Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dead Thumb

I don't know what causes Dead Thumb. I Bing'd it, and got a bunch of great information about those little computer sticks that hold your extra stuff and guitar lessons. Also something about nose picking which I ignored because, really, if you have to pick your nose with your thumb your life is seriously off track. And your nostrils have to be the circumference of Lambeau Field.

Regardless, I suffer from Dead Thumb. It has been a life- long affliction and though I have tried and tried to overcome, nothing has changed. Many people have a Green Thumb. A lot of folks say they have a Brown Thumb. Mind is just dead. 

I bought flower seeds recently, columbine and coneflowers (I think). I thought it would be fun to plant with the girls. Actually I was going to do it myself but they were being shrieking wingnuts one day and I had to do something to bring them back to earth. I had purchased a cheap plastic greenhouse and some of those little round pellets that poof up when you put water on them. We took the whole mess outside and had fun with it. It went like this.

"Teena, you put water here on these 12 pellets and Genea these pellets are yours to water. Just a few drops of water. No Teena, I just told you those are Genea's. Genea, come on, just a little water we are not trying to make a pond. Now here are your seeds. Put 3 seeds each on these 6 pellets. No, 3. Just 3. Not 4 or 5 or 7. I said 3, are you listening? Right here, these pellets. These, not the other 6, just these. If you put the seeds all over we won't know what is supposed to come up. ACK, Genea, we don't need more water. I said no. I know you want to pour more water but they will never grow if you do that. TEENA, I said 3 seeds! I know you can count to 3 I have heard you. Now, put the seeds from this other packet on your other pellets. 2. The directions say 2 seeds per pellet on this side. Dangit Teena, not on the same pellets, the other 6. Would you please just do what I am telling you. No I don't care that you thought it would be cool to put them all together. It is not. Genea I told you no more water!"

So much fun! That was me enjoying the moment and letting the fun flow. Seriously.

I put the greenhouse lid over the whole thing and we brought it all back inside like the instructions said. It was going to take a couple of weeks before we would see any action so we waited.

Surprise! They all started to grow! Mostly they did, we had at least one sprout show up on probably 20 of the 24 pellet poofs. I had disposed of the instructions by then but I remember I am supposed to uncover them a bit at first, then take the cover off and park them where they will get sun. Done. We had a warm, sunny day and I took them outside for some fresh air and real sun. Theeeeeeeeeen, I forgot they were out there until I was already in bed. I checked the weather real quick and saw that it was not going to dip below freezing so I knew it would be safe to leave them out. Plus, these were perennials, which meant they were going to live for years, season after season, and since three of our seasons involve snow and temperatures below freezing I concluded that they would all be just fine. Good thing because I really did not want to get back up.

They were not just fine.

When I got up and checked on them the next day, one half of the sprouts had literally fallen over dead. They were brown and limp and dead. The other half were still green and though looked wobbly, at least they were still alive. Phew! I brought the whole mess back inside and put them back on their little shelf in the sun with their little greenhouse lid back on.

Today, they are dead as well. Dead, dead, dead. Just like my thumb.


  1. This story made me laugh. So many times, I thought I'd enjoy a nice bonding moment with the kids, only to end up being totally stressed out.

    Sorry to hear about your plants. I have finally given up because, I too, have a very, very brown thumb.

  2. Oh Essie! You had me at "shrieking wingnuts"....too funny! Another Essieism to add to my vocabulary. Hahahaha... except for the dying plants part..that part was really, really sad.

  3. I have a dead thumb too even without help from any of the kids :) Heaven forbid we live next to each other.. Our neighbors would just shake their heads in pity.

  4. What is bing'd? Is that the midwest version of googled?

    At least seeds are cheap. You have to try again just to rid yourself of the D.T. curse.

  5. There is a reason I own a lot of land. I need room for all the hamster graves, at least you stick to offing plants.

  6. Fortunately my child is asleep becuase I am literally snorting. Your description of planting time reminded me of just trying to help Jupiter with her enrichment writing homework. "Stop scribbling on your paper. Give me the eraser. Take the eraser out of your mouth. Stop coloring on the eraser. Stop coloring on your fingernails. Erase that e right there. No, the other e". Honestly. And I WANTED her to take this enrichment class.
    Sorry about your plants. I've had that happen to me a bunch of times. So now I never put them outside at all til about Memorial Day.

  7. Oh my goodness that sounded stressful! Good for you for taking on the challenge.

  8. You are so funny. I have found that the more I PLAN to do something "nice" with my children the worse the outcome. The only good times (so to speak) occur by accident.

    If you want to try again, spare yourself the expense. You can grow seeds in styrofoam cups or any sort of yoghurt cup or whatever. Just put Saran Wrap over the cup until the seed is well up, then keep it there (poofing it up to allow a little "grow room") for as long as you can. You can even let them grow big enough for pots right in your window before risking outdoors. As you have discovered little plants neither need nor want "outdoors".

  9. It seems I might have one little survivor.... one plant on all those pellets. I have more seeds, a different kind. Can I just stuff them in where all the dead ones are? Is that going to be like fertilizer? Some of them have white fuzzy crap on them, that can't be good.

    Ok, I confess that I am not a gaggle fan. They are so omnipresent that they are frightening. So I bing instead. (I know, msn is not so much better) So NO, it is not a midwestern thing! It's an Accidental thing, lol!

  10. yep. black thumb here, too.

  11. I call it a black thumb, and every plant in my house is silk because I'm an "herbicidal maniac!" The only thing I'm good at growing in my house is kids and animals.



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