It's July; the year is half over. At this point for many of us our 'New Year's Resolutions' have completely faded into the static of actual lived, real life. Trying to make life changes happen according to a calendar is perhaps arbitrary and even a little silly, yet every year we think that THIS will be the year we make change stick.
Part of the reason I selected the Plant/Record challenge as my goal for the year was that it was both easy to achieve/maintain and pleasurable, which I figured that gave me the best chance at sticking with it. Yet here we are in July with no May or June post!
That being said, I'm not beating myself up too hard because I actually did (mostly) do the thing - I bought plants in May and June and I got two new records (although one was right at the beginning of June and one was at the end of June). To date, though, I'm 6 for 6 on records and plants. The issue is that my laptop is a mostly-broken-piece-of-crap that i've been putting off updating (maybe if I wasn't spending so much money on records~!!) because there are more important things happening for me right now financially (like Girls Rock Camp La Paz!) so I've been avoiding the work of writing the actual blog. I'll admit I am a little sad that at the end of 2019 I won't have a perfect 12-for-12-record of blogging about my progress, because the blogging keeps me honest (although I feel like maybe four people read this), but I will have a beautiful home full of plants (the plant-related hashtags on Instagram are wild and SUPER motivating!) and a record collection of cool records, and that's what's important. I also chose this goal because at the end of 2019 I want to feel like I really, truly stuck to something and saw it through for myself.
CAN I ALSO JUST GET A LITTLE CREDIT FOR THE FACT THAT TO DATE, EVERY PLANT I HAVE BOUGHT IS STILL ALIVE???? WHO EVEN AM I IF I'M NOT KILLING HOUSEPLANTS????
So here's the combined May/June post on July 9th, only slightly late!
MAY - Snake Plant (Sansivieria) AKA Mother In Law's Tongue - If you follow *any* interior design accounts on Instagram you probably know that the Snake Plant is king right now for that whole southwestern-y style that's currently dominating the feeds. It's preferable because like many of the plants i've chosen, it's easy to care for (unlike your mother in law). They remove toxins from the air, can tolerate low light and being dry for long periods of time, and they look amazing anywhere. They are also, unfortunately, quite expensive at least in the garden stores i've been in. I wanted to get a really big plant but I'm not at the point where I'm ready to spend $80+ on a plant yet. I started out with plants costing under $10 and I'm currently at the level where I'm spending about $25-35 so I'm getting there, but I'll admit I was a little sad not to get a huge-ass pot of snake plant so I could snap a photo of it and put some hipstery filters over it to feel like I was living my best life. Nonetheless, my bedroom has been feeling much more grown up with the addition of two much smaller snake plants that I was fortunate to see on sale at Wal-Mart.
Record: okay here's where I cheated a little. Although I did check out the selection at a local record store, I had the same problem as before, where I didn't find anything I was distinctly interested in that seemed to match the parameters of this challenge. While visiting the liquor store I used to manage, however, they had a record giveaway with Auchentoshan whiskey featuring a bunch of artists from Dine Alone Records which I helped myself to (sorry, rep for Auchentoshan!). I listened to it a few times with my husband and determined that as far as vinyl goes, it is the blandest and least offensive record that has ever existed. It's essentially just a handful of current radio hits turned into a vinyl, which is actually kind of nice if you just need some background music and don't want to put on a record that you sit and specifically listen to. It has it's purposes, it's chill and inoffensive and most importantly, it was free!
JUNE - Like the Dine Alone record from last month, I went easy on myself and finally gave in to the idea of getting an Aloe Vera. I will say though, that part of the reason I settled for the humble Aloe is that I bought a number of plants and garden paraphernalia from the garden store so *really* I could include my new cucumber plant and the several herbs I bought if I really wanted to (although I guess those aren't *house* plants). Like the Sansivieria, the Aloe is hardy and hard to kill. It can go for long stretches without any water and generally doesn't mind being neglected. On top of that, it looks gorgeous and provides very real sunburn and other ouchie-relief, which is especially useful in summer.
Record-wise, I got in the spirit of finding more utilitarian uses for my record player. Right now my record collection looks like a small handful of more expensive, intentional purchases which I still find I'm struggling to listen to (in part because the Google Home Mini is right there and can play anything) and a larger collection of old, secondhand records that are generally interesting but not compelling enough to put on regularly (the Eagles, Billy Joel, whatever else I could scavenge from the classic rock section of Value Village).
This month I made learning about banjo playing part of my record-buying challenge; I've started an old-timey Americana band with some other ladies (we're called the Hillbettys!) in part to give myself a reason to actually play the banjo. In very ADHD fashion though, I keep forgetting to make the time to actually research what kind of music I most want to play, who are the historical acts that made this kind of music, and actually immersing myself in / researching the thing i'm trying to do. This is a very common thing I tend to do when I'm excited about the concept of an idea but not the execution of it and it inevitably leads to major imposter syndrome. I picked up two rather generic banjo/ old timey albums after being disappointed that the local record store had neither the Carter Family nor any Woody Guthrie. They also seemed quite mystified by my requested to be pointed in the direction of other similar-sounding music (the old man behind the counter practically sneered at me, "Americana is basically any music from America, can you be more specific?") so I picked thes two at random, gave them a once-through and was bored and disappointed. June record fail, I guess. At least I know what I would like out of old-timey/Americana records and I can maybe pursue these purchases online for July.
It's the 9th, and I'm not too late to get back on the bandwagon! My upcoming trip to Mexico tomorrow for Girls Rock Camp La Paz should give me enough time to peruse the local vinyl shop and possibly make a cool, local-band based purchase like I did in Iceland. I'm probably going to stick with the 'cheap and cheerful' sized houseplants for July since this trip is quite expensive, but come August I think I'm ready to move into the world of bigger, bolder, floor-based plants. Got suggestions for me? Leave them in the comments!