Last summer, during the Great Bush-Whacking escapade, I spent quite a bit of time perusing the Serial Killer Section of the Hardware Store. I had to buy the proper supplies to remove the eleventy-million bushes that had taken over my yard; making me look like some creepy (ier) shut-in who probably killed people in her very secluded (looking) house.

I figured that anyone who spent as much time as I did ogling shovels and pickaxes was probably carefully watched by the FBI as a Potential Serial Killer. (if they’d seen the bushes in front of my house, they’d have redoubled their efforts to apprehend me)

Sadly, I’m not a serial killer. In fact, the pickax I’d so lovingly bought nearly broke both of my ankles when I tried to use it. I should know by now that I’m not coordinated to be a serial killer.

(insert awkward segue)

After my daughter was born so sick in 2009, I developed a pretty serious case of PTSD and PPD and probably some other acronyms, too. One of the ways I combated my misery was to buy myself flowers every week.

You may want to sit down for this.

Ready?

READY?

Good.

I’m an avid gardener.

I know, I know, you’re shocked. Everyone always is, especially since I’m such an awkward cook and a poor excuse for a female, but it’s true. Gardening is one of my favorite things to do.

My daughter was born in January and my garden covered in thick Ass Cold Chicago snow so there was no way I’d be able to get outside and tend to my plants. Seeing those beautiful cut flowers every week cheered me up intensely.

One week, while at the grocery store about to select this week’s batch of flowers, I came across a mysterious-looking plant.

An orchid.

orchid-picture

(my first orchid as it is today)

Despite having roses that tower over me, I’d never tried to grow plants indoors, but at $15 – cheaper than the bouquets I normally bought – I figured I’d give it a shot.

But, like anything I set my mind to, rather than just enjoy that one orchid, I painstakingly researched the orchid family, learning about temperatures, light, and humidity levels. I poured over books, websites; anything I could get my grubby hands on.

I wasn’t going to grow orchids, I was going to Grow Orchids. Perhaps even Grow MotherFUCKING Orchids.

I started An Orchid Collection. Rather than buy cut flowers that would invariably die in a very stinky heap, instead, I combed hardware stores and greenhouses for these beautiful, exotic tropical plants.

Soon I had not one, not two, but a metric fuckton of orchids.

orchid-collection

(This picture was taken a year and a half ago.)

In that year and a half, I learned more about orchids than any normal person should. In fact, I have grand plans to GO to an orchid show, but that’s mostly to see what kinds of people attend orchid shows. Are they like Dog Show People? I saw Best In Show, and I’m anxious to find out what Orchid People are like.

Believe me, I’ll take ridiculous pictures and show you.

After my painstaking research, I realized that I needed More Cowbell Light. I had The Daver build me a Light Box, which meant ANOTHER trip to the Hardware Store for Grow Lights and various other things. You know what MOST people use Grow Lights for, right?

Exactly.

The cashier looked at me and giggled as he rang up my lights. Like, “I can’t believe this lady grows The Pot.”

(SPOILER ALERT: I DON’T)

But I AM a bit, uh, compulsive, so I kept buying orchids. (you shut your whore mouth)

orchids-light-box

(those are the same orchids today)

Soon I outgrew the lightbox and started a second table of orchids.

Earlier this week, for my second table of orchids, I bought another Grow Lamp. And since we all know what Grow Lamps are REALLY for, and because the Grow Lamps are sitting in front of my windows, I know one thing:

It’s only a matter of TIME before the FBI breaks down my door, looking for my Mary-J stash.

Man, won’t THEY be disappointed. Maybe I should bake them a cake.

Cake-Wrecks

On second thought, maybe not.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

86 Responses to If I Wasn’t On The FBI’s Radar For Shopping In The Serial Killer Section Of The Hardware Store, I Certainly Am Now

  • Oh to the double em gee…

    Is that one of those cake decorating thing-a-ma-bobs for kids??? It IS, isn’t it! Bought my kid one for Christmas last year…those things are the MOTHERFUCKING DEVIL. Nice flowers, by the way.

