The crazy plant lady

I am beginning to wonder whether the crazy plant lady is a thing. If so she visits here.

I have some friends who have been in Australia with the American Foreign Service, who are about to move back to the States. This part of the story is terribly sad. When I arrived at an evening church one long weekend with nothing else to do, it was this friend who invited me to join a book club, then invited me to a thanksgiving dinner at their house. She’s a quiet and unassuming yet generously friendly person, who studied literature and has interests and a way of seeing that share common ground. There have been good times and good conversations and we are all going to miss them.

But in the process of them moving some electrical appliances were up for grabs, so I put my name against a couple if no-one else wanted them, but it was the bonus things that came my way that I got really excited about. The first one is a lime tree! Oh the joy. I have been saying ever since I moved that I wanted a lemon or a lime tree, or both, in my courtyard, and now I have one. The other surprise was a living Christmas tree in a pot. My Mum has said she is not having Christmas at my house unless I have a proper tree. Now I have a real and proper tree! I have a suspicion that a possum or a cockatoo has had a go at this tree, as it’s a bit scrappy and has outgrown its pot, and the lime tree is not looking its best either, but I am into plant rehabilitation, which I think tips me over the line to crazy plant lady. (Another friend gave me a gardenia that was dying and said ‘take it away and keep it alive’. So far so good.)

So, I collected my freebies yesterday afternoon, and when I got home from church last night I consulted my The Canberra Gardener book and spent time on google working out where best to put them (it turns out citrus trees don’t like the frost – that messes with a plans a little, but I have a place – also conifers like full sun). What am I becoming? But google is the friend of novices, and when all else fails read the instructions. This also applies to plants.

The other thing I collected was a little charcoal grill smoker thing, of the likes of which I have never seen before. The husband of this duo is from Texas (the wife is from Oregon), so I am curious to try to smoke up some kind of Texas BBQ. (Do you know that in the States you can buy “liquid smoke” – it’s some kind of cooking ingredient of questionable composition that makes food taste smokey. I had no idea this was a thing.)

Goodbyes are terrible, but it’s nice to have these mementos.


  • My husband is a huge fan of Liquid Smoke. It's nice when you want a barbeque taste but don't want to get out the grill. In my opinion, a little goes a long way! We use it to season meat for fajitas, strips of beef or pork or chicken sauted over a HOT burner with onions and peppers, wrapped in tortillas.

  • I am intrigued! I just have to wiki it to find out what exactly is was, and am now more intrigued – it really is condensed smoke. I don't think you can even buy it here but I am looking forward to smoking things for real in this ole smokey contraption.

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