Possible motto

I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. This makes planning the day difficult.   

E.B. White

Kafka II

I am sad to report that Kafka is no longer with us.  I did the best I could; I watered him every few days (when I remembered) and put him in indirect sunlight (just like he wanted!) but he has crossed over.

I made the mistake of telling everyone at my apartment for a birthday celebration not to touch Kafka upon arrival.  "HEED THESE WORDS: DO NOT touch his leaves!  I know they are beautiful but RIFE with POISON!  If you touch your mouth and sap is on your fingers your throat will close up and you will lose your ability to speak!"  After that all they wanted to do was touch it/get other people to touch it.  They would lure new arrivals into the kitchen and remark on how beautiful the leaves were, they look so soft and glossy, would you like to touch them? Boys. 

After the birthday party started to wind down several gentleman, white knights really, decided it was time to get rid of the Death Plant.  My last memory of Kafka is a blur of t-shirts and jeans as the sound of muffled laughter carried him down the stairwell, through the door, and into the great black night.  The best friend turned to me, sadness visible on her face and stated, "You have never been able to keep a plant alive.  Not one."  The knights returned from battle, satisfied in slaying the Dieffenbchia dragon, giant grins on their faces.  When I asked where he was taken, they relied, "We saved your life tonight."

Wherever you are Kafka, I hope you are in indirect sunlight and being watered every few days.

Although you are gone, you did not die in vain.  If it wasn't for you, there is a strong possibility that all the dogs at the Anderson pound would be roaming the streets and all of us would have suffered through a karaoke rendition of "Who Let The Dogs Out."

Rest in Peace.  I am sorry you fell victim to Black Thumb Beatty.


You may remember that one of the goals I set for myself is to keep a houseplant alive. Today I bought my first houseplant and have named it Kafka. 

I wanted to go with Alejandro, but the boyfriend insisted it looked like a German plant.  How something leafy and green can resemble any sort of nationality is beyond me, but there was no way I was going to name it Herman.  We settled on Kafka.

It was purchased at Meijer for under $20 and seems to have a several battle scars from its journey beginning in Homestead, Florida.  Some of the leaves have patches of sadness -- some discolored tips that are yellow, some brown dead spots, some rips.  I accidentally ripped part of a leaf off when rolling up the window ... oops.

After returning home I Google-d and found some rather disheartening information.

Dieffenbachia is a moderately easy to care for houseplant that likes humidity and sunlight.  Otherwise known as dumb cane, their stems are green, their leaves are white and yellow, and they can grow up to 5 feet tall.   So far, so good.  I continued reading and learned that they are called 'dumb cane' because your throat will swell and you will lose your speech if you eat their foliage.  You are supposed to use protective gloves when working with the plant just in case sap gets onto your fingers and eventually ends up in your mouth.


How did I manage to pick a poisonous plant for my first green thumb project?  I know why -- I thought it was cute.  I looked at its large spotted leaves and thought it would coordinate well with the living room.  I also saw the rips and browning leave patches and immediately felt sorry for it.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for the underdog.

Dieffenbachias are to be kept away from children and pets; I don't have the former (THANK YOU JESUS) but the latter is left unsupervised five days a week while I go to work.  Kafka is already pretty large and I had every intention of leaving it on the floor, in front of the window to soak up the spring sunlight.  It now lives next to my desk on top of the filing cabinet.

So far I've ripped a leaf in the car and watered its dry soil.  Three hours into ownership and Kafka is still alive and well.  I'd like to write more but these rubber gloves are hot and difficult to type with.  Wish Kafka good luck.

Approx. height: 20" -- that's a little over one and a half feet
Largest leaf length: 14" x 6"
Smallest leaf length: 5 1/4" x 2 1/3"