I can’t tell a Chrysanthemum from a carnation, guys.
But my friend Emily at Nerd in the Brain tossed up this Cool Weather Blooms challenge, and I took it – petal, stem and pistil. It’s part of her Go Play, Go Learn Challenge. I could be named Nerd of the Week (my kids will tell you I’m the all-time champion at that – and more).
I picked the three coolest flowers that bloom in the Carolina during winter. I found out they bloom in winter for many reasons, but it seems that mild Carolina winter sun and moist soil make for ideal conditions for some flowers.
SWEETBOX | Not to be confused with the obscure 1990s pop group, this shrub produces miniature yet fragrant flowers. It’s a perfect fit for dry shade gardens, if ya got ‘em.
SNOWDROPS | Late November’s time for this one to bloom, and they’ll stick around until after Christmas. Have I blown your mind with my flower knowledge yet?
CAMELLIA | It’s an evergreen, and grows as tall as 6 feet. It’s a hardy shrub with pink flowers. Also, the flowers can be orange, red or white.
Check out Emily’s challenge. If you take it and beat me out for the Nerd award, I’ll be pissed.
How’s about some kids’ questions?
1. Aren’t we all related?
There’s 11 liters of philosophy in this post. Adam and Eve aside, science traces a common ancestor for us to a select group that lived no longer than 2,000 years ago.
That makes for some twisted up family trees. For every 25 years back into your lineage, your ancestor number doubles.
Thus, a family tree that spans 1,000 years would include more than 500 billion ancestors for one generation. Simple math tells you that 500 billion distinct ancestors couldn’t possibly fit.
January Jones? She might as well be my sister. And Jennifer Lawrence? My daughter. Holy hell. (She’s pretty much Elise’s age anyway. Bollocks.)
2. How much do you spend on us for Christmas?
Waaaay more than other parents do. Way more.
Which isn’t at all true. It’s a meager amount, yet probably way above the suggested figure for someone of my meager income. (A sentence that deserves two meagers.) Between your mom’s Goodwill Hunting and my opportunistic purchasing from lids.com clearance, you guys easily surpass the triple-figure mark.
Wait, that includes numbers after the decimal, right?
I mean, you won’t confuse your holiday pull for Oprah’s Favorite Things. It’s also way more than a lump of coal in your stocking. The dollar amounts don’t matter, really.
My favorite present is one I know you’ve wanted, and you were able to receive. Know something, though, girls?
This happens every Christmas, every birthday. In my mind, it’s a worthy collection, what you’re getting.
I can’t shake that feeling of shame when you’re finished with presents that you somehow got less than you deserve. That somehow, dad couldn’t deliver.
I know, it’s silly, but it’s there. I’ve never wanted to spoil you. But, I do wish what you could get would be more. That there’d be surprises in there, a few things you really wanted, and a smile in the end.
Thank you for smiling all the same.
3. Do they put animals in groups that won’t kill each other at Discovery Place?
Despite the argument for compelling theater, I imagine they do.
What interest would a cobra vs. mongoose exhibit draw? What about a python and alligator in the same space? It’s nature, as seen on Wild Wild World of Animals and the like, but a captivity pairing of mortal enemies (or two close links of the food chain) seems like a bad idea.
Wildlife Florida, a path of elevated boardwalks at the Tallahassee Museum, featured predator and lunch menu items living in close proximity. I remember wolves pacing the perimeter of their fenced-in quarters, within sniffing distance of likewise caged deer. It’s how I feel waiting for the first pizzas to come out of the oven at 11:30 at work.
4. Would you get thrown out of a stadium if you mess with a celebrity?
You’d get the heave-ho for messing with a non-celebrity, probably.
Part of me thinks it depends on the celeb. Probably the people would assist in your ouster if you gave, say, Justin Timberlake the business at a San Diego Chargers game. Pink would bust your nose if you looked at her crosswords at a Memphis Grizzlies game.
You might get a standing O if you poured a Moulson Dry on Justin Bieber’s head at a Maple Leafs match.
Actor Michael Keaton came to the defense of his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates from hecklers this summer.
5. Isn’t it illegal to hit another car with yours and drive away?
Unless you’re David Gilliland, then yes. (Gilliland holds the distinction of wrecking once every nine NASCAR races from roughly 2007 to 2012.)
On the civilian road, it’s called hit and run. It happened to me once. A kid raced up behind me on Highway 521 on a rainy night. I thought he’d stop at the red light. He didn’t. He bumped me pretty good. I got out of the car and suggested we pull into the grocery store.
“I don’t think I even tapped you, dude,” he said, avoiding eye contact.
“That was more than a tap,” I said. “Look at my bumper.”
When I turned around, he made off like the General Lee.
Dumb kid. Little did he know the kind of automotive beast Gabi can be – even with a busted up butt.
We caught up with him at the next light – he was turned sideways trying to make a getaway on a side street, but stuck in traffic. Made getting his tag number easy as sneaking KitKats out of your Halloween stash.
The cops showed up, and then the insurance agents. Reports were filed, measurements taken, and, yadda yadda yadda, the kid’s insurance issued me a debit card with enough jack to fix up Gabi’s money maker.
Or, to blow at Aldi and Target.
Gabi’s bumper still sits funny, but she’s still a beaut. Probably she’s third cousin, twice removed, from a GTO.