  • Mmmmmmm Dexter. *dribbles*
    I bought my best friend and orchid once because her name was Emma and the orchid was called an Emma Orchid.
    She was mortally offended that I would buy her something so nerdy when she wanted a bottle of wine instead. I thought it was a lovely idea damnit!

  • Meg says:

    Good news that it won’t be the FBI breaking down your door…It’ll be ATF and/or the sheriff’s office. Unless of course, you have a body underneath the ball pit in your house…and you took it across state lines or there is more than one or…Oh Aunt Becky, there are so many rules for having the FBI come knocking. Stupid rules

  • MamaBennie says:

    HAHA I love you. I am the exact opposite of you. I kill any form of plant. I could probably kill a cactus. Yet, I can cook and bake and all that happy horse shit. Maybe I’ll bake that cake for you haha ;-).

  • Jess says:

    Ok, so I’ve become an orchid freak lately – http://flic.kr/p/9v1znk
    Those are some… (don’t mind the cup of grass, my kid’s school is strange)
    You know what makes it worse?! I work at Lowe’s, so I can scavenge the ‘dying plant racks’ and get tons o’ orchids at fantastically low prices… Plus the farmers markets around here always have beautiful orchids to pounce upon…
    My husband hates my orchid love. He’ll get over it.

    P.s. I’ll totally go to an orchid show with you, my husband will not go with me.. He thinks it’s crazy!

  • Yvonne says:

    A friend recently gave me an orchid which is now living in my windowless hole in the wall office. I am trying to find a nice grow light that won’t freak out the customers (and my boss) and that will make my orchid happy.

  • Sara says:

    This is great! I’m the same way about gardening. I can’t ever get my clean clothes put away, but I have the best Motherfucking tomato plants EVAR!

    Love the orchids!

  • Nancy P says:

    Oh the pretty! I don’t know a thing about Orchids but it is true that to water them you just put 3 ice cubes on them once a week? That is what my needlepoint shop lady does.

    Also, this reminds me that I need to watch Dexter. Have never seen it. Yet.

  • Roxanne says:

    Ahhh. Your post makes me remember some of my trips to the Home Improvement Stores. In one week I went in for knives and rope. The guy said — I’m not gonna ask you what you need this stuff for . . . it’s none if his business anyway. Good times, good times.

    I had never planted anything before trying to dress up my new old house and now I’m into it. So cool. Orchids? yeah, that’s intense. beautifully intense.

  • Anne says:

    Everything I try to grow dies. Except the kids. I don’t think speaks well for me. Mine is the creepy house on the block with the kids in the van and the crappy ass yard. I’m sure the neighbors are scared of us.

    Orchids are beautiful, and you’ve done an amazing job with them. I think that’s preferable to serial killing.

  • Well done!

    When I first brought Husband home to VT to meet my parents, my father decide to go all “I am Man / Chest Pounder” on him and enlisted his help in getting rid of some gophers digging holes in our backyard. (No, my Dad is not Bill Murray)

    So, they sent me out to the local country store in my Dad’s pickup truck to pick them up some beer bottles, twine and gasoline.

    I’ll never forget the sight of my boyfriend in his J. Crew roll-neck sweater tossing glass bottles down gopher holes. Sweet.

  • The Mommy says:

    Wait. Aren’t you the one with the vet story about how the lady, uh, “preps” her show dogs? So you already know the kind of people who go to dog shows, aren’t you a little skerred of Orchid Show People? Although that dog show lady would be hard to top…

  • Pam/Wordgirl says:

    Your blog is now the favorite part of my day.

    And our cold-ass Minnesota winters also make gardening until late late late spring unlikely.

    Gardening is the only time I really forget about stuff these days.

    For some reason I was thinking about Susan Orleans The Orchid Thief — it’s been so long since I’ve read it and I’ve forgotten if it really had to do with orchids — but if I find my copy and you’re not afraid I’m a serial killer — I’ll post it to the address of your choice. Books are taking over my life and I appreciate any opportunity I get to give them away.

