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  #1  
Old 07-03-2018, 12:47 PM
Chemtiger Chemtiger is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Zone: 9b
Location: New Orleans, LA
Age: 42
Posts: 3
Female
Default Greetings from “The Big Easy” – New Orleans!

First of all, please excuse my larger than normal font size; I’m on an iPhone and I don’t want to inadvertently make a faux pas simply because I can’t read what I typed!

Now, on to my introduction: My real name is Kari, and I was in a freak car accident in September 2015, where my car flipped over end-over-end, landing on the roof, which was completely flattened on the driver’s side. My side window shattered into a million (I maybe exaggerate, but it feels like there are still that many under my scalp!) and my head was resting in a “puddle” of these tiny ~1 mm cubes of broken glass, but luckily, a police officer who was en route to work came to the scene, and called paramedics. She sat and held my hand and talked to me to keep me conscious until help arrived. If I had to have a near-fatal car accident, it was under the best possible circumstances. As many of you may know, New Orleans was devastated by a hurricane in 2005, and the hospital that would have normally handled the very serious injuries was destroyed. But, its replacement, a state-of-the-art teaching hospital had just opened less than one month prior to my accident, and it is located less than a mile from “my spot” so I was there very quickly. The nature of my head injuries (I won’t go into detail, but if you want to know more, send me a DM and I’ll answer any questions you may have – I’ve strayed way off topic and this intro is already too long, but the accident is part of the impetus that got me restarted with growing my orchids) did not cause any sort of brain damage or TBI (that we’re aware of; I was a junior in college on my 86 mile commute to class that day; my major was chemical engineering and I was near the top of my class. I have no interest in spending 3-4 hours per day commuting anymore, and the only chemical engineering program in my city is at a very expensive private school; I may go to the public university and finish my degree, just change it to the mechanical engineering program, which I’ve been told is easier anyway). I’m in my early 40s; engaged to the most wonderful man I’ve ever met, who is now an expert in wound care since the car accident – it was his car, and when he was finally allowed into the room that I was in before they did the first surgery (I had a total of seven surgeries on my face over the course of one and a half years, and except for a fairly minor scar on my forehead, I actually look better than before!) on the day of the accident, he held my hand, and I whispered, “I’m sorry that I wrecked your car, baby,” as it was his prized Mustang, and he said, “It’s okay, my baby. We’ll get you a new and safe car.” I’m also a mother to five cats, two of whom are purebred Korats who came to me from one of the most amazing and kind women I’ve ever not met – not yet, anyway, but I will in October – who lives in Denmark. She GAVE me my boys, with her only conditions being that I take lots of pictures of them for her, take good care of them, and I’ve done even more: my fiancé and I have travelled to Washington, DC – as well as other cities that are closer to home when we have time to do so – to show them in CFA cat shows, where they always win first and second best of breed, as well as a few higher awards, such as best neutered shorthair. Since she is listed as the breeder, and I make pamphlets that I hand out to those who are interested at the shows, her little Danish cattery becomes a bit more well-known, which is good, since Korats are rather rare, and they are rather hard to find (and expensive) in the United States. European and Asian Korats are also much closer to the breed “standard” than most in North America, so the judges who meet my boys almost always remember them. I also pamper 43 orchids (mostly NOID Phals, but also two Dendrobiums, a “Sharry Baby” Oncidium, two Cattleyas, and six Vandas, which are not yet to blooming size but they should be by the time I’m 50 years old), as well as a bunch of catnip that has been growing beautifully in Synthic under a set of grow lights intended for herbs; I guess catnip could be considered an herb by my cats, although the way the cats act when I give them a few fresh leaves from the plants, the reaction I get from them is more like I’ve given them Adderall instead of a seasoning for their food!

I’ve been a “lurker” on this page for nearly a decade, and when I recently decided to restart emptying my bank account, uh, I mean, collecting orchids again after about a 12 year hiatus and a relocation from Minnesota to southeast Louisiana (read: hot, humid, climate that’s suited almost perfectly for orchids, if only the pool was not on the sunny-all-day south side of the house), I decided to go ahead and sign up for an account. I’ve yet to meet or speak to anyone in the hobby who is anything other than friendly and – especially, thankfully – willing to help newcomers. I knew that the fact that I was going to convert my growing setup to semi-hydro was going to be helped by the YouTube videos that I watch way too much, but being able to actually interact with others, both veterans and other beginners like me, could only add to the knowledge I gain, and help prevent the inadvertent murder of my (sometimes expensive, but all equally loved) orchids. First, thank you Ray for inventing this system. My orchids (most of which are slightly larger than seedlings that I purchased from Amazon, but slightly less than half are fully-grown and from various other sources) are all in some sort of semi-hydro setup, except for those that were in bloom when I acquired them, and still are; I don’t want to set them back. I did repot a few that were blooming but the existing potting medium was in such horrible condition that I could literally smell it, and I had a Cattleya that was planted in potting soil that had what appeared to be clovers starting to grow along with her. Thankfully, none of them were affected negatively, and I think that they are doing better now, if anything, since they’ve had any rotten roots removed, and are now in sterilized leca that will hopefully allow them to breathe and drink and be fed in a manner that’s closer to what they’d experience if they lived in the “wild,” only they have an overly doting mom who checks on them several times daily, and probably annoys them (I’m anthropomorphising my orchids already, and I’ve only had the oldest one for about three months! It’s a good thing I don’t have human children or they might feel neglected). I have a “growing room” that has a floor-to-ceiling window that’s almost the width of the room, and prior to becoming my greenhouse, it was a living room that was literally never used, so it’s become my hobby room, of sorts. My orchids get the window seat, my sewing machine is in there, as well as my desk that I use to store my nail polish (salon, almost). So, now I do my nails up there instead of in our bedroom, and the removal of my nail polish desk and the three (!) sets of drawers full of polish added a great deal of space to our bedroom, so maybe some orchids can come back here since there’s a similarly large window in here, only it faces south and the pool. But… I think that’s going to take some sweet talking to my fiancé!

It’s very nice to meet all of you, and I did manage to read through the ENTIRE thread about the stoppage of Phalaenopsis abuse; I learned a lot, thank you King Phillip! I look forward to participating in the forums, and I will try not to be so verbose in the future!
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2018, 01:59 PM
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bethmarie bethmarie is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Zone: 7b
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,338
Female
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Wow, my friend, what a story you have there. I'm happy you're joining the gang here on OB. And a tad envious when you describe your growing area. I'd love some more windows, big ones!
Welcome to the Board
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2018, 02:11 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Zone: 6a
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 3,784
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In one word.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2018, 03:35 PM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Zone: 5b
Location: Ohio
Posts: 8,961
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Sorry about your accident. I am really glad that everything went as well as it did for you.

I am so glad that you have joined us. Welcome aboard!
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2018, 04:02 PM
rbarata rbarata is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Zone: 10a
Location: Abrantes
Posts: 3,164
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Welcome Kari.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2018, 08:33 PM
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sweetjblue sweetjblue is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Zone: 6a
Member of:AOS, IPA, COS
Location: New England
Posts: 1,373
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Kari



Judi
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2018, 10:48 PM
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charlesf6 charlesf6 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Zone: 6b
Location: New York
Posts: 1,199
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Welcome. Good job recovering + glad that you came.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2018, 08:04 PM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Zone: 6b
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 2,515
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Now I'm hooked! It's like a novel! I want to see your window your corats, your scars! You have become my favorite character! Congratulations!
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2018, 01:05 AM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Zone: 9b
Location: Phoenix AZ - Lower Sonoran Desert
Posts: 9,270
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Welcome!
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It's a dry heat.
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