme)  Yeah!  You need to dote on her as your one and only—
ME:  You have three kids.  Are you seriously advocating for Clara to be an only plant?
ALEXIS:  Aren’t you the one always saying one is better than three?
ME:  It is!
ALEXIS:  Do you want to be like me?
ME:  No…
ME:  You spend a lot of time talking to kids.
ALEXIS:  I do.  It’s awful.



Fuck it.  The phone just rang again—Husband hasn’t gone to get his blood pressure meds and they’re just sitting there.  I’ll go pick ‘em up… and a teeny orchid. 


(Parks and Rec) Angry Ron Swanson scowls thoughtfully


We may have to talk to the doctor about upping his dose.




17 comments on “My Brain Ferrets are Garden Weasels

  1. Gale says:

    That’s right! Although being bought on its own may make it feel as though all the others were bought away from it, so it might be afraid that it’ll be used for some kind of nefarious porpoises, so get two, if only to buck up each other!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa says:

    I love plants. I live in a forest after all…BUT as wonderful as indoor plants look, I’m not about that HGTV life. Mom used to have us moving plants in and out of the house for light, pruning, etc to keep them healthy. I do not have the time. I’ll get me some plastic succulents (my own brain ferrets spend time devising nefarious plans).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mrs.Tallamy says:

    I’m reading this next to a dying coffee bean plant. I’ve tried to save it but it’s non responsive. Instead I tell myself it’s angry and just needs space and time… as it continues to yellow under my tough love. Good luck with your orchids!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I honestly spend half my plant-buying time trying to work out if they’ll poison my cat when (not if) he decides to eat them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Angela says:

    Does that mean the teeny orchids only need teeny amounts of water? Easier to keep alive, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m treating her like a mini version of Clara, so she gets the same soak* every ten days for fifteen minutes, then drains thoroughly.

      * Not recommended by the “just add ice” crowd, but I doubt her ancestors got much ice in the rainforest; also not recommended by many of the “mist frequently” sites, but this is the advice I got in-person from someone who lives not far from my actual house and believed me when I told her I run a dehumidifier and what its actual setting was.


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