    Pam

  • Kristi says:

    Thank you, thank you for my laugh today. Rotten, cruddy day and as usual, you made me smile. You and PW.
    Random crap for you. If you ever find the time, there is an A&E series “Nero Wolfe” with Timothy Hutton that we loved- Wolfe grows orchid. See? Told you it was random…

  • We have grow lamps in the storage area above our garage because the people that lived here before us did grow the pot. Had I known I would have sent them to you. I often wonder if what I search for on Google has me on the FBI’s list. Or if they just say damn that girl is FUCKED up. What I like to Google weird shit?

    I too love to Garden I used to have AMAZING Rose gardens till my damn dogs as puppies thought that the fucking rose bushes were chew toys I don’t know that I forgive them yet.

    Oh yes and I laughed so hard at the pointing out of the cat not being an orchid. I need to get out more.

  • Evan says:

    True story: We have a bay window that has a rather large ledge. We keep plants there – nothing fancy, just greenery. The greenery wasn’t doing so hot so we took out the regular lightbulb and put in a grow light. A few weeks go by and there’s a knock at our door. Imagine our surprise when it turns out to be three cops.

    Cop 1: Um, sorry to bother you, but someone reported you were growing marijuana up there *points to window that contains plants that are obviously NOT marijuana*

    Husband: What? Are you kidding me?

    Cop 2: No. Someone called, so we have to come in a take a look. Sorry.

    Husband: Look all you want, but if I was growing weed I sure as hell wouldn’t do it in the bay window in FRONT of my house!

    Me to Cop 3 (who also happened to be an old classmate I hadn’t seen for years): Haha, it was probably my ex husband who called; he hates me and lives just round the corner. Hahaha.

    Cop 3: ……

    Me: Sorry, I make stupid comments when I’m nervous. I mean I’m nervous because I’m not used to cops showing up at my house, not because we’re into drugs or anything, I don’t do drugs.

    *Suddenly remember Cop 3 and I were classmates once upon a time*

    Me: Well, I mean, not any MORE! In school, you know, we all did some things we shouldn’t have, right? Remember some of those parties back in the day! Hahaha. Ha. Ha. heh. *fuck*

    Cop 3: ……

  • Ina Jones says:

    So while reading your post I came across “metric fuckton” and got so excited! You see just this morning a very good (nerdy) friend of mine had sent me a message breaking down what that means. I love it! Here ya go:

    the average density of human feces is 1 g/cm3 start with 1 ton of shit 1 ton of shit is the same as 1000000g of shit 1000000g of shit is 1000000cm3 of shit by volume 1000000cm3 of shit is the same as 1000L of shit 1000L of shit is the same as 264.2 gal of shit… So, the next time someone says “That’s a shit-ton of vodka!” that means its 264.2 gallons of vodka (on average).

    Oh and my hubby is an orchid person as well. And me, well I kill any houseplant in sight just with my magical powers of being around. :)

  • Penbleth says:

    Pink. The orchids are pink. That moves them up in my regard. My MiL has an orchid that blooms merrily in her utility room with absolutely no special care what ever. It should be ashamed of itself, what self-respecting orchid is so easy?

  • I can’t grow crap. My dad gave me these clippings for these purple things because I liked them and had some grand idea that I’d actually be able to grow them. He was all “Oh, they’re EASY. Just throw them in the ground, you CAN’T kill them, they’re like WEEDS.”

    So I freaking got on my hands and knees and got all dirty and junk and I planted the bastards and they’re pitiful. Sad and droopy and laughing at me. I can’t grow crap.

  • Betty M says:

    You need to go to Thailand – fabulous orchids there! Or come to the Orchid House at Kew. Masses there too. I love them but kill them. Such a shame.

  • Andra says:

    I love orchids…. Let me be more specific…. I love to SEE orchids. I would love to grow one. I drool over them at plant sections until the management has to ask me to leave. I dont dare buy one. My cat eats every plant in the house. I had a butt-ton of plants at one time. Now, I have 2. One claims to poisonous to cats. It doesnt seem to bother my cat at all. He chomps away at the leaves all of the damn time!

  • Lisa E says:

    Orchids RULE. Unfortunately I can never get them to re-bloom. But even so, they’re way more of a bargain than cut flowers. And prettier too.

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    I heart you and your orchids. I had a wondermous orchid plant I had kept thriving for 5 years. Between the efforts of Gabe and the cat, they killed it. I was so sad.

