January 10: Houseplant Day, Peculiar People Day, Bittersweet Chocolate Day

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
January 10, 2012

Prairie winter...

★~ Today’s Quote:  Haven’t you felt a peculiar sort of worry about the chair in your living room that no one sits in? Nicholson Baker

★~ Houseplant Appreciation Day:

The Gardener’s Network established Houseplant Appreciation Day to remind people to pitch the poinsettia, which is just a once-a-year annoyance for most people, and return to caring for the houseplants that are with us year-round.

I have had a houseplant for the last 25 years. I forgot what kind of plant it is long ago. The plant’s name is Adair (after Red Adair), although the leaves haven’t turned red in years. Adair has a home with me forever even though I’m much more of a flower person than a houseplant person. Houseplants are kind of needy. Who needs something that has to be watered once a week? God forbid you overwater it.

My sweet mother has a house full of plants that she is very fond of, from bonsais to orchids. She had a gardenia for years that smelled great. I think the gardenia bit it, though probably on my dad’s watch.

As I was researching houseplant day, I learned that not all plants are created equal. Some of them would like nothing better than the opportunity to kill you, like gelsemium elegans, which a man in China put in a stew to kill a business rival. I guess I should have known this. For years my mom threatened to toss a little oleander on my dad’s salad. I can’t remember if these threats came before or after my dad sprayed rose poison in my mom’s face.

Check out ‘Did You Know’ (below)for a list of five plants that would just as soon see you dead as live with you.

★~ Peculiar People Day:

Peculiar: Odd, unusual, or eccentric. I only wish I knew some peculiar people to appreciate. *sigh*. Perhaps you can help me out. Are you a peculiar person?

★~Bittersweet Chocolate Day:

Bittersweet chocolate is a sweetened form of dark chocolate that does not contain milk. According to FDA standards, bittersweet chocolate must contain at least 35 percent chocolate liquor. The more chocolate liquor that’s added, the more intense the bitter flavor of the chocolate.

Research shows that daily consumption of bittersweet chocolate is actually quite good for you. It contains antioxidant compounds and flavonoids, helps lower blood pressure, and helps protect your heart.

So go ahead and eat a few pieces of bittersweet chocolate, and perhaps chase it down with a glass of heart-healthy wine.

★~ Today in History:


♥~ 1960 – Marty Robbins’ hit tune, El Paso, held the record for the longest #1 song to that time. The song ran 4 minutes and 20 seconds, giving many radio station program directors fits; because the average record length at that time was around 2 minutes, and formats didn’t allow for records much longer than that, (e.g., 2-minute record, 3 minutes for commercials, 60 seconds for promo, 2-minute record, etc.).

♥~ 1976 – C.W. McCall’s Convoy was the #1 single in the U.S. — on both pop and country charts. “Ah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck … You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c’mon? Ah, yeah, 10-4, Pig Pen, fer shure, fer shure. By golly, it’s clean clear to Flag Town, c’mon. Yeah, that’s a big 10-4 there, Pig Pen, yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy. Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy…”

♥~ 1984 – Cyndi Lauper became the first female recording artist since Bobbie Gentry [1967] to be nominated for five Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female), Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

♥~ 1994 – Lorena Bobbitt went on trial in Manassas, VA. She was charged with the malicious wounding of her husband John. She had cut off his penis, but was eventually acquitted by reason of temporary insanity

<★~ Born Today:


♥~ 1836 – Charles Ingalls, otherwise known as “Pa” in his daughter Laura Ingalls Wilder’s  Little House on the Prairie books. Born in Cuba, New York , Ingalls descended on his father’s side from a Mayflower passenger, and on his mother’s from an early settler of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His family had been New Englanders for generations, but they moved to the tallgrass prairies of Illinois when Ingalls was a boy. As an adult he moved by covered wagon from areas that are now Wisconsin to Kansas, back to Wisconsin, to Minnesota, to Iowa, back to Minnesota, and to the railroad town of De Smet, South Dakota, where he lived the rest of his life.

♥~ 1945~ Roderick David “Rod” Stewart, is a British rock singer-songwriter of Scottish and English ancestry. He is one of the best selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. In the UK, he has had six consecutive number one albums, and his tally of 62 hit singles include 31 that reached the top 10, six of which gained the number one position. He has had 16 top ten singles in the U.S, with four of these reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

♥~ 1949 – George Foreman boxer: oldest heavyweight champion at age 45 [Nov 5, 1994]; commercial pitchman

★~ Did You Know:

♥~ Monkshood Aconitum napellus – This beautiful plant is an easy plant to make a poison soup out of, they are common in a garden and the root is tasteless in a stew, but when consumed it causes asphyxiation.

♥~ Oleander Nerium oleander – Another contender for death by dinner is oleander. Grind up the leaves, add the fruit of the plant, garnish with a few flowers and blame it on the butler.

♥~ White Snakeroot Eupatorium rugosum –  This plant killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother. Livestock eat the plant, which contains an alcohol called tremetol that causes tremors in the livestock before killing them. And, if someone should happen to drink the milk of a cow that has consumed white snakeroot, that person will suffer the same tremors and die.  Small colonies of settlers were nearly wiped out by this plant.

♥~ Angel Trumpet Brugmansia –  The plant is no angel it’s ungodly trumpet contains a cocktail of toxins that, when merely absorbed by the skin, will cause a victim to remain completely conscious but not remember a single thing.

♥~ Western Water Hemlock Cicuta douglasii – Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn, and caldron bubble..Witches have been using hemlock in their potions and brews for centuries. They must know a thing or two because the USDA named hemlock the most violently toxic plant in North America.


Odd Loves Company!

10 thoughts on “January 10: Houseplant Day, Peculiar People Day, Bittersweet Chocolate Day

  1. Katybeth where were you during my divorce? I have been called peculiar but I don’t mind because I have been called worse.
    Rod Stewart amazing performer.

  2. I have a plant I’ve had 25 years too, Katybeth! I got it when my oldest daughter was born…some kind of ivy, I think.

    I love the “Little House” books, and Rod Stewart!


    • I need to figure out what Adair is…big leaves that will turn red under the right conditions. It must be a hearty plant and not very needy or it never would have lived this long in my house of benign neglect.

  3. I think I’m peculiar, so you can start appreciating me! hehehe j/k 🙂 That picture or “pa” looks nothing like Michael London! 🙂 It is one of my Mom’s favorite shows and after Tyra watch it few times she started calling us ‘ma’ and ‘pa’ and want to have a horse. Oy!
    Btw, thanks for the reminder, now I have to put a note to water my plant, forgot to do it this weekend!

  4. I love your list of plants that can kill and printed it out for later use — who knows, one of my characters might need something like that to “do somebody in”!! But wait a minute — you promised seven plants, and I only counted five. Do tell what the other two are!!

    • HolyPlants–caught. I did promise seven! Let me see where I went astray. I think I eliminated the Venus fly trap because it only killed flies and the Giant Pitcher Plant – which also lures small insects and animals into it’s “bowl” and gobbles them down.
      I do have a basis towards Oleander for classy way to knock someone off. Pretty and deadly.

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