  • aubrey says:

    so glad you clarified the cat in the photo. I was really confused. haha. I love your orchids they are gorgeous. I can’t even keep my Peace Lily alive and from what I hear they are impossible to kill so not sure how I would do with anything else but I really want a house full of pretty plants and flowers.

  • Kelly says:

    Once upon a time when I lived in my old house I could grow stuff. I had tons of beautiful plants. Then I moved into the house where we live now, and one by one everything died. It’s totally the house, not me.

  • Amelia says:

    My MiL bought me an orchid for my 1st mother’s day last year. After nearly killing it 10 hundred times, it seems we have called a truce, and it bloomed in January. Those little flowers may have saved me from winter, no fooling. Also, the ivy I was given in December, is dying. Apparently the orchid didn’t tell it how cool I am.
    I get it.

  • Eliza says:

    Greetings from Orchid-land –

    Very cool to see your collection blooming madly in your house. Wonderful.

    If you want to combine fabulous vacation travel and see mad orchids, come to Maui in time for the fall Maui County Fair. It usually held in early October. There’s *insane* displays of all sorts of rare orchids by many growers. And to top it off, most of them are for sale and you can have them shipped home.

    Oh, the Big Island of Hawaii is called the orchid island because there’s a native wild orchid which just grows and blooms all over the east side of the island. It was pretty wild to see that earlier this year.

    Happy blooming!

  • Ann says:

    How did you get your cat to NOT eat your orchids?

    Any green growing thing including non growing things like cut flowers, brought into my home gets eaten by cats.

    Who immediately urp up on my bed.

    I guess special cats that shoot lasers out of their eyes don’t eat plants.

  • Barbara says:

    Orchids have always been my favorite flower, but I totally suck at taking care of plants. I’ve tried to plant an herb garden twice and only managed to have mint take up my entire yard. I’d be sad if I killed the orchids :(

  • Misfit Mommy says:

    When my girl was around four, she and I and the Hubs took a trip to Home Depot to get some stuff to help my aunt move. I was later eyed with suspicion (or was I projecting?) by the check-out clerk as she bagged these things: two blue tarps, three rolls of duct tape and one box-cutter w/extra blades. Her suspicion must have taken a hellish turn when she heard my girl ask me “Mama, what happened to Daddy?” I was laughing to hard at the timing, I must of looked like a maniac walking out of that store…

    P.S. Hubs left the store to pull the car around. I was not going home to finish up the ‘wet-work.’

    P.P.S. The Department of Child Services was (mysteriously) NOT called.

    P.P.P.S. I don’t give a rat-fuck about orchids. They perish under my gaze. But yours are purdy…

  • Veronica says:

    I have aspirations to set up an entire hydroponic set up in my shed, solely so that I can grow tomatoes and cucumbers – because I can’t grow them in the ground in my stupid climate (we didn’t even get a summer here this year and I lost my entire garden to a frost in fucking FEBRUARY, when it should have been hot. Bastard).

    I fully expect to get checked in on once I’ve got it up and running.

  • Between the FBI and the security at airports, I bet you are on all kinds of lists. WIN!

  • Folly says:

    I am so mad jealous of your orchid growing skills. MAD skillz, Aunt Becky. I always manage to keep an orchid alive for almost a year, then I get too confident and cocky in my orchid growing abilities and kill them. Sadness.

  • Teehee. Your trip to buy the grow-op lights reminds me when some friends of mine (big, biker-scary-looking folk) went into a medical supply store to buy a vat of Vaseline, but not for THAT.

    If I tried to grow orchids, either my toddler would throw them across the room in a fit of godknowswhat – or my dog would eat them. You are my hero for being able to keep plants alive. *deep sigh*

  • Kerra Dawn says:

    Please come grow me some flowers/pot. In return I will gladly bake you some cakes. I’ll even make you a flower cake if it suits your fancy. However, I can not be responsible when said flowers come within 10 feet of me and shrivel up and die or if you need to start using a plank to get out of bed and/or chairs from eating cake.

  • How fun to have found you! I’ve been having a wonderful time here, and if I wasn’t a total weiner, with a brand new sucko bed time, I’d have read and read and read even more. I like your bold style, and completely envy your ability to grow orchids. That’s what I get for being cocky. No orchids.

  • Melissa says:

    My husband decided to buy me an Orchid from the Grocery Store for our anniversary in January rather than a bouquet and I almost shit. The only thing I know about orchids is that my green thumbed mother has never been able to keep one alive, the things die like it’s their job. And now it’s our love fern (ala how to lose a guy in 10 days) But damned if the thing isn’t still alive despite my inadvertent negligence. At least I think it’s still alive, the flowers all fell off but it has green buddy things on the ends. I’d do some research but I tend to be sidetracked when I get online. You should do a crash course on orchids so I have a chance of keeping this thing from the compost. Hahaha

  • Suniverse says:

    I love you.

    I want all the scoop on your Orchid Show. Because it’s going to be phenomenal.

    Oh! You should have your own Orchid Show. That would be even better & throw the FBI off the track.

    PS Did you know that the FBI will just fly or drive by your house with heat sensors to check & see if you’ve got too many grow lights? True.

  • CC says:

    I will mow the yard, but I refuse to learn how to plant shtuff!!!! Unh unh, not doing it, my husband can’t make me! And I am not letting him read your post because then I have to hear “Aunt Becky grows orchids”. F that!!! The yard is his f-ing job…including planting shtuff!

  • Liz says:

    Please post your orchid tips. All the internets want to confuse me. Put them in a window, put them away from the window, blah blah blah. My kitten would rather eat my husband’s chia pet than my pathetic orchids. I got one to put up a second bloom stalk, but after about a month, it turned yellow and shriveled up. The plant itself seems healthy. Maybe I’ll put it back in my large window box.

    You need a picture of Chiabraham Lincoln. I will send you one. Maybe even with my cat nearby, so you can magic it up with some freakin’ lazerbeams.

    I am about to start pulling nasty old giant hedges from my house too. Want to help? They are crowding out the swimming pool.

  • Kim says:

    The orchid growing? Makes me painfully happy.
    When I see orchids they look so delicate and sturdy at the same time, like aliens of some sort. I hope some day to be brave enough to take them on.

  • Wombat Central
    Twitter: wombatcentral
    says:

    Bee-ewe-tee-ful orchids.

    My son’s teacher (2nd grade) was explaining the project they were about to start where they would grow plants. It involved a wicking system for watering and grow lights. My son piped up and excitedly told her that daddy has grow lights in the basement for his plants. Thinking my hubby was growing the pot, she asked about the plants. He explained (thankfully) that they’re flowers and veggies. At least they’re not in our front window where the po-po can see them, so we have that going for us.

  • John says:

    Did you happen to catch the Dutch government who used an IR camera to find what they thought was an illegal growing operation (it’s apparently not illegal to smoke, but you need the proper permits to grow the Mary Jane in Amsterdam)? Turns out that the people who were using the heat lamps were using them to keep their snakes happy.

    Anyway, I admire anyone who can take the time to actually garden. I try to keep a vegetable garden and random flowers (lilies mostly), though I really want to start planting tulips, just to make lots & lots of “tulips on my organ” jokes.

  • Eve says:

    OHMYGOD you are hilarious!!!!!! Love tyour orchids. I can’t grow anything, except my fat ass!!

  • Josefina says:

    I’d been hoping for orchid pictures! Gorgeous work, Becky.

  • Lady Hawke says:

    I too got hooked on the ‘chids. Got my first one eight years ago and now have maybe a hundred. Joined my local orchid club. I love it. All the shows are in the winter when cold cold Michigan is a bummer to be in. You guys get a great orchid outing opportunity around October- three or four local orchid greenhouses open to the public. Google ‘chicagoland orchidfest’ to see when it is this year. Then set your budget and good luck sticking to it! I might even see you there.

  • Candice says:

    I, too, decided that I needed a ‘new hobby’ (something to keep me from going off the deep end). And growing orchids was also my choice.
    However, I am not very good with commitments and I only ended with 2 plants. They are still alive and thriving, but my whole grand plans of having little indoor greenhouses and orchid jungles never came to fruition